Troy Ericson was kind enough to have a lovely conversation with us about his Journey and road to the top. Troy is a 23 year old freelancer and entrepreneur from South Bend, IN. Have a look at this incredible conversation we shared.
Q1. Who is Troy Ericson in real life?
That’s an excellent question, and one that I’m starting to find the answer to at this point in my life. I absolutely love to inspire people to tap into their fullest & strongest mindset. I literally believe that people can accomplish about 98% of the things they’d like to do if they just play their cards right and take the risks that they’re afraid to take. I love helping people do that. But most of all, I’m just a regular dude with a boatload of confidence and the desire to change how people see themselves. I’m humble, but I do know that I have a superpower when it comes to helping other people get their head right. I’m not quite yet the Clark Kent/Superman alter ego just yet, but let me give you some background on some things I enjoy, how I got to where I am, and how I help other people:
First off, I’m a 23 year old freelance entrepreneur from South Bend, Indiana and currently living near Dayton, Ohio. I’m the kind of guy that has very few focuses and aims to be excellent at them rather than having a ton of interests that I’m okay at. My very first focus growing up was baseball, which is where I created a VERY strong work ethic for myself, thanks to how much my dad encouraged me to be great and how much I loved (and still do to this day) the game. It taught me to embrace competition against others and, more importantly, myself. And I ended up fighting through a Tommy John surgery in high school and playing college baseball as a pitcher at Division 2 Cedarville University because of it.
Another focus of mine is music. I grew up listening to Metallica, and there’s nothing quite like the therapy of pulling out my guitar and letting my emotions go. I haven’t quite evolved that as much as I’d like to yet, but I have surprised myself with my creative capacity given that I didn’t listen to any music at all until the age of 12 and taught myself guitar in high school.
My third focus, and probably the heaviest at this time, is entrepreneurship. It’s one thing to be in business, but the blessing to call your own shots and take ownership of your failures and successes is super unique. Especially when it’s your job to sell products and services that improve peoples’ lives.
Q2. How did you first get into Entrepreneurship?
I sort of stumbled upon this whole entrepreneurial journey in a really unique way. My mom’s side of the family has a little hardware store that I visited pretty much every day after school as a kid. I didn’t think about entrepreneurship very often at that age, but being in a business environment got me to ask my mom a few questions about how business worked. On top of that, my dad is a pretty smart accountant and stock trader, so he covered that side of business. My parents never really pushed me into entrepreneurship because they value the security of a regular job. They just wanted to help me understand business to prepare me for adult life one day, which was a good start.
My real push for entrepreneurship came at the end of my first semester at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, when I had a book that I never used and sold it on Amazon and made $100+, which at the time felt unreal… So I started buying books off other students and eventually created a Facebook page that people I didn’t even know started to contact to sell me their books. It got pretty big and I made my school’s news channel as well as the local station. I pretty much became an expert at flipping stuff and had a whole system down and sold over 10K in products (mostly books) on Amazon and eBay the next semester.
At the time, I was studying business analytics, which wasn’t creative enough for me, so I transferred schools to the middle of nowhere Cedarville University in Ohio so I could study marketing, sport management, and the Bible, all while upgrading to playing D2 baseball (Loras was D3). So that was the end of my book flipping business. I wanted to start something that was 100% digital anyway, because I knew I wouldn’t have the time to continue all the logistical madness…
Then one day I happened to be watching a snapchat story of some girl that was pushing an account called ‘Young Luxury’. It sounded pretty spammy, but I was 19 and had nothing to lose, so I watched their stories non-stop because the guy running it, Grant Cooper, owned a pretty large social media marketing agency in Philadelphia called Social Vantage and was simply dropping dimes of knowledge every day that sparked new ways of thinking for me… And I eventually got sucked into buying his course (back before courses were over-saturated) and it changed my life because I learned all about Facebook ads, Clickfunnels, etc. etc. and started freelancing on UpWork and got my first gig with a guy named Greg Berry, a serial entrepreneur of 11 years, who hired me to work on a couple of projects. I introduced him to sales funnels, which fundamentally changed the way he did business online.
Looking back, I got super lucky to meet Greg, because he’s given me every opportunity to put what I’ve learned into practice. I didn’t realize at that time how valuable that connection would be for me over the next few years. I got to do and try things that 19 year olds are normally never given a shot at. And we crushed it together on a few different projects, the biggest of which was Hustle Island, a community we built up to over 200,000 entrepreneurial-minded people.
