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About Thomas M. (Ty) Freyvogel Ty Freyvogel

My name is Tom Freyvogel, but most folks call me Ty. For the past 35 years I've devoted myself to creating or transforming more than a dozen small and million-dollar enterprises, including technology businesses. In many ways I was a pioneer in the early stages of deregulation in this country. After graduation from John Carroll University and following a brief stint as an officer in the United Sates Army, I returned to Western Pennsylvania to join my father and uncle in the family business, Freyvogel Funeral Home. It was a great business and I plunged into my duties with enthusiasm. But undertaking is a very conservative business and I was soon chomping at the bit to try something new. You see, this was in the mid 1970s and big things were happening in America, especially in terms of new technologies.

The Beginnings of New Technology
Little did we know at the time, but the big Bell Telephone and AT&T monopolies were about to be broken up, creating vast opportunities for new businesses. In 1975 I saw some exciting opportunities and started a telecommunications-consulting firm to help client companies control their communications costs. The concept was fairly new and a little bit radical. We meticulously reviewed our client's telecommunications bills looking for errors, overcharges and other billing mistakes. The radical part of this concept was that we didn’t charge our clients any direct fees for our services. Instead we took the cost of our services out of the savings we found. It was a true "win-win" … our clients saved considerable money on their telecommunications costs and we received a fair fee for our services.

Building A Business
Over time our services expanded and evolved. We began advising clients on long-distance services, telephone systems, teleconferencing and many other technology-based services and products. That company has gone through numerous transitions over the past 35 years — along with the industry itself — but today I still operate that original business, now called Freyvogel Technologies. We continue to serve the telecommunications needs of mid-sized businesses, but we have expanded the services to include energy supply consulting and security systems.

I've continued investing in various technologies and enterprises over the last three decades including a chain of weight loss centers, a chain of automotive service centers, a manufacturer of fire extinguishers for racing cars, a process for fabricating limestone, a builder of inflatable boats, nutritional supplements, computer-designed shoe inserts, and videoconferencing services for large and medium-sized businesses.

Sharing My Experiences
For many years now, I've received requests from individuals and groups to talk about my exploits. In 2000, I wrote Seize the Century!, a book about my vision of the opportunities the 21st century was opening up for entrepreneurs. A few years later, I wrote another book about the most critical interpersonal skills necessary for an entrepreneur's success, called It's Not Your Smarts, It's Your Schmooze.

My latest book, Smarts, Guts and Luck: Straight Talk for Entrepreneurs is filled with valuable advice that can help any entrepreneur start and manage a business. It was fun to write and my readers tell me that it's fun (and informative) to read! Smarts, Guts and Luck and versions of my first two books are available for purchase through my web site "Making Sense of Your Business." Go to my Online Store for more information.

What Leisure Time?
Between my writing, consulting, speaking and investing activities, it seems as though I have a pretty full schedule. However, my wife Katherine and I have raised seven children and now have eleven wonderful grandchildren, so a chunk of my time is also devoted to friends, family and philanthropic causes. When I'm not helping new clients find ways to save on their energy supply, telecommunications or security system needs I sometimes manage to squeeze out a spare moment or two to enjoy reading, golf, skiing and off-road bicycling.
 
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