From Zero to Hero – How I turned my life around in 5 years


In 2003, I lost it all.

My business failed. I had tons of debt. I had no income. I couldn’t afford my apartment rent.

To make matters worse, I was newly married and expecting my first child.

My sister offered us her basement to live in until we turned things around.

I say I lost it all because at the time that’s what it felt like. But looking back, I know I was still pretty rich – my wife loved me, we had a child on the way, and I had family willing to help me by opening their home to me.

But at the time, I felt like a massive failure. I went from being a successful entrepreneur and business owner to selling my old toys on eBay just to buy groceries.

I was greatly humbled.

And for a little while, I wallowed in self-pity.

But I had responsibilities so I picked myself up and took the first sales job I could get: car salesman.

I was hungry – literally – and selling was the fastest way for me to control my own income.

Plus, I believe in forward momentum. I could easily have stayed home, sending out resumes, and hoping the perfect job would hire me.

But then I would have been stagnant. And I knew that if I wanted my life to change, I had to take a chance and create forward momentum.

Nothing changes if you keep doing the same thing.

Once I was moving forward, I knew other opportunities would open up.

And they did.

I worked in that car dealership for six months and learned all about the auto dealer world.

So when an SEO position opened up in a scrappy startup digital marketing company – who happened to be working with a lot of car dealerships – my experience was a perfect fit. I had performed all my own SEO with Image Cake and on the Mohegan Sun website. Now with car dealership experience, I edged out all of the other SEO applicants.

A couple of years later, the scrappy start up agency was bought by ADP, the payroll giant, for $50 million and suddenly I’m running the digital marketing for thousands of dealerships across the country, as well as ADP’s B2B payroll division – over $400 million in marketing.

In just a few years I went from massive debt and living in my sister’s basement to making multiple six-figures, a beautiful house, and enough freedom to live life however I wanted.

And in many ways, my experience with success humbled me even more. It was my faith in God that helped me realize that if I got up and got moving forward, that God would open up opportunities for me, just like He does for all of us.

Please share with me your own turnaround stories – how did making a single decision to take action to help you change your life?

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Tony Guarnaccia

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About Me

Tony has grown over 10,000 small businesses and a dozen Fortune 500 companies, including ADP, Ford, and AutoNation and became the Google Partner of the Year. Later, Tony returned to his entrepreneurship roots to bring the strategy, tactics and resources normally reserved for large enterprises to small businesses. Today, he is focused on bringing that same vision to podcast hosts and guests – to make Podcasting profitable.

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