Meet Logan Lenz, an active member of (YEC) Young Entrepreneurship Council and founder of Endagon. Today he tells us about his entrepreneurship journey and shares the top mistakes he has made along the way.
Logan Lenz is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Endagon, a web development and marketing agency in Pompano Beach, FL. Lenz is also an active member of (YEC) Young Entrepreneurship Council, his goal is to help entrepreneurs launch and grow businesses.
But today he tells us about his journey as an entrepreneur, and shares the lessons he has learned along the way.
Q: Please tell us a little bit about your company – what is Endagon all about?
We began as a team of marketing consultants positioned to help clients garner more organic traffic (SEO/Social) back in 2005 during the MySpace days. Over time, we found that we were turning away many opportunities because the client wasn’t equipped enough to leverage our services. It felt odd so we figured we’d grow, hire more team members, and start offering complementary services that provide a more complete recipe to the online success equation. Today, we still do the marketing at our core, but now can work with new businesses starting with nothing and can manage their online business for them so that they can focus on what they’re good at.
Q: Please tell us a little bit about your background and how you started your company?
I was always ahead of my peers when it comes to technology and the web. On top of that, I grew up a musician and always found myself as the “businessman” and “marketer” for all of the bands I’d play with. Nothing was truly ever a business until around 2005. MySpace was at its prime and bands started asking me how I was achieving so much success on the network. Before I knew it, we were incorporated and charging other local bands for MySpace marketing strategies that quickly extended out to overall web marketing.
Q: What are some of the projects you are working on right now?
We work with a great deal of large clients that we unfortunately aren’t able to brag about contractually. However, we are one of those rare agencies that admit to working on our own internal projects. We are currently focusing on innovating on ways to “automate” some of our services while making them more affordable to our clients. Some examples of this is The Logo Lab (www.thelogolab.com), The Website Ninja (www.thewebsiteninja.com), and Social Boon (http://www.socialboon.com). Eventually, we hope to cover the entire marketing cycle with these types of services while offering them at rates become “no-brainer” decisions for potential clients.
Q: How many users are currently on this platform, and how do you plan to keep the numbers growing?
This is kinda a difficult question to answer since it’s not very specific. We have over 50 ongoing clients working with Endagon, the agency. On top of that, we have hundreds of registrants cycling in and out of our individual service platforms each month.
Q: What were the top 3 mistakes you made starting your business, and what did you learn from it?
I made more than three, but here are the first few I can think of. First and foremost, I tried to grow WAY too fast. This made me push too hard and come off as too aggressive in a sales situation. Secondly, assumptions can lead to heartbreak. Early on, I was seeking some angel investments to help start the company. I had a verbal agreement on the table and didn’t wait for everything to confirm. I leased an expensive office space and started the process only to find out that the deal went through. Finally, I probably wouldn’t have hired friends so soon. It’s a little distracting to work only with your good friends when you’re trying to get your operation off the ground. Had I hired acquaintances, I would have felt more comfortable being a leader.
Q: Please share some advice for newbie tech entrepreneurs, someone who’s just starting out.
Honestly, just see the above question and answer. The only other thing I would add to that is don’t give up your equity if you don’t have to. Go out and build your business in the cheapest way possible. Prove your concept and then build it up slowly but surely.
Q: What was the best business advice you have ever received and who gave you this advice?
I think it was my father that told me to “always be myself.” Early on when it was tough, I lost my passion for the company. On the contrary, when it was good, I might have become too arrogant. If you don’t let yourself ride the waves of the two extremes, you’ll react more practically to the situations at hand.
Q: What are the top 3 online tools and resources you’re currently using to grow your company?
I would probably identify Grasshopper, Freshbooks, and PayPal as three of the most important elements of our everyday operations. Grasshopper allows us to easily communicate with clients. Freshbooks allows us to keep our funds in balance, and PayPal often allows us to get paid.
Q: What’s your definition of success?
To me, the ultimate form of success comes as an embodiment of constant happiness. If you can wake up on a Monday morning with a smile on your face while never forgetting to spend as much time as possible with your loved ones, you’re living a lifestyle that you designed. Success isn’t the money that comes from doing something for someone else. It’s the flexibility that you have to do whatever it is that YOU value the most for every single moment of your life.
Q: What’s one books you recommend new entrepreneurs to read?
My all-time favorite short entrepreneurial book is “Anything You Want” by Derek Sivers. You can read it all in a few hours.
Q: What is your favorite entrepreneurship quote?
Since I can’t think of one that stands out, I’ll answer this by challenging entrepreneurs to come up with their own quotes. Use your own creativity and imagination to empower those around you with your own meaningful words.
Q: How can our community get in touch with you?
I’d enjoy it greatly if every single reader sent me a personal email to say hello. The best email for me is firstname.lastname@example.org. It may take a few weeks, but I will respond to every single one. On top of that, you can find me almost everywhere online with the handle @loganlenz.