The People Are The Way – Ep.024 – Troy Stephens

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Episode summary:​ Troy and I discuss the wisdom he’s learned from his years being in the military and technology space about how to best connect with and manage people. He also shares some funny stories and insights throughout.

Guest Name & Bio:  Troy Stephens has over 18 years of experience working with technology companies, starting in 1998, when he first worked on Microsoft’s Technical Support team.

He then served in the U.S. military from 2002-2005, with one tour in Iraq in 2004 as an E-5. He was medically and honorably discharged in January of 2005.

Since leaving the military, Troy went back into the technology space, gaining valuable opportunities to manage teams in both the software and hardware sides of the industry.

At work, he takes pride in growing and developing CX teams to provide top-tier support by keeping up with best-in-class trends for supporting customers.

It’s his mission to leverage technology to allow CX teams to truly get back to working with people. Troy has taken part in architecting client platforms, enabling SaaS enhancements, and managing growth and customer experience for small-to-medium-sized businesses, helping foster growth from $20-30 million in revenue to $100-300 million in revenue.

Troy has also used his passion for video production in a few commercials, items for Imagine Dragons, and Real Salt Lake. Outside of work, Troy enjoys spending time traveling and enjoying all the things his home state of Florida has to offer with family and friends.

Troy Stephens

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hello and welcome to the mindset and self mastery show i’m your host nick
mcgowan and on this show my guests and i unpack the stories that shape us and the
lives we lead on our path to self-mastery today on the show we have troy stevens troy has an incredible way
with people and seems to always have a great story to help someone understand a topic a point or situation he’s
currently a vp at a tech company in florida and has been in tech since getting out of the marines in the early
2000s we discussed the wisdom he’s learned exploring over the years being in the
military and tech space about how to best connect with people and manage people and share some funny stories and
insights throughout so let’s not wait any longer let the games begin
troy welcome to the show man how are you i’m doing great man how are you doing i
am great buddy this has been a long ass time coming uh i know this is basically
our second swing at this we were going to do this a couple weeks ago but things have just been crazy for you so thank
you for jumping on even in the midst of the craziness that i know we’ve talked about before we hit record yeah no i i
appreciate it appreciate the opportunity to be here man i appreciate the opportunity for the conversation absolutely well dude i always love
having conversation with you and typically you and i are having conversation with some sort of adult beverage in our hand or something else
and enjoying those things last time we actually hung out we grabbed some tacos
had great conversation then ended up on the back porch of my place just drinking a couple beers and getting into deeper
conversation that actually led to us doing this episode so sure troy why don’t you kick us off tell us what you
do for a living and one thing that most people don’t know about you i’m a vp of customer experience
and the with tech companies that’s that’s what i’ve done with my career for since i’ve been out of the
military basically and uh one thing that most people don’t know until they get to know me a little
bit better is that i am terrified of bears so
why well i you know the truth is i mean it comes up uh
started when i was a kid i don’t know i just bear scare me but as an adult i you know i can put some words around the
feelings and bears are i mean if you think about it like like a giant cat or a you know eat the
big lion right what are they gonna do they’re gonna come at you they’re gonna jump at your throat rip your throat out
and you’re dead right um what was the movie revenant showed every person on the planet
any person who ever watches that movie why you should be terrified of bears because bears don’t want to kill you they want to maim you they want to break
you and they want to just leave you in a hobbled mess so they have a toy until you know until you eventually die
so i just that just sounds it sounds terrible it sounds just like torture just you know bears so
but as a kid i would see bears at a zoo and i would like i just you know this undescribed fear of
just heart rate kicks up but just just scary um so and i’ve seen a couple in real
life on motorcycle trips up to yellowstone and stuff when i lived in utah yeah
just seeing them i’m like nope i instantly can’t enjoy my life
so that had to have come from somewhere it’s not like you popped out of the womb and you’re like hi mom bears bears
need to go that’s that’s what i mean like i feel like uh you know like a phobia that anybody might have right so
anything that people you know i’ve met people you have a phobia of spiders and spiders are
fairly innocuous there are some that are poisonous and they’re bad but
you know 99 of the spiders you run into are not going to be a thing but people
are terrified of them so i don’t unfortunately i don’t have a unique story where like hey i was at a
zoo i fell into a bear enclosure and woke the crap out of me you know my dad had to jump in and say nothing like that
that would definitely do it i wish i had a good uh a good story behind it it’s also why not a ton of people know that
because i don’t have a good way of describing or explaining it and uh and so i you know it’s just
there’s just something about them uh i mean now where some of my friends have taken this to an extreme as a good buddy of
mine uh got one of those once in a lifetime opportunities to go kodiak bear hunting
in alaska was able to after their tenth day was able to you know was able to get a bear
and ended up having it stuffed and had it delivered it took a year um and then it
got delivered we we’d hang out all the time got delivered right like right in the
midst of covid and so we’re having house parties not really going out and then
he gets this kodiak bear delivered and i mean even stuffed i could i there’s a
couple pictures i have next to it and i’ve had to use it to face my fear but i i didn’t i stopped going to their
house we stopped being friends for like two or three months i didn’t go over there anymore and then if i did i would always just go around the back of their
