200th Episode with Entrepreneur Tim Sawyer

June 26, 2024

Join us as we celebrate our 200th episode with guest Tim Sawyer, a trailblazing entrepreneur and dynamic business advisor in medical aesthetics and sexual wellness. Tim shares his journey as a business owner and offers insights into running a successful business utilizing the management services organization (MSO) model. Tune in for essential MSO tips and strategies to set up your practice for success.

Listen to the full episode using the player below, or by visiting one of the links below. If you have any questions or would like to learn more, email us at info@byrdadatto.com.


*The below transcript has been edited for readability.

Intro: Welcome to Legal 123s with ByrdAdatto. Legal issues simplified through real client stories and real world experiences, creating simplicity in 3, 2, 1.

Brad: Well, welcome back to Legal 123s with ByrdAdatto. I’m your host, Brad Adatto, with my co-host Michael, Byrd.

Michael: Thanks, Brad. As a business and health care law firm, we meet a lot of interesting people and learn their amazing stories. This season, we are riding the emotional rollercoaster of the crises that can arise in the operating season of a business. Our theme this season is, Running a Business.

Brad: Yeah Michael, for those who don’t know, running a business is just one of the several seasons of running of a business. What are the other ones?

Michael: The four seasons are: the building season, which is starting a business; the operating season, which is running a business; the scaling season, which is growing a business; and the buying and selling season. Perfect.

Brad: Michael, before we get started with today’s show, I wanted to ask you a very important question, [00:01:00] and you cannot lie. Are you feeling older today?

Michael: Anytime you mention age, I feel like it’s a trap.

Brad: Alright.

Michael: Yes. I’m feeling older today.

Brad: Well, do you remember the very first time someone saw you and thought you were an adult?

Michael: No, but I have a vivid memory of the opposite, so I’m going to be a little vulnerable right now, Brad.

Brad: No one’s listening. You’re fine.

Michael: All right. I was in eighth grade and had not gone through puberty yet. That’s twice, but we’ve used that in recordings. I was not developed. My fifth grade sister Meredith, had developed and I had someone at an event ask about my older sister in front of both of us, and I was crushed. I was not my current irrationally, self-confident self. Back then, [00:02:00] I was young and not confident and I just couldn’t handle the idea that someone thought my baby sister was my older sister.

Brad: Oh, yeah, that does burn.

Michael: What about you?

Brad: Yeah, I can actually remember the first time someone thought I was an adult. I had graduated from law school. I was working as an attorney, but still didn’t really consider myself an adult. I had gone back to Loyola undergrad campus for an interview for a political class I was going to take. I got in the elevator and some kid with a backpack on, gets in and looks at me, and goes, “What floor, sir?” And I actually looked behind me trying to figure out who he was talking to, and it was only me and him on the elevator. So apparently that day I became an adult, which is, as you know, with our 13-year-old boy brains, that doesn’t seem right.

Michael: Yeah, and now that you say that, I do have a memory of the first time one of my kids’ friends called me Mr. Byrd, and I was looking over my shoulder for my [00:03:00] dad. Well why are you asking questions about us being grownups?

Brad: Well, today I feel like we must have matured somehow and gotten older because today we hit a huge milestone, Michael, our 200th podcast episode! I feel like we’re still going to keep going.

Michael: That’s incredible! It has been a blast. I cannot believe that this is already at 200. It feels like yesterday that we were celebrating our 100th episode.

Brad: I know. So we’re going to do a little facts here, people. Michael, do you know the average sitcom on a tv, produces 20 shows for six seasons. Do you know how many shows that accounts for in a life of a sitcom?

Michael: Are you trying to make me do math?

Brad: Yes.

Michael: Oh, man. Okay. Well, 20 times six, if I read the word problem or listened to it correctly, I believe is 120.

Brad: Yes, it is. And so at this point with our 200th show, we’re actually beating [00:04:00] the average TV sitcom.

Michael: Well, what kind of sitcom would Legal 123s with ByrdAdatto be?

Brad: An amazing, funny one with two extremely handsome men on it.

Michael: Okay. I like the way you’re thinking. Well, but we might have to hire someone to play you.

