Succession Planning & Selling Your Agency With Trenton Moss

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Today we are discussing growing and scaling your agency and succession planning with Trento Moss. This is a very honest ‘warts & all’ conversation where Trenton shares the ups and downs of growing his agency. After 15 years he sold his £3m agency before starting his current business Team Sterka.

Time Stamp

[01:30] Trenton’s 15 year journey of starting and selling his agency

[03:45] The catalyst ‘moment’ to starting our own business

[04:05] The milestones and hurdles of growth

[06:24] The choice between being a freelancer and growing an agency

[06:46] How Trenton’s role changed during the growth of his agency

[10:30] How Trenton managed to delegate and ‘let go’

[13:04] The one clear lesson Rob learnt when running his agency

[14:00] The importance of having clear roles & responsibilities

[16:31] Why did Trenton decide to sell his agency?

[18:34] Don’t sell your agency when you are feeling worn out, tired and stressed

[19:25] The process for selling the agency over a 9-month period

[22:00] How Trenton negotiated a no ‘tie-in’ period

[23:40] 3 reasons why we don’t make a sell happen

[25:33] The importance about thinking about what’s next before you sell your agency

[26:00] The challenges of working for someone else!

[26:55] Why did you start an upskilling business?

[29:30] If you could go back in time and give your youngerself one piece of advice, what would it be?


“There is no manual or set of rules to growing an agency - you have to keep trying and flexing to find what works.” - Trenton Moss
“Hanging out with other agency owners to learn and get advice is so invaluable.” - Trenton Moss
“A lot of agency owners are control freaks so they find it hard to let go and delegate” - Rob Da Costa

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 Full Episode Transcription

Rob: Today's episode of the podcast explores what it means to grow and think about succession planning and selling an agency. And what I really enjoyed about this interview was Trenton's complete honesty with you and with me, which often a lot of people don't want to share towards and all. And his story of selling his agency is very similarly aligned to mine, so there are lots of lessons to be learned today. So, let's get going and let's jump into this week's episode of The Agency Accelerator podcast. I'm Rob Da Costa, and this is The Agency Accelerator podcast. As someone who has stood in your shoes, having started, grown, and sold my own agency, I know just how it feels in the ups and downs of agency life.

So this podcast aims to ease your journey just a little by sharing my and my guests’ experiences and advice as you navigate your way to growing a profitable, sustainable, and enjoyable business. Hey everybody! And welcome to this week's episode of The Agency Accelerator podcast. I am really excited to have Trenton Moss with me today, and Trenton is the founder of Team Sterka, a people upskilling business, and we'll talk more about that later on. But prior to that, I know that you started, grew, and sold your own agency.

So why don't we start there? And why don't you tell us a little bit about that journey Trenton? And I'm also interested to know how you extricated yourself from the day-to-day. So, I've kind of asked you all my questions in one go at the beginning of this interview. So I'm going to come out now and hand over to you and say, “Hey, welcome to, welcome to the show.”

Trenton: Hi Rob. Thanks for having me. Um, yeah, it was quite a roller coaster journey. It was 15 years, and, from kind of starting the agency through to us being acquired. And to be honest, I started it on a whim. I didn't really know what I was doing. I went to university, took a bit of time out to kind of go travelling and working abroad for about 3.5 years, actually, and I was coming home and I had no idea what to do with myself. So, just one day I suddenly thought, “You know what? I'll start a user experience agency when I get home.” I have no contacts and no money and no experience, but a bit of know-how. So that's how it started.

And I came back, you know. I was quite a bit younger than I–than I am now. So I was just in a house share at the time, and there was no space in my bedroom for a desk. So I put a desk in the hallway, got a–bought a computer, got one of those dial-up internet connections, showing my age here. And–and made a website and away I went. And after it looked like it wasn't gonna work at first. And I remember, when it was going particularly badly, well, basically, the first six months, 6 to 9 months and the whole of that time I remember going into the local Pizza Express and getting a job application and being like, “I'm just going to have to work here and put this agency thing on the back burner.”

