When was the last time you negotiated for something you truly desired? Today, we're enlightening with Phil Spencer, a master negotiator who's traded in his military boots for more corporate attire. Phil shares his inspiring tale of overcoming adversity within the military and his unfulfilling transition into corporate America, which spurred him to discover his true passion - negotiation!
We're peeling back the layers on his fascinating book "Stealing from Your Future Self" where he reveals the secrets to gaining self-confidence, squashing self-limiting beliefs, and mastering tactical strategies for effective negotiation. Listen closely as Phil opens up about the influential figures that impacted his journey, including Jerry, Sarah, and the charismatic Gary Vaynerchuk. He also provides invaluable financial advice for military personnel transitioning into different work environments and strategies to compare job offers effectively.
Stay tuned as we examine the concept of continuous learning, challenging self-doubts, and the importance of staying informed with resources such as the Black Swan Group newsletter and HR Brew. Join us as Phil enlightens us with his wisdom and experience, equipping listeners with the confidence and knowledge to become effective negotiators. Get ready to switch your mindsets about failure and see it as a stepping stone instead. After all, don't we all want to negotiate our way to that well-deserved raise? Tune in, and let's get started!
Friends, our time together is coming to a close. Before we part ways, I sincerely thank you for joining me on this thought-provoking journey. I aim to provide perspectives and insights that spark self-reflection and positive change.
If any concepts we explored resonated with you, I kindly request that you share this episode with someone who may benefit from its message. And please, reach out anytime - I’m always eager to hear your biggest aspirations, pressing struggles, and lessons learned.
My door is open at my Denver office and digitally via my website. If you want to go deeper and transform confusion into clarity on your quest for purpose, visit http://www.bazporter.com and schedule a coaching session.
This is Baz Porter signing off with immense gratitude. Stay bold, stay faithful, and know that you always have an empathetic ear and wise mind in your corner. Until next time!
Hello everybody and welcome back to another podcast, rise from the Ashes. My guest today and I'm excited to have him here is a colleague, a friend and an aspiring leader. He's also a veteran and Phil Spencer has got started on salary negotiations in 2012. When he helped his friend, jerry raise $17,500 by writing a simple email, he then discovered his many friends with no matter of smart hardworking. How are they smart? How hardworking they work, were uncomfortable negotiating in their job or salaries. Some didn't even know where to start or negotiate or even negotiate the terms of others, and feel like they were unworthy Even asking in the first place. Phil has dedicated himself to research the researching the best negotiating strategies and applying them in the real world. His methods of coaching his methods are entailed coaching to get consistent results with up to $50,000 rises in salaries, he tells. He tells it in his all in his book titled Stealing from your future self. This all shows you how Phil doesn't have any insight connections growing up of any family member that have high power jobs to teach him how to negotiate, so you don't need them either. As a military veteran and former management consultant, and now an entrepreneur, phil looks towards forming and forwarding to help you negotiate your well-deserved next raise, phil, I'm dyslexic, as you can probably tell, and how are you?Speaker 2:
I'm doing great. Thanks so much, Beth, for having me on the show here. I'm really excited to have our conversation here.Speaker 1:
Thank you for spending the time with me. It's an honor to have you there. So obviously on your journey you've been through a few ups and downs with your success and your career. Do you have any stories of how you overcome adversity that you can share with the viewers? You face a challenge that you have that understanding. Now to overcome something.Speaker 2:
Sure, I've got a few. We can actually do a military one specifically, or a civilian corporate America one. Do you have a preference?Speaker 1:
The military one first, and then you go into the corporate America, because I quite intrigued about that one.Speaker 2:
Oh gosh, sure, so yeah. So I spent eight years in the US Air Force, full time. I'm still in the reserve now and so when I was deployed to Iraq, we were doing some intelligence collections and analysis and we came across an ID that had US credentials on it of somebody we captured in Iraq so an Iraqi person, but they had US identification credentials and we had no idea of I didn't know what to do with that. Initially I was like this is potentially really big, because this person may be able to fly to the United States and he was very suspicious, to say the very least, and I can't talk much more about that than just to say that. So initially it was a bit of chaos. So what are we doing with this? Because we were co-located with a prison and this is definitely a special case. So, after asking a few questions, we ended up contacting the FBI office in Baghdad and we coordinated with them what to do with this, and it involved some interrogations and other things and ultimately we were able to stop something before it started. That was a really big win a quiet win, but a really big win, and the end was great During it initially and during it was chaotic and very uncertain of what we're doing with this. Is this the right thing to do? Is this legal, all these types of things? So that was something to work through. That was pretty unique. It's not something you come across very often, yeah, Thank you for sharing that.Speaker 1:
