- 1️⃣ Hard Skills
- Human Resources
- Purchasing and Operations Inventory
- IT Infrastructure
- Research and Development
- Public Speaking/Presentations
- Knowledge Management
- Marketing Strategy
- Paid Marketing
- Google Marketing
- Content Creation
- Social Media
- Customer Relation Management
- 2️⃣ Soft Skills
- Team Building/Facilitation
- Leadership Weaknesses
- Traditional Soft Skills
- Group Traits
- Emotional Intelligence
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
- 3️⃣ Softwares
- Data Management
- Financial Management
- Social Media Platforms
- Content Editing
- Content Management Systems
- Project Management
- 4️⃣ Skills Needing Development
- Optimizing for Cash
- Engaging with Different Levels of Advancement
- Reduce The Snark
- Long-term Financial Management
- Dumb It Down
As a polymath and entrepreneur, I've had the delight of learning a bit about every area of business and humanity in a wide variety of contexts. While I'm a topic expert in marketing and operations, my skill set doesn't end there.
1️⃣ Hard Skills
While I'm not a purebred number cruncher and won't ever apply to be a CFO, I've done my fair share of work in financial department.
- Financial Reporting: Income statements, cash flows, balance sheets and all the other flavors.
- Financing: Private equity, bank loans, crowdsourced financing.
- Building financial strategy, budgeting and forecasting.
- Investor reporting.
- Accounts receivable/payable.
- Payroll management.
- Cash/asset management.
- Bookkeeping, transaction management journal and general ledger entries
The HR role always has two sides in my mind: compliance and human optimization. I tend towards the optimization side, though I also understand and have worked with the basics of HR law and practice.
- Balancing team dynamics and conflict resolution.
- Comprehend individual predispositions and whether they fit in the business/role they are in.
- Benefits management, retirement packages, equity splits, health care coverage, etc.
- Recruitment, orientation, and onboarding process
- Continuous education/skills/training
- Vacation/compensation package management
- Termination, off boarding, exit interviews
Purchasing and Operations Inventory
Logistics is a game for me, and seeing daily operations is enthralling as we're building and refining the process. Once we've reached stability, I tend to hand off the day-to-day to another team member with whom I can collaborate on the mundane tasks.
- Receiving, fulfillment, and process control.
- Purchasing: Understanding procurement, negotiation, workflow, AP process, import process, and their effects on landed costs.
- Inventory Management: Constructing and integrating system architecture with other business processes. Procurement of SKU/creation of serial numbers. Shrinkage controls.
- Supply Chain Management: I have experience with drop shipping, just-in-time, and large inventory positions.
Being a lawyer or psychologist are my alternate career choices. While far from a legal expert in any topic, I have a functional understanding of most areas of law.
- Employment law
- Intellectual property law
- Small claims and general civil lawsuits
- Contract structure and negotiation
- Liabilities management
A born nerd with an understanding of practical business use cases, I have successfully created and maintained the entire tech stack for businesses in most industries with an eye towards cybersecurity. While not a network or database engineer, I am able to understand and navigate the world without getting lost too often.
Research and Development
Working with academic and industry research teams to commercialize technologies was a large part of my role at the SBDC, giving me the ability to bridge the gap between a ISO 2 cleanroom and boardroom.
My polyglot predisposition allows me to quickly understand and build the business case for most technologies.
Freshman year of high school, I started competitive academic debate and public speaking and haven't stopped since. With a quirky form of charisma, I'm strongest at semi-improptu presentations, communicating nearly any idea to a wide variety of audiences.
I've emceed many events, run and pitched business competitions and accelerators, and been grilled by my fair share of investors.
Additionally, I've been involved in many rounds of pitch preparation with my clients, often leading to some big bucks.
My neuro divergent brain sees the threads in the information and intuitively understands information architecture and how different groups want to engage with information.
That has made me the go-to person to organize complex information into knowledge bases such as internal wikis, user guides, project plans, training courses, etc.
Meetings require agendas and notes. Projects require plans, and the information in a business should be documented to reduce the number of times we have to relearn it.
Growing to have a visceral understanding of the target market's mindset, values, and perceptions. Navigating the difference between felt, expressed, and actual leads and how that influences the communication strategy of inbound sales and outbound marketing.
- Development of differentiated community strategies for different market segments over time.
- ROI tracking and effects on ongoing budgeting and resource efforts.
After building 100+ websites, I’ve built a solid understanding of the mindsets of the target market users, their preferred communication methods, and how that translates to website architecture, visual design, and user experiences focused functionalities. User experiences focused.
- Selections, management, and transition of content management systems
- UI design, wireframing, and A/B testing
- Onsite and offsite SEO
- Database structure and needed markdown and schema
- Ongoing website updates and refinementsts
Planning, creating ad copy, designing the visual creative, and then tweaking based on ongoing conversion tracking and lead attribution data have been nearly a daily habit for a decade.