But luckily it kind of started to work, and I got some desk space and hired a couple of guys to join me, and–and everything kind of went from there. So, you know, obviously, loads and loads of ups and downs over time, managed to grow it to about £3 million revenue business. And then, yeah, at the end of that 15-year journey, we were acquired, so we were like, you know, we had a real niche. We were user experience specialists, research, strategy, and design. And we were acquired, as were so many UX agencies by an IT company. There was quite a bit larger than us where there was real synergy where we could bring real value to them. And yeah, that was my 15-year journey. 

Rob: So, first of all, I think a lot of people are gonna really relate to that journey. I think there's this catalyst or this moment or I say, sort of my naive, arrogant youth was on my side when I started my agency back in ‘93. And I didn't know any better. I was 24 years old and thought I could do it better than the current people.

So we all have that moment that we decided to start something, and then it goes in your growth to three million. And like you said, you've had lots of ups and downs. Can you pinpoint any kind of particular milestones along the way that you had to invest in some way that got you to the next stage? Because I think a lot of people hit brick walls along that growth journey they and get over it by doing the right thing or they never get over it. Yeah, yeah, yeah, no, no, totally.

Trenton: So, I mean the first, the biggest thing I ever did, and I remember this very clearly. And even though this was right in the early days, I still say, this is the biggest thing, was moving out of my house, getting desk space and getting a couple of guys in because suddenly I've gone from basically zero costs because I wasn't really paying myself. Through to then, being responsible for two people as well as the, payin’ the rental. So that was easily the biggest risk that I took. Beyond that, it's, there's no science to this.

There's no like, specific manual that you can follow with a set of rules. You kind of just–you just got to keep going and taking opportunities when they seem to come your way and–and trying things out. And if it's not working, be okay to flex and change. And we had so many disasters. I mean, probably the biggest disaster was when we tried to launch in New York and about £200,000 later, and in terms of expenses and about £5,000 in revenue, we realised that was probably a bad idea.

So, that all went and we stopped that idea. And there were numerous things that we tried to do as a business to kind of, you know, improve and scale. And you know, you can always see the problems. So it's like, “How do we solve those problems?” And it's never that easy. There's never any clear solution. So having a business coach like yourself Rob, to support you with coming up with those best solutions for you can be really helpful, I would say, and you just keep trying to solve those problems, take some calculated risks, and then kind of hope for the best.

And what's really funny is that if you just worked really, really hard, you get a little bit of luck. 

Rob: Yeah, that's very true. I don't think, I focus on the right things, do them consistently enough, and you're gonna get the results that you–you hope for. I think that moment of making that conscious or unconscious choice of going “I'm moving from being a freelancer with a freelance mindset to actually growing an agency.” Which looks like for you, moving out of the house and hurrying a couple of stuff.

That is a big, big moment for us because we definitely have to, you know, we go from, “Isn't it nice earning this money to–oh, blimey, I've got to keep earning enough money to pay the bills now.” So, um, and talk to us about what your role is–I'm assuming your role changed a lot over the 15 years. Talk about how your role changed and ultimately, how you managed to kind of focus less on the day-to-day and you know, do the things that only, only Trenton could do.

Trenton: Yeah, well, I mean, from day one, I just I've–I’ve decided I don't know how I came to this decision, um, that I needed to make myself redundant. So I knew from the off, that you know, as when I started hiring people, I wanted to continually hire people to take over from–from what I did, and that was, that was my personal ambition with it. And I mostly got there by then, not a 100% there, but I'd say 90-odd percent there. But by the end, I think I could have left that business for six months and it would have been fine.

Beyond the six months, maybe unless they, you know, replaced me. But with me leaving, um, they’d had been fine for at least six months. So yeah, I started off doing everything right? You know, client delivery, resource management, sales, marketing, and finance. You know, everything. And I just gradually, as I begin to get overwhelmed with various tasks and would find them excruciatingly dull, I felt, “Right, I need to hire someone to do this for me.” And, sometimes I'd bring in some fabulous hires who would take it over, take it on, and I could walk away.

