Jacob Harmon had the pleasure of talking with Andrew Engel, Co-founder of Venzo Group. Andrew dropped out of college to pursue his passions in life, and now runs a successful digital agency with the goal to elevate businesses and people alike. They talk about the value of college and schooling and whether or not it’s right for you. They have an insightful conversation about passion and finding your purpose in life, patience vs. complacence, delegation, culture, and more.
Thoughts on School
Making your own path
Patience Vs. Complacence
Connect with Andrew
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Jacob Harmon 0:11
Welcome back to another episode of success quest. I'm really excited for this episode because I was able to interview Andrew Ingle. And honestly, we talked about a lot of things that have been on my mind lately. I've been wondering a lot about my current position and what I'm doing and what I'm working on and whether or not I should be striving for more or whether or not I should be happy where I'm at. Anyways, I've been having this internal conflict and we talk a lot about that in this interview, so let's just get right into it.
Alright, well, I'm really excited to be here today with Andrew angle. Welcome, Andrew. How you doing today? so much. Thanks, Jason, for having me. Yeah, and I'm really excited for this interview because Andrew actually posted something on LinkedIn a couple days ago that hit me really hard. He posted about the difference between patients and complacence. And we'll get into that a little later in this interview, but it is so good guys. Like it was something that I needed that day. It was something that, honestly, I'd been thinking about a lot and the way he articulated It was perfect. But before we get into that, let's back up a little and kind of learn a little bit about about you, Andrew, What's your story? I mean, how did you get where you are today?
Andrew Engel 1:32
Well, that's a bit of a loaded question. But I guess I was kind of your standard dropout. Funny enough. This one Exactly. So I was going to school and I wanted to pursue medicine and ultimately just found that that path wasn't really for me. And so leaving school was actually really tough cuz my whole family was just super, super educated. So That was a bit of a letdown. But ultimately I started pursuing automotive. So I'm a big car guy. So I went to BMW worked there for a number of years, worked my way up. And that was, that was pretty interesting. Because in those years, like, you'd see people that wouldn't move up, and then you'd see people that would, and I tended to kind of rise to the top, I guess, relatively quickly. And that's just because I was really passionate about that. So have a pretty extensive history with automotive. And then after that, I took a different route. And I went salary because I went from sales, which was commission based, something a little bit more safe. And that really taught me a lot because I figured, you know what, something more safe, it's going to be better in the long term. And, you know, if we're gonna have kids someday This is someone's going to make more sense for me. But ultimately, the opposite happened I became less fulfilled. Then I was actually pretty miserable. And this whole time, I'm kind of thinking like, oh, wow, like, is this what I'm going to do the rest of my life and eventually started a business with a couple of other people on the side, it was my side hustle for, for quite some time, before it became day to day thing. But really, in that period of time, it got me thinking a lot about, like, how so many people just kind of they do their job just to pay the bills or, you know, they're not really passionate about what they do, and they're just kind of excited for the weekend, but they dread Monday, and they hate their their Monday through Friday. And so, you know, I just kind of took that risk and went for it, if you will, and have been really, really happy with the growth growth we've had so far. So,
Jacob Harmon 3:47
okay, awesome. You've given me a lot to unpack here, which is so first off, you mentioned school, and the fact that you you dropped out of school and there's There's a lot of talk right now in today's today's culture about whether or not schools even worth it. Personally, I do have a bachelor's degree and I'm thankful for it. But I'd love to get your insight and do you think that anyone who might be listening to this is it a good idea to just not go the school route? Do something on their own? Should they go to school? What what considerations Do they have before they make those decisions?
Andrew Engel 4:26
Yeah, I guess I'm a bit biased. So I'm in marketing and with how marketing goes, it's really, it's so quick. So I feel like a lot of the principles and a lot of the theories that they teach now in school are antiquated. You know, and I'm sure there's some good general philosophies there. But I'm biased so for me, I don't think it was really necessary. But for a lot of people, I feel like they get rushed into going into school. Right out, going into college right out of high school. There's all that pressure, like what school you go into, and oh, I got into here and here and here. And I feel like if I could make a recommendation it would be to pump the brakes. When you're in high school, go explore, go try different things. Go Lincoln or network with new people that are doing different things that you have interest in. Because the last thing you want to do is be two, three years in and you're like, oh, you're kind of scratching your head, like, I don't know what I want to do. So I feel like experience is really important. And if you can go try different things and talk to different people that are doing those things. It can help you make a more calculated decision.
