Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Tony Alessandra, founder of Assessments24x7 LLC., located in San Diego, CA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I founded Assessments 24x7 with Brandon Parker. Separated by 30 years of life experience, the New Yorker got paired up with the California kid. This unlikely match was a result of a wrong turn, a random airline flight, sitting next to the right person, the confidence of a 22-year-old junior programmer, and my intuition to trust. I had a vision, and Brandon had the technical skills. This was the recipe for the beginning days of Assessments 24x7 over two decades ago.

With that said, my history in the assessment industry goes way back. After many years of studying the field of communication and persuasion, I developed The Platinum Rule®. Its goal is personal chemistry and productive relationships. Respect for others goes beyond the Golden Rule "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you." However, when it comes to one-to-one communication—whether it is a simple conversation with family and friends, a sales situation, customer service, managing, motivating, counseling, or coaching employees—the Golden Rule can backfire. The reason is that not everybody wants to be treated the same exact way as you do. The world today is all about diversity—gender diversity, generational diversity, such as Gen X, Gen Y, Baby Boomers, personality diversity, such as outgoing, shy, right-brained, left-brained, ethnic diversity, religious diversity, racial diversity, etc.

The Platinum Rule, "Do unto others as they want done unto them," helps us avoid the possible conflicts the Golden Rule could unintentionally set up. In other words, treat people the way that they want and need to be treated. It’s no different than that age-old saying, “When in Rome, do as the Romans.”

When I went into professional speaking, one of my biggest frustrations was how to change people’s behavior in a one-hour speech. I could motivate them, give them a tip here or there, but when I left (considering education theory and brain theory), within two weeks, they lost probably at least 75 percent of what I’d taught them.

I have always been looking for ways to make education and learning stick. That’s how and why I developed, with Brandon, the DISC Virtual Training Program and Assessments 24x7. Learning mastery is remembering, recalling, and effectively using the material you’ve learned. A lot of e-learning programs simply have people go through it, and as long as they can pass a test at the end, they’re happy. But a week or two later, could they pass that test again? Our Assessments 24x7 platform has over twenty-five different assessments that measure everything from behavioral, thinking, and learning styles to emotional intelligence and company culture.

Back to the inception of Assessments 24x7. The initial meetings revolved around website updates and general brainstorming. One day I expressed my desire to bring my Platinum Rule paper assessment into the internet world. Brandon had recently been involved in developing online software for a healthcare company and presented the path to accomplish the goals. Round one of the software was just that, the Platinum Rule online assessment. At that time, very few comparisons were available. There weren't many competitors to analyze or guidelines to follow. We used our unique experiences and intuition to produce a software system that gained so much traction that there was no looking back.

Over the years, the system has undergone countless improvements. Hundreds of assessments have been programmed with thousands of clients around the world using Assessments 24x7 as their assessment technology platform. Millions of lives have been impacted. Beyond the technology component of Assessments 24x7, our company grew to encompass a broader umbrella of services to support our customers and technology. We built our certification and training department, developed marketing platforms and best practices for our clients, and created a complete white-label environment to give our clients the ability to brand and promote assessment products and services as if they were their own. You can read more about our services all throughout the website, but the point is that we never stop and always have identified what our clients need so they can be successful.

You can only imagine all the stories that could be told over these years— the countless tradeshows, phone conversations, negotiations, learning opportunities, difficult decisions, conferences, life-changing moments, etc. The one thing that has always stayed solid is the bond we've created. It has been one of the great stories in business. The company has become one of the industry's top assessment providers and platforms. We employ people across the US and cover all the needs in the assessment, training, hiring, and selection environments.

Throughout this journey, we have created a foundation of always putting the customers first, going the extra mile, and making a difference. We greatly appreciate everyone involved and are thankful for each opportunity.

Tell us about yourself

My doctoral dissertation was entitled “Buyer/Seller Similarity as a Determinant of Success in Industrial Sales,” which started me on an unexpected journey that has now spanned more than four decades.
When I wrote my dissertation, I focused my research on how buyers seem to favor salespeople similar to them. I never expected to spend the rest of my career speaking and writing about the impact of adaptability, yet organizations worldwide have invited me to teach a simple process that I call “The Platinum Rule®.”

While my primary focus has been on teaching salespeople and customer service professionals the art of adaptability and collaboration, I never realized the impact my teachings would have on businesspeople as human beings. I have been blessed to receive thousands and thousands of letters, notes, and emails containing stories about husbands suddenly appreciating the difference in their wives’ behavioral types. Parents have come to understand how each of their children wants and needs to be treated differently based on their behaviors. I have shown teachers and professors how to impart information differently and more effectively by considering their students' personal learning styles.

People constantly thank me for simplifying and demystifying what used to be a complex concept: the elimination of interpersonal tension. The Platinum Rule® teaches people how to “Treat Others as They Want to be Treated.”

Through my keynote speeches, workshops, seminars, audio/video programs, and now my online assessments, I have shown millions of people how to make two simple “either/or” decisions about another person’s behaviors which immediately reveals their predominant DISC behavioral style. By noticing someone’s degree of Openness (warmth, willingness to share thoughts and feelings, etc.) and Directness (level of confidence and assertiveness), you can accurately determine if they are operating in one of four distinct behavioral modes: a Directing, Socializing, Relating or Thinking mode. Based upon their current mode of operation, you simply need to adapt the pace and focus of your conversation to create and maintain rapport with nearly everyone you encounter.

Because The Platinum Rule® is grasped quickly and easily, it often leads people into other areas of study regarding interpersonal skills. The Platinum Rule® helps people understand how to improve all their relationships, especially in a world of increasing diversity.

People remind me that by the end of a speech, reading one of my books, or taking an online DISC assessment, they know precisely what they need to do to improve their relationships with their bosses, coworkers, customers, spouses, children, and friends. These comments remind me that my time spent as a speaker, trainer, and author has been a career that has made a difference and will continue to make a difference.

My messages are “evergreen”; they stand the test of time. My Non-Manipulative Selling book, published in 1979, is still in print and sold through bookstores. The same with my Art of Managing People book published in 1980 and my Platinum Rule book in 1996. The same is true for most of my other nearly 30 books, which have been translated into over 50 foreign language editions.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Successfully building two businesses - my speaking business from 1974 to the present, where I averaged nearly 100 paid speeches per year and was inducted into the NSA Speakers Hall of Fame in 1985 & my online assessment business started in 1996 that has grown into a multi-million dollar worldwide enterprise with thousands of customers.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

How about more than one thing?

  1. Staying profitable with no loss of revenue through economic downturns, such as recessions & COVID.
  2. Growing my employee base to 16 with no employee quitting.
  3. Managing employee personality differences.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Hire the very best employees you can and pay them well.
  2. Keep your eyes on revenue & profit but remember that growth usually comes by spending money first before revenue follows.
  3. Be customer-focused. Focus on the long-term value of a customer
    always seek customer feedback on how well your business is working for them.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I would like to share the simple rules I live by:

  • Prescription before diagnosis is malpractice.
  • This too shall pass.
  • What goes around comes around.
  • When two people want to do business together, they don't let the details stand in the way.
  • The sale begins when the customer says YES.
  • The more you learn, the more you earn.
  • Treat others the way they want & need to be treated (The Platinum Rule®).

Where can people find you and your business?


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