And sometimes I'd bring in some terrible hires that for whatever reason, just completely didn't work out. And I'd have to start again. And it's, it’s very, those are the really difficult moments when you think, “Right, I'm making progress with this. Okay, I've got someone in to do X, and now I can walk away from X a little bit or at least extract myself a bit from day to day of X.” And then when someone comes in and for whatever reason, you can't make it work with that person.

Um, that’s–that's hard. That’s, that takes real resilience to them, like “Okay, I got to take a step back now in order to then move forward again,” and that happens to me numerous times and it's never like the fault is never on that person. There's no, everyone has talent. It just, do they have the right bit of talent to fit into that gap that–that is, that exists at the moment in the agency? And if they don't and if you know me or one of my colleagues is unable to mould things around them, then it-it doesn't work.

So it's never one person's fault. It's always a collective fault of people. You know, I remember, we, our first ever Client Services Director really, really didn't work out well. And, you know, in hindsight, I can say that was probably mostly my responsibility because I wasn't ready to let go of the client servicing function. 

And as, as an agency owner, you've got to, you've got to really question yourself when you bring in these, these hires for people to take on responsibility away from you. “Am I ready? Like what does this giving away responsibility for this in this case, client servicing, what does that mean? What am I giving up? And am I ready to give that up?” And if you're not, then, well, you probably shouldn't hire that person because you're not setting them up for success. 

Rob: Yeah, no, that's really good. And I was gonna ask you the question which you started to answer there about, “How did you manage to let go?” Because let's face it, when we start our own business, one of the three key reasons we start our own businesses, we want to control. We may have been in a company before where we didn't like the way things were done, or we weren't able to be in control of our own destiny. So part of our motivation is for control. 

Trenton: Oh yeah. 

Rob: And yet, as we grow, we've got to learn again how to let go of that control and I think, quite frankly, a lot of entrepreneurial agency owners or business owners are control freaks. So that's the bit. They find it really hard. They intellectually know they need to hire that Client Services Director, but they must also know that “Will clients really love them?” And they're the best at doing it and you know they'll do a better job than anybody else so they don't let go and as you say, they set them up to fail. So how did you manage to overcome that? 

Trenton: I mean, it's so hard because, because when you see someone doing things differently to how you would do it, which is basically everyone because we all do things differently. So when someone comes in and invariably does it slightly or very differently to how you would do it, you, what I would really try and do is ask myself, “Am I finding this hard? Am I struggling because what they're doing is just wrong, or because what they're doing is okay? And it's just different to how I would do it.” And it's really hard to answer that.

So I would try and get advice from, you know, senior colleagues within the business, and we also had an advisory board, which was just invaluable about halfway through running the business. My father-in-law gave me the suggestion. “You should set up an advisory board.” And I did, and it was one of the best things I ever did. Um, so getting advice from them, getting advice from senior colleagues in the business, but also hanging out with other agency owners. It's just so crucial. I know you do a group coaching thing and, like, I'm sure your impact is great in that Rob.

But you know, for, for everyone in there, it's like it's just chatting to people who are doing what you're doing. And just because no one understands that, that challenge of, in this case letting go and being able to um, hand something off to someone else. And so I would just do my best to get advice from people not going hotheaded. Another tactic that I would do is if we replace someone to do something that maybe I was doing, they wouldn't report it to me. And that helped because then if they were reporting it to someone else, obviously, they had to make sense for them to report it to someone else. 

If they were reporting it to someone else, that person didn't, wasn't holding onto say, client servicing or marketing or whatever it was that I had previously done, and, and could let that person be a bit freer and I could watch from the sidelines. “Oh. You're not doing it how I would do it!” But I know that I, I've created that, that almost that rule, that I can't interfere because they're not reporting it to me. 

Rob: Yeah, I think I always say to people, You've got to make sure you're asking yourself the right question and the right question is not, “Will they do it as well as me?” but “Will they do it well enough?” And if the answer is yes, they will be well enough. You have to be willing to let go. So I think that's um, sound advice, as is getting a, um, sort of a senior team and advisory board. When I ran my agency, I didn't know any of the stuff that I talk to people about now, and I don't regret doing what I did in selling my business, but the one thing I would do differently is to have got a board around me of some kind, um, because I always felt like all the weight of the world’s on my shoulders and everyone looked to me for all the decisions. So–

Trenton: It, makes it a bit different. It makes a big difference. I am—I really struggle to get a high-functioning leadership team. Um, I'd have really good senior people working with me some of the time. I had a brilliant MD towards the middle, for a good four or five years. He was fantastic. We were a great team. Really fantastic team. Everyone talked about our bromance in the company. You could see how close we were and how we bounced well off each other. But we couldn't get a good leadership team going for whatever reason.

Then for the last three years, I got the most brilliant leadership team in place. We were, we were like, really high performing. I mean, I–I previously, I wouldn't even say I'd ever had a leadership team that was averagely performing, and having that truly high-performing leadership team for those last three years was revolutionary. We had very, very clearly defined roles or responsibilities and, one of the mistakes I've made quite a lot with the leadership team was recruiting people, senior people from outside the business straight into the leadership team. And invariably, that failed.

It just didn't work. And my leadership team, for those last few years, the five of us, um, everyone had got promoted from within. So we've worked together, and we all understood the culture of the business and what the agency stood for. And, it just worked so well. And that really helped me extricate myself from day to day because roles and responsibilities were so clearly defined amongst us that I, I just had to back off of the things that weren't my roles and responsibilities and had a great MD and as you see, a different MD to the one I mentioned.

Another great MP equally is fantastic. And she was like, “Well, if you're gonna make me MD, I need ownership of all these things.” I was like, “Well, yeah, you're really competent and, and brilliant. Yeah, okay.” And, and it worked great because that's what then really elevated me out of the business. 

Rob: Yeah, we all need to do that. I'm, I’m a big fan of having roles, responsibilities and good clarity. Um, and, you know it's good to have someone that is gonna force you to let go.

Trenton: Because the trust was there because we all worked together and we all knew each other. We all knew that we were all talented and capable, competent people because that trust was there. I could, I knew I could just leave the guys, you know, with their individual task to get on with it and because they trusted, we all trusted each other, right? I think. Um, it just created this, this great team and you know obviously with accountability structures in place and so on. But ultimately at the core, the trust was there. And that's why I think it was so successful. 

Rob: Yeah, I think also, we need to be brave when we're hiring the absolute best we can afford. And often what I see is a big gap between the leaders of the business and the rest of the agency because they've hired–understanding at the beginning they've hired junior people, and then there's this big gap, and then it becomes very difficult to let go of anything because if you do, it will all fall over. So, let's move the conversation on. Why did you decide to? It sounds like you're running a really successful agency. You've got a really good leadership team in place. You're freeing yourself up to do other things.

So why did you decide to sell the agency? 

Trenton: Well it won’t, by the way, it never feels successful. Right? And I'm sure you remember this from your time running a business. You never feel like you're doing well. All you can see are problems. And, it wasn't that successful. Like it was, you know, we–we kept going. I never felt like it was that successful. And in particular, around year 14, we were very unsuccessful. So we had six months of consecutive losses in year 14, and we lost hundreds and hundreds of thousands of pounds.

It was, I mean, it was awful. It was the worst. You, 2008 was a difficult time. And then 2017. This kind, what is it, 14 years was even worse. Um, I'm surprised I've got hair left, and what I do have isn't grey. I don't know how that happened because it was so horrendous. And by the end of that, I was like, I'm done. I can't do this anymore. I–I was tired anyway, kind of, you know, years 1 to 10 I think we're quite exciting for me. Ten years. That's enough.

Um, and years 11 to 15 were very much almost like just watching the prison walls climb around me get higher and higher and higher. It's like, “Do I really want to keep doing this?” And, you know, we didn't grow that much from years 11 to 15. We grew a bit and we were generally profitable apart from this one year. Um, so we're doing okay in that time, but by the end of the six-month period of losses, I was, I was tired anyway, and let's just say I'm a camel, you know, I’ve got bales of hay on me.

So you know, it's too many. One straw is gonna break my back, and it was like, 2017. It wasn't just like one more. Let's put one more straw in this camel's back to break. It was like, “Let's just throw continuous more bales of hay onto his back so we can really break the camel's back and I was done”. And because I was done, I was like, “I'm out. I can't do this anymore. I'm going to try and sell. I don't care if we get nothing, given the last six months, I just can't do it anymore.” And that is bizarrely what triggered me to, to make the sale happen. 

Rob: Yeah, and listen, you know, my story’s not too dissimilar to that. One thing I've learned. And I guess this is a word of caution for anyone that is ever hoping to sell their agency is that I don't know if you agree with this Trenton, but if you sell your agency when you're feeling worn out and tired and fed up, you're gonna get less money for your agency than if you were selling it at the peak of its performance and you're really engaged and motivated with it. Do you agree with it? 

Trenton: I 100% agree, except you don't want to sell when you're at the peak because it's so good. And we're all such short-term creatures. So when things are bad, we think they're going to be bad forever. And when things are great and flying, we think they're going to be flying forever. 

Rob: Yeah, that's true. And so how did, how did this all come about? 

Trenton: So just by coincidence, at that time, a guy now who just joined a new business, MNA. And he contacted me and said, “Let's go for lunch”. So we went, and I just cried into my soup.

“I can't do this anymore.” And he said, “Look, you've got a really good business, great brand. You know, you’ve got decent financials over the last 14 years apart from now. You know, if you can kind of get this turning around, then you know, we can do something here. And people…” He said, “Look, people look beyond short-term losses. You know. They can see the value here, UX.” What we do is hot. And I think we can do something here, and I don't think you need to give it away.

So I'm like, “Okay.” So we started the whole process and, you know, they put together, the credits packed for the business, contact people. We have lots of, lots of meetings. You know, eventually, it kind of whittled down to a final three. All IT companies, because of the synergy that you get there. But what was amazing during this time, was that the whole process took nine months. And what was amazing was that at the end of this six months, by month seven of– so the six months of loss-making, by month seven of the loss-making, we broke even.

It was like, “Yeah!” So me and the leadership team, a big celebration. You're only drinking water because there's no money to buy anything. And then, the sale process started about that time to be fair, like the marketing of the business and over, and it concluded nine months later. And from that first month of breaking even, through to month nine, every single month consistently, our revenue went up. Literally every single month. And by month nine, the month just before we sold, we had our highest-ever revenue on a 40% net margin.

And then we sold. So, we went, you know, you have lots of ups and downs running an agency–running any business. But what I experienced at the end there was the biggest down we've ever had, like the depths of awfulness through to then turning it around and us hitting our biggest ever revenue and biggest ever profit and then selling. So it was this unbelievable roller coaster towards the end. Um, but I'm so glad that, that six months of loss-making happened because, A, that's what made me go ahead and sell and make it happen.

And I have no regrets about that. Like, I'm–I’m really pleased that I, I went through. Um, but B, if I had to if you were to ask me the question, “What's your proudest thing from those 15 years?” I would say getting us out of those six months of loss-making. It was so awful. 

Rob: Yeah.

Trenton: And I showed myself levels of resilience that I never even realised that–I was tired anyway like I said. And I worked more during that year than I've ever done before. I had two young kids at the time. We weren't sleeping. It was so horrific. And I can look back with great pride that I kept going and I helped bring us out of that hole. 

Rob: Fantastic. Well done. How long were you tied in to work for the IT company that bought your business? 

Trenton: Um, I wasn't at all so. Originally, originally, originally they–they wanted to do a tie-in, um, you know, based on, you know, like hitting various targets over the course of three years. And then that was in there first. And I said, “Well, the point of this is integration”.

The value is about us coming together, not staying separate. “What– if, if we're going to have targets? We have to stay separate for three years so I can have ownership.” So they went away and thought about it and came back and said, “Yeah, you're right”. You know, it's ridiculous. We don't want to stay separate and that's not where the value is. So they took it down to one year of a, you know, a target, and I said, “That's not a problem, but just so you're aware if you do that, over the next year, if you want to integrate, that's fine.”

But I'm, “That's going to be a secondary goal for me.” My number one goal will be hitting this target, and everything I do is going to be about hitting that target. And I'm not gonna be that interested in integration because I need to hit the target. So they went away and thought about it and came back and said. “You know what? We just want to integrate. It's clearly not possible to have a target.” And that was the correct thing. It wasn't. So, we just got rid of the targets and we integrated quickly.

Rob: Yeah. How long did you stay working there? 

Trenton: About a year and a half. 

Rob: So anyway, so you've now sold your agency and you said you worked there for another year and a half. Then you left. Do you know right away that you wanted to start the current business that you're running? 

Trenton: I had no clue. What I want to do next, and I think it's really interesting because when you're running an agency, you, you've always got this pipe dream of selling. You know, “One day I'm gonna sell.”

But you, it, it's the chances of someone just coming along dangling a big bag of money, saying, “Yeah, let's sell, let's go ahead. Let's just do it.” And that happening, it’s about a million to one. So you have to go out and make it happen, as–as I did in this instance. And the impetus for me making it happen was, as I said, I was done. I was, “I can't do this anymore.” And I think I worked this out. I think there are three reasons why we don't make sale processes happen.

So number one is, “What am I gonna do next?” As I said, I had no idea, no clue what I would do next. And when you're in it, when you're in it running, running an agency, you're all in. And I know you've talked previously on a podcast about, you know, working four-day weeks on day five. You can think about other things. That's for me, anyway, running an agency that–that would not have been possible. I was all in. So number one, “What am I gonna do next?”

That's my big fear. Right? Number two is, “If I go ahead and sell the agency, what will everyone who works here think?” Because they've joined our agency based on my promise. Based on, you know, what we have explained this business is based on our culture, based on our ways of being. And they're just gonna think I'm selling out. So there's that fear. And the third fear, and I think this is a really big one is “If I try and make a sale process happen and it takes ages, right?”

It took nine months. And at any point, it may have not happened, right? We get to exclusivity for the last two months, but at any point, they could have walked away even on the day of signing. And I remember thinking to myself at the time, “If this doesn't go ahead, I–I don't think I can ever come back from this.” Because remember, I was so exhausted anyway and having gone on this emotional journey to get to that. So I think there's that real fear of “If I try and make a sale process happen and it doesn't happen, well, am I stuck here forever?”

Rob: Yeah, they're great bits of advice, and the one thing that I really want to, um, emphasize of what you just said is we get very fixated on selling on business. It's like the light. We believe it's the light at the end of the tunnel that we never think about what's next. And I have to say personally for me, when I sold my agency, it was the worst time of my life because my self-esteem in myself as you know, sadly to admit, was very much based on work, and suddenly I didn't have that.

So I was no longer “Rob the Agency Owner,” and I'm like, “Who the hell am I?” So I think it's a really good piece of advice. And I, did you ever consider other options besides selling it? Or with–because you, like me, were so worn down that the fixation was on getting rid of it. Because that's how I felt. 

Trenton: Yeah, that was the only kind of thing I thought, and then it all just gathered momentum. And then, obviously, it happened. But I was actually, I was planning and staying around in the IT company for a while and so, I had a position on the board.

I, you know, was–was senior in that business, and they had plans for me. Um, but after 15 years of doing my own thing, I was completely allergic to working for someone else. It's just, it just became apparent very quickly. It just wasn't, it was never gonna work. And again, you know, it takes there's no one specific person who's at fault there. But really, it was me. Uh, the majority was me.

Rob: For the listeners, I think these are really sage words of wisdom that if any of you who are listening want to sell, then just listen to Trent’s story and my story and learn what you can from it.

Let's, I'm conscious of time. So let's just quickly fast forward, what led you to start Team Sterka? And why did you start an upskilling people business?

Trenton: Yeah, yeah. So, in my–so I stayed at the bigger business for a year and a half. So during that, the last year or so, I started winding down. And then, and then I was just thinking, “What am I gonna do next?” And I realised, I can't go work for someone else. I even started talking to recruiters about getting a job in a house in a brand, which I really didn't know.

But then I started thinking, um, something we did in the agency that was enormously successful was we launched a client leadership programme. So, um, about 10 years into the business, 10, 12 years in, um, Accenture, IBM, and big guns like that started invading our industry, so we had a nice little UX niche and suddenly it just went mainstream. And we were pitching against the big boys and we knew that we had to up the ante and get our team just so much better with clients. That year we were great with clients. Don't get me wrong.

And they were great at delivering work. But they didn't have that level of client leadership that–that perhaps the likes of Accenture and IBM do. So we started this client leadership programme every Friday morning, 9:00 to 9:30. You had to be in the office, pre-covid, and we did the training. And it was crazy, successful. And the year after we launched, uh, that financial year, we got a 35% increase in revenue from our existing accounts. Um, and that's by the way, what saved us in our downturn. Because our downturn was caused by new business falling off a cliff.

Um, but because of all that work, we put into client leadership, we were getting better revenue from our existing clients, and projects ran more on time. Happy–clients were generally happy but even happier, and it was going so well. 

And so when I realised I was gonna leave the bigger business and this isn't for me, I was like, “You know what? Every single agency consultancy client-facing business has this problem. You've got a senior team who are great with clients. They can go in, they can solve problems, can inspire clients, can interact with senior stakeholders and the rest of the business might be great at their jobs and great at delivery. But they're also client-facing and they're not able to do it at the same level.” And we solved that problem. 

Our programme was so successful. So, I launched Team Sterka to, um, solve that problem for, for other agencies. So I started about two years ago. There’s three of us now, so, yeah, it's going alright. 

Rob: Exciting times. And you know, people are our most precious commodity and we need to do more than just get the recruitment process right. We need to train and develop, nurture, and keep them.

So I'm sure you're gonna be super busy, um, helping other people just like yourself get their teams aligned and motivated and focused and delivering great work. So let me just ask you the last question I ask all my guests. “If you could go back in time and give your younger self a piece of advice. What would it be?”

Trenton: Just keep going. Simple. You know when, when you're a kid, you're like, “Oh, well, when I'm an adult is going to be great because I'm gonna know what I'm doing”.

And then you become a young adult and you start working and you're like, “Okay, I still feel like a kid.” But all these senior people in the business, they really seem to know what I'm doing there so when I get senior, um, then I'll know what I'm doing.” And you never know what you're doing and there's never any certainty. And whatever thing you might want to do next, you never know if it's the right time or not, or if it's the right decision. So, no matter what comes your way, just believe in yourself and keep going.

Rob: Great piece of advice. So, let's just wrap this up because I'm conscious of the time. If people wanted to reach out and contact you, Trent, what would be the best way for them to do that?   

Trenton: LinkedIn is best, and as a kid, I wasn't a particularly big fan of my name. It’s quite an unusual name. But now, as an adult, there are only two Trenton Mosses on LinkedIn. So you're probably gonna find me. One of us is a network engineer in Salt Lake City and, um, I’m the other one.

Rob: Okay, well, I'll make sure I share the right one in the show notes. But I just want to say thank you for showing a very open and honest story of your journey of starting growing, selling your agency and the good and the bad of that, and also then starting your current business. So thanks so much for joining us today. 

So there you go, a really honest story about growing and selling an agency. And if you've ever aspired to sell your agency or you're thinking about it in the next few years, then make sure you take some of the lessons that Trenton shared with you, and they are really aligned with my own personal experience of selling my own agency as well.

So I hope you found today as useful as ever. If you did, please make sure you have subscribed, and share it with your colleagues. And also please consider leaving a review on Apple. But other than that, have a fantastic rest of your week and I'll see you next Thursday for the next episode of The Agency Accelerator podcast.

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