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Welcome to episode #66 of the Morning Upgrade Podcast. In this episode I spoke with Spencer Powell, the owner of a digital marketing agency for remodelers & builders. Most of his free time is spent with his kids, as well as learning.

Top Talking Points

  • It’s important to delegate the work that isn’t your main focus.
  • Your morning routine will change as time goes on and it’s a normal part of the process.
  • Happiness is how close you are to the version of yourself you desire to be.

Resources & Links

Share Link for this episode.

Connect With Spencer on his GrowthMode YouTube channel or at builderfunnel.com.

The book “Who Not How” by Benjamin Hardy and Dan Sullivan.

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Episode Transcript

Ryan  

Hey guys, it’s Ryan real quick. So my mission with the Morning Upgrade blog and podcast is to raise the awareness of morning routines and personal development. And I now have two products that are also helped me with this mission. The first product helps you start a 20 minute morning routine. And the second product is a book that outlines how to use personal development, upgrade your life and business. You can get full details on both products over at morningupgrade.com. Thanks for letting me share. And now on to the show.

Announcer 

Welcome to the Morning Upgrade podcast with Ryan Cote where we feature casual conversations with entrepreneurs about personal development and growth.

Ryan  

Hey, Spencer, welcome to the Morning Upgrade podcast. How are you?

Spencer  

Hey, Ryan, I’m doing good. Thanks for having me on.

Ryan  

Yeah, I’m excited to speak with you for the next 15 minutes or so. You know, I was on your podcast, and now you’re on mine. So it’s, we’ve come full circle here.

Spencer 

So it works sometimes.

Ryan 

Exactly. So why don’t you tell you who you are, what you do for a living? And then what are some of your hobbies or passions?

Spencer 

Yeah, yeah, for sure. I run a digital marketing agency been doing that for about 11 years now. We are based out of the springs, we got about 17 people that are, you know, here and spread all over the US. And so my Yeah, my daily work is centered around that and growing that business and trying to remove myself from different pieces of that puzzle. And then in terms of hobbies, say right now it’s centered a lot around my kids, they are almost three and almost one. So it’s a lot of just hanging out with them playing with them. But we tried to get out and do a lot of hiking and bikes and scooters, and whatever they’re starting to do. And then just as I’m sure with a lot of your listeners, you know, learning reading, you know, just trying to improve in different areas, I definitely consider that a hobby as usually if I, if I go too long without reading, you know, something new or trying to get a little bit better, I start to not feel as good about myself.

Ryan 

So I asked you, what’s your most recommended book? What’s the first book that comes to mind?

Spencer  

It would definitely change depending on, you know, the quarter or the year that you asked me but right now, it’s definitely Who Not How. And it’s Benjamin Hardy and Dan Sullivan. And basically, the concept is, you know, a lot of times, especially as entrepreneurs, we’re pretty good at solving problems. And so we feel this need to be the one to solve the problem. But if you kind of flip it a little bit and just say instead of how do I fix this? Who can I talk to or who could solve this problem for me? And it’s just a really powerful concept around that. And that’s helped me a lot. So I’ve been recommending that left and right this year.

Ryan  

Yeah, I read that with my mastermind to go and change your perspective on like you said, problem-solving. So it’s definitely worth reading. It’s a pretty easy read, too. So I want to go into your morning routine. But you said something that may that triggered a question for me. Um, you mentioned that agency, you’re trying to pull yourself out from certain areas, I’m guessing, so you could focus on other things? What does that look like for you? How do you do that?

