Bullying is one of the most common problems growing up. It can have a variety of effects on a child’s development and often is associated with long-term adverse outcomes. Troy Rice wasn’t immune to this and has had to live a life without confidence and continuously sought validation from peers, family, and colleagues. As a result, he lived a life dictated by what others thought was the right way and never really took a path that was his own.
Things changed when he was appointed Strategy Analyst, where he worked with other leaders and focused on recognition and talent development. Helping others with their personal development opened his eyes to what kind of life he wanted to lead and would be proud of. Now, Troy Rice is a keynote speaker, entrepreneur and mindset coach. He is dedicating his life to share two key messages with our youth: “your lives are your own” and “choose a path you can smile thinking about.”
In this episode, he speaks about living your life on your terms and doing away with a fixed mindset. He talks about living with depression, being okay with it, learning to be grateful, identifying and prioritizing things that are most meaningful to you, and always choosing to lead with kindness.
Covered in This Episode
Early Life and Background
[02:22] A Victim of Bullying
[05:17] Finding His True Calling
Principles and Influences
[07:38] Perspectives of Bullying
[18:30] Don’t Let The World Box You In
[21:51] Small Habits That We Can Build In
[22:59] Building Character Towards Where You Want To Be
[32:56] Creating His Journey with Depression
[37:21] No Zero Days
[43:38] Being Okay With What Happens
[45:41] How to Contact Troy Rice
Farm Brigge: https://www.farmbrigge.com/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/troyricemi/
Chris Ippolito 01:04
Troy Rice 01:06
Chris Ippolito 01:08
Welcome to the “Get Coached Podcast,” it’s great to have you on as a guest, really appreciate your time.
Troy Rice 01:15
Yeah, thanks for having me, Chris, I love these conversations.
Chris Ippolito 01:18
I’m really excited about our conversation because this is a little bit of a deviation of what we normally talk about on the show, which is very much almost business tactics. And there is mindset incorporated, but it’s usually a bit of a business-focused type conversation. Whereas I feel our conversation is going to be almost the flip side, and I think it’s going to be more on mindset and personal work. And I know there’s value on the business side of it because obviously we planned this out a little bit, but I was wondering if you could share with the audience your story, who you are, where you came from, and how you came to be what you do right now.
Troy Rice 02:02
Yeah, Chris. Actually, the change for me happened about two years ago. Where I had actually led a good 25 years of my life seeking validation from other people, which basically looked and felt like every day waking up and doing something that somebody else wanted me to do instead of doing something that I love. And it goes even a level deeper, which is when I was in elementary school I was bullied as a kid. And what happened was I was born with two lazy eyes and I had to wear these thick, what would almost be called, Coke-bottle glasses today. And if you think about it, the Warby Parkers of the world now where you can get lenses sent to you and ship them back is a lot different than it was then.
And I went to school or I would be on the bus and kids would literally call me names and take my glasses off and step on them on the bus. And I couldn’t see. And I would have to call my parents to come get me. And school became an unsafe place for me. And what’s interesting is I never really wanted to talk about it then and I ended up internalizing it for over 20 years. And to keep something in close to your heart like that doesn’t really allow you to grow personally. And I even shared that perspective, I have a naturopath doctor, in addition to a physician, that told me that I had all this emotion next to my heart and, if I ever wanted to grow personally, that I’d have to start letting those out and start being more vulnerable.
And two years ago is when the change happened. Because, just like most us, we grow up and if you go to an institution that leads more of a fixed mindset where they shape who you are going to be. And even though what I talk about in schools is like when you were five and somebody asked you what you want to be, you said this really cool thing, right? You wanted to be a firefighter or a professional athlete. But then as you go through the school systems and you get perspectives and influence from others, you slowly shape into a little bit about what everybody else wants you to be.
