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A Conversation with Spencer McClung – Principal of Advisory Firm Three

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Spencer

Spencer McClung is an investor, advisor, entrepreneur, and executive in digital media and technology. He is currently a Principal at Advisory Firm Three, a firm that makes special situation investments through its fund Advisory Firm Three Holdings, LLC. The firm also specializes in management consulting and advisory work, with a focus on early through growth-stage businesses.

 

Spencer McClung helps entrepreneurs build and accelerate the growth of their companies, advising them in areas such as fundraising, strategic planning, revenue planning, operations, and team-building.

 

Before joining Advisory Firm Three, Spencer was EVP, Media and Partnerships at BFA/IPSY, where he was responsible for managing the company’s media business, which included programming/editorial studio, branded content, creative, sales/integrated marketing, business development, creator community, and events businesses.

 

Before Spencer McClung joined BFA/IPSY as EVP, Media and Partnerships, he was Chief Operating Officer at Kin Community where he was responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the company’s programming, creator community, sales, business development, finance, strategic planning, HR and legal teams.

 

Spencer lives in Nashville with his wife and two children. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BBA in Finance with honors from Texas A&M University.

 

We had the opportunity to talk with Spencer McClung to hear about how he got to where he is now, and how a typical day is spent as an investor and advisor.

 

What does your day-to-day job entail?

 

I am fortunate enough to be able to partner with a group of advisors and investors to work with an amazing array of entrepreneurs in the digital space.

 

In a nutshell, through advisory work and capital support, we help start-up entrepreneurs grow their businesses. We assist them with finding solutions in key areas, like determining the company’s value proposition, product-market fit, developing a scalable platform and operations, developing their teams, and raising capital, among many other things.

 

My typical day is spent with CEOs and team members discussing ways to address these areas. I also spend a lot of time reaching out to our network of partners to help us find these solutions.

 

What is your favorite thing about what you do?

 

I love problem-solving with entrepreneurs. Launching a start-up is hard and there’s a lot you have to consider. This includes things like testing the value proposition, validating the business model, identifying and understanding the customer, providing the right solutions, architecting and building a scalable platform, developing a brand and voice, planning operations, building a team, raising capital, and the list goes on. These are common challenges that every tech entrepreneur faces and all need help to navigate.

 

To me, advising a CEO and tapping into their excitement and dream to tackle these challenges and build a great company is amazing. I am inspired every day by collaborating with entrepreneurs on ways to grow their businesses, nurture and equip their teams for success, cast their visions, and fulfill their missions.

 

What have you done before your current work?

 

Before my current role as an advisor and investor at Advisory Firm Three, I was an entrepreneur and executive in the digital space. I was EVP, Media and Partnerships at BFA/IPSY, which is the largest beauty subscription platform in the world. It has an avid community of over 25 million strong and over 180 million product reviews. I was responsible for managing the company’s media business, which included programming/editorial studio, branded content, creative, sales/integrated marketing, business development, creator community, and events businesses.

 

Prior to joining BFA/IPSY as EVP, Media and Partnerships, I was Chief Operating Officer at Kin Community which is a leading women’s lifestyle media platform for digital creators. I was responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the company’s programming, creator community, sales, business development, finance, strategic planning, HR and legal teams.

 

Before joining Kin as COO, I was head of Corporate Development and a Board Member of CERECONS, a B2B SAAS healthcare platform. Prior to CERECONS, I held leadership positions in business development, advertising sales and finance at Yahoo!/Launch Media and Disney.

 

How do you bring ideas to life?

 

Collaborating with a team and bringing ideas to life as a group is one of the most fulfilling experiences in my work. There have been many problems I have solved or projects I’ve worked on solo, and there is a degree of satisfaction in that work. But for me, brainstorming and problem solving with a team of smart folks is deeply satisfying.

 

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

 

I would correct some minor mistakes but I would not change anything major – my mind does not work that way. My life is not perfect, and I have made many mistakes, but I love my life and the people in it. If I changed anything major like school, career, my wife, etc. my life and the people in it would be totally different – so the thought process ends there.

 

I am grateful for the path I have walked – the good, the bad and the ugly – and mainly for the people dear to me.

 

Tel Aviv-born, an entrepreneur, CEO, manager, and marketing strategist. I have been working for some leading publications like Datafloq, Blogher, Engadget, Medium and other publication.

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