Brad: For sure. Yeah, well, here’s another interesting fact. Did you know the average number of podcasts that are made before they stop the show?

Michael: Another math question? 1 billion.

Brad: You are incorrect. Oh, that’s way too high. Well, according to podcast sources, 90% of the podcasts only make three episodes while another one noted that only 11% make it past 50, so I think we’re beating the odds.

Michael: Our podcast source is Siri?

Brad: No, not her.

Michael: Okay, so you’re saying there’s a chance?

Brad: Yes. Yes. We’re crushing it. And well, for our listening audience, not watching on our YouTube channel, in honor of our 200th show, Michael and I got all gussied up with our bow ties and our [00:05:00] black jackets to next to these giant 200 balloons behind us. So it was really a party, really an atmosphere happening here in the studio. And maybe we should open a bottle of champagne to celebrate our 200th show.

Michael: I actually think that would be a bad idea. I don’t think we need any liquid enhancements. We can barely stay between the line as it is.

Brad: Fair point. I guess I’ll keep drinking my hot tea over here.

Michael: Using air quotes, I see.

Brad: Well, normally I get all mushy and start talking about our favorite shows or about our amazing audience that provides us this great feedback, but not today, Michael, because on today’s show with the Legal 123s with ByrdAdatto, the architect, the Godfather, the inspiration, or other synonyms that I feel like looking up, of our show is here. I think we need to bring him on.

Michael: Today joining us for the third time is our friend Tim Sawyer. Tim is the former host of the podcast, True to Form. Tim was founder and president of Crystal Clear. It was a software marketing and consulting company that he sold [00:06:00] in January of 2021. And Crystal Clear was not Tim’s first rodeo. Tim is a two-time Inc. 500 entrepreneur. He’s had PE exits at a combined valuation of $90 million, and that was my last count. He is currently CEO of SparkMoneyIQ, business advisor and investor in REGENmax, and a partner in Tru Male Medical. And very importantly, as you alluded to, pushed us to start this podcast. Tim, welcome to the show.

Tim Sawyer: You guys are freaking hysterical. I’ll be honest with you. I love watching the opening. This never gets old. You guys are so – it’s so funny. And my only comment would be, the first time I thought I was treated as an adult was actually at my sentencing hearing.

Brad: [00:07:00] For those that know, Tim has shared in another podcast episode, he’s had some life struggles.

Michael: His origin story.

Tim Sawyer: That is what I do. Ooh, this guy thinks I’m a grown ass man.

Michael: Oh, that’s awesome. Good.

Tim Sawyer: Good to be back guys. Really appreciate it. I just had to say it, I’m just tickled pink to be here. Thank you so much.

Michael: We’re so glad to have you. All right, well, let’s jump in. And Tim, for those who have not heard you the prior two times you’ve been on with us or on one of your shows, share your professional story with the audience, kind of your background.

Tim Sawyer: Sure. My greatest influence, the only job I ever had, I spent 12 years right out of college working for a federal savings bank at a period of time when that was just a fancy way to sell subprime mortgages across the country. I grew up in a really, really strong [00:08:00] sales driven culture. Great bank president who was super involved in everything that we did. We had 42 men and women working on the phones like crazy. I think if I remember telling you guys last time, it was an environment where we literally had the 7-Eleven mirrors at the end of all the halls so they could see us, make sure we were on the phone constantly. And that shaped me in many ways. One, was helping me to be the sales guy that I am. I became a sales trainer there, a recruiter and learned a lot of valuable sales lessons, but also learned some tough lessons too, and that ended 12 years of treating every day and every dollar like it was my own. And then I realized that if you don’t have equity in a business, things can get tricky, so I spent 12 years here, learned a lot, grateful for that experience. Then I met a really cool guy named Adam Degrade. Adam is a really unique human. [00:09:00] He started his first company, a digital marketing company, under the find, sell, keep, what I now call the Find-Sell-Keep umbrella. And really early on in digital marketing when websites were a brand new thing, in 1997, 1998 he built that company to a valuation of over 200 million.

