On our latest episode of the GoWP Digital Agency Owners Podcast, we welcome Troy Dean, Founder of Agency Mavericks. We talk about how he reskilled from being a voiceover artist to a renowned web builder, his Agency GPS Framework, solving problems with subconsciousness, and much more.
Read the transcript:
Morayo: [00:00:00] Welcome everyone to GoWP Digital Agency Owner podcast, where we chat with impressive members of our WordPress and greater community, and we go behind the avatars.
We wanna find out the real secrets to their professional and life success. I’m Morayo Orija GoWP director of creative services. And just to tell you a little bit more about GoWP, if this is your first time listening. At GoWP, we create happiness. That’s our commitment. We do that for digital agencies and we help them become more profitable.
So whether it’s joining in on our weekly happiness hour calls, or if you want to grow your team with a developer, copywriter, Designer, or Virtual assistant even, we have the pros you need. We also have services that you can take off your plate, like case studies, blogging, website maintenance, content edits, page builds, and all that stuff, send it over to our team. We can take care of that for you.
So to find out more, just go to gowp.com or find us on social. Most places we’re just GoWP, but for some reason on Twitter, we’re GoWP support. Now that’s out of the way, the reason we all are here to talk to the legend, I’m finding. Today I’m going to be chatting with the founder of Agency Mavericks.
Agency Mavericks is an Australian-based agency that specializes in coaching and fostering a community for over 14,000 other agency owners who want to start, grow and scale their business. The man I’m speaking of the creator of all this fun is no other than Mr. Troy Dean. Welcome. Troy.
Troy: [00:01:35] Hey, thank you very much for having me. It’s a pleasure to be here.
Morayo: [00:01:38] It’s a pleasure to be speaking with you. I was telling Troy before we started recording how his name and reputation proceed him for the good, like lots of good things have been uttered about you. So it was a pleasure researching you and I think I’m really going to enjoy this conversation.
Picking your brain. As you probably saw in the questions, I’m all over the place. We’re all over the map.
Troy: [00:02:00] Awesome. I’m up for it. Bring it on.
Morayo: [00:02:02] I can tell like I got a rambler here. He’s ready to roll. Let’s make it easy Troy. Let’s start at the beginning. You have to be honest. You have this superhero aura when people talk about the success that they’ve had with you and the growth. So I’m gonna treat you like a superhero, all superheroes have an origin story. So what is Troy Dean’s origin story? Tell us a little bit about your background.
Troy: [00:02:23] I grew up in the Northern suburbs of Adelaide, which I didn’t know at the time. For me, it was just like my entire world. I lived within walking distance to a train line and a suburban airport. So I used to sit on the roof of the house and watch the goods trains go by and count the carriages and also watch the planes take off and land at the airport.
And later on in life, I realized it was a pretty, I wouldn’t say the wrong side of the tracks, but it was a pretty kind of rough part of town. It was a kind of working class, part of town, very multicultural. And it wasn’t until I got some distance from it that I reflected back on it and realized that there was a lot of struggle in that part of town and I revisited that part of town later on in life.
And it’s quite confronting actually but I grew up in a very loving household up until the age of about 12 when my parents broke up and that was a massive shock. And I always wanted to be a performer. I remember being like five, six years old, literally the cliche of standing on the bed with the hairbrush as a microphone, singing, and dancing, the Michael Jackson records. I just wanted to be a performer my entire life. And the reason I told the story about where I grew up because I got really bad advice from my career guidance counselors when I left high school and wanted to go to university.
And I just wanted to be an actor. And I didn’t know that there were acting schools. I wasn’t encouraged to go to acting schools. I was encouraged to like, Something sensible and get a job. And I ended up going to university and studying to be a drama teacher, which lasted about eight months.
And then I dropped out and was playing in bands and eventually moved to Melbourne because the Adelaide kind of creative scene was pretty small. And I’d tap that out. And I was in a glam rock band at the time. So I was like dressing up like David Bowie and Gary litter in the full kind of garb moved over to Melbourne where no one knew us and tried to make a go of it.
And it fizzled out. And then I got into doing voiceovers in my, so in my mid-twenties, I had a bit of a meltdown. I had what I call a quarter-life crisis. I was 26 and I was miserable and I couldn’t figure out why. And a buddy of mine said, man, if you’re not happy, just change one thing at a time in your life. Until you figure out what it is that you’re not happy with. So within seven days, I’d basically ejected from my entire life. I’d left my girlfriend, quit my job, left the band, and moved into this swanky little one-bedroom apartment. And proceeded to drink my way through whatever savings I had in the bank.
