At Robson Laidler, we want you to get to know us better!
This month, we talk to our Business Advisor Jack Spoor. Jack co-leads our Business Accelerator department, providing personal and business development coaching to clients to help them reach their goals.
Here’s a little more about Jack….
What is your role & how long have you done this for?
My job title is Business Advisor. This means I speak to clients in a bit more depth about their business and personal goals. I find out their burning issues and pain points and get my hands dirty in helping them address these and facilitate growth. I would like to think that if a client has any problem in their business, then we can help them identify and solve it. In fact, we are so confident in this that we offer an impact guarantee, whereby if we haven’t made an impact to your businesses within 90 days you don’t pay us a penny!
I am also responsible for all R&D projects at Robson Laidler. This service is part of the Business Accelerator department, which was set up last year and is headed up by myself and my colleague Bob Evans. Prior to business coaching, I worked as a manger in our Audit & Assurance department.
What brought you to the company?
I originally joined Robson Laidler in 2013 after a short internship after I finished University. I had just returned from a 5-month stint of playing rugby in Hong Kong and I admit that I initially saw it as a stop gap. However, after a few weeks of working at RL, I had completely changed my mind. I had been reminded of what a wonderful place Newcastle is and how great the people that live here are.
The next thing I knew, I was signing a training contract to do my Chartered exams and the rest is history…
What 3 words describe yourself?
Intrapreneurial, curious, enthusiastic.
What do you like most about your job?
Simply put, talking to clients. As you can guess from my previous answer, I am quite nosy. So, I like to ask clients questions about their business, for no other reason that I am genuinely interested. It is a great feeling and privilege to listen to passionate people talk about their business and open up about the problems that they are facing.
That feeling is only eclipsed when they tell you that you have helped them overcome issues and they value you as their trusted advisor.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I absolutely love cooking; it is in my blood. My grandmother used to run her own catering company, and my dad was a two-star Michelin chef back in the day. Food is something that has played a huge part of my life. It is one of the ways that I unwind at the end of the day.
Away from the kitchen, I am a huge sports fan. Like most people, I got into running during lockdown, but my first love is rugby. Although I hung up my boots a good few years ago, I am an avid spectator.
What are you most excited about right now?
After two covid-related postponements I finally got married in September this year. It goes without saying that we are currently living in matrimonial bliss and my wife is extremely lucky to have landed such a catch!
However, the plus side of having a covid-disrupted wedding is that we still have our honeymoon to look forward to. Fingers crossed will be heading off to Singapore and Bali in April.
Who is your biggest inspiration?
I am spoilt for inspirational characters in my family, so I will just describe two.
My Grandfather was one of my idols growing up. He was an accountant, insolvency practitioner and managing partner of the Newcastle branch of EY, a legendary campaigner and fundraiser for the various charities he was involved with and a notorious party animal. All whilst being paralysed from the waist down after an accident in his 30s. I remember him as the smartest and bravest man I knew.
Similarly, my sister is an inspiration. She was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at a toddler and has had a lifetime of disruption, with extended hospital stays for prolonged treatments. Her lung function over the past few years deteriorated to point that she needed to be regularly assessed for a transplant. All the while she never complained, instead focussing her energies on living her life to the max and managed to travel the world raising funds and awareness for CF. We have run the Great North Run and cycled the Coast 2 Coast together, both of which highlights how special she is.
If you won the lottery what would you do?
All the cliché answers immediately come to mind. Buy a tropical island, year-round holidays, private jets etc. I could also give an accountants answer and say I would lay out a sound investment plan.
However, what I would love to do is to own homes in my favourite places, which I could visit in a moment’s notice. I have close ties to the North Northumberland coast and the Lake District, so cottages there would be a must.
Tell us something about yourself nobody knows
I am a Freeman of the City of Newcastle. This gives me certain privileges over other Newcastle citizens, such as the right to graze cattle on the Town Moor. A right I have yet to exercise.
Best piece of advice you have been given?
This may not count as advice, but I remember my dad telling me at a young age that “there is nothing better than spending your own money”. At the time, I think it was his way of telling me to get off my backside and get a summer job, but it has had a profound effect on me to this day. He has always taught me that success comes from hard work and effort, and I have taken that mindset into every situation.