We met through our daughters and through our wives, and he was getting ready to sell a company called BZ. Named after his kids, Brooke and Zach. And he approached me and said, “Hey, do you want to do something together?” And I was just coming out of the bank business. I had a small consulting company working with banks and credit unions, and we started a company called Astonish. And that was the craziest experience in the world. We started it actually catering to mortgage companies and banks right into the teeth of the 2008 crisis – and bad.

So we had all these beautiful digital marketing software [00:10:00] contracts that we couldn’t execute. And then we pivoted into insurance, and we worked with local insurance agents, grew that, that company we sold it. Didn’t get all the money out of it, but we did get a $54 million valuation. We got some so we felt good about that. Took a little break after that and then we started Crystal Clear. So we went from cars to mortgages to insurance agents, to elective medicine, and all of our clients were plastic surgeons, cosmetic dermatologists, obviously I’m incredibly, incredibly, incredibly grateful for my time with the American Medical Spa Association. Leading up to CID the opportunity to speak at every single one of their events and make incredible friends. Sold Crystal Clear to two private equity firms, one owned by Jerry Jones as you know, Blue Star Innovation Partners. The other Providence Equity Group, we did great. Not embarrassed to say [00:11:00] 37.5 million for that. And that private equity group, both of them were amazing to work with, and I would recommend them to anyone looking to exit or partner.

Took a little break, and as you mentioned did some work through a company called SparkMoneyIQ that I started. I taught financial literacy at the high school level, mostly as a volunteer. Did some paid work, that was incredibly gratifying. And it’s funny, because you guys may know Lou, he is literally the godfather of aesthetics. He was the guy who brought JUVÉDERM to the United States, got paid a bunch of money for that. And he and I were talking one day and he said, “Yeah, I love everything I see you doing on Facebook, and you know, it’s really cool.” He goes, “so you’re doing your guilty tour, huh?” I said, “what the hell does that mean? It’s all, we’ve all been there.”

It actually wasn’t a guilty tour. It was out of inspiration, and something much needed [00:12:00] in our country is financial literacy with kids. But at the end of that, I had stayed close with a lot of our early age, early stage customers and clients at Crystal Clear, one of which is Christina Hines and her stepdad, Dr. Robert Marshall. And they at that time had just sold their med spa, and they had this small men’s clinic, and they were trying to figure out what to do with it. And we’ll get into it more during the podcast. But I was actually now engaged in conversations about this patent, this REGENmax patent, first and only patent for the reversal erectile dysfunction. So I flew out to meet with Christina and Dr. Marshall, said, “Hey, here’s what I want to do. I’d love to become a partner in the clinic. I’d love to bring REGENmax in as a licensee.”

And so for the past, I’m in month – going into month 15 as a clinic owner operator, and the licensing director for [00:13:00] REGENmax, and that has been an incredible experience. And what’s interesting is, at the end of the day, everything that I’ve done since the bank, many of the principles that I operate under today, I learned when I was 25, 26, 27, growing up in that intense sales environment. And so all the companies that we’ve been involved in, number one, we want to make sure that we’re doing good for the world, doing good for our clients, and they have strong sales and marketing cultures. I get that. And I’ve never given up on that. And I’m unabashedly never apologizing for building strong sales and marketing cultures. And congratulations to you guys on 200. You deserve it. And your audience, I’m sure is appreciative. So that’s really cool.

Brad: Well, that’s awesome, man. What a cool story going all the way from where you were from banking to all the different industries you hit, and then obviously your passion for helping other for the SparkMoneyIQ. And now [00:14:00] really, and for our audience members, maybe we can double click and go a little further into what is Tru Male Medical. What does that do?

Tim Sawyer: So, Tru Male Medical, it’s a men’s health and wellness clinic. It’s got a focus on erectile dysfunction. So erectile dysfunction is a huge, huge, huge, huge issue in the country in the world right now, quite frankly. And there’s recent studies that show after we hit 60, it affects, at some level of severity, one to five, as many as every other guy. And so, Tru Male Medical focuses both on what I call the disease side, which is erectile dysfunction, but then also on the wellness side. So there’s been an explosion in the demand for BHRT or Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy, pelleting hormones, testosterone therapies. Of course we wouldn’t be doing our job if we’re as elective medical folks not providing this incredible group of weight loss drugs, tirzepatide [00:15:00] and semaglutide. We’ve got a real robust program for that. Not just the drugs themselves, but also for living a healthy life, making better lifestyle choices. Personally, you guys may not have noticed, I’m down 40 pounds.