And what happened was I had somebody tell me I was decent at math, and then I ended up going to school, started pursuing my passion of communication, took one class of public speaking and abandoned it, and then resulted back to getting a degree in finance because somebody told me I was good at math. And what would happen is I would spend the next 10 years after college working in a corporate capacity in a finance or accounting type role, and then slowly stepped into a strategy analyst role where I started building culture programs for a $2 billion-dollar company. And why I got so much value out of that is when I was a kid I always had this deep kind heart to help people.
And jumping into this role and putting me in a position to work with other leaders and focus on recognition and talent development and anything that you would think about as far as growing a personal atmosphere of development within a corporate setting is where I ended up falling into. And I loved it, I loved every minute of it, until the company basically told me they didn’t want to expand resources on that. And I hit a breaking point, which is I did something that somebody else told me to do my whole life, took a glimpse of what I really wanted to do, and then somebody told me it wasn’t possible. And then I finally said, “All right, what am I doing that I’ve been doing for the last 30 years and why is it not working?”
And I finally picked up a practice of gratitude and meditation and started asking myself, “Why couldn’t life be better? What do I actually care about personally?” And when I finally took time to myself was when I wrote down two things I love, one being agriculture, two being education. And now I own an agriculture company called Farm Brigge, but I think what we’re going to dive into a little bit more is I speak in schools. And the reason that I speak in schools is I want to help kids think through what they love today so they can start to build a plan towards what they care about instead of thinking about what other people tell them to do all the time.
And what I try to share within that is perspectives of bullying. And what I mean by “perspectives” is most often we think of situations of bullying and if you are somebody that maybe strays away from asking better questions, you slowly jump to reprimanding or disciplining or shunning out or shaming people that put you down. And when I talk about perspectives of bullying, I try to get students to think about asking better questions. And what I try to mold that into is both the bully and the person being bullied come from the same place, which is a place of insecurity. Whether that means that it’s somebody that feels a lack of confidence in themselves or, from a bully’s perspective, it could be they have a bad home life. And the way that they try to make themselves feel safe at school or wherever is potentially putting other people down.
And I share my story of personally being bullied, and then finding to lead with a kind heart and being able to get through and ask better questions. And the cool backstory is I had a bully in elementary school that I ended up dating in high school. And most of the time that wouldn’t have happened because you would build these mindsets of hatred and anger or distance from those people. But even as a kid I had a kind heart. And I like to credit my parents a lot for showing me that, but I think it takes a lot of patience to think through why somebody else may be leading a different life and why they might want to put you down versus just saying, “That person is mean, I’m never going to talk to them and I’m going to hate them the rest of my life.”
And I get students to think a little bit differently about that in hopes that they start asking better questions of themselves and of others. And then share my story about what it looks like to lead a life of validation, basically going under the radar trying to skate any type of situation that would bring me pain and walking into a career that I didn’t really care for, and then finally hit a breaking point.
And I walk into the classroom trying to get them to think of perspectives, but with one outcome to leave the classroom with them truly caring about themselves, growing themselves, and doing something that they love. That way they can wake up every day passionate, motivated, and end up with fulfillment. Because nowadays we see the statistics out there of people in companies that are just not happy. And I don’t want that to happen to them. And that’s where my passion drives me and I’m hoping that the vulnerability in all that really rubs off and helps out the students.
Chris Ippolito 09:20
Yeah, thank you for sharing. Because a big part of the reason why I wanted to have you on as a guest, as much as I think some people might look at this and go, “Well, I’m not seeing the connection to entrepreneurship,” to me I see so many correlations and connections to it, especially in that message of pursuing what your heart desires in a sense. I don’t necessarily agree with pursue your passion because passion can be developed. But don’t listen to what the world is necessarily telling you to do, but pursue those things of interest and curiosity, follow that a little bit and see where it takes you. Maybe you do want to be a doctor because that’s where curiosity is leading you, but don’t do it just because your family and/or whoever it is is saying, “Oh, you would be a great doctor.”
