Timothy Trudeau’s earliest and fondest memory of getting a taste of the business world was hanging out with his father who was a successful business owner along with other successful business owners. While other kids were playing video games, Timothy was hanging around entrepreneurs and gaining powerful business tips. His first taste of success was when he sold his first beat to a Senior in his school who rapped back when he was in 9th grade. His foray into the business world started out at this early age when this Senior heard the beats he was making and decided to share an idea he had for a song. He immediately went home and used the equipment that he had collected through saving and bartering, and that’s when he first experience a real collaboration with an artist, and he officially became a producer. Eventually, his business grew, and he accumulated his wealth via his company Syntax Creative as well as rental income from the property that he owns.
We recently caught up with Timothy Trudeau and here’s what went down:
Could you please tell our readers a brief background about yourself and how you started making money?
I remember clearly listening music while riding through the South Bay neighborhood of San Diego. Sitting in the backseat of my father’s car, I was nodding my head to songs that were well beyond my years. I may not have known it then, but I was planting the seeds that would lead to my love for music and the subsequent foray into business. No one could have predicted that an unassuming kid from California like myself was quietly developing the ability to create original music and the chops to build a business around it.
How did you get started in business? When did you start? Did you ever imagine you would become this successful?
Some of my earliest and fondest memories include attempts at launching small businesses. I loved “negotiating” with the adults around me and selling products to other children based off knowing what they wanted.
My Dad was a successful business owner and socialized with other successful business owners. While other kids were trying to play outside or manipulate pixels on a screen in make-believe worlds, I would jump at any chance to go with my Dad to hang out with him and his friends.
While I doubt I fully grasped the idea of success, I knew that I would one day be an adult and that it would remain that way for the rest of my life so I wanted to acquire as much insider information into this journey as possible.
The first memorable transaction I remember, that is most closely associated with what I do now, was when I was in the 9th grade and sold my first beat to a Senior who rapped. It started out because he had heard the beats that I was making and decided to share an idea he had for a song, I went home and used the equipment that I had collected through saving and bartering. I was officially a producer and had just experienced my first real collaboration with an artist.
Though not music-related, the earliest legitimate business operation that I launched was when I was in the 10th grade. It was a business where I sold and serviced pagers along with the monthly airtime charge, as well as accessories to customize an otherwise boring world. Because I was only 15, I engaged my brother, who was 4 years older than me, as a partner who could legally register the business.
Most of my clientele were other students who I would see every day. Like any small community, the word can travel fast so it was important to keep customers happy and for them to share their happiness with others.
What is your main source of income?
My main source of income is the salary that I earn at Syntax Creative as well as rental income from the property that I own.
What are you currently doing to maintain/grow your net worth?
While some may be sitting on their equity, others are using it to purchase jet skis or other fun items that will decrease in value the moment the ink is dry on your purchase contract. I have used the equity to purchase assets that increase in value or that I can make money from. The main one being, more real estate.
While I’ve dabbled in the real estate market of other states for over a decade, I ended up cashing out and focusing on the San Diego market. This is where I am blessed to live and a market I understand very well. Like Bitcoin or the Foreign Exchange Market, if you are strategically buying and selling, you can do very well for yourself.
What is the toughest decision you had to make?
The toughest decision I’ve had to make is to kill a business or a partnership. It’s easy to get emotionally invested in something, especially if you’ve been doing it for a while. There comes a time when you have to step outside of what you are doing and take a look at it logically and see if the numbers are adding up or not.
Even businesses with a great cause may need to be shut down. You are able to do much more for a good cause with a solvent business than an insolvent one.
And if you love your friend or family member but they are contributing nothing or dragging the business into the ground, they must not love you very much back. If the relationship dies because you want to kill the partnership, there was never a relationship, to begin with.
What new business would you love to start?
Syntax Creative has a broad reach and has me working with people all over the world. This is a lot of fun and I love it. However, for my next venture, I want to do something really localized. I want to have some kind of small business that serves food and drink. One that gets into a community and becomes a part of it. I want to take those same principles I’ve learned about having peers as customers and friends recommending friends for marketing to a local establishment. I also love growing individuals, so the thought of hiring young people to help them learn not just how to do their job well, but how to think well and do all future jobs well. How to open their own business someday.
If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what would you do differently?
I would immediately go back to before time machines were invented and start a time machine business.
Do you have any favorite business-related or personal development related books that you can recommend to other entrepreneurs?
The most important thing someone can learn to help his or her own business would be economics. One of my favorite recent books for this is The Poverty of Nations: A Sustainable Solution. Another fantastic book is On Writing Well: The Class Guide to Writing Nonfiction. This book has, of course, helped my writing, but it has also helped my communication. Communication is one of the main tools that I use when transacting with people. So the better that I can do that, the better the transactions will be and we are right back to word-of-mouth marketing.
What advice would you give to a newbie Entrepreneur setting up their first business?
Preparation is awesome. But over-preparation can be crippling. I coach a lot of young or new entrepreneurs and many of them have fantastic ideas. The first thing I think is, why aren’t they already doing this?
That initial plunge off of the cliff seems to be the part keeping them from doing anything other than making charts, graphs and spend time talking about starting something. There isn’t a failed business in my past that I launched that I didn’t learn something valuable from. Most successful entrepreneurs were first unsuccessful entrepeneurs.
You just have to go! Get started. You can’t possibly know everything up front and you can’t plan for all that will happen along the way. But you also can’t have a business if you don’t take that first step.