Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Thierry (tear-e) Lyles and I am a entrepreneur, creative, and digital marketing professional. In addition to making a living in the online space, I am also the Digital Marketing Manager for a local retailer of nearly 80 stores and the Director of Marketing for a large Stock, Options, and Crypto trading community.
Where are you from?
Born and raised in Michigan City. I am now settled, with my family, along the historic Lincoln Highway in Valparaiso, IN.
How did you get started?
At the early age of 11, I built my first website. It was not anything to write home about. In fact, it was built using the old Yahoo! webpages. I wanted a place I could sell coins from my coin collection. At the time, I thought it was the best site in the world. However, I was completely wrong. Long story short, I never sold a thing.
For many years after that point, I dabbled in web development. I completed dozens of small projects throughout high school, but never anything of large substance. After I graduated high school in 2009 with a Technical Honors Degree, I immediately enrolled at Purdue University North Central in their Construction Engineering program. Construction was always a hobby of mine. I built so many tree-houses and massive “forts” growing up that it would take me days to tell you about them. College is great, but we all know the worst part is paying for it. This is the point in my life when I started seriously using my knowledge of websites and looking into earning an income online along with my already established photography business.
I saw my first big successes online during my freshmen year in college and was able to pay off my college tuition entirely. I quickly realized that my hobby of web development/digital marketing could be a career. I continued to stick with my education and continued building my diverse skill set online. First it started with WordPress, then SEO, marketing, and every aspect of a complete online business. By 2012 I was earning more online then I would if I started in the construction industry. It was at this time I made the decision to graduate early with an Associates in Construction Management and pursue my online endeavors and photography business. It’s been all “uphill” from that point on…
Do you have a side hustle or hobbies?
I am so business focused that generally everything I do is well beyond a hobby. I’d certainly say everything I do is a hustle.
What was one of your biggest mistakes and what did you learn from it?
Taking on more than I could chew…. One of the biggest setbacks for me was early on in my career when I jumped into a huge project. I had the skillset and knowledge for the project, but what I lacked was the resources and support to make things happen within the timeline needed. Long story short, the project was completed, but took nearly an extra month and a whole lot of sleepless nights. This experience really steered me in the direction of compiling valuable resources (tools, business relationships, etc) to leverage for future work. *Great segue into the next question…
What are the top tools you need to do your job?
People… One of my most valuable resources/tools are people. Being able to go to others for advice, critique, etc is so damn important. In regard to “things” I use; Trello for project management and organization, Adobe Creative Suite for creating content, and my notebook for handwritten notes.
Who or what inspires you and why?
My legacy. When I leave this earth, I want to be remembered for something that outlives my physical time here. What that is I don’t know YET, but it is something I feel I always am working towards. A feeling that guides me through the stairways of entrepreneurship, innovation, and growth in both business and life.
What do you love about Northwest Indiana?
The Culture; Food, people, art…
What resources are you finding to educate yourself?
I am a podcast freak. Some of my favorite people to listen in to are Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income, Rick Mulready from The Art of Paid Traffic, and Chris Ducker from Youpreneur.
Additionally, I work with some incredible people at my “day job” and the amount of learning that occurs daily is insane. Both in Digital Marketing and business in general.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in your industry?
Something is better than nothing. Just go for it, get it out there.
What’s next for you?
I am working on a HUGE pivot in my entrepreneurial endeavors. One that will allow me to help more people in areas where I believe I can provide the most value.
Where can we find you?