And about six weeks later woke up and I was completely broke and had no idea how I was gonna survive. And that was a real Bottom point for me, but I realized in that I, and it took a while, but, and feel free to pull me up anytime I’m rambling. It took a while to realize that the cavalry is not coming.
No one is coming to save you. You have to ultimately take responsibility for your own decisions. And I was making pretty bad decisions and continued to make pretty bad decisions for quite some time until I got to the point where it really sunk in that okay, my life now is in my own hands and I’m responsible for my own outcomes.
And, I really would say the last 15 years have been a massive turnaround for me.
Morayo: [00:05:27] That’s an amazing story on, so there are so many avenues that I could walk down with that story that I want to explore more. So, the first sort of pivotal awakening moment for you. So you had this quarter-life crisis at about 26, and then you said you’ve been on this journey for a while, but when did that moment when you realized that Calvary wasn’t coming, how long did it take before you first started to get that notion?
Troy: [00:05:52] Look, I think it was a series of, I think it’s incremental, right? I think For a long time. Anyway, for me, my experience is for a long time, I hoped that I was always waiting for someone to tap me on the shoulder and say, Hey man, it’s your time. It’s now, it’s your time.
I remember watching fight club when I was about 26 when I had my quarter-life crisis. And there’s this line in fight club that I will never forget where Tyler Durden played by the remarkable bread Pitt says to his alter ego ed Norton’s character. And he addresses fight club, all the attendees.
And he says, we’re a generation of boys raised by women. We were led to believe we could be rock stars. And now we’re finding out that was a lie and we are pissed off. And I remember hearing that line and not being able to breathe and I still when I hear that line now, it just cuts to my core.
Like I spent a lot of years being angry about the fact that it wasn’t gonna work out the way I wanted it to and angry at a lot of people, everyone.
Morayo: [00:06:57] They all were in on it.
Troy: [00:06:58] Right, exactly. It’s a conspiracy. And then I got to a point where I realized I can’t change anything that’s happened so I can continue to be angry about it or and end up with the same outcomes that I’m getting now, which are not very good. Because I’m not.
I can’t change what’s happened and I can’t change other people’s behavior. The only thing I can change is what I can control. And so the number one thing I can control is my actions. I can’t control my thoughts. I can control my beliefs. I can control my emotions.
I can try and regulate them, but they are emotions and I have to feel them, but I can’t control my actions, I can’t control my behavior and so I started to correct my behavior. I started to be kind to myself. I had a lot of therapy. I started to not, had a bit of a, frankly, I had a bit of an alcohol and substance problem in my late twenties, early thirties, and I backed out that and just eased up and stopped, going so hard, stopped self-catering so much had a lot of therapy and then eventually, because the other thing at the time is I was earning really good money as a voiceover artist. And I had a lot of time on my hands cuz voiceovers don’t take a lot of time. I had a lot of time, I had a lot of money and that’s dangerous and I had a lot of time to think, and eventually, the voiceover work dried up.
And I was like, holy shit, I need to, and cause I hadn’t saved any of the money of course because I was an idiot. And so I thought I have I get a reskill here, cuz the voiceover thing is if the phone doesn’t ring, you have no control over that. You can’t create your own voiceover work. So I have to reskill and at the time I was building websites to promote myself as a voiceover artist.
And I just started building websites for anything really. And so then I started building websites for some voiceover agencies and some of the post-production studios around town that I was working at. And I just fell into that. And I was like this is the thing that I’m gonna do now to give me more control over my income and also to give myself something to do occupy my mind.
So what’s the saying? What’s the saying like loose?
Morayo: [00:09:06] Is it
Troy: [00:09:07] I idle hands. Yeah. Whatever the like itchy
Morayo: [00:09:10] Somebody will Google
Troy: [00:09:11] Exactly. So I needed a rabbit hole to go down. And so I went down the building, the website rabbit hole, and literally, the rest is history and I know this is a WordPress podcast and I know that this is gonna sound sick, authentic, but I need to say that if it wasn’t if Matt Mullenweg hadn’t left that comment, On the B2 blog or whatever it was back in the day that Mike Little in the UK responded to.
And the two of them decided to team up and start work on a new version of this thing that became WordPress. If that hadn’t happened, that’s like a sliding doors moment.