What was the one in the corporate world?Speaker 2:
Because I like the corporate space these days, gotcha, this one is not as exciting a story, but I was a management consultant at the Boston Consulting Group and after about a year and a half of being there, I was put on a new project with a new partner, a new client, and so we wanted to wild them, of course, and everything had to be done immediately or yesterday. And it was a small team of only three or four of us, and so nothing was ever completely done to our leader's satisfaction, and it was challenging to work through that environment. And the second weekend in a row I was making PowerPoint slides and I was knee-deep in Microsoft Excel analysis. I thought to myself, why am I putting myself through this? I mean, the money is really good, the coworkers are amazing, just exceptional and I loved the work. But that work-life balance, which I knew was going to be a challenge, it really hit me then during that second weekend when I was trying to align graphics on a slide and trying to convey something in a meaningful and intuitive way. So that was my red flag of. This is not, for me for sure, forever. I knew that already, but I was going to try to go two or three of the years there and I was like this is not for me right now. It's not for me. So I ended up rolling off that case and quitting sooner than I wanted to. But the silver lining there was a good friend of mine happened to be planning a two-week trip around France and Belgium to do some World War II historical significant sightseeing, which has been an interest of mine for some time. And so I was like if I quit now, I don't really have a plan, but if I quit now, I can go on this vacation and I didn't want to stay here much longer anyway. So is this the time, is this the sign? And ultimately I did. I put in my paperwork in and went on that vacation like the day after I stopped working, and it was a great vacation and I pivoted to doing startup things and fast forward a few years. And here I am today.Speaker 1:
What was the biggest lesson you learned from the court America in that environment?Speaker 2:
The biggest lesson. It's hard to boil it down to one thing. I would say this that it's really in. A lot of problems are not easily solvable. There's not a single solution. There's not a definable solution. You have to define it and then go for it. So a lot of times there's a lot of right answers and you just have to commit to one and go in blind. No-transcript to the person, the project, the leader's credit. He was exceptional at just paving away out of nothing, out of ambiguity, much better than I did just accept. Phenomenal doing that. The execution was just a blinding sprint, but I appreciated that skill of his and it's good to work as a team, to have different skills and just because you don't have that vision can to make something out of nothing. That's okay. It doesn't mean you're a bad person or bad at something. It just means that that's not the strength of yours and you can go pursue something else and that's totally okay.Speaker 1:
When you were in that transition period of walking away and going to France and talking going on the the expedition in France, what were you? Did you have any plans when you were going back, or was it just like I'm just gonna wing?Speaker 2:
it. No zero plans. This was should probably in a two or three week time period. Well, no, yeah, maybe about three weeks or so. I don't have calendar in front of me, but it was pretty quick turn. I mean, I don't spend a whole lot of money usually, so like I was able to save a significant amount, so financially it was fine. That's usually people's first response when you quit a job. I can't quit a job. What am I going to do for money? What if I never get a job again? Or what if I get a job and it pays? Half People have this catastrophizing mindset of oh my gosh, this job is my savior in my life line. It is if you spend every dollar you make and that kind of dovetails into what I do, coaching wise. But if you have, I mean, it's nice to say, it's easy to say and hard to do, but if you can have that financial cushion for yourself and arrange that in your finances and in your life, you can quit Also, hopefully. I'm not married, I don't have any kids, so I acknowledge that when you have other mouths to feed, it's a more challenging proposition and a hard thing to sell to your family. I'm going to quit with no plan, but don't worry, I'll figure it out.Speaker 1:
Yeah, there was a time I went through a similar situation I'll just get it on another day with you, but it was very similar to that leap of faith that took me around to where I am today. So, yeah, nice, so I can relate to that we have a lot in common In success. a lot of individuals, and possibly yourself, have a routine that they've established. They get up in the morning, they go for a walk, lemon juice and all that jazz. Do you have any routines that really help you, or habits or rituals that you do that solidify and reinforce what you do?Speaker 2:
