Spencer Gallagher
Co-Founder and CEO of Cactus

I interviewed Spencer Gallagher Co-Founder of Cactus, the UK’s leading Agency growth consultancy. Spencer and his team have worked with over 1,000 creative, tech and innovation agencies over the past 10 years helping them overcome growth challenges and to create successful outcomes for their businesses. Spencer is an author and is the Co-Founder of Agencynomics the community that supports agencies of today and the future.


During the interview we discussed how Spencer started his career building websites in the early days of digital in his mother’s garden shed – ignoring the laughter of business people who didn’t believe the internet was the future… and how Spencer went on to build and sell his own successful digital agency. This bought him to where he is now – successfully advising agencies keen to grow - around the world.


In this inspiring interview you will hear:

  • How Spencer helps agencies unlock their growth mindset and how to shift away from the wrong decisions to the right ones.

  • The power of yin and yan in business - how pairing with the right partner has been the key to his success.

  • How by removing hierarchy and embracing 'holacracy' in a business can increase efficiency and improve teams.

  • The importance of constant learning.   He also shares some amazing book recommendations!

  • The value of outside advice to help avoid self-sabotage and overwhelm.

  • And finally, how the incredible power of having a single vision, focus and a strong belief system is the key to success.

Spencer GallagherSpencer Gallagher
00:00 / 01:04

0:00 | Alan introduces the show by talking briefly about his history in business. He continues by describing the format and purpose of the show.


1:14 | Alan invites listeners to get in touch with questions and comments, and gives contact details.


1:36 | Alan welcomes Spencer Gallagher to the show and invites him to introduce his company, Cactus, an agency growth consultancy.


3:06 | Spencer explains that Cactus utilises a collaboration based economy model. He explains that the nature of this model means that his staff are located nationwide.


4:18 | Spencer gives an insight into the company’s customer base and the benefits of this customer base.


6:20 | Spencer details the challenges that Cactus helps agencies to overcome.


7:50 | Spencer reveals how employees will work in pairs to combine strengths and specialities.

9:42 | Spencer touches on his decision to have a small team and why he has started to scale up employment.


10:52 | Spencer describes the circumstances, decisions, and events that led to a business model that has employees working in pairs.


14:46 | Alan and Spencer discuss the benefits of pairing, working in an agile manner, and flat structured business models.


19:24 | Spencer shares his ideas of “eco-pods”, an approach he developed to try and navigate issues that come with scaling up.


21:50 | Spencer recalls the unfortunate beginnings of his career and the events that led him to become a self-employed website developer. He reveals the mantra and mind-set that got him through difficult times, and some of the challenges he faced along the way.


30:31 | Spencer describes the factors that led him to realise the potential of his first company.


33:06 | Spencer gives an insight into the timescale of the growth of his first company.


35:13 | Spencer describes the landscape of web-developing companies at the time of his own company, Blue Halo.


36:30 | Spencer discusses the process of consolidation and “bundling and unbundling” and the benefits and challenges it can present.


38:38 | Spencer elucidates on the elements of both his professional and personal life that led him to start up a new company after selling Blue Halo.


41:11 | Spencer reveals why he decided to go into growth consultancy. He explains the reasons behind taking a different approach towards growth in comparison to his first business.


44:14 | Spencer shares his ambitions for Cactus.


46:51 | Spencer describes the ways in which he has created a flat company culture, and the opportunities a remote working environment offers in creating better experiences for his team.


49:43 | Spencer imparts his learnings, including his discovery of the importance of self-belief and visualisation of goals.


54:20 | Spencer gives the website address where listeners can find out more about him.


54:49 | Alan thanks Spencer for coming on the show and wraps up the interview.


55:15 | Alan reminds listeners how to get in contact with him and where to listen to the interview again.

53:38 | Rachael shares her learnings, including the importance of focussing on brand, sales, customer experience, and hiring employees who are skilled. She emphasizes the value of a support network. She concludes by highlighting the importance in reinvesting.