Morayo: [00:09:48] Sliding door. I was just about to say that
Troy: [00:09:50] Because I fell into the WordPress ecosystem. So he and I, again, stop me if I’m rambling, but I made a decision that my social network was in my early thirties. I must have been 31 32. My social network was really toxic. Everyone. I knew just wanted to party. And I made a conscious decision to pull out of that and to basically go into the cave
Not come out. So I literally went I rented a new apartment right next door to my best mate.
I was going through some terrible shit, like long-term relationship breakups. I was trying to be kind to myself. I moved in next to my best buddy, him and his partner just looked after me. I was like, the Kramer would just walk into their house and be like I’m here and I’m gonna fall apart in your kitchen.
And they’re like, come on, come and have some soup and sleep on the couch and cry your eyes out. And we’ll get up in the morning and do yoga together and we’ll give you a hug and you’ll be fine. So I, and then I basically, when I wasn’t at their place, I was next door in my apartment, learning how to build websites and I didn’t leave the house and I stopped returning phone calls and I basically cut myself off from everyone cause I had to rebuild myself.
And in that time I fell into the WordPress community and the plugin repository. And I started to meet all these incredible people who were just doing amazing stuff and helping me learn. And it was like, it’s funny because fast forward now, I said to my wife, when I die, which don’t worry, I’m not planning on doing anytime soon.
When I said to my wife, when I die, what you have to realize is that there might be five people at my funeral in Melbourne, but there’ll be a hundred thousand watching the live stream. Because all my friends are scattered around the world. Because, and it really goes back to those days of falling into the developer community and people helping me learn how to do things. And then, and back in the day, it was Twitter. And so I was just living on Twitter, communicating with people, connecting with people. And that was a massive sliding doors moment for me that if I mean it, maybe it might have been another community that I fell into, but the WordPress community was the thing that really gave me a new lease on life.
Morayo: [00:11:51] A new purpose.
Troy: [00:11:52] Yeah.
Morayo: [00:11:53] Yeah. The Community is definitely an idea and topic I wanna come back to, but I do wanna just back up and correct something that you, oh, you probably are already aware of this. You said at one point when you realized no one was there to tap you on the shoulder and you got angry about it, the Tyler moment, I’m gonna call you Tyler the rest of the day.
But I do love that WordPress did. It was that tap on the shoulder for you. I remember reading an interview with you or watching another podcast with you talking about like you said, you fell into building the websites and it was something that gave you some stability and put you on track.
And so you did have that tap on the shoulder. Hey, I want you for this.
Troy: [00:12:36] Yeah. I think I found it, it is really funny. I’ve talked to Chris Lema about this a lot and we agreed that this community is so welcoming and Inclusive that it attracts and I put myself in this category, it attracts the misfit. It like, I never felt like I fitted in ever.
I’ve always felt like the black sheep. Always
Morayo: [00:12:58] Uhhuh,
Troy: [00:12:59] I still do. And the WordPress community, they embrace. It’s like the more you feel like you don’t fit in, then the, then it’s and it’s not even, it’s not even overt. It’s there’s no manifesto that says, Hey, you need to be a black sheep to join the WordPress community. It’s just, I don’t know like it’s maybe it’s credit to Mets DNA or I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about the WordPress community that I’ve never experienced anywhere else. And I’ve had people who come from the corporate world. Who have been, who have come into the WordPress community because they’ve come to the WordPress community through knowing me and they’ve come in and maybe like they’re an ex-accountant or whatever?
And now they’re in digital marketing and they’re in the WordPress community. And they’re like, holy shit. I cannot believe this is almost cultish it’s almost like we’re drinking the Kool-Aid but, it’s a bit safer than a cult cuz you can leave anytime you want. But it is so inclusive and so it felt like there were no barriers to entry, but I’ll also say at the time I was on a journey, I was on a healing journey and I went through a process of realizing that I had to tap myself on the shoulder and give myself permission for it to be my time. And that happened at the same time that the WordPress community was, and this is 2008, 2009. The WordPress community back then was very different.
It was new, it was blossoming, it was growing very fast. There were, WP candy was like the weekly blog thing that everyone would read. And it was, there were lots of opinions and it was really sorting itself out. And at the same time, I was going through this journey of giving myself permission to step into this space and do something that I wanted to do and not worry about what anyone thought.
And at the same time, I was exposed to this beautiful open, welcoming community. So it was a.
Morayo: [00:14:45] Yeah.
Troy: [00:14:46] It was a really nice, alignment of the planets really, that allowed me to step into that space.
