EPISODE 1 : Andrew Hodd

Andrew Hodd

Andrew Hodd is the President of Vantage Venues. The company was founded by his father in 1987, which they now co-own. In an industry mostly dominated by hotels, schools and large convention centres, Vantage is in the unique segment of non-residential day centres. Andrew joined the company in 2001, when they moved into the old board of director space for Sun Life Financial. This opportunity allowed them to reengineer the business, by becoming a one-stop-shop operator. Andrew has doubled their square footage and quadrupled sales. In 2018 Andrew launched Lob Toronto, which provides his clientele with fun team-building events. Andrew sits on the Americas Board of the International Association of Conference Centres.

Episode transcript

Brad Semotiuk: Hello and thank you so much for listening to episode 1 of steal from the best, a podcast to helplisteners succeed in both business and life by stealing invaluable ideas and experiences from the best in class. We aren’t talking to the Richard Bransons or the Jeff Bezos’s which are the one in a millions…we’re talking with guests who are awesome people, and have a more relatable, raw story of business and life who share their experiences that have got them to where they are. I’m Brad Semotiuk and in this episode, we are talking to Andrew Hodd, who’s a co-owner of Vantage Venues, a leading non-residential day centre, and Lob an entertainment venue where bocce meets golf. Andrew shares some great insight about life and business being intertwined when it comes to happiness. We also touch on trusting your process and believing in yourself and your business. Another topic we hit on is andrew’s mantra of putting his employees first and his customers second. Thanks again for listening and hope you enjoy and continue to listen to and steal ideas from the experience of our amazing lineup of guests.

Brad Semotiuk: Hello Andrew,Thank you so much for joining me today on the first inaugural episode of steal from the best.

Andrew Hodd: Yeah I'm excited; it's exciting to be here Brad.

Brad Semotiuk: Amazing, Amazing. So, tell me about your career path Andrew and what you did to get to where you are now?

Andrew Hodd: It's kind of funny actually. I went to school for finance. So I wasn't in hospitality in any way whatsoever. Certainly didn't have any plans for that. I was working in Boston at the time as working as a mutual fund accountant which is actually maybe even more boring than it sounds. What I wanted to do is become like a mutual fund wholesaler. You're selling mutual funds and funny enough now with ETF and what not that industry is probably dying a bit. So it's probably good that I didn't take that approach. But my dad was making an expansion to the business in Toronto. So he called me. I was in Boston. Oh, that is a great opportunity. Love to come and help me re-engineer the business. It was a property that we're in. Now had a commercial kitchen in place. So, we were able to really expand our food program which really made for like an entire like a set of re-engineering of the business. So, it was an exciting opportunity I thought you know why not. I didn't want to stay in the US forever. I did want to get back to Toronto, had a strong network of friends here and I really thought that I'd probably be in the business for a year to help with this process and then maybe go back into finance given that I was already in a financial core like Toronto, and 18 - 19 years later here I am still the same spot. But certainly, a lot of fun growth and whatnot along the way for sure.

Brad Semotiuk: Amazing. What a ride! Well, people talk about entrepreneurship. You think that you kind of has to start something from scratch. It has to be revolutionary. You're entrepreneurship. It took a different approach. You entered and now you run a family business. You talk about that a little more.

Andrew Hodd: Yeah, well. It's definitely humbling for me when I meet those people. It's true entrepreneurship. It started something from scratch. I'm always like just blown away by the guts that it takes and you know even with my dad and when he did. So the back story there is in 1987. He was actually working for an engineering company. He was an environmental engineer and they closed his division that he was running. And rather than go back into the field he was going to some conferences and at some hotels. He thought these places are really crappy for conferences. This is just like this chair's uncomfortable. This room is dark and dingy. I think I can do this better. So, he raised some money and he repurposed commercial office space to create meeting rooms that had natural light and views and create wealth. At the time, was called the corporate seminar center. So I always was sort of amazed that he had taken that approach and left a really great career behind in order to do this. And for me, I kind of get this you know a baton passed to me well I'm sort of in stride as opposed to starting from a dead position. But that itself I guess presents different challenges as well. Because you need to find your place within the company and you really need to prove yourself as a second-generation kid me as well and so that was like I said certainly presented some challenges.

Brad Semotiuk: Entering into business with your father, you worried about your personal relationships with family?

Andrew Hodd: Yeah, you know I really wasn’t. There are certainly lots of stories out there that are not good. Where you know maybe some family members shouldn't be in business together. It was really easy for us. We have some different skill sets that mission easily. We certainly share an easy-going personality. I think it's the second generation. You do need to know your place. You have to respect the first generation that founded the company and it’s first-generation if it's going to work. You need to be able and you want succession to take place. You need to support the second generation and you need to be able to actually step back and let that second-gen person flourish within the role. My dad was always super supportive almost to a fault. He probably could have criticized me more along the way. But he was always such a super supportive and trusted me and the decisions that I was making along the way.

Brad Semotiuk: Yeah, So I mean you address the generations. Your dad is the first generation and you being the second generation. Do you have any thoughts about a third-generation coming in and how do you see succession taking place in how a succession already evolve from when you first started to where it is now?

Andrew Hodd: Yeah I mean it would be amazing no doubt. I love it my dad and I've been able to do over the last 18 years together and itself. It's so fun when he does come. He doesn't come into the office very much anymore. But when he does it's you know to me it's really fun those days and he comes in and we get to catch up on things and I always look to still ask for his advice of course. But there is like it's as fun as that would be and I have three kids my daughter who's 14 would be closest to the business and she's shown interest in the events field. So that would be great. And then two young boys and they're a long way away. From that, It's pretty hard to imagine any tune for you and how they're going do what they're going to look like someday or what life path they're going to take. But you know, you really do have to treat the business like a business. I mean your first obligation is to the business being a part of your family wealth plan. So, decisions need to be based on that and the world is I think anyway is really changing and we're finding that with our business it's very capital intensive with its capital intensive.

You've got tremendous investment from venture capitalists and whatnot and they're really trying to find opportunities to grow or to grow their own balance sheet. So it creates. We see that new competition coming from everywhere and in the cities that support any business such as ours like the Newyork and London. They already have established businesses in place and they're looking to grow. There's just tremendous pressure on them as venture capitalists business to grow the number of properties they have and profit for them is not the driver only market share is the driver only the top line is the driver.

When you're a family when you're a business, entrepreneur. Your bottom line is how you make your money. It's how you feed your family. So that part of it I think is really changing. We used to think of economics perfect competition is the restaurant industry. Back when you know economics went to one I think it was we compared you things that had high barriers to entry versus low barriers to entry. And to me, I think that's really out the window. I mean the restaurant industry has tremendous amounts of barriers to entry capital, of course, being one of them but also rules and regulations and how to navigate those rules and regulations and then real estate themselves. It's all about location, location, location, and landlords aren't willing to just rent their location to a hot chef on the street that just wants to start his first restaurant. They want to see history balance sheets covenant all those things that make. It is very very difficult for casual entrepreneur.

So those are some of the challenges that really need it. I know I've really rambled on about that one. But as you can see I think about that one a lot. So I have to think about how the economy is changing and whether or not there's a sustainable path to having to keep the businesses as a family business or whether or not we would sort of getting into bed with a bigger player.

Brad Semotiuk: Great. Now two years ago, you went through a huge undertaking. You rebranded from Andrew's club in the conference center to Vantage venues. Why did you feel that change was necessary?