Since then, I’ve continued to grind away at Facebook ads and funnels and have done work for some awesome people, including Grant, which was a dream come true at the time. It’s crazy how things come full circle. I’m super thankful too because it allowed me to graduate college and not have to get a “real job”.
But the most pivotal point in my career was around April of this year when I came across a guy named Ian Stanley who taught me the magic of email marketing and just how powerful it is, plus a whoooole bunch of life and business advice that’s been insanely valuable to me. I had dipped my toe in emails with Hustle Island, but Ian opened up my mind 10x more than anyone else in business ever has… I’ve become an email expert in the process and have earned the title ‘Lead Paramedic’ because of it.
Q3. Why are you called the “Lead Paramedic”?
I’m the Lead Paramedic because I revive dead leads in peoples’ businesses through email. And they make a whole lot more money each month because of it. I’ve managed small email lists of 500 people all the way up to lists of 100,000+ people. I’m a pro at improving open rates, click rates, and ultimately, writing words that make people buy things. I’ve taken some big corporate companies and literally doubled their email and sales numbers in a matter of a few weeks. It’s super fun because there’s a technical side and a creative side to it. Plus, you don’t have to spend money on ads to get started, and you can see all the numbers, so it’s easy to track success and show people how much better their business is doing because of it. Never listen to someone that says email doesn’t work, because the whole world has been checking their inbox every day since the 90s. No other digital platform can say the same.
Q4. How did you start your community of Hustlers and Entrepreneurs
That’s a good question. Greg and I got started on Hustle Island and literally had no clue how big it was going to get. Greg always felt that entrepreneurs should wear an ‘official jersey’ and join a big community, just like fans of sports teams do. So he created a really dope ‘Hustle Shirt’ and we started giving them away for free plus shipping. And the shirt pretty much went viral in the ‘Hustle’ space on Instagram and Facebook. We shipped out 21,905 of them in our first year. After people opted in, we gave them a free trial of a paid membership to the Hustlers’ Club, where we teach people the basics of entrepreneurship. That’s probably had more than a couple thousand paid members at one time or another, and overall, we’ve collected around 200,000 leads and put up some other pretty ridiculous numbers that we never expected. We’ve also made some incredible relationships with the people we coach and have taught them some things that have helped them so much in their businesses and lives. It’s also how I met my good friend Jason Wojo, who joined the team late in our first year in business.
Q5. How has your marketing career shaped you as an entrepreneur?
Being a marketer is huge because you can’t be an entrepreneur without it. Every time you try to persuade someone to do something, you’re selling to them, whether you’re pitching a product, service, or idea. Given that I came into entrepreneurship as a marketer, I feel unstoppable, because I can use that marketing background in any type of business that I want. Right now, that’s Lead Paramedic. In the future, it’s probably going to also be as a private pitching instructor. I’ve even worked with a really big page called @RalphTheRex, a fictional T-Rex that makes funny videos for his 1,300,000+ fans on Facebook & Instagram. I helped him sell dinosaur merch… So being a marketer has pretty much made anything possible for me and I’m just so excited to wake up every morning and think of new ways to use my skills to improve lives, whether that’s increasing a business owner’s revenue or making someone smile because they got their dinosaur merch in the mail. Plus, I’ve gotten to meet a few of the people I work with and that’s one of the coolest friendships to have since most people who meet online never meet in person. It’s extra special.
Q6. Do you think an educational qualification is necessary for an entrepreneur or business?
Business is all about solving problems. If you have a skill that solves someone’s problem, whether it’s a want or a need, you can start a business. Of course you have to educate yourself to develop that skill. Just make sure you educate yourself in the right place. In a lot of professions, you need a qualification. If you want to be a doctor, lawyer, engineer, etc, no one’s going to hire you or compensate you in any way without a degree. But when you’re in business, people hire you if you can solve their problem. I think I’ve been asked one time since 2016 if I had a degree, which I do now, but people in the business world are only concerned with making sure that paying you a certain amount of money will result in a greater of amount of money for them. I think my degree helped me better understand business in a general sense, and I met some awesome people in college and had incredible experiences that I wouldn’t trade for anything, but colleges do need to step their game up when it comes to business in the 21st century. So, if you want to be a profession that requires a qualification, go to college. If not, then find someone that’s doing very well at what you want to do and learn everything you can from them.