Spencer 

Yeah, good question. I mean, over the years, I feel like you know, when when you first start a business, or you get into it, you know, you’re wearing all the hats. And so you start hiring people as you grow, you know, I started mine from basically ground zero, so it was just me, and then you get so busy, you know, doing client work, that you hire somebody, and they’re going to help you with that. And then you start filling in these different pieces. But I feel like a lot of times, you know, I’ve seen it with a lot of other entrepreneurs, you kind of get to a point where you’re, you know, maybe manage to manage the team and everything, but you’re still running a couple of critical functions, whether that’s sales or marketing or operations. And so for the last couple of years, I’ve been trying to get out of some of those bigger seats. So operations were one of those I had somebody that’s been with me for about six years and put her into her present role where she’s running everything client-facing all the team stuff all the one on one. So that alone was huge in terms of just removing my time and brain energy away from those and now I’m all marketing and sales and then I filled the marketing director seat and so for me, the next pieces are sales and figuring out hiring a salesperson and then hopefully a team of salespeople but really trying to just continue to remove myself from the kind of the day to day function. So I can sit in more of the owner seat than the CEO seat if that makes sense. And so that’s really what it looks like it’s just kind of step by step trying to find those key people that can run those sectors of the business and then yeah, obviously so I can see the business from a better angle and I think a lot of times you can see areas to improve a lot better when you’re out of it kind of looking in and I just one of my mentors had this good comment he said kind of head in, hands out, you know. So you’re like looking in giving advice, providing people what they need. But your hands are out of it. So you’re not doing the execution of it.

Ryan 

I like that phrase. That’s a good one. I’m gonna remember that.

Spencer 

Yes, it’s stuck with me for sure.

Ryan 

So let’s go to your morning routine, what are your mornings look like? I know you’ve got two small children. So it’s probably a little bit chaotic, chaotic right now. But what does that look like?

Spencer  

Yeah, we’ve got a couple of early risers. So yeah, I would say my morning routine has morphed. But there’s a couple of elements that I’ve, I feel like are always there. And sometimes those items actually get shifted to the previous day. So right now, honestly, the routine is to get up usually around 5;30 or six. And that’s when the boys are getting up. One of them still, you know, got to get the bottle ready. And, you know, one of them’s all about chocolate milk first thing in the morning. So it’s usually grabbing some bottles and hanging out with them and then showering, making breakfast, and taking them off to school and daycare and stuff. And so, previously, it had been a lot around, you know, making sure I get my workout in and, you know, that sort of thing. But really, for me, as long as I eat a good breakfast, and I’m ready for just leaving for the day, at the same time. Everything else is kind of like chaos until that point. And sometimes the order gets shifted with the two little guys. And so basically the list in terms of what I need to get do and the calendar and all that, that’s already done the night before. And so when I actually arrive at the office, I’ve already got the game plan, I know what I’m doing, I can just hit the ground running. And then definitely the workout is a big used to be a big part of that. And now it’s just shifted to, after they go down at night, or in the middle of the day, like over a lunch hour or something like that. I would normally put that in the morning. But I just don’t want to get up in the fours anymore. I’ve done it and you know, about the earliest I want to get up is you know, five or 5:15. And so I’ve just shifted that to other times in the day.

Ryan  

If I’m getting up in there’s a four o’clock, it’s because I’m going on on vacation somewhere, I had like a six o’clock flight or seven o’clock flight.

Spencer  

Exactly right. I tried to minimize those. I know the rockets up before whatever. But you know, I’ve done it and it just, I feel not as good I don’t perform later in the day. And so I’ve just decided I need to restructure other things then get up earlier.

Ryan 

And your morning routines obviously gonna change. I think I’ve changed mine, like, I don’t know, six times, I’m actually in the process of writing like a 15 to 20-minute routine that I can share with people. So there’s like no excuses. You can’t save them time. You can say I don’t know what to do. So I’m sure your routine will change.