house we’d hang out by the pool and i wouldn’t go inside and something about bears they’re just
terrifying i mean when you talk about them just kind of kicking your ass kicking you around and
just manipulating your body parts that’s a pretty dark right yeah right
that’s an interesting way to put it but for sure right and it’s i think it’s you know i can kind of correlate it to
my desire to i guess say control right being able to control my environment and
bears are just one of those things if there’s something big that just comes and kills you you’re dead and there’s nothing you can do about it
but a bear you know they’re most the time they’re not just gonna aggressive they’re gonna show themselves
they’re gonna be like hey this is my space and it’s not like you can be like cool i’ll leave your space they’re like nope
i’m gonna come and i’m gonna destroy you um i’m gonna beat you up and take you back to my cave like that’s uh
i think another good movie you know without a paddle while they took the funny side of it as you know where
revenant took the evil side of it you know they took the it’s still terrible terrible bears are just the
worst bears kind of open up um the rest of this conversation because that thing
whatever that phobia whatever that problem is you think about your buddy who has no
problem with it at all to the point where he went and killed one i was like well i want you to stuff into that and then send it to me
he wants to go back with the and go with the spear so he went rifle and he’s like it was bo
he went with a bow and he’s like honestly he’s like i even feel like that was cheating and he’s like i think if
i’m gonna go face a bear again he’s like i need to go with the spear and that’s as close to and i’m like man if you’re
gonna be a real man go bare hands you know like no way you don’t get your buddy killed
he he brought a bear home of course you know he deserves it now it’s uh but yeah no there there’s you know like like
anything else right a bear can you can translate that into any beer or any type of thing that holds us back from i don’t
think my fear of bears have really held me back from a lot of activities i want to do that’s true but you know but uh
yeah well you also live in florida where bears don’t normally come out and hang out you know i thought that and then
we’re cruising around and there’s signs you get up to like just past newport richie you go up to which you watch e in
that area black bears i guess that kind of makes sense i’m used to like the beachy area tampa
clearwater where we have bears but they usually hang out in clubs and hit on people
right and that’s uh that’s also why i live in saint petersburg right that i want to be there there’s not downtown st pete does
not have a lot of black bears running around no the couple bears fans but that’s about
it and that’s and there’s only like two exactly they’re all converting to tampa bay
bucks fans at this point that’s right who is it i mean come on come on i mean i yo i’m a philly fan and i know
i hated tom brady for the longest time only for the reason that he took a super
bowl away from us he really didn’t he just they just beat our asses and donovan was kind of drunk and t.o was a
diva but that’s a different story and he was on point i mean look when the goat shows up you know you want a bear but
you didn’t have one you know what but let’s think about it this way here’s here’s the saving grace for tom brady like it matters to
him yeah um the guy who beat him the team but the leader of that team who
beat him his name was nick so i’m good with that yeah that works and my dad’s you know my
dad’s from pennsylvania right so i i mean i grew up a steelers fan i grew up uh you know it’s pittsburgh pirates you
know it’s all it’s all pennsylvania love but um yeah and i’ve lived so many different
places now you know i lived in seattle and i’ve you know i was down in l.a and i’ve been out to you know i’ve lived in
nevada which now you got the they’ve got the raiders now they do and i lived in baltimore now
being a steelers fan living in baltimore living in inner city baltimore that was a that was a rough time there you go
there was one time i walked out with the jersey and that night my car got broken
into so like it was yeah and i lived i mean i lived i don’t know
a mile away from the stadium downtown so yeah it was uh loved a lot of being
down here being you know with the bucks it’s a it’s it’s fanfare kind of fun but uh you
know oh yeah there’s black and yellow let’s go steal it screw your black and yellow we’re
bleeding green here so on a different topic let’s actually jump back a little bit give us some context so you’ve lived
in different areas you’re now in florida you’ve been here a number of years but take us take us back a little bit
where did you come from how were you raised and basically what led you to where you’re at now
oh man going back all right so i i mean i was born in utah
um at the time my dad was still in the military so he was he was army he was in
the artillery um airborne artillery still one of the funniest things i ever thought of just
drop a cannon out of a plane and then you just jump out with it wherever you land set up and start blowing stuff up
right so i was born in utah my dad was stationed in alabama
so i was in utah for like two weeks my mom was visiting family i went to fort rucker alabama
there till i was six and then back to utah i’m the baby of six kids and you know
that has its relevance a little bit i think in my life story um one being the baby you know we get all the we we
get all the love and all the attention according to my siblings right um
but uh but really it’s you know it gave it’s the unique perspective that you get coming from a large family
utah is predominantly lds and my parents at the time when i was
born were active in that religion lds mormon church but by the
time i was four or five they kind of stopped going to church so the whole
religious aspect of what that you know the culture that i grew up in was kind of
shielded in a sense you know my parents always raised us and it was the conversation was it doesn’t matter what
someone believes where they’re from as long as they’re not trying to cause you harm
are trying to hurt you then love accept them and move forward and it was an interesting perspective to
to be raised with because when you raised i don’t know don’t know if you spent a lot of time with heavily christian based
groups that believe that they’re what they what and how they do is right uh acceptance is usually one of the most
challenging things to get to get um but uh but no i so grew up there grew up in
utah and i’ve always just had kind of a gypsy soul
um watching my older siblings kind of go through life oldest brothers about 10