Q7. Where do you see yourself in the next few years?
I don’t know. Life takes so many weird twists that you’d never expect. All I know is that I’m having a blast right now doing my own thing. My life is pretty simple at the moment. Not easy, but simple. I wake up, get to work, go outside and throw baseballs, go to the gym, and repeat it the next day. And on Sundays, I go to church and hang with my friends.
I really do think Lead Paramedic is going to crush it because I’ve tried a few other unique concepts on my own and for clients that have failed, and I’ve learned so much from them. This idea is so great because it’s practical. Everyone has email, all businesses have dead leads, and very few of those businesses are utilizing email to its full potential. Very soon, I’m going to have my own email list that I write to and educate people every day on topics from making money in your business to having a positive outlook in your personal life. I want to change the idea that so many things are impossible for people to achieve. They’re not. You can do it if you spend your time wisely. So, a few years from now, look out for me as someone that’s changed sooo many businesses for the better and has made people’s lives more positive and enjoyable. I’m not trying to brag, I just honestly believe that’s where I’m going. And if that doesn’t happen, I don’t regret saying it here, because I’m not afraid to fail or look dumb. I’ll just learn, adjust, and move to the next thing. A lot of people never start because they don’t want to “look dumb” if their idea fails. Who cares?
Q8. Is there something you’d like to say to our readers?
There are a million things I’d love to say to your readers, but to keep it brief, take a few moments to yourself and write down what you want to achieve in your life. Don’t keep it “realistic”. Go wild! And I mean it… please do this. Then write down what you’re doing right now in your life. Are the things you’re doing now preparing you to accomplish what you want to accomplish? If not, you’re going to have to make a change. And change is scary sometimes. But do it anyway. Invest in yourself. Spend money now to save years or decades of never figuring it out on your own. A lot of people think you’re weak if you don’t figure it out on your own. That’s so false. Go all out and invest in yourself and then grab every opportunity you can so you can use that time to build your empire, whatever that might be. Lastly, no matter what happens, you are worthy. Simply the fact that you exist is an incredible gift from God that you should never take for granted. We all have our own personal journeys with successes and failures, so don’t ever think that one failure is too much to overcome. There’s so much of life that we can’t control, so only focus on what you CAN control and do your best at that. If you’re not feeling happy right now or you want to take your mind to the next level, send me an email at email@example.com or message me on Instagram @yosoytroy. I love connecting with new people and helping them reach their potential. I’m not here to sell you stuff, I’m here to make your life better.
Q9. Is there something you’d like to say to nwsppr?
Thank you! JarCake – you’re the perfect example of someone who simply reached out to me, and now we’ve connected and are in each other’s circles. That’s a boss move. If more people did that, a lot more dreams would be reached over time.
Jon Reyes On Becoming A Successful Scooter Rider & Content Creator
1. Who is Jon Reyes in real life?
1- I’m a Razor Scooter Era Survivor haha. Just a city kid trying to chase my ” 7 year old self ” dreams of being a professional in action sports. Most people know me as “easy’ or in my eyes content with not needing much to be happy.
2. How did you start your Sccooter Riding career?
Born and raised in NYC, when those razor scooters were a “thing” (for a summer) I was hooked on just pushing around and jumping off curbs. Simple fun has always been an addiction for me and this was/is exactly that. I knew I would be riding a scooter for eternity, just never thought of it actually becoming a big sport.
3. What problems did you face while you were just starting?
Ah man, I was the only “Scooter Kid” for the longest. In school, in the neighborhood, and at the skate spots. At the time you’re supposed to roll up with a skateboard if you wanted to be “cool”. Years ago the world never understood anything new and different, now creativity is an asset to most successful stories. I was the perfect example of an outcast.
4. What was your inspiration behind “Ride NYC”?
Fun, pure effortless fun. When I started YouTube I was all about getting the right idea, getting the perfect footage. The first RideNYC was led from a conversation with my buddies about just pushing around the city at night, turn on the GoPro, and just post whatever happens.
5. You’ve successfully grown your YouTube channel to 300k+ subscribers, what was your mindset like getting to that point? YT – JON REYES
My incentive was to document my journey being a professional so I could have something to look back on years from now. YouTube has such an awesome connection with it’s audience, it helped me appreciate everyone who’s supported me over the years and I think that’s what made my channel successful.