Andrew Hodd: Well you know I didn't. It only took a few years before I didn't really like the name club. It was there because it was more of a club like a field. So we're on top of St. Andrew's subway station which is great that locates us. Conference Center says that we are the club started to bother me just because people would ask if we were a private club. So I didn't know especially once we get into you know, you look online and you see a list of properties and you see the club and you think. Oh well, I'm not a member of that club, therefore. I can’t book there I need sponsorship or there's an added step. So I didn't know if we were really losing business that way. Then St. Andrews started to bother me because you know we have such a dynamic city and here in Toronto and the name St.Andrews makes you sort of think of white guys golfing in Scotland or something like that. Right. So it just it didn't really speak to the diversity of the city. And I thought it was just really kind of stodgy. And then the last part of the conference center we actually belong to an association that's called the International Association of conference centers and we had just rebranded you know three years ago changing. I act meetings and one of the drivers was that conference centers have this you know again to use that word stodgy connotation to it. You know people think of it as having you know rubber chicken and mashed potatoes or something and not being leaders in food and beverage and that's certainly what we consider ourselves to be. So now the last part of the name that I was hanging on it. Because it explained who we are. It started to give me a bad taste in my mouth as well. So that was really the driver behind it.

Brad Semotiuk: OK. And how do you think your dad feels when he first started. You had to name a corporate seminar center?

Andrew Hodd: Yeah well he was supportive of it. He already went through one rebrand moving from the corporate seminar center to St. Andrew's and that was really around. We kind of kept two facilities open at the same time for a little while. So we had to do something different just to make sure people didn't confuse the properties and have attendees going to the wrong places. But I mean again I talked to before he was really supportive. I came to him with a plan. I explained it just like that as to why I feel like. We need to make the change and he was all for it.

Brad Semotiuk: Great. And have you evaluated the success of the rebrand?

Andrew Hodd: Yeah. Obviously, it's really tricky. We do our best to try and capture you know how much new business versus old business we get in. And it actually drills down to the numbers for any small business is really challenging and difficult. So really you just look at your growth and the best thing I can see is that we've grown over the last two years. We have hit those targets that I had set out. So that's my first key to success. But I didn't actually do it for the first couple of years. We really did it as more of like a 20 - 30-year time horizon. You know, when that St. Andrew's name is going to look even elder all heard or stodgy. So we really feel like we've positioned him for the long term. But even more. So I think is the internal reaction we had.

So our staff really rallied around it. They got really excited about the idea. You know we really let them know where we want to invest in them; you know having a new fresh brand was a brand that we thought would represent them best. Right. So it wasn't. We got to a point where our staff and the services that they were providing the brand weren’t matching that. So when we phrased it like that to the staff they really got excited about it and you could see sort of an internal motivation around it which I love the benefits of it that the most

Brad Semotiuk: Right on. Great to have buy-in from your staff as well. We live in a world where the business is often dictated by the strength of the economy. There are other factors out there that are harder to control like SARS andother big events like that. You prepared for an event like SARS when it came through and has that changed any future strategy in any way you any different way that you run your business since things like that have happened.

Andrew Hodd: Yeah, I mean that was a that's a great example of an event for us. Because obviously in hospitality and being you know public meeting space SARS it was a big one. I mean that those were some tough times and that really gave me you know the first thing like to talk about that gave me that taste of entrepreneurship. That's where it was like you know to stop paying yourself you really. You are kind of losing sleep at night. You're thinking about your business all the time. That was definitely one of those moments that makes you sort of really appreciate your vision and what you're doing and the responsibility that you have for this business and this entity. We just made the move to Sun Life. So the timing to answer the question about being prepared. We really weren't you know we just kind of leveraged ourself that way we had built out the space we were getting ready to ramp up. So it wasn't in that mature phase of the business. It was in a reinvestment period.

So it made, it a struggle. Our landlord which is you know we'd seen some life and they were really helpful the time we were able to repackage or lease in a favorable way to help us get through. And that was to create an experience where we were able to start to think about OK. We went through SARS,there's no reason why that can't happen

again. There's no reason why there aren't going to be other issues. How do we best prepare for going forward? So in a way, you look back and you think how SARS was I'm glad that we went through SARS because we were so much better prepared for the financial crisis.