So anybody who's in high school or even in college, I would strongly recommend linking in or messaging or networking with different people that are doing the things that you're really interested in. And if you want to be if you want to go to school to be a doctor or something of that nature, Go shadow go experienced those things and ask yourself is this something I can really see myself doing? This is something I'm passionate about. Those are the things that are going to drive you far. So that's really my recommendation for anybody kind of questioning school. Because for a lot of people, it's mandatory if you want to be a doctor if you want to be a lawyer, but before you go invest all that money and all that time into that, make sure that you have a very good feeling that it's something you want to do for the rest of your life.
Jacob Harmon 6:31
That is so good. I don't think I've heard it articulated quite like that before. But that makes perfect sense to me. Because everyone's path in life is going to be a little bit different. You don't have to take the cookie, cookie cutter path. But I feel like that that's the way the system wants everyone to go. Like you mentioned in high school. Everyone's talking, oh, what college are you going to? What colleges are you applying to? Yeah, so it's not necessarily that that's bad or that's wrong, but it may not be for you. And so you'd have to figure that out at all. Love that makes so much sense. Thank you. And you mentioned that your family was a little that down when when you dropped out of school, they might have had a different expectation for you. What is your recommendation? Or? or How did you navigate through that? And through the different opinions of other people? And how did you make your own path regardless of whether or stop?
Andrew Engel 7:22
It's a very good question.
I'm a strong believer in if you want to be successful, and if you want to make an impact, you have to start with being selfish. You have to think about your own needs, your own passion, and you first and if you can do those things, and you can put everybody else's opinions and ideas for you aside, and you can just zone that out and focus on what really makes you happy. In the short term, you may disappoint some people like maybe like all you know, not going to school. Okay, well, you know, I went to school I would have liked that for that person or for my kids, or my kid rather. And then you decide that you want to go a different route. So in the meantime, your parents like, oh, gosh, they really missed out on something. But you're pursuing what it is that makes you happy. And I'm a strong believer. And if you really like something, you're going to be pretty good at it. And if that's the case, over a period of time, you're going to be successful at what you're passionate about. And that's where the parents or you know, family members come full circle, and they're like, Wow, you really did it. So you really made some self. So it's putting off the immediate gratification of parents approving of what you do, and pursuing what you want to do for long term fulfillment and parents being really proud of you in the long run. Because you cannot try to live your life with other people trying to You influence that or you're holding everybody else's opinion of you in a place that's higher than your own opinion of yourself, right? See, I'd say that's, that's probably
the most important thing.
Jacob Harmon 9:18
Yeah. And it's definitely a sacrifice. Yeah, I'm definitely the type of person that I like other people to like me, but I mean, who doesn't? Right? Right. I like other people to approve of what I'm doing to to be able to say, hey, Jacobs doing this awesome thing. But sometimes you're going to get a little criticism if you're forging your own path and doing something a little different. But that's not the only sacrifice you make. You also talked a little bit about when you went into a salary, you felt less fulfilled, and I'm assuming when you took the entrepreneur out, you took a huge cut and pay when you left that salary job. And so there's a lot of sacrifices.
