This week we have Tony Di Rico who is the President and Founder of Profit Hunters International. We are going to talk about his organization that Cathy and I are now a part of, which is really exciting and we just had a great conference we are going to talk about. Tony is going to talk about what he does and how to accelerate your success.
Prior to Profit Hunters International, Tony was a hospitality industry executive with over 35 years of experience having held senior level positions as a president, COO, and CEO, in both private and public companies with responsibilities for operations, sales & marketing, food and beverage, education and training.
You can see that we really have a leader and executive who really has done it all and at all different levels. He’s also worked with quality assurance and he worked for as many as 5,000 hotels in the US, Canada, and in the Caribbean. These are the hotels that he was responsible for in a variety of different positions. Also as a franchiser and a franchisee, he was instrumental in creating innovative products such as Mainstay Suites, Classic Sports Food Drinks & Memories, Choice Picks and Top Line Profit. We are going to talk more about this new adventure for him and how he got into it and why as we bring him on.
Dr. Cathy Greenberg: I’m so excited that we are going to be chatting with Tony. We just had such a bang-up project together at the Profit Hunters Conference out at the Magic Castle in Hollywood; wow, what an experience. So, I’m really excited to talk to Tony about what we have planned, coming up in the near future and share it with our listeners. We’ll talk about some of the expansion projects he has going on and give people opportunity to actually get in on the Profit Hunters Project with us. We are doing great things for great people including, obviously Wounded Warriors. One of my favorite subjects of course is our military and how we can help them and the BeSomeone.org project with our new friend Orrin.
Tony, we like to start every one of our interviews with a key question, and that is; who have been some of your key influencers in your life as a leader, as a thinker in your industry; anybody you can think of that has really been, in your mind, somebody who has influenced you throughout your life?
Tony Di Rico: Absolutely. As a matter of fact you this might sound a little weird, but a major influence in my life was the birth of my daughter. I got involved in the hospitality business early-on, like in my teens and was very successful. People often ask me how I was successful, and I say, well, I showed up every day and beat 80% of the competition. Early on I think everybody sees that you’ve worked hard, worked smart and you rise through the ranks. But that only gets you so far.
Then, my daughter was born in 1987 and my whole style of leadership had to change—it needed to change. I would say most managers typically, and leaders, are somewhat autocratic. But I recall that when we were teaching my daughter how to walk, she was 8 months old, we would lean her up against the couch, my wife and I would—my wife—I was an observer, she would just creep back a little bit with her arms outreached and my daughter would attempt to walk, and as all children do they don’t make it the first step—they fall but we quickly caught her and celebrated her attempt.
It struck me at that point, gosh, if that was at work what would I have done? I probably would have walked over and said, hey, I showed you how do it, I told you how, how come you can’t walk? If we did that with children, that would retard their ability to succeed.
As a matter of fact, I don’t know if you are familiar with the brain surgeon, his name is Dr. Glenn Doman, he created the Institute for Higher Learning. My daughter didn’t come home with a manual. I had to go out and figure out how you actually, successfully, raise children. That was probably one of the significant influences of my life; the fact that of how do you actually get people to want to succeed and blossom verses beat them up on what you want them to accomplish.
Dr. Relly Nadler: That’s so interesting that you had that reflection, Tony, I think both Cathy and I, we have kids too, I remember being so frustrated at the challenge of getting my son at two-years old to walk from one side of the room to the other to get his shoes on. I know I could pick him up, like you were saying with your daughter, but trying to communicate to him to get him to go across the room. It was such a challenge being a psychologist and a communicator; I couldn’t get him to go across the room unless I picked him up. It was that motivation that was interesting.
Tell us a little bit about some of these leadership roles that you have. I talked about some of those in the beginning, but you certainly kind of worked your way through the ranks. It sounds like you have had almost every kind of position you can think of.
Tony Di Rico: Yes, as I said, I was early in the industry. At 20 years old I was running a 4 Star, white tablecloth, restaurant organization. It just came naturally to me. I guess I was probably naturally gifted in hospitality. I became a manager of a hotel at 25. At 27 I was the Vice President of Operations. I was dedicated. Again, I go back when I speak at a University, one of the first things I tell people when they ask, how did you get successful is, show up every day with a great attitude and do your very best and follow your passion. Figure out what you love doing; I don’t care if it’s garbage industry, healthcare industry, athletics; if you’ve got the passion, you’ll find a way to succeed.