Spencer  

Absolutely. Yeah, I would expect it to. Yeah, we were just hanging out with some friends this weekend. They have kids that are a little bit older. And they’re like, Yeah, we actually can get up in the morning. And they’re old enough to go play by themselves. And so we have some time to you know, do stuff. And so I think I’m just recognizing that this is a season in my life right now. And it’ll look a little different. And you know, as you go through different seasons, it’ll change. I think the one thing that’s really helped me is just thinking about with anything you do, whether it’s you know, structuring your daily power list or whatever you’re working on your calendar, you know, how you start your day, is just being intentional about it, you know, like, what, what do you want to get out of it. And that was something that when my first son was born, I anchored my workday really aggressively, I just said, Hey, I’m going to stick to the kind of then eight to four schedule, because I want to carve out the time when he wakes up in the morning until work and the time, you know, right in the late afternoon until he goes to bed. And that’s time I want with him. And then I’ll insert things, you know, either before or after. And so I was writing a book, so I did get up in the forest. And he would write some pages before then. And then at night after he went down, I would, you know, do some reading or get my workout in or whatever it is. And those things used to happen a different times. But I think if you’re just intentional about what you want, you’ll fit it in somewhere. I think just making it work.

Ryan  

Before we started recording, I was telling you that we run a small road trip and I have a shipment this or not, but I let myself not do my morning routine while I was gone. And just because it was the hotel, it’s just very, very hard. That’s an excuse. I probably could have done something small. But I didn’t do anything. And when I got back I was in a noticeable fog. So I agree with you if life gets crazy and you can’t do what you’re used to something is better than nothing.

Spencer

Absolutely, yeah.

Ryan  

Let’s talk about happiness, your definition, how you view happiness, how you approach it, what does that looks like for you?

Spencer  

Good question. I’ve generally always been a pretty optimistic person kind of forward-looking. So it’s pretty easy for me to get excited about things and make progress I think for me, happiness is kind of this, this balance of gratitude for what you have and where you’re at. And then kind of this progression towards your future self, you know, so I think there’s a lot of things that come into play here, you know, it’s like, what are your goals? And like, where are you today versus where you’re trying to go? And like, how big is that differential? Are you making progress towards that, you know, so for me kind of that personal development, like moving forward, taking a step, taking another step, if I’m not doing that, then my happiness tends to go down. But then there’s also the, like, the dichotomy of just being present and being grateful for the current. And so like, my wife, and I, each night before bed, we just go through three gratitudes from the day, just three things we’re grateful for. And even if you just had a terrible day, you can always find three things, you know, like, grateful to have a roof over your head and grateful you had food, you know, it’s just, and I think it gives you that perspective of, even when things are really challenging and really tough. You still generally, you know, you can always find something to be grateful for. So I think it’s, it’s just that interesting balance between what you have and where you’re at. And then where you’re trying to go. And are you making progress towards that?

Ryan  

I love that answer about happiness. I think that so resonates with me the progression towards your future self, and how far how big is that gap? Um, maybe we’re just cut from the same cloth or of the phrases, but that really, that was a great answer.

Spencer 

Thank you. Yeah, it’s, it’s funny, I’ll just provide another little example about that. And, and it’s not even necessarily with big, large goals, but it applies to that, you know, my wife and I kind of have this saying that we’ll talk about, you know, like, at night, you kind of picture like the end of the day, you’ve had a long workday, maybe you’ve run around with the kids, they’re finally in bed, and you kind of like first just like, plop down on the couch, or like, it’s your first like, time to just take a breath or whatever. And, you know, the sink full of dishes, and you know, haven’t packed lunches or whatever. And we always look at each other. And we’re like, should we do those are saving for tomorrow or whatever. And it’s kind of comes down to this question of like, what will future Spencer and Rachel wish we would have done, you know, and it’s like, well, yeah, we wish we would have just cleaned up the dishes, like pack the lunches, then we’re ready for the next day. And so I think you can, you can ask yourself that with the big goals too. And just like, What will your future self be grateful you did, and a lot of times that spurs the action that actually leads here, future self, that is a better version? And so I think that’s been a helpful question for me to just ponder at the moment. And it spurs that positive action.

Ryan 

Yeah, like 10 perspectives. Instead, it sounds like you guys are really going to heat just in the heart of it with the kids so young, definitely. It’s easier to get older me like I’m thinking back to this morning, get ready for school, my 11-year-old, like, that’d be only 10 minutes, you haven’t even made the lunches yet. Like, shoot, you’re right. So sending it to a point where you’re living and all this is, we’re on top of things and you are you know?

Spencer 

Yeah, I look forward to that.

Ryan 

Well, Spencer, this time flew by. I do have one more question for you. And then we’ll wrap up with you telling everyone how they can learn more about you. I want to ask you about a personal development tip, I want to get more towards finance bee’s knees have a YouTube channel that you’re launching, to help kids with their financial education. And so give us your best tip for financial aid. I know the financial tip can apply to everyone, but take it however you want it what’s your number one financial tip?

Spencer  

Yeah, so I think I’ll share this because it’s kind of a habit. And I think a tip that leads to all other financial things. And when I was younger, growing up my parents, they would give us an allowance and you know, something like five bucks a week, you know, and, and their deal with that was they said, You have to save half of it. And so, you know, I think it varied over the years I think like goes four or five and $6 We had three kids and so you know, as you got older, you got a little bit more and so, you know, for six bucks a week you had to put $3 in savings and then you had a whopping $3 to yourself, but what it did was it built the habit around saving half and I did that you know as I got my first part time job, you know as a busser making minimum wage and you get kind of the scrap leftover tips from the waitstaff and at least save half and honestly I’ve mostly saved you know like 80 to 90% of it because what I went to a movie every once in a while with my buddies and go through Wendy’s drive thru or something and so I just wasn’t spending a lot of money but because I built that habit of saving I didn’t blow a lot of it so it wasn’t buying tons of video games and just like spending that money on stuff and I became really intentional about what I wanted to use those dollars for. Put me in an awesome spot when I got out of college because I was able to buy a house at 23 and then I house hacked it I had a roommate and started paying that down. And you know, that ended up just leading to lots of other things, investments, and opportunities that I just wouldn’t have had. And so for me the really the tip is to develop a habit and a discipline around budgeting and saving and then the savings are going to flow into whatever it’s going to be saving up for real estate investments, stock cryptocurrency, whatever it is, saving for a down payment on your primary residence. If you never learned the discipline of, you know, keeping more than you’re using, you know, and keeping that differential and getting pretty aggressive with it when you’re early then you just get really far behind the eight ball and it just gets tougher and tougher to dig yourself out of a hole or make progress in a meaningful way. So yeah, I started a YouTube channel and there’s nothing to buy there anything my ultimate mission is just to keep teaching people about financial, you know, principles and best practices and hopefully get that info into junior High and high schools just because that’s, that’s a huge gap currently. But I would say the main tip slash habit is the habit of budgeting and saving and committing to a certain percentage of your income.

Ryan 

Yeah, it’s a great tip, especially for all the parents listening. Thanks for sharing that. So Spencer, what’s the best way to connect with your YouTube channel website?

Spencer  

Yeah, I’ll give people a couple of options. On the YouTube channel, you can search. It’s called Growth Mode. Or you can just search my name Spencer Powell, and you’ll find it. And obviously, feel free to subscribe to that. And you know, share any of the content you feel like could be good for peers or kids that are kind of that age or this info could be helpful to them. It was just really helpful to me to have that info like starting at 1415 You know and beyond, versus like learning this stuff when you’re 28 or 35. Then you’re just decades behind. And then our agency site is builderfunnel.com. If anyone wants to go check out what we’re up to over there.

Ryan 

Great. Thanks, Spencer. He dropped a lot of gems today. Great speaking with you.

Spencer  

Thanks, Ryan. I appreciate it. This was fun.

Ryan  

Thanks for listening to the Morning Upgrade podcast. Please subscribe and review. And don’t forget to visit us at morningupgrade.com for more content.

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