When it comes to working with children and adults with special needs in a variety of settings, including schools, private homes, clinics and residential facilities, Jeron Trotman is at the top of his game.
And that’s not entirely surprising, as he was captain of his basketball team while an undergraduate at the University of New Hampshire. After earning his Bachelor of Science, he went on to receive a Master of Science degree in Psychology from Purdue University and become a Board Certified Analyst in his hometown of Atlanta.
Today, Jeron Trotman is a Behavior Analyst with Golden Steps ABA in Atlanta, where he creates home-based and school-based ABA solutions. He trains and supervises staff and evaluates implementation of programs. He designs, implements and monitors skill acquisition and behavior reduction plans. Jeron is also a direct consultant to caregivers and related service providers. In addition to his work with Golden Steps ABA, Jeron Trotman is a Clinical Behavior Consultant for Lifting Spirits Therapy Services, Inc.
His skill set ranges from teaching and instruction to the assessment and treatment of severe problem behavior, dog training, behavior analytic consultation to schools, and training, coaching, and mentoring in health and fitness.
Jeron is also well-known within his profession as the founder and president of Black Men in Behavior Analysis (BMBA), a professional group he created to elevate and sustain Black professionals in the ABA field. It is a platform for networking, mentoring, and supporting professional advancement, while improving service delivery in the Black community.
When it comes to winning ABA solutions, Jeron effortlessly racks up points on the board. He is known for the rapport he enjoys with clients and caregivers, and is skilled in conducting Functional Behavior Assessments. Jeron is also adept at developing and implementing Behavior Intervention Plans.
What is your typical day, and how do you make it productive?
My typical day really varies, as a behavior analyst. Some days, it may be spent in a school; and doing assessments with different kids another day. It could be training parents and caregivers on different interventions another day. It could be me in my office, just doing paperwork all day from those assessments. And you know, outside of work is family: spending time with my dog, working out. I’m a big fitness guy. So I like to play tennis and basketball in the men’s league. So it really just depends on the day.
How do you bring ideas to life?
That’s a really good question. There’s something in behavior analysis that we call a task analysis and a task analysis is basically breaking down a big idea into measurable steps. So when I’m bringing an idea to life, I really kind of break it down to small tiny steps to really see how I can achieve it and then I try to accomplish those steps, one step at a time, until I reach my final criterion.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Artificial intelligence. I’m really fascinated by that right now for a lot of reasons. That’s something I’m really passionate about right now.
What is one habit that helps you be productive?
I would say my time management skills: setting deadlines for myself, making checklists for myself. That really helps me to be productive, and if I didn’t do that, I would not be a very productive person.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t care what other people think; you know, really be who you are, be unapologetic about it. Go out to do what you want.
Tell us something you believe almost nobody agrees with you on?
Lord Huron is the best band of all time.
What is the one thing you repeatedly do and recommend everyone else do?
Sounds very cliche, but minimize stress, eat healthy, exercise and get enough sleep. There you go.
When you feel overwhelmed or unfocused, what do you do?
There are a few things I do. Call important people in my life, mentors, family and friends. I’m big into meditation, so I’ll meditate. Also, maybe go get a quick workout in. When I’m in the gym it kind of relaxes me and kind of resets me, to get me back to what I was doing.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business or advance in your career?
Networking has been one of the biggest things. Being able to connect with people within the field and out of the field to spread awareness, provide mentorship and help. I’m really big into connecting people and networking with people.
What is one failure in your career, how did you overcome it, and what lessons did you take away from it?
Great question. There was one time a couple years back where I had a big meeting and my treatment plan — we do something called a functional behavior assessment in ABA — and I got to the meeting and my data was not what I thought it would be, and it felt like in that moment I had failed. I let a lot of people down because I got what we call the function of the behavior wrong. So that was a pretty big letdown because a kid was having a lot of severe, challenging behaviors. So I went back to the drawing board, went back to the literature and research to fix my mistakes, and had extensive meetings with my mentor to correct the issue. And I’ve never made that same mistake again. In that moment I was very young and ambitious and I felt like I had all the answers. I was kind of a budding behavior analyst and I should have probably sought more mentorship and then performed a bit more research before I put that plan in play.
What is one business idea you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Invest in yourself, focus on a niche market, and focus on what your customers need.
What is one piece of software that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
It’s a task analysis checklist that I have. It’s really simple. It’s a free app that you can download, but it makes my life so much easier and it really just kind of outlines all the things that I have to do. If I don’t have it I’m not as productive as I could be. So it’s a really easy app, but it keeps me going.
Do you have a favorite book or podcast you’ve gotten a ton of value from and why?
Yes. There is a book called What Shamu Taught Me about Life, Love, and Marriage by Amy Sutherland. It’s probably one of my favorite books. I’ve got to add this one too: Don’t Shoot the Dog by Karen Pryor.
What’s a movie or series you recently enjoyed and why?
There’s a show that somebody put me on to, it’s called Suits. My wife and I have been binging that show and I love it. I can’t get enough.
- Break down big ideas and tasks into small, measurable steps.
- Seek out mentorship and network within your profession.
- Manage time wisely and keep the focus on priorities.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.