So the financial crisis comes along and again terrible industry to be in. You have got, you know people the first things that companies can cut meetings outside. They can do internal meetings they can’t have those meetings at all you have got less hiring happening. So, certainly, that has a big impact on our industry. But you know we were able to get through the year. I think we're actually we're broke even that year. Like we didn't actually take a loss in 2009, that was the really crushing year for Canada and we didn't let where things were most proud about we never let anybody go over the financial crisis. So, we didn't. Certainly, some hours were scaled back on the early side of things. But we didn't. There were no layoffs at that time. We kept everybody. People believed in us and what we were doing and you know rebounded nicely and they really got through it. And today we still think of it that way and still, want to be prepared for the next time. I don't know if we will ever see anything quite like that again. I certainly hope not. I'm not the doomsayers that are out there. But you know you have to be prepared. Because it's gonna happen.

Brad Semotiuk: Yeah. It's great leadership. Do you feel you came out stronger?

Andrew Hodd: Oh for sure. Any time you learn, you get certain you become stronger. And I guess the old saying right that it doesn't kill you makes you stronger right.

Brad Semotiuk: And it's a Vintage venue this is one of Canada's leading spaces for conferences and events. I can verify first hand. You have probably one of the best views in all of Toronto. Do you find the greatest value comes from the physical space itself or is there more to it?

Andrew Hodd: Yeah. The views make for great marketing for sure and the natural light is definitely a core difference-maker for us talked about earlier, how the hotels often put clients in the basement and they don't have the natural light. The one big thing we try to position ourselves is really being like a turnkey solution. So, we have our own in-house A/V department. We have our in-house catering. So it really likes all one solution for meeting planners. But the biggest thing is definitely people. Right. Your service - your people. We really pride ourselves on a low turnover here advantage. So when our clients come in there they're seeing the same people they our staff know their nuances. So we're able to serve them better. And that's really is how we really give us that feeling of a sustainable business going forward and that is what sets us apart from other properties.

Brad Semotiuk: Amazing. So, you talk about your people. I guess, how do you define your culture here at Vantage venues?

Andrew Hodd: There is sort of this increasing popular adage, putting your employees first, your customer second which you know obviously the first kind of sounds a little bit backward. But the idea being is that if you believe in your employees, you create a great atmosphere for your employees. You support your employees, then you come to work happy and especially hospitality. You need people that are happy with the smiles on they can engage the clients and if you have that then you know they're gonna take care of your clients on a day to day basis. In fact, there's a great book by Danny Meyer. He is a restaurant entrepreneur and he takes it one step further which I love and that's he puts the Employees First - The customer second - Your suppliers third - Your community fourth, and then your investors fifth. So, as investors, you're fifth and last but going back to that. I know, I repeated a lot. But that's a sustainable business right there. It's not about the first quarter or the second quarter; you know achieving those quarters over quarter growth. It's about what is my business look like in 10 years is my business going to be there generating income in 10 years. That's always going to be the top priority

Brad Semotiuk: In 2018, in conjunction with being president of Vantage venues, you also launched Lob. It's an entertainment venue in Toronto that hosting an indoor game course. It's like a combination of golf and bocce. Tell us a bit more about that venture.

Andrew Hodd: Yeah, I'm really excited about this property. It was actually founded by a friend of mine who I started working with at the very early stages as the food partner. But then getting more and more involved. And soon after launching, he really decided that running the operation wasn't for him. And I took control with another partner. The inspiration behind lob and you did describe it really well and that quick elevator pitch is that it is kind of like bocce golf in the sense that it has. We have nine tracks and each one is a little bit different. It almost looks like a mini putt course. But it almost emulates like a backyard pitch where you have berms and you have to read the green. And like I said each one is unique. So you play through it as you would a golf course and you score and on each track.

