If you’ve ever dreamed of starting your own engineering firm, stop everything right now and give this a listen! Scott Wible, PE, SE, had that goal ever since his college years, worked hard with the goal in mind from Day 1 to learn the skills and pass his exams, and now is the owner of Wible Engineering. Today, he details his own journey and all the things he did to get to this point — which you can replicate to get there as well. 😉
Tune in to Learn:
- His journey from structural engineer to structural engineering firm owner
- How his years as a full-time engineer at a firm taught him the skills to start his business
- How he passed the SE Exam on his first try — and tips for you to do the same.
- Will the SE Exam be more difficult when it goes computer-based?
- The 3 attributes you need to achieve professional success
- The 4 biggest benefits to starting your own engineering firm
- Being a solopreneur vs working with a team — plus one aspect that can help
- How to overcome the challenge of balancing work and life as a business owner
- How niching down can help you get client work flowing in…literally.
- Should you scale up your engineering firm or stay solo?
The Ultimate Civil PE Exam Startup Guide
Connect With Scott:
Transcript of Show
You can get our transcript of the show below!
Isaac Oakeson: Hey, what's going on everybody? Welcome to another podcast episode of the Civil Engineering Academy podcast. Isaac Oakeson here, the owner of Civil Engineering Academy. I'm excited to share with you another awesome podcast episode. Today I interview Scott Wible. He owns his own engineering firm doing structural engineering and I wanted to talk to him, bring him on and talk about his adventures into becoming a solo entrepreneur, working for himself as a structural engineer, and get all the ins and outs of that. And finding out his whole career path and why he started his own engineering firm.
Isaac Oakeson: I think you're really gonna enjoy this. If you've ever had an inkling to set your goal on your sight to become your own boss, your own entrepreneur, do your own work, set your own billable rates, this is probably the episode for you. I think Scott could be a great mentor to answer any questions about that. So I wanted to bring him on and just have an open conversation about that.
Isaac Oakeson: But he is a professional engineer. He's also a structural engineer, so he's passed his PE and his SE to become a Structural Engineer. And so we talk about that a little bit as well and the difficulty of those exams and kind of the benefits of those and passing those as well. So anyway, it's a really fun episode. Check it out. It's gonna be coming up right after this in just a second.
Isaac Oakeson: Hey, I wanted to jump on real quick and let you know about a free resource we developed for you. You can find it at civilengineeringacademy.com/peguide. And this will help you to jumpstart your studies for your PE exam. So if you're in the hunt and you're just thinking about the PE exam, this guide will help you get through the process of figuring out everything you need to do, from the PE exam's prerequisites that you gotta figure out, the must have materials that you're gonna need for the exam, any approved calculators, what groups you should join, exam secrets, and much more. It's all in this guide that we've got developed for you. It's completely free. You can go check it out at civilengineeringacademy.com/peguide. Just put in your email, we'll get you that information as soon as the email comes to your inbox. So go check it out: civilengineeringacademy.com/peguide.
Isaac Oakeson: All right, we are live and rolling. Scott, thank you for joining me on the Civil Engineering Academy podcast. I appreciate you jumping on doing this with me.
Scott Wible: Yeah, thanks for having me. This is exciting.
Isaac Oakeson: Yeah, I'm excited to talk with you. I feel like you've been doing like the podcast circuit or something, and we wanted to bring you on the show and kind of talk about what you do, how you do it, and kind of the, you know, the nuances of things that you've got going on in your life.
Isaac Oakeson: I guess to start out, though, I always love asking, you know, how you found yourself into this world of civil engineering? And for you specifically, you've dove into Structural Engineering. So why that route? How did you end up here?
Scott Wible: Sure! Yeah. So, I've always been pretty good at math and I always kept up with it throughout school and all throughout high school, all throughout, you know, the early years of college. Just math, math, math, math. And so I always kind of thought I was gonna be an engineer one day. And my dad's a civil engineer and my grandpa is an aeronautical engineer, so there's just a lot of engineers in my family. So I always kind of thought I'd be an engineer one day.
