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Mickey Trivett (WebcoUSA)

Our guest today is Mickey Trivett, the owner of WebCoUSA, a website and graphic design agency that started out in Tennessee’s oldest town, Jonesborough, TN.

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Aaron: [00:08] Hi, my name is Aaron.

Micah: [00:09] And this is Micah, and you are listening to the WP SquareOne podcast. With us today is Mickey Trivett, the founder of WebCoUSA, happiness engineer for KnownHost, fedora master, street performer and all-around awesome guy. Happy to have you with us, Mickey.

Mickey: [00:29] I’m happy to be here with you guys.

Micah: [00:32] So, are there any things that I failed to mention in your introduction there?

Mickey: [00:38] No, not really. I mean, you know, maybe future president of the US, you know.

Aaron: [00:42] Sweet. Yeah. (unclear 00:43) Sorry, let’s not get political.

Mickey: [00:48] No promises.

Aaron: [00:50] Sounds good. Tell us about your street performing because that’s something that I don’t have on my resume and probably never will be.

People offered me money and I was like, “I don’t want you all’s money. I just want you to smile.” @MickeyTrivett

Mickey: [00:57] I was just bored one day at home and I was like, I told my wife, I said, “I think I’m going to go out and dress like a freakin’ statue.” And she said, “What are you going to do?” I said, “Are you going to be okay if I order some stuff off Amazon?” And she said, “Well, why would I care?” So anyways, you know, $200-$300 later, I ordered a white suit and then I basically ruined it, I cut it up to pieces and I paint it copper, then I go all over the city I live in looking for makeup to match the suit and, you talk about weird. Going and looking for makeup when you’re a thirty-six-year-old guy in a department store, that’s kind of awkward. But anyways, I did find the makeup, put it on and I basically did it just to do it and to see what it felt like and I went down to an event we had here in my local town, which is Jonesborough and I stood in the street and dressed like a copper statute, didn’t move or anything. People offered me money and I was like, “I don’t want you all’s money. I just want you to smile.” And I just did it just because I wanted to do it. And it was fun and it was interesting and I’ll do it again. I still have the suit. It’s totally destroyed now. I thought about sending it back, but I don’t think they’d take it so…

Aaron: [02:11] I think you need to dress up and go to WordCamp US.

Mickey: [02:15] Yeah, that would be fun.

Aaron: [02:17] Yeah. You’d get some attention.

Mickey: [02:19] I’m a hat guy. So I have a top hat that goes with the suit that’s probably about twelve and a half inches tall and it was pretty awesome. It was extremely hot too in that suit. Let me tell you, those street performers, it amazes me how long they can stand out there in the hot sun. I was soaked with sweat and stuff. It was no fun. It was all the fun, but it was no fun sweating like that, if you know what I’m saying. It was very interesting.

Aaron: [02:46] Understood. Well, you said Jonesborough, so where do you live? Where are you from?

Mickey: [02:51] I live in Jonesborough, Tennessee, which is the oldest town in Tennessee. It’s located right outside of Johnson City. We’re about an hour and a half from Knoxville. We’re basically on the tip corner of Tennessee. People refer to it as (unclear 03:04) cities. A lot of people know it by Bristol Motor Speedway, if you’re in the racing and NASCAR. We’re pretty close to Bristol, so we connect basically with Virginia and North Carolina if you want to get technical about it.

Aaron: [03:20] Fair enough. What do you do for a living? Tell us about your business and I guess how you got there.

