Search Interviews:

Johnathan Grzybowski 3:32

just relentless desire to do more in life to be better to, to figure out the world, the equation of business to to really just help more people, I think in order for you to succeed, and just my story, our story in particular, it was a lot of trial and tribulations a lot of failure. And the one thing that I think always allowed us to succeed was just the ability to be to end the day 1% better than in which you started and it took a long time to figure it out. And I’m just grateful that we built that internal aspect that tenacity that grit from the very beginning because even to this day as we obtain you know somewhat success we’re still hungry the same day that the same in the same way that we were from the very beginning. So you sometimes when you obtain some success, you tend to take your foot a little slightly off the pedal a little bit because you’re just like listen, I’m in cruise control now I’m good to go like we got money right now. We’re people are eating. The company is growing but like that’s just Not our mentality, we don’t want to just grow, we want to just, we want Penji to be synonymous with the word graphic design, you know, we want 1000s and millions of people to be able to interact with our brand to talk to our designers. And so, you know, that’s, that’s when the job will be done. And even then, I don’t think that we’ll still be going on vacation and sipping pina coladas or whatever it is on to watch the sunset, I think the three founders, in addition to all the people that work for us, they, they all want, they’re all hungry for more and and that just inspires me to work even harder.

Jeremy Weisz 5:41

What did life look like, personally and professionally at that time, what was when you think back to that time, what sticks out is a is a difficult time.

Johnathan Grzybowski 5:52

I would say the first thing that popped in my head was not necessarily having an office and being able to having to get internet in kind of just like I remember living in Philadelphia, and going to Starbucks every single day, taking appointments, not spending money on coffee, because I couldn’t afford it. I also don’t like coffee. So that kind of works in my favor. I’m going to Starbucks on 18th in like spruce, and having like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and literally just making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for, you know, pretty much three or four that day. And just eating that all day, you know, just to try and save money here and there. I think, I don’t know, that was a good downtime. But like that just I when I think about like sacrifice, I think about those moments where it’s like, you know, I this is what I did to make sure that I was living an optimal life and investing it all back into the business. So that was like the first thing that popped in my head. But I’m sure there’s a million other answers than that one.

Jeremy Weisz 7:06

No, I mean that, you know, that was just your routine, right? I mean, you were bootstrapped. And that was your routine. And you’d you know, you know, get the internet free internet from Starbucks and make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. You know, I want to kind of highlight a little bit of what you guys do as a company. And I know, you’ve worked with Hopeworks. And I know if you want to talk about Hopeworks. And and what you did for them.

Johnathan Grzybowski 7:30

Yeah, I mean, they’re so they’re a nonprofit in our area. They do a lot of amazing things. Because what they do is they go to underserved communities, and they help the youth obtain jobs in tech companies and things like that. And we work very closely with them, we believe very heavily in what they what they believe in, they were more or less one of the Kickstarters to our Penji, for good campaign that we’ve started. Ever since the beginning of energy, we’ve always given back, we started the company, by offering our services to nonprofits for $1 a month, they’ve been a customer that’s been offered that for the duration of our entire existence of business because of we believe so heavily in what they do. And because of that foundation of Penji, for good, it’s launched so many other campaigns, things like Penji against hate, to kind of just combat and help nonprofits that are fighting systemic racism, especially that in the Asian community we serve, I would say 97% of our workforce is of Asian descent of some kind. And so including my co founder, who is who’s Vietnamese. Those are things that like we built from the beginning of the company and started that and then you kind of write about profit second, believe it or not, usually it’s the other way around. I ended up working in our favor.

Jeremy Weisz 9:06

You know, you’re a People Powered business. Talk about hiring and vetting. What’s your process for that? 