Scott Wible: But at the same time, I have a few family members that were involved in business and I noticed that they actually kind of did it better for their families and were able to do cooler things, maybe cooler vacations or -- You know, I saw the business side of my family and thinking like, "Wow, they're really pulling some stuff off." Like, that's really cool.
Scott Wible: So I was torn which way do I want to go college. And I remember thinking, "Okay, business or engineering, which one?" And my thought was, if I went into business, I'd never really be able to transition into engineering, but if I went for engineering that one day maybe I could transition into business. So I already kind of had it in the back of my head, like, "Okay, I still want to go into business one day, but I'm gonna do the engineering thing because I really like doing mathematics and I think I'll be successful at it." So that's kind of how it started.
Scott Wible: And then, in college, you know, once I made that decision, I had actually realized that I was a bit behind on the courses that I needed to transfer in. I did community college first. In order to transfer into the university, I had to have all these high-level classes. You know, Statics, Dynamics, Mechanics of Materials, and I didn't have the prerequisites for it. So I ended up taking Statics at the same time as Physics I. And I was like 18 years old. I didn't really know that level of mathematics yet. And so, it was really, really challenging. But the professor --
Isaac Oakeson: Rough.
Scott Wible: Yeah, it was rough. But the professor was pretty patient with me and he kind of encouraged me to stick with it. And I really liked that class. Statics was really, really cool for me. And I loved it and did really well in the class. So from then on, I was like, "Okay, I think structural engineering is my path. I'm really going for that." So, you know, I, transferred into the university, started going on the structural engineering path, and right around that time my cousin actually reached out to me during a family event.
Scott Wible: He walked up to me and said, "Hey Scott," you know, "I see you're doing college for structural engineering. I don't know if you know, but I'm a structural engineer." Like, "Oh, that's so cool. Awesome." He's like, "Yeah, I actually have my own structural engineering company." And he said, "If I was you, I'd be asking me a lot of questions right now. Like, you should be hounding me." He was kind of telling me like, "Hello, I'm right here." Like, you know what I mean? Reach out.
Scott Wible: So he offered basically to be my mentor pretty early on. And that was super helpful. I went over to his house and he showed me his office and I had some pointed questions. I was like, "what did you do today?" You know, like, show me what your day looks like. So he showed me some work he was doing. I thought it was really cool. And so I just had my mind like, "This is what I want to do."
Scott Wible: So one of these books by Tony Robbins, I think talks about how you don't have to really reinvent the wheel if you wanna be successful. You just need to find somebody that is where you want to be and replicate what they're doing. And I actually hadn't read that book at the time, but that's ended up being what happened. I saw him, he had a structural engineering company and he had his PE license, he had his SE license, he was making good money, and that's exactly what I wanted to do. So I just replicated it, basically. And he was giving me advice along the way. You know, work here, get this experience, get this license, and, you know, step by step, he kind of told me how to get to where he was.
Scott Wible: And it was pretty a clear path for me. Because, like, I just knew where I wanted to go and I knew how to get there, and all I had to do is take the right actions. And there was kind of no mystery of like, "Oh, how could I possibly do this one day?" It's like I pretty much knew exactly what to do. So I just kept at it for a long time.
Scott Wible: And it took years, you know? Yeah, six years of work experience before I could take the SE exam. You know, years of college. So, it was a long journey, but, you know, I was always headed in the same direction the whole time. So each step I took took me one step closer to having my own company. And sure enough, just two years ago I finally made the jump and started my company and it's working out really well.
Isaac Oakeson: That's amazing. Well, I I think you've hit on a couple things there, like the importance of finding a mentor or, like, a person you want to emulate and trying to find someone you could do that and connecting with them. I think that's important. I think it was nice that you had -- Like, there was no fear in terms of like going on your own because you can't have this blueprint already built right in front of you, which is awesome.
