Sherri Tilley | Founder of The Flash List
Success leaves cluesFinance Strategists sat down with Sherri Tilley, founder of TheFlashList.com. She shared her thoughts on the past, present, and future of the company, as well as the insight she gained from running them business.
Who is Sherri Tilley?
Q: Who are you and what’s your background?
As an award-winning journalist, photographer, filmmaker, and digital publisher, I have produced over a decade of online content for top brands and entertainment venues including national news, consumer reviews, and celebrity interviews. I appreciate knowing what people do occupationally as well as who they are individually; and since I met well-known actor Scott Baio in a cordial exchange when I was quite young, I have never really gotten star-struck. I have always tended to view famous people as just that … people. Although I certainly have an immense amount of respect for the gifts and abilities that have been bestowed upon others, I don’t necessarily think it wholly defines them. I believe rather that our willingness to seek truth and our capacity to love others is more closely related to what defines us. Although I am frequently scouted for radio and television, the VP of Development for WE TV once told me, “you’re too nice for reality television!” Her comment was an amused reaction to learning that the talent agent attempting to cast me in a show that eventually became The Real Housewives of Dallas had been unable to detect enough dramatic conflict within my personal relationships to proceed with our interview process. I ardently believe that we should strive to live as peaceably as we can with one another, so the most sincerely authentic version of myself is probably best suited for networking regionally and at the global level to effect positive change by promoting significant charities, growing businesses, and cultural organizations that enrich communities and the world at large.
Q: Who has been your biggest influence, and why did they have such a significant effect on you?
My parents instilled in me the value of working hard to excel and nurtured my firmly held conservative Christian belief system, but it was my husband who taught me that love is the answer to every single question and the solution to every problem that may arise. Anytime anything is ever wrong in any way, you can always safely bet that love will ultimately conquer all. And to me, that is by far the most important foundation on which to build our lives. By extension, almost everything about my method of doing business can be found within the pages of Napoleon Hill’s book The Law of Success. All sixteen lessons are absolutely fascinating and easy to implement, but the one particular concept that “the man who does more than he is paid for will soon be paid for more than he does” has proved to be especially true.
Q: Knowing what you know now, what would you have told yourself when you were in your twenties?
That’s easy: trust your instincts, know your value, and don’t let anyone knock you off your game. We all have powerfully dynamic gifts, distinctive talents, and creative ingenuity intentionally designed for our own individual means of self expression. And although it is vitally important to be surrounded by a support system of like-minded colleagues and trusted advisors, it is also crucial to hold fast to your own inclinations and firmly resist the pressure of adversarial naysayers who do not have your best interest in mind. Strong caution should be taken against becoming an easily manipulated people pleaser since trying to fulfill too many extraneous demands will almost certainly lead to a downward spiral of compromise and contradiction. So stay true to a worthy vision, make steady progress toward ethical goals, learn from tough mistakes and adapt when necessary, give copious amounts of credit where credit is due, be slow to anger and quick to forgive, and “never doubt in the dark what God told you in the light.” After all, it’s your dream to chase and your course to chart; and no one knows it better than you.
Tell Us The Flash List
Q: What is The Flash List?
Originally a local bucket list contained on a small USB flash drive, TheFlashList.com is now an award-winning entertainment guide which ranks in the top 1% of active websites worldwide. Providing digital media coverage for entertainment venues ranging from circus to symphony, The Flash List delivers detailed recommendations about arts and culture, life and leisure, festivals and events, dining experiences, music and concerts, sports and recreation, date-night ideas, and travel destinations nationwide. During one of my weekly radio segments on 570 KLIF, TheFlashList.com was deemed “one of the most comprehensive, most complete websites of its kind.” Although the publication is designed primarily as a date-night guide for couples, anyone at all can benefit from the easy-to-navigate pages full of news and information about top attractions and fun things to do across the country. We make a point not to list everything in town that a person could do, but rather we highlight carefully selected recommendations of activities that fun-loving people definitely should consider doing.
Q: What makes your company different from its competitors?
Among similar publications, The Flash List offers its own unique perspective on life and culture in the same way that different songs are comprised of distinctive lyrics wrapped in exclusive melodies or the way that each book tells a different story about a specific cast of characters. Many diverse and equally valid businesses may experience simultaneous success; but by offering a variety of viewpoints, they all work together in harmony for a broader benefit to society in general. While other news media outlets are primarily dedicated to reporting on day-to-day local activities, TheFlashList.com strives to assist readers in making the jump from spectators to participants by offering well-organized resources to help facilitate positive interpersonal interaction within their respective communities. For instance, suppose you were interested in attending an opera for the first time but felt somewhat intimidated by the prospect of navigating an unfamiliar occasion. Not only does The Flash List offer an event calendar listing of upcoming shows, but you can also find production photos, related video tutorials, opening-night reviews, venue maps, seating recommendations, parking options, and party invitations as well as helpful tips on proper attire, expected etiquette, useful vocabulary, onstage opportunities, and more.
Q: What led you to start The Flash List?
After giving up a career as a degreed and certified interior designer to instead homeschool my children from kindergarten through high school, my life became a blank canvas once again when they all went off to college. My husband Scott Tilley, owner of the executive search firm Global Impact Staffing, then suggested that I become a sort of ‘cruise director’ for our lives by finding fun things for the two of us to do on the weekends. Soon frustrated with the process of scrolling through pages and pages of irrelevant content in an attempt to find suitable date-night activities for couples, I developed an ever-evolving personal collection of interesting places to go, exciting events to attend, local businesses to visit, and fun things to do such as annual festivals, outdoor concerts, food and wine tastings, theater productions, and so much more. In order to share these findings with my own circle of friends, the information was published online; and TheFlashList.com quickly evolved into a full-fledged entertainment guide which garnered statewide attention from arts organizations, event planners, venue promoters, radio stations, and television networks.
Q: What has the experience of building the business taught you?
I have learned to never ever underestimate the power of a life well lived. There is much wisdom in the concept that small actions cause multiplied ripple effects, so practicing the Golden Rule principle of treating others with deliberate grace and mutual respect can be an extremely effective precursor to personal success and lifelong gratification. The most rewarding aspect of producing TheFlashList.com is witnessing the extraordinary amount of constructive change that occurs in people’s lives after they unwind with their spouse at the end of a stressful work week, or volunteer with friends for a group like Habitat for Humanity, or attend a glamorous charity event that raises critical funds for altruistic organizations like the Suicide and Crisis Center of North Texas. Honestly, those are the intangible benefits that make every minute of the daily grind completely worthwhile for me.
Q: Where do you see things headed for you in the next 5 years?
I never cease to be delighted by the pleasantly unexpected surprises of life; and if there is one thing I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, it is that future opportunities will be “exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.” So as we all continue walking out this grand adventure of life, I hope to find ways of offering compassion for others through outlets such as volunteering to help those in need, hosting charitable events in local communities, or producing a series of travel and entertainment programs which hold cultural, educational, and recreational significance. The task at hand is a massive and multifaceted one; so to keep from becoming overwhelmed while trying to comprehend the endless possibilities, I often remind myself that life happens one day at a time and one simple step at a time. And with that, I am convinced that a bright and rewarding future will ultimately reveal itself in its own perfect time … one cherished moment after another.