Johnathan Grzybowski 9:14

Yeah, I think we could go a little bit of a unique approach to to that in any aspect where skill set is probably the last thing that we worry about when we hire a new team member. skill, in our opinion can be taught over time. And even if they are not the most skillful graphic designer in the world, they may actually be better fitted in other areas of the business. What we really hire on is the kind of what you said the people aspect of it, the personal aspect of it. We ask questions like, what is your dream? Less than one of the first questions that we asked our new hires, some of them want to become amazing moms. Some of them just want a job. Some of them want to just get paid. Other people want to be professors. And so understanding what they want to be when they grow up, so to speak, it allows us to make more thoughtful decisions and how to manage the individual. Because we know what their driving forces. And that’s just like a human, a human aspect of it. So that’s how we hire how we vet, we, we do put all of our designers through a pretty strenuous training process where they go through a number of tests, I’d say around like 98% of the people do not pass the first set of tests that we give them. And then so once they’re able to pass that test, in addition to a lot of personal, you know, questions and things like that, that’s when they become a potential full time team member of Penji. So when you sign up for a service, like ours, you’re getting what we believe is, is well rounded designers that are going to be able to understand your brand relatively quickly. And

Jeremy Weisz 11:10

you know, also to manage a company like yours, there’s got to be a lot of processes systems in place. What are some software’s you use? Or chooses to manage everything,

Johnathan Grzybowski 11:20

this is going to be the most boring as hell answer that you can possibly hear of Google Drive is probably the best the best thing for us. You’re right in the aspect that we do have a lot of systems and processes because a lot of people need to be able to receive training, to be able to do job x, something new happens all of a sudden, you need to be able to push that out to the general masses in order to get the clarity that they understand what they have to do. So in my personal opinion, again, boring as hell answer. But Google Drive is probably the best thing. What we typically do is we have our team members sign off on the fact that they listen to it. We also loot use Loom as well, I think that’s a really good tool as well. So I think the balance between tools is the, you have to be able to create a tool use the tool to the benefit of the person on the other end. So what we do usually is we pull the person ahead of time, and we say, Are you more auditory? Or are you more visual? Are you more a reader? And the amount of people that answer that question is astronomical. You would think like this person’s got to be a visual person, like no, I like reading instead. So we literally write out everything, then we make a video about it in order to make sure that they understand what the heck they have to do.

Jeremy Weisz 12:48

What about from the managing clients? side? Do you use a project management?

Johnathan Grzybowski 12:55

managing, okay, so we’ve actually are blessed in the aspect that we have an amazing team of graphic designers and developers. And so if I could give you a competitive edge is is our, our team, our internal team in to build things if we design it, it’s built within the next couple of days. And so we have a tech team that that has created a internal process in order to manage our clients. We then in turn, give that to our customers to use. So in a way, as much as we are a graphic design service, I’d say at the forefront. We’re a technology company that’s powered by a graphic design service. And I think that in itself allows us for more to be more agile, and I would say helps us scale the cost of the company as well.

Jeremy Weisz 13:54

Yeah. So you don’t you you kind of built your own, you don’t use like an Asana or Clickup or a Trello type of

Johnathan Grzybowski 14:00

we did use Trello. In the very beginning, I say the first like 10 to 20 something customers were were Trello. And it worked really well. But the problem is that this just becomes too much of a management issue. You there’s a lot of pages that go on turn, you end up missing a lot. And so what I what we realized in the very beginning is and I would say you probably are the same way every human being is the same way is we want to feel heard, and we want to be understood. And so if you can translate that it from your human ality aspect of it, and you translate that to your customers, I think you’re going to have an amazing business no matter what it is that you do. And so we felt that our customers weren’t being listened to they weren’t being heard. And we had the change.

Jeremy Weisz 14:50

Talk about pricing, Johnathan, so pricing when you first started and then versus pricing now.

Johnathan Grzybowski 14:57

The pricing that we started with was 79 dollars and we were stupid. We were idiots for even coming up with that.

Jeremy Weisz 15:04

Why did you choose that?

Johnathan Grzybowski 15:06

Honestly, we just threw Dart on a dartboard are like $79. That seems about fair. But I think if anything, it says more about our mindset at the time than it does anything else. We weren’t confident enough in our service to charge what we charge now, which still isn’t a lot of money, but we thought to ourselves $79, you know, that’s something that like I can afford, and I would buy it. So if I would buy it, then then somebody else would buy it too.

Jeremy Weisz 15:31

What was included in that $79, just to give people a sense, oh, literally

Johnathan Grzybowski 15:34

everything that you that is, is the service now.

Jeremy Weisz 15:39

So I’m gonna design and then do some more at the time Did someone have to wait to get something back to put in another request at the time,

Johnathan Grzybowski 15:50

that’s kind of how it works now, which is you you submit an idea, you submit a project, that project then goes into a queue, then the designer works on it, once it’s complete, then it moves out of your queue, and then the new one happened. So the same things would have would have happened back then with that, that that price point? It just wasn’t, I think we got to about a 10 to 15 people, and we’re just like, we’re working way too hard. And we’re receiving pennies. And it’s just not sustainable. For any business. Like we were in the negative for a decent amount of time, because we’re just the amount of money it took to, to service the customer. We just didn’t know who our customer was at the time. We were afraid to ask questions. We didn’t understand who was buying it. We just said hey, you know, this is the service. If we got another low enough price point, come at it come eat, we’ll serve you food. But it just, it ran us to the ground.

Jeremy Weisz 16:50

So at what point? Did you change the pricing? And how did you let those people know, by the way, it’s not 79 anymore, we actually let them keep it. So you grandfather, them then?

Johnathan Grzybowski 17:01

Yeah, we grandfather. So every time that we’ve ever and this is something that I’m incredibly proud of. I think at the end of the day, no matter whether we get 100 sales a day, whether we get no sales a day, I can go to bed happy knowing that we take care of the people of our customers, and we take care of our employees. We’ve every time that we’ve ever increased our prices, we’ve always emailed the customers and let them know that we grandfathered them into the original price. Yes, we could have made more money. But the at the end of the day, I think the voice you’re talking about voices about how you’d like to get on the rooftops that I don’t know whether it was on air or off air, where you just like to promote other people. I think to me that idea ideology of of life speaks even more in the aspect of business. Because if we can have more advocates for people that are talking about us in a positive way, it’s going to yield more of a community in the in the idea of our business. So we kind of hedged our bets off of that, then we did just making a quick dollar. 

Jeremy Weisz 18:16

So what were the price increases over time warner from 79 takes me through the evolution of pricing.

Johnathan Grzybowski 18:22

I think it was 79 199 299-390-9499.

Jeremy Weisz 18:28

So now there’s three tiers are the 399 a month option, as of this point in time a 49 499 a month option, an 899 a month option,

Johnathan Grzybowski 18:38

correct? Yeah, yeah. And each one has its own pros and cons. What I particularly like is about our service in particular. And I’m speaking I’m not even speaking to this, as a co founder, I’m speaking to this as like an actual client of my own company, is sometimes when you hire a designer, you get the designer and the skill set of one particular style and one particular skill set. You hire this, hey, I need a web design, web design is amazing. I need this could be done. But then that same web designer isn’t able to create a logo. And that same designer isn’t able to cartoon defy yourself or whatever it may be. So with one Penji membership, you’re you have the flexibility of having multiple styles and skill sets inside of your account. And so that’s why we were able to increase the increase that because the specializations became more refined and the designers became better.

Jeremy Weisz 19:41

So who’s an ideal customer for you,

Johnathan Grzybowski 19:43

anyone that creates content on a routine basis, whether that is for yourself as a solopreneur whether as a small business owner, whether that is an influencer, whether that’s a marketing agency, of some kind If you aren’t creating content and you’re doing all the graphic design yourself, then there’s a strong chance that there’s other elements of your life or business that are going by the wayside. And we want to take over that aspect of your life by just doing the graphic design

Jeremy Weisz 20:15

for the most popular the team version right now, the 499 a month version? What, uh, what’s a typical kind of profile? How big is the company?

Johnathan Grzybowski 20:27

Um, honestly, like, it’s funny you asked that, because we were just looking at the numbers earlier yesterday, not today. But yesterday. It’s like, a complete like, there’s no right answer to this question. There’s, we have a ton of small businesses that, that use it. There’s also a lot of agencies that use it. I think that consistent trend, though, if I could just go back and kind of like shy, incorrectly answer your question would just be people who are creating content, but I can’t say people on the team plan, they they are more mostly like, probably under 10, under 1010. Under 10 employees, I would say that,

Jeremy Weisz 21:18

what level of a company do you find? They just want to do it in house? Maybe maybe you even disagree with them doing in house? But but we’ll put that aside for a second? And what size? What size? Do you find? There’s an objection of like, we’re just going to do this in house, even if it’s maybe not the correct decision?