Isaac Oakeson: I guess fast forward to today, let's talk a little bit about this. So, you mentioned that you did work as a structural engineer for a company and now you've transitioned in owning your own business. What did you learn, I guess, what skills or what did you learn from working for a company and then how did you gain the courage to still start your business even though you had a mentor and an example? Like, was that a challenge for you?
Scott Wible: Yeah. So, at the company, I was pretty blessed because there was a lot of experienced engineers all around me. Really, really talented people. People who were patient, they would answer questions and, you know, I did have to reach out and make sure to get that training. You know, if I had an issue, I had to go find somebody. And I was pretty deliberate with who I would reach out to to get training from.
Scott Wible: Probably the best guy at the company was the principal in charge. This guy is Blaze Resco and he's just such a -- I don't know, high-level engineer. He knows everything. You know, the firm had 50 engineers on various projects, very large commercial buildings, you know, all the way down to like custom multi-million dollar homes. And he saw it all, stamped it all, was responsible for it all.
Scott Wible: And so this guy, I mean, he knew everything about everything there was to know about structural engineering. So really, if I ever had a question, he had an answer. And not only did I have that resource, I also was sitting next to this guy, Sean Johnson, who ended up becoming the technical lead at the company. He was a straight genius. I mean, really knew the code. He knew the mathematics behind it. He knew all the theories. I mean, just ultra, ultra-genius. So, he gave me a lot of help as well.
Scott Wible: And just being around people like that, I was picking up skills really quickly. And I knew that I only had a short period of time in the office to learn as much as possible. So I was very proactive towards, if there was something that I was weak on, I would work on it. I would request a job that had that particular type of problem. And so I was just really trying to learn as much as possible. I was looking at drawings, you know, making sure I understood every piece of it. And I knew the level I needed to get to, and the people around me were at that level. And so I just kept working, working, working until I got there.
Scott Wible: So that was how I was developing my skillset. Like, my technical skills. You have to work really hard over time, and you're doing that anyway at your job. Like, you have to work on your technical skills constantly to improve and to know how to do the work correctly.
Scott Wible: So beyond the technical skills, I was also working to pick up clients. Because I knew, like, one day when I start my company, I would need a book of clients in order to -- You know, you can't just start a company and wait for the phone to ring or say, "Oh, I'm just gonna start attending events and hopefully meet somebody." Like, you kind of need that network built up in advance. So I was learning the technical skills, but I was also working on networking and getting clients.
Scott Wible: And I was also reading a lot of books about organization, about communicating, the soft skills, leadership skills, all that. I mean, I've got a huge library full of books just to help with business.
Isaac Oakeson: They're on that shelf behind you.
Scott Wible: Yeah, right. So I've got a couple here. There's The 4-Hour Workweek, that's a really good book. How to Win Friends & Influence People, another really, really good book. So yeah, I've read a lot of books. Maybe too many, more than I needed to. But they're good reads and it's all being used now. So yeah, that's kind of -- I sort of knew I had to pick up the skills. I had to develop a network and I had a short amount of time to do it. So I just -- Yeah I focused on it.
Isaac Oakeson: Wow, that's so cool. What kind of obstacles or challenges have you faced starting, basically, our own business?
Scott Wible: Yeah, you know, because I had done all the work ahead of time, it wasn't as challenging as you'd think. It was because -- I mean, obviously getting the license is difficult. The PE exam, you know, challenging. But the SE exam was extremely hard. I think when I took it, the lateral exam, that portion --
Scott Wible: I don't know if your listeners know, but the SE exam is two eight-hour exam days. So you take one Friday, you do a four-hour test, an hour break, then another four-hour test. Then the next morning you come back, do another four hours, hour break, four hours. So 16 hours of testing within a two-day period. And the pass rate for the lateral exam was 24%. So it's, you know, less than one in four people walking in there.