Michael: Congrats.

Tim Sawyer: Through working at True Male, and Dr. Robert Marshall is an absolute animal. He’s 76 years old. He looks like he’s 50. He still competes in bodybuilding, and he’s been an absolute inspiration to me. And so, our constituents are 40 to actually now 90. We just had a guy come in the clinic, found us, 87 years old going into the REGENmax protocol. Really, really cool guy. So, that’s been a blessing. Very different than being on the vendor side of this equation. It’s been awesome. So now what we’re doing through Tru Male and REGENmax [00:16:00] is we’ve perfected it in terms of the protocol itself. It’s the only globally patented protocol for the reversal of ED with a 97.2% efficacy rate. And now we’re licensing that to other clinics. So I’m wearing both hats. I’m a clinic operator, and I’m a guy trying to help other clinics get the same result. It’s been fascinating. I miss aesthetics. I have to be honest with you. that was a wonderful journey and some of the coolest people in the world that I met. And it’s still amazing to me how four years after the sale, I get customer service calls for PatientNow. If I could upload their database, I’m like, basically, you don’t even know my name.

Michael: That’s funny.

Tim Sawyer: But PatientNow has gone on to do great. I mean, they’ve done amazing things and they’re still kicking butt.

Brad: And for our audience members tracking, PatientNow is what, what Crystal Clear [00:17:00] became.

Michael: Go ahead.

Tim Sawyer: I bought PatientNow, Crystal Clear, Rx Photo, put them all together and they’re kicking butt right now. It’s been great. It’s cool to watch. And it’s cool that I don’t have to freaking chase any of these people around the country trying to get them to sign contracts, so that’s amazing – to pimp myself out 42 weekends a year and now I’m hanging out with you guys.

Michael: Yeah, no doubt. Well, first I have to applaud you for Brad and I very well, that you would trust us to have the maturity to listen to you talk about your current business without breaking out into 13-year-old boys.

Tim Sawyer: Like I said, guys…

Brad: Yes.

Tim Sawyer: We make hard easy!

Michael: Yes.

Brad: For our audience members who are not watching us on YouTube, Tim has decided to wear a shirt that says that. So it’s definitely you have to. If you have not watched the show, fast forward to about the 17 minute mark, and you’ll see Tim in his glorious shirt and I did notice you didn’t…

Tim Sawyer: Ask my wife about how comfortable that is when I wear this to when we go out to nice dinners in Newport, [00:18:00] great conversation starter.

Michael: I bet.

Tim Sawyer: You know, it’s stiff competition. It’s hard business.

Michael: Oh, you’re going to get us going now. Tell me, how many locations do y’all have now on Tru Male Medical and kind of what’s your vision there?

Tim Sawyer: Actually, there’s a couple different clinics I’m involved in. One is Sexual Wellness Centers of America, located right near you guys in Colleyville, Texas. Colleyville, we had two locations there in Colleyville and Frisco, and that’s where we did most of the clinical trial. So we’ve got a clinic there fully up and running functioning that’s doing great. We have Tru Male in Oakbrook, Illinois. We’re actually moving into a bigger location. 14 months into it, psyched about that. And then we just opened a new second location in Delavan, Wisconsin. Delavan is just outside of Lake Geneva and not too far from [00:19:00] Milwaukee. We’re actually partnering with a really cool med spa locally on some of the wellness stuff. And so our goal, our intention is to open up – I’d love to open up a clinic here in my home state of Rhode Island. Looking at locations in Providence. It’s tricky. I don’t know that I’d love to get a hundred clinics going. I’d like to get five, six really good ones.