Johnathan Grzybowski 21:40

I’m going to answer this in a different way. I don’t necessarily think that it’s based off of the number. I think it’s based off of the mindset, I think a lot of people are really bad at communication, even though they think that they are. And I would say that if the people that end up doing it in house, that what they really are asking for is I want somebody within arm’s reach, to be able to spontaneously have a thought and then be able to send it over to that person to get it done immediately. That are those are the people that want to bring it in house. However, if you are able to articulate yourself, be able to submit an idea in a very clear and cohesive fashion, then I would say that you wouldn’t have to do that. So it’s more and more so says more about the person that’s leaving our service than it does about the service in itself.

Jeremy Weisz 22:39

What kind of staffing Do you have to maintain to provide service to your customers? I imagine you have a large staff because you have a lot of design that you have to take care of for people. 

Johnathan Grzybowski 22:51

Yeah. So you want to know the 

Jeremy Weisz 22:55

what are your staffing? What’s your staffing look like? 

Johnathan Grzybowski 22:58

Um, I think we’re close to around 170 ish right now. So it’s one of those things where we are always hiring. You know, we’re bringing two to five, helping more than a month. So like, the way that our philosophy is, when it comes to hiring is that we’re always hiring even when we’re not, because we can that we never want to pass up a potential, you know, great opportunity. So yeah, I mean,

Jeremy Weisz 23:39

how do find good talent? 

Johnathan Grzybowski 23:41

Um, yeah, that’s a that’s a great question. Because it’s, it’s a problem that we still haven’t solved. I think word of mouth is really good. We have a large enough team, where if we say, hey, post this on social media, they might be able to get some people hate it. But that’s not the most like reliable, sustainable aspect of it. I don’t think we have like the best solution for that. I’ll be honest with you. I think there’s a lot of room for growth in that area. It’s just hard to have in general to find good people. And it doesn’t matter what business you’re in.

Jeremy Weisz 24:19

Yeah. What about roles? How did you divide your roles with your co founders? I know as you call yourself CMO?

Johnathan Grzybowski 24:28

Yeah, it’s a stupid title. I mean, like, it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t really matter what I am, but how do we decipher it? Yeah, I think we have to, I think our strength is our ability to know each other. And so Khai is our CEO. Because and this is a hard aspect from a person who has a giant ego like myself is being able to give another person full control and say like, Like, this is your this is your realm like you got to do this and not overstep the boundaries. That is very hard to do. But it’s what’s best for the company. And so I think, ego aside, you have to look at it and say, what what is going to bring the best results? What is going to yield the best results? And this this is the answer. I’m really good at operations. I’m really good at expanding the brand. And it takes a lot of soul searching to be like, you know, what, what am I really good at? You know, what, what am I bringing to the table? For me, it’s brand expansion, it’s making the name sunanda Penji. synonymous with the word graphic design. That’s what I’m good at. I’m really good at getting into places that I shouldn’t be in. That’s always been my, like, always been my skill set my entire life. Like what I mean, there are times where like, even when I was 23, in my first year of entrepreneurship, running my own business, I was in meetings with people like hi name businesses, because they just like like to I am. And I found a way to like cold email them or I found a way to like, I remember I got a meeting with Subaru. Because I’ve, like, followed him in the bathroom. Like the CEO Subaru, I legitimately was, like, all this dude’s got, like, I just corner my song, go to the bathroom, wash my hands and be like, Oh, hey, man, like, you know, x, you know what’s up, I started talking to him end up getting a meeting. So you know, things like that has always been my, my skill set. And I and I, and I realized that maybe a little too late, because sometimes you kind of put these these blinders on in your eyes, thinking that you’re better at something else that you’re really not. And I really just like, hit it, I guess the moral of the story and why I’m sharing this is you need to find whatever it is that you’re good at. And only do that and everything else that you’re not good at either outsource or hired, you know, hire somebody else to do it, or give it to a co founder if you have them, but only do the things that you’re good at. And I think that’s that’s allowing us to move at lightspeed?