Scott Wible: And these are all experienced structural engineers. They all have more than six years experience. They all have five structural engineers who have basically vouched for them, said, "Oh yeah, they are allowed to take this exam." So they had the references and they've all studied hundreds of hours. So out of this extremely talented group of candidates, only one in four actually pass. So that was a huge challenge and I wasn't willing to start my company until I passed that exam. So luckily I passed it the first try. So, you know, that was a really --
Isaac Oakeson: Awesome.
Scott Wible: It's a blessing.
Isaac Oakeson: And did you do buildings or bridges?
Scott Wible: I did buildings.
Isaac Oakeson: You did buildings. I guess just kind of honing in on that a little bit, because we do have a lot of listeners that do take the structural PE with the hopes of getting an SE down the road. What would you have any tips for someone preparing for the SE?
Scott Wible: Yeah. You have to do your work for sure. For the SE exam, there's the gravity section and the lateral section. Of the two, most people can pass the gravity section. I think the pass rates are usually close to 50%. The lateral is the more challenging one. So it just depends on how much time you have available to study. But you're really gonna have to give it your full effort. It's challenging.
Scott Wible: I recommend taking a preparation course. I did the PPI one and that was pretty good. But not nearly sufficient. So you have to do a lot of study outside of it. And I would find these courses as, they're good, but they'll really only help you for the multiple choice part of it. For the depth sections, I found with structural engineers, most people who fail the exam, they don't fail on the multiple choice, they fail on the long-form answers.
Scott Wible: So in the second half of the day, they're essay style and, you know, you've got four problems and each one you have an hour to solve it, basically. You have to get either all of them "passed" or "needs improvement." So that's the three grades, "passed," "needs improvement," or "fail." And if you fail any one of the -- So there's two sections. There's the gravity, the lateral, and there's four problems on each. So that's eight problems. If you fail any one of those eight problems, your whole exam is thrown out.
Scott Wible: That's how everybody fails; they fail one of the eight problems. And so you just have to be good enough to not fail any of those problems. You can get a "needs improvement," but you cannot fail. So most people don't study very much for those long-form problems. And I think that that's where structural engineers with a lot of experience in the office kind of have an advantage because that's kind of what they do for work is those long-form type problems. So yeah, it's a hard exam. Yeah, it is crazy.
Isaac Oakeson: Drummed up more questions in my head. One of them is, I know that the SE is being geared towards the CBT exam and being removed from the paper-based stuff. So, I know I've read things on where that's headed, but just curious your thoughts on, when it makes that switch, do you feel like it will be an easier exam or a harder exam when it makes that switch?
Scott Wible: I don't know. People say it's gonna be harder, but I have a hard time believing that. I feel like, I mean, of the computer-based exams, I took the fe on a computer-based exam and it was, like, searchable, you know? You can CTRL+F to find the right equation. So I feel like that would be an advantage for a lot of the multiple-choice questions. It just depends on how hard they make it. I don't know. I think it might be easier, but everybody else says would be harder. I don't know.
Isaac Oakeson: Ok. Just curious your thoughts.
Isaac Oakeson: Well, it sounds awesome. You've, you know, achieved a certain level of success already. You know, you've started your own business. What are some attributes you feel like are necessary to achieve, I guess, kind of that level of success? What are some some attributes you think would be good for somebody to have?
Scott Wible: Yeah. So, you need to have a goal-based mindset. Like, you need to know what you want and you have to go after it. Some people go throughout life and I feel like they only take the opportunities that are right in front of their nose and they see like, "Well, I'm in this office and this person is here and they're telling me I should do this." A lot of people are shortsighted with the opportunities that they take. And I think that people should be, I think maybe think bigger and have bigger goals and try and think about things that are outside of their immediate circle of awareness.
Scott Wible: Like, you know, it's hard to do that on your own. That's why mentors are so valuable because they can see further than you and they can give you the advice. Like, "Oh no, you could actually have this goal, this bigger goal, and you can make that happen."