But the beauty of it is, that it's super inclusive for corporate groups. You have got you to know to golf and certainly, not everybody in an office will golf. I golf a fair bit and I'm still a pretty bad golfer. But lots of people in the office that you know wouldn't want to do that and not to mention the huge time commitment that it takes. You know the popularity of things like spin and ax throwing and you know they are great. I don't take anything away from that. But I don't think everybody likes to play ping pong generally at the end of the day. You can have the guy who plays at a tennis club is that often the best ping pong player and you gonna have to watch him and some other guy who is going out and going at it for the championship. This game is ultra inclusive everybody can play it and everybody has fun playing it. And often the person who wins is not the best athlete in the office. It could be someone totally unexpected which makes it a lot more fun for the group as well.

Brad Semotiuk: So how to Vantage venues and lob complement each other. Are there any synergies between the two companies that you're running?

Andrew Hodd: Yeah, I like to think of it as you come to Vantage to roll up your sleeves get to work do your business and then we got you covered. You can go to lob and have a ton of fun with your group and let your hair down so to speak. And so often the people that are making those decisions and booking those types of venues are the same person. So the person the books the business trip might also book the fun outing as well. So that's been great to be able to connect with our database of clients certainly that presents a lot of advantages. And then even just the recruitment of talent. I mean the opportunity that we have within our business with having to be able to put people to work at both locations. We have got two great managers over there and they've been able to provide me with advice for Vantage or you know some useful skills a little bit here Vantage. It's a leadership component. So yeah I know it's really worked out well. Having two businesses that are having those types of complement each other in that way.

Brad Semotiuk: Yeah right. With lobbying so new and with it being so successful and thriving the way that it is. What are the growth plans for lob?

Andrew Hodd: Yeah. We had loved to take it to the US. I have a meeting with a few different people I've been talking to a real estate firm out of Dallas which is an exciting spot for us. My partner and I are meeting tomorrow with a design firm that does a lot of hospitality properties. So we could really take it to the next level lob right now. It's 100 Broadview in Toronto. It's more of like a pilot project where we're learning a lot. It is got a great feel to it. But we really want to take it to the next level and as we see people react to the game and we see the success. It has a true group of team-building experience.

We feel pretty confident that this would be something that could expand and work in cities in the US. One that's really popular is its top golf. Not sure if you've ever been there. You know it's kind of like that new. It's a driving range where you can get your food right at the area that you have to golf that and everybody gets to take a turn and whatnot. So it's again it's designed to be that team-building experience in there and they're really growing fast really popular venue.

But obviously to build the driving range you need tons of space. So for a lot of our advantages is that we can find properties that are within you know an area and transition close to downtown that'll be close to those districts where they have had offices. That people can pop over and have a tournament. And again I talked about golf I mean. You can have a lob tournament an hour and then have a food reception party afterward for another couple hours. So now it's only taking you two to three hours to have that outing whereas if you're golfing outside of the city that's a whole day commitment for everybody

Brad Semotiuk: Of course. You can tell that to my wife. So it's a very unique segment. Is there anybody else that's doing something similar?

Andrew Hodd: Yeah. It's funny you talked about. You know what top Golf is doing and you know - spin, ax throwing and we ask the question. you know amongst our team what are we? What are these properties? Because I'm not sure if these other properties have thought of it what they are either. But I think we are developing like this new segment because people are not sure if it's amillenial. I mean it's certainly with the millennials you're seeing that they don't drink as much. Right. So they need some other type of entertainment to go along with it they don't just want to sit at a bar and talk with their friends and argue about sports and politics as maybe as much as the gen xers did. I think they're really there's this thirst for an entertainment component to go along with it. Not to mention that separate from the corporate building and team-building stuff. And again there's definitely a thirst for that as well. So yeah, that is the question. It's like an entertainment venue where people can come and do that kind of thing. But we’re still working on that one, to be honest with you.

Brad Semotiuk: So defining it seems like a bit of a challenge. What are some of the other challenges growing Lob?