Jeremy Weisz 27:12

Yeah, I think, Johnathan, you know, in the beginning, people are you and your friends, you’re doing whatever, like you’re doing everything you need to do. And then over time, as you grow, you probably has to actually, like, start to specialize and like, have those conversations, I imagine, right? Yeah. But it’s probably hard sometimes to just decipher that out. Because probably for so long. You’re doing whatever, you know, and anything and everything.

Johnathan Grzybowski 27:39

Yeah, I understand. I mean, there’s the viewer janitors. At one point, I’m sure like, like, it didn’t matter what the hell we were, we wanted to grow the company. And you’re 100%. Right. I think a lot of what we do now is just more so backed off of like really sound decisions. It took a little bit of time, but we had to do it in order to grow. That was the only the only way.

Jeremy Weisz 28:01

Talk about what I find with you and the company. You’re very good at outreach. Talk about your thought process and methodology what you do for outreach?

Johnathan Grzybowski 28:11

Yeah, I’m always positive we outreach you in order. Yeah. I love it. Like, you know, when I get a cold email, I usually answer every single one, if it’s good. And when it’s bad, I especially email that person and say, listen, bro, you suck. You know, and like, and I tried to be nice about it. But I think if I’m a little harsh, I think it usually lights a little different fire under people. Because if you can’t take it, then you know, you’re not going to succeed anyways. But my viewpoint in outreach is to make it as personal as possible. In order to make a comment about an individual’s likes, and potential dislikes, if they voiced them. At the end of the day, we are all human being. And if you’re able to communicate with that person on what drives them, I think they’re more likely to entertain a conversation than that of saying, Hello, Dr. Jeremy, you know, this is we specialize in SEO in order to get you number one on Google. Do you want to get number one on Google? Or do you want your competitors to to eat your, your lunch for you? I don’t know, this off the top of my head, you’re probably not going to answer that question. Like straight up, you’re not going to answer that email. So I’m gonna assume the person that emailed you had something very specific to say about whether they listened to a show or something of that nature. And it prompted usually it prompts a response now that people do actually listen to the show. So it’s not just like made up stuff that’s been ingrained in their in their training, is you have to it has to be real. It has to be genuine Because if it’s not, the person is going to know that you didn’t watch the episode or the person is going to know that you just looked at their Twitter feed.

Jeremy Weisz 30:07

Yeah, so I’ll pause a specific example. Because it’s interesting because I was looking at today, I searched Penji in my inbox. And I, you know, there’s a slew of messages over since you know, dating back to 2018, actually, and I’ll, I’ll talk about the email the the line that got me I’m like, Yeah, but let’s just do this. But what other elements of a good cold email so personalization is a big one making sure and people’s Can you know, spot that if someone’s like, Hey, I watched your episode or listen this episode. I can you just get a sense? Did they really watch it? Are they just pulling one thing? I mean, first of all, that’s a step above most people the fact that they looked, they at least found some like, a title of episodes. I’ll give them credit for that. Like, even if they didn’t listen to it. That’s above what most people do anyways, but what are some other elements that you find in a good cold email?

Johnathan Grzybowski 31:06

I don’t. I don’t think you should sell on the first email. That’s just me. Now, I think you should partial sell. Because it’s if you just say, Hey, I’m going to use myself as an example. And anybody listening to me that wants to cold email me now you have your subject line. Big 60 big sixers fan, big basketball guy. Hey, yesterday they played the marquee box and he got destroyed. Hey, Johnathan sixers played in Waukee yesterday and they got you know their butts banked Do you think they’re gonna win the championship this year? End of story. 

Jeremy Weisz 31:49

Johnathan I had Pat Williams on the podcast I know if you know Pat Williams is he’s kind of gives her the founder of the Orlando Magic he went door to door selling season tickets but he was the one in charge of drafting Charles Barkley interesting for the Sixers

Johnathan Grzybowski 32:03

interesting anyway that yeah, that I’ll have to listen to that.