Scott Wible: So yeah, attributes. You've gotta, I think, have a thirst for knowledge. You want to learn and grow. And really, you know, for my field, if you wanna be a structural engineer, you have to be really good at your job and you have to have a lot of skills and talent and you can't make a mistake. You know, if a structure fails, right? I mean, people could die, lose your insurance. It's terrible. So you can't make a mistake. You have to be so good at what you do that that you can do it a hundred, a thousand times and not ever make a mistake. So that's it.
Scott Wible: You have to have a strong sense of ethics. Like if something is really over your head, you have to say no. You can't work on jobs that you're not experienced in. And you have to be good with people. You have to kind of be a little outgoing, a little bit willing to talk to people, and negotiate with clients.
Scott Wible: You have to kind of, like, know your worth. A lot of times clients, they want to pay less or they think that something is gonna cost $2,000 and you have to say, "No, it's $5,000. That's what my time's worth. It's gonna take me this long and this is my billing rate." You kind of have to have that self-confidence of like, your time is worth something and you're adding significantly more value to them than they're giving you in cash.
Isaac Oakeson: Pretty true.
Scott Wible: Yeah. Having that confidence, knowing what you're worth, negotiating and -- Yeah, you have to work really hard.
Isaac Oakeson: You gotta want it.
Scott Wible: Yeah, you gotta want it. You gotta be motivated.
Scott Wible: So for example, a lot of people on this podcast are probably thinking like, "Oh, I really want a PE exam. Maybe that's my goal." But I would encourage you to have a bigger goal. I want the PE to be like a ladder step. I want it to be something that gets you to where you really want to go, you know? Whether that's a better job, a higher-paying job, a better role, maybe a leadership role.
Scott Wible: Whatever that is, I think it should be like rocket fuel for you. I don't think it should be the end goal. And I hear a lot of people saying, "Oh, like the PE is the end all, be all." Like, "Once I have it, set." And I disagree. I think, like, that is really just something that's gonna push you much further than you could go without it, right? So use it to achieve a bigger goal.
Isaac Oakeson: I totally agree. It should be the springboard to really launching where you want to go. So, don't let it be the end. Great tips, great advice for someone wanting to dive into, maybe, being an entrepreneur at some level. I think that's great advice.
Isaac Oakeson: I'm curious, so you've jumped into have your own business. Do you -- I mean, you're still working with team members, I imagine. Either through email or client work or something like that. Have you noticed a change at all in terms of like, you know, "I am a solo guy." Who can you lean on if you have a question? Do you still have a team in place to help you? I guess, what's your approach to that, working solo now versus before you had these team of people that you could ask questions with and kind of sit around a water cooler, I guess? Has there been much change there for you?
Scott Wible: Yeah, surprisingly not. I mean, all the people that I was close to that I would talk to and ask questions, I still have a really good relationship with all of them. So, if I ever have a question, I could just call my friends at the old company or I could even, you know, talk to my principal back there or the technical lead I was sitting next to, ask them questions. And sometimes they'll ask me questions. So really structural engineers, I feel like, we kind of --
Isaac Oakeson: Help each other.
Scott Wible: Yeah, we help each other out. We can easily communicate with each other. We understand where we're coming from because we have very similar experiences. So, I found that I get along really well with structural engineers. And I do have a large network of structural engineers that I could reach out to to ask questions for, which is really nice.
Scott Wible: And funny enough, I actually get a lot of work from structural engineers. They will refer me jobs, which is really weird. And part of my focus is, I'm specialized in aluminum design, other steel shop drawing designs. So a lot of these structural engineers, they focus on the building, the skeleton of the structure, and they don't really want to work on the smaller, [inaudible] design elements. You know, the balconies, the guardrails, the stairs, and stuff like that. So they'll just refer that work out to me and they like working with me. So it's been a good source of work for me. It's other structural engineers. It doesn't need to just be a network of clients; having a network of structural engineers or peers will also help the business.
Isaac Oakeson: That's so cool. Well, you don't want to go into, I guess, too much detail in this, but what are the benefits for an engineer to start their own business versus, say, sticking with a career path that leads them maybe up to management or something like that? What was the big draw for you? What's the biggest benefits there, whether it's monetary or otherwise?