Morayo: [00:14:50] I think that’s so true. From the amen corner, absolutely. Nodding my head at so many things that you’re saying. Yeah, I definitely was shocked at how welcoming this community was. My background is in nonprofits and the arts. I was like, what is this WordPress you speak of? Something you just said giving oneself the permission to just embrace everything that their life and career have to offer.
I think that’s a huge step of maturing in life. I’ve experienced that too and for me, it wasn’t so much, I don’t wanna say it’s male, female necessarily, but it wasn’t angered that I’ve experienced growing, in my earlier years. But it was that maybe that good girl.
Maybe there’s a term for that princess syndrome or something. If you do these things, life unfolds this way, a leads to B leads to C, and then sometime in my 26, that range, you realize that what the hell that’s not happening.
Troy: [00:15:45] Returns.
Morayo: [00:15:46] And currently you have so many roles that you’ve played and continue to play in your life or, and I don’t even wanna say roles that you play that sounds disingenuous, personas that you are in life. You’re an entrepreneur and from my research and stalking of you, you’re a husband and father coach, voiceover artist, and speaker But one thing you are, as of what, two weeks, three weeks ago, one thing you are no longer is CEO, so that you step down as the CEO of agency Mavericks.
Let’s talk about that for a moment. What was the impetus of that? And what does that mean for you going forward?
Troy: [00:16:21] Yeah. The thing is too, that sometimes you can get to the top of the mountain and realize that, I remember going to university to become a drama teacher and going this isn’t what I want anymore. And I have spent years wanting to be the CEO of a business, a successful business. And I got there and I didn’t and we got through, it’s been such a journey. We’ve grown from me and my business partner back in 2008, starting this crazy plugin idea up to, I don’t know what we are now, 24 people on the team.
And. We’ve been through so many COVID, we’re a remote team, which has its challenges. I’ve flown around the world and been to, WordPress conferences and run our own conferences all over the place and I’ve met some amazing people and I got to a point where I’m like, what do I really want? What actually makes me happy and what makes me happy is doing what I’m doing right now, talking to people on podcasts and creating videos and live streaming, and coming up with frameworks and products and ways to help our customers, helping people. I love helping customers and I love them having the aha moment.
I’ve always loved that and I love performing and I wanted, I think I spent years wanting to be a CEO because that’s what I thought I was supposed to do. And I got there and I did it. And then by the end of last year, I was pretty close to burning out and I took a camping holiday with my family.
I came back, I was supposed to come back to work early January and I rang my ops manager in New Zealand and said, I’m not coming back to work. I’m taking another couple of weeks. I’m just not ready. If I have to come back to work now and you pull me into a meeting and I have to make a decision, it’s gonna be the fastest decision I can make just to get it off my desk because I just don’t have the mental energy for it. It’s not gonna be a very good decision. So it’s probably best if I stay away.
And then over that two weeks, I was just going to the gym and cooking and like playing guitar and just chilling out and then I just redesigned my life and I went, you know what? I don’t wanna work Mondays. I’m just not working Mondays.
If I go to the office on a Monday, it’ll be because I wanna hang out in the studio and play guitar. I’ve always had a little studio area where I can just go and play music. Or maybe I just wanna go and take an online course. And I just wanna sit in the office on Mondays and watch videos and skill up, but I’m not gonna work.
Don’t ring me, don’t ask me to do anything on Mondays and Friday afternoons, forget about it. I’m not doing anything Friday afternoons either. So I got Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, really? And you know what, before lunch, I’m good. After lunch, my energy starts to. If I have to sit on zoom after lunch, you’re not getting the best of me.
But I’m usually online at 7 30, 8 o’clock most mornings because I have a lot of customers and partners in America. So I just went, I’m gonna work Tuesday to Thursday mornings the rest of the time, ah, flexy time. And I don’t wanna do all this stuff anymore. I don’t, I’m not interested in financial spreadsheets, I’m not interested in recruitment, I’m not interested in hiring, I’m not interested in managing people, I’m not interested in all this kind of stuff.
Morayo: [00:19:28] Right.
Troy: [00:19:28] So someone else is gonna have to do all this. And it just has so happened that Emily who was our ops manager at the time who’d come up from being a customer, taking some of our courses coming in and helping us run the Facebook group, being head of content, doing some marketing pivoting into ops.
She’d been doing this anyway. She’d been doing more and more of this because I was just like, look, you are gonna do this better at me because I don’t have the concentration span for it anymore. I’m too old, too cranky and I don’t give a shit. And I just wanna have fun ’cause I’m running out of life and I just wanna have fun and it’s okay.
