Johnathan Grzybowski, Penji – InnovaBuzz 188

Johnathan Grzybowski

Johnathan Grzybowski, Penji

In this episode, I’m really excited to have on the InnovaBuzz podcast as my guest, Johnathan Grzybowski, the Chief Marketing Officer and co-founder of Penji, an on-demand graphic design service. Jonathan is also the host of the Blind Entrepreneurship Podcast.

Penji grew from 0 sales in 2017 to working with 1000+ brands in a little over a year. Their focus on their customers and on their mission of creating jobs and opportunities for young entrepreneurs in underserved communities, starting in his now home of Camden NJ, is quite inspiring and underpins the success of Penji.

In our discussion, Johnathan talked to me about

  • The importance to the success of a business, of solving a real problem that people have
  • Surrounding yourself with good people and how Penji interviews candidates for their team
  • Why you should always talk to your customers and ask them WHY?

Listen to the podcast to find out more.

Listen to the Podcast

Design is one of the greatest differentiators in business. @GrzybowskiJ on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

Show Notes from this episode with Johnathan Grzybowski, CMO and Co-Founder of Penji

Key points and take-aways from this episode include:

  • Understand the people that you surround yourself with – who they are, what they do, and what makes them good at what they do.
  • Design is one of the greatest differentiators in business.
  • Penji is an on-demand graphic design service that gives businesses the opportunity to receive unlimited graphic designs at a monthly rate.
  • SEO has been a huge driving factor of Penji’s notoriety, brand and lead generation.
  • Be as specific as possible with your emails so that when people read your email, they know for a fact that it is not a bland cold boring email.
  • A person’s social media content can help you gain a better understanding of who that person is. If you want to get business from somebody, you have to invest at least 15-30 seconds into it before you send an email.
  • If one area of the business is working and the other is not, double down on the thing that is working and amplify it to a million.
  • Organisation is key.
  • You need to be able to educate somebody else in order to do what you do. If you can find a way to do that correctly, that is the true key to success. 
  • Penji is a community conscious organisation. A large majority of what they do is providing jobs and internships to students and residents in underserved communities. Penji has partnered with Hopeworks, a non-profit organisation that trains youth and students in underserved communities. Partnering with a non-profit is a really great way to find quality people.
  • Hire people who are good people. Make sure you hire people who care about the same things you care about.
  • You can have all the money in the world but if you are not able to have fun and if you are not able to share that wealth with other people, you are going to live a very unfulfilled life.
  • Businesses have to care.
You need to be able to educate somebody else in order to do what you do. If you can find a way to do that correctly, that is the true key to success. @GrzybowskiJ on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

The Buzz – Our Innovation Round

Here are Johnathan’s answers to the questions of our Innovation round. Listen to the interview to get the full scoop.

  1. #1 thing to be more innovative – Understand yourself. Know what makes you happy. Have an oasis for yourself. 
  2. Best thing for new ideas – Having an internal process that allows you to choose whether an idea is actually worthwhile to push forward. Have a set of criteria within yourself that allows you to pass or fail an idea. 
  3. Favourite tool for innovation –  Lumosity, Headspace, Fitbod
  4. Keep project / client on track – Being clear, concise, and specific.
  5. Differentiate – Work with a good design team. Design is the single greatest differentiator in business. It is the greatest way to differentiate yourself.

To Be a Leader

Find out what is most important to you and once you do, make sure you never lose sight of it. Be there for your team. Check your ego at the door. Nobody is better and nobody is bigger than anybody. You are not bigger than anybody just because you have a specific title. Come into work every day willing to learn and then collaborate and listen. These are the simple things you need to live by. Life doesn’t have to be so hard. Just have fun!

Reach Out

You can reach out and thank Johnathan through their website and on Twitter.

Suggested Guest

Johnathan suggested I interview Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos. So Tony, keep an eye on your inbox for an invitation from us to the InnovaBuzz podcast, courtesy of Johnathan Grzybowksi.


Cool things about Johnathan

  • He loves WWE.
  • He’s a die-hard Sixers fan.
  • He’s a bad vegan.
Find out what is most important to you and once you do, make sure you never lose sight of it. @GrzybowksiJ on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet

Listen to the Podcast

Jürgen Strauss

Dr. Jürgen Strauss is a transformational marketing strategist, podcaster, speaker, the chief innovator and founder of Innovabiz who partner with innovative, exceptional business coaches and consultants to enable you to acquire more leads and more business by reaching your ideal target prospects with your message, so that you will achieve growth and be able to make a difference to more ideal clients. You can find Jürgen on LinkedIn, as well as on Innovabiz' Twitter, Facebook, The InnovaBuzz Podcast, The Tales of Marketing Transformation Show and his personal Photography website.

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