skip to Main Content

Lessons Learned: The TPA Anniversary Show (Thinks Out Loud Episode 420)

Photorealistic image generated by MidJourney of a 1940s newsboy to celebrate the anniversary of TPA

If you’re like most people, you might think of anniversaries as a time for looking back. Not me. Usually, I prefer to look ahead. But, this year, I’m making an exception. Only, I’m not looking back to celebrate the thirteen years that Tim Peter & Associates has existed. Nope, I’m looking back… well, just a little bit further. 45 years, in fact.

Why 45 years? Why so far? And what does that have to do with marketing, digital or otherwise?

Well, that’s what this episode of Thinks Out Loud is all about. I hope you’ll give a listen and see for yourself.

Want to learn more? Here are the show notes for you.

Lessons Learned: The TPA Anniversary Show (Thinks Out Loud Episode 420) — Headlines and Show Notes

Show Notes and Links

You might also enjoy this webinar I recently participated in with Miles Partnership that looked at "The Power of Generative AI and ChatGPT: What It Means for Tourism & Hospitality" here:

Free Downloads

We have some free downloads for you to help you navigate the current situation, which you can find right here:

Best of Thinks Out Loud

You can find our “Best of Thinks Out Loud” playlist on Spotify right here:

Subscribe to Thinks Out Loud

Contact information for the podcast:

Past Insights from Tim Peter Thinks

Technical Details for Thinks Out Loud

Recorded using the travel rig: Shure SM57 Cardioid Dynamic Instrument Microphone and a IK Multimedia iRig Pro Duo IO USB audio interface into Logic Pro X for the Mac.

Running time: 19m 19s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes, the Google Play Store, via our dedicated podcast RSS feed (or sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player at the top of this page.

Transcript: Lessons Learned: The TPA Anniversary Show

Well hello again everyone and welcome back to Thinks Out Loud. Your source for all the digital expertise your business needs. My name is Tim Peter. This is episode 420 of The Big Show, and thank you so much for tuning in. I genuinely appreciate it. I think we’ve got a really cool show for you today. I think we’ve got some interesting stuff to talk about.

As it happens, April is the anniversary of Tim Peter & Associates, of the company here, and this is our 13th anniversary. And it is pretty typical for a lot of places when it’s your anniversary or, you know, you’re celebrating some big milestone for you to look back over the last, you know, in our case, 13 years or something.

But I don’t want to look back 13 years, I want to look back 45 years. And specifically, I want to talk about the oil crisis of 1979. Now, you’re probably thinking, wait, what does the oil crisis of 1979 have to do with digital? And the answer is, not much. I mean, really. It has a lot to do with me. It has a lot to do with me personally.

Because the funny thing about the oil crisis of 1979, the only funny thing about the oil crisis of 1979, was that it was the first time I ever made good money. Now let me explain. First, the oil crisis itself was a major disruption. It drove much higher gas prices for many people. And more importantly for the story, the rationing of gasoline.

What would happen is that you weren’t allowed to buy gas just any day. Instead, it had to correspond to your license plate number. If your license plate number ended in an even number, you could buy gas on, for instance, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday. And odd numbers could buy on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday.

And then it would loop around the next week, where odd numbers would be Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, etc. I assume it rotated each week. I say assume because I was 10 years old. I couldn’t drive and don’t really know exactly how it worked. That’s certainly how it worked in my memory.

In the spirit of technical accuracy, I can speak to, though, I was not ten. I was ten and a half. Which, I mean, at that age, matters, right? And that was the year I had my very first job. I was a paperboy. Again, in the spirit of technical accuracy, it was my brother’s paper route. He was 16, though, and he was able to get a better job in the summer, so the route fell to me. I don’t remember how much I got paid for managing the route, but it wasn’t much, maybe 4 or 5.

Which, in today’s money, you can multiply any number I save from 1979 by about 4. 25. So, I was maybe making 15 to 20 a week. Or, about what you’d give a 10 year old kid in allowance today, I think. Anyway, once I completed my daily deliveries, I’d walk past the cars lined up to buy gas and sell any extra newspapers I had left over.

You know, make a little extra money with my surplus inventory. One day while I was doing this, there was some driver who’d been sick of sitting there for forever who couldn’t leave his car. And said he’d give me 50 cents if I’d grab him a cup of coffee and a sandwich from a deli right down the street. I said, sure thing.

I mean, 50 cents was roughly two bucks in today’s money. Or, as my then ten and a half year old brain thought about it, roughly two comic books. I mean, who’s not going to take that deal, right? Anyway, another driver saw me making the delivery and asked if I’d do the same for them. And this continued again and again and again.