Scott Wible: Yeah. So the biggest is, like you said, monetary. You make a lot more money as self-employed or owning your own business. So, you know, that's a huge, huge benefit and probably the primary reason that I went off on my own. Just really wanted to have high income. But other than that, there are other benefits such as lifestyle. I don't have a boss that tells me when to work, or how hard to work or, you know, changes my schedule. I have control over what projects I work on, when I work on it, and I can give better service to my clients.
Scott Wible: And back when I had a job at the company, I still had the same clients, but I also had a manager who was feeding me work. He was trying to get me to do his work as much as possible. And he would even tell me like, "Oh, your other clients," like, "they're not as important. Push them to the back burner," you know? "Delay their jobs so you can work on my project." And it was really stressful for me because I wanted to give my clients really good attention.
Scott Wible: So when going off on my own, it was a huge benefit to my clients actually, because I was more available to them and they were able to give me more work. So, having that control for my schedule, being able to do a better job for my clients was a big benefit.
Scott Wible: I also really like having the ability to, like, get a nice laptop and get some really useful software and just get myself the tools that I need to be successful at the job without having to ask for it. I would always ask for things and I would just constantly get rejected, rejected, rejected. Like, for organizing my tasks. I wanted to use this software and I asked the company to pay for it. They said no. They said, "No, we give you these paper notebooks that you can write down your to-do list on." And it's like, I just don't want to use a paper notebook. I mean, it's nice for some things, but software is just so easy to manage all these tasks, you know? So things like that. I wanted to have the right tools.
Scott Wible: And then, you know, there's the other side of it of lifestyle, you know? It's nice working from home or you know, I could get a rental house and work, you know, in a vacation rental for a month if I wanted to or in another country if I wanted to. I'm very flexible with location, which is nice. I don't have to be in an office. So I like that lifestyle.
Scott Wible: And I'm able to -- My wife doesn't have to work, which is nice because I make enough to support both of us. And she does my website, my logo. So she helps on the marketing side or she'll run errands, like go pick up checks or something like that. So it's really nice working with my wife and having that lifestyle. So it's a really good lifestyle and, yeah, just my day-to-day is much more enjoyable having my own company versus working at a business.
Isaac Oakeson: That's awesome. Well, it sounds like you've already touched upon this already in that answer, but are you finding it's a struggle at all to find a balance between running your business and your family life? Or is it kind of all just merged together now because your wife's helping? Or is it like, "Hey, I gotta stop working because I'm just gonna take this with me all over the place?"
Scott Wible: No, it's not hard for me to find a balance. And a few things have helped. Recently, actually, I've been using a calendar. It's stupid. I've never really used a calendar before, but now I have every like 15 minutes scheduled in my calendar and every Friday, I fill out my calendar for the following week and then every Monday I review it, update it, and then on Wednesdays I kind of make a midweek adjustment.
Scott Wible: So having everything calendared means I'm getting everything I need done before like 5:30 PM So that gives me my free evenings, which is nice and frees up my weekends as well. I mean, sometimes I'll work late; it depends on what's happening. Like, I'm going on vacation in a month, so I'll probably really ramp up for the next two weeks and maybe work 60 hours a week for a little while just to get ahead. But I haven't been hit too much with the family struggles. So, my wife's actually pregnant right now, and --
Isaac Oakeson: Oh, yeah. You gotta wait until you have that thrown in there, man.
Scott Wible: Yeah! We'll see how that goes, you know? I'm gonna have to like, help out with the baby. So I'll let you know.
Isaac Oakeson: I have four kids and we lose our minds sometimes, but, you know, you make it work.
Scott Wible: Do you have any tips for me on how to run a business with family nearby?
Isaac Oakeson: Oh, man. Do you have your mother-in-law close by?
Scott Wible: Oh, unfortunately not.
Isaac Oakeson: You'll figure it out. You'll figure it out. I Promise.
Scott Wible: Okay.