Because I went through a fairly similar journey myself personally, I got bullied in grade five especially. Grade five, grade six not as much. And that was because I came to a new city from a smaller town and I struggled in school. And I was then labeled the stupid kid, the dumb kid, right? And that was where the bullying stemmed from. And I exceled at math. For whatever reason, I did well in math. And that stuck with me because I went through a similar career, I ended up in the world of finance and banking. And I ended up ultimately gravitating for a couple reasons, but I think because growing up people were like, “Oh, you’re so good at math, you’re so good with numbers, you should pursue something like that.”
But why this really hit home for me, and especially with the story you shared, and I can attest to the two sides of it, is in grade seven another new kid showed up, and then I in turn became the bully. And obviously nothing I’m proud about. In fact, looking back to it, I feel horrendous about it and I’ve never had the opportunity to apologize to this person for what I put him through. But, like you said, it stems from insecurity. And me, it was a method of being able to deflect that negative emotion onto somebody else. And it did minimize the amount of teasing and bullying that I was subjected to, but it still was there until really high school. Because then all of a sudden it was a bigger world and I was able to get into athletics and it stopped. But it sticks with you.
And that was why I wanted to talk about it, I think that’s where I also saw the connection with the audience, that maybe you grew up and you were bullied and you’re struggling in whatever it is you’re doing, and it’s that experience of the youth and just things you’ve stuck with. I mean obviously part of your mission is to get to the kids before they exit into the real world and they’re stuck with that history, but I’m sure through some of your talks you’ve connected with adults who are still holding onto that. When you have conversations with them, what is the perspective you share with them to help them maybe work through that experience?
Troy Rice 13:12
Yeah. Patience. And I think it sounds simple, but it really truly takes patience if we want to understand situations. And within patience we find the opportunities of self-reflection. And I was on a podcast where I had somebody ask me, “What could parents do in regards to bullying? Not only with their kids, but what could they help out with themselves, like in the workplace, even the simple aspects in the workplace that they encounter?” And to get to a place where you truly understand why somebody might say or do something takes patience. And without patience, I mean, I don’t really know anybody that, with frustration and anger, has an opportunity to actually coach or personally grow themselves in that moment.
And even just to ground yourself in a moment of, “What would it look like to practice gratitude for just a few minutes after something like that happened?” Or maybe practice that with your son or daughter if they’re involved in that. Because I think Tony Robbins said this at one time, but you can’t be angry and curious at the same time.
And a lot of the way that we lead our lives every day is we wake up and we do a bunch of things, right? And what happens is you do all these tasks and you feel like you’re getting somewhere, but then you go to bed and you get up and you do it again. And if we don’t take that time to just build in a little bit of patience, that’s when we slowly jump to anger or shame or blame because it’s a lot easier in that moment than to spend time on yourself.
And what I try to get them to realize is it seems like a simple word, but just in a moment just take a breath and practice patience and you’ll be surprised about how you can really just self-reflect on yourself and use that moment to effectively help and grow somebody else.
Chris Ippolito 15:14
Right. Yeah, I think that’s really good advice. And being a parent to a five-month-old, obviously it’s going to be a while before I have to potentially deal with my son getting bullied at school. But I have nephews that are at that age where I’m sure it just runs rampant. They’re 12 and 14 right now, turning 13 and 15 very, very soon. And, yeah, I think of either one of them getting bullied and it breaks my heart because I’ve gone through that and it’s just such a horrible experience, especially if you don’t know how to deal with it. And that’s a big part of the reason why I wanted to have you on here. I mean I’m even getting emotional just thinking about it.
But when you’re talking to the kids, it’s a big setting, you’re not going to individually ask, “Hey, are you being bullied?” I don’t know if you do that, because that’s singling out people and that’s one of the worst things I think you could do, potentially. But what does that message sound like? Because it sounds like you talk to a pretty wide range age group. High school, for sure, because you’d mentioned you’re going tomorrow morning, or tomorrow, to talk to a high school. But junior high, elementary? Or I can’t remember the names for you guys. What age is usually the youngest that you tend to speak in front of?