The next thing you know, driver after driver took advantage of my new service, ordering coffee, snacks, cigarettes. Yes, they would sell 10 year olds packs of cigarettes in those days. At least if they knew or if you told them that they were for an adult. At any rate, I soon had a fairly successful analog honest to goodness door dash on my hands.

Dashing between cars in the deli and often clearing seven to ten bucks a day in extra money. Again, that’s about 30 45 per day in today’s money, which is a fortune for a 10 year, excuse me, 10 and a half year old. I kept this up for weeks. And I ended up with the comics, and D& D books, and Matchbox cars, and Star Wars action figures to prove it.

As a friend of mine said on LinkedIn, it’s a shame I took them out of their packaging. That would have been worth more than I made in actual money. But you didn’t know, and plus they were fun to play with, so what are you gonna do? I even saved some of the money. I know, that’s shocking, but I managed to save some of the money.

By the way, during this time, Inflation was at about 9 percent for 1979. And the Federal Reserve Bank increased interest rates over the next couple of years that reached 19 percent by 1981. My in laws have frequently told me the story of the house that they bought in 1982 at a 19 percent interest rate on their mortgage.

I mean, staggering numbers. And let’s be fair, this was terrible news for most people. At the same time, any money that I saved, any money that I put in the bank, and any money that anyone else was able to save during such terrible inflationary period, was earning unreal interest rates.

So there was money to be made. At the same time as lots of people were hurting. Now this trip down memory lane serves as a reminder that even bad times can provide the seeds of opportunity. Or, if you’ll pardon the cliche, every cloud has a silver lining. My best friend’s father back then, who was a tool and dye specialist, Put a couple of small machines in his basement workshop and took on small jobs, you know, mostly replacement parts for machines in, you know, small manufacturing companies and the like.

It was the first side hustle I’d ever seen. It was the first time I’d seen somebody working outside their 9 to 5 job to make extra money. I’m sure it had existed for years before that. I just hadn’t encountered it to that point. And my friend’s dad worked hard, he put in extra hours on nights and weekends after he came home from his full time job as a tool and dive specialist, like the man worked.

Even my friend, who was also 10, helped out, you know, doing small parts that weren’t too dangerous for a 10 year old, or buffing them or dusting them after they were completed, putting them in boxes, things like that. The upside from that story is during a time when gas prices were ridiculously high and inflation was even higher, my friend’s blue collared dad earned enough in extra income to drive his family From New Jersey to Florida to go to Walt Disney World and had a lovely vacation that summer.

I didn’t go, I didn’t get to go, I didn’t go to Walt Disney World for years after that. And, you know, was super jealous even with all the money I was making. At any rate, all of these were lessons that served me well. It’s amazing the things you learn as a kid. That serve you throughout the rest of your life.

I lived through this in 1999 when the dot com bubble burst. I lived through this in 2008 when the economy melted down. And in March 2020, we all lived through this with the pandemic in a really big way. My sales pipeline, the pipeline for this company, fell effectively to zero. In basically a week, because of the emerging COVID 19 pandemic, people who were thinking about doing work with us suddenly said, you know what, we’re not sure we’re ready to do a project right now.

People who were doing projects said, we’re going to have to put this on hold. At least two of my hotel clients closed their doors permanently, opting instead to sell off the real estate, instead of trying to hold on for some indeterminate period of time. Learn During the pandemic, I worked with several other clients to ensure that they got the help they needed without worrying about getting paid.

As I said to at least two people at the time, I don’t want my invoice to be the last check your company ever writes. We figured it out. We made it work. I wasn’t just trying to be a good guy. I was trying to make sure people stayed in business. I also was worried about my own business. I was worried we might be in big trouble.

What happened though, as happened when I was a little kid with a paper route, there were big opportunities at the same time as a big crisis. Large enterprises, who’d frankly ignored digital for years, came to me in droves. Literally, one of my favorite things I heard somebody say during that time was a marketing manager for a fairly large industrial manufacturer who said to me half kidding, you know, it looks like this web thing might actually be pretty important.

At least I think he was kidding. But it turned out to be true. You know, an opportunity to find new business in new areas and take skills that I’d developed working for companies primarily in the service industry for years and applying them in industries like manufacturing. I also partnered with the New Jersey Small Business Development Center and the U.

