An Appetite for Security Innovation With Paul Spinella of Spectrum Brands

Paul Spinella is the Key Account Manager at Spectrum Brands, a home essentials company delivering the newest solutions to consumers, where he manages wholesale relationships of big brands. He began his career in the finance and insurance sector before transitioning to security with ADT. He is the Author of the book that’s tentatively titled You’re Not Broken. Paul graduated from Southern New Hampshire University with a bachelor’s in psychology and earned his master’s in marriage and family therapy from Capella University. 

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An Appetite for Security Innovation With Paul Spinella of Spectrum Brands


In this episode…

Are you looking to reach your professional and leadership goals? Is it possible to grow in your industry after each milestone? 

Paul Spinella, Key Account Manager at Spectrum Brands, knows the efficacy of a healthy mindset translates across all facets of a brand’s culture. Through experience and research, Paul connects people with better security options to feel safer and is taking steps to ensure better customer experiences. So, are you ready to move forward?

In this episode of the Key Insights Show, Scott Johnson and Paul Spinella, Key Account Manager at Spectrum Brands, sit down to discuss the evolution of the security industry. Paul talks about innovations that increase security on platforms, the importance of a healthy mindset, and his motivation behind writing his book. Stay tuned! 

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Paul Spinella talks about his background in the cyber security space
  • How innovation is transforming the technology space to connect consumers with better security
  • Paul describes his current focus on scaling a successful career
  • The importance of self-renewal for growth and removing deficits from your path
  • Paul shares the motivation and research behind writing his book

Resources Mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by Key Marketing Group.


At Key Marketing Group, we specialize in getting more inbound leads for B2B companies.

Our proven process works time and time again to drive more potential customers to your website — and get them to contact you.


More leads in as little as 3 months. Get started today.


Episode Transcript

Intro  0:02  

Welcome to the Key Insights Show where we feature CEOs and how they’re thriving in today’s market. Now, let’s get started with the show.

Scott Johnson  0:13  

Scott Johnson here. I’m the host of this show, where I talk with business leaders about challenges they’ve overcome and how they are thriving in today’s market. This episode is brought to you by Key Marketing Group. At Key Marketing Group, we specialize in getting more inbound leads for b2b companies. Our proven process works time and time again to drive more potential customers to your website and get them to contact you. More leads in as little as three months Get started today by going to That’s Today’s guest is Paul Spinella of Spectrum Brands. He manages wholesale relationships for really big name brands, Quickset, Baldwin, a lot of products that are probably in your home right now. But he does all kinds of stuff. He’s really into CrossFit. And he’s writing a book. Paul, welcome to the show.

Paul Spinella  1:01  

Hey, Scott, thanks. Very excited to be here. 

Scott Johnson  1:05  

Yeah. So I like asking people, how did you get started in this business? Because no one’s like, oh, you know, ever since I was a teen, I was dying to be in commercial security.

Paul Spinella  1:13  

Yes, yeah, that’s so true. That used to be nice to lead with that, actually. Um, so I was living in New York City. And I believe I was 25 or 26. It was right before 2010 had hit. And before then I’d spent a career in the financial and insurance sector. And for those who may not recall, that was a time 2008 910. Right. It was a really rough time. And I remember fighting against someone who had like their, their master’s in finance. And I was some young kid, and they were from Merrill Lynch. And I was from this insurance agency in Midtown. And we were both competing for a teller job part-time at Bank of America. And that’s when I was like, yeah, there’s just no way. I need to branch outside of that space into something new. And I stumbled across an ad for an ADT dealer and interviewed and was hired. And that was the beginning of my career in this in the connected space in the security space in the smart home space. And it’s really been a wild ride ever since.

Scott Johnson  2:17  

Nice. I feel like it always starts with ADT. For everyone.

Paul Spinella  2:22  

Those three letters? Absolutely. I mean, they’re kind of like the McDonald’s right? Of the food space. They say, what is it one in three Americans end up working at McDonald’s and getting experience there for us? I think ADT is that initial experience that many, many participate in? So yes, I would agree.

Scott Johnson  2:38  

Totally. So I mean, you’re a younger guy in this business. And I mean, clearly, you’re, you’re crushing in the regional sales role already. I mean, what’s it like just different perspective, younger guy, and maybe embracing tech? What’s it like to be in the, you know, the younger guy in the office there?

