Hello – it’s so nice to meet you! My name is Thomas, and I’m glad you are here today.
I believe in a simple, foundational truth: leaders are capable of far more than they realize when they are equipped with and learning from the right people, knowledge and resources.
I want to be one of those people to you, and I want to share my knowledge and resources so that you can maximize your impact as a leader in your home, community or organization.
I never thought I would be a leader. I was happy to follow the crowd.
I’ve always been pretty laid back and “level-headed” as some might say. As a kid, I was fine to tag along, to play nice, to say “yes” to other’s demands.
But what I discovered is that unlike other kids, I had a strong desire to get better. I didn’t like to lose, nor did I like not being the best in whatever activity I found myself doing. I would always work to understand why someone was more skilled or knowledgeable and then get to a higher level.
I took this desire to start my first business selling trading cards on eBay. My playing decks weren’t as good as some of my friends, and because we didn’t have a lot of money growing up, I had to get creative in raising money to buy the right cards to make the perfect deck.
I learned about eBay from my dad and started selling all of my extras. Mind you, I was only 12 years old, but that wasn’t about to stop me!
Before long, I sold and traded so many cards that I become a Power Seller on the platform. I made trips to the Post Office every week for 3 years (or rather my mom drove me). I simply studied what the top sellers were doing and then tweaked my listings to make them better.
Flash forward to college. I had a girlfriend (now wife of 8+ years) and wanted to get married to her. But I had a familiar problem that many college students face: I was broke.
I had no money to my name. I hadn’t learned any financial prudence from my eBay days. I had blown it all on video games and other temporary experiences.
So I decided to look on the web and study how I could make money online. I began by writing content for a website, and while that gave me the freedom to work anywhere, anytime, it didn’t bring in the $$$.
(…wondering how this relates to being a leader? You’ll find out soon!)
I then determined the best way to make money from my writing was to have my own website, so in 2009, I started a WordPress blog. I quickly realized I liked tweaking the website more than writing, and before long, I became quite good at creating websites.
It would be the beginning of my professional career.
I officially opened for business (got my business license, federal tax ID, et al) on September 1, 2010 – the beginning of my senior year of college.
I was engaged to be married the summer after I graduated. I had begun to create websites for many clients, and by the time I was ready to graduate, I had enough money to pay off the engagement ring. I also discovered that making websites would pay the bills, so I stuck with it after I graduated and got married.
When you work in something long enough, you discover trends. A trend appeared where clients would ask for the same thing on every website I built. Sure, a slightly different here or there, but essentially the same concept.
So in April 2012, I launched my very first mass-market product called Soliloquy. It was a solution built for my clients, and it just so happened to be a solution that other consultants found useful for their clients too.
In about 8 months, the product was making more on its own than me building websites, so I decided to focus on it full-time.
And it was about that time that I met my now business partner Syed. He had an idea to create a product that would help people get more email subscribers, and in 2013, we launched OptinMonster.
(OptinMonster is now the #1 most powerful conversion optimization toolkit in the world, used on 1m+ websites)
In 2014, we decided to join forces together officially and bring everything under one roof. That company is called Awesome Motive, and today our collection of software can be found helping over 20 million websites grow their traffic, email subscribers and revenue.
Our team of over 200+ incredible people creates some of the best software on the web.
How did we get there? We invested in people and made it a place where the best get better.
My Journey (and Yours)
The best leaders lead by example. They show the way and people follow.
I never considered myself a leader until I truly realized people were following me. I couldn’t understand why, but that didn’t change the reality that they were. I was happy to follow the crowd, and yet the crowd was following me.
Maybe you can relate, or if not, just look around and pay close attention. You’ll be surprised at the number of people you impact on a daily basis.
What you will discover, much like me, is that leadership is not reserved for a particular type of person. You ARE a leader, you just might not realize it yet.
But when you do realize it (or if you already have), a new reality emerges: you’re either a good leader or a bad leader.
That thought was terrifying for me the first time I entertained it. “How can I lead these people? Don’t they know I’m not a leader?!”
And then the lightbulb finally turned on.
They do know I am a leader; I don’t!
And that, for me, turned into a professional mission: to help leaders flourish. I want to equip those leaders with the right people, knowledge and resources so that they can unleash their potential to make an outsized impact in the world.
You can do extraordinary things, and I want to equip you to make them happen.. so let’s do it together!
Join me as we get better together.
How to Get Started
You may be asking “Thomas – where do I start?”
Great question. I’m happy to answer it for you!
First – I’d like to hear from you personally. I want to know where you are in your leadership journey and understand how I can be of help. You may even just want someone to listen, and I’d love to do that too! Just click on this link to connect with me. I respond personally, and if you’re nervous about where you are at on your journey compared to mine, don’t be. I can relate because I’m just like you. I may be further ahead of you, but I am never above you.
Second – read my articles. It’s an excellent way to discover what I am thinking and how I am working to make an impact on leaders around the world.
Third – sign up for the Better Leader Newsletter. I regularly share people, knowledge and resources on my journey that might be helpful for you. You can do that by clicking on this link and entering your real name and best email address.
Finally – view my list of favorite leadership resources. It’s regularly updated with book summaries, articles, videos, speeches and more. Each favorite has had a special impact on me, and you may find one of them immensely beneficial for you on your leadership journey.
Better Begins Today
Your journey to becoming a better leader starts today. Be the leader that inspires and motivates the people in your life. Make an impact on others and become a change agent for good in the world.
I’ll be right there with you.