I was quite creative as a kid, and very into drawing. Naturally, my Mom and Dad thought they were bringing up the next Picasso and wasted no time enrolling me in art courses. I can’t describe how important those lessons were to me. I had been diagnosed with ADHD at 8 years of age, and that meant I had a hard time paying attention to anything that wasn’t of interest to me. But the arts and computers, they always occupied a shiny position in my mind and I would spend hours drawing away or learning to build computers.
For the child me, that was enough, to draw and to build computers. But you can’t be a child forever, and things changed for me once I turned 13. That was my age when my parents divorced and I moved from Ponce, Puerto Rico, where I was born, to Lancaster. And things weren’t quite so easy there. Without any knowledge of the English language I struggled through school. Throughout my time there, I got a steady stream of C’s and D’s, and well, it didn’t help that I kept hanging out with the wrong crowd. At 17, I dropped out of school, disillusioned, and to all appearances, defeated.
But that wasn’t the end of my story.
At 18, I had my firstborn child, which was the best thing to ever happen to me. It ended up changing the way I saw life itself, as well as the decisions I was making. It was like switching the settings from black and white to color! And from that point on, I turned my life around.
I ended up getting my GED around 20. After that I worked in the restaurant industry as a security guard for 5 years. That’s where I started developing a passion for the restaurant industry. And it’s also where I found one of my more clients…but we’ll get to that.
At 25, I went to LCCTC Adult education program in Mount Joy to learn about computer systems technology, where I acquired 4 certificates and awards. I felt burning in me a desire to do something with my life that was bigger than me and would bring me joy. And so I decided to build my career along the lines of an old passion: computers. That’s the story of how I started Tetrad IT Services.
It’s a story that starts with more sizzle than it ends. Tetrad IT Services was a computer repair company that ended up failing miserably. The computer repair industry was going in a different direction as me, as devices got smaller and customers elected to replace them instead of fixing them. Since replacement turned out to be the more affordable option, there wasn’t much growth in the computer repair industry for me, also I had no knowledge of how to build a business. So the business tanked.
Once that happened, I applied to around 30 different companies in Lancaster, and not a single one hired me. That was a confirmation of sorts to me, when I realized I just wasn’t cut out for the run-of-the-mill corporate job. That’s when I started Tetrad Marketing.
I have no room for dreams anymore it’s time to make them reality!
The first three years were difficult. Secluded from the whole world, I was holed up in my home office, working for hours on end. I had no road map and I was the only person who believed in my company. The only thing that kept me from sinking into depression was my passion and need to succeed. Luckily, I had an excellent client – Hot Z Pizza, run by the Firoglanis family. I knew a lot of restaurant owners from my days as a security guard. Of them, Hot Z Pizza was the first to entrust me with their marketing needs. You know what that means – failure was simply not an option then. I had to learn everything possible to help them achieve their goals.
I took online courses on web design, HTML, CSS coding, graphic design, SEO, social media marketing, Google ads, sales…you name it and I probably studied it at the time. To this day I take dozens of online courses and read books every year to help my clients achieve success. After all, there are new trends in the online marketing industry all the time as it changes rapidly. As I learned those strategies, I implemented them to help my first client, Hot Z Pizza.
We’ve come a long way since those early days. By the first year, Tetrad Marketing had increased Hot Z Pizza’s online sales by 30%, and it has just continued to grow every year since. The partnership was meant to be. The Firoglanis family and team has some of the hardest and kind working people I’ve ever met, and we had mutual goals. This meant the working relationship between Hot Z Pizza and Tetrad Marketing was simply was a recipe for success.
I started Tetrad Marketing on August 2011 with 1 client. As of today, we have 4 incredible full-time employees and several freelancers, and we help more than 50+ restaurants, furniture manufactures and businesses nationally achieve their advertising and marketing goals. I’m grateful for every moment and opportunity our clients, who I consider to be close friends, have provided us. And I know this is just the beginning, as we look forward to creating meaningful relationships and helping even more businesses achieve their goals through online marketing.
Thanks for reading!
Michael Tripari – Owner @TetradMarketing