years so that’s the spread so watching them go into the traditional world of you go to college you know for
you know it was go on a mission come home go to college get married have babies put money into a
401k buy a house live there for 30 years pay it down and retire
and that was you know that’s kind of my dad grew up in the sticks of pennsylvania
and so he grew up without money and he was kind of worked his way through
life and challenges to kind of get into that you know middle class kind of space and
he bought a house and worked his job clocked in monday through friday nine to five and
saturday he took care of his yard sunday he watched football monday he went back to work you know
so it’s that uh you know present absentee dad kind of scenario
uh so just i would say watching that and watching my siblings go through that
one of the things i used to say as a kid all the time is that grown-ups always look miserable
you know it’s as the responsibility kind of stacks on and and you’ve got all these things that you
have to take care of all this responsibility it uh you know it weighs on you as a person
and especially as a man like we’re still raised in that concept of you know no matter what you do you have to be a
provider you have to you have to provide you have to take care of it is your
it is your role your responsibility to be the person
in your as whatever family you go on to create that you have to take care of everything
and so it was seeing that just seeing people miserable it was just it just didn’t speak to my
soul so i wonder lost my wonder wander lust right uh was
very very very prevalent as a kid and i’ve always been insanely outgoing so
very much the detriment if i was born now i would be kidnapped instantly like i just because i would
i would just wander off with people i i mean i there there were times we’d go on family
vacations and i would just be gone and i’d disappear and i you know i always found my way back but
i would just take off like you guys seemed interesting and i would just walk and listen to their stories and and talk to people and my mom’s chasing
me around you know um you still have that i mean yeah i know i i do yeah now i’m just a little
bit bigger and i can kind of i can keep it’s easier to see you where’s the six foot five guy it’s talking to somebody
yeah yeah i’m a lot taller i’m like hey i’m over here um but uh but yeah yeah you know
doing that living in a place utah is a is such a unique place um
tell people for years it’s it was a bubble that was anywhere from two to five years behind
kind of the rest of the world and you know i go back to visit i got a lot of family there
feels pretty much the same way um get there and it just it’s almost like you just kind of drop back a couple
years in time um and it didn’t really sink in
until i started moving and leaving in the state but since i’ve been 18 i’ve had
60 i’m in my 61st address right now
and an example i mean i’ve been in florida for five years now and we’ve had
eight addresses and we’re gearing up here in the next couple months we’ll probably be moving
again so yeah moved around a lot um i mean that’s i haven’t really
touched base on a lot but it’s i don’t know as we talk about if i think to expand on on my life it just you know
there’s so there’s 40 years to unpack right sure um i would say one of the key things
though yeah i’ll say one of the key things i i will say this that something that was said
as a kid um sitting on the on the bed of a truck
hanging out with a friend in a driveway um you know
and we smoked a little bit as a kid and i still remember just saying you know all the old people that i’ve
talked to even then and you talk to people now it’s what do they regret when they’re dying
what’s their regret you know and it’s a and people you know you hear the phrase like you you regret all the things you
didn’t do um and uh and at the end of the day for me it
was i didn’t want to be 60 70 80 90 and not have a story
so i kind of made a promise to myself as a kid that i was i was even watching you know at 13
and 14 i was seeing my 24 year old brother going through school to get his phd and just
he didn’t look happy and i try to talk to him like well hey what did you do like what’s going on like you’re doing
this super cool phd stuff like doing the super cool stuff tell me about it
who knows just a thing sucks so i made a promise that i’d be kind of
like a yes man i would want to live life to be able to have a story to tell um
and at the end and then just in the core of that was but also try my best to be a
nice person have a good story to tell that has a positive message that not anything like
oh we’re going to go change the world but because you know it’s try to do no harm try to leave things
better than where you started where they started when they came into your existence
and that’s my goal and i love that you um you naturally just
like to talk to people and want to learn and hear other people’s stories you and
i joke about the stories that we tell because we know that stories help you sell things they help you kind of get
the point across a lot easier psychologically it just makes sense to people they eat things in stories like
oh i get this great i can run with this thing i love that you are one of those people
that can just talk to anybody and you’re open to have those conversations my brother’s the same way
where he’ll just kind of wander off and he’s like hey i met these people they do these things and there are a lot of people in the
world that don’t ever allow themselves to be able to do that right like they don’t even look up when
people are walking by where you typically look to see like hey is somebody looking at me are we going
to talk we’re going to have a conversation i know that you have lived all the years
of this life that you have been on this planet and so you have stories you have stories and you have perspectives and
things that i could i could not fathom or understand and i want to hear because i think it’s i’d love it i mean a fun
one i this is this is a fun story that happened recently right i don’t know i mean this is just
we’re we’re getting uh we’re getting a hot tub for one of our rental properties
and found a hot tub someone was given away for free reach out to the person and like anything else in facebook land
right you put something and you get a thousand messages right this guy just kind of randomly scrolls scrolls through
and picked he i think he picked my message because my facebook profile has some
like whiskey barrels in the back that i had bought one day and i turned him into dart boards
and and i had a question that wasn’t just like hey is it available right i just asked if it was 110 or 220.