Mickey: [03:27] So I own and operate WebCoUSA, which basically we are a web design firm. We’ve been in business since 2004. And honestly, it’s kind of a funny story how I even got into this business, and that was I sold my very first website without even knowing how to do a website. I was at a flea market out of all places and I was selling basically surplus computer equipment that I bought off of the college and a guy walks up and says, “Hey, would you be interested in doing a website?” They said, “You look like you know what you’re doing.” And I was like, “Okay, yeah.” I said, “Sure, I know exactly what you need and I can take care of that.” And I had no clue what I was doing, but I told him I did. And anyways, he’s like, “Cool, I would like to get a website.” So I sold him a website there. I think it was around $500. Anyways, I did the website for him. He loved it. But before I could do the website, I actually had to figure out how to do a website. So I actually did that with static HTML and I think I used FrontPage 2000. I think that’s what I used. But anyways, I did that website for him and then it just grew from one to another and another. And then eventually, about six years later, I got the call of a lifetime after I actually knew what I was doing. I was working with Joomla, if you’re familiar with Joomla. I was working with I think it was Joomla 1.5 and I literally absolutely hated Joomla at the time because every time I turn around, something was breaking or something was changing or something. But anyways, Joomla 1.5, I was working with it, and then I had a client call me out of Utah and said, “Hey, would you be interested in doing a website for us?” And I said yes and we did a website for him. He loved it. He loved it so much he calls back, he said, “How would you like to do all of our websites for an entire corporation?” And I was like, “Well, how many are you talking?” And he was like, “Thirty, forty?”

Aaron: [05:22] Oh wow.

Mickey: [05:23] So that was a dream client. And then to date from that time, we’ve now grown our business from that one website at a flea market to over two hundred websites in forty one different states. And what’s funny is I never intended to be a web designer or a marketer or anything like that. I wanted to be a lawyer or a cop. I had no interest in being a web designer but that’s kind of where I ended up.

Micah: [05:48] Interesting. I also find interesting you were trying to decide between lawyer and a cop. That’s, that’s a unique selection.

Mickey: [05:54] Yeah, my favorite shows growing up was Law and Order and Police Academy. I don’t know if you all are (unclear 06:03).

Micah: [06:03] Alright, got you.

Mickey: [06:05] I was just like, man, I love Police Academy and then you top that off with Law and Order and my god. I don’t know if it was just a power thing or what, but that’s what I really wanted to do. And plus I love to debate. My wife always tells me I always think I’m right, which most of the I think I am right. But that’s just me, you know. But it was a very interesting thing with the way I ended up coming into this industry and so on. And I’ve done other things, I’ve owned other businesses. I’ve owned a mobile app business and I had a partner with it and I ended up getting too busy with WebCo, so I sold that business out to him, and I’ve done a few other things as well. I even owned an ice cream truck and I decided that the ice cream truck– it’s a lot more fun to eat the ice cream, then sell the ice cream. I sold the ice cream truck and… but I like to do a little bit of everything and I just like to keep it fun and interesting.

Aaron: [07:03] Sounds kinda like Micah. Micah started off, if you don’t mind me telling, Micah.

Micah: [07:10] Oh, go ahead.

Aaron: [07:10] He used to cut grass, and then sold his business and started doing WordPress stuff. So it was kind of interesting, just total switch in what he was doing. Micah, you want to tell a little more?

Micah: [07:24] Well, I mean yeah, I had a lawn care company, ran it for… oh, I don’t know it was close to twelve, fifteen years, something like that. At the same time I had a martial arts studio and I come to find out, I really liked running the business but I didn’t like the work of, for at least the lawn care. So I actually thought I was going to become a professional organizer and work with companies, help them get their business processes in order. But I found out that this whole web development thing was another way that you could help people do the same kind of thing. So I ended up doing that and that’s actually Aaron’s business partner who introduced me to WordPress. So that’s how I got into it. But yeah.

Aaron: [08:07] Yeah. He forced me into WordPress.

Micah: [08:07] Yeah. Entrepreneurs at heart. Yeah. Do a little bit of this, a little bit of that, see what works and go with the things that work.

Aaron: [08:17] Yeah. What year did you start doing that, Mickey?

Mickey: [08:19] When did I start my WebCo?

Aaron: [08:23] Yeah, the WebCo.

Mickey: [08:24] Yeah, I started that… I can actually tell you the exact day. I started December the 26th of 2004. Everybody’s like, “Why did you do it after Christmas, the day after Christmas?” And I was like, “Well, why not, you know?” And I was part-time all the way up until I think… I’m trying to remember the date when I went from not part-time and I think it was 2009, ’10 or somewhere. I finally went full-fledged in and I just said, “Hey, I’m not going to work for anybody else.” I mean, my mentality was, if I wasn’t happy I wasn’t going to work for anybody. So I mean, when I was twenty-one years old, I had twenty-two jobs by the time I was twenty-one years old, and I just literally did not like working for people if I wasn’t happy and I would just quit. But I finally found something I liked doing and I became a manager at a local grocery store and I did that while I worked on WebCo from the beginning. And then I got into the security industry with that same outfit. And I worked for that company for about four years while I was still doing WebCo part-time. And finally, I was out in the middle of a hay field and basically, I just called up my boss, said that I was the security guy and I said, “Hey, I’ve loved working with you. It’s been great, but I think I’m going to dedicate my time to my business full-time now.” And I literally just quit cold turkey and took the big jump, took the risk and I don’t have a regret since. I mean, I absolutely love what I do now. So it’s been great. It’s been good. I mean, there’s always hills and valleys of course with any kind of industry like, service-based, but that’s part of it. That’s kind of the fun part.

“I had twenty-two jobs by the time I was twenty-one years old, and I just literally did not like working for people if I wasn’t happy.” @MickeyTrivett

Micah: [10:01] So there’s a lot of people who are probably in the same boat where they’re trying to go from a secure job to working for themselves. So what was the timing or the thing that really kind of pushed you to say, “Hey, I’m going to quit doing the other things and do WebCo full time?”

Mickey: [10:20] Yeah. So I think the thing that pushed me the most was I was just not happy. I mean, I was traveling all over the place, I was driving. I’d already drove two or three cars in the ground from when I was driving all over the place, putting tons of miles on the cars. It just was not a fun, fun thing and I was just… And I was like, there’s got to be a better way. And I was already making money with WebCo and I was like, “What if I just focused all of this energy and this time on WebCo and not on making somebody else’s dreams come true? Let’s just focus on my dreams.” And that’s what I did and I went and I chased it. I mean, you know, it wasn’t easy at first when you go straight into full-time and I’m sure y’all can (inaudible 11:02) to that. But I mean it was a challenge at first, but you got to have that good support group, and I had that good support group that was behind me that said, “Hey, you can do this. We got your back, yada yada yada.” My wife was my biggest supporter and without her I would’ve never been able to do it because I didn’t want to put her family in a bind at all. And she basically said, “Just go do what you want to do. If that’s what’s going to make you happy, then do that.” And I mean, that’s basically what I did was I went after WebCo full time and dedicated a hundred percent of my time to it and went out and built relationships and got new friends, got new clients and just grew the business and eventually, you know, that’s where I’m at today is I love what I do. And I still do, like you all said, I do divert to other things now. I mean I have a little bit more time now than I do this and I do get sidetracked on other business ideas that I have all the time. I don’t know if y’all can relate to that or not, but that’s something I do. I really consider myself a full fledge entrepreneur and I’m always looking for the next best thing.

Aaron: [12:08] Yeah, I have an article that I wrote on, I don’t even know if it’s still on Sideways 8’s site anymore, but it was basically, I’m an accidental entrepreneur because I didn’t realize that I wanted to work for myself and that I wasn’t going to be happy working for other people. I think it’s possible, but I mean I like, I wanted some freedom to be able to work on what I wanted to work on. And then in the hardest part for me, and this is why I have a business partner now, is because I’m not good at sales. It’s not my strong suit, I don’t enjoy it, et cetera, et cetera. When you went out on your own, how did you drum up business?

Mickey: [12:49] So, I mean, I use my network at the time and then I just literally I joined the local chambers. I went out, there was… it wasn’t a BNI group but it was similar to a BNI group, if you all are familiar with that.