Andrew Engel 9:57
Absolutely, yeah. So when I was In my salary position, I felt like and it's kind of if you want to look at it from more of a philosophical level, and have or not even philosophical, but government level, it's almost kind of like socialism, communism where, like you work so hard, but you get paid the same. But really the point is, there's no there's no like desire or intrinsic desire to want to do better because you're getting paid the same which you know, the salary I get it and being able to have a consistent income. But for me at least, and this is totally for me because I know there are different kinds of people and what their goals are probably different than my goals and whatnot. But ultimately, you should be on a path where you can grow and that you can do that exponentially because if you're on a path of That you're going to just keep on working and working and working really hard to really grow something or to build yourself or to build your build your skill set. So I guess tying into my post on LinkedIn, one of the points I wanted to make was that if you are going to be in a salary job, make sure that you've spoken to the higher ups and that you have a plan to move up within the company. Right? Because you don't want to be stagnant. You want you don't want to be in the same place for years on end with no end in sight. The goal should always be to rise to the top and to be the best at what you do. You know, I don't see. I don't see, at least not for me, I don't see going any other way. So,
Jacob Harmon 11:39
yeah, well, and I think I think too often it's easy to settle, especially when you're in a position where you have a consistent income, your legs are met, it's easy to just get relaxed and be like, hey, like, I'm fine. I'm surviving. But then, at least for me, there's a lack of fulfillment in because if you're not improving. If you're not getting better than then what are you doing? Like what's what's the purpose of life? what's what's, what's there to be fulfilled in there? So, I mean, I guess that goes perfectly into that topic of passion, and patience and complacency. Were from what I got from your post, it was it was very much are you at this job or doing this thing? Because you're patient and you know, it's going to bring rewards later? Or are you just sitting there because it's comfortable? Exactly. Because you're afraid to take a risk. Right?
Andrew Engel 12:34
Right. And it's really important to make that distinction. It's something that I think everybody should just really sit down and think about. Because it's my belief that each and every person is born with a set of traits, and they're molded throughout time in their childhood with a personality and if they don't live out those traits and that those unique ability The whole world misses out on it on or basically. And so anytime you're not living up to your full potential you're not going and doing the things you wish you could be doing the whole world misses out on just because you decided to not try that or to not do that. And you'll always just kind of wonder. And not I don't really like to be motivated by negative things, but regret is a huge motivator from last thing I want to experience is being on my deathbed when I'm like in my 90s that I Oh, yeah, wish I would have given that a shot. I guess I'll never know. That's, that scares the living daylights out of me. Yeah. So and it's a kind of a kind of a constant motivator for me. Just thinking about you know, what, is this something that is going to like ruin my life? Well, probably not. Does it have good upside potential? Yes. Okay. I'm probably going to do it. So it's taking those characters risks. That's really important. So
Jacob Harmon 14:04
and I mean, talking a little bit about the patient side of it, then when is it okay to to be in a situation where maybe it's not exactly the ideal situation, it's not somewhere you want to be the rest of your life. But maybe it is the right move to be there for a little bit.
Andrew Engel 14:20
Yeah, so from a career standpoint, or if you're going to work within an organization, it's having a plan. You have to be able to see where it is you're going to go and to know that each action you take, or each day of work that you put in will pay off in the long run and ultimately get you to where you want to be. That's patients. If you're going to school and you want to be a doctor. These next 10 homework assignments, of course, are not going to get you that degree. But if you do a really good job, it's there each building blocks and it gets you to that point that you want to be at. So Patience is understanding that there is reward or that there is something to achieve at the end of the tunnel, and that you're working towards it and small daily actions. Awesome. So I
Jacob Harmon 15:13
guess the question to to our listeners is, Are you being patient right now or you being complacent? Right? And if you can answer that question, honestly, it might require that you make some changes in your life. scary but worth it.
Andrew Engel 15:29
Right, exactly. And what one part of it to, at least when it comes to taking those chances and risks, you have to do a risk assessment. Because each and every person is in a different situation, financially, mentally, whatever that looks like. So, for me, I made some sacrifices to start a business. I was working I had a salary job. I had a car pretty fancy car at a young age, which I would not recommend doing. And I was actually ramping up. I was 2021. At the time I was gearing up to move out, I was going to move out. And something just didn't feel right. I could have done it. I had the ability to financially but something just didn't sit right with me because I was an estimator at a body shop. And I just didn't feel like that was really my calling. So I ended up getting rid of the car. And I decided not to move out. And I decided to start building my business on the side became my side hustle. And so my company's events, a group or marketing agency. And when we first started, it wasn't really marketing for other businesses. It was starting our own e commerce sites and trying to drive traffic and to do things of that nature. And we kind of thought to ourselves, like what if we took this to different businesses like my business partners have expertise and retail and doing a lot of digital ads advertising and those realms. And so that's where some of our expertise came from. But ultimately, the point I'm trying to make is that you have to make sacrifices. And then you have to build something if it's something you want to do, and get to the point where you can actually do it financially. Fortunately for me, I was able to just kind of walk away from that job because I didn't have any expenses. I got rid of all my expenses, and I was able to put, you know, five, six days a week worth of work into building Venza into what it is today, and I'm telling you those first four or five months were grueling. Yeah, as I quit, like when in the middle of winter, and we didn't start seeing any real revenue come through the business in the first like four months. It was just it was crazy, because you're building an infrastructure, you're building that foundation, you're going out and you're taking these meetings, you're figuring out what services should I How do I price my services, all these different things? So that was a pretty humbling experience to go with no money for like multiple months. And that whole time, you're just like, is this worth it? Is it worth it? And it wasn't complacence I'll tell you that. It was definitely, it was patience, because you see the potential for something. And even if your income that's coming in doesn't reflect that potential. It's it's important to stay the course because you know, what could actually happen? And, you know, very fortunate to be where we are today. So, yeah,
Jacob Harmon 18:38
and I mean, where we're at with success, because we're kind of at the beginning of that we're at the part where we're investing a lot of time, but we're not necessarily seeing those results yet. And you know, what, I tell people when they when they're thinking about starting a business, I tell them look, the first thing you need to understand is that it's not easy, right? It is a hard road and it's not for everyone. If you're willing Do it. It's worth it.
