I was born and raised in Saginaw, Michigan. I grew up playing sports. I spent a lot of time playing ice hockey and lacrosse. Traveling for sports opened me up to other cultures and experiences, which later motivated me to want more in life than staying where I was raised.
Then in college, a friend introduced me to multilevel marketing, and it changed my life. I saw that I could be my own boss. I had chosen a degree in economics in college, and I started learning about entrepreneurship and business. I felt hope. I started getting into self-help, and it started my journey towards leadership.
After college, I had an opportunity to plant a church in Australia. This trip started to shape me. Finally, I could build on my faith, start a podcast (which top the charts in its respective category), and launch two businesses. We stayed in Australia for four years before moving back to the US.
When we got back, I didn't have the resume I felt I should have, but I had tons of experience from my time in Australia. I started to fall in love with tech and was able to land a job at a fintech accelerator. I continued to build on knowledge to get further into the tech industry and manage corporate relationships. After that job, I went to Citizens Bank and afterward joined Finotta. It feels like God sped me up.
How did you get started in your career?
I've always enjoyed having conversations with people and being social from an early age. The first few jobs I had, like most people, were customer-facing roles, i.e., grocery store clerk, bank teller, etc. Although I was warned a few times that I was spending too much time with customers, I excelled in those roles. The customers I was serving could feel I genuinely cared about their success, whether saving money on their groceries or bettering their finances. Because of my ability to build relationships, I found myself in sales through college and post-undergrad. Sales came naturally as I was the kid selling reward cards and Gatorade I bought in bulk. As my career progressed, I found myself in two conflicts. First, I wanted to get into the tech and startup space outside of being an enthusiast. Secondly, I found that my focus and skills shifted to more post-sale customer success and relationship cultivating instead of focusing on the "close." And that's the detour route to how I got my start in CS.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
It's not necessarily a who or an inspiration, but what motivates me is the "the nightmare”. This nightmare of working a 9-5 job, living paycheck-to-paycheck until I'm 70, and hoping I make the suitable investments to retire. This life would equate to me having to work a part-time gig just to afford basic pleasures because...well, let's be honest, that's how the system works when running in that lane. It's when I'm on my deathbed, looking back and having regrets. A quote that has always stuck with me is, "hell, if defined is the person you are, one-day meeting the person you could have been." That is what inspires/motivates me.
What is the best part of your job?
CS is still relatively new. The opportunity to be a part of growing business and community, working with people, i.e., our customers, and building something from the ground up.
What are you passionate about?
Empowering others and helping others see they're capable of being the fullness of who they were created to be.
It is just my DNA. I love people. I see potential in people. I see people as what they could be. It hurts me to see that a person is not living their fullest.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Building the CS strategy from the ground up and not having data to reference.
How do you think we can improve positive work cultures in the fintech industry?
In finance, I believe we can improve work culture holistically by breaking up silos, intentionally combating corporate politics, and fostering true cross-functional collaboration, which also soils the ground for true innovation.
What advice would you give someone starting their career in your field?
- Spend as much time with the customer to understand their pain points.
- Leverage the skills you have from prior job roles and experiences as they will be beneficial for CS
What resources would you recommend?
Success Hacker (Youtube)
Client Success (Youtube and Blog/Resources)
"How to Win Friends and Influence People"
"7 Pillars of Customer Success"
What are some rules you live by?
- If nothing changes, nothing changes. However, we can always change our circumstances. Minor adjustments make significant differences. Just be courageous enough to start the little changes.
- "Seek first the kingdom...": Focus on my faith, and everything else will be provided.
What role does your faith play in your day-to-day?
It is the most important thing to me. I believe in something greater than myself. If your faith doesn't give you some standard, what do you live by? My faith gives me a measure of what it means to be me.