Aaron: [13:01] Yeah.

Mickey: [13:01] And a networking group. And I joined a few of those to see what I can do, but basically I just went out and built relationships left and right. And I learned that if I did what I said I was going to do and I actually showed up when I said I was going to show up, I’d actually get business. I mean it was really hard to understand that at first. But a lot of people don’t show up when they’re supposed to show up or they don’t do what they say they’re going to do and I’ve never really been one to over promise and not being able to deliver. And I think that that’s what’s helped me out tremendously with that. But a lot of my clients, the biggest portion of my clients are all come from word of mouth. I’ve never really actually done any major advertising by any means for my company. But I just go out and I build relationships and, I think 2016 was the first WordCamp I ever went to, and that was in Atlanta. And I think that’s where I actually met you for the first time, Micah. I absolutely loved it and then I’ve just been a WordCamp addict ever since. As far as sales, the thing that helped me the most with sales, I would have to say, would be when I had the mobile app company, the partner that I had, he was very outgoing. He could sell an Eskimo (unclear 14:15). And he literally taught me a lot about sales and now I don’t have a problem with sales. I can sell anybody anything pretty much and… or at least that’s the way I feel anyways. It doesn’t bother me at all now. But it used to, when I first started out. Sales was not my strong suit, it kinda grows on you after you figure out what to do.

Micah: [14:36] You mentioned that your first WordCamp, what was the… and I know you said you started out doing HTML and then you got into some Joomla and some of that stuff. So what was your first introduction to WordPress and how did you decide that that was a good route?

Mickey: [14:52] Yeah, so the first time I ever got introduced to WordPress, I believe it was either 2.9 or 3.0 somewhere in 2009, 2010 era. And that was, I had a client call me out of Colorado that he basically was wanting a blog for his website. Well, Joomla did blogging, but to be honest, I didn’t like it. And I went and, I think I googled what’s the best blog out there and WordPress popped up, so I was like, okay, I’ll design a blog in WordPress. So he had his Joomla website with a link over to a blog that was on WordPress that was on a subdomain, and that was the first time I actually ever messed with WordPress and I started liking it. And then eventually, I went all full fledged WordPress and got away from Joomla totally. That would probably be the first time I ever messed with WordPress from the beginning, it was about the 2009 era.

Aaron: [15:49] Yes. I think I started with 2.8 or 2.9 so that’d be ’08, ’09 era. But a question for you, you still have Joomla sites that you manage?

Mickey: [16:02] Oh my gosh. Let me tell you, you’re going to laugh right now.

Mickey: [16:06] I have one client that has a 1.0 website right now.

Aaron: [16:10] Nice. Because we can upgrade, I’m sure. Yeah.

Mickey: [16:13] Literally, I do not even know how that thing worked anymore. I’ve literally got him on a separate server that’s all his own hosting platform and everything and that was like, I’m not offering any kind of… he just does not want to do anything. But other than that, that’s the only– I have one client that’s still got a Joomla 1.0 website. And I don’t even touch (unclear 16:31), but that’s not awesome, that’s sad.

Aaron: [16:37] I don’t know. I don’t know. I upgraded a Joomla site and I know this is a WP podcast here, but I want to talk about Joomla. I upgraded a 1.5 to a 2.7, and it took forever. WordPress is just, you know, you click a button…

Mickey: [16:55] Oh yeah.

Aaron:[16:56] And you hope it doesn’t break anything and it almost never does break anything. So it’s definitely on the business side of things. It’s a lot easier to sell WordPress than really any other CMS that I had looked into way back when, but now I’m waist deep or neck deep in WordPress. (unclear 17:17) Is there anything you’ve done as far as marketing? Have you done much SEO or is it all just word of mouth? Because like my business partner, I’d say that all he does is shake hands all day.