Andrew Engel 19:01
Right. But it's hard.
Jacob Harmon 19:02
And I think too many people think that it's easy because they see the Gary Venter checks the world, they see these people that are so successful. But what they don't see is all the people that fail, and how hard it was for those people to
Andrew Engel 19:14
guess that they see the seven year, overnight success. Right? Yeah, there's that seven years where you don't hear a see anything from that person. And then all of a sudden, they're successful. But in reality, those seven years are spent building and they're just working really hard, since like, Oh, yeah, he's just like some overnight success. There's no such thing as overnight. Yeah. Could you actually go back to one of the points you just made? I had thought of something. And I did want to kind of touch on
Jacob Harmon 19:42
Andrew Engel 19:46
I'm sorry. What was one of the last things that you had talked about right before my last statement? I there was a point that came up that you you mentioned that I wanted to piggyback on here. I'm not sure
Jacob Harmon 19:59
what Is it where we were at with success question?
Andrew Engel 20:01
Yes, I do actually have a point. So you you're like 2728 episodes in now? Oh, yeah. Yeah, this one. So one little thing to think about. Video is pretty similar to podcast and that it takes a while to get going right for you to build an audience for the channel. So one thing to think about, there's this huge media company out of California. They're called donut media. I don't know if you've heard about already down. Go check them out. Yes. So they're, they're doing a lot of automotive media. So they, they do some more comedic bits. They do a lot of informational based stuff, but they probably have a couple hundred videos on there now. But for their first hundred videos, they had like, no views, but it's just it's a true testament to staying the course. When it comes to content production. And if you provide the value and you link in with the right people and you're networking with the right people That viewership will come. So that just kind of came to mind. That's just one example that I know in the creative space that's produced a lot of content before they got any recognition. Gary Vee, the same thing with Wine Library. He started out on YouTube when it first formed and he didn't have you know, jack diddly reviews up until, you know, actually relatively recently even with this new stuff and as new platforms with VaynerMedia and Gary Vee TV and all that stuff. So yeah, at stay the course man, like you're providing value at scale and you're interviewing. I've seen I've heard of some of the other interviews that you've done, you're interviewing people that have a lot of value to provide. So we all know the world could use more of that.
Jacob Harmon 21:47
Absolutely. I mean, we're just trying to try and help someone you know, I keep telling myself if there's one person who hears our podcast and makes a small change in their life that makes a difference. It was worth it. Even if I never hear about that. Like if One person is influenced by anything that said on any of our episodes. Right? All my time was worth it. Totally. So I know that you mentioned you were 21 when you kind of quit at BMW, do you mind me asking how many years it's been? How old are you now? You're pretty young, or oh my gosh, so three years. Okay, so in three years you you quit and now you are where you are. And obviously, you mentioned that it's been a long, hard road. But what are some of the things that you've done with your with your company? I know that you guys are doing mostly marketing, if I understand correctly, what are some of the things that you've done that have set you up for success?