or you found I sure do. So I get up and I intentionally do not turn on my phone from airplane mode for about an hour, hour, hour and a half, and in that first hour of the day I read the Economist magazine every week religiously not every page of every issue, but most of the pages of most of the issues, to get myself just informed as a modern citizen, and then also read something else, whatever that something else is. Sometimes it's a relevant entrepreneurship book or startup book or something on negotiations, whether it's salary related or not, or maybe it's a military history thing or some kind of general business one, so some kind of always nonfiction. I'm not a big fiction reader. Maybe that's a downfall. Some people say fiction gives you more creativity, but I do read for 30 to 60 minutes in the morning and then have my oatmeal and protein powder and stuff before turning anything on. Then I turn it on because nothing is that important that I can't wait for another hour, and that way I force myself to do those readings. In addition, I do work out almost every day, so that's nice. It's a combination of running I'm on the tail end of an ankle bad ankle sprain. Thankfully I'm on the tail end of it, but it's running two or three times per week and then also doing upper body calisthenics and pull ups and push ups and that kind of thing for business.Speaker 1:
I know you say about reading and you have a book. Could you share the audience, what book it is and how to find it, please?Speaker 2:
Oh sure, and thank you for asking. So the book is called Stealing from your Future Self and it's all about how to negotiate your salary. It first covers the internal getting over your self-limiting beliefs and the catastrophizing of what if, what if they laugh at me, what if they think I'm greedy and talks through all those things and gives you new ways of thinking about negotiations and money, and it helps you gain the confidence to posture yourself to negotiate. And then it talks about the actual tactical steps of planning for the negotiation and executing it, including some specific lines and questions to use during it. Yeah, it's available on paperback, audiobook and e-reader version on Amazon, and then they also disseminate out to Goodreads and Apple and Audible and a bunch of other online platforms. But yeah, stealing from your Future Self, break through your insecurities and confidently negotiate your salary.Speaker 1:
Awesome, thank you. I'll put them links, the ones I can get hold of and put available to me. I'll put a novel into the description below, so if you want to check it out, please do so. I've actually read your book because I know you like that, so thank you very much. Oh, thank you for reading, thank you for the support, and I know that the information is very, very valuable, so thank you for doing that, not just for me, but for other people as well. There's an old saying of people you become the most nice people who you've hang around with, usually the first five people. Is there anybody in your life that has really influenced what you do today, and you can name them or not name it, since I have to you that has left a lasting lifetime impact with with you and you model, or you have modeled, them?Speaker 2:
Wow, yes, you just raised the bar immensely when you said lifetime impact. So I've got a I suppose, a mishmash, for lack of a better word of folks for different reasons Parents, certainly, that's the first one, and I have four brothers, so certainly, growing up, that's a huge influence, of course, and thankfully we are all mostly well adjusted adults who live by ourselves or live independently, which is great. My mom's still around, my dad died 15 years ago, but they helped mold me into who I am and who we are today, and my brothers and I. In addition, my one grandfather, my mom's dad, was just a steady, kind hearted, never mean word come out of his mouth, just present loving grandfather who just played with us as boys and it was fantastic. It just showed like what a role model of an adult generally should be, like a good human, to use a kind of modern term. More recently, I would say a couple folks come to mind to help me on my path here Our mutual friend as Jim Bridgim. He coached me for a couple years, a few years ago. Just a model human being, you know, just a phenomenal husband, spouse, father, leader. Spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally. Just a wow, what a person to model after. And he's not perfect and he says that readily, but it just you try, you do it, try it every day and do what you can. And then my good friends, jerry and Sarah, who are showing me how to be perfectly not perfectly imperfect, but just how to keep going. They both work full time. They have two small kids. The great, the kids call me Uncle Phil, it's just great. It's nice to have that family who's not blood related, nice to go to. That's phenomenal. And then, from an online perspective, you mentioned earlier in our conversation, gary Vaynerchuk, immediate personality. He just he keeps it real and he just says it like it is. It's great. And you know, he came from way more home beginnings than I did. I mean, we didn't have a whole lot growing up, but he came from literally a communist country when he emigrated to you and family emigrated here in the 1980s. So wow and like, just give yourself patience, keep going after it. All these things. And it's interesting that I have, I guess, hesitations with putting myself out there more on social media and so on, getting my message out there. And he says the same thing. He says everybody sucks at this sometimes and everybody starts with zero followers, so you just start, so just those things that seem obvious. But he says it and he came from there and it's like wow, so that's inspiration right there. So I guess those will be the first people that come to mind for your question. Have you ever been to a V-Con? I have not. I have not. I didn't come across some people. Covid started and then I have not looked into that seriously.Speaker 1:
Get tickets and get them soon, because they sell out. I bet they do. So if I could recommend you go, please anybody get to go to V-Con. It's not just Gary, you see, there's so many other people there and the networks and the people you meet are beyond impactful. They really are. So I cannot recommend that enough and any conference like that. You know UPW sorry, rob, if you're into him, please just experience it, even if you don't like it. Fine, but if you go there, you can at least experience what it is and I cannot recommend anything like that. Put in yourself in uncomfortable positions and with you know, authority, positions and leaders all done, because you've got to raise the bar in your life. So if you get a chance to get there, please get there. Well, one of the things and I love that you love Gary. It's great. He's an awesome human being One of the things that people have in this fast paced world is essential learning, and you mentioned earlier that you read books and the financial papers every morning. Is there anything other than reading the papers and the intellectual stuff that you have listened to or regularly engaged with? That can help. You can recommend for a budding someone who was looking to the leadership space or even the negotiation space, because I mean, there's people out there do it, but everyone has their own thing towards it. So what's really inspired you and what could you recommend to our listeners that can help them?Speaker 2:
Gotcha. Yeah, my continuous learning is a combination of steady state things that also add hot things. I don't. Unfortunately I can't give you a curated list of these 10 things I do each week or these things. What I can say is salary negotiations is a very niche thing. There's not like there's a few folks out there I think they're small like I am who do that specific thing as well, but I would say for negotiations I am on Chris Foss's email newsletter. He's the Black Swan group. He's the guy. He's the former FBI hostage negotiator. For those who may not be familiar, he wrote Never Split the Difference. He's got some great content that comes out for HR things and for keeping a bead on the workforce and employee-employee relations. Hr Brew does a thing. So the Brew is the morning newsletter that I read sometimes, but they have an HR one specifically that benefits and issues things like the non-disclosure stuff that came up recently, a few months ago, and all the other things that are going on in the workplace unemployment statistics, layoffs in various industries and so on. I find that very informative for little tidbits of knowledge to keep abreast on what's going on. For general leadership stuff, I don't know. I have a lot of books, but I can't give you a top 10 off the top of my head, unfortunately.Speaker 1:
When you were writing your book, what inspired you to write it first?Speaker 2:
Or start doing it. What inspired me was the friends and friends of friends. I had informally helped on negotiating their salaries and there was a consistent. There were consistent themes and trends about not knowing how to do this and then not even sure if you should do it, and I think that message needs to get out there.Speaker 1:
Where do you learn?Speaker 2:
about salary negotiations, specifically Not in high school. Maybe in undergraduate you might take one negotiation class. If you're a business major, I didn't take a negotiation class until graduate school. Hungry for graduate school? Not that many. And so since you don't know how to do it, that's through no fault of your own. You're now unsure of yourself, and the person across the table does this all the time. That's like playing basketball against LeBron James. You might read about it once in a while, or you can watch it, maybe a bit, but you're gonna get smoked and people are hesitant to do that. Again, understandable. And then you're talking about money and your own money and your own self-worth. So you have all these self-doubts. So for the and really I don't come from a whole lot. So it seems like people say, since I didn't go to Harvard and I'm not six foot four and I'm not a wasn't on the volleyball team or the basketball team, my parents weren't doctors or lawyers, therefore I'm not worthy to negotiate and I should just be grateful for the opportunity that the company's taking a chance on my lowly, non Ivy League educated self. Totally the wrong message, but that's the reality of a lot of folks these days. So I wanted to empower people who don't have those advantages and even for those who do, sometimes they're embarrassed by it. I talked to a couple of guys who went to Ivy Leagues and they're like I'm kind of embarrassed by it. I feel like people look at me like I'm a pompous person.Speaker 1:
I'm not, but they have these assumptions because I went to Duke or Cornell or Yale or whatever People have this stereotype as well when they find out you've gone to a hobby league at school or even if you've gone to a like a mirrored military, elevated military school. But we're all human and people sometimes forget that. We all know we all make mistakes, we all have our own fears and I think that's what drew me and a lot of other people to entrepreneurship, because it was a self-development thing, and I still believe this and I say it's a lot along the call of other well-known people Entrepreneurs will change the world because we're fighters, we come back. It doesn't matter what happens to us. Now we're going to get knocked down, we're going to get failure, etc. Which brings me on to the next question for you. But we always get back up and it's about getting back up. What failure have you sorry, I will phrase that what perceived failure have you had that you've got back up from time and time again and you finally broke through to that next level going. I don't need to lean on that lesson again. Thank you, I'm done.Speaker 2:
That's a good question. I'm going to say that the first time you do that, anything, first time you do insert whatever that activity is with that skill is First time riding a bicycle. It's scary by definition. First time publishing a book. That was really tough. I dragged my feet on that for several months, getting more people to read it just to make sure it was okay, and then it ended up being happy to go ahead and so on and it's like, okay, it's just just publish it. And then about the cover, is the color scheme? Okay, I don't want to create him on this, so I hired that out. So it's almost like a failure to act in an expeditious fashion. They talk about entrepreneurs have to fail fast or just move fast and break things, all these cool buzz phrases. It's hard when you're in the driver's seat and you're the one driving and people are going to see you. They're not going to see the developer or the person you may have hired to do it. They're going to see Phil Spencer is the brand, and so that looks. What if they think it's embarrassing? What if they think it's terrible? So I think that part is there. And then my recently launched tool online application for military folks who are transitioning out to get their financial clarity. Is that okay? I hope it's good enough. We've done a lot of client interviews and a lot of people ran through it, so it's good. But putting yourself out there, that's been like a continuous but like a each step of the way of a new thing. That's been a thing that I've had to overcome and I'm still on the way to overcoming that this day.Speaker 1:
I think it's a work in progress for everybody. So, and I like your honesty with it, because people go put on a persona, sometimes to everybody else and this is who I am when actual fact is pure BS, because it's not who they are and they have fears, they have anxiety, they have, you know, all the negative beliefs that just show up in different ways and do different things with it.Speaker 2:
Turn towards the future.Speaker 1:
Phil, you know where do you see yourself or where do you want to be in two or three years time and how would you advise somebody just starting out in their industry or even in negotiation if you listen to this, especially if you're an attorney that are looking to negotiate in courtrooms because a lot of people do and it's a part of negotiation. A lot of the listeners are attorneys and they're they're all across the world. So where do you see yourself in the next few years and what do you see yourself doing?Speaker 2:
Sure. So there's a kind of a couple of sub questions in there. So the first one is where do I see myself? I see myself enabling and helping a lot of people, and hundreds or thousands really in a number of ways, or in a few key ways. Not a number of ways, a few key ways. One way is the transitioning military folks. To give all of them at least the option to get more clarity on the benefits we get. For those in the military listening right now BAH, bas, their, their housing allowances and subsistence allowances not subject to any taxes whatsoever. That's a huge benefit and the more money you make, the higher tax bracket you're in. So modeling that out and trying to find a civilian equivalent number to that so you net the same amount in your pocket. That can be really tough and I like to help people better understand those types of things. Also health care costs and other subsidies that you might get as a military person. That way they don't buy a brand new car or buy a really big house they can barely afford on the military compensation. Then get out and the following week they start their job, their civilian job and like, oh my gosh, these taxes are way higher and health care is 400 bucks a month. Are you serious? And now we have a problem. So I like to help them avoid that situation and give them the confidence to exit the military with a good, solid, fact based, accurate financial game plan. Next, I love to help anybody who's comparing two different job offers with dissimilar pays and benefits. Salaries are easier to compare, but what if there's a commute subsidy, child care thing on offer which you may or may not use? What if there's stock options? How do you model those, whether it's a different time off, pay, time off? So I like to enable people to better compare two different job offers from a financial standpoint. And then third is negotiating to your point Lawyers, other people negotiating students, is very useful, so I would say that I mean there's so many aspects to it. There's like the likability. Do they trust you? Do you come off as trustworthy? A lot of perceptions in negotiation. Do I think you're telling me the truth or