and short the short of this story is go to pick it up two different groups
fail to come and help me get it that i contracted that to to show up
while talking to the guy he’s having a barbecue event that happened last Saturday that we got
invited to that was like his birthday party so cloudy and i went so i smoked a brisket and a pork shoulder and went and
showed up at the party and just 70 people we don’t know at a meat fest
that i’ve you that this guy has been doing he’s called the deemed meat fest that he’s been doing for seven years for
his birthday and made a new friend and so they’re they’re planning on coming out to the beach with us in one of these days and
it’s just and the stories that we got to listen to while we were there were fantastic we
met a bunch of people that you know just good people that guy does tile work so he he’s probably going to end up doing
some tile work on our remodel or a bathroom and awesome from picking up a free hot tub you know yeah
but it’s really from you stepping out and doing that thing so one of the things about the show and
the people listen to the show they’re they’re like you and i they’re ambitious they’re doing things but they’re working
to be better at what they’re doing and in certain ways they’re working to not be as bad as they were the day before so
i think that’s one of the big lessons for people to be able to take is just take that first step
some of it’s just the action of going to do that thing but what is it if you had to kind of encapsulate that and share
that with somebody what sort of advice would you give to somebody to be able to kind of have that skill
you know i i some of the stuff you know i i’ll relate you know i relate a lot with it with the question um my you know
my wife is uh immigrant from mexico and who came here after college
wasn’t uh she’s you know being my age being 40 you know computers she
didn’t see a computer until she got to college and just it’s where she grew up
and she’s got her degree in industrial engineering and just you know people have never
really been her forte it’s never been you know just people were
always just oh no and we talk about it a lot as a skill or a
thing and and maybe if i boil it down to a skill it would just be to
give it a chance to be open the truth is that everybody well i can’t
say everybody right that no you know platitudes of everybody but most people
want to connect most people want to tell a story be heard be valued know
that that their thoughts and their existence matters and a big way that that happens is
somebody listens so it’s the you know when you think
oh i should say hi i don’t want to and then all of the secondary thoughts come in as to what
you why you shouldn’t and they don’t care there’s no reason and all those questions come out if
just speak and say hi then your brain has to shut down all of
that second-guessing and so one of those are one of the exercises that i’ve gone through with
actually my wife and in that concept of making friends is and i would say
as listeners we all know as an adult making friends is just weird right it’s a weird experience you
know it’s because you’re just like yeah you’ve lived for you know however many years you’ve been alive like
we should just hang out you know um but uh that that idea just to open up and say hi
and be open to the tour response
and if you’re proven right then guess what you just get validated that
you’re that you were right but when you’re proven wrong you get to hear a story
and that’s and from that connects to me that connects to almost
all people as well is to hear a story hey how’s it going no for real like how’s your day just one
crazy thing about the day and people like oh i don’t know well you know who cares what’s going on
and some people be like i don’t know you i don’t want to talk to you right you know and i wouldn’t say necessarily to
just go running up to strangers on the street um but uh when you have that
i should say hi do it and that’s and that’s a part of that first step right it’s kind of the
you know building habits all the extra you can read so much about how to how to win
friends and influence people and do this and do that i always just boil it back down to the core of
everybody is actually pretty cool and so like they are interesting
and you’re an interesting person you’re interesting i’m interested everybody is we’ve all
seen just crazy crazy crazy things so say hi and see what happens
um and that’s and i think that more people will be surprised at the more of the kindness
um and then i you know then i can take it into when you’re getting thrown a ton of hate
kill them with kindness i put a post on on facebook today that i’ve just got a slew of hate about
and from it talked to two people who are now trying to uh have do work do business together
they’re like oh you suck you’re these and this and you’re the worst kind of person i’m like yeah that’s cool what do you do for a living
and so i don’t know like it’s being open and that’s i think that’s an extreme level of it but boiling it all back down
to that one piece of advice is be open to your own curiosity and say hi
when you think about it yeah that’s such an awesome thing man i actually um i subscribe to what i call
the rule of three that if something pops into my mind like you should go talk to this person
the first time i might be like meh i don’t want to brush it off second time it comes back i’m like i know you came
here before but i told you no and the third time it comes back i’m like all right
i should do something with this i kind of think of that as a little bit of a god nod but that’s whatever way we
want to look at it you know if something comes back to you a couple times that’s a reason for you to go do it and it
seems like you’ve actually done that a lot to the point maybe not that specific three but you’ve done that to the point
where now it’s just part of your body and it’s ingrained where you’re looking for those things
right and i and i and i would say i heard a quote the other day um and i, unfortunately, went meant to