Mickey: [17:32] Well, I do pretty much what he does. Are you… I’m going to refer, I think you’re talking about Adam, is that correct?

Aaron: [17:38] Oh, I didn’t know if you knew Adam, so yeah.

Mickey: [17:41] Yeah, there’s only a few people that wear fedoras at WordCamps and he’s one of them.

Aaron: [17:45] There you go.

Mickey: [17:47] And I’m probably the other one.

Aaron: [17:50] Exactly. Nice.

Mickey: [17:52] Anyways, I did some work on SEO for my sites and stuff like that, but nothing dramatic or anything like that. Most of my business, I mean honestly, is still word of mouth and just going out and meeting people and building relationships. One of the best things and the best resources I could tell anybody starting out in this industry is to go out, and especially if you’re a web designer, go out and build a good relationship with a computer repair shop because that (unclear 18:21) web design, and you will get a ton of referrals from that computer repair shop. We’ve done that and we’d literally get a ton of referrals from some computer repair shops. And it’s worked out really good for us because, I mean they don’t have any use of… they don’t have any (unclear 18:39) offering, so they send us their clients and we send them our clients when they want computer work done, if that makes any sense. So we build a meaningful relationship just by referring each other people.

Micah:[18:52] Yeah. It’s easy to get roped in, at least within my family to a computer repair when the reality is I’m not really a specialist in that.

Aaron: [19:04] I’m always the IT guy for my aunts, uncles, nephews and nieces and everybody. And it’s funny because, I mean I used to build PCs and stuff like that. Now I’m pretty much do web stuff, so a lot of times I don’t really know what I’m doing, but I figure it out. I guess I know more than other people in my family. So I’m, by default, that guy. So it’s not so bad, I don’t think.

Mickey: [19:32] Yeah, that’s a fun thing in my family. People (unclear 19:35) all the time, they’re like, “Since you’re the tech guy, can you come over and fix this problem?” And I’m like, “Eh, yeah, I usually have somebody to do that for me now.” So sometimes, I find out that sometimes when I say yes, I’ll do something, it turns into the biggest nightmare ever, and it’ll be something that should be so simple, but yet you’ll be spending two, three hours trying to fix it.

“I find out that sometimes when I say yes, I’ll do something, it turns into the biggest nightmare ever…” @MickeyTrivett

Aaron: [20:00] Yeah, I can relate. It’s, it’s one of those things when it comes to business and a client will say, “Hey, can you do this?” And I look at it real quick, like, “yeah, we can do that” and a lot of times I don’t really get all of the different aspects of how they’re using that tool. The tool looks simple, but it sometimes you need a little more understanding before you quote and set lock in an hour, or an estimate. So you said you don’t do a lot of that stuff. Do you have other people do stuff? So how many people do you have working within your company?

Mickey: [20:39] So, initially when I first started full time, it was just myself and then I had my wife, she did all the billing and invoicing and so on. After a while I was like, I can’t do everything and I need to hire more people. So what I did was I actually hired a developer, I hired a graphic designer and they still work for me today. Now, mine aren’t the conventional type that you think of. They aren’t in house. I have outsourced my graphic design and my developer, and they are from the Philippines. But we talk on a daily basis, we meet every morning, and we work through that method, and I’ve actually spoke about it at WordCamps before about how you can go and hire a VA and help your business and grow your business. And that’s basically the way I grew my business was by having two other people that I can rely on for the stuff that I can’t do or that I don’t want to do and I can go out and do what I want to do in my business, like promote it and shake hands and sell and then have them do most of the work if (unclear 21:50) they don’t do or just help them, if that makes sense.

“the way I grew my business was by having two other people that I can rely on for the stuff that I can’t do or that I don’t want to do…” @MickeyTrivett

Micah: [21:55] Yeah, it makes perfect sense. I always like to ask about processes from the standpoint of productivity. So outside of just the normal, you know, yeah, I’ve got a team I can work from a higher level now. How do you otherwise leverage your time in a day to be more productive?

“I make a checklist every morning of about three things that I want to accomplish for that day…” @MickeyTrivett

Mickey: [22:19] So I don’t make a list that’s ten items deep a day, I make basically a checklist every morning of about three things that I want to accomplish for that day. And I felt that if I only do three things, I usually finish all three things. If I do a checklist for ten things, I’m not going to get all ten done. So I set a realistic expectation of only not doing the minimal, but I know that those three things need to get done, and then if I have extra time I’ll work on some other stuff and get other stuff done. But I usually, basically make my checklist three things a day and I set my schedule ahead, about a week ahead, so I know what I’m going to work on next week, this coming week. And it just makes it a lot easier for me and I manage my client flow in my email all through my email in Trello and stuff and I keep everything up to date there. And that’s the way I’ve done it. I mean, it’s not the most common sense way to do it, but that’s the way it works for me.

“I set my schedule ahead, about a week ahead, so I know what I’m going to work on next week…” @MickeyTrivett

Aaron: [23:23] I disagree. My whole team does that. Adam, you know, he’s Mr. Productivity, he has lists of lists of lists, but we started implementing that within our team. So every morning we have kind of a scrum call and I’m sure the agile people would say, I shouldn’t use that word right, but I mean it’s basically a scrum call for the team and we just list the three things or three to five things that you’re going to get done that day and what we did yesterday and if there’s any blockers. But just kind of having a shorter list versus a big list that’s really not manageable. It’s nice to just know, okay, I got three things done. Even though they might seem simple and you’re still just moving things forward.

Mickey: [24:18] Yeah, and the reason I did that, that list, I read a book one time, it was called how to eat an elephant. Have you ever read that book?

Aaron: [24:25] No.

Mickey: [24:25] It’s basically you eat an elephant, one bite at a time. You don’t eat the whole thing all at once. And that’s basically what you do, you want to work on the littler things first and then eventually it’ll lead up to the big thing. And that’s the way I basically took control of my scheduling and so on. And that’s good to hear that you all do that as well because I didn’t know anybody else was like that.

Aaron: [24:48] Yeah, Adam talked about some kind of five, five, five. So we have these five things we’re going to get done this year in a spreadsheet– I hate spreadsheets. And then five things are getting done that month and then five things each week. And then we have each day there’s three things that we’d try to get done. Like my wife likes to say, I’m a really good starter. I’m really good at starting things, the finishing is kind of the problem, but I have to come back through and make sure I did get those three things done. But shifting topics a little bit here, you said you’ve been going to WordCamps ever since, I know that you spoke in 2017 in Atlanta. What are you doing when it comes to the WordPress community?

Mickey: [25:41] I tried to go out and speak as many as I can that I get invited to speak at or accepted to be rather. So I spoke in Atlanta, I spoke in Wilmington, Raleigh. Let’s see where else? There’s a few others, but I’ve spoken to a few. And then I also started a WordPress meetup here locally in my area. And that is a really hard thing to start– a meetup, because I mean you can get this (unclear 26:11) really fast. I remember the first time, the first day I had it, there was one person that showed up and I’m like, really, (unclear 26:19) interest than this? And then the second time I had it, I think there was three people. The third time I had a visitor come in and I promoted the crap out of it. And I think there were fourteen people show up and then the next time there was two people. So I haven’t really figured out how to make the meet up work yet, but I’m still working on trying to get a meet up here in the WordPress area or in the Johnson area started and to where it’ll actually benefit a lot more people. But that’s a challenge, I have to get some people to help me on that one. So any pointers, I’ll take them.

Micah: [26:54] One of the things I think has always been the case is it’s really hard to get developers particularly to show up to anything because they’re always busy working at their computer and they don’t want to leave. But you know, when it comes to users or marketers or business people, they’re more likely to show up. But again, you know, people are busy in general. I think one of the things that we were going to play around with a (unclear 27:15) is actually doing a combination maybe of a virtual meetup with an actual meetup just to get more involvement like live broadcasting, what we’re talking about at the local meetup. Maybe there’s only a couple of people there, but maybe five other people could join remotely. At least get some consistency in people getting involved, at least.