do I think you're just giving me a line that isn't really there? So that can be challenging. I will say this the one key I'll throw it in here the nugget of seller negotiation, or any negotiation that is the most powerful one is to create ahead of time a list of pointed questions and then ask them at the appropriate time, which you gotta kinda get. It's an art to ask at the appropriate time, but ask that question and then stop talking. So that important tactic is. The most important thing I teach is get your list of pointed specific questions and then stop talking and force that person to respond to that specific question. For seller negotiations it could be. We talked about my skills and responsibilities and it looks like this new job is more complex than my current one. So I think a 30% increase in my salary is fair. Do you agree? And wait for them to say something?Speaker 1:
Yeah, One of the things that I learned very well in sales and I don't usually use this, but I've had it done to me was so what card are we putting this on? What sorry? One of the sales tactics some people use on sales calls is what card are we putting this on? And they'll stay silent and then the person receiving that will go and then they're forced to answer. So it's a very similar dynamic, as what you just described is quite useful, but I don't like that line because it's very invasive and pushy, as otherwise, as you're very well aware of, feel that you can do that. I just do it a lot, hell of a lot.Speaker 2:
Yeah, I think that would be a really painful witness. I'll be like it depends. What are you trying to sell me? What do you want me to purchase today? But let's have that conversation first. How I pay for it isn't relevant at this time, like I would. Oh yeah, I mean, certainly I should have a good response for that, and that would be my response Don't, don't don't.Speaker 1:
There's certainly some people. If you're hearing this and you're business, business, and you hear that line and I say I was called, I highly suggest you get hold of Phil and say hi, I've just gone through this. What do I do about it? Because there are ways and I'm not gonna teach them on here. I'm sorry. I don't ask Phil to teach them on here, but there are ways to combat that and elevate your status within that conversation very very quickly.Speaker 2:
Yes, but yeah.Speaker 1:
Phil, have you any other advice for our listeners today that you could leave an inspiring thought or inspiring vision for others?Speaker 2:
I would say that, regardless of where you are in your so for specifically, salary negotiations, regardless of where you are in your career, especially if you're younger, you have way more leverage than you think you might have, and the more, the less experience you have, the less good you have to be at negotiations because they won't expect you to be at all good about it. So if you have a small amount of knowledge that you're still gonna blow somebody away. I've coached a few mid-20s professionals and the HR person had no response. I was able to listen in on the conversation in real time and their like 35 or 40 year old manager was like that's a really good question. I don't have a response to that. That's a really good point. And she just crushed it. It was awesome. She was 25, 26,. It was just fantastic. Like she was kind of she was actually physically shaking a bit. I can't do this, phil. Yes, you can, and they're gonna have no idea where this came from, because you are 25 or 26 years old and you have no experience. So they don't expect these kinds of things. And then for the military listeners out there who are transitioning, if it's four years or 24 years, you can be a lot more aggressive and then play the card. You know it's my first time doing this corporate seller negotiation thing. I'm not sure if that's over the line, but I'm trying to learn this skill. So I apologize if it's a little bit much, but is this possible here? And you can go way more aggressive than you think, because they're gonna be like oh, they acknowledge that they're first time and I see why that's kind of ridiculous, but it's the first time doing it, so it's okay. So I would say be bolder and wherever you are, whatever you're doing, they gave you the job. If you have a job offer, they already want you. Despite all your whatever you think your limiting beliefs are. They still gave you the job offer. They still want you to work for them, so that already shows them that you can overcome whatever, or they have already looked past your faults that you think you have. So be more confident. Easy to say, hard to do, I know, but you got the job, so congratulations. Now negotiate and then accept it.Speaker 1:
I love that and that's a very good advice for anybody who is going and especially transitioning outside of the military and they don't know a lot of things. Highly recommend Phil's book. Highly recommend him if you're looking for coaching in the negotiation or negotiations in general. Thank you very much, phil, for joining me this today. I appreciate you beyond major and your time.Speaker 2:
Thank you, Baz, appreciate your questions and your time, and I look forward to seeing where you go in the future as well. We're really excited for you, Thank you.Speaker 1:
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for listening. Please download, share and spread the love for myself and Phil. Have a wonderful day and remember what you're doing in life. Inspire with purpose and lead with legacy. Take care, be safe and be well.