Brian Regienczuk is the Co-Founder & CEO of Agency Spotter, a digital destination where businesses find and partner with creative agencies.
1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?
While I’ve spent more than 20 years in digital, user experience, innovation, and branding, I started as a self taught web developer well before the dot com bubble burst.
Before launching my own startup, I worked at brands like Philips, Coca-Cola, and WebMD. And, I consulted for many others like Bacardi, General Motors, and The Home Depot to name a few.
On my journey, I’ve been fortunate to work on really amazing research and design efforts from the future of shopping to the future of the automobile interior.
I helped refine the initial user interface for Coca-Cola’s revolutionary Freestyle Fountain Touchscreen, and I led the effort to bring brand identity standards and governance back to all of Coca-Cola’s billion dollar brands after they had all but disappeared ten years prior to that.
While at Philips and then Coca-Cola, the issue of managing service providers kept coming up. Even at a marketing driven company like Coca-Cola, I discovered that people were getting spreadsheets to try to decide which of the 3,500 marketing and design agencies they should use.
When I dug a bit deeper, I realized no one trusted a name on a spreadsheet without any context on who they were working with, what they were good at, and how their performance had been.
That was really the springboard to launching what became Agency Spotter and SpotSource. I am the CEO and founder of Agency Spotter, but these two products are really solving those fundamental issues around searching, engaging, and managing service providers.
While Agency Spotter is focused on marketing agencies and design firms, SpotSource isn’t limited to just marketing and it brings enterprise service management to the cloud for some of the world’s biggest brands including HP, Nike, and Unilever.
2) What does a day in the life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?
Every single day is honestly different, and I thrive on that. Yesterday, I got up, made coffee, and went for a run before my first stand-up meeting with our development team. Most of the rest of my days are a mix of product management, customer management, and meeting with potential customers.
In between there, I might be taking my son to school or helping him with some gardening or other activity after school, and I like to cook as the workday starts to wind down.
3) Does your current role allow for flexible or remote working? If so, how does that fit into your life and routine?
I’ve always been an advocate for flexible working environments. Our whole company has adapted really well to working from home too.
I’m not sure we were all ready for it being such a long stretch at home, but it has allowed me to eat healthier and increase my exercise. That is really important to me but had been something that always seemed to get put on the backburner.
4) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?
I’m not sure I’ve achieved work-life balance as I tend to be on the work-aholic side of things a lot. However, over the last few years, it has meant making sure my family comes first.
I don’t want to be the dad who is checking emails all through dinner and not talking or showing interest in other people. Being able to stop what you are doing, even when you are working at home, and really focusing on your kid or spouse or friend is a core part of finding balance for me.
5) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?
I have started running at least three days a week. We have the beginnings of a small garden, and we started cooking at home 98% of the time.
I would say the one thing I have stopped is eating as many sweets between dinner and bedtime. With COVID, there was about a five month period where I also wasn’t driving. That was refreshing.
6) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?
I typically don’t share this in interviews, but I love to read science fiction and poetry. I am not one to re-read books, even if I loved them, so picking a favorite is tough. I do love the CMO Moves podcast and really anything Jenny Rooney does. Another one I listen to sometimes is HBR Ideacast.
7) Are there any products, gadgets or apps that you can’t live without?
I really enjoy Spotify for expanding my music library and exposure to new artists. In terms of other gadgets, I love some of the new automation systems for lighting and other things at home. I also have to have an external monitor with my laptop. It absolutely makes me more productive.
8) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?
Jenny Rooney. I’m really curious how her transition into and up the ranks at Forbes has been.
9) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?
Build friendships at every phase of your life. Don’t shy away from friendships at work. As work and family take up much of our lives at different points throughout life, I think finding ways to continue to build new friendships and renew those that you have forged over the years is a third pillar of being truly balanced.
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