I haven’t got a terminal illness or anything, but I’m close to 50. And I’m like, I just wanna I’m when, if not now, when do I get to build my studio and have almost have TV studio on a sound studio and like cameras. And if not now, when, so I was giving her more and then I just rang her and said, look, I don’t wanna, I don’t wanna run this company anymore.
And she was like, great, cuz I do. And I was like, cool, then let’s plan how we do this. It, and then our financial year starts in July here in Australia. And so we officially made the announcement on the 1st of July, but the truth is we’ve been transitioning for probably the last three or four months.
Morayo: [00:20:33] And isn’t that a reassuring story that a lot of people need to hear? When you make these big decisions, these leaps of faith, your team survives, they thrive, things, the sun still comes up.
Troy: [00:20:47] Totally not only survive but like it’s better for everyone if I just stay out of the way and just I’m not good at very many things. But I’m really good at what I do. And I’m just gonna do that from now on because that’s where I add the most value to the business.
And Someone else should just do all the other stuff, cuz I’m not very good at it. I wanted to be and I got okay at it, but I just don’t wanna do it anymore.
Morayo: [00:21:14] Now, you know what you’re saying? It makes so much sense to me. Maybe we’re kindred SPS. I’m like, yeah, brother. Yeah. Uhhuh. But so many people I know are listening, going he’s out of his mind. Like how can anyone make that work? And what do you think you’ve experienced a lot of clients, a lot of professionals?
What is the innate resistance to saying, this is how agencies can work, this is how life can work if we know when to step aside, know when to delegate, like what’s the resistance to this type of thinking?
Troy: [00:21:46] So I think, I think what presents as the resistance is very different to what is what the core reason is for the resistance. So I think how it presents is that people say, and I hear this all the time. No one can just do that as good as I can. So whether it’s design, we’re working with agencies at the moment who are like one partner in the business just will not let go of the design.
I’m like that’s okay. So just talk to me about when you’re 72, do you still wanna be designing or do you want to have a profitable business that’s turning a profit for you and you wanna be on holiday because the cause you’re like you’re in your early fifties now? So the decision you make now is gonna impact where you’re at in 20 years’ time.
So if you still wanna be designing in 20 years’ time, because on one hand, you’re telling me that you’re burned out from designing. And now, on the other hand, you’re telling me that no one can design as good as you. So you are not an internationally renowned award-winning designer. You’re not. So don’t tell me that no one else can do this as good as you.
That’s just not true. Let’s look at the evidence, let’s look at the facts, right? I can prove to you that you are not the best UX designer in the world. I can prove to you that you are not the best strategic director in the world, or no one can do client strategy as well as I can. I can prove that’s not true.
Morayo: [00:22:59] Uhhuh.
Troy: [00:23:00] What I believe is really going on is if we take that away from you, you don’t know what to do, you might not even know who you are if you are not solving problems for your clients, because you’ve been doing it for so long. Who am I, if I’m not building pages in Elementor for clients and seeing their face light up when I present it to them, right?
If I’m not doing that, then who am I? That’s an interesting conversation. And maybe you wanna build, maybe you wanna build websites for the rest of your life. That’s fine. I’m just curious about it. If someone’s telling me that they’re almost burnt out and they wanna hire someone, but they’re convinced that no one can do it as well as them.
What I really hear is it’s not that you’re a control freak. It’s not that you actually believe that you are the best at it. It’s just that you don’t know what to do with your time if we take that away from you and that’s a really scary proposition.
Morayo: [00:23:50] It really is and then, I see, I don’t know if this is the cause, but you see so many people who retire. And they’re dead within a month or their health just goes down and it’s like, they don’t their lifeblood is gone. There’s so much life left to live.
Now for someone who has either already taken your courses or listens to you on other podcasts and they’re trying to figure out for themselves, how can they make this practical for them, how can they act on this? One thing I love, we talked again before we started recording is about you being an open book.
And one of the things that I came across somewhere you’re very open about, you operate from a place of abundance. And I think that’s so evident when you see how many resources you make available and not just to your clients, but to prospects and to people who never become a client of yours, but the resources are there.
I came across your agency, GPS framework, and found it really fascinating. And the steps do you want to, I know that people, I’m not gonna say giving it away for free, cuz you, you are giving away some of for free
Troy: [00:24:57] Yeah,
Morayo: [00:24:57] And your size. Do you wanna talk about what, what is behind the framework that you’ve developed this trademark framework.
