Growing up, Max Spiegel frequented coin shows as he was an avid coin collector. Now, he’s turned that into a career as the president of Certified Collectibles Group, one of the largest collectible grading companies in the world.
Spiegel has worked for Lakewood Ranch-based CCG since he graduated college in 2010. “I don’t think it would have been possible, for myself at least, had I not been patient,” he says.
Spiegel hasn’t always been patient, with, he admits, more to learn in that area. It becomes especially difficult, he says, when the return on investment isn’t immediate, but instead may take years.
Like the time he jumped at the opportunity to expand CCG operations to Shanghai, China. At the time he had only been with the company for three years. The task required multiple trips to China, establishing and fitting an office and meeting with customers.
“I basically said to my boss that I would be willing to do whatever it took to help the company to set up this operation in China,” he recalls.
His boss Steve Eichenbaum, who is Spiegel’s mentor, took that chance despite Spiegel not having any formal training on how to set up operations. Eichenbaum is CEO of Certified Collectibles Group.
“It allowed me to learn on the job,” Spiegel says, adding he’s now flown to China at least 40 times.
The task was daunting, as he recalls 14-and-a-half hour flights sitting in economy seats and then hosting meetings with clients and real estate brokers for a few days before heading back home. He says the experience was both educational and fulfilling.
“Now it’s a very significant portion of our business,” he says. Currently, CCG has 15,000 square feet of office space in China. A year after Spiegel’s project, the office had grown from one employee to three. But like Spiegel says, patience is key. Now there’s 100 employees.
“I would encourage anyone who is given an opportunity, if you have the ability to say yes to it, I would do it,” he says.
As for the nerves going into the project, Spiegel leaned into the feeling.
“I don't think nerves are a bad thing as long as you use them in the right way,” he says. “What those jitters tell me is that it’s important.”