Women in Print and Promo: Amy Tiller, Inspired Results Inc.
How she got her start: I started working for Safeguard Business Systems in 2010. The company was getting ready to launch an aggressive business acquisitions and mergers program, and I was brought in to be part of that team. I had extensive knowledge of the franchise industry and understood the process involved in transitioning a business into a franchise environment. I was part of the M&A team for four years and in that time, Safeguard acquired three businesses in the Pacific Northwest [i.e., DocuSource Print Management, Advent Print Resources and FormIt Print Management]. They were held as company-owned locations until 2015 when Safeguard began the process to resell them and put them back in the hands of an independent business owner. My colleague on the M&A team, Phil Odella, and I partnered to form Inspired Results and purchased the three businesses from Safeguard.
What she loves most about the industry: I enjoy the diversity. I did not set out to own a company in this industry, but an opportunity presented itself to do something new and different. Through my work in M&As, I recognized that the print and promo industry was changing. Phil and I thought it was a great time to get into this industry and be a part of that change. The diversity of solutions we are able to provide our clients is exciting. Every need is different, so every solution is different. I love that every day consistently challenges us.
An average day: The saying traditionally goes: “There is no typical day.” But, in fact, my days are relatively routine. My primary daily focus is to grow Inspired Results. As the leader of sales and marketing, that does mean I'm responsible for a variety of different activities, but each one ultimately benefits that one goal. I am held accountable by Phil and the other leadership team members at Inspired Results to provide results; and if I'm not, I get called out for losing focus.
Her proudest career achievements: I am a big believer in living in the now, so my current focus is my proudest career achievement. I left my corporate job that had security to take a chance on a vision. That vision is that we can help change and evolve an industry by being unique.
On working in a traditionally male-dominated industry: Honestly, I have not faced many challenges as a woman. I have had to overcome more challenges through the standard line of thinking that in order to be successful in “this industry” you have to have extensive knowledge of “this industry.” When people learn that neither Phil nor I come from this industry, they can be dismissive. Our experience involves running successful businesses. I don’t care whether your product or solution is consistent, if you make your clients heroes within their organization, you will have repeatable success. I am good at making heroes.
Her job advice to women: Go for it! Bring your knowledge, grit and skill to an industry that doesn’t have a lot of women running its companies because you will stand out. Inspired Results is working to obtain our certification as a woman-owned business in the next few months, and [by] letting our clients know about the process, doors have opened for us. When you entertain the idea, talk to your friends who are information technology experts about that process and about any great relationship makers and client champions you might have, because it’s possible for any driven individual to be successful. By happenstance, Inspired Results has an all-female IT team made up of five dynamic women. They are creating the IT solutions that serve our clients, and I am confident that is an industry first.
Who she turns to for career advice: I have a varied network that keeps me honest. Former colleagues, whose work I respect; my parents; my business partner; and my wife. Her guidance and support have always been a true north in good times and bad.
When she’s off the clock: I work hard and play hard. Travel is a huge passion of mine. I love visiting new countries, learning and experiencing new things. I also love to cook to relax. It is really my only creative outlet. I have an obsession with magazines—I love them. I have recently discovered the app Texture, so now I can have all my business, travel and cooking magazines on my iPad. It's the greatest thing ever! I have three teenage girls, and hanging out with them is pure joy. They make me laugh—like really laugh—and that is a great stress reliever.
(The following profile appeared in Print+Promo’s “These Women Mean Business” cover story in the May 2017 issue.)
Related story: Women in Print and Promo: These Women Mean Business