The Independence in Business Leadership w/ Anthony Zhang

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Today on Episode #7 of The Sage Executive Podcast, join our host Robb Fahrion and his guest, Anthony Zhang, as they talk about independence in leadership, education in client acquisition, and advice on relating with others. Anthony Zhang is the CEO of Vinovest, an organization that provides a platform to invest in fine wine. Vinovest helps its clients determine which wines are best for investing based on your financial profile, risk tolerance, and other aspects. They also handle all custody, storage, and insurance. While this lucrative asset class is primarily only for the ultra-wealthy, Anthony has used the company to bring wine investment available to all people. Stay tuned to know his secrets to being a Sage Executive!

Steering Your Own Ship

Leadership takes a lot of responsibility, but the ability to control your own decisions is one of its most significant benefits. It’s a feeling that you won’t be getting anywhere else! Being responsible for your own actions and other people is a dream come true for Anthony. For those who might be wondering what it’s like to be a leader, Anthony’s perspective might motivate you to chase after a leadership position in your company or start a business of your own!

“The best thing is being able to steer your own ship.” – Anthony Zhang on being a leader. Catch the interview on The Sage Executive Podcast!

Wine Investing for New People

Anthony’s business with wine puts him in a unique position for client acquisition because not too many people are familiar with this kind of investment. Still, with any type of company, client acquisition starts with education. Why would people want to invest in wines? Why would your potential clients want to try your product? How can you tell them that it’s something that they never knew they needed? It all starts with answering those questions. For Vinovest, their challenge is to figure out ways to make wine investing more accessible through reaching out and producing educational content to inform people.

Profitability of Relatability

For someone who’s had to move to different countries, Anthony has learned the art of adapting to assimilate himself to new environments. He’s also brought the same principle in business. It’s easier to make a lot of new friends out of your customers, employees, and even your bosses by being relatable. Relating to others builds an affinity and level of trust that go a long way for building relationships that last for generations.

“Being relatable always establishes that level of trust and affinity that goes a long way for developing the right relationships.” – Anthony Zhang. Catch him on this episode from The Sage Executive Podcast!

About Anthony Zhang:

Proven leader who has founded/led growth & marketing teams at three venture-backed companies.

Built first company at 18, eventually growing operations to 22 markets and employing over 1,500.

Oversaw $10MM+ annual marketing spend into online media channels, SEO/ASO, offline marketing/branding campaigns, PR strategy, events, affiliate/influencer marketing, partnerships, and content development.

Loves to build and grow teams and foster a rapid-testing, data-centric culture of execution.

Outline of the Episode:

  • [00:22] What does Anthony Zhang do?
  • [01:47] Being in control of your own decisions and being responsible for those actions.
  • [02:33] Telling people about something they don’t even know about.
  • [03:59] Being relatable to your customers and employees.
  • [05:18] Sage Executive recommendations.
  • [05:56] Go for vintage champagne for celebrations!


Connect with The Sage Executive Podcast!

The Independence of Business Leadership Transcription

Robb Fahrion : Hi everyone, this is Robb Fahrion with the Sage Executive Podcast where top executives and business leaders share their sage advice. It is six questions in nine minutes. Because the wise speak in a few words, I’m really excited for our guests today. So we’re gonna get right into it. Question number one in a few sentences, would you mind telling us who you are and what it is you do?

Anthony Zhang: Hey Robb, how’s it going? I’m Anthony. I’m the CEO and co-founder of Vinovest. Vinovest is a platform to invest in fine wine. So this asset class actually has beaten out the SMP over the past 40 years. However, it is still very tough to be able to manage all the aspects that go into investing and find why, for example, where do you find the right information on which ones to invest in? If you don’t have a massive wine cellar, how can you actually manage storage and all the physical logistics and then finally, There’s a lot of great places where you can buy and sell wine, but it’s really fragmented. So how can you get the right liquidity to be able to get in and out of your positions? So with Vinovest we’re an all in one platform, we help you determine which winds are best for you in terms of your financial profile, your risk tolerance, your investment amount, and other things. We handle all custody and storage and insurance. And we also have pooled liquidity. So we make this asset class that has been really lucrative and previously only been available to the ultra wealthy, much more accessible for all.

Robb Fahrion: I love that. Yeah, I know. I know prior to the show, we’re talking, I’m a big wine-o. So when I saw your company and did some research, I signed up right away. So still diving right in but yeah, incredible platform, so everyone makes sure to check that out. Second question, Anthony. What would you say is the best part about being a leader, an entrepreneur, and an executive of your own company?

Anthony Zhang: I think the best thing is being able to steer your own ship. You know you have a lot of pressure, a lot of responsibility, but it is also a feeling I wouldn’t give away for anything else, you know, being in control of your decisions, being responsible for your actions and being responsible for other people. And being able to have that all in one is, you know, it’s a dream come true.

Robb Fahrion: Awesome. Question number three, we hear a lot of times from other executives and individuals that we talked to that acquiring new business new customers is very challenging, right, especially with a lot of noise. Can you talk to me a little bit about your thoughts on new customer acquisition and how to go about that?

Anthony Zhang: Yeah, so with Vinovest, we’re in a pretty unique position where most people don’t know about wine investing, they don’t even know it’s an investable asset. So how do we get in front of them and tell people something that they didn’t even know that they needed? So for us, it’s all about education and content. The great thing about wine is that you know, it’s been around for a long time and most people are generally aware of the fact that some wines as they age they’ll get better and more expensive. But making that leap to that level of knowledge and having them believe in an asset class, you know, it’s definitely one of our biggest challenges today, then it’s really just about figuring out accessible ways to reach and educate and inform those people.

Robb Fahrion: Right, going a little off script just because I’m curious, do you find that you’re tapping into new customers that already know about the wine industry and have invested in terms of maybe their own collection? Or do you find new investors that are just finding a new type of investment at their disposal?

Anthony Zhang: Surprisingly, over 95% of our investors have never invested in wine, never heard of wine but they are savvy investors. How crazy the S&P has been this year, a lot of people are looking to take some of their gains out of the market and diversify a little bit. You know, this is a viable option for them.

Robb Fahrion: Awesome. Awesome. All right. Question number four. Here’s where we’d like to have our guest shine. If you had to give one piece of what we’re calling sage advice to other individuals and business executives, CEOs, what would that sage advice be?

Anthony Zhang: I would say my number one piece of advice to executives when talking to customers, anything like that, is to be relatable. You know, in terms of my upbringing, I’ve grown up moving around a lot. So I’ve lived in Asia, lived in Europe, moved around a ton in the United States. And as the new kid on the block, I had to adapt and be able to really assimilate myself to new environments. And I found that by being relatable, you know, you get to make friends a lot easier. And you want to treat your team, your employees, your bosses or your clients as friends as family and I think being relatable always, you know, establishes that level of trust and affinity that I think goes a long way for developing the right relationships.

Robb Fahrion: Yeah, just being nice, right and helpful. That’s what I love about business. It’s more often than not, I always find that people are willing to help. Right? They want to be a part of something. And yeah, I think that’s great advice. Thanks for that, Anthony. So fifth question. We’re doing great on time. What other top executives, business leaders similar to yourself? Would you like to acknowledge as potential guests for our show, we’re obviously trying to add new content, new guests, new perspectives. So who should be somebody that I might want to invite onto this podcast?

Anthony Zhang: I would say I’d like to give a shout out to Brandon and Ishmael. They’re building an awesome new company Paragon. Both of them have built and sold their companies for repeat entrepreneurs, also in the, you know, Southern California startup ecosystem. So I think it’d be great. It’s awesome.

Robb Fahrion: Appreciate that. I’ll definitely have to reach out to them to wrap up now. Fun question here and no, right no wrong answer business when personal when however you want to spin it. So after that, What do you like to do to go out and celebrate?

Anthony Zhang: Yeah, I wouldn’t be on brand if I didn’t say it was gonna be popping a bottle of champagne, I think something bubbly always gets people in a good mood. So there you go, definitely some vintage champagne.

Robb Fahrion: Okay favorite bottle for the viewers to go out and take a look at.

Anthony Zhang: I mean, I really love the 2008 Dom Perignon, I think it was from a great year, it’s still like, pretty approachable in terms of its availability. And especially, you know, even from an investment standpoint that in 10-20 years is going to be aging beautifully and 2008 was one of the best vintages in recent history.

Robb Fahrion: Awesome, awesome, perfect. I love that. If you have any wins where you’re opening that up, let me know.

Anthony Zhang: That’s another thing, sharing your wins.

Robb Fahrion: All right. Well, Anthony, Hey, thank you so much for being on. We really Appreciate it. Can you tell us how people can find you, how people can find the best vino, the best way to get in contact with you and just learn more about your business?

Anthony Zhang: Absolutely. So I’d love it if you could reach out to me directly. I’m and our website is

Robb Fahrion: Yeah, we’ll be sure to get all that information in blog posts and distribution out so you can get in touch with Anthony. To wrap up everyone again, this is Rob Fahrion with the sage executive podcast. For more insights into checking out more episodes, visit us at Anthony thank you so much for being a part of the show. We really appreciate it and best of luck in the future.

Anthony Zhang: Thanks for having me.

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Written by Robb Fahrion

Robb Fahrion is a Co-Founder and Partner of Flying V Group. Robb has helped over 350+ companies build their businesses online and is responsible for building Flying V Group into one of the premier marketing agencies in the United States. Robb and his team have managed over $10M in marketing budget and continue to accelerate the growth of clients' businesses. A love for business and competition is what fuels Robb to create dynamic marketing plans to help his clients grow exponentially.

July 30, 2020



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