Andy Smith has taken twists and turns to become a fast-growing leader in marketing and publications today with his unique story. As CEO and team leader of I-Worship Network, a full-service publication, and marketing brand, he is on a mission to show the excellent way to do business.
His journey started in Burg Jones Lane on the south side of Monroe, Louisiana, where he was raised in a single-parent home. Even with his reality, he never lacked encouragement from the people around him and still believes the quality of people around you matters. With a deep love for God and family, his mother and mentors always told him that he would become a man of significant impact on the world. He would get in trouble in school but still pass all his tests and get away with it until the twist that would have set his whole life back.
While growing up in church, he started playing the piano at age nine and mixing with the wrong crowds. In ninth grade, Andy ended up in Juvenile Detention for riding in a car his friend had stolen. “The sad part about this situation was when I saw my mentor of thirty years to date, walking up to the window of that car. The look of disappointment on his face felt like a life sentence.” This was a wake-up call because he knew he had to make something of his life and live up to what he believed about his future impact.
From this experience, he grew and began to understand his purpose in life. He embraced his talkative nature and love for music. “I am so grateful I did because music has taken me across the country for twenty-five plus years! I love music! It always has and will forever be my passion. It has allowed me to meet some amazing people who have been very instrumental in the growth of my brand.” It became an opportunity for him to correct his course while preparing for the service he provides for people in his life and brand today.
On a journey to create his legacy, Andy has authored and self-published seven titles, all without a degree, no education! He only received his GED in 2020, even though he began his writing career at age 20 and has not stopped since. His most recent work is “Love Her Until Understanding Love From A Male’s Perspective.” Others include “The Lost Worshipper: The Pressures, Passions & Powers of A Worship Leader,” “The I AM Factor: 5 Powerful Tools To Self-Discovery, “The I AM Factor- Prayer Journal” “The I AM Factor- Power & Success Journal, “Let Your Glory Be Revealed: 7 Keys To Unlocking The Presence Of God”, “Life In The Now” How To Activate Your Purpose & Discover Your Potential. To read Andy’s work, visit his bookstore here.
After going through the journey and achieving such success in publication, he was in an excellent place to help others. Motivated by the brands with great potential but the low quality of representation, he realized the need to create a better way, a new level of excellence. He had seen a magazine where a pastor friend was featured and commented on the quality to do much better. Andy was disappointed in the publication because of his love for marketing and branding. His friend’s wife looked at him and said, “You do it. Show them what excellence looks like”. And I-Worship Network began.
IWN started with I-Worship magazine and is now a global name with other brands under the same roof. After watching people around him succeed and grow, he launched full steam into marketing. “I had no idea that God would take our publication global. I-Worship Magazine is now in 46 states and six countries”. The brand has recently released a publication solely for today’s woman: “Woman Arise” and is eager to reach the home full-circle through a children’s magazine coming soon. “I want to highlight the stories of children who are making amazing strides in Education and Entrepreneurship, but also those who are less fortunate yet trying to stay encouraged and optimistic about their future.”
Building a business from scratch, Andy has learned a lot. Like most entrepreneurs, he worried about support and if he had the resources to grow. “I didn’t have the money, and I didn’t know who would support my dream. The beginning steps of launching a business are the hardest. You have to plan, strategize, consult, research. When I started, I didn’t do anything of that sort. I took off running with no structure. It became hard because all of the steps I should have applied at the beginning, I had to go back and fix.” He advises business owners today to avoid the trap of taking on too much too soon and starting without getting their details in order. “Support will come based on people’s needs and your consistency,” Andy advised.
Andy knows that people trust this brand because he puts his heart into it project, and each client feels like he works for only them. While in a seemingly saturated market, he says, “To be honest, in my mind, I’m not in a competition. I believe everyone has a distinct audience, and it is up to them to locate their tribe. I think it’s more about the work ethic that allows you to progress efficiently and accurately. I have even sent my other colleagues clients because I believe it’s enough to support out here for all of us. Lastly, I believe, as the scripture says, it is unwise to compare yourselves among yourselves.”
Andy and his team offer services from vision concepts to self-publication. It is a fully structured brand that covers graphics, branding, magazine features, public relations, and more. Their clients range from young adults to pastors, lawyers, doctors, and entrepreneurs. Leading in the church arena and abroad, IWN is excited to know that this is only the beginning and the best is yet to come. CEO Andy Smith states, “I am a strong believer that if you’re going to be in the public eye, there is only one way to do it…THE RIGHT WAY.”
As a business owner, sometimes he has to sacrifice today for tomorrow; he does this to achieve the financial freedom to afford his vision. His advice to those starting their business is to surround themselves with other business owners, meet a need for people, and be consistent.
“I believe when it comes to success and purpose, which surrounds you is vitally important. So many people are searching for their purpose and the course that would lead them to ultimate success. If I could leave anything with the readers, it would always be to keep God first. God never sets us up for failure. There will be times where things don’t work out the way you planned. Just know that it’s still going to work out for your good.”
To find out more about Andy, you can follow him on instagram here.