Troy Rice 16:56
As early as fourth grade, if they’ll have me. And the presentations change and the flavor of the presentation changes, but the mindset behind it doesn’t. And basically I try to figure out the best way to explain what it looks like to understand somebody else, and I depict that with stories. And when you’re a kid, especially at a fourth-grade level, as much as you can get to an actual storyline the better you’re going to be because they understand it.
One of the common ones that I do to just get their mind thinking a little bit more about this is I do an interactive presentation on boxes. Because we all wake up every day and our whole life is surrounded by a box, right? We reach in the fridge, it’s a box. Our car is a box, our shower is a box, the food that we eat sometimes comes in a box. And what I try to get these kids to think through is don’t let the world box you in. And within that mindset, wake up every day and just be curious. And the best way to break down boxes is to ask better questions. And if you want to start leading a life of blame and shame and hiding mistakes and everything, then that’s what it looks like when you put yourself into a box. Because when you don’t ask questions, you don’t know.
And we ultimately get to a point where they’re like, “Yeah, I need to really think about how I go through my day,” maybe even laugh a little bit about all the boxes that they’re in. But maybe it gets them to a point where they ask a better question instead of shunning somebody else or a classmate or a friend for one moment of action that they did. Because we know that moments don’t really define us, it’s a lifetime of development that defines us.
And yeah, as early as fourth grade, primarily middle school and high school students, only from the fact that that’s when they’re really starting to think about their careers and where they want to go. Also, it’s where they’re coming with the most development around behaviors, like interactions with each other, friends, and anything that would be very difficult for them. And one thing that’s interesting that I share with middle schools, I do some social media psychology presentations, too. And I talk about social interactions and role modeling. And then I say, “It is so hard to actually have a good conversation with somebody.” Nowadays if we have any type of awkward moment, we reach for a device or our phone or whatever and we engage in it because we don’t want that awkward moment of talking to somebody that maybe we haven’t talked to in a while, we don’t know what we want to say.
And all of those are natural ways of communicating as human beings, because we’re all different, we all come from different walks of life and beliefs. And most of these presentations I encourage them, I say, “Put yourself in an awkward moment as often as you can and think twice about always grabbing your phone or choosing not to engage with somebody, because those are the moments that help build character in you and helps you understand people’s worldviews.
Chris Ippolito 20:03
Right. Man, I love what you’re doing so much. To me this is something that I feel should be a part of the education system. Because to me there’s so much more value in that. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m going to refer to high school. I took a cooking class in high school and that was great because when I moved out, or even when I was still at home, I could cook for myself. But I feel like that’s a skill that parents can easily teach their children, that’s not a tough one. But I think there’s a lot of parents who would feel very ill-equipped to teach them the things that you’re trying to teach. Right? I’m sure there’s parents out there who could be good at it, but, depending the dynamics of the relationship of parent to child, that could be a very tough conversation to have.
And I know that’s what being a parent is all about, is having tough conversations. But sometimes there’s so much value for it to come from somebody else, a teacher, a speaker, just somebody who the child can look at in just this different light. They may just receive the message a little bit better and it might just stick a little easier. And to me that’s just a skill set that is so important in life in general. Right? The fact of you’re trying to teach them to ask better questions, that never becomes obsolete in life. The better you get at it, the better life will become for you, too.
Troy Rice 21:51
Yeah. And what I try to talk about that I think helps out mostly from a young age, too, is thinking about their habits. Because habits we all have. And if we can figure out how to maximize our habits, not just the ones that we can automatically create and just do without thinking, but small habits that we can build in, like asking a question. Like going to a family event and actually caring to ask your cousin that you never talk to about what’s going on in their life, when it would be easy to say nothing. Right? It would be easier to go off and do something or grab your phone or play around on social media or whatever. But if you can build in a practice and a habit of doing that, like, “I’m going to go to a family get-together. I might not have the greatest time, based on past experiences, but I know that I’m going to at least ask my cousin how he’s doing, or how she’s doing. And I’m at least going to learn something.” And who knows? Maybe the conversation doesn’t go anywhere, but I feel like those are the moments where you start to learn and grow yourself a little bit better than to just not do anything at all.
