Thomas Brinkly was born in Bellevue, Washington. After 9th grade, he left public school in favor of trade school and studied carpentry. Among his proudest achievements are graduating from trade school, enlisting in the US Marine Corps, and being clean and sober for over a decade. These days, Thomas Brinkly is the owner and operator of my, as well as its original founder. He currently lives in Monroe, Washington with his wife and children. When not working, Thomas enjoys meditating, traveling, and spending quiet nights at home time with his family.
Why did you decide to create your own business?
After much trial and error at the beginning of my career, I ultimately found that helping people was not only what I was good at, but also what I most enjoyed doing. Eventually, that led to me creating my own company. Now, I spend my workdays making sure my customers are satisfied and my employees are accomplishing their career goals, and I couldn’t be happier.
What do you love most about the industry you are in?
I love thinking up new ideas and I love talking to people, and those two things cross over all the time during the normal course of business at Top Tier Marketing Academy. Honestly, sometimes it’s tough to come up with new ideas after doing what I’ve done for so long, so I make sure to keep the lines of communication open with my partners, managers, and other staff. We spend a good deal of time discussing concepts, thinking out loud, and brainstorming until a good idea comes up.
What would you tell others looking to get into your industry?
You have to be willing to take calculated risks in order to find genuine success. You have to try. And you have to put in a lot of hard work, too.
What keeps you motivated?
Furthering the success of Top Tier Marketing Academy and delivering a quality product to its customers provides me with more than ample motivation.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned managing your business?
The importance of transparency has been one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned through managing my business. Even though I own the company and have a lot of employees, I always make sure that everybody knows what’s going on. First, a standard policy of total transparency really aids in creating a smooth workflow, and second it makes everyone involved feel valued.
Who has been a role model to you and why?
I have a couple different men in my life that I look up to. When I find myself in a bad spot or feeling overwhelmed, I give one of them a call to talk about my situation. They always take the time to listen to me and offer advice on how I might come up with a solution.
How do you maintain a work life balance?
I make sure that I spend at least an hour a day alone. I’d recommend anybody to do that in order to work on their mind and their spirituality. Along those lines, I also practice meditation.
What traits do you possess that make you a successful leader?
I believe the people that know me well would cite my capacity for caring and compassion as a couple of my best leadership traits.
What is your biggest accomplishment?
Professionally, the success of my company is my biggest accomplishment. Personally, raising a happy, healthy, and loving family has brought me the most joy and fulfillment.
What trends in your industry excite you?
I love the artificial intelligence trend. I don’t know much about it right now, but it excites me to see how far and how fast we as a society are developing that technology.
What has been the hardest obstacle you’ve overcome?
I didn’t get past 9th grade. I regret that. But from that point on, I decided to work twice as hard as everybody else to get what I want.
What is one piece of advice that you have never forgotten?
When I was younger, I tended to give up on myself too soon because I didn’t think I could do certain things. Then, someone told me that my mind is stronger than I realize it is, and that insight had a really positive impact on me. I’ve always remembered that piece of advice, and it’s served me well over the years.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to others?
I think it would be some variation of my previous answer. “Your mind is stronger than you think it is,” or some other words to that effect.
What is the biggest life lesson you have learned?
I believe that there’s more value in relationships than money.
Outside of work, what defines you as a person?
As I mentioned before, I practice meditation. Being able to take a certain amount of time each day to clear my mind, center myself, and find some semblance of peace really helps me focus on all the other aspects of my life. It also puts everything into perspective. Because of all these reasons, I think meditation is a big part of who I am.
Explain the proudest day of your professional life.
The day I officially founded Top Tier Marketing Academy was the proudest day of my professional life without question.