I’ve run paid campaigns on the radio, in newspapers and magazine, and on cable TV.
Digital Campaigns On
- Meta Business Manager/Facebook + Instagram
Google's mission is to organize the information of the world, and I have considered adopting that as my own mission statement. Since my teenage years, I have been using nearly every Google product to help my business and my clients grow.
- Google Analytics
- Google Ads
- Google Webmaster/Search Console
- Google My Business
- Merchant Center
Strategy, storyboarding, pre-production, day of production, and post-production of nearly all forms of visual content.
- Videography: Concept development, production, editing, and placement. I have basic production and editing skills, but I am not a videographer.
- Photography: Shoot planning, working with vendors to achieve on-brand shoots, and media database management. I have basic photography and Photoshop skills.
- Interviewing: Solid on-camera and podcast interview skills.
- Podcasting: Planning, production, editing, and RSS distribution.
- Copywriting: While I am a poor speller, I can adopt the tone of a brand well and write engaging and often highly converting content.
- E-course Development and Administration: Both creating my original content and facilitating course creation with others using their knowledge.
Like any good Gen Z-er, I've grown up on social media and have used most platforms for some form of commercial activity. Social media strategy, content planning and creation, and ongoing community management have all been solid items in my marketing toolbox for some time.
I've been hired to run campaigns on these platforms:
B2B, B2C, B2G, and most other combinations of B2_ I've done in my career. I see sales as an ongoing human-to-human relationship-building and maintaining process.
- Understanding perceived vs. actual pain points and customizing offerings to clients.
- Leading sales teams.
- Clarifying scope of work, creating and negotiating proposals and contracts.
- Sales cycles from three-year B2G contracts to 60 seconds.
Customer Relation Management
With 80% of sales based on word-of-mouth engagement, I believe our customers are our greatest marketing tools. Giving them an exceptional experience and then continuing the relationship building post-purchase is mission-critical to the success of the business.
- Construction and maintenance of knowledge databases.
- Ticketing and communication systems.
- CRM creation and management.
- Drip marketing, onboarding, and engagement campaigns.
- One-to-one relationship building.
2️⃣ Soft Skills
Since the childhood playground, I have always seem to get jostled into a place of leadership, often without seeking it out. That trend is also true in my career, so it’s important for you to understand how I view it.
Unlike Tony Robins, I don't think leadership can be buttoned up in a snappy one-line sentence. Rather, it's an amorphous blob of skills that connect together in ways we don't fully understand. Here you'll see a partial dissection of my leadership style and perspective.
A leader has intertwined their guts with a vision of how awesome the world would be if only we could make a few changes in the way things work. This vision wakes them up in the morning and is clearly, consistently, and compellingly communicated to the team until they have a visceral connection to where we are going. Vision should become contagious, as it is the fuel on which the decision matrix runs.
We make zero movement towards our vision without humans. Groups of humans build business. Rarely does one human do it solo, and humans are differentiated, constantly changing, and multifaceted.
A team member who is thriving in all areas of their life is going to be the most effective person in the workplace, so I do what I can to support a well-rounded life.
Orchestrating a team is often a challenge that I've overcome with full-time onsite staff in a range of departments and roles. I've also built effective remote work and hybrid teams, as well as juggled and managed gig workers. Most days, you'll find me working with team members in all of these roles.
Keeping the process moving towards the vision by making the hard calls with decision-making, walking through crisis management, resolving conflicts, and finding the middle path when everyone else is at odds or stuck.
Out of all of our options, which ones are we going to pick, and how do they all fit together across the organization while shifting over time and constantly managing risk?
Regardless of the area of business, I have a strategic thinking and planning mindset. Whether it is overall strategy, market strategy, investor strategy, etc. I add value and often lead this process.
Health Boundaries: I don't conflate my personal mission with the mission of the organization, which is healthy, but it means I don't have the same level of cultish vigor that some executives have.
There is a relatively narrow window of tolerance for people I can lead effectively and sustainably. I think critically, move fast, and care deeply. My ability to connect with disengaged or slow-thinking people isn't strong.
Traditional Soft Skills
Pro: When collaborating with intelligent and driven individuals, I can easily navigate conflicts, act as a community organizer, take accountability, and find the group balance that needs to happen. I have strong collaborative abilities, hearing all sides and building a consensus. I'm skilled at eliciting ideas and insights from people that they may not have realized they had.
Con: When I'm on a team that is less than fully invested or is a bit dull, I tend to look for an escape route and disengage. I just can't synchronize with low-vibe groups.
Pro: I can teach nearly any topic with minimal preparation in an engaging manner. I've taught 100+ workshops and tend towards an engaging mentorship style, using strong speaking to facilitate more than to bestow knowledge. Public speaking has been in my blood for years, so stage fright isn't much of an issue.
Con: Teaching to the lowest common denominator or teaching the same content repeatedly doesn't connect with me. I must be challenged and can't dumb it down too far below my current skill set.