This business is, it’s bioscience and we’re meeting men at a very vulnerable place. We actually treat women as well in the Texas locations, but we’re meeting men at a very vulnerable place, and we take that very seriously. We don’t want to stretch ourselves too thin. We want to make sure that number one is, you guys know, compliance is really important and efficacy. [00:20:00] We want to make sure that we’re getting great medical results for our clients, our patients, and so that’s kind of where I see this going. It’s funny, guys, because as aesthetic, and I know you, you represent all types of medical practices. But if you think about the protocol itself with a quick plug, we combine four elements to it. One is shockwave therapy or the popular gains wave. The other is pelleting, so we got to get their hormones right. That’s the number one. All of us, by the way, need to get our hormones right. And then our big breakthrough is my business partner was the first guy, Jeff Nuziard, to figure out how to transfer heat from the exterior to the interior and then regenerate collagen.

That was the big breakthrough. And aesthetics, everything ends up being fixed by a laser. [00:21:00] And the fact that this guy figured out how to regenerate collagen and then did this amazing clinical trial. And then when you add to that a biologic, so a lot of you have heard of the “P-shot” or the “O-shot”. In our business, it’s really exciting. We’re actually using exosomes and cytokines and combining that with shockwave and BHRT and the laser to get an incredible result. And so, when you think about, first of all, the fact that you guys are talking to me, you know my background and then I’m talking to you about running a medical clinic, that doesn’t scare you?

Brad: Well that’s a perfect segue. I had a question on that. You know, for a long time, you were on the outside looking in. You’re a vendor obviously working with aesthetic and wellness clinics. Now that you’ve switched over and you’re inside the actual, you are the client that you used to work with, what was the biggest surprise that you learned besides all these fancy terms you’re throwing at us?

Tim Sawyer: [00:22:00] Um, so, and I apologize for the vernacular, but I’m showing my medical chops.

Brad: Yeah. No, I love it.

Tim Sawyer: Teaching, teaching myself as I go. The biggest thing that I probably underestimated, given the thousands of hours I spent behind the podium preaching to people on how to run a successful business and scaling, and all the principles that you need is how important the people are. I really underestimated the how the challenge to get good people, the challenge to train these people, the challenge to inspire and motivate these people. And then our team and I want to kill the word staff. I want to kill off the word staff. I never want to hear staff again. They’re team members and they’re important. And the hardest thing is, as a leader coming out of an industry that’s very authoritarian, meaning you can tell a guy who writes code or a gal who is in customer service, you’ve had it with them, today’s their last day, take your stuff and leave.

[00:23:00] Well, you can’t say that to a nurse practitioner who’s got a full schedule of clients this week. I can’t see them. I’m not a health care provider, and so that relationship between leadership team members, it’s gotta be really symbiotic. And so culture, fostering a culture is so strong, and getting people to believe in what you’re doing, that’s the magic that I underestimated and the amount of training that has to go – because these people and they’re awesome, amazing people, they have hearts to serve, but they’re not salespeople. They’re not retail people. They were never trained that way. And so, just to get frustrated, because you listen to, we used to talk about listening to phone calls, right? I listen to every single inbound phone call that comes into my clinic. I don’t listen to the whole thing, but I definitely click on every one of them. And we look at all of those as teachable moments. And we [00:24:00] have a culture that our team knows, Hey, if I shoot you a note and say, “Hey, can we go over this?” It’s not insulting, it’s not offensive, it’s not attacking you. It’s saying, “Hey, how could we have done this better?” And fostering that culture so that people want to learn.

And what’s interesting is, once you get to that point, and our team knows, Tim’s going to listen to every phone call, he’s crazy about it, they want to get better and they want more accountability. And then if you combine that with the right rewards programs, legally compliant incentive and rewards program, then magic happens. I can’t will an organization to success without buy-in from the team. And that was the most humbling thing for me, was, I’m dependent. I’m dependent on them, and I hope they’re dependent on me.

Michael: It’s fascinating to hear we know your background so well and [00:25:00] your influence from your first job on sales culture to here. You talk about bringing that into this completely different environment with professionals. it’s fascinating.

Tim Sawyer: Mission critical.