Andrew Hodd: Yeah. How much time do we have here? So we basically invented a game right. So, that means there's a lot more education that has to go into it.

A lot of defining your brand that goes into it. It's not hard for pimped out bowling places to tell people what they are. You know we are really cool. You know we've taken the bowling alley which is usually in the basement of a mall and we put it in a cool location with nice bars, D.J, music. I mean it's not hard to explain that concept whereas with us it's like oh it is bocce golf. What do you mean it is bocce golf like you know it's not even that much golf? You played through it like a golf course but it's bocce but a lot more interesting, because instead of being in a clay pit you've got these you know burns and greens but you know how do you do that in an elevator pitch. So you know that's a huge challenge. But then you know not to mention the fact that you've any time you're starting a restaurant. A new restaurant concept that comes with its own a host of challenges which is around staffing and culture and the restaurant business is always a challenging one anyone will tell you that.

Brad Semotiuk: Yeah. You put a lot of thought in your culture here at Vantage you mean something that you heard it. When you came into the family business and you've been able to message it and kind of take it. The way that you've wanted the culture to go or I'm sure it's kind of taken itself the way that it's gone but with log, you'd launched it from the beginning. How have you developed the culture there and how do you see the cultures between Lob and Vantage being different from each other?

Andrew Hodd: Yeah well I mean they're definitely are in the sense that here we've got a very mature business in Vantage. So you've had people mention that low turnover in some ways or sort of you know stuck in your ways. So it's almost harder to if you want to make a cultural change it becomes a little bit harder. But we're certainly proud of the culture here with Lob. The fun thing is as you get to sort of create the culture and we're really focused around fun right the game is fun. We want the experience to be fun. So you have got to hire fun people. You've got to encourage them to bring out that personality encourages them to buy into that culture of fun. It starts with you know at the top with having a good management team in place. You've got two fantastic guys that you know they love the game they love the concept.So with them having fun the feet that the staff can sort of feed off of that. But it takes time. You know you've got a weed through people that will fit in with a culture like any restaurant organization. It's very transient. But you eventually start to get people that buy-in and they get excited about where they are and you see that they're there making it a part of their career path.

Brad Semotiuk: So you are right. You are an extremely busy person. I mean you had two businesses that you're running both very busy businesses. How do you find balance in life and how do you deal with the stress?

Andrew Hodd: Well. Really lucky to have great core teams. You know I mentioned the guys at lLob like that. It's amazing how well that place runs itself. My operations director here is actually a friend of mine from university. He is been with the company almost as long as me. I think I have him by a month or two or something like that. So we've been able to go through the whole process together which is fun. You always want to have fun when you're working. But it's also someone that is so trustworthy and really runs the business on a day to day basis.

Our I.T. director is an amazing guy. Again he's been with us as long as Craig and I have been here. Our chef has been with us for close to five years now and these guys have their departments are well oiled machines. So that is fantastic because it allows me to focus on growing the business. Opportunities like Lob other partnerships at Vantage and just be able to go about my routine. So it relatively stress free and we're not always chasing our tail.

Brad Semotiuk: OK. If you go back to the beginning of your career and have yourself steal one bit of advice that you've learned from your experiences what would be.

Andrew Hodd: I say definitely. Trust the process. I really would get. Really down on myself if we had you know with summer not being good or having a bad month. These things are absolutely going to happen and you have to believe in yourself. You have to believe in your business seasonality is just that is a part of almost any business but certainly a part of our business. And I really came around to the fact that waiting a second. Everyone works their butt off. Right up until the end of June. And when they come back after Labor Day everyone's gonna have to work their butt off again until the mid-December. So you know the summer's there to be enjoyed and people take time off. I take my own time off and the business. We get totally a bonus. Obviously, we still work to get as much as possible. But it just able to put myself in a different mindset and not beat my head against the wall trying to get business. That really just is not there, because of the city changes in the summer. It is gonna be a lot different.

