Shameless Bragging / Shameful Confession
My career coach tells me I should smoothly work in wins into some bullet points in an effortless way to avoid looking pretentious while avoiding discussing my failures when asked and talk about them in a manor that makes them look like educational experiences I've grown from. On this page, I completely ignore that advice.
While I'd be delighted to take credit for my success because of my hard work and raw talent, I know enough to say it's nearly all luck - luck of genetics, culture, and the time in history I was born into, as well as my family and environment. I'm a determinist, so nature and nurture got me to where I am, not my innate ability or grit.
College: I earned my bachelor's degree in 13 months by teaching myself the content and then testing out. I cash flowed the entire process.
From Scratch: Despite no entrepreneurial spirit in my family/social group who asked me when I would get a “real job,” 18-year-old Spencer started his own business and grew it into a successful venture, nearly entirely self-guided.
Clients Relationships: Most of my clients see me as one of their most trusted and skilled allies and want to give me more authority and permission than I think is wise. I become like family to them, and they've refused to work with any other team members, following me from organization to organization. I’ve been invited to weddings, yacht vacations, and have been told information that only the executive team and investors have been privy to.
Client Wins: I've been a party to some major growth and impressive quick turnarounds in businesses. Those wins light the darkest of challenges. Both the look in the eyes of the staff when the business didn’t close and the green numbers on the spreadsheet.
Moral and Mission: Repeatedly, I've had the option to take the easy yet meaningless path or the path with more money, and I constantly choose to align with my inner guidance system and ruthless persistence to do work I think makes meaningful improvements in the world, not just derivative trading to make a buck.
Compulsive Problem Solver: Diapers didn't stop me from organizing my mother's shoe closet, and that tendency has been with me my entire life.
Managed Lots of Money: Over my career, I've directly overseen the expenditures of over five million dollars in marketing. For the most part, I think we've made wise choices. Or if we didn't, we paid attention so we could find out quickly and make changes.
Failed Launch: Spearpoint Communications was the first "real" business I ever started in partnership with a fellow debate coach. After six months, we lost money and didn't have any paying clients, as all of our work ended up being pro bono.
Malcontent Staff: Several employees of Orange Cube Group left quite disgruntled at the business and me personally, as they felt the business should be a collaborative democracy with profits, and not a dictatorship where the owner takes all of the risk and profit.
Minor Political Crises: While at the SBDC, I caused a few internal political crises with my "move fast/break things" mindset, which made their way to the CEO's desk. I valued quick, continuous innovation, while the organization valued stability, the comfort of the status quo, and the predictability of tried-and-tested systems.
Ticked Clients: All humans tend to either love or hate me. Very few are indifferent, so I try to only work with the clients I have a natural affinity for and have a team that counterbalances my weaknesses. When that doesn’t happen, here are the most common complaints I’ve heard:
Outrage in the Bank: When it's my money, some strange habit kicks in and I don't invoice clients when I should, keep the checks undeposited as long as I can, avoid reviewing the budget, and delay tax preparation. Some subconscious blockages, but only when it's my money.
Quiet Quitting: There have been times I knew I was disengaged and should end the contract because I wasn’t bring as much value to the table as I could. I’ve canceled tens of thousands of dollars of contracts because there wasn’t alignment, but on occasion I dragged my feet, deposited the check, and kept going at 70% capacity.