Andrew Engel 22:43
Number one, surround yourself with the right people. You are an average of the five people you spend the most time with. And you have to be a safeguard when it comes to your time because there are time vampires out there and people that won't provide value or people that are dragging you down or not so much dragging you down, but just have different visions. So when we started vendo, it was a number of us, I have one business partner in benzos. And there been another, a couple of other influential key players that have definitely helped us build. But it's surrounding yourself with people that want to do the same thing, and that are willing to give up all if not most of their time, with the idea that nothing could come of it. And it's so hard at a young age to find people that are willing to do that. My business, William, he's 26 when when I met him, he was like 24, I was 2122. And when we were talking about this, like he eventually quit his job as well. And it was so just kind of humbling in a way because you start to really put together a master Plan and something that you want to go and achieve. And you have one, you know, pretty solid person join, then you have another person join or you come together and you build something. So step one is surround yourself with the right people that are willing to do that and are willing to give it everything. And then in the way to find those people are to get out there. tell people about what you're trying to achieve, go network with people that are in that space, and go just do it, man. I know it sounds simple, but you got to get out there somehow. So to answer your question, that's probably step number one. Step number two was delegation. Cuz I'm a fairly creative person. I'm not so numbers oriented, and I'm pretty good at sales. So to surround myself with people that are better in those pillars to build the business and to scale it has been absolutely essential. And that's probably the biggest thing when it comes to building a business is scalability. How do you scale that? How do you make it bigger? How do you make it grow? So delegation of roles and being able to take on people to help grow the business, in different ways is absolutely essential. The other part that's been pretty interesting and building benzos, developing a culture, you want your culture to be felt internally, both with the higher up and the people beneath. And also externally from the public. You want to have a culture that's kind of felt from all three different parts of a business or outside of the business. So developing a culture where it's providing value first, and not asking in return. It's producing results, things of that nature has been absolutely essential. And that's helped us build the team because there are a lot of digital marketing agencies out there and we constantly asked, you know, what makes you different and Really, it's transparency and taking care of our clients providing great results. And so those are all things that are really core. Entrepreneurship is actually one of our core. Core for I guess we have like four different traits that really define us. But yeah, that's, those are a couple of things.
Jacob Harmon 26:23
Great. I'd like to ask just a couple follow up questions to that. Song, the delegation piece. This is something that sometimes it's hard for me because I'm a little bit of a perfectionist. And I like things done the way I like things done. And sometimes I get caught in this trap thinking the only way it's going to get done correctly is if I just do it. Sure. And so do you have any tips for getting over that thought? Cuz I know that's something that a lot of people experience.
Andrew Engel 26:49
Yeah, that's a really good question. So when it comes to at least my line of work, I typically write the copy. I really like writing So when it comes those first couple emails and you're talking to businesses, I would help my business partners like, figure out how to write certain things and how to how to frame certain things. And over time, just being able to, to kind of get where they're coming from, they get where I'm coming from, that, that really made me feel more competent or more confident in their ability. So really, you got to set yourself up for success and choosing the right people and having that trust, but also being able to collaborate and ensure that they're on the same page as you and maybe lend your hand and, you know, give them a couple pages out of your book to help that end product or that piece of content be a little bit better. So
Jacob Harmon 27:47
yeah, yeah, and that makes sense. I think. I think sitting down and training someone to even if it takes a little longer those first two or three times, right to teach them the way you like it done. Yes, but then after that, your hands off you phrase so Bunch time. So yeah, that makes sense. And then the next thing I was going to just follow up on real quick is the culture piece. I'm assuming Venza is in a very large company, you mentioned at least one business partner, you might have a few employees, I don't know. But usually when you think of a company culture, you think of large corporations, right? So it just I found it fascinating. The he thought that was such a big deal. How do you create culture in such a small organization? And how do you make sure that that, that the outside sees that culture, your clients and your the public?
