After graduating from Grand Valley State University with a degree in marketing and finance, Chandler Biggs found a home at LaFleur, where he works as our business growth specialist. Chandler loves getting to know LaFleur’s clients and helping them achieve their business goals through strong partnerships and smart solutions.
A natural entrepreneur and adventurer, Chandler created a business selling lifestyle apparel and adventure trips to college students while he was still studying at Grand Valley. In 2019, he closed down his business to focus on his full-time marketing career, but he maintains a passion for traveling, exploring, and meeting new people wherever he goes.
Chandler sat down with us to recap his first few months in the digital marketing world, share experiences from his recent trip to Thailand, and (under duress) tell us what he does when he stops working.
LaFleur: Tell me about what you do here at LaFleur.
Chandler Biggs: I am the business growth specialist, so what I’m responsible for is bringing in any new potential clients, getting them familiar with LaFleur, helping them through the journey of understanding who we are, how we can help out in their niche or industry.
LF: Is that the type of role you were looking for in terms of a career? I know plenty of people, including myself, find their way to marketing unexpectedly.
CB: Yeah, I mean, I graduated from Grand Valley with a degree in finance and marketing, and I had done some business dev stuff before, so it made sense to go into this kind of a role. Before, I had done a lot of face-to-face business development, but now it’s a little bit more — we have clients all over the country, so you can’t necessarily do it all face to face. That’s been the biggest change, but besides that, it’s definitely something I wanted to go into.
LF: What were you doing before you started at LaFleur?
CB: I had just graduated from college. I did some miscellaneous jobs and internships while I was in school.
LF: What does a day for you here at LaFleur look like?
CB: I usually get into the office between 9 and 10, so it’s a pretty relaxed morning. I go to the gym before that. When I get in, I look through all my emails and messages, check for anything that might have come in through LinkedIn and that kind of stuff.
After that, I look at anyone who’s downloaded an ebook, contacted us through our web forms, or has subscribed to the newsletter, and then I try to connect with those people through multiple platforms to try and develop some sort of relationship outside of just a quick email. And then I also just do different things to keep us involved in the community, like going to Rotary Club meetings and talking to people there. It really depends on the day, though.
LF: Yeah, I find that every day here is a little different, which really helps me stay engaged. I can’t really do a job that’s just a punch in, punch out, repeat type deal.
CB: Oh, same here. I’m a big fan of just the way work flows here. It’s always something new and interesting.
LF: So, what would you say is your favorite thing about the role that you have? And I don’t mean your favorite thing about LaFleur, even though we’re super cool. I mean more like, what motivates you when it comes to the work you do and what do you strive to get out of your work?
CB: I usually ask people this question, because it can be helpful: I ask, “If you could be the best at one thing, what would you want to be best at?” I love asking that question because you really get to the core of what motivates someone.
LF: That’s a good one. I might have to steal it for interviews.
CB: Do it! It really works.
LF: Done. If you could be the best at one thing, what would you want to best at?
CB: I would want to be the best at communicating, I think. I’ve heard a lot of different answers from a lot of different people, and I’ve heard, you know, “I want to be the best basketball player” or “I want to be the best businessman” and so on. There are so many different drivers.
But I think being a great communicator allows you to know what to say, how to say it, when to say it, whether you should speak or just listen. I think being able to communicate well with people opens the door for a lot of awesome relationships.
LF: I buy that. I mean, many people might not think of communication as the most inspiring or important thing at first glance, but look at political leadership. That’s really the most important skill, right? That’s primarily what the president does in our country.
CB: That’s totally true.
LF: So, I know you recently took a trip to Thailand. Can you tell us about that?
CB: Yeah, I took a two-week trip to Thailand just a couple weeks ago. I went with my girlfriend at the time — I say at the time because now we’re engaged, so that’s super exciting. I proposed in Thailand with her family there and stuff, and it went perfectly.
We did all sorts of crazy things while we were there. We gave elephants mud baths, which was a blast. We went on longboats up to Maya Bay, went snorkeling, saw sharks. We would walk the beach and watch the sunsets, hike around. Ko Phi Phi island was beautiful. If anyone goes to Thailand, I’d definitely recommend they go there.
LF: What about the food? I feel like getting some great Thai street food would be a huge part of that for me.
CB: Definitely. We had tons of great food. Everything over there is super cheap, too — it’s like four or five bucks for a meal with a drink. I did get one thing that was pretty rough. If you see something that’s like a skewer of meat with some type of barbecue sauce on it, I would be careful with that, because you don’t know what’s in it. I got something like that, and I took a bite of it, and I’m not sure what I was eating, but I could not finish that.
LF: Nothing like some Thai mystery meat. So besides traveling, what else do you like to do?
CB: My family and I just got into real estate a little bit. We bought a house and rented it out, and I’m a property manager for our small business. So that’s been a blast on the side. It’s kind of crazy, because why would you want to do that for fun? But honestly, I enjoy it.
LF: Yeah, you beat me to it. I was going to say, so your hobby is a side hustle? But hey, I get it. Some people love to work and stay productive.
CB: Yeah, and it’s cool because my fiancée Shawna also enjoys that, so sometimes we’ll do that stuff together as a work date.
LF: Stop. I can’t take the excitement.
CB: Ha! Yeah, I get it, but we really enjoy it, and it creates a second stream of income too.
LF: Alright, but now I need you to name something you like to do that is not a form of work.
CB: Adventuring is definitely important to me. In college, I started a company called Big Adventure Company, and that was awesome. It lasted for about four years, and I sold lifestyle apparel and gear and sort of created a lifestyle to follow. People would travel and take pictures with the gear and stuff. The two focuses were for you to challenge your comfort zone and then to develop real community. You can do a lot of those things together in an adventure sort of mindset.
And at the end of it, I did two trips, one to Florida and one to Colorado, and took groups of people to go cave exploring and do adventuring kind of stuff. So it was a blast, but at the end of the four years, I decided to put a lid on it to start my marketing career.
LF: That’s awesome. You do realize you still have not named an activity that is not a type of work.
CB: Okay. Well, I like to read. I didn’t read at all in high school or before college, but I’ve gotten into it and it’s something I love to do now in my spare time.
LF: Very cool. What’s the last thing you read that really made an impression on you?
CB: So, since Shawna and I are going towards marriage, we’re reading a book called “The Meaning of Marriage.” It’s kind of a get-ready primer, so that’s what I’m on now.
LF: Very cool. It sounds like you guys are off to a great start.
CB: I think so. Thanks!