Isaac Oakeson: Oh, man. Well this is awesome. So, I feel like -- You know, you mentioned earlier there's so many engineers that maybe cut themselves short and you talked about the benefits of really starting your own business and maybe having that as a goal. It does sound like it maybe takes a certain personality to do that. Some people do find comfort in sticking with a company, knowing maybe there's more security there of some sort. Have you ever worried about client work at all? You know, you're worried that, "Oh man, I gotta go find more clients to get more business." But it sounds like right now things are great.
Scott Wible: Things are going good. Because I knew I wanted to start my business one day, I mean, from day one at the company I used to work at, I was looking for clients. And that was a really important thing for me. So I would constantly, you know, look for opportunities and I ended up having like a bit of a niche. So I'm an aluminum design expert and it makes it easier for me to find work because there's not a lot of aluminum people out there. I mean, there are some, but not nearly enough. And there's actually a lot of aluminum work to be done.
Scott Wible: So I picked up one client that way doing the aluminum stuff. Once I became the expert, then everybody in the office knew I was an aluminum expert, so they kind of would keep feeding me the aluminum clients because it's its own code --
Isaac Oakeson: [inaudible].
Scott Wible: Yeah. So, it would just kind of flow in. And now I got referred from those clients that I did a good job for them, so they've referred me out to their steel counterparts. And yeah, I just have a big book of work right now. And when I started my own company, I didn't realize, but all of my clients were sort of diversified. They had a bunch of different engineers and they would parse out work based on availability.
Scott Wible: And so once I became available, they sort of made me their main guy. I didn't realize, but they could give me like two or three times as much work as they were previously. So they just all turned on the fire hose and they're like, "All right, everything goes to Scott," you know? So it's pretty crazy. So yeah, I have a lot of work right now and it's a blessing.
Isaac Oakeson: Well, it leads to me another question, and we talked about maybe this earlier, but would you ever want to grow or do you like staying solo? What's the pluses and minuses to that?
Scott Wible: Yeah, it's tempting to want to grow because I feel like it would be cool one day to train some younger engineers and pass it on. I feel like that would be a big impact. But I mean, if it's not broken, you know, don't fix it. I also feel like it could be a mistake to grow. I've known some companies that made the structural engineer work for himself for a while, did great, then scaled up to five people, and then one of those people underneath him made a mistake and they got sued for it, lost their insurance, everybody got fired and this guy has to go work, you know, find a job somewhere else.
Scott Wible: So that happened and it's a risk, you know? Growing introduces a lot of risk into the situation. And, you know, between the additional risk, and also, I would have to be accountable to my employees if I hired them. That's kind of annoying to me. Like, I wouldn't want to have to be available to anybody else, you know, at a specific time to review work or whatnot. So I'm hesitant to grow; I don't really want to.
Scott Wible: I know some people who have and they're very successful, but they're incredibly busy and they have to go into an office and, you know -- I mean, I guess they're making good money and they have equity in the company they're building, but it's not really a different lifestyle at all. I mean, I could've just stayed at a company and worked my way to the top and, you know, I would've had that lifestyle maybe with not as much money. So yeah, I'm not really that interested in it. I really like the lifestyle I have now. So I'll keep it going.
Isaac Oakeson: Makes sense. Makes sense.
Isaac Oakeson: Well, Scott, this has been very fun for me to hear your thoughts about business and the differences between working for a company and starting your own firm, getting your PE and SE under your belt. I think that's awesome. You know, if our audience had a question for you, what's the best way to reach out to you if they wanted to get in contact?
Scott Wible: Yeah, so you can look me up on LinkedIn. So Scott Wible on LinkedIn. Or you could email me at [email protected]. WibleEngineering.com.
Isaac Oakeson: Ok, Scott. Thank you for doing this with me and I really do appreciate it. I know you're a busy guy, so I'll let you get back to what you need to do.
Scott Wible: Thank you so much for having me on. Awesome!
Isaac Oakeson: All right, see you.
Scott Wible: See you. Bye.
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