Aaron: [27:37] Don’t feel bad, even in the Atlanta area. I remember one time this was 2016. I think we’re at general assembly, which is a good place for us to meet and it looks like we’re going to have about thirty people show up and there were three. So I don’t know if traffic was bad or it was raining or something, but I mean it is hard, at least for me, to get people to show up on a regular basis. I mean, we’re all busy, but I will invite you to speak at the Atlanta WordPress meetup if you would like to. I’m always looking for speakers, so I’m always trying.

Mickey: [28:16] Yeah, I mean I don’t mind at all. I mean, I lucked out this last I guess it was three months ago. I think that’s when WordCamp Birmingham was. I picked up the role as working with known host and basically they’re going to send me all over the place and be, I guess in a way their (unclear 28:36) master, if you want to say that slash happiness engineer and I’m looking forward to that because I was already going to all these WordCamps and I was doing it all just out of my own pocket, and now they’re going to help with that. So it’s even more, so I’m going to get a lot more active within the WordPress community that way as well. But I would love to come to Atlanta sometime and speak at your meetup if you really want me to, that’d be fun.

Aaron: [28:59] I’ll send you an email later talking about it because it helps, I mean to have different people. I don’t like to have the Aaron show where I’m speaking every week, and that’s honestly one reason why we didn’t have a lot of meetups earlier this year. It’s just hard to– you kind of get burned out if you’re having to come up with a topic every time.

Mickey: [29:23] Definitely. Yeah, I mean that’s what I did with this WordPress (unclear 29:28) meetup was I was just like, every time I turn around I’m having to do this by myself, and I was like, this is hard. I mean you run out of stuff to talk about and then you’re like, I don’t even know if anybody’s even listening.

Aaron: [29:42] It’s all good, It’ll grow. But I’m sure the smaller the town, the harder it is. Micah, one time he did a presentation in the– what was it? The Tucker Library? I think Micah.

Micah: [29:57] Oh yeah.

Aaron: [29:57] But how did you, how did you promote that? Was it just you told the library?

Micah: [30:02] So my grandfather was actually a part of the friends of Tucker Library Group essentially, which is affiliated with the library. And ultimately, you know, he was like, “Hey, you should come do a program.” And I was like, “Okay, sure.” So I basically talked with a few people and we set up a date and gave them some information. They actually did all the promotion for me. I didn’t have to do anything and they just promoted it through their regular library activity. I showed up the day of. It was a Saturday morning. It was supposed to start when the library opened, but I got there and I was wondering why there were so many people in line at the library. We ended up having fifty-four people come in for that particular event, and I was expecting people to walk in the door and go into the library, but we were just to the left as you came in and everybody just circled on through. It was exciting to see that many people who were interested in WordPress. But interestingly we’ve tried to do it again the next year. Apparently the library didn’t promote it as well and we had eight people show up.

Aaron: [31:06] Yeah, I showed up for that one. I just showed up for the second one because I was thinking there’s going to be even more people. So it’s ebb and flow, really, on people.

Mickey: [31:16] Yeah. I mean, I meet up with the organizers for Knoxville meetup here in the next month and we’re going to talk about basically trying to get it situated to where we could possibly eventually have a WordCamp Knoxville, which I think is very much needed in this area. I would love there to be a WordCamp Knoxville that’s an hour and a half away. I mean we have a WordCamp Asheville. It’s forty-five minutes from where I live. I don’t know if you’ve ever went to it or not. I think Micah, you just come there to work in Asheville.

Aaron: [31:49] Yeah, I’ve been there.

Mickey: [31:51] Asheville’s a beautiful setting too.

Aaron: [31:53] Well if you guys have a Knoxville one, I’ll head up there. That’s a relatively short drive from Atlanta, so my guess would be what, like two and a half? Well, yeah, let us know about that. I guess Micah, you want to ask a final question? Dun dun dun. We need to get sound added to that. I’ll see if the guy that edits this, if he could put some audio in there. Dun dun dun.

Micah: [32:19] We need a good theme song for the question.

Aaron: [32:23] (inaudible 32:24) awesome.

Micah: [32:25] So the question, here it is: if you had to start back at square one, what would you do differently?

Mickey: [32:32] I would have probably went in a lot faster than I did. I wouldn’t have waited till 2009. I would have probably just went ahead and took the risk and did it a lot sooner. I would have hired a lot sooner. I would have realized that I couldn’t do everything a lot sooner. And I think that was one of the biggest things that was holding me back, was I was under the impression that I couldn’t trust anybody and nobody could do it as good as me, and that’s basically extremely false. There’s people out there that can do everything better than you. You just got to find the right ones and you’ve got to trust people. And I would have definitely, definitely hired people a lot sooner than I did when I first started out. I think that would have helped me out tremendously get a lot further than what I am now.

“One of the biggest things holding me back was the impression that I couldn’t trust anybody and nobody could do it as good as me, and that’s… extremely false.” @MickeyTrivett

Aaron: [33:16] Take a little more risk, I guess.

Mickey: [33:18] Yeah, I would’ve definitely taken a lot more risk and I love taking risks now. It’s fun. I mean, I’ll pretty much do anything. You all could call me tomorrow and say, “Hey, let’s start a business.” I’m like, “I’m game. What are we doing?”

Micah: [33:29] Yeah, you got to take some sort of risk and you’re always afraid that things are going to go worst case and you never stop and think too much a lot. Most people just way overdo the risk factor and don’t look at it with eye of reality.

Mickey: [33:50] Yeah. I mean, it’s like, I really love fedoras, and Micah, you know this. So I actually donated a fedora to each one of Micah’s kids while he was in Asheville. But I absolutely love fedoras and I was just like, one day I told my wife and she said, “You’re crazy.” About to say a curse word just then but I didn’t. I caught myself. But anyway, she said, “You’re crazy.” I told her, I said, “I’m going to open up a fedora website.” She said, “You’re going to do what?” And I just started a website selling fedoras and it’s going okay, not great, but it’s something I love to do and that’s what’s even better about our industry. What we can do is, if you know how to do what we know how to do, then you can pretty much do anything you want to do on the web. If you want to start a website for selling candy, you can sell a website for candy or whatever it is and we don’t have to pay all that money out of the pocket. We can do it ourselves in our spare time and try to capitalize on that if we want to. So that’s just one of my other thoughts, I guess.

Micah: [34:48] And one of the big benefits to doing that is when you go in and you give it a shot and you learn a few lessons, then you have a client that comes along doing the same kind of thing, you are a lot more knowledgeable and helpful too for them. So Mickey, what is the best way for everybody to get a hold of you? What are your websites, Twitter handles and all those good things?

Mickey: [35:08] Well, I only use Twitter when I go to WordCamp, so I’m very guilty of that. But my handle is @MickeyTrivett and my website’s WebCoUSA.com, or if you want to email me, it’s [email protected]. That’s pretty much how I’m available. If you tweet me, I’ll probably not tweet you back until I go to WordCamp because I’m serious. I hardly ever use Twitter.

“I’m serious. I hardly ever use Twitter.” says @MickeyTrivett on the @wpsquareone podcast (so send him a tweet!)

Micah: [35:33] And if somebody wants to buy a fedora from you, where do they go?

Mickey: [35:36] Ah, would be clubfedora.com.

Micah: [35:40] Yeah. We really enjoyed having you on, Mickey. Thanks for joining us.

Mickey: [35:45] Yes sir. If you need anything else, just let me know. I appreciate you all.

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