S. Small Business Administration to help small businesses, retailers, restaurants, bars, hair salons, Use digital to grow their businesses. How could they figure out how to stay in contact with their customers and continue to make some sales to keep themselves afloat? It wasn’t about the money. It was about helping small and mid sized businesses find a way to manage through the pandemic. Keep their doors open. Keep paying their employees. Keep feeding their families.

It was incredibly powerful, it was incredibly fulfilling, and I learned at least as much as I helped other people learn during that process. Because there were so many new areas we were applying this to, so many new areas where we were getting real time information about, is this working or not?

And it was easy. To see the benefits that businesses were getting from it. You could just tell when people were actually seeing it work. Very, very fulfilling. Very, very meaningful to me. Now, my point isn’t to make me look like some kind of hero here. It’s not. Plenty of the time, my team and I were making things up as we went.

Sure, we were applying lessons we’d learned over the years. Sure, we were drawing on experience and skills that we had developed. At the same time, we were in a different world where customer behaviors were changing rapidly and dramatically. So there were lots of things we weren’t sure were going to work in some contexts.

And I’d love to tell you that 100 percent of everything we did worked. Of course that’s not the case. Still, we learned. We improved and we’re stronger today than we ever were before the pandemic. And that’s why I started by talking about 45 years ago. Anniversaries, I don’t pay that much attention to generally.

My view is that looking back, Only serves four purposes. One, to review the lessons that you’ve learned. In good times and in bad. Two, to evaluate whether those lessons still apply to the world we live in today. Three, to plan how you’re going to make it to your next anniversary. Or, you know, your next 13.

And four, well, I’ll tell you about the fourth one in a minute. What I want to say first is that almost none of those are about looking back for the sake of looking back. They’re about looking forward. They’re about evaluating where you are today and what you’re going to do tomorrow and the next day and the next.

And the next, whether things are tough for your business right now, in which case, I’m very sorry to hear that, or you’re having the best year ever, you need to remind yourself that every day is another chance to find the opportunities that exist out there. Just like I learned to do when I was a 10 year old kid.

Just like I learned to do during the dot com bust. Just like I’ve learned to do during 2008, just like I’ve learned to do during the pandemic, and just like I’ve learned to do plenty of times during the good times, too. Lots of opportunities exist out there. I can’t wait to see what you do with this one.

Finally, I said that I’d tell you about the fourth reason to look back in a minute. Well it’s this, looking back gives you the opportunity to express gratitude for all the people who’ve helped you along the way. And for me, those people include you. We do this show for you. You help the team and you help me craft the information and the insights, the concepts, the content, the community that we’re trying to build here at Thinks Out Loud.

So thank you so much for tuning in today. Thank you so much for tuning in every week. Thank you so much for tuning in for all of the years we’ve had the show and for the last 13 years that my business has existed. Your support means the world to me. So, I want to thank you so much for being with us and helping us make it this far.

Show Wrap-Up and Credits

Now, looking at the clock on the wall, we are out of time for this week.

And I want to remind you again that you can find the show notes for this episode. As well as an archive of all past episodes by going to Again, that’s Just look for episode 420.

Subscribe to Thinks Out Loud

Don’t forget that you can click on the subscribe link in any of the episodes that you find there to have Thinks Out Loud delivered to your favorite podcatcher every single week. You can also find Thinks Out Loud on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube Music, anywhere fine podcasts are found.

Leave a Rating or Review for Thinks Out Loud

I would also very much appreciate it if you could provide a positive rating or review for the show whenever you use one of those services. If you like what we do here on Thinks Out Loud, if you like what we talk about, if you like being part of the community that we’re trying to build, please give us a positive rating or review.

Reviews help other listeners find the podcast, they help other listeners understand what Thinks Out Loud is all about, they help to build our community. And they mean the world to me, so thank you so much for doing that. I very, very much appreciate it.

Thinks Out Loud on Social Media

You can also find Thinks Out Loud on LinkedIn by going to You can find me on Twitter or X or whatever you want to call it by using the Twitter handle @tcpeter. And of course, you can email me by sending an email to podcast(at) Again, that’s podcast(at)

Show Outro

I know I said this a moment ago, but again, I want to thank you one last time for listening to the show today and every single week.

It means more to me than I have the words to say. We would not do this show without you, and I’m so thrilled you choose to spend your time listening to us.

So, with all of that said, I hope you have a fantastic rest of your day. I hope you have a wonderful week ahead, and I will look forward to speaking with you here on Thinks Out Loud next time.

Until then, please, be well, be safe, and as always, take care, everybody.

Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

This Post Has 0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back To Top