Inside The Growth Room of Kenny Chandra, Account Manager at Aspire

Kenny is an Account Manager at Aspire. Previously Revenue Specialist at Subsplash and Account Manager at Hacktiv8 Indonesia

Kenny Chandra, Account Manager at Aspire

Say "Hi" and connect with Kenny on LinkedIn

1) To kickstart, could you share about your current role, what the company does and a bit about your career background?

I am currently working as an Account Manager in a company named Aspire. What they do is modernize the payment solution and financial software industry by combining both of these worlds so that people can manage all their finance activity in one place. It’s like Salesforce but for Finance!

One thing that I’d subjectively say is unique about my background is that I already shifted my career once even though I am still in my mid-20s. I graduated with an Accounting degree and I had the opportunity to spend about a year working as an Accountant in a fast-growing company before I decided that this is not the right path for me. Nothing wrong with the role, but I am looking for a career that’s a bit more “active” and get more chance to connect with new people, which I feel like it's harder to achieve in my previous role.

However, I don’t see this as a setback or a waste of time. All those times grinding and learning about balance sheets, financial statements, cash flow, etc, was definitely paid off as I can still apply this to my current role when talking to my clients as an Account Manager.

2) Can you describe what your typical workday looks like?

My typical day includes things like brainstorming with my peers, meeting with clients, and working on operational and data entry tasks. My main goal as an Account Manager is to be their spend management consultant, in which I am supposed to help them save both time and money for their business.

In addition to that, I also love networking with my colleagues through a 30 mins 1:1 chat to get to know them better and understand how we can help each other. Overall, making new connections is one of the things that I love the most about this role actually: You make your living by talking to people. I couldn’t ask for a better job at this moment.

3) What does personal growth mean to you?

  • Personal growth is when we keep going even though we don’t see an instant gratification when doing something

  • Personal growth is when you finally realize you have your own timeline and you are only competing with yourself.

  • Personal growth is when you add 1% improvement consistently and not instantresults overnight. Consistency triumphs instant gratification every single time. I rather do 10 push up every day for the rest of the year rather than 100 push up but only for a month

  • Personal growth is when you don’t get personally offended with constructive criticism given by your colleague/manager.

  • Personal growth is when you stop listening to what everyone says and start focusing on the things that matter to you most.

  • Finally, personal growth only comes when you realize that this is your life and you are not letting other people drive the steering wheel.

4) Is there a habit you consciously exercise to ensure you achieve your ideal personal growth?

Considering I am not an avid book reader (working on this), I always find networking and getting to know new people very beneficial for my personal growth. When I talk to someone new (either via zoom or chat), I usually learn a completely different perspective on how different people solve different problems. It’s a breath of fresh air to me and helps me realize that my way of seeing things or solving problems is just one out of many. It helps put things to perspective that my way is not the only way. In addition to that, I also find a lot of interesting people on LinkedIn that resonate well and actually become good professional friends. This is why I love doing this so much and I’ll keep doing this until I retire!

5) What does it mean to grow in your career? How do you measure your career growth?

Growing in my career means having to wake up every morning and feeling under pressure because you don't know everything about your role and there are still plenty of things to learn. You are never daydreaming or working on auto-pilot in the middle of the day and are constantly on the move or researching something on how to improve your craft. Speaking from my personal experience, it was not fun to be in a stagnant role at all.

For me, the easiest way to measure it is by taking a step back and comparing it to what you have been doing in the past 5 years, for example. I am not saying that you need to get a constant promotion every one or two years, but more about what kind of knowledge you have now vs 5 years ago. If you can answer without hesitation that you've learned a lot during these periods, I would see it as a success. Even if it looks like you're not going anywhere in terms of job title, but you do a lot of freelancing or side gigs along with your full-time job, I'd still think that's a massive growth because it means you're so efficient at your role to the point that you can build your own business on the side.

6) Aside from your full-time job, is there anything else you like to do outside work?

Plenty, actually! I love everything related to football and trying to get back playing futsal more consistently now that covid is healing. I am also on the lookout on finding a good HIIT/Crossfit Gym near where I live. In addition to sports, I am doing my best to spend at least some time reading books about business, finance, psychology, and personal development when I am not working.

Lastly, it’s still a speculation, but I am also considering getting a Spanish license and enrolling into a baking course in the near future. Fingers crossed that I am not burning myself out if I enroll in all of these hahaha…

7) Are there any books, podcasts or apps that have been helpful for your growth?

Here are the lists of books that I recommend people to read if they’re interested with sales, leadership, or just business in general:

  • Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss → Best Negotiation book by miles. The fact that the author is a former FBI make this book unique and very exciting to read in its own way

  • The Making of a Manager by Julie Zhuo → Easy to digest and perfect for people who recently become a manager or aspire to become one. In this book, Julie summarizes her experience when she started working as a manager at Facebook and had no idea what she was doing before she eventually overcame this hurdle. Highly recommended!

  • Surrounded by Idiots by Thomas Erikson → An interesting book especially on my line of work to understand how to deal with different types of personalities.

  • Atomic Habits by James Clear → Hands down, one of the best books I’ve ever read so far. A simple but highly effective book teaching us how to implement a better habit and get rid of the toxic ones. Superb by James!

  • Twelve and a Half by Gary Vee → This book will teach you how to leverage your EQ and soft skills so that you can be successful at work without being a jerk :)

  • Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel → Perfect book for people who are looking to improve their financial literacy as I see this is very lacking in college curriculum these days

8) Any tips you’d like to share for those who are looking to venture into similar roles?

You may want to connect to people who are already doing the job and then ask about their experiences. This will help you know what to expect instead of getting any surprise later on. This will also help you determine whether this new role is going to be the right fit for you or not.

In addition to that, it’s always a good sign if you want to go above & beyond by reading books with related topics or enrolling in an online course that has anything to do with the role you are applying for. At least that’s what I did when I was shifting from accounting to sales.

9) Finally, what is the one quote you always live by?

Never allow yourself to be defined by someone else’s opinion of you”

Seriously though, most people that are judging you or telling you what you should or should not do when they don’t even have the context. In most cases, they are just saying that to make them feel better about themselves or they are jealous of where you currently are in your career. Don’t let these people hinder you from becoming the best version of yourself! This is your life, not theirs. You are the one who’s supposed to be in control. Don’t let society dictate on what you should and should not do.

Always trust yourself better than anyone else because you are the only person in this world who knows yourself inside and out. Not even your parents know you better than yourself.

If you want to build a business while also doing freelance on the side, do it if it’s the life that you want. If you want to work 9-5 and just collect paycheck but you feel fulfilled and have no financial strains, do it rather than feeling bad when your entrepreneur’s friend tells you how awesome their life is.

You get the idea. Oh and one more thing: Don’t take feedback from people you won’t take advice from. There is a difference between constructive criticism and people who just want to see you fail. Be smart on this one :) As much as I want to sugarcoat this, I just want to say welcome to real life, I guess.


Looking to kickstart your doing sales in tech?

If you are affected by layoffs recently and looking for a sales role, apply to Aspire here.


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