Troy: [00:25:04] Yeah. So it’s the agency GPS is a model that we use to, we use a lot of aeronautical terms in our business, probably cuz I grew up next to an airport and also because, for some weird reason, I’m been obsessed with Tom Cruise in the top gun from like the original back in the eighties.
I just think it’s such a classic film and I haven’t seen Maverick yet. I’m just desperately trying to get to the cinema to see Maverick. And so we use aeronautical terms a lot in our business and one of the things we’ve developed is this model called agency GPS, which is literally like a kind of a GPS compass to help keep you on track.
The too-long didn’t read version is that I think all business comes down to three things like you’ve gotta have a systematic way of bringing in new clients. It’s called sales and marketing. You’ve gotta have a great team to help you deliver on the promise that you’re making to clients or customers.
And you’ve gotta have your operations sorted out so that your team knows how to operate. I believe operations for me come last. I have proven that you can get to over seven figures a year by just screaming at each other in slack to make sure things get done. You don’t like it, I see this happen all the time.
I see agencies going well, I’ve got this amazingly beautiful color, coded, tagged-up version of notion with all of my SOPs, all lined up and beautifully automated. And it’s a work of art and I’m broke and I have no clients and it’s just me. And I’m a freelancer. I’m like, what are you doing? This is an academic exercise.
You don’t need amazing SOPs, unless your team unless things are falling through the cracks, what you need is you need customers, then you need your team, then you need your SOPs. And by the way, your team will actually design your SOPs for you. So as a business owner, I’ve only ever written one SOP in my business, cuz I don’t have the attention span to write SOPs.
The SOP that I wrote was the SOP on how to create SOPs and then my team have done the rest. So the agency GPS model just gives us a common language, right? When we are talking to our clients or at a live event, or we’re in one of our coaching calls, or one of our squadron calls, someone puts their hand up and says, Hey, I’m working on elevating the team, I need help with this. Everyone goes, okay, cool. We know what you’re talking about. We categorize all of our resources and our training by that model. So it just gives us a common language that we can use to communicate with each other and our clients. And we have a scorecard that we give away for free where people can go through the scorecard and kind of rate themselves using the GPS model and then identify all right, this is where I need to do some work.
And that kind of help gives them some focus for the next three months so that they can work on that part of the business. And that’s why we call it a GPS because it helps you stay on track.
Morayo: [00:27:27] I don’t know if this is true or not, and you can tell me yay or nay. I wonder if that willingness to step away from the academic exercise of creating the SOPs. If that’s the artistic, creative faith coming out in you like faith that you just play the note, you just walk out on the stage, you just, open your mouth and sing and the performance will happen. Something’s going to happen if you just act and don’t hold back. I love
Troy: [00:27:54] So I have this reoccurring nightmare that I’m on stage and in front of, like thousands of people who
Morayo: [00:28:01] Ofcourse, adoring fans.
Troy: [00:28:03] A band. Exactly. When I walk out with an acoustic guitar and they’re all just yay. And I start playing the first few chords and it sounds immaculate and this is just the dream sequence.
And I realize as the chords start to sound out of the PA and everyone’s and they’re all lighting their lighters, waving their lighters and they’re just like hanging off every word. And I realize I have no idea what the words out of this song. And I have no idea what the melody is. I’m screwed.
This is gonna be the most embarrassing moment of my life. And that is a recurring nightmare and it is so real. I wake up in a cold sweat and I’m like, oh my God, what have I forgotten to do? I think there is faith, there is a belief. It’s a belief.
Do you know what it is? It’s, I’ve realized over the years that I’m not the best per I’m not the smartest person in the room. Brad Morrison. Yeah. So Brad, who, by the way, was one of my first ever one-on-one coaching clients that I worked with when I started WP elevation back in 2013.
And when GoWP was just an idea and we worked together quite a lot. And anyway, when I was the keynote speaker at WordPress, Atlanta, Brad introduced me and him. I’ve got a copy of his introduction somewhere cuz he gave it to me. I asked him for it afterward. And one of the things he said was that he called me a great connector.
He said, Troy is really good at connecting people with the people that he knows they need to connect with, even if there’s nothing in it for him. And so when I said before like there’s a few things that I do really well. And what I’ve realized is that if you let go of everything else and trust that other people will pick it up and will figure it out because I literally have just figured everything out by Googling it.
I have no formal training. I’ve never been to business school like no one in my family owned a business. Like it was, I’ve literally figured this out by just researching. So my belief is that if I can figure this out, someone else can figure it out and they’re gonna have to because I’m not doing it anymore.
Morayo: [00:30:04] Yeah.
Troy: [00:30:05] It is scary, to begin with, but then when you see other people do a way better job than you ever could. For me, the clouds parted and it was like, I was hooked. I was like what else can I get rid of? What else can I delegate to smarter people than me? And the further I got out of the way, the more I realized.
The team moves faster. If I’m not the one, if every decision doesn’t have to go through me, like I’m not the conduit through which every decision needs to be made anymore, the team just moves way faster. And I think the other thing is that it’s, sure, I still have the captain’s call.
I can still come in and go I own the company and this is my decision, but that would be stupid to do that because you’re just undermining everyone’s autonomy. And they want autonomy and they wanna make decisions. And they wanna know that they matter. They wanna know that the work they’re doing is important.
And so my job now more than anything is to empower the team, to do their job. And that’s also what I enjoy doing working with the team as a team member. I’m back in the trenches, I’m back out on the field. Emily’s now the coach and I’m back out there with the team just keeping them motivated, and there’s a whole bunch of CEO stuff that I don’t have to worry about anymore.
Morayo: [00:31:11] This phrase keeps coming to mind. It’s jazz, baby. It’s jazz.
Troy: [00:31:15] Totally.
Morayo: [00:31:16] Somebody will pick up the note and the music will keep going. It’s jazz.
Troy: [00:31:19] Absolutely. One thing I learned great mate of mine, Nick, who owns a software company called leads hook. He and I talk all the time. He’s a great mentor of mine. He’s taught me two fundamental things that have been pivotal in my business journey. One, when I said to him about hiring an ops manager, I said we hire an ops manager who’s really good. What am I supposed to do? And he said think, and I remember standing in this house in Carlsbad, in Southern California, where at this mastermind, and he said that across the dining table, and I looked at him and I was like what. I understand. And I reckon it took me three years after he said that for the penny to drop.
And I’m like, ah, now I know what he means. I spent a fair bit of time sitting in my office or I’ve got a set here with a stage and a couch and I’ve got a couch in my office and I sit on the couch quite a bit and just think, and the other thing I’ve learned is that Nick has taught me is it’s a non-linear world.
You can follow the exact steps that someone else has followed to achieve their success and you will not have the same journey that they have. It’s a non-linear world. It really is jazz.
Morayo: [00:32:24] Absolutely. Absolutely. There is something else that I heard you speak about once that I am in complete agreement with it’s sub subconscious problem-solving. I love you just talked about going to sit on your couch and think like you were told in California. But you weren’t sitting in front of the computer. You weren’t sitting around a conference table.
In my art training, that’s one thing that I learned that the mind is always at work, trying to solve problems. And I heard you speak about it and it was just simpatico. Now, what talk, I’m just alluding to it, but talk about it for those that are listening.
What does that mean to solve problems with your subconscious?
Troy: [00:33:04] Yeah. So I need to give credit to a psychologist in the, I wanna say the early 19 hundreds who was also one of the founding members of the I wanna say the here we go. The Graham Wallace, 1926 Graham Wallace, who was a psychologist and also one of the founding members of the London school of economics.
And he came up with, he basically laid out the four stages of the creative process, preparation, incubation, illumination, and verification. Now incubation is the one where I spend most of my time. So incubation and his theory is essentially that while you are consciously trying to solve a problem, you are getting in the way of your subconscious solving the problem. And this is why the exercise I always do is finish this sentence. My best ideas come to me when I’m.
Morayo: [00:33:59] The shower, cuz I saw another one of your podcasts.
Troy: [00:34:01] In the shower, right?
Morayo: [00:34:02] That’s the answer.
Troy: [00:34:03] There’s in the shower, there’s driving the car, there’s listening to a podcast, There’s at the gym, there’s walking the dog, there are so many. In the shower’s the most common. If we played like a family feud survey says number one would be in the shower. And there would be, there could be 150 answers and not one of them would be while I’m at work, tapping away on the keyboard, staring at my computer screen, your best ideas never come to you while you are actively engaged in trying to solve the problem.
Giving your subconscious the time and the space, it needs to do its thing and that’s why your best ideas come to you when you’re like, oh my God, that’s it.
That’s amazing. Now I have to get outta the shower and try and write this down while I’m still wet otherwise I’m gonna forget. And so what I like to do is I call it to incubate. I like to incubate. And what that means is I will go into the studio and I will play guitar for 45 minutes. And I know that it is work.
I know that I am working. I’m not good, I will go to the golf driving range and I’ll hit 250 balls on the golf driving range. And I am working. I’m not goofing off. I used to think, you know what? I’ll, I have this weird habit. I’m a Virgo. I love to tidy my cables. I Love to tidy the mic. I get under the desk and I tidy cables and I drill little things under and I run and I make them pristine.
I love doing that. And people are like, what are you doing? You’re a CEO of a company. You used to be, you’re wasting time. You’re an idiot. And I’m like no, I’m incubating. I’m solving problems right now that I don’t even know exist, but I’m gonna have an idea. Something’s gonna go off and I could create six figures under here, just like screwing this cable into underneath my desk because I’m engaged in another activity and that’s when your subconscious actually has a moment to incubate and solve the problem that needs to be solved.
Morayo: [00:35:46] I’m convinced, may be struck down by this. I think that the Bible probably is a work of the subconscious, writers, poets, and composers. They say, describe how you created this. I have no idea. It came from somewhere else. Subconscious, give me something that feeds me.
That’s how we started every movement class that I had in LA. And I totally, believe in that. So you referenced I we’re, I’m getting close to the hour that I’ve taken of your time, but I ha there are a few questions I really wanted to ask out of deep curiosity, I know that your space, which is beautiful. I mean that’s a new space for you. And I understand that you work with nonprofits that you let them come in and they do recordings. I don’t know if you’re if they’re coaching clients of yours, but,
Troy: [00:36:30] Yeah. So we have this amazing studio here, which is set up for video. It’s almost done. We’re having a lighting pantograph system set up, which if you don’t know, you should definitely go check out cuz they’re incredible. It just means that we can move our lights around in our set around and create really beautiful spaces to shoot beautiful content.
We also have a standalone voiceover booth vocal booth and an audio studio. And a lot of people are when they heard that we’re moving in here and they’ve seen some photos. They’re like, oh wow, can we come in and hire your studio? And I’m like, this is not a studio for hire. So my passion is for people who work in the mental health space or work in we one of our favorite clients is a perinatal education company. So they’re, basically trying to identify early stages of mental health issues in new parents. That’s a massive area that I wanna do some work in. I have people who work in climate.
I have other nonprofits who work in different areas, anyone who’s in the education, coaching, nonprofit mental health, or any of those projects that I’m really passionate about, we partner with those clients. We bring them in, we do a full production of either their online courses or their marketing materials or videos or whatever they need to do.
If someone turns up and says, Hey, I wanna make an ad to sell some bloggers on, I’m we’re not interested at all. That’s not, we’re just not gonna work with them. And we are very selective about who we bring in here because when we bring people in here, it’s quite disruptive. Like we can’t work in here while they’re in here because it’s a great big open space.
But we, yeah, we do love bringing people in here to share the space and share the abundance with people who are working on projects that we value.
Morayo: [00:37:56] You are a man who walks the walk. That’s something that I can say now that I’ve met you. And I really enjoyed getting to meet you. I could talk to you for another hour, but I won’t do that to you. The last thing I will say before we wrap up Troy at GoWP, we are all about creating happiness.
So we always ask our guests, what are you? I have a clue, but what are you doing right now to create happiness for yourself?
Troy: [00:38:18] I am having stupid amounts of fun in the studio here rigging lights, cameras, and microphones. This is definitely making me happy and also spending time with my kids. I have an Oscar who just turned five and Goldie who was two in April and they are just extremely challenging, but ridiculously joyful and bring me an enormous amount of happiness.
So yeah that’s where I’m at.
Morayo: [00:38:41] They’ll keep you happy and they’ll keep you honest. Won’t they
Troy: [00:38:44] Oh yeah.
Morayo: [00:38:44] keep you on your toes. This has been great. I had no doubt that it would be a great conversation. So thank you so much for your time and your insight and for anyone who’s listening and would like to learn more about Troy and his work and his team.
Just visit agencymavericks.com and read more about agency GPS, and read more about their other courses. Just read about a great thing they’ve got going on. So again, thank you all for listening. Don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast and you can get other episodes anywhere. You get your podcasts.
And just as a quick reminder at GoWP, we want to help you. We want to help you become more profitable, whether it’s by listening to a podcast like this. Thought leaders like Troy or joining our weekly happiness hour calls. And there are so many informative webinars that we do too. So go to gowp.com is the name and read more about our services and schedule a call with our team.