Brad Semotiuk: So are there any resources out there that you use that kind of help shape you to become the person that you are both in business at home whether any course at school any books you read friends, family.

Andrew Hodd: There's a lot there Brad. Where do I start? Let's see. - Books. Yes. I'll go with “Every family's business”. It was a fantastic book about succession planning. We took the succession planning very seriously we talked about a little bit earlier. In this book gave us one is it was a good read, but then it has exercises in the back of questions that you answer that help you put yourselves on the same page. So, my dad and I would go through that exercise every year. We don't do it as much anymore, but we would really want to make sure we were on the same page in this. This book was a great resource for that. As far as people I mean obviously my family, my dad, my parents, both my parents always said that I learned a lot more like a kid at the kitchen table than I really did at school. Talking about politics current events and things of that nature. My parents were just really engaged that way and I'm definitely thankful for that. I think it definitely shaped me and the person that I am friends. I love talking to friends about their own business experiences. I have other friends that are entrepreneurs. So it's great to bounce ideas off of one another. And then at the risk of sounding like an acceptance speech here, you know my wife is incredible support but also tremendous. She's a lot smarter than me to be perfectly honest. So she's in the marketing world marketing strategy world and she's a lot able to offer a ton to both businesses which I'm really grateful.

Brad Semotiuk: Awesome, awesome. I know you're a super humble guy, but all you've done I mean you've been extremely successful with Vintage venues. Lob is taking off like crazy and plans for expansion. I'd like you to take a second and just I want you to brag to the listeners talking with some of your proudest accomplishments in both business and life

Andrew Hodd: Yeah. How you write it up big on that. Obviously, you know I'm very proud of the family. But having said that I'd say what I'm really most proud of is that I've been able to do this all on my terms so to speak. And what I mean by that we talked about the importance of balance right. And you know, I don't have a story that you know. Oh, I did this. But I regret that I spent too much time at the office or anything like that. You know I had that balance from the beginning. I really value my time with family and friends. So I was able to focus on the business. But I was also able to you know get to kids performances or you know get home in time for dinner or be able to do pickups and drop-offs and things of that nature. I actually coached a high school basketball team for five years here in Toronto. That was a few years ago may be close to 10 years ago now. But it was a fantastic experience for me and just an opportunity to really give back to the community. And I just I feel really strongly about that and I think I hope you know this is the inaugural podcast. And I think what I hope is that this episode and other episodes are relatable for people. People love to look at Steve Jobs and Jeff Bezos of the world. And I just find that very problematic. I mean it's too two big things. One better off you're more likely to win the lottery than start a business like Amazon or Apple. But two these guys I mean they work more hours than I'm awake. You know they just they're completely obsessive.

In order to be at that level and then you have to ask yourselves are they really happy you know? They are happy with it with their lives. What they're doing. And I think there are lots of entrepreneurs like that out there that would kind of say no. So I think the goal really overall is happiness. And in order to have the happiness that the business is intertwined with your personal life. And that's one thing that's great about entrepreneurship is the flexibility that you have in your ability to get home in time to be with family and things of that nature. You live your business when you're at home as well. Don't get me wrong, you know you are kind of end up living a business on a 24/7 basis. There are, yes. There are vacations where your body might be somewhere else, but your mind doesn't ever really leave your business. So it's really important to have that balance. So yeah, I'm just proud that I’m able to do that. And I always talk to other people and try to encourage them whether they're younger entrepreneurs or you know people that even have been through the same types of challenges. It's something I try to encourage everyone to do is live your life in balance and make sure that you're taking time for your family and friends.

Brad Semotiuk: Thank you so much, Andrew. You truly are an amazing person. Your business is doing great. The experiences that you've shared with us today. I'm sure that the listeners out there can take so much of this valuable information and make their lives better make their businesses better and really truly from the bottom my heart. Thank you so much for being our guest on our first episode of seal from the best.

Andrew Hodd: Thanks a lot, Brad. It is a lot of fun. Appreciate it.