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Bill Carmody

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Bill Carmody, the founder and CEO of marketing services company Trepoint, caught the entrepreneurship bug early, beginning his entrepreneurial endeavors as young as age twelve. In 1994, after graduating from Salem State College with bachelor’s degrees in marketing and advertising, Carmody started his career as a producer at Modern Media. During his year there he saw some of the early days of Internet marketing, launching the very first websites for companies including MasterCard, CBS, and JCPenney’s, and managing the AT&T and Zima sites. In June 1995, he left Modern Media to work as the key contact between IBM and marketing company Oglivy & Mather Interactive, once again participating in the development of online marketing strategy.

In 1997, Carmody put his early experience in the newly arising field of Internet marketing to work. Taking a position as the VP of Integrated Media for 50-year-old promotional marketing agency Marden-Kane, Carmody took on the mission of guiding this established company into the Internet age. With an eight-member team that he hired and trained, Carmody developed Marden-Kane’s integration of online and traditional media promotions.

In 2000, Carmody left Marden-Kane to found his own company, Seismicom. His clients at this marketing services company included AT&T, CA, Clearwire, Magellan, and SanDisk. He left the company in spring of 2008 for a pair of new endeavors. He joined social marketing agency Brief Attention Span, serving as President until August 2014. He also founded Trepoint, a marketing services company focused on Challenger Brands. Trepoint has become a leading provider of digital marketing and technology services, making Inc Magazine’s list of the fastest-growing companies in the nation in 2013. As of March 2014, the company merged with San Francisco-based full-service marketing agency Barc Communications.

Carmody frequently shares his expertise, writing articles on marketing for publications including BusinessWeek, Inc Magazine and Progressive Grocer and speaking at industry events. He’s also written a book, Online Promotions, published in March 2001. In addition to his professional life, Carmody is active at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock and practices martial arts, holding a 3rd Degree Black Belt in Soo Bahk Do.

Companies and Investments

Trepoint (Founder, CEO), Brief Attention Span (President), Seismicom (Founder, CMO), Marden-Kane (VP of Integrated Media), Ogilvy & Mather Interactive (Client Services), Modern Media (Producer)

Lessons Learned

I recently reached out to Gary Vaynerchuk and thanked him for relentlessly putting himself out there and inspiring thousands of people like myself to do the same. As part of the note, I acknowledged, "You will never know just how many lives you have positively influenced, nor will everyone tell you how much your insights, advice and energy has helped them. So on behalf of all those who don't take the time to write and tell you how much you mean to them, I want you to know how much your efforts mean to me personally." I ended with, "...if there is ever anything you need, just ask. You have given so much to the world, I'd love the opportunity to give back."

I didn't expect a response. I know how busy Gary Vaynerchuk is, but less than 48 hours later, I received a heartfelt response. …If there's someone else in your life that has been instrumental to your personal growth and success, please take a few minutes to write, call or meet with that person. It will mean more than you know and will ultimately lead you to new opportunities for growth--both personally and professionally. Showing your gratitude also has the ancillary benefit of increasing your own happiness, which, in turn, attracts more incredible people and positive energy into your life. There really isn't any downside to gratitude, which is why doing more of it will help you grow. (Carmody on the importance of gratitude, in an article for Inc.)

We once had a client who was incredibly rude and obnoxious to one of our employees. He was shocked when I "fired" him as a client. I said "no" to his business at a time when it represented a good percentage of our revenue. That action had two important benefits that I could not have foreseen at the time: (1) It emboldened my team to double their efforts to build our business and (2) It avoided attracting similarly hostile clients into our company ("birds of a feather flock together").

Saying "no" to a hostile client meant that I was saying "yes" to a more positive and inviting work environment for our team. It also meant I was saying "yes" to current and future clients our team wanted to work hard for to ensure their success. One committed "no" meant several new opportunities we could say "yes" to. And that has made all the difference. (Carmody on the importance of learning to say “no,” in an article for Inc)

If your objective is to grow, you first have to envision how what you do matters; and I mean how it really matters, not just what sounds good, but what is good for the world. That's when you have found your purpose and the purpose of your company. Only then can you truly tell an expert story that's worth repeating. Expert storytelling works because deep down, you're passing what our ancestors referred to as "tribal knowledge"--information that sounds important (even vital) to our success as human beings. From ways to eat healthier (Jared's Subway story) to delivering happiness (Zappos) to buying shoes that help clothe the world (Tom's) or even how better data and metrics help you win an unfair fight (Oakland A's). If your story matters, it will be shared, retold and passed on. By doing what matters and telling a story that matters, you will ignite a passion among people that is inherently sharable and provide an organic boost to your company's growth and long-term viability. (Carmody on the importance of telling your story well, in an article for Inc)

Inspiring Quotes

Instead of working tirelessly to make yourself indistinguishable, strive to be great at something substantive.

Peter Thiel

A business with a good definite plan will always be underrated in a world where people see the future as random.

Peter Thiel

A great company is a conspiracy to change the world.

Peter Thiel

Speak your truth, even if your voice shakes.

Maggie Kuhn

Bill Carmody's Quotes

By embracing the insights and key lessons that come with failure, we open new doors and new possibilities. Only by blazing your own trail and learning from your own unique failures will you discover your true path--a path that leads to sustainable growth.

Bill Carmody

A company that cultivates a culture in which it is OK to fail has a distinct competitive advantage.

Bill Carmody

If youre not passionate about being the CEO, its a good bet that getting back to what you are passionate about will invigorate your company, not to mention everyone around you.

Bill Carmody

Having a great idea is only one part of the equation. Its the act of delivering on a great idea that is truly disruptive.

Bill Carmody

Influential Books

Steve J. Martin - The small BIG: small changes that spark big influence

Peter Thiel - Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future