actually, go write it down and know who it came from so this is not from me but
it talks about like a good way to look at the human mind is you know it’s just a forest
and the habits you know when we go through thought electricity you know it tries to go through the path of least
resistance and if you think about a forest if you go hiking you think about getting out into nature you
if you go you can see where there’s a clear path and then there’s just forest
we’re creating new habits what we’re deciding to do is to kind of cut through the habits
don’t don’t take the road always travel don’t take that path that is something that we know we need to fix because we
know where that path goes we’ve got to start cutting a new path and if we only go there once or twice
what happens right the path gets overgrown but if we continually go there then it becomes the path
and the scary part about it is you don’t know for sure where it goes but i do think that
a habit i i’ve formed the habit of being open to people so
there’s still i still have my reservations especially now as an older man you can’t just go randomly talking to everybody right um you know as a kid
it was a lot easier today you know and then it was more like it was weird for them to be talking to me you know not
the other way around but uh but no i just i it has it is to form that habit of being comfortable
with that stage of being of uncomfortable but then it that uncomfortable becomes
comfortable it’s i’d rather ask the question say hi and have the chance of a story then not say anything and know for
fact that i won’t get one yeah uh you never know who you’re gonna connect with you know you never know
what’s behind that face somebody could have a story that just
really relates to you but if you never actually step into that conversation you have no idea and i think what you’re
talking about there is like the reps where like you do that so many times that it’s just part of what you do
but it’s interesting because there’s also like i remember being in your office because troy and i used to work together
i was in your office and at one point you’re like yo dude i can’t do what you do you take all these no’s and just
with sales and i don’t want to do any of that i was like really because you basically do that
constantly anyway just by talking to people so it’s some of the stories that we tell ourselves of
like what you do and what you don’t want to do even back to the bears like if i told you yo troy i need you to go into
this room there’s a bear in there you’d be like you i’m not going in there not gonna happen
what if it’s a little stuffed animal bear a little teddy bear would you it might be a different story but just
knowing at that point like what it actually was if you knew beforehand that’s a teddy
bear you’d be like off don’t screw with me you know whatever i’ll go grab your stupid teddy bear and throw it at you yeah you’ll throw your
chair at you my heart rate might go up a little bit but i’ll still throw a table at you yeah but if you don’t know that you
don’t know so it’s the fear of the unknown and i think that’s what stops a lot of people um even just talking to people in
general so look as we get older we try to make friends that in and of itself can be weird but now people are working
hybrid they’re working from home but sort of at the office and some people are changing jobs so you’re relatively
new at the position you’re in but you have new people that are coming through and how do you guys manage that and how
do you help your team kind of manage their mindset through that ultimately as i go throughout as i actually look back
on my career and some of the things that i’ve that i’ve tried to tackle and the my perception and my perspective
has always been when i say i say the cliche thing of people first
and but for me what it means is that i really am interested in the story of people
so everybody is motivated differently right and when it comes to work and it comes to what we do and i’ve had positions you
know when we work together where i take over a team a team of people that have worked together right they’ve worked
together for years some in some cases you know i have individuals that work for me right now that worked for the
company for 18 years they’ve been here their adult their entire adult life first job out of
college and work and this is where they’ve been so their entire work experience has always been here and the
people that have come in and out of it my belief my unique perspective which maybe
not unique but is that every person like we live in just the world then story in
the movie that we’re in and so i most of my time and how i
motivate people is by getting to know them because like there’s no way i i could
walk in and i’ve seen this and i’ve been part of it where i can walk in and say look here’s the 10 rules you follow these 10 rules you walk in every day you
do these 10 things and that’s what you get done giddy up if you don’t do it that’s fine here’s the review check mark
off check mark off no raise for you and get the hell out right that’s one way of that is one way of
trying to lead something um my way takes a lot longer because i spend a lot of time just
spending time getting to know people i i have a couch in my office just so people can come in sit down be
comfortable and talk and get involved and hearing what their story is
is where throughout my years of managing leading people and
again probably a unique thing being able to lead people in a war where decisions were being made where
someone might have to go and die it’s a lot easier to make a decision where someone might have to go out and
send an email or get yelled at by a customer way different so so way different scenario but you can still
tackle each of those things with grace because just because that might have been my experience doesn’t mean that
that’s that person’s experience but my comfort level with being able to communicate and listen to the story has
was has was is a lot higher because of those experiences in my world yeah but
listening to what people have to deal with what they’re dealing with in their home life and how they perceive the work
that they’re doing allows me to kind of cut through and communicate the way that they need to
hear a story and then tell stories that allow them to hear what they need to do
so they can kind of catch the vision and that excitement also you know a lot of people who have
worked for me in the past and i’ve worked with will also tell you that i’m also the first person to be like hey
you need to not be here anymore because you’re not living up to your potential you’re you’re choosing to come to a place it’s
obvious that you’re not happy let me help you find a place that’s different than here it’s scary it’s new
but let me help you find that new place because you have at least here you know for a fact you’re unhappy
there you might have a chance and it’s not that the grass is always greener but if you’re playing in the mud
go look for go look for some grass right and that’s and that’s and that’s just kind of how
i’ve tackled all of my leadership is doing everything i can to try to
understand and you know obviously i can say it now i could probably go through and find a bunch of past employees and
kind of put that out on my resume as my references of you know it i really genuinely want people to know
and with that you find the right way to motivate people everybody’s motivated different
once you once you know how to motivate somebody um then you know then it’s easy to go
through and say okay here’s the project we’re going to work on and you can you learn how to work with
those all those personalities um and and it was kind of to your point earlier when i said you know going
through all the no’s there isn’t it’s it becomes easier for me in the in the space and the customer
experience world that it’s not that i won’t get yelled at i won’t get people to say no but i get a lot more time to get to know a
person and get to hear their stories and they’re and eliminate the walls that way
then as much as you do in like that hunter sales role right where it’s a you know i’ve got to
quickly get in and do something and i i’m more of the it’s okay here’s the here’s that long game and that’s you
know my perception right from from a customer experience to a sales because i’m told all the time oh do sales yeah
i’ll do up sales right i think that’s where um you know you and
i are kin in certain ways where we really like to be able to settle in and get to know somebody and have those
conversations i’ve shifted that mindset at least in the company that we worked with
at least in my division to have them understand that it’s not just a dial for dollar sort of situation it’s a
relationship thing you need to build the relationship with these people you need to be real with them there’s certain
people where i’m like yo i appreciate where you’re at this is not going to be the right fit for you let me help you
find something different similar like what you’ve done with different employees at the same time if you can
you can connect and you can actually speak with those people and get to a real level i’ve seen you done uh you’ve done that
with actual employees before we were joking a little bit before we hit record about sitting in your office shooting
the and somebody coming in and being like hey i want to ask you about this thing and you’re like let me tell you a story they’re like i just
want this answer you’re like but here’s the story and like i know you do but if i tell you
yeah that story has always led to them to figure out oh i need to do this thing because of what
you said the story and you’re like yeah so what about this and it would just lead off to them going oh i got it
thanks and it’s almost like they came up with it on their own i think that’s really because you knew those people
like you actually sat down when you got that job to figure out who the are you
why do you work here what’s your deal why do you work here what motivates you what is your what is your real life like
right there’s there’s this work life and and you’ll hear me you’ll hear me say it a lot i mean probably when we
work together you probably heard me say it a lot where it’s leverage technology to give back being people
because we we need you know despite all the direction that we’re
going validation connection and everything that we’ve all the technology
we’re building the idea is to try to build connection and communication and while it misses the mark in a lot of
cases right that’s the that’s the goal that’s the dream that’s the connection we want to
connect and sometimes it’s that challenge of you know put technology down but and i’m the
same person i’m on my phone all day right i remember when cell phones came out
i remember when text messaging first was created and i had i got a job a foreplay so i could get a phone and i could send
text messages and i was sending like 5 000 text messages a month that cost you a lot of money at that point
right but that’s and who would you send who you have five thousand things to say once
you’re out of your mind you know like that’s that’s ridiculous and it is i think the
being able to connect with people is in a lot of ways why my career has taken off and done what
i’ve done without the educational background or even the you know
a solid understanding of the technology that we’d work through because it wasn’t about it it did what it did
it’s an input-output that’s what it does period it either works or it doesn’t it’s either online or it’s not online
and that’s really easy to communicate everything else is about you know even with technology the software that we
have it’s not about the software it’s about the people who are using the software so get to know those customers get to
know those people if you do then it’s really easy to say oh we have this technology we have this thing that
solves this problem and i kind of tackle you know self-mastery right as we talk about that
that’s how i see a lot of things too is i seek stories to find relatable experiences
to validate what i’m trying to accomplish right so if i can talk to two people
like you put something out what 50 people can tell you that’s the worst thing ever and it’s really easy to be
like oh man that’s terrible but there’s also 7 billion people
seven billion perspectives right and so it the idea is that you start
talking to people you start hearing more stories someone’s just no or just direct answer
there’s so much that’s behind that no that it’s not a no it’s a story behind
all of the no it’s a story behind the the bad response right it could be you
know like driving down the road and someone cut you off so the next person asks you a question it doesn’t matter no i don’t
care who you are right i just just had a bad day so now
you’re asking me a question i don’t have the time to put the energy into it but that story is that
is the piece that answers that for you so that’s what that’s what i kind of look for and i bring that all into
business and kind of all the aspects of my life so how do you coach the uh the current staff that you have to be more of that
and be more people focused to then produce results
i think part of it um you know i i would turn around and go through and say by example right and there’s plenty of
times where that example has just failed but as you know as i take over a team or i take
over a new task and responsibility the in a way it’s it’s it’s giving back
right but it’s a because i’m trying to seek and understand who they are without
trying to dictate what happens even though as a boss my job is to dictate
the flow of how the business how the department runs i i then just encourage it
how you’ve run things in the past i don’t know how you’ve accomplished things in the past but here’s how i’d like you to try
let’s try accomplishing it this way just take 15 minutes and listen when was the last time that you picked up the phone
was the last time that you had an employee that felt comfortable calling you because i had a flat tire
and you know i use the friend analogy all the time at work is you know a random stranger could pick up
the phone and call you and say hey i have a flat tire i need you to drop what you’re doing and come and come help me out
be like don’t know who you are i have my own life to live why are you calling me how did you even get my
number like what oh i talked to bob we talked to frank and your number was posted on a wall all right cool
but if your friend calls you you’re gonna you’re gonna turn around and you’re gonna go try to find a way to help them because there’s things that
are less important right and and so i try to instill that and use use those stories
to go through and explain like this is what i expect because if you lead people this way
that’s leading people with kindness leading with openness and that is what opens doors that’s what changes
the entire mood and mindset for everybody and sometimes you know it takes years of
practice i guess and sometimes it’s a little bit more natural but i you know it’s
telling stories and bringing people in and just asking those questions like hey how’s your day
we had an employee today Jesus i walked into my office said hello i’m like hey come on in have a seat
he’s like oh oh what’s going on how’s your day what’s up oh well and then we got onto a long
conversation his brother just got down here his brother’s a marine he’s telling me he’s got four brothers and it just
i learned a lot in 15 minutes and you know god’s talking about when his brother was deployed to Afghanistan
where it was and so it’s that person again leaves feeling heard
instead of feeling shut down and so they carry that on to the next interaction
and the next interaction and that’s my hope right and that’s what i push and i kind of teach and i
and it’s more of the time and examples where you know almost always it’ll be a i’ll get that
message from a manager from a supervisor someone who a director that reports to me that says
i got it i get it i see yeah your stories annoy the hell out of me but i
okay yeah no 100 i i can see the total difference in how everybody
behaves and acts now because people are feeling heard and they’re feeling valued
and then then it’s get to work you know then it’s a here’s the project that we’ve got yeah now here’s the project
that we’ve got how do we knock it out of the park and everybody’s engaged not just because they’re engaged
with the company but they’re also engaged with the team and i’ll i’ll throw all that back to military right
you know the military you go it is it’s about your team it’s about the squad it’s about the group it’s who you train
with it’s and who you’re you’re protecting the people around you and it can be kind of the same not that
work is the enemy but that the projects are there to overcome and
doing everything you know many hands make light work right so if everyone’s rowing in the same direction all these
cliche things to say i think the way that we truly get there is through stories and through that
communication you got to be you got to be a good person you got to be up with the people with
other people right i love that you’ve always been able to do that i actually had a conversation with somebody yesterday who
i haven’t talked to in you know seven eight years something like that we used to work together at a company years ago
and i remember when he left the company the owner of the company was sitting right next to him and like hounding him
about something just being a dick about like all things
and this guy at one point said something in spanish and up and walked out he is in no by no means
spanish at all he’s whiter than i am and he just stood up said something in spanish that was basically like
this i don’t need this and walked out i’m out yeah so when we were talking about it i
was like man every once in a while that pops into my head and he was like i just remember thinking how much of a jerk
he was like this is what the guy was saying about our our boss and the owner at the time
and how he just didn’t care about us at all that was the point to it