Jeremy Weisz 32:06

Yeah, amazing icon and, you know, he’s done a lot. He dropped it was in charge of drafting drafting Shaquille O’Neal Charles Barkley like, just really interesting. So anyway, cool. So yeah, personalization. So I would if I was messaging, I found that out. I’d be like, hey, jet, like, I want you to guys, Johnathan. I had Pat Williams on who’s drafted Charles Barkley, you should definitely listen to this. Yeah.

Johnathan Grzybowski 32:30

Yeah, absolutely. Even if you’re like, like, yeah, that’s a perfect way if you if you give content to people, like if you’re creating the content, and you’re saying, Hey, you know, I found this that you might be interested in, by the way, my name is so and so. And I do this. Now, the hard part is, is to sell on the second email, which it might take a little bit more time. But I’d argue that it’s still better than an immediate No.

Jeremy Weisz 33:01

100% I mean, yeah, the 12th time. I mean, so what would be like, give me an example of a outreach, like messaging? And then what would you say when you introduce cuz I think a lot of people are like me, I’m just more like, Hey, I’m here. I’m not like, probably not even saying what we do ever, unless someone asks, so I maybe go the opposite of that. What what point? How do you navigate the ask and not have it sound like an ask? I guess?

Johnathan Grzybowski 33:33

Yeah. So I think the answer depends on what your sales funnel, the end of your sales funnel is, for us in particular. You know, I think for a certain time, it was, hey, try us out. And we’ll give you a, you know, a project to test this out. For others, it could be a phone call or a zoom meeting. And then that’s where you’d probably sell, it was a little harder for us, because what we were on it to do is just drive them to the website. So if they were to drive to the website, then they’d have a better understanding of who we are. So even if they didn’t really need our service, as long as they went to our pricing page, the the rest of the interwebs would do the talking for us.

Jeremy Weisz 34:18

So what was the call to action be? How would you drive them to the pricing page?

Johnathan Grzybowski 34:23

Yeah, I would just say, hey, the usually line would be something along the lines of like, if you’re, if you’re ever too busy, if you’re if you’re too busy doing all the graphic designs yourself, you might want to consider hiring a service like Penji. And then usually the word unlimited graphic design was a really good pull as well. But don’t think that same who we are now, I don’t think it would work the same way. I’m just being perfectly honest. We don’t really do that type of stuff. Sales outreach anymore. We use it for conversations like this. 

Jeremy Weisz 35:06

Yeah. So now your focus more on content, marketing creation SEO, would you say?

Johnathan Grzybowski 35:12

I would say, I would say that’s a very? I would say that is very, very important strategy.

Jeremy Weisz 35:18

Yeah. Got it. Yeah. So when I look back, Johnathan, since 2018, I’ve been getting messages from some of your team members. Very good. You know, I think I typically always respond to my messages, like same with you like, whether it’s good or bad, I’ll typically just respond, I’m probably not as harsh as you as I should be with this as a bad email. But, um, but I definitely screenshot it and use it in my webinars and and block out the name and go, here’s an example of imagine. But, um, yeah, the the line that got me and you know, they’re definitely personalized emails that will mention one of the interviews that they watched or saw or looked at, and one of them was the title of one of my, my episodes episode was like, largest black owned security firm. And they went on saying, talking about that podcast episode that I that I came out with, and but the line that got me it was from Kim, so shout out to Kim. Kim wrote, I’m sure your schedule is absolutely insane. But at Penji we believe a podcast mentioned is more than just an interview. It’s the start of a friendship. So I guess I’m a sucker for the Hallmark cards or something. But I totally agree with that philosophy. And that philosophy is like, yeah, that’s exactly how I think about things. So I think if it’s not just personalization of you, you resonate with the person’s philosophy, and someone may have a different philosophy, you know, and then even if they basically just, they weren’t there to say, if now is not the right time, we just want to provide, you know, a way any way we can provide value for you. And then it kind of went on, but that was, I was like, Yeah, and that’s how I view these type of interviews and people, right, it’s a start of friendship, it’s a relationship with you. And so that was like, I think I saw he’s

Johnathan Grzybowski 37:21

not trained to say that, by the way, you know, like, like, that’s not a part of the training. That his response was, who he is, as a human being. Kim is is an amazing, amazing young man. And, and just a genuine heart. And so like, that’s what I love about, that’s what I love about cold email is is the aspect of like, your personality shines. You know, I’m, I’m a different personality, I’m not that nice as he is. I do have nice tendencies, but like, the Hallmark thing, you’re not going to get that for me. But you know, there’s, there’s, every personality is different. And that’s what makes it beautiful.