Chris Ippolito 22:56
Right. Yeah, and to me, as I had mentioned earlier, I just see so many connections to the world of entrepreneurship, right? If you want to be a successful entrepreneur, you’re going to go through a lot of uncomfortable moments, in business, with people. And I like what you said earlier about almost intentionally put yourself into a lot of uncomfortable positions. Because the more you do that, your comfort level just increases, right? The more you expose yourself to something, you build up your tolerance. And again, what a great lesson to teach kids at that age because that’s going to be life, life is going to be quite uncomfortable in many, many different ways. You’ve got a long life ahead of you and you’re going to go through a lot of these. But if you can develop that habit, actually is a great way of saying it, then you’re just positioning yourself for more success in life.
And that’s why I see so much correlation with what you’re doing in entrepreneurship. I’ve always felt that entrepreneurship was more of a mindset than anything else, whereas being a business owner doesn’t necessarily mean you’re an entrepreneur. But as an entrepreneur, you’re likely to own a business, but you can be an entrepreneur and work in a company and you just have a certain kind of mindset.
Troy Rice 24:35
Yeah. And I think an example that just hits home for a lot of people, and I would even say this for myself, but let’s say you go through your whole life and you go to college and you do whatever you think is necessary, it could be because somebody else told you to do it. And then you walk out of that auditorium or whatever with a certificate. And if the first question you ask yourself is, “Now what?,” then you literally spent your entire life never thinking about you, never thinking about what you care about, what you want to do. And that’s the place where you need to be early on. And it’s not that when I’m in middle school or even elementary school or fourth grade I need to understand I’m going to be a business owner or an entrepreneur. No, you need to understand who you are though, like what do you enjoy doing, how can you build that character towards where you want to be.
And then go to college with an intent to learn something that builds within that development plan that you created for yourself, nobody else. And then when you walk out, you’re not asking about, “What do I do next?,” you’re saying, “All right, I’ve already built this tremendous skill set, where are opportunities for me to start growing that?” Whether that means I create something myself, whether that means I go and I work for somebody else that created it and I continue to build on that, they all look and feel a lot different, but the one thing that doesn’t change is you.
And that’s where I try to get the kids to be. And a cool example would be there was a middle school student and we were going through an exercise called “Two Cares, Two Whys, and Fears.” And I was just basically getting them to tell me two things that they care about. And she’s like, “Well, I don’t know what I care about, swimming.” And I said, “Great. All right, tell me two things why you care about swimming.” And she said, “Because it makes me feel good when I’m in the pool and I can be myself.” And I said, “You nailed it.”
It’s as simple as that. Figure out why swimming makes you feel that way and why you care about it so much and start building towards that. Whether that means you’re a collegiate swimmer or a professional swimmer someday doesn’t matter. What you’ve told me is something about being in the pool, whether it’s the team atmosphere, the competition, the challenge, whatever it is, something about that makes you feel safe and makes you care about it, and build on that.
And then it starts to click for them, right? And sometimes it’s about you get asked a question because you live within a fixed world or a fixed mindset, you’re looking for the answer, right? You’re looking for somebody to tell you the answer. And then when you say something out loud like that about yourself is when you have an aha moment and you’re like, “Yeah, I really do love that.” And that’s where it should come from all the time.
Chris Ippolito 27:34
Right. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. For yourself, what were some sources of influence to help you along the journey? Was it books, was it people? How did you get through that on your own, or was it with other people?
Troy Rice 27:54
Yeah. Well, books, for sure. I started picking up a habit of reading books, mostly Audible, but I think I’m somewhere around 30 books a year. And I do it using the concept that I believe Tony Robbins coins as N.E.T. time, but when I work out at the gym I listen to a book. And it allows me to grow in different things. Seth Godin was somebody I really latched onto early and learned as much as I could from. But the change really happened for me when I listened to my brother-in-law, actually.