Pro: Creativity and ideation are synonymous in my mind. I can often connect with a higher artistic sense and find the vibe that connects with the project in most areas of creative expression.
Con: Visually expressing my design sense doesn't come naturally to me. I don't have an artistic medium other than spoken words that I'm strong in.
Pro: Curiosity and a love of adventure have driven me to become a problem-solving, critical-thinking individual who is highly adaptable and flexible. I hold myself responsible and have a natural inclination towards optimism and empathy.
Con: Money is no longer a strong enough motivator to get me to do work that I see as meaningless or not serving a greater purpose.
Pro: As a highly self-aware, assertive, and confident person, I seek to balance all perspectives in a way that allows me to maintain my emotional regulation.
Con: I assume people are self aware as I am and when that’s not true I struggle.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
I am a privileged and lucky cisgender, Caucasian, American male from a middle-class, Midwestern military family. At the same time, I am a religious minority, homosexual, neurodiverse human who has lived in countries where I am the ethnic minority and worked in industries where I am the gender minority.
Liberal View: For the long-term health of an organization, diversity in perspective is powerful. Equity of power comes from mutual respect. Inclusion of all equality is a self-evident value, but a a bit of extra effort to account for the historically disenfranchised and disrespected is wise.
Conservative view: Meritocracy does have a place in the work environment. A person’s race or gender shouldn't be a major deciding factor in nearly any decision.
The end goal (which we are far from as a country) is for us to be indifferent to differences that have divided us because they no longer have a disproportionate effect. One day, we won't pay attention to gender, race, etc., just like we don't pay attention to eye color or hair length because no one cares and it’s a none issue.
- Google Data Studio/Looker Studio
- Quickbooks Online/Desktop
- Sage Account
It’s been a few years since I used these heavily.
- Email Marketing: Constant Contact. MailChimp
- SMS Marketing: Ring Central, Hit Em Up, Community.io
Social Media Platforms
- Center IC
- Sales Force
- HQ Rental
- Pipe Drive
- Adobe Suite
Content Management Systems
- Google Sites
- Atlasian Suite: Trello
4️⃣ Skills Needing Development
Optimizing for Cash
From my first yard sale at 10 years old, I knew there was a way I could make more money if only I "played the game" better. Money has rarely been enough of a motivation for me to ignore my gut, which is less of an issue when I own the business but more of an issue when I have to answer to investors who are cash focused, not triple bottom-line focused.
My gut has both made and lost me and others lots of money. While my financial planner laments the cash I have left on the table, I think I have made the right choice 9 out of 10 times. One day I might learn how to take both the cash and my ability to sleep at night home with me.
Engaging with Different Levels of Advancement
Great leaders are able to walk into a room full of people unlike them in many ways and spark a thriving community. I struggle to build relationships with people whom I perceive as not caring or who haven’t bought into the vision, are goofballs, have other forms of intelligence than mine, or process information in different ways. At times, I've alienated groups because I was so unlike them that I was seen as strange, and I lack the skill and sometimes interest in repairing relationships. It’s my responsibility to build relationships even when there isn’t easy common ground.
There is a segment of people who naturally bristle when I walk into the room because I unintentionally offend them just by being authentic to my values and persona.
I've spent a decade in marketing and sales. When I need to be, I can smooth-talk, double-talk, and be a tactful, politically delicate schmoozer in a non-used-car-salesman way.
While I've learned to play the game, I have little interest in perpetuating it, fully knowing that my stark contrast will cause some bruised egos and inflamed emotions.
I've been punched in the face, had my life threatened by a gang leader, and had security escort out more than one person in the past. This is enough of an issue that I'm smiling as I think back on those circumstances and feel no shame as I have the audacity to think I was expressing the wound so it could begin to heal.
My ability to mask my inner thoughts is limited. My poker face skills are strong when I'm bluffing, but when there's some emotion behind it, like disgust, it bleeds through. This is a well-documented manifestation of Autism.
I can be a starter or I can be a finisher but I can’t be both without a lot of slogging.
Reduce The Snark
Much of the corporate, educational, social, and political infrastructures that are the norm in Western culture, I believe, are outdated and in need of an overhaul. I can be scathing in my comments and have a bit too much rage at the system. When I should keep my mouth shut and just leave things be, I speak up and poke fun. There are ways to express deep disagreement without so much snark.
Long-term Financial Management
Both my university degree and actual experience in business have given me a strong understanding of financial management and reporting. Long-term and complex financial projections are still a challenge for me, especially when differential models and Excel guru-level skills are required.
Dumb It Down
“Teach to the lowest common denominator in the class, and use the simplest possible terms to communicate with your audience at a sixth-grade level.” I've heard this advice many times and struggle to implement it. I prefer big, complex ideas and teaching to people who want to engage with all of the minutiae. This leads me to lose some of my audience when I am engaging with people just want the Cliff Notes version.