Jeremy Weisz 38:03

Yeah, and, and that’s also you that shows in a cold email is if you’re just robotic, and you’re sending the same thing to everyone, like, actually, and, you know, not just the personalization, but how someone personalizes it, it does show like the human side. And oftentimes when you respond, I was responding to see if, like, a lot of times I will say, Yes, I want to hear about your service, and then you never even hear response. I’m like, why are you doing cold outreach? Yeah, if you’re not even gonna respond to someone who actually reaches out, so maybe they’re so shocked with their bad outreach, that they got a response, just when just start showing that another human on the other end and get the response is also above and beyond what most people do as well.

Johnathan Grzybowski 38:44

So do you mind if I interject to go ahead? Yeah, when people what I’ve realized is people love the process so much that they fall in love with it. And the minute that the process is disrupted, and they actually have to put in more effort than they stop, which is usually what happens when somebody receives a response. It’s out of their realm, because they’re constantly hearing the word. No, they hear the word Yes, they don’t respond, because now they have to put on a new cap. And the new cap is the one that drives them freaking revenue or keeps their damn job. And they don’t do it because they’re like, you know what, actually, I have another KPI or quoted a hit, and it’s 50 I’m just using a number 50 emails a day. I need to get that more than I do that actual sale from the guy that responded and and it’s just, it’s so interesting why people do that. But again, going back to just like, our mentality is we in the dirt comment that you originally stated, We are okay. I’m okay in that our team is okay. With with that response. You know, the process is fun. It’s cool. We fell in love with it. But what’s even more fun is making those connections.

Jeremy Weisz 39:59

I want Talk about something we chatted before we hit record, which is Penji the moon. But before we talk about that, Johnathan, I’m curious, you know, with any service or software, we see that there’s a certain, like, lifetime value of a client, whether it’s like, they typically stick around for six months or 12 months, what were some things that move the needle in your business that you saw, helped increase the experience, so that they stayed longer?

Johnathan Grzybowski 40:28

Yeah. Um, so, March, and this is gonna sound silly, but Amazon March, or like, e-commerce as a whole Amazon merch customers was the catalyst to where we are today and still a focal point of the business. The, we learned a lot from how to service our customers from them, because they just there they need, they need stuff, again, going back to the content, they need stuff, we can provide it. So like, that was like the jumping point of the company. And then from there, again, anybody that is a business owner, I don’t care if you have one client or 100, you should be interviewing your customers. Just straight up. So if you could talk to them, I think you’re going to get a better insight. But for the most part, Amazon merch allowed us to really understand our customers a lot better.

Jeremy Weisz 41:30

What about what do they tell you that helped.

Johnathan Grzybowski 41:33

They just, they’re, they’re needy, not needy, but like they have a high demand and what it is that they do, and so it’s just like one of those things where you go to a restaurant, and you start the shift at 12 o’clock, and you get 15 orders. And now you have to be able to cook all the food and be able to deliver it to you back in 15 minutes in order for the customer to be happy, and the food to be warm. So the same aspect that rules apply for this. We had a giant increase in customers, we had to service them, we had to figure it out. We did it. And so I’m very grateful for that for that that the those teachings that they they weren’t there, but and they still are. But but it’s it’s in the best possible way.

Jeremy Weisz 42:18

You know, I want to talk about an ask about Penji to the moon before I do, I want to point people towards, which is or any other places. Java we should point people towards online.

Johnathan Grzybowski 42:34

Oh, that’s it? Yeah. You can go .Com, .com. Okay. You can do .com. We recently have, which is really cool to say that he like you own, you know, boardwalk or in Monopoly board, so to speak. But dot co is is the is the website to Penji to the moon. Yeah, I mean, I’m here. I’m curious to see your question.

