We had the good fortune of connecting with Aaron Spence and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Aaron, what role has risk played in your life or career?

The only way to lead a successful life is to continuously take risks. You don’t want to take risks just for the sake of taking them, but to move you closer to an outcome you want in your life. Risk requires you to look at the edge of your comfort zone and make a decision to step forward into an unknown. Too often we want to stay where it’s cozy and take the path of least resistance. Risk needs you to look into the uncertain and dare to take the more difficult path.
Why? It’s the only way we’ll ever grow.
My life and career greatly improved with every risk I took.
The chances I’ve taken have led me to unexpected outcomes, which were either a blessing or a lesson.
My mere presence here in Arizona serves as a testament to risk-taking
I took a risk working remotely from Philadelphia for a small Scottsdale-based start-up in 2017 with a funny name. In 2021, I relocated here to take on a larger role because of our significant growth and the risks we took as a company.
Challenges will always come up in life. I never expected to have an easy life or anything handed to me. I’ve worked for everything I have. I’ve overcome a lot of adversity from losing a parent at a young age to encountering personal financial challenges over the years and come out on the other side whole.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?

My career has taken many twists and turns. Most of my career was spent in education. I’ve worked at all levels of education, even helping open a new school in Philadelphia. I enjoyed my time there. Over 10 years experience in education, prepared me quite a bit of business. I learned about the importance of company culture and operational excellence. Moving to the business space was an opportunity to see what I could do with a different set of rules and objectives.
Personally, the greatest challenge of my career was navigating between where I came from and where I was going. Throughout my success I’ve experienced a lot of survivors guilt. I come from part of Philadelphia not known for its success stories. The ones that are successful leave and rarely look back.
I’m fortunate to be able to be where I am and to know that it’s because of the community around me that I am where I am today.
I’ve always had a loving family, especially a caring mother. She invested significantly in my success. Premium around education and I knew that I had to do everything in my power to make her proud.
One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned is that you can’t run away from something. You must run toward something. That makes all the difference.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
1. Tacos: A must have in Phoenix. Taco Boys at 7th Street and Roosevelt.
2. Int’l Grocer: Lee International Market – as a Jamaican, they have what I need to get a taste of home and expose me to tons of culture.
3. Art: 1st Fridays on Roosevelt Row & Phoenix Art Museum
4. Steakhouse: Maple & Ash
5. Outdoors: Sunset at Dobbins Lookout.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would not be in Arizona or in my specific role if not for the start-up with a funny name and its founder, Russ Perry, who has mentored me and has become a friend.

He and I had an interesting start.
I interviewed with Russ when I first applied for a position in 2017.  I begin my call with him in a pretty typical fashion. We trade some banter, talk about the role, and standard pleasantries. What happened next I’ll never forget.
He opened up and said, “Come work for us. If you do, I can guarantee 3 things. One, you’ll work hard every day on new challenges as we build this company. Two, you’ll be building your financial future here. Lastly, I promise you’ll be loved and encouraged to grow every single day.”
I’ve never once had someone tell me they would love me in a job interview, but guess what? He didn’t lie.
Love has not only been the through-line of what we do as a company, but it has been a guiding force through our work creating for our clients and developing our global workforce.
Personally, Russ has poured into me and helped me develop not only as a business leader, but also as a man working daily to change his family tree.

Website: https://www.aaronmspence.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/amspence85/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amspence85/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/amspence85

Image Credits
Sarah Anderson & The Naturel Vibe (https://www.instagram.com/thenaturelvibe/)

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.