Startup Lawyer, at Spengler & Agans
East Boulevard in Dilworth
10-15 minute drive, mostly on Kings Drive. I used to pretend I’d bike to work but since that hasn’t happened even once in the last 9 months, I think we can safely assume it’ll remain a drive and not a bike. At some point, hopefully in the not-too-distant future, I’d like to have our office in Plaza Midwood so that I can deliver on that whole biking to work idea.
What do you do during your commute?
Listen to podcasts, currently working my way through Tim Ferriss Show episodes.
iPhone 6. Background photo and reminder to be grateful are both courtesy of my wife, Lauren. Just more proof she’s smarter than me.
Standard Dell Desktop at the office, MacBook Pro when working remotely.
Gadgets you can’t live without:
No super secret James Bond gadgets for me. Just my iPhone.
Do you listen to music while you work?
Depends on the mood. For intense work sessions when I need music without words, I listen to Yo Yo Ma’s take on Bach’s Cello Suites (the Prelude to Suite No. 1 is my all-time favorite classical piece). Currently, when I need some energy, it’s early stuff by The Black Keys. When I’m feeling mellow, Southeastern by Jason Isbell.
What software are you a power user of?
Excel. Learned how to use it from Wayne Winston while in business school. There’s a rumor (no idea if it’s true) that Microsoft used to bring him in to teach its own employees how to better use Excel.
What’s your favorite spot for a business lunch?
The #5 at Pio Pio. Shredded rotisserie chicken served over salad. Sub in plantains instead of french fries. Close to the office and healthy.
Social media habits:
Well, I’m trying to form social media habits but I’m not doing a very good job so far. A little Twitter here and there (@QCStartupLawyer). Intermittent use of Facebook. We’ve also got a blog that will be getting a lot more of my attention in the near future.
To-do list manager:
Clear. It’s a clean, simple lists app. I keep separate lists for work, personal, and home. Checking off an item from a to-do list is a beautiful thing.
What’s your one favorite thing about your job?
Helping people start their own businesses. For many, starting a business is a lifelong dream. I get to help people do that as part of my job.
Best time-saving shortcut or Charlotte life hack:
The parks and greenways are incredible. I’m originally from Chicago which, like most cities, is a concrete jungle. I guess my best Charlotte life hack is to escape to Freedom Park (or whichever park/greenway is closest to you) for a walk when I need to think through a challenging problem or just get out of the office to clear my head. A little bit of nature goes a long way.
Aspirational bedtime of 10 p.m. Wakeup around 6 a.m. I really do try, but I suck at maintaining a regimented sleep schedule.
Where do you go around Charlotte to get away from the office?
It’s getting colder now, so climbing at Inner Peaks. I’m super excited for the new location, which will be much closer to both home and the office.
What did you eat for breakfast this morning?
Same thing every weekday which helps mitigate decision fatigue. I have scrambled eggs with sautéed spinach, topped with some avocado and some black bean and corn salsa. And coffee, lots of coffee.
If you weren’t doing your current job, what would you be doing?
Running a startup. I love startups, no way I could stay away from that world.
Best job advice you’ve received:
You can’t ensure that you’re always the smartest person in the room. But it’s in your power to always be the hardest working.
Last book you read (grade it on a A-F scale):
This is my favorite question. I’m one of those people who starts a lot of books, but most I get through only half. The last book I finished was A Moveable Feast by Hemingway. A+ no question. Hemingway is one of the greats. And he did it by celebrating simplicity in his writing.
Just started re-reading Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl. The author talks about how he survived the Auschwitz concentration camp and how that experience informed his practice as a psychologist. I read it for the first time in high school, and I can say without exaggeration that it changed my life.
Last movie you watched (grade it on a A-F scale):
If I’m answering this honestly, Monster-in-Law. In my defense, my wife put it on without asking for my input (shocker). For those of you who aren’t familiar, it’s a romantic comedy, starring none other than Jennifer Lopez. I’ll give it a C but l admit that I laughed out loud on multiple occasions. Can’t deny that Wanda Sykes is hilarious.
What’s one thing people don’t know about Charlotte that they should?
The startup scene is growing larger and more accessible by the day. PitchBreakfast (second Wednesday morning of every month) and Charlotte Startup Weekend (next one is Jan. 8th-10th) are two great places to get acquainted.
What other Charlottean would you like to answer these questions?
Tom Hanchett. We’re both Charlotte transplants from Chicago, and he’s now Charlotte’s foremost historian.
Enjoying learning how people work? Read the entire How I Work series.