And the story there is I have two brothers-in-law and they both work for a company that the one created, it’s an ad-managing company that helps professional bloggers monetize their ads. And he was a math teacher and my sister-in-law had a professional blog, she was making small amounts of money, nothing to really build a life out of. And he just one day was like, “I’m going to think about how to create something to help you make more money on your blog because you’re a great writer, people care, but you’re not making any money out of it, but you could be.” And he built this model and all of a sudden it just turned into this amazing company and all of these professional bloggers. It still exists today, it’s called AdDrive.
And it was one moment where I was in Florida on vacation and I was just sharing my frustrations of working in the corporate world, doing some different things, leaning towards doing some things I cared about, like helping people and growing people, but then having the leadership or people in charge tell me that that wasn’t important to them. And then ultimately all the words that were coming out of my mouth were blame, right? I was blaming them, blaming this, “Why won’t they give me this? Why won’t they validate my work?” And he finally said, “You are enough, just go do you because you’re great.”
And they were simple words, but I think I admired him so much that I came back and it wasn’t like, “All right, he’s a successful entrepreneur, I’m going to just jump right in and be an entrepreneur.” But it was, “How can I create my own life? How can I create something that I want to do?” And I got passionate about meeting in the community on agriculture, and then building this farmers’ market model, and then I got passionate about sharing what I had learned with students and I started doing volunteer speaking in the community and just doing as much as I could.
And I was going down this path of creating my own life. And it turned into a journey of entrepreneurship, but I don’t think it always has to be. I just think it has to start with where do you really want to be, and stop leading with the mindset of somebody else should be giving you something, or you’re waiting on somebody else to help you grow where you want to be. It should be, “Where do you see yourself going? How do you want to grow?” And then use the people around you to help you elevate towards that.
Chris Ippolito 31:03
Right. Yeah, thanks for sharing, I like that story a lot. I wanted to ask a question because I feel like a different person could have gone through the exact same events that you did, had their brother-in-law say the exact same thing as them, but then they do nothing about it. Why do you think you were open to hearing that message, why did you receive the message you did? And if you know, why do you figure that was the case? Because, like I said, there’s a lot of people that would have just in one ear, out the other, and life goes on and they continue complaining.
Troy Rice 31:48
Depression. And it’s weird because I live in a tremendous house, a great house, I have great cars, I have a beautiful family, an incredible wife, three boys, and I would come home just depressed, man. And I think a piece of it just really sunk deep for me because I was tired of living the life that I was living. And I think what makes it so difficult for me is I’m a huge into-kids father, like I coach all their sports, I do all the drop-offs for school. And not only was I mad and depressed at myself, but I didn’t want to keep down a path of showing what that looks like to my kids. I wanted a better life for setting a role model for my kids.
And I pretty much hit rock bottom and I’m thankful that I have a great wife that pulled me out and pushed me forward because I’ve always been somebody that has had grit and determination, but I was doing the wrong things. And there’s a lot to be said about just doing something to do something, and then just working hard at it and just keep hitting a wall. I was doing the wrong things and she helped pick me up, dust me off, and tell me to start spending more time creating my own journey.
And it started small. I mean I was still in the corporate world and I was learning and everything. And I slowly launched into it knowing that I wasn’t going to just exit and grow something to be this great business overnight. And I had to be patient and do that and grow gradually to it. But now I wake up every day and I can’t wait to get going, Chris. I get up at 4:00 a.m. and I lift weights and listen to books, and then I go to hot yoga, and then I do meditation, and then I can’t wait to meet people in the community, I can’t wait to help farmers grow better farms, I can’t wait to help inspire kids to get down a path that they love. I wake up with this extreme passion underneath me. And even though I had mild success in the corporate world, I never had that feeling. I would get up and just, “What am I going to do today? And how can I just do the best work I can, and then try to be happy at home?,” and just not a life worth living.