Paul Spinella  2:55  

First off, I appreciate that. There are, there are a lot of older minds bodies in this space. But I do see a lot of of youth innovation, which is really exciting to see, I like to think that I’m the younger guy, but I’m also humble enough to realize I’m quickly becoming the older guy. Right? So I’ll be I’ll be turning 38 this month. And I think that there’s a need for this space to really adopt and accept and foster the ideas of the generation even below me, because that’s what’s moving the space forward. It’s it’s become very tech oriented. And that has created a sort of this need to to consistently innovate and innovate at a pace that this space historically hasn’t before. And when I think of brands, like what to gig did to create some disruption, what classes did Dave pulling in Qolysis I mean, they, they really created a lot of innovation and a lot of disruption. So it’s, it’s a really exciting time. And I think, being on the younger side, it creates an appetite for that I tend to be the one voice that’s encouraging out of the box ideas, and encouraging the need for us to move quicker, the more effective, be more efficient, take risk, and also really take a look at what’s working and what’s out there. Who’s around us that’s participating in this space. I get excited when I see things like Amazon acquires, you know, Ray, that doesn’t scare me, that excites me. There’s consolidation in this investment of the space because these giants, I think, are going to really show all of us what is possible.

Scott Johnson  4:47  

Yeah, I mean, you mentioned some disruption, but I mean, specifically, what’s an example where kind of the industry was offended by tech a little bit?

Paul Spinella  4:55  

Yeah, I think there was two times one, you know, I think the connected space When Z wave initially long launched and became a thing, and there was a way to integrate, you know, light modules and thermostats and door locks into security systems. I think a lot of people didn’t really understand that and they didn’t understand why a customer would want that and what that would look like. And now we’re starting to see especially in the commercial space with multifamily and MDU and the Airbnb is and verbose. You know, all of these types of approaches to those verticals, which didn’t exist 678 years ago, right, and are now dominating. They’ve really transformed what it looks like to want to have a connected experience. Historically, in that time period, Z wave has been a leader in the Z wave Alliance, of course, has been responsible for bringing 10s of 1000s of products together, and having them all move in unison when, when there are modifications to Z wave, we’ve gone from 300 to 500, to 700, this year, and it’s rumored that 700 is going to have a short run. And we’re going to move to 800 in about 12 months, which once again, for me that trickles to that need for being a fast follower and or you know, a leader. But even with all that success, there’s rumors that Z wave is gonna not exist in the next two to three years, or at least lose a tremendous amount of market share. And we’re gonna see other types of innovation, replace Z wave, and one of those rumors is is this platform called thread. And I wish I could go down a tech deep dive on that. But a quick Google search will give your listeners an idea of what thread is, but that I remember hearing that from Ai engineers, and I was like, there’s no ways the waves can go anywhere. And if it does, it’s probably going to get replaced with Wi Fi. Right? Because 98% of homeowners already have Wi Fi in their home. It’s already there. That’s the future. But it looks like threads can be a big part of that.

Scott Johnson  7:03  

Yeah, so for the uninitiated like myself, can you give us a real high level of Z wave and thread?

Paul Spinella  7:11  

Oh, gosh, I can try. Yeah.

Scott Johnson  7:15  

And when you say Z wave 300 500 700 those are those are models? I’m assuming?

Paul Spinella  7:20  

Z? Yeah, very good. Good question. To clarify. Those are the iterations. So it kind of be like when, for anyone who’s a PC user, right? How the Intel chip has evolved. And there’s been a number attached to it and that evolution has, has provided things right, like increased processing increase PC experience. So that’s sort of what the Z wave series in No, in numerology represents as well. So every time there’s been an upgrade, that number has changed. That number is reflected things like increased range, increase security, and various other modifications to that to the platform. Thread is a totally different type of encryption. It’s basically stackable code code. And one of the perspectives is because of that, it’s much safer. So think of thread is sort of like blockchain to cryptocurrency. And that’s why I think a lot of engineers are very bullish on thread being the, the new platform of choice, and very quickly doing so.

Scott Johnson  8:25  

Gotcha. Yeah, well, it’s good to have someone in their 30s following this stuff. So we work with a lot of different commercial security companies. And I’d say the average age of the contact we work with is, you know, no less than 55. So yeah, when I try to talk to you, my mom or something about Bitcoin, it’s, you know, eyes glaze over and stuff. So following this, I’m changing gears on you. So you’re going for your master’s in Psych. I saw that on LinkedIn. What kind of inspired you to do that? I mean, you’re already you know, super busy. You know, this commercial security business.

Paul Spinella  9:02  

Yeah, thanks. It’s a huge passion of mine. And what inspired me to do that is really just been just life in general as a whole. When I first stepped into this space, I was handed a book by Malcolm Gladwell, titled outliers, and that was sort of the the opening to unpacking authors like Brian Tracy Jack Canfield, the secret Tony Robbins, and throughout the last, gosh, 12 1314 years, I’ve read hundreds of books. My undergrad is in psychology, and, and I’ve just always had an appreciation of always wanting to understand what drives human behavior. And in this space, that’s a really significant and meaningful question, right? What’s driving human behavior? What are the trends? Where are these products serving and supporting and filling the needs, wants and desires of our customers? And of course, You know, frontline sales roll, man, if you understand psychology and human behavior that’s going to significantly help. So it started really in that sort of correlative to how can I become a better salesperson and then growing into a sales manager and sales leader? How can I become, you know, a better sales manager? How can I support my people? How do customers respond? How do people respond, and that was the focus, and it’s kind of just grown ever since. And so it’s near and dear to me. I love self work and self development. I also serve here locally as a board member for for a 501 C three, that is focused on giving back in the form of creating a private school based on psychological practices that really transform what it’s like to go to school and learn beyond stem to not have shame based, shame based environment where you’re getting sent to the principal’s office or being told you talk too much. It’s kind of Strength Finders in a sense, and so yeah, it’s just a huge passion of mine. It’s something I love to do inside and outside of work. And when I started pursuing toward my undergrad site, the question I asked myself was, what would I want to study regardless of what my profession is, what’s something I thoroughly enjoy? And I remember looking at the hundreds of books on my bookshelf, and just realizing, wow, right, like all of these guys and gals that I study and read that, you know, the Brene Browns of the world, the Tony Robbins of the world, and Mel Robbins, like they’re all talking it through that lens of psychology, so why not study it? And then once I finished working towards my masters just just seemed like a great compliment.

Scott Johnson  11:43  

Yeah, it seems like you’ve found your your sales superpower. So I like asking successful salespeople, what’s their superpower? And you just kind of hinted at yours there. I was speaking with someone last night, and he said his top sales rep made 1.2 million this year. And I was like, what? And he’s, he’s 32. And he’s in the Bay Area. So it’s like, okay, he could almost buy a house. But what’s his superpower? And he just said, you know, extremely urgent. He attacks everyday with urgency. And if they see someone on maybe on their website that clicks on something and shows interest, he’s on it. He’s calling emailing them, he’s mailing them something, whatever. And it seems like your superpower is kind of, you know, getting in the mind of the consumer, not what it takes to sell them. But really kind of what’s what’s driving this sales conversation and seeing if you guys can fulfill it.

Paul Spinella  12:34  

100% 100%? Absolutely. When I was living in New York City, I had a really kind gentleman, and I wish I can recall his name, but unfortunately, I can’t. He had shared with me, something that I will always, always remember. And it was when you’re dealing with people, every every interaction, every situation is going to be as simple and complex as they are. And that has just stood out to me ever since. And so unpacking that, through a site cleanse has been very, very helpful. And yes, absolutely, I think a huge catalyst to, to the success of my professional career.

Scott Johnson  13:09  

Yeah, that’s awesome. Yeah, we’ve hired a number of sales reps here, we do a lot of outbound and stuff to the commercial security industry. And especially the guys that are new into sales they have, they always go into what I call pitch mode, you know, they look at the script, and they’re like, Okay, this is the best, and I just don’t like No, no pitch mode, stop that, like, listen and educate. And if it makes sense for them, you have yourself a sale. But yeah, so it’s not all about just spewing out, you know, product features, you know, you got to listen, yeah, one thing I want to get into, you mentioned in kind of the pre show is you’re really into surrounding yourself with the best people. And that’s something that’s kind of near and dear to my heart as a small business owner. We’re a team of six, and we’re growing, but only one out of every three hires make it and it drives people crazy to do training for us, because they’re like, come on, I just spent two months training them. But I’m like, you know, if we want to be the best seo company, we need the best people working here. And it’s just hard to find those people. When you find good people, it’s like, hang on to them and take good care of them. So can you talk about that a little bit? I mean, you kind of proactively said that you this type of thing is really important too is finding the best people and surrounding yourself with them. 

Paul Spinella  14:22  

Oh my gosh, yes. Yeah, I would not be the person that I am today without, without really being blessed to to have surrounded myself with very kind, wise, generous mentors who have poured into me throughout the last decade. Yeah, it’s really kind of hard to put into words. I mean, I thoroughly enjoy learning, you know, hence the appetite for the books and pursuing a master’s. I just really enjoy learning. And I feel like it’s one of those things where the more knowledge gained It’s really kind of a catch 22 right that the more I know, the more I recognize, I don’t know anything. And so surrounding myself with mentors, has just really, it’s been such a catalyst for growth for understanding for sandboarding having people to go to during certain seasons of life. Yeah, I mean, it’s super important. And especially in sales, I feel like, you know, salespeople are very much because it’s so person to person facing, right, it’s easy to take on a lot of emotion, it’s easy to get drained, it’s easy to not have the best rituals, it’s easy to get lost in the hustle and the grind. And so, you know, maybe you’re not eating breakfast, lunch and dinner, maybe you’re not working out, and you know, you’re just running on caffeine, and monsters, but you’re swinging and you’re selling and you’re succeeding, and you’re making money in your bank accounts growing, but there’s deficits everywhere else. And so having having, you know, really, really wise people in your life to help point those out, I think is critical.

Scott Johnson  16:02  

Yeah, definitely. And, you know, one of the mistakes I see a lot is people seeking mentors, go to them and say, hey, you know, they kind of approach them with their handout. And you always got to start by giving, you know, what value can you give to them? These are typically very busy in demand people. And I mean, just give, give, give, and you know, things have a way of coming back to you.

Paul Spinella  16:24  

Yeah, I agree. That kind of that Gary Vee model, right?

Scott Johnson  16:28  

Yeah, exactly. So you’re working on a book, too. What’s? I mean, that’s a massive undertaking. Can you can you tell us about that?

Paul Spinella  16:36  

Gosh, yeah, I’ve always been a creative soul. Oh, he’s a writer. When I was young and nerdy, it was poems. And then when I was hip, and cool, it was songs and bands, right. So that was much easier for most people to swallow. To lead with, Hey, I wrote a song, you want to hear it, right. But yeah, at this stage of my life, I just had an opportunity to sit down and reflect on, on relationships on loss on learning how to let go on on forgiveness, and self work and healing. And I just basically took a lot of things that I was journaling, and started putting them into my computer. And the next thing I knew I had was 20,000 words on my screen, in the form of story. And so. So it’s this book that’s sort of rooted in memoir, it’s very, you know, and, and nonfiction, so it’s all truths. But it’s raw, and it’s candid, and it’s honest. And I’m hopeful that, yeah, and I’m hopeful that I’m that it continues to progress. I’m in the middle of developmental edits. And in the stage of editing, I’ll tell you, I’ve gained a deep appreciation for anyone who’s written a book and published a book, or even books, the writing is easiest part, but holy heck, getting feedback from an editor is very, very vulnerable. There was one one night where I literally just deleted six chapters after her feedback, and was like, forget it, you know, like, I’m just gonna, I’m gonna pick up from here, I’m hitting Delete, I’m not looking back. So it, there’s a lot of late nights. But yeah, it’s just another kind of another passion of mine is writing. And it showed up this season, in the form of a manuscript. So I’m very hopeful that that leads to something and it becomes an opportunity for others to use as a resource to really unite us that have this intrinsic belief that we all seek love, safety and connection. And that’s kind of the themes in the book. So

Scott Johnson  18:40  

yeah, and I mean, what a great time to be able to write a book, you know, with self publishing and the Internet getting stuff out there, you don’t need to, you know, go through a publishing company that’s gonna you know, distill it down to something that wasn’t even your intent in the first place. You can promote it through email contacts, so a lot of great stuff there. So you know, this episode will come out towards the end of December, if people are interested in want to learn more, either about you or the book, where can they find you?

Paul Spinella  19:08  

Yeah, I appreciate that websites in the works, actually. So pulse, my first name and last name, Not yet published, but it’s in the works. And then there will be there will be a redirect on there for the book as well, which is currently tentatively titled You’re Not Broken. So my hope is to have that launched, probably next year this time, but those would be the two resources. And then of course, LinkedIn. So yeah,

Scott Johnson  19:37  

great. All right. We’ve been talking with Paul Spinella of Spectrum Brands. Thanks so much, Paul.

Outro  19:46  

Thanks for listening to the Key Insights Show. We’ll see you again next time. And be sure to click Subscribe to get future episodes.