Andrew Engel 28:35
That's a great question. So one really big part of that is leading by example. I feel like in a proper company, it's not you above people telling them what to do. It's you leading and guiding them along the way. So that's been absolutely essential for our team and being able to build team, our team and give people come on board. So there's that part of it, we do a lot of personal branding. And this is really important. We go over LinkedIn strategy for each person, we help them develop that we help them produce content that's really set us apart. And we've acquired a cup, a couple of people just from that alone. That's really important. And I think that's something that you're going to see more in businesses in the future, more personal branding, because ultimately, people don't want to do business with the business. They want to do business with a person. So it's a much rather do business with Jason and Jason's company. So what is Jason providing me as the end user to even think about choosing his company? So the personal branding parts really essential to our culture, ultimately, entrepreneurship is to we have different things that people need to get done. Of course, otherwise nothing's going to work, but allowing them to have creative freedom or fame. have an idea that's entrepreneurial. Go do it. Okay, so there's so much time you need. Okay. So what's the end result? What are the deliverables? And how can we determine whether or not this is a success? Those things are all important if you're going to have that freedom, but freedom nonetheless. And we have everybody events as an entrepreneur in one way or another. So being able to encourage that creative expression is essential, but also being able to calculate results and to ensure that everybody's moving in the same direction is just as important.
Jacob Harmon 30:37
Yeah, and and to bring this full circle. That's one way to provide fulfillment for your employees to right because if they don't, if they feel like they're just doing what you tell them to do all the time, they're going to leave because that's they're not being fulfilled, and they're going to have a passion or something that they want to go do beyond that. And if you're allowing them to be creative and be entrepreneurial and to bring ideas to the table and actually, that those ideas be executed. That's a huge way to help your company culture because your people will love work, and your people will want to stick around. So that makes perfect sense to me.
Andrew Engel 31:13
At one point there, you should create a world that wouldn't exist if it weren't for you. And that couldn't be more true for each and every person in our organization. So we make sure that everybody has a vision, we make sure that people are happy, we're checking in with them, we're spending time with them. You know, like, William schedule, my schedule gets hectic. And we have a lot of meetings are going to her in and out of the office. But being able to sit down with each person, at least a couple times a week, is is just essential for that growth and shows you care. And ultimately, they're going to be happier. They're going to produce more they know there's communication there. You're on the same page as they are. These things are all really showing goodness So far, and we don't intend on stopping anytime soon. So that's awesome.
Jacob Harmon 32:05
Yeah. So we are running a little bit out of time. But is there anything else you'd love to share with our audience, the people that are trying to find success, any last tips or something you'd like to tell them?
Andrew Engel 32:16
passion will take you much further than pursuing the safe route. There's one thing you take away from this, it's probably that and whether or not it's clear what that path and tails are not. Typically things. Find a way of working out.
Jacob Harmon 32:39
Love it, love it. And if people want to follow you or get in contact with you, what's the best places that they can reach out to you?
Andrew Engel 32:46
They can link in with me. So it's my name's Andrew angle ngl on LinkedIn, send me a message Say hi. Tell me what you think or what you'd like to hear more about. I'm always open to suggestions. See, I'd say LinkedIn is probably the best way I do have an Instagram. Not so much business a little more personal, but people can follow me.
Jacob Harmon 33:11
Awesome. Well, I'll go ahead and link those in the show notes. So if you guys want to go straight to his LinkedIn profile or his Instagram, just go ahead and scroll down in your app, or go to our website and my success. quest.com Thank you so much for being here, Andrew, I really appreciate it. And I've learned a lot. So
Andrew Engel 33:27
thank you. Yeah. Thank you so much for the opportunity, Jason.
Jacob Harmon 33:30
All right. Well, thank you so much for sticking with us till the very end of this episode. I just want to invite you to do one thing today, and that is check out our Facebook group. There will be a link to it in the show notes. If you scroll down. We were starting this group and the whole idea is to get a lot of people together that can help each other grow and help each other on the journey to success. Caleb and I don't have all the answers. In fact, we're just starting out. I had a conversation with my brother this week. I asked him honestly what he thought of success quest. And one of the things he told me as well, the one thing is if I'm looking to learn about success, why am I going to young 25 year olds? Why aren't I finding somebody who's already achieved success? And getting information from them? Right, and it makes perfect sense. And I think the only thing that I would say to that is, I mean, Caleb and I aren't claiming to be experts, right? Instead, what we're trying to do is create a community of people that can help each other out and support each other. So anyways, if you want to be a little part of that community, and if you're on Facebook, go ahead and check us out. Go to our group and join and start start conversations, ask questions, hopefully somebody in that group can help you out. And with that, I will leave it and have a successful day.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai