Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Spencer Taylor, CEO of Lumen Leadership, LLC., located in Spanish Fork, UT, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Lumen Leadership serves the wholesale distribution industry.
Tell us about yourself
I grew up observing my Dad as an entrepreneur running a marketing company serving the wholesale distribution and convenience industry.
My first job at age 14 was as the janitor at his company. I then worked as a silkscreen blaster/cleaner, screen printer, and fulfillment tech, and eventually, we partnered up.
Now I'm independent but still, work in wholesale distribution. I truly never expected to end up working in the same industry for so long, but it's been a lot of fun and an exciting challenge to evolve and change over time to try and stay relevant.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
Building something from the ground up is no easy task. Peter Theil's Zero to One articulates this very well. When I chose to leave a partnership with my Dad and start out on my own, it was intimidating, and there were so many unknowns it was tough to persist.
But I did, and now I get to do work that is invigorating and prevents me from becoming complacent. I learn new things all the time and especially enjoy finding the intersection between people, strategy, and technology to help companies modernize their workforce for the next generation.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
For me personally, being isolated is the toughest. I've learned I need to be very deliberate in programming regular interactions with other business owners into my work week in order to prevent me from going numb and withdrawing.
I'm such a social person that I need this stimulation to keep things interesting and remind me there are lots of amazing people out there doing great things that can inspire me and who I may be able to help as well.
I started a podcast called The Exploring Leadership Show in late 2020, and that has been a great outlet to help with the programming of these interactions. I've met some amazing people and now have a larger network I can tap into as collaboration opportunities come up.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Don't do it unless you are willing to suffer and struggle for a while, probably longer than you think, until you break through and succeed. It's physically, emotionally, and mentally draining to be an entrepreneur, but I love it and feel it is worth the struggle. Make sure you are clear on why you are going to do it. If you don't have a motivation that runs deeper than "be my own boss" or "unlimited income potential," you're more likely to flame out and run back to the 9 to 5.
There is nothing wrong with the 9 to 5 life. Some of us are just naturally predisposed to pursue a more independent lifestyle that comes with lots of upsides but also includes some very real downsides (like no guarantee of the next check coming in the mail/into the bank account). This sounds like a negative viewpoint, but it's a hard reality each of us has to confront and decide whether to persevere or abandon our journey along the entrepreneurial path.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I have to give a lot of credit to my wife and to my Dad, and I could name a lot of other people. This gratitude is important on many levels, but one in particular that comes to mind at this moment is the critical nature of leveraging relationships in order to fuel our next steps as business owners. If we don't have the support of those closest to us, it can stop our progress before we really build momentum.
Personally, if I didn't have the support of my wife, I don't think I could keep it up. She's an amazing person with her own great career, and I want to support her dreams as we both try to be our best. Some people can still succeed without the support of their loved ones, but for me, it's essential. I also gladly acknowledge God's hand in my life. I believe God is in the details of our lives and wants us to be happy.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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