010: Andy Simon—Confessions of a Successful Entrepreneur


Andy Simon is married to your host Andi Simon. We often go by Mr. Andy and Mrs. Andi to make it easier for you. We don’t want you to feel confused. Andy, a serial entrepreneur, became a partner in our consulting firm, Simon Associates Management Consultants, six years ago after building his last company, Questar Assessment Instruments, into the 5th largest company in the K-12 summative assessment industry. Now, Andy has a 6-Step Process for Entrepreneurs that we have developed to help them, and you really turn that idea into a great business. 

Andy retired as Questar’s Chairman of the Board after having served as founder, CEO, CMO and CFO over the 40 years he took the company from start-up to a great success story. In 2011, Questar was named one of the top 50 companies in innovative education by Education Next. This past May, 2017, Questar was sold to ETS.

Now, Andy is a Consulting Partner, Executive Coach and head of SAMC-Inbound, our agency specializing in Inbound Marketing. A certified HubSpot Partner, he works with entrepreneurs and their companies that need to grow through digital and inbound marketing strategies. 

At SAMC-Inbound, Andy brings his experience and expertise along with his well-designed, multi-step process to help companies succeed. He is a trained and certified Innovation Games® facilitator, has conducted over 50 client engagements using Innovation Games methods, and is involved with Every Voice Engaged to expand community involvement in decision-making through the Innovation Games methodology.

What has Andy learned throughout his career?

For this podcast, I asked Andy to share with our listeners some of his experiences. He will tell you some of the things that went right, some that were just not good ideas and some that were great ideas but introduced at the wrong time. If you are an entrepreneur or want to become one, listen carefully. Three things you will take away, I am sure, are:

  • Watch the numbers. You will see your business most clearly in the numbers.
  • Build the culture first, not last.
  • Let your customers teach you the way. 

Enjoy our conversation as I have enjoyed traveling with Andy as he grew businesses successfully — although never easily.

Most important for you, Andy and I set up a 6-step process to help entrepreneurs start up and keep growing. Check it out here.

In this episode, Andrew Simon and I discuss:

  • His background and early career
  • Why you need to pay attention to even the most “boring” metrics
  • Overcoming challenges and hurdles
  • Changing the company culture
  • How to improve your luck & timing in business
  • Appreciating what you have
  • Surrounding yourself with smart people
  • How to effectively communicate with clients
  • Letting go of a company

Resources Mentioned in This Episode: