The Happy Engineer Podcast

125: Impactful Engineering with Jake Maxey and Steve Maxey | Podcast Hosts | Engineers Making a Difference

In this episode, meet two engineers who really care about the next generation of Impactful Engineering leaders, Jake Maxey and Steve Maxey.

These brothers have overcome many challenges to reach the levels of success in engineering they enjoy today, and those setbacks were the perfect setup for their mission:

Impactful Engineering.

If you know that your work on earth is about more than new technology and making money, and you’re looking for inspiration in how you can make a difference right now, you are going to love Jake and Steve.

They are also launching a new show, Impactful Engineering Podcast, that I highly recommend you check out.

Their message is about more than generosity tomorrow, it will help you perform at your best today.

So press play and let’s chat… it’s time for us to make an IMPACT!

Join us in a live workshop for deeper training, career coaching 1:1, and FREE stuff!  HAPPY HOUR! Live with Zach


The Happy Engineer Podcast

WATCH EPISODE 125: Impactful Engineering | Unleashing the Power of Engineering to Make a Difference


[00:00:53] Kids ride bikes, brothers tricked and abandoned.

[00:03:30] Steve and Jake launch impactful engineering brand.

[00:08:41] Struggles in college but persevered and succeeded.

[00:11:59] Found passion in cars, pursued designing them.

[00:14:27] Unusual paths to engineering and making impact.

[00:19:34] The enthusiastic teacher who eased fears.

[00:23:08] How to embody impactful engineering today.

[00:26:45] To become impactful engineers, we need to work on ourselves and strengthen our foundations. Stand out, be the best version of yourself, and connect with like-minded individuals. Excited about upcoming initiatives and the future.

[00:31:22] “You have the flame, don’t wait. Start now.”

[00:35:02] Agreement on lacking motivation for growth; importance of time in wealth creation. Opportunities to get involved and connect.

[00:38:37] Ask yourself daily: What’s stopping you from gaining perspective?




LISTEN TO EPISODE 125: Impactful Engineering with Jake Maxey and Steve Maxey

Previous Episode 124: The Secret to Customer Experience that Engineers Need to Know with Annette Franz | CEO at CX Journey | Author


Igniting Impact: Unleashing the Power of Engineering to Make a Difference

In this episode of The Happy Engineer Podcast, we dive deep into the transformative power of asking yourself, “What is stopping you from reaching out, gaining some perspective, and taking ACTION on your life’s mission?” Each day, this question uncovers potential barriers and helps us gain a deeper understanding of yourself.

Here are the top three insights to help you build your career (and make a difference) from this conversation:

1. Breakthrough Moments: By seriously answering the question (“What is stopping you from reaching out and gaining some perspective?”) multiple times, we can experience breakthrough moments and overcome blocks. Don’t let your fears hold you back from reaching your full potential in engineering and beyond!

2. Investing in Yourself: Time is the key to wealth creation, as Warren Buffett wisely said. We must be willing to invest in ourselves and create more opportunities for our careers. And the returns are not only financial. Let’s seize every moment to learn, grow, and make a meaningful impact!

3. The Power of Connection: Utilize free platforms like LinkedIn to connect with industry professionals and have meaningful conversations. Collaborating and learning from others can unlock new perspectives and open doors to exciting opportunities.

To go deeper and build an action plan around these points, click the links above for video or audio and listen to the entire conversation.



Steve and Jake Maxey are two brothers who are committed to growing a community that provides awareness of the engineering industry and its many career paths, as well as accessibility to engineering education and training to those that would otherwise have limited access. This community is called: Impactful Engineering. This community is a part of the Impactful Engineering Project, which is to create Impactful Engineers through their non-profit foundation and business ventures.



Please note the full transcript is 90-95% accuracy. Reference the podcast audio to confirm exact quotations.

[00:00:00] Zach White: All right. All right. All right. Let’s go. Welcome back. Happy engineer, and today. I get to say hello to Jake and Steve. Guys, welcome to the Happy Engineer Podcast. Glad you’re here. 

[00:00:12] Steve Maxey: Thanks, Zach. Yeah, 

Expand to Read Full Transcript

[00:00:23] So we’re gonna have, you know, the risk of overlap in our talking with not knowing who’s up, but I’m super pumped. This is gonna be great. so, Jake and Steve Maxi Brothers, why don’t you really quick tell me, Jake, I’m gonna look to you, tell me your most. Embarrassing or most memorable childhood brother story just to set the stage.

[00:00:43] ’cause we can’t have brothers on the show and not, uh, relive a couple embarrassing moments. So Jake, what’s the first thing that pops in for you? Childhood. All. Brother memory, 

[00:00:53] Jake Maxey: you said first thing. So it may not be the best, may not be the most memorable, but here we go. So I remember as a kid living, uh, gosh, it was in Anderson, California and we’re, we’re in this little like ranch style house.

[00:01:05] Right. And there’s a, the road, actually, the driveway goes around the house, right. And there’s a little exits to, to wherever you want to go. Okay. Okay. So we all get out and, and I think it was me, Steve, and Scott. My other brother and we’re riding our bikes, And I’m the smallest guy. And I’m the slowest.

[00:01:23] And they take off and they get ahead of me and I go, okay, well I’m gonna catch ’em, right? And then they just pull off. Go back in the house, hide their bikes, and I’m thinking, I’m trying to catch them the entire time. And I’m out there for like, oh, no, half an hour, just riding by myself. And they’re inside, I don’t know, playing Nintendo or something, or thinking about the next thing they’re gonna do to me, like price put Tabasco on my lips or something.

[00:01:43] So, uh, yeah. 

[00:01:45] Zach White: That’s brilliant. That was fun. Jake, you’re the youngest or the smallest? Or both? Oh, both. Yeah. Well, okay. 

[00:01:51] Jake Maxey: I have five brothers in total, so it’s a, his, hers and ours kind of situation. Got it. It that brothers, it gets complicated. That’s too, but uh, yeah, the group we were in, I.

[00:02:01] Small as youngest. That’s amazing. 

[00:02:03] Zach White: I love that when you started into the description of what it is that Steve already started laughing, he knew right where you were going with that. Alright. Okay, so, so Steve, time for redemption on your side. What, what is your childhood brother story that comes to mind with Jake First?

[00:02:19] Steve Maxey: another classic one is, uh, there at the same property, there was a, a tree house. and uh, the three of us, uh, so Scott was the middle brother. I’m the oldest, and there was two ways to get in. There was a little ladder with a little hatch door that you could lock from the inside.

[00:02:38] Then there was a rope on the outside that you can climb up only Scott and I could climb the rope. Jake could not. So what did we do? Scott and I went up the little ladder, closed the hatch, and locked it. Jake, I. Couldn’t get in that, that way. So he went to the rope and knew he couldn’t get up and he’s like, let me in.

[00:02:58] And Scott and I are like, oh, you can come in, you just gotta climb the rope. And of course, you know, just bawling. And I mean, he was what, five or six or something like that? 

[00:03:07] Zach White: Oh man. Oh man. The, these are the things that cause us to do counseling and therapy as adults, Steve, you know? Alright. 

[00:03:17] Jake Maxey: And it wasn’t Okay.

[00:03:18] It was always two and Steve was always one of the two against the other one. Right. So he benefited the most. I was the Mastermind. You were the mastermind. So that’s so funny. I got my revenge, but never on Steve’s. That’s so funny. 

[00:03:31] Zach White: Well, it, it seems like Steve’s, you know, still embodying the deep thinking, masterminding personality to this day.

[00:03:38] I know before we hit record, we were talking about this incredible project that you two are launching and, Steve as, as the thinker, and Jake as the, the quick. Trigger pulling duo and and the duo here. So let’s set the stage. I am excited. And your vision, your mission aligns so closely with what Oaco, the oasis of courage and what we do in lifestyle engineering and the two of, you’re launching an incredible, mission and brand called Impactful Engineering, the impactful engineer.

[00:04:08] And so I want to just start with a quick. Baseline of what is it that you wanna do and the impact you wanna make through impactful engineering. And then we’ll back up and fill in how we got here and, and where it goes from today. But Steve, maybe to start with you, tell us a little bit about the brand and where this is going.

[00:04:29] The mission of impactful engineering. 

[00:04:32] Steve Maxey: impactful engineer was a, was a concept Jake and I came up with, to really. Provide a resource for up and coming engineers or new engineers already in their first job or, or whichever, to understand like the giant array of what engineering (Impactful engineering) has to offer.

[00:04:49] as well as, how to be a more impactful engineer. A better engineer, make more of an impact in not only their career, their job, but their community even. we also have a longer, vision for, impactful engineer. And, and that’s really to, provide access to, anyone who really wants to be an engineer but can’t otherwise do so.

[00:05:11] and that involves, a scholarship fund that we would like to start and to provide a scholarship for an engineering student in every state. Every year. so that, that is our, our long-term goal for the, like the, the philanthropy side of it. Absolutely. another aspect that we, we also would like to do is, connect employers to new engineers, based off of the culture that we want to build.

[00:05:38] Zach White: Hmm. Hmm. I love that. And I’ll just say this today, I think. Not only will you hit that vision of one scholarship for a student in every state every year, but I think one is, that’s just the starting point. That’s gonna become 10 and become a hundred and become more in terms of what you all can do with this.

[00:05:57] So, Jake, tell me your perspective on this. When you think about impactful engineer, what else does that mean to you? 

[00:06:05] Jake Maxey: there’s so many things, but if I’m gonna have one that is always in my mind, it’s I am reaching me. As I go through high school, I’m reaching me as I’m, going through college.

[00:06:15] I’m reaching me as I start that first engineering job and the dormant just super intelligent, excellent engineer, super personable guy. that it’s, that was there. And I want to extract that for people. I wanna help people find that within themselves. that’s the biggest part of what I see of impactful engineering.

[00:06:43] Zach White: My coach, Rory Vaden, an amazing guy. He says that you are most powerfully positioned to serve the person who you once were. And so that’s exactly what I hear in that heartbeat. if I could have just gone back in time and had access to some of the knowledge and the ideas and the, things that I now have back then, what a different story it could have been.

[00:07:03] So let’s, let’s go back to that point. Maybe for both of you, Jake. Just if you’re imagining yourself, what was it that triggered your passion to go into engineering? Was there any friction or barriers that you faced along the way? Tell us a little bit about your starting point. 

[00:07:20] Jake Maxey: I was a very good student, hard worker. had a, a good core set of friends. At the end of high school, one of those friends decided that they were gonna do engineering (Impactful engineering), and I’m like, okay, I’ll do, I’ll do that too. They’re gonna move to. Chico State or Chico to go to Chico State. Okay, I’ll do that too.

[00:07:39] Let’s hang out. College. Sounds fun. All right, so let me do the engineering (Impactful engineering) thing with you. I had started to like work on cars and stuff as I got older. let’s back up a little bit to like middle school, working my way up. And then high school, I was a band geek. I love music. I played an orchestra of the win ensemble, the jazz band, the marching band, whatever, whatever was available, right?

[00:08:00] loved music was very good at math too. So I had the stuff to be an engineer, but it was never really, a path that I was able to foresee. So it really was just me picking the next step, the next logical step. As a transition after high school. That’s all it really was. 

[00:08:19] Zach White: And so when you were in college and the, at least, I assume you hit the same point all of us do in engineering (Impactful engineering) where it’s like, this is actually kind of hard.

[00:08:27] It’s not, it’s not as easy to get grades in these classes as maybe I hoped it would be. was there ever a time you thought maybe following in the footsteps of my friend here is not a good idea, I’m out like, this isn’t worth it. Yep. Or did you go all the way? Okay. Tell us where was that? 

[00:08:42] Jake Maxey: That was in my third year because the first two years were a breeze, bunch of math, bunch of physics.

[00:08:49] I had a great teacher, which I hope I have time to talk about. That inspired me. But then after that, in my third year, yeah, it was, why am I doing this? the whole thing is kind of washed out. I’ve had fun in college so far, but what does the next thing mean? And I’m, I’m working two to three jobs at a time to put myself through school, and just basically survive.

[00:09:13] And I’m going, why am I in this laser class trying to solve these pro? I just, I, the, the care factor kind of dropped off, but then the difficulty was like, why am I putting myself through this? Yes, I could go work, just go work hard and I know I’m gonna do better than. Anyone basically in my family has done so far, I’m one of the first ones to go to college, and it’s like I have this stuff that, washing away, the technical stuff I could do very well who caress about this engineering (Impactful engineering) degree.

[00:09:43] So yes, I did hit that, but then I’m too stubborn and determined to finish what I start to do that. So I just ground it 

[00:09:51] Zach White: out. Wow. Yeah, that’s interesting. And not many people, That I know who don’t sense a connection to a y. Like, oh, I, I just love cars. I’ve always wanted to be an engineer. My, my dad’s an engineer, my mom’s an engineer.

[00:10:06] What? so I grind it out because I’m, my identity is wrapped around being that those people I’ve met in spades. But that’s a totally different story. Like, yeah, I just ended up here and then it got hard, but I finished anyway just ’cause I’m so stubborn. That’s really interesting. Steve, what’s your.

[00:10:25] Version of this story, is it totally different or do you have some overlap with what Jake experienced? 

[00:10:29] Steve Maxey: it is completely different than Jake’s story. Completely different. Okay. I don’t think there’s an any similarity other than that we’re brothers. Wow. that, and, and we, we both kind of, uh, went at it as a, um, underfunded, you know, position, so.

[00:10:44] Okay. Um, yeah. So I’ll, I’ll start in high school real quick just because it kind of sets the stage. my graduating high school g p a, was a 1.9, I was not a good student at 

[00:10:55] Zach White: all. Um, I thought you were gonna say on a two point scale, right? So you crushed it. No. 

[00:10:59] Steve Maxey: Nope. I’m just kidding. It was a 1.9. Yeah.

[00:11:02] So, you know, and I was actually in AP physics, and I was in, uh, pre-calc and all the other stuff in, in high school. And I dropped all those classes to be a TA in band. I mean, at the time I was just bored, And I turned 18 in September of my high, my senior year of high school.

[00:11:18] And I was like, well, I’m not gonna go to class anymore. So I would just sign myself out and go, go party. So, yeah, not a traditional engineering path (Impactful engineering). I did take an ASVAB test, right, which is a military, entrance exam. And, when I took that test, I scored off the charts and for a complete year, I had the military.

[00:11:39] I. Saying, you know, we want you now, um, we want you for engineering, we want you for aerospace, blah, blah, blah. And they kept hammering, um, our, our house phone at the time. ’cause you know, this is the, this is, uh, uh, a long time ago when we had house phones, but the 

[00:11:55] Zach White: phone was attached to, so anyways, the wall, 

[00:11:58] Steve Maxey: the old guys.

[00:11:59] Yeah, yeah. I mean, it had a cable and everything. Oh man. Um, so anyways, I ignored it ’cause I had a, problem with authority. So, I kind of just, uh, worked at Taco Bell and, you know, Sears and Circuit City and just a bunch of random jobs and I went to junior college and didn’t really do much.

[00:12:16] fast forward a few years later, I started getting into cars at about 19 or so and, you know, I asked our dad, I was like, Hey, I want to do something with cars for the rest of my life. ’cause that’s what I love doing. And our dad was in autobody business for a very long time and he was like, don’t do autobody or mechanics or anything that works on cars ’cause you’ll be miserable.

[00:12:42] Okay. I was like, well that sucks. So I’m like, well, what else can I do? And he was like, I don’t know, you can design cars. And so I was like, okay. So I started doing a little research and I was like, oh, engineers do that. Well I have a terrible. G p a I can’t get into engineering school (Impactful engineering). So, what I did is, is I, I started asking around about, you know, how I could get into a university and our, our stepmom at the time went to a small technical university in southern Oregon called, uh, Oregon Institute of Technology for her, uh, dental hygiene degree.

[00:13:16] And she knew one of the admissions people there. So she put me into contact with her and she said, well, there’s a way you can get into a university, and this is a little secret for those who are, technically savvy and gifted. Hot, hot tip, pay attention, but didn’t really apply themselves. This is a very hot, a good hot tip.

[00:13:35] and we lived in California, so I moved to Oregon and worked for a year to establish a residency. And during that year I took. Engineering classes (Impactful engineering) as a non-admitted student, which you can do, um, you still get a grade, it still go, it is part of a transcript. You still pay tuition, but you’re not as a non-admitted student, so you don’t have to go through the application process.

[00:14:00] So I did this for an entire year. After the next year came around, I applied to get into the university and used the transcripts from that year, and I got like a 3.8. Because I actually applied myself for once, and I got in-state tuition. So I got accepted into the university program for mechanical engineering (Impactful engineering), with a 1.9 G p a and never taking a test to get into a university.

[00:14:28] Zach White: I am, I’m floored. I’ve never heard of that approach before. that is really interesting. And okay, so now it. I am, I’m struck by both of these stories because for one, Steve, your, your assessment is accurate, completely different. And what’s interesting now is, Just that question of how many leaders, how many boys and girls are out there today in middle school in high school who have a path that looks nothing like the typical engineering path, which I’ll just give the two second version of my story, which is honestly like the stereotypical, exactly what you think engineering should be.

[00:15:06] My dad’s an electrical engineer. Has his masters, did all the work for his PhD, just never actually finished it. He’s working at at and t Bell Labs in the Glory Days of telecommunications when it was really expanding, like in the basement at my house. It was not uncommon to be playing with a soldering iron and.

[00:15:22] Building circuit boards. Like that was a normal Saturday night for me. Great at math and science. High school guidance counselor says a no brainer. You’re gonna be an engineer. I wanted to be an engineer. The idea of rebellion to me was instead of doing electrical engineering (Impactful engineering) like my dad, I did mechanical engineering because I want to be my own person.

[00:15:40] Right? I go to Purdue, full ride on academics, got my me degree, got my first job, like the rest is history. So that’s. I think what we paint the picture of the typical engineering path and how many people are nothing like that, who will one day have the opportunity if the right person or the right catalyst at the right moment comes along and shows them it’s possible to have this huge impact and that that’s actually really inspiring behind the mission of impactful engineering.

[00:16:10] Then like how do we catch more Jakes and Steves at the right time and, and the Sally’s and the Sarah’s and the everybody’s. With the right information and the access to go do this. And I’d love to explore the word impact with you two because as a coach, and Jake, we’ve worked together, you know how, you know, impact everybody at a Waco has this desire to make an impact, but it also is different for everyone what impact means to them.

[00:16:39] So maybe tell me, what does it mean to you? Maybe how that’s evolved over time or just today, or what it means in the future. When you think of the word impact, and, and Jake, maybe we throw it back to you first. When you imagine the kind of impact you’re having and want to have as an engineer, what does that mean to you?

[00:16:56] Jake Maxey: in my career and through impactful engineering, I think it’s the same. It’s very personal. I want people to succeed. That’s the bottom line. the more successful people can be and the better versions of themselves that they can create over time, the more that it’s gonna exponentially improve or impact the world, 

[00:17:18] The community that they’re in, their families, from here to the end of time. So that’s, that’s what impacts. Means to me. 

[00:17:27] Zach White: I love that. Steve, what about you? 

[00:17:31] Steve Maxey: it’s really the same thing, but, leaving this earth, in a better spot than, than you got here in, right? I mean, that’s, that’s just the very basic of it.

[00:17:38] Making an impact is, is to positively influence, the world, your community, even your loved ones, or your future loved ones, you know, uh, generations down. building generational wealth is one way to, to make an impact. another way to make an impact is, is to save someone’s life by, designing something that.

[00:17:57] That will save their life, that would otherwise not be saved. Right. So, I mean, there’s so many different ways to make an impact in, in this world. but engineers are uniquely positioned to, leverage their knowledge and skillset to make very large impacts, whether it’s working for someone else or, Being an entrepreneur and, making their own inventions and own companies.

[00:18:20] I mean, there’s, there’s so many ways to, to make an impact and, and that’s what what we really, are trying to, to spread the message about. 

[00:18:27] Zach White: One of the examples I think of with this is the, the team that first designed the airbag, I can imagine there were a lot of late nights in labs just running tests and, and.

[00:18:37] Figuring out a way to solve that problem. And now it’s just a taken for granted piece of technology that’s everywhere. I guess some of these airbag systems are nuts now with the, the window airbags and all this, it’s like absolutely amazing. But mm-hmm. How many lives have been saved, Steve, to your point, from that technician who sat in the lab and ran airbag tests, you know, it’s just incredible.

[00:18:59] Yeah. So Jake, you mentioned a great teacher and when I imagine the, IM impactful engineer. Mission embodied in the world. You know, yes, there’s knowledge and information, but it really like the people side. The relationships that happen in that right conversation at the right moment is definitely a part of it.

[00:19:21] so I’d love to hear that story and how that impacted you and maybe link it back to how did that moment maybe plant the seed to what you all are dreaming to do now with impact engineer. but tell us about the teacher moment. 

[00:19:34] Jake Maxey: Yeah, sure. And it’s really a story that I’ve never told anyone. So Steve will hear this for the first time too.

[00:19:40] because it’s a connection that I made just by reflecting upon after the work I’ve been doing to really be able to see that and make that connection. And I just had that aha one. I’m like, wow, this is one of the things. So this teacher was one of the, people that I think removed a certain level of fear from.

[00:20:03] My thinking that this is gonna be too hard, this is too complicated. I’m not the person to do these things. There’s no way. Right? I could do math and I was good at test taking, I was good at school, but am I gonna be a good engineer, right? Mm-hmm. And so this teacher for it, it was, whatever classes you’re taking in the first two years of your degree.

[00:20:26] So there’s gonna be some like, basic circuits classes. Stuff like that. he was so excited about, about electricity in general. He was just like the most jolly, like kind of a bigger guy and just loved it, you know? He would just walk around up in front of the class, just so happy to be there.

[00:20:44] Right. And so happy for you. Wow. It was so different than every, basically every other teacher in the engineering field (Impactful engineering), in my opinion, it, it was, It was equations and writing things and, and saying, study the book. And, and it was no more than that. This guy was way different. So right away the guard isdropped.

[00:21:05] You know, you’re in there, you’re having fun. But then he took it way further, like He wasn’t the guy that said, look at the textbook. He would proof everything out right in front of you, and he would send you home with packets of his handwritten work, solving every single problem step by step.

[00:21:20] Then invite you back to talk about why each step is important. He would spend outside class time with me when I got stuck on something and it was, it just if I, ’cause later, later on in your studies, you’re gonna be very much more independent and relied upon to be independent and to study and, and make these connections and.

[00:21:42] feel like I would’ve been scared away, to be honest if that was the guy that was teaching me these classes. Right. and I get that, that’s not everybody, but for me it meant something. And I’m pretty sure that for a lot of the students it meant something too. Yeah. yeah, in high school you’re not taught a lot of things about life in general and,, and maybe school is not the right place to.

[00:22:03] Teach you those things, right? You’re supposed to have parents that teach you that. You kind of grow up, you have siblings that share their experience. Your uncles will tell you, Hey, when you get older and this is gonna start happening, so your community kind of props you up for that. But, having a a university professor do that for you is, pretty cool.

[00:22:19] And he would get into that stuff and he would coach you and he, so He really gave me the perspective to get through the first two years and then get onto the actual university. ’cause I, I went, I routed through a community college. I believe he was one of the main reasons that I decided to continue actually move, go to university.

[00:22:37] I brought in a sub subwoofer that kept blowing. Every time I turn it on, I’m like, what’s wrong? The fuse Is not going out. Like why is it it just stops working, you know? And he’s like, oh, bring it in. And he was just so happy and he took the whole thing apart and was just testing the pieces.

[00:22:50] And he’s like, oh, your bridge rectifier is out and you gotta take it. And he’s like, I’ll have it to you tomorrow. And it was just, Done. It was, it worked perfect. He was just so happy to do things for you. So it was, and maybe 

[00:22:59] Zach White: it’s just my personality, shout out for the Bridge rectifier reference. Uh, I appreciate a good college.

[00:23:04] I, I am not sure I’ve heard those words together in a long time. Yeah. So that’s so cool. And so Jake, for me, hearing that, The question that I immediately go to is how do I show up as that person in the life of the person who needs it? And while mm-hmm. I fully expect one day the three of us are gonna get back together and do another podcast episode with, celebrating your 50th scholarship and everything’s crushing with, with this project.

[00:23:35] But today I still want to like push this on. To, to the people who know that they wanna be this, like, how do I show up that way? What does it take to become that teacher? To become that person? Like, I’m already busy, I’m working hard, I’ve got all these things to do, but there’s a part of me that feels the fire of the mission that you’re talking about.

[00:23:57] So I’m curious for both of you, like, how do you embody the mission today? How, and then what would you give as a, tips or small starting points or ways that we can begin living. Impactfully as impactful engineers right now, even before, the, the brand has gotten, worldwide renowned for its impact.

[00:24:17] Yeah. Like what does that look like? I’m gonna 

[00:24:19] Jake Maxey: jump right in and, potentially cut Steve off, but I do that all the time, so That’s alright. Do it. I can’t give you the fire, I can’t give you the thing that burns inside of you to make you want to do this kind of stuff for other people. I can’t give that to you.

[00:24:33] Something very easy that you can do right now is to just show up at work tomorrow. if I understood the question correctly, if you’re that senior engineer that supposedly people are supposed to look up to for guidance that are coming in as new to the that organization, you can just have a great conversation with them the very first day they come in and just let ’em know that you’re a human being.

[00:25:00] Let ’em know that. You’re there to answer any questions and just be completely transparent with them and open about who you are and what you’re there to do for them and get curious about them. Ask questions, let them know that, you’re available. that’s like the easiest thing that you can do.

[00:25:17] Zach White: I love that. I love that. Steve, what is being an impactful engineer look like in your world, and what would you give us as a place to start? 

[00:25:25] Steve Maxey: So I, I think there’s, there’s two things, that I do to try to always positively influence, the engineering teams that I collaborate with. And, the first thing is just setting your, your day up, every day in, in a positive manner.

[00:25:37] And that’s, you know, when you wake up, you think of, the, the things that you’re grateful for, right? And, what makes you happy. and that’ll just. Gear your brain into, into being in a better place right from the start, right? So, so don’t open your, your email, work, emails. First thing you know, don’t, scroll through social media.

[00:25:55] It’s just, just think about what you’re grateful for that day. think of the, the main three to five things that, that you want to do, that day. and that’ll just set you up to be in a better place. the other thing is, is, uh, Inspiration, can only get you so far, throughout the day, right?

[00:26:11] To to, mm-hmm. To really be in a good mood, to, really outwardly show how happy you are. so you have to kind of build a discipline to, to always be on, right. To, to always show that persona of, encouraging, you know, your, your peers, uh, positively thinking and, and, uh, uh, collaborating and.

[00:26:33] You have to do it even if you are having a bad day. And so you have to build that discipline, to do that on the off days. And then, the rest of it can be carried by, by inspiration. Hmm. 

[00:26:46] Zach White: The coach in me has to say this right now because I hear it in both of your answers. One of the things that I believe we all need to do to become impactful engineers.

[00:26:57] Is do the work on ourselves. Mm-hmm. And Jake, I see you doing that work, Steve. I don’t know you as well, but I see the results of your transformations that Jake’s told me about, and, and even just your story about how you got into engineering (Impactful engineering), like how far you’ve come, but. If you wanna have a bigger impact, it’s kind of like this, we’ll use a, a civil engineering metaphor, you know, if you wanna build a building that has more floors, you wanna go big, you wanna go high, be a skyscraper, stand out, be the city on a hill kind of thing.

[00:27:25] the taller the building, the deeper the foundation. Right. You gotta dig deeper. You gotta do the work on yourself and as well. So I think that’s another thing I would just give everybody, is to have the kind of impact you wanna make outwardly. You need to strengthen the foundation on the inside as well to, to Jake, your point being that best version of yourself.

[00:27:45] So you have everything you need to impact others and then get in proximity. To the people who share the mission and that’s what you all are, doing. So let’s talk about the project, the what, where impactful engineer goes from here. And we talked kind of big picture around the mission at the start, but what are the things that you two are excited about getting, moving different initiatives or, or how this comes to life in the short term, the next one to five years as you’re getting started, what are you looking forward to the most?

[00:28:14] Jake Maxey: definitely a podcast. we’re gonna have our own podcast. We don’t know what it launches. we have goals, but we’re close. So, and it’s just one piece of the puzzle, one tool we’re gonna use to bring more awareness and drive more activity around engineering and drive that understanding that we’re looking for, of our community.

[00:28:36] Right. So looking forward to that. We’ve had some great guests, we’ve had some great conversations. Steve and I love doing our podcast one-on-one with each other. we call it What’s on Your Mind Today Or, or something similar like that, right? ’cause every week you go through challenges that you can then discuss and it always disseminates down to something that is pretty useful for people.

[00:28:56] So we like to bring that. so the podcast is one, one for me is just feeding my need. I. through different avenues. ’cause impactful engineering is not a thing yet. It’s not up. I can’t do the things that I want to do right now for people. So I’m just, I like to immerse myself in doing that. So, um, ACE Greater Boston area is something that I give time to.

[00:29:24] It’s a mentorship program for high school students that are interested in architecture, construction, and engineering. Yes. And it’s free. And you get to hang out with all of these cool senior engineers and architects and construction management people, of all varying different, levels and interests.

[00:29:44] And you get to see a lot of what the industry has to offer. And one-on-one. We’re there for two hours with you. You get to ask anything. Wouldn’t that be cool? So yeah, uh, that would’ve been cool for me to know. So I like to get into stuff like that, the programs 

[00:29:58] Zach White: like that. That’s awesome. Steve, what are you excited about as this comes to life?

[00:30:04] Most definitely 

[00:30:05] Steve Maxey: the podcast. that was the kickoff point that Jake and I started with. because we are both avid, uh, podcast listeners. so we’re like, Hey, you know, this is a great way to, to spread. A great message, and we’re passionate about this message.

[00:30:18] Let’s, let’s do one. Um, so, so that was, that was the, the first, uh, first idea. and it started out as like, I came up with an idea and I was like, Hey, this’ll be great. And Jake’s like, okay, let’s do it. And I’m like, oh. Oh, okay. Wait, what? Oh no. Yeah. Oh, you wanna do it right now? Okay, I’ll, I’ll go buy a mic.

[00:30:35] So, awesome. the podcast is, was our launching point. another thing is, what I am trying to lead is, is finding out how to create tools for the everyday engineer to, to be more efficient in their jobs. Right. Um, and so I’m an engineering manager in a product development world I see how I.

[00:30:54] A lot of various types of engineers struggle in different areas, you know, whether it’s, organizational, types of areas or, um, you know, technical or, uh, you know, I mean, there’s so many different, struggles that that different engineers, face. So I. Trying to find tools like, you know, whether it’s like a, a style of notebook or, you know, maybe a, a spreadsheet even.

[00:31:13] anything that that’ll help people be more efficient and feel like they’re doing more in, in their roles. Yeah. So, so that’s, that’s a kind of one of the side projects that I’m 

[00:31:21] Zach White: taking. I think maybe I just assumed everybody would connect these dots, but it’s worthwhile to mention, you know, you guys are, Doing this on the side while you’re driving very successful engineering careers (Impactful engineering) and doing the work on yourselves at the same time, which I mm-hmm.

[00:31:36] Truly admire. And I think, it speaks to your passion. For this and, and why it’s needed. Because it’s not like you got a huge check from a VC firm to go do some startup and you’re getting rolling. It’s like, no. This is just grassroots from the beginning, sharing from your journey and your heart. So, Jake, you made a comment earlier that I do agree with that we can’t give someone the fire, right?

[00:32:02] If you don’t have it inside you To be aligned to this mission and purpose, then that’s not something that we can create for another person. But I do think we can fan the flame. Mm-hmm. You know, if somebody’s got it in there, maybe they’ve just been busy, they’re overwhelmed with their own life and projects, or they haven’t really, brought their head up and taken a breath and said, 10 years from now, 20 years from now, whenever the end end of my career comes, what do I wanna be known for?

[00:32:29] What kind of impact do I wanna leave on the world during my, my engineering career (Impactful engineering)? And they’re thinking about this now and they feel that there is a fire there. If you were just gonna come alongside that person and help encourage and motivate them to say, don’t wait till your retirement or till your finish line to start.

[00:32:50] Leaning into this impact, what would be your motivational speech, your message for that person who has the flame, but they just haven’t been nurturing it? Jake, what do you think? What would you say to that person? 

[00:33:04] Jake Maxey: Don’t wait until it’s too late We do have a lot of time on this earth. you could look at it as we don’t have a lot of time, but we do.

[00:33:14] what I mean by too late is, Every day that you’re not fanning that flame, it’s gonna be shrinking and it could disappear, okay? Mm-hmm. So if you don’t get curious about it now, even at a little bit at a time, 1% a day, it’s gonna diminish. So if you even have an inkling that you want to have some sort of impact beyond your day job, start.

[00:33:43] Getting curious about what you can be doing to fan that flame, right? And then soon, the impactful engineering community (Impactful engineering) is gonna be a great place to do that. And we’re gonna welcome you in and we’re gonna actually gonna be seeking you out, right? to try and pull that from you. but you know who you are a year from now is who you were a year before and what you were working on.

[00:34:09] If you don’t do anything, you’re gonna be the same person you were. If you start acting and trying to work to draw this out, to fan the flame, to improve yourself, you’re gonna be a different person a year from now. But you can’t just step into it and decide one day, oh yeah, I really wanna make a huge impact.

[00:34:29] And then you’re there. So you don’t wanna wait 10 years before Yeah, before, uh, you realize that. So get curious about it now. 

[00:34:37] Steve Maxey: so something I’d like to throw in on top of that is, if you want to make, an impact to say just scale of a hundred right.

[00:34:45] Whatever that may be. if you start now, you can get to a hundred. If you start five years from now, you can only get to 75. Right. Or, or whatever that is. So, I mean, it’s just like interest when you’re investing, you know, the sooner. you start taking action, the more of an impact you’re gonna have. 

[00:35:03] Zach White: Yes.

[00:35:04] Yep. I agree with both of those guys. And I’ll just testify to the fact that for one, Jake, your comment is true. The fan can or the flame can go out. And I’ve met that person in many forms in the work that I do now. I just this week had a chat with an older engineering leader who got on a coaching call with me.

[00:35:26] In the face of a decision, do I wanna lean into growth and impact and something more for my career or just get to the finish line and survive? The hard truth they faced was I just don’t have it in me. I, like you might be able to help me, but I just want to get to the end. I’m done. I really don’t care enough anymore to invest in myself to grow.

[00:35:50] Or create, like, I just don’t wanna get fired and I’m not willing to do this. And it was really sad. I mean, it broke my heart to hear somebody say like, even in the face of an opportunity, that they could create more for their life. They just had nothing there. In terms of desire to do it. And then Steve, to your point, I mean, let’s go back to our basic math.

[00:36:09] it’s a compounding, it’s an exponential equation. look at Warren Buffett’s wealth over time, the bulk of his wealth creation has happened in just the last few years relative to the first 30 years of his investing. Right? So it’s the same with these kinds of things. You wait 10 years, you miss the biggest lever, which is time.

[00:36:27] So, guys, this is amazing and I know people on both sides of this coin are gonna want to A, watch the journey, and B, get involved in it. Both people who can serve and provide resources and donate money and, B, on the philanthropy end of what impact Phil Engineering does. And then the people who need this, the, Hey, I know somebody down the street who’s in high school who would be a great engineer but doesn’t have access or needs someone to come alongside and be that teacher for them.

[00:36:54] Let’s land the plane. Well, actually first I want, I want people to know how to get connected. So where is the best place? What’s the way, whether it’s right now as this episode releases or if somebody hears this a year from now, let’s just give people a place to go and get connected to the two of you and the project.

[00:37:10] So where is the best way for folks to learn more? 

[00:37:13] Steve Maxey: right now is gonna be LinkedIn. both, Jake and myself are relatively active there. and then soon our podcast, uh, will be launching on, on, you know, all the normal platforms, which is impactful engineer.

[00:37:24] if you wanna connect with us directly, you could email us at [email protected]

[00:37:31] Zach White: Okay. Questions, plural? It’s with an ss Yes. Yes. Okay. [email protected]. Awesome. 

[00:37:36] Alright guys, let’s wrap it up and, you know, from being happy engineer listeners and, uh, Jake from working together, how passionate I am about questions, questions, lead, answers, follow great engineering.

[00:37:50] Impactful engineering. we wanna make sure to get the best answer possible, that we ask the best questions. So what’s the question that each of you would leave the happy engineer with, who’s been feeling that flame get ignited in them during this conversation? Steve will throw it to you first.

[00:38:06] What’s the question you would lead the happy engineer with? 

[00:38:10] Steve Maxey: one of the biggest questions I I always ask myself, you know, even every day in every action is, am I doing the right thing? is what I’m doing in this instance, to the best of my knowledge, the right thing to do for, for, you know, the community, the person I’m working with, myself, you know, my loved ones, et cetera.

[00:38:26] you always want to, Leave the world as a better place than you got. It. Is is the basic, 

[00:38:32] Zach White: am I doing the right thing? Jake? What’s your question? 

[00:38:37] Jake Maxey: Well, first I just, I love Steve’s question if you answer yes right away, you know yourself and what you’re doing really well. If you don’t, unless it’s gonna be, most of the time, it’s gonna lead to more questions and it’s gonna lead to some understanding that you haven’t had before.

[00:38:49] So truly start asking yourself that question every day. mine would be. What is stopping you from reaching out and just gaining some perspective, right? What is in your way? Why don’t you reach out to someone on a free platform like, like LinkedIn? why don’t you get connected with people in the industry that you’re interested in and just have some conversations you get to, by the way.

[00:39:18] it’s gonna lead you if you ask yourself that question and you seriously answer it no matter how dumb it is. ’cause I’ve had some dumb answers to that question right in my own head. I’m like, and it sometimes it just comes down to, how you’re feeling that day even. So really ask yourself that question multiple times.

[00:39:35] every day, every week. What’s stopping me from reaching out and gaining some clarity and talking to somebody? You’re one great conversation away from hitting some sort of aha moment or something that gets you past where you’re blocked. 

[00:39:49] Zach White: Love that. What is in your way specifically to connecting and reaching out?

[00:39:56] And you can probably take the same question to any other area, but proximity is power. Get around the people who can help you get to where you want to go. And here are two of them right here today that you met. Happy engineer and an open invitation to connect with Jake and Steve. So don’t miss that opportunity, guys.

[00:40:13] Just cheering for your success. Let me know how I can help anytime you know that. until next time, we’ll, we’ll definitely get back together and update the Happy Engineer community. And I wanna know how impactful engineering is coming to life and the impact you’re making. So thanks for being here, both of you.

[00:40:30] This has been awesome.