Dr. Cathy Greenberg: That is such a great model. It’s so inspiring because you just said some key words there. It doesn’t matter whether you want to be the garbage man or you want to be in service to people through healthcare, look at that array, right there Tony.
Tony Di Rico: For that matter you think of someone in the garbage business, have you ever heard of Wayne Huizenga? He started in the garbage business. Then he touched everybody through Blockbuster Video, was the owner of the Miami Dolphins. I actually set down and met him. He is just a guy who had passion and passion for his business.
I think earlier you guys were speaking about how you become a top 10% of our industry. I believe it doesn’t matter what industry, if you are passionate and work smart and hard at it, and you reach that 10% of that industry, the rewards will be astronomical. Far beyond your wildest expectations.
Dr. Cathy Greenberg: Now Tony, you’ve spent more than 30 years in senior leadership roles in the hospitality industry as a franchisee and a franchiser; you have seen it all, as Relly said, and you have done it all. Now, tell us a little bit about how these experiences are building a foundation for you and those of us who have decided we want to be a part of this exciting future called Profit Hunters. Talk to us a little bit about this. How did you come up with this idea? When did it become a reality, and what is a little bit about the future of Profit Hunters that you can share today in the show?
Tony Di Rico: Absolutely, thank you. Well, in 2006 I left the hotel business; I just woke up one day and said I’ve had enough of eating Fillet Mignon for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I want to do something different. I started to reflect on what I enjoyed doing and as a key executive in a major organization, you really don’t run the business; you’re a consultant.
So I said let me go out and start consulting. I started to interact with some consultants that I used to hire, like Tom Feltenstein who used to be the marketer for McDonalds; he is one of our team members, as well as Zig Zigler. Then those are the highly successful people like yourselves. That top 10%, the Tony Robbins, the Brian Tracy’s, very, very, successful.
Then when you look at the middle of the triangle of the industry, there are a lot of people out there that are struggling to be independent consultants, trainers, or coaches. One day about 3 years ago, it just hit me. I said gosh, this industry is where the hotel business was in the 1930’s and 40’s. That was before the Marriott brand, Holiday Inn, Choice Hotels. I said gosh, if I was to go in and want to build a hotel today, I wouldn’t create Tony’s Hotel up by 95 in Florida, I’d go talk to some of the brands. I would figure out who’ve got the best successes and I would align with that organization.
So I took that from the franchise model and said let me build the same thing for the consulting industry. So that is where Profit Hunters evolved to and what we have today is what we call a 5-Star Success System. So all of our team members have a common platform and brand whereby every team member, and again thank you for the two of you for joining us, has a replicated website. It’s a website that shows their prospective clients or clients that there is a wide array of talent that can be brought to help them with their problems.
Then the other aspect is because we are a membership organization; our consultants have the opportunity to collaborate together. There are a number of our consultants that are working on some major projects that they wouldn’t have been able to tackle on their own.
Then the next thing is, again using the hotel analogy, if I was to become a Marriott franchisee, I would have to go figure out where to buy linens, food, or uniforms, it would be provided. So we have assembled about 50-60 different business product solutions from behavioral assessments—as you know we are talking about bringing on your EQi 2.0 into our toolbox. We have training services. We have recruiting firms. We’ve got background screening. So the idea is kind of like being a family physician. If a company has a challenge that the need addressed, any one of our consultants should be able to pull out their prescription pad and prescribe the appropriate solution based on the problem, rather than the limited services that they have.
That is part of the Profit Hunters brand, is to continue to assemble a wide range of products, services, and consultants to help our clients achieve their stated goals.
Dr. Cathy Greenberg: This is pretty exciting. If I’m a consultant or I’m a coach, or I’m a training person—a person in human resources development or organization development—and I am looking for an opportunity to share what I can do, but I don’t have the team behind me to be able to accommodate some of these larger client opportunities that are out there, I can actually come to Profit Hunters, I can get a membership, and I get this 5-Star Success System, and I get a website, I get a team of experts, I get access to coaching programs, training services and a toolbox with 35+ and now I think you just said 50+ tools to offer my clients. That’s pretty much what I get. Is that accurate?
Tony Di Rico: As you said it, you get it.
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