Jeremy Weisz 42:57

Yeah, yeah. And by the way, I encourage everyone go there, if you want to see they have some really cool, beautiful design on their homepage. So they practice what they preach. And you can see I love the, you know, the images on the page. And I love the just how the design pops out on on your website in general. So even if you’re like, Well, maybe not right now, I would encourage you to check out their website, just see what how they, you know, practice what they preach and what their design looks like on their site. Yeah, so tell me about what what you meant by Penji to the moon?

Johnathan Grzybowski 43:32

Well, I like the stock market. And so I thought it was funny. Like, there’s a lot of the GameStop stuff and the AMC stuff. And then we randomly received the review from one of our customers that said, Penji to the moon. And I just thought that was very timely given I laughed, and I even emailed the person personally. And I said, Hey, like, you know, that was cool. But, you know, customer reviews a suit is is is incredibly important. The best advocates are the people that use the service, because they’re the ones that are going to be able to get to explain how and why the another person should do it too. I hope Penji goes to the moon, not literally but metaphorically in the aspect of just growth. But I think what we’re doing and and again, something I’m proud of is is we’re talking to customers who are receiving legitimate benefit from a service like ours. And they’re kind enough to write reviews about us and cool things and being able to listen to that and hear that it makes you feel good. And so whether you’re having a down week, a down day, or even you’re just like, you know, positive vibes only being able to listen to that and hear that. It’s just it motivates you. So I, the reason why I share that story is is I highly recommend creating a customer review process in your business. Oh Even if not that just some type of feedback, you know, even if you’re a retail, customer, retail owner right now, and you’re listening to this conversation, just having like a silly feedback, you know, how was your experience? You can use that as fuel for your team, you can use that fuel for yourself where you can use that for your fuel for your website.

Jeremy Weisz 45:22

What is your process for customer reviews, and I would encourage people, you can actually check out what Penji does as far as capturing and how they create these reviews on our website. What’s your process for feedback,

Johnathan Grzybowski 45:40

what you’ll realize is that when you listen to me speak specifically, everything that I say is boring as hell. and the value that I hopefully bring is a decent amount. But like everything that we do is so primitive and boring, that it’s just like, Oh, yeah, I should have done that, like six months ago, and we just asked them, like, straight up.

Jeremy Weisz 46:03

Is there an email, though, like at a certain point that you ask them? Like after? Oh, they’ve been using for two months? Or three months? or four months? Or one month?

Johnathan Grzybowski 46:12

One? No, not at all. Honestly, like it as basic as you can possibly think is somebody sends you a message that says something positive. translate that to her view. Because if you think about it, the customer is at the height of their excitement and their joy, about using the service. If you were to capture that, and have them write a review, they’re probably the most likely to do it in that exact moment when they’re at their height of happiness. So use that to your leverage. Yep.

Jeremy Weisz 46:51

So anyone sees something positive is like, Great. Let’s, let’s do it. And I do the same I maybe I’m with someone, they’ll say something. Jeremy like I just, you know, connect with the best person ever. Like, hold on. Let me hit record right now. Okay, now talk.

Johnathan Grzybowski 47:04

Yeah, no, for sure. Yeah. And that takes a lot of courage for you to do that. And so I applaud you for doing that. Because a lot of people be like, Oh, you know, thank you. No, record that crap. Use it as marketing, ask for their permission. You know, if, like, people don’t give compliments often, and when they do, like you should, you shouldn’t use it to your benefit, especially as a business owner. Now if it’s like your friend, that’s different story. But if you as a business owner, you use everything. Like not, don’t hold back. If it’s embarrassing. Do it anyway, who gives a crap like you’re trying to make or you’re trying to make money? Are you trying to just like, you know, live a moderate lifestyle and be mediocre for the rest of your life? Like what do you want in your life? To me, like, do whatever it takes. That’s my man. That’s my mindset.

Jeremy Weisz 47:51

I love it. Everyone, check out check out more episodes of the podcast check. out Rise25. Johnathan, thank you so much.

Johnathan Grzybowski 47:59

Thank you