the fact that he felt as an employee that the owner didn’t care about him at all was told
that none of it mattered if he had a feeling that look i care about you at least a little bit
and maybe some of it would have mattered but the fact that he didn’t he said in that moment he was like i just realized
that and thought well i don’t need this and just walked out and i’m sitting in the cube next to him watching all this being like
and there he goes all right sure are you taking a break or are you
coming back sir are you going to be back soon
and then i could see him in the courtyard walking out just flipping me off maybe that was to somebody else no i’m kidding
but the fact that you love on people and that you care about people is the reason why you get so much out of people i saw
it with the team that you led when you worked with us before where those people actually cared and they had more respect for themselves
because they knew that they were being respected by the person who led the team and sure i’ve i’ve appreciated sitting
in some of those meetings like i wasn’t on your team i was in another team but
our offices are right next to each other so it was easy just like around and be like hey man you got five minutes of just and when people come in
and just to see some of those interactions so i appreciate that but troy i want to ask you because i ask
everybody that’s on the show what’s one piece of advice that you would give somebody that’s on their path towards
self mastery oh man um
you know it’s a what’s it’s a lion king right this is lion king got it right
more to see it could ever be seen more to do than could ever be done right so the idea of
limiting the idea ever that we have in our minds that all right i can’t get better at this i can’t achieve this
this is this is it this is where it goes right um just just remember that there’s there’s
always more to do more to see and more to accomplish and it’s just a matter of
you know that first thought of i should go say hi go say hi take those opportunities to to interact
with people be open to the story and be open to yourself
and as soon as you start listening you’ll kind of to what you have to say just to your own stories
you know you kind of that first question let’s talk about where you’re from oh man
now you can really start to think about like here’s this whole world and you’ll be like man i barely even
scratched the surface right i talk about 15 states three countries 60 moves from 18 to 40.
and i haven’t even come close to being i’m so closed in right
so be open and you know listen listen to that idea that there’s more to do
and there can be and so if you’re feeling stuck if you feel like you’ve nothing’s working right
just take a step back and there is more that can be done there’s more that you can do there’s more that you can see and
it’s and it’s fantastic it’s good stuff man i think it’s a great
lesson for us all to be uh be mindful of and that’s a clear growth mindset
because if you’re looking at things of how do i learn from it how do i grow from it instead of just the opposite side being fixed and saying oh it’s not
not for me i don’t want to do these things it’s a matter of taking those steps troy i appreciate you being on the show
today absolutely i appreciate the time appreciate the conversation it’s a good time definitely man so tell us where can
people connect with you i mean you know social media uh almost all of my stuff
is open right so reach out say hello um anything on linkedin instagram facebook all that is
there i guess i’m not on twitter maybe with the elon musk taking over maybe it’s the time um and then if you’re ever in saint pete
uh saint peter tampa bay you know look me up say hello send a message let’s go have a drink let’s go out have some
dinner let’s go hang out the beach man well even if other people are going to
take you up from that i’m going to take you up on that at some point we will go out and have dinner again
absolutely let’s make it happen all right dude well thank you so much for being on the show
yep thank you have a good one [Music]
another great conversation on today’s episode of the mindset and self-mastery show
have you ever heard the term people over profit well troy really lives this and i’ve
actually seen it firsthand bring in more profit because of the people’s passion for their work they
actually care about what they’re doing because they were understood and life is an adventure
in whatever way we want it to be and i think troy summed up the conversation really well with just be open to it
and explore so let’s take this as a challenge to ourselves let’s be open to learning about others
be open to truly being interested in others and their stories and be open to what incredible people with incredible
stories are doing in their version of reality so what did you think about today’s episode i’d love to hear your thoughts
on the topics and what we got into and if you enjoyed the episode please jump over to itunes and subscribe rate and
leave a five star review and if you really enjoyed the show go ahead and share with somebody that’s close to you
i’m sure they’ll really appreciate it and check out the show notes for more info contact info for troy and check out
other episodes on the mindset and as well as our
youtube channel just go to youtube type in the mindset and self mastery show hit
enter and there you go thanks again troy for being real for being honest and vulnerable with us
and thank you to you for being part of this one last thank you i want to thank our sponsors
the manly club and the powerhouse men brotherhood men do you consider yourself to be a powerhouse man
criteria for becoming one is simple live with virtue and do good work you
see a powerhouse man builds his life he doesn’t settle for it he attacks mediocrity at the root and that’s
exactly what we do in the powerhouse man brotherhood visit for more details and
with that remember your mindset matters and so do you [Music]

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