And now I wouldn’t give anything back and I’m so glad that I finally go to that point.
Chris Ippolito 34:41
Yeah. Thank you for sharing, that’s a topic that can be very difficult to open up about. And I have my own story, but I don’t want to share it right now because I don’t think it’s the right time. I want to lead into a different question though about that transition of while you were at the corporate job, and then starting that journey of building the lifestyle that you wanted. Right? The agriculture business and the speaking. Because I’m about to have to go back to that, unfortunately, just due to circumstances. Starting right away I’m going to have the full-time day job commitment while I still want to continue doing this because for me this is my thing. There’s a mission that I have and a purpose behind it. And my question is just not even how, it’s more like what kind of advice do you have for somebody like myself, and really anybody who’s listening, who’s trying to balance that full-time commitment while being a parent, while building that thing that they’re passionate about and that thing that’s bringing them joy? What’s the advice you would share?
Troy Rice 36:14
You’ve got to look at it as small wins. And there’s a short-term phrase called “no zero days,” which is you just wake up and you do one step forward towards where you want to be. And I learned this the hard way. I wanted to launch in and do something that I loved, right? I mean there’s nothing greater than waking up and, “Oh, sweet, I’ve got this idea, I’m going to hit the ground running, build this agriculture company, and I’m going to start speaking, and then everything is going to be great.” And what happens is you have all these ideas flowing, you have all this excitement, and then it builds this huge massive list. And all that does is it creates overwhelmingness, right?
Chris Ippolito 36:55
Troy Rice 36:56
And I had to learn the hard way. I got to that point and I moved nowhere. And then finally I learned to just say, “All right, I’m not going to do these 20 things, I’m going to do these 5 things, and I’m going to do these 5 things very well.” And I know that doing these five things may not lead to potential profits or revenue or anything like that right away and I’m going to have to be okay with that. Because most people put in 10,000 hours to get to be great at something and I think, and I wrote an article about this on LinkedIn, it’s very easy for us to prioritize toward short-term outcomes. And to a young kid it looks like immediate gratification, right? Zero delayed gratification. And to an adult though it’s, all right, I have these talents, I have these skill sets, I have this plan, I’m building these goals, I feel like I’m growing towards it, but nothing is happening. And at that point what do you do? Do you abandon, do you pivot? Do you go back to where you were, and then think about how to grow something different?
And for me that moment happened when I first started to realize that I should just pick a couple of things and do those things very well. And for me it was, “I might not make any money, but I’m going to go out there and I’m going to meet with as many farmers as I can, listen to their stories, and have them tell me what they need.” And that took like a year and a half, two years to do that. And then for speaking, I’d volunteer a lot for Junior Achievement, but most of the time I would just take connections and I would offer to speak, and I did that for two years with no money.
And most people would look at that and say, “Man, I’m just not getting anywhere, I’m not building anywhere, I’m not where I want to be,” and potentially even get to a point where you feel like giving up, right? Because you’re not seeing what you think the outcome should be. But I just kept pushing and I kept focusing on the small things and things fell in place. Because I was able to put myself in a position to mentally be productive every day instead of waking up and thinking I’ve got 20 things to do, and then I sit back and I’m like, “It’s been an hour and I haven’t done anything.” And it’s because I have 20 things on my mind. And those are nonproductive days.
And then you get to the end of that day, and my wife would tell me this, too, is that you get to the end of that day, and then you’re stressed. And it’s only stressed because you created it, right? Because you have all this stuff that you want to do, and then you didn’t get it done because you couldn’t focus on anything, and then you go down your day and you’re like, “There’s not enough time in my day, I’m so stressed, I got nothing done today.” And then she’s like, “Well, what did you prioritize your time to?” “Nothing.” “Okay. How about you wake up tomorrow and start fresh and pick five things, prioritize it, and get those five things done? And then if you have time to do a sixth thing, great. But then when you get those five things done, you can leave that mindset for the day, go spend time with your family, and not build in these levels of stress.”