6. What are your key takeaways as a professional Scooter Rider/YouTuber?
It’s definitely a blessing to turn something I’m addicted to and love into a career. It’s still a ton of work that will probably never stop, but all that earns me more time to ride off camera, which is why I’m grateful
7. Do you think an educational qualification is necessary to succeed in life?
School is designed to learn a skill that can’t be taught in the real world. It all depends on what you’re trying to do. Most of the successful people I know now grew from self awareness and a creative mindset. Success is happiness, and if you can learn something from school to help you work toward being happy then go for it.
8. Is there something you’d like to say to our readers?
If you have a job or a path in life already, awesome….. but never delete the dreams you had when you were a kid because that is your fuel. Take risks and do everything in your power to be happy. In the end that will tell a better story.
9. Is there something you’d like to say to Nwsppr?
JON REYES – You guys are great, so much energy, and everything is clean. I love how you guys support anybody and anything that contributes to moving forward…and thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my story. This is just the beginning, I’ve got so much more i’ll need to do! 🛴
Managing A Remote Team During The Covid-19 Pandemic: With Entrepreneur Landon Murie
In today’s society, running a successful digital marketing firm can prove a little difficult. With the ongoing pandemic and the devastating state of the economy, most entrepreneurs in the digital marketing industry will definitely find it hard to keep their agencies afloat due to the absence of key staff and team members. A week ago, I got the chance to speak with digital marketing expert Landon Murie. Landon is the founder of Goodjuju, a marketing and SEO agency that helps property management companies gain more online exposure so they can get more clients and grow.
During the interview, Landon discussed ways by which business can stay afloat during this period with a not so new concept known as Remote working, and successfully manage a team.
The Covid Pandemic has brought to light the importance of remote working, how has your company adjusted to this modern way of completing projects?
To say the least, my company, Goodjuju is built on the foundation of remote working. So far, I’ve been able to scale my marketing agency, which is situated in the U.S, internationally. All my clients are property managers in America and so far they’ve not had any reason to complain.
My team is composed of remote workers from around the world and this has helped us adjust quite perfectly to the changes brought about by the pandemic. Our operations were virtually uninterrupted and we’ve continued to run things the same way we did before.
This is why I always counsel agency founders on the importance of imbibing remote working to their business models. You’ll never know when the next global/economic shift might happen.
Awesome! Usually Coordinating Small Teams At Work Is Difficult, How Are You Able To Manage Such A Diverse Team Who Haven’t Even Met Each Other Physically?
To be honest, I’ve struggled a lot with this. When I created Goodjuju, I didn’t bring on team members at first. Due to this, I forgot to create adequate systems. When I finally brought some team members onboard, It was chaos. Over time, I learned that the only way to manage our remote team members was to utilize expertly created systems, and processes.
Eventually, we were able to create a good system and track everything with a project management software called “Clickup.” We still use this system to date and it’s kept us on track so far.
Based On Your Personal Experience As An Entrepreneur, What Should Anyone Striving To Run A Successful Team Do?
Well, in light of this topic, the first thing I think anyone striving to run a successful team should do is to be part of one. When you are part of a team, you’ll notice how things are done and which aspects need improvement the most. You’ll also know what it feels like to be a team member.
After this here are a few other things I suggest;
1- Create teachable systems/processes people can follow
2- Don’t micromanage people. “Trust, but verify”
3- Keep in touch as best as possible (chat/app)
4- Make sure you and team aligned on vision/goals
5- Create a motivational environment with incentives
Apply all of these, and you’ll be well on your way!
John Hill On Skateboarding His Way To Success
John Hill is a Professional Skateboarder, YouTuber & Content Creator. John has had massive success in his career all because of the work he has put in, and because of his love for what he does. John lives in New York City and has over 800k Subscribers on YouTube & more than 280k Followers on Instagram. Check out this amazing conversation we had!
1. Who is John Hill in real life?
Just a sk8er boi who is OBSESSED with building a peaceful life. I’m an extremely analytical, goofy, slightly nihilistic, human who gets way too overly excited about anything in this world that strikes me as even the slightest bit unique. I think if you asked others, they would say I’m a nice dude who works 24/7, and is eerily obsessed with skateboarding.