Brad: Well, you know, we’re almost out of time, Tim. One of the things I was curious is, you gave us this great idea of starting our podcast, which we’re obviously celebrating our 200th right now. Do you have any good ideas that we need to know about next that you need to tell Michael and I to start doing?

Tim Sawyer: First of all, I chip my hat off to you guys. I’ve been watching from afar and it just blows me away that you guys have been able to get the level of success that you have. And I can tell you, you put – so first of all, the preparation that you guys put into this, and I heard the statistics about the number that go past three episodes, I hundred percent believe that although he wouldn’t be beyond making up some stats, for example. [00:26:00] But he didn’t let a good crisis go to waste. No, but I mean that, that you guys have done a really good job and preparation, guest selection, you’ve got a great team member that makes sure that, you’re doing all the things correctly, right? And you’re doing them with frequency, consistency, dedication to it, and always continue to just improve your crap, right?

The fact that you’re speaking to your audiences, listening, you never want to get away from that. And the fact that really just a reminder and you’re doing it is that you’re, you’re successful because you always make it about the guest and you let them be themselves. And I feel very comfortable being myself. And if you listen to a lot of podcasts, that’s not how it is. It’s self-promotion. So the people who are doing the podcast, it’s all about them. My encouragement is to keep doing what you’re doing, stay true to the original principles that you used to start it and keep [00:27:00] having me on as a guest and letting me promote.

Michael: Yeah. Love it. Appreciate the feedback. I can’t believe always the time flies when we’re together, we’re have hit our time. So what we’ll do is we’ll say goodbye. We’ll go into commercial and then we can do a little quick legal wrap up when we come back. Thank you.

Tim Sawyer: You guys are awesome. Thank you so much. Good luck. Congratulations. And I appreciate the opportunity to spend some time with you. It’s always a blessing.

Michael: Awesome. Thanks, guys.

Brad: Alright, Tim.

Access+: Many business owners use legal counsel as a last resort, rather than as a proactive tool that can further their success. Why? For most, it’s the fear of unknown legal costs. ByrdAdatto’s Access+ program makes it possible for you to get the ongoing legal assistance you need for one predictable monthly fee, that gives you unlimited phone and email access to the legal team so you can receive feedback on legal concerns as they arise. Access+, a smarter, simpler way to access legal services. Find out more, visit byrdadatto.com today.

Brad: Welcome back to Legal 123 with ByrdAdatto. I’m your host, Brad Adatto, with my co-host, Michael Byrd. Now Michael, this season our theme is Running a Business and we had an incredible guest on just now with Tim really talking about his journey from being an outside vendor to actually running his own business. But what I thought was fascinating is this season is running a business, but he’s already talking about the next season, which is now scaling that business, and maybe some takeaways you had.

Michael: Yeah. And it’s kind of perfect as we conclude our podcast season and get ready to jump into our next podcast season. It’s a great transition. And what’s interesting is, on prior seasons, we’ve talked a lot about team. And what really occurred to me listening to Tim share his story is kind of the journey of getting his team in order, taking his [00:29:00] old prior experiences from the vendor world, integrating that into the professional environment, and building a great culture. And it just occurs to me that in the operating season, that is so critical before you try to scale, because if you don’t have your team in order, when you try to scale, it’s just going to compound the problem.

Brad: Absolutely. Great point. Well, Michael, next Wednesday we kick off Season 17, we’ll have a preview of Scaling a Business. Also, it’ll be our 200th and one episode. Thanks again for joining us today. And remember, if you like this episode, please subscribe, make sure to give us a five star rating and share with your friends.

Michael: You can also sign up for the ByrdAdatto newsletter by going to our website at byrdadtto.com.

Outro: ByrdAdatto is providing this podcast as a public service. This podcast is for educational purposes only. This podcast does not constitute legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship. [00:30:00] Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by ByrdAdatto. The views expressed by guests are their own, and their appearance on the program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. Please consult with an attorney on your legal issues.

ByrdAdatto founding partner Michael Byrd

Michael S. Byrd

ByrdAdatto Founding Partner Bradford E. Adatto

Bradford E. Adatto

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