Chris Ippolito 40:16
Yeah, thank you for that, that is pretty much exactly where I’m at right now. I’ve been using Trello to manage the various things I’ve got going on. And I keep adding more ideas and things like, “Oh, I should do this,” or, “I need to do this.” And not as many are getting knocked off. And, yeah, I sometimes just look at that and I go, “I don’t know what to focus on right now.” Yeah, thank you for that, that was pretty much exactly what I needed to hear, I think.
Troy Rice 40:52
Chris Ippolito 40:55
Everything we’ve talked about has been fantastic, I think we’ve had a great conversation, we’ve covered quite a few different things actually. And just in wrapping up, I wanted to ask you a question around what’s that one thing you would suggest the audience really takes away from this conversation we just had so that they can implement it in life and really level up in that area that they feel they need it most?
Troy Rice 41:28
At the basic level, learn to ground yourself. And a lot of people do practices with it, but gratitude is a huge, huge, huge part of my day. And if I don’t do gratitude, then sometimes my world shifts a little bit. And it’s a simple thing that just puts you in a place of where you are, and then you can truly appreciate what you have so then you can go out there and deliver the awesomeness that you are to others. Because if you’re ever in a place where you don’t believe in yourself as being awesome… And what I share, I’ve got this poster behind me that says, “You’re freaking awesome.” And it’s just an easy thing that makes people smile, but it’s so true though. You should wake up every day and tell yourself how awesome you are, and then be grateful for the things that you have. Because that will kick-start your day towards doing the best thing that you can, which is delivering the best version of yourself to others. And that is a huge part of what’s helped me.
And then I would leave it with the second thing is be okay with what happens. And I learned this one in the Seth Godin altMBA program, which is every day we try to think through things that we want to deliver and have it be excellent, whether it’s an outcome of money, whether it’s an outcome of growth in ourselves, something we teach our kids, whatever it is. And we all have these perceived expectations in our head. And when we don’t hit that expectation, in those moments we’re not okay with ourselves. But there’s no reason why not to be okay with yourself. Because if you put in the effort, then the outcome is actually probably where it should be, it was just never the outcome that you considered.
And to get to that place, sometimes we have to evaluate all the different outcomes with every decision that we make. And I know when you break down all the hundreds of decisions you make in a day, that would seem cumbersome to break down every single one. But pick the ones that you feel like are most impactful and truly spend time on the outcomes, and then remind yourself that you’re going to be okay with whatever happens. Because you can wake up the next day and do something completely different, you can do it better, or you can grow yourself. Like just focus on yourself for a day and all of those are okay.
Chris Ippolito 44:03
Yeah, that’s really good advice. Yeah, this has been a good one, I’m thinking a lot about just my own experience in my life and my own journey. But yeah, I’m going to be ruminating on this one for a while, I think.
If people wanted to reach out and connect with you or learn more about you, what’s the best place for them to do that?
Troy Rice 44:34
Yeah, I’d say personally troy-rice.com, it’s got all the information on there. Reach out to me any time. And like I said, I write, too, there’s a lot of information on there about the stuff that we talked about here on this podcast.
Chris Ippolito 44:49
Awesome. Well, it’s been an absolute pleasure, Troy. It was a great conversation, I’m excited to see what the audience thinks of it. It’s a bit of a different direction, as I mentioned at the beginning, but a lot of important conversations that need to be had with just everybody. There’s nothing wrong with opening up and being vulnerable about the challenges that we’ve gone through as kids and still currently go through. I really appreciate the conversation.
Troy Rice 45:24
Yeah, you’re welcome, Chris. I loved this, man, thanks for having me.
Chris Ippolito 45:27
Troy Rice 45:28
A good time.
Chris Ippolito 45:29
Awesome. Thanks, take care.
Troy Rice 45:31