2. How did your love for skateboarding begin?
I grew up in Columbia, SC as the only asian boi I knew, so I felt detached, and bored with the community, when all of a sudden… the demo disk for “Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater” appeared from the heavens. The music and rebellious nature of skateboarding culture presented by the game captivated me. It made me feel special in a community that seemed to reward mediocrity. From there, I dreamed of living in this, culturally diverse paradise known as California. I knew that I had to make a living riding a skateboard, so that I could do it forever.
3. How has living in New York City and working as a YouTuber/Content Creator helped change your life for the better?
Firstly, becoming a Youtuber/Content Creator worked best for fleshing out my judgmental tendencies. I always thought of “Influencers” or sharing your voice, as narcissistic. I knew that I couldn’t grow in the world of social media and business, if I remained unfairly critical of anything I couldn’t relate to, so I started a project that threw me in the depths of self promotion. I mean, there are a ton of ways to answer this question. Youtube helped me become a better speaker, build confidence, sharpen my skateboarding skills, meet AMAZING creators, build an audience that makes me feel worthy, collaborate with brands, and allow me to spend more time on creative hobbies such as skateboarding, creating content, illustrating, and designing.
New York City is just more of the same, from what I gained from California. I wanted to be in a new “energy” (don’t hate me for using that word). I always moved a little fast and aggressively for California, and New York is exactly my speed. It’s SO MUCH easier and quicker to create here. You never sit in traffic, and every corner is a beautiful, unique backdrop. It gave my YouTube channel a new rhythm that revitalized the audience, and myself. I was able to meet creators who had different ambitions, and looked at “success” in ways that resonated deeper than building a large social media presence. It’s the first city that truly felt like “home” for me.
4. Do you think an educational qualification is necessary to succeed in life?
I’m going to answer this question based on the assumption we’re not talking about obtaining a career that absolutely requires a college degree. I have a very divisive opinion on this, BUT it depends on what you mean by eduction. I don’t see much value in traditional education beyond middle school. I can say, personally, High School was a complete waste of time for me. I learn at a faster rate, absorbing what interests me via online. From my perspective, the careers with longevity (creating business, owning a piece of a brand, monetizing your craft) is best built with experience. Freelancers are hired based on their portfolio of work, not their educational status. I’m an advocate for not pursuing college.
5. How did you start “Progress Daily” and what was your key takeaway starting”Progress Daily” as a business?
I had $1000 that I gained from my YouTube Adsense and thought “I could print 100 shirts at the local printing store, for $1000…LET’S DO IT!”. Before that, I would write “progress daily” on my daily to do lists, to remind myself that improvement is key, no matter how little that improvement was at the end of the day. I built a website, and fulfilled the orders myself, and used my YouTube channel as the marketing, and it worked. The brand has been through ups and downs, but luckily today, is running stronger than ever. My biggest take away is business requires attention, which I did not supply in the early stages. The marketing was strong, but the vision, story, and products were lacking. It’s easy to do what you think you “should” do, rather than what seems fun. Put as much fun into your business as you can.
6. What would you say to someone who is just starting out?
Don’t judge. If you find yourself saying “yuck, this sucks, I just don’t get it” about some one else trying to create art, you’ve lost. Business and growth are about empathy. The more you try to understand and feel for your fellow human, the more you’ll find yourself stumbling on serendipity. Build a YouTube channel and business around what you’re passionate about. Every one can work hard, but the ones that remain are the ones who are having a blast doing it. You need to start a business that you’re excited to wake up to.
7. Is there something you’d like to say to our readers?
Yes! I could be wrong about EVERYTHING you’ve read so far. I’m ok with being wrong, and learning from my mistakes. In fact, I see every learning experience as a monumental moment for growth. I’ve felt peace in life, focusing past the superficial version of success that clouds are human capability of happiness. You’re just a speck in the universe that exists for a flicker of time. If you have an hour left of life left, what are you going to focus on? I’m just realizing how pretentious some of this must sound, haha, I still stand by it.
8. Is there something you’d like to say to Nwsppr?
JOHN HILL – The fact that you post something every day blows my mind. The website is clean, and I appreciate the effort. I’d like to see video and audio added to the content you supply! This could’ve been a fun video/audio podcast, AND you can cut up a podcast into separate 10 minute talking points, so now you have 8 videos from one interview. Sorry if I’m overstepping, I’m obsessive with my creator friends as well, always looking over what they can do, giving them video and growth ideas. I feel like this is the strangest way to end an interview ever but I really appreciate your beautiful face and thank you for the love and curiosity.