Why Keeper of the Loot Also Means Keeper of the Promise

August 24, 2016

Like most things we do at SquarePlanet, we don’t take the beaten path when it comes to job titles. And I might just have the best one: Keeper of the Loot! No, it wasn’t of my own creation, but rather assigned to me by my much more creatively capable colleagues.

When I started working for SquarePlanet it was this sense of creative energy, and bold, purpose-driven thinking that was so attractive. As time went on it became clear that an additional core tenet was just as important: integrity.

My title translated means exactly what it says: I keep the loot! And that is my main objective: to manage the incoming and outgoing funds of the company, and to recommend strategies to improve our overall financial health. On paper, my role with SquarePlanet fell right in line with most of my experience. I’ve been a Controller, Bookkeeper, Accounting Manager and Finance Manager for countless different companies. The key objective at all of them: to collect the receivables as quickly as possible, even if the product delivered was defective. To keep and protect the loot.

I went along with this modus operandi until I was fortunate enough to talk my way into working for SquarePlanet. Soon after I came on board, I was shown a piece of copy that is included in every project proposal we send. It reads:


“At SquarePlanet, we don’t just talk the talk, we walk the walk. (Although we like to think we’re pretty good at the talking part too). The point is, we are so confident in the work we do that we guarantee your satisfaction or your money back. Should you not find remarkable value in our services, don’t pay us. It’s that simple.”

At first blush I thought the promise was just fancy wordsmithing and not really something that was put into practice—until that was quickly proven wrong. The value guarantee was 100% at the direction of SquarePlanet Founder, Brian Burkhart. And if you know Brian, you know he doesn’t use his words loosely.

Earlier this year we missed the mark on a client project. It was our fault, not theirs. They had paid us an initial deposit on a project and we did not deliver to their satisfaction. What did we do? We upheld the promise we made them. We refunded their deposit in full. Real time, energy and resources were spent on the project, but as Keeper of the Loot at SquarePlanet, my instructions were clear. I was to send the loot back. And I did so willingly because I knew it was the way it should be. It’s us following what we believe and stand for. And in case you’re wondering how that client story ended—it hasn’t yet. They were so appreciative of the gesture that they want to explore further work with us soon.

Also—it’s worth noting that Brian absolutely did not ask me to write this post. He actually doesn’t even know that I wrote it. His first knowledge of it will likely be while reading this published post. Hi Brian! :)

So my message to my fellow financial-focused minds is this: keep the broader perspective and remember that it’s relationships that matter above all else. I’m proud and very fortunate to be the Keeper of the Loot and get to work for someone like Brian and SquarePlanet. And I’m most proud when we demonstrate what we stand for and believe in, even if that means sending the loot back where it came from.


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