We had the good fortune of connecting with Steven Wiideman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Steven, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
The most important success factor in my career and personal life is a combination of research, retention, and patience. Professionally, we have worked hard to develop a process for ourselves and clients that require an exhaustive amount of research, in addition to requesting support from external subject matter experts to combat the guessing game when it comes to planning. Employee and talent retention efforts are worth the cost when compared to constant procurement and training costs. Patience is critical, as I learned earlier on. It could take weeks or months to close that big account, just never give up. Personally, sticking to a calendar and schedule can make life slightly more predictable, which lends itself to positive habits, structured routines, and self-discipline. Exercise is a crucial pre-breakfast way to boost energy and performance throughout the day and keep the weight manageable. Better eating habits, and a continued effort to reduce stimulants over time, have reduced exhaustion, anxiety, and stress. Choosing to surround yourself with people who maintain a positive attitude has also made my personal life more enjoyable. The instruments that I’ve used to manage and balance my consultancy responsibilities, client accountability, adjunct teaching commitments, and personal life include Google Calendar, Google Drive, QuickBooks, Smartsheets, and Microsoft To-Do (app).
What should our readers know about your business?
Wiideman Consulting Group is comprised of team members with experience in enterprise digital marketing, who have an appreciation for a work environment based on collaboration instead of being governed by policy. We work in a somewhat boss-free atmosphere that embraces creativity and recognizes performance, where, in a more traditional corporate culture, more thought goes into compliance rather than output. This culture we’ve built creates a foundation built on honesty, 100% transparency, and an endless stream of communication throughout the day. Perhaps more memes than typically necessary as well, but why not? Our clients love us because all of our work is performed and saved online, where they have access to all the same files we do, including access to tracking tools used and documentation libraries, again providing a transparent business relationship that many agencies call “IP” and aren’t willing to share. Getting us to where we are today was expensive. Costs were more than just loans and skipped paychecks, the cost also included many missed hours of critical time with family and friends. In the end, we came through, paid off business debts (minus one 1% SBA loan), and are stable as a small business. Challenges for a business without capital or an investor are mainly financial. If one client doesn’t pay on time, you take a smaller check so everyone else can still get paid. If two or three clients don’t pay on time, you get to juggle short term loans, and oftentimes, high interests rates. The biggest lessons I’ve learned as a small business owner are to prioritize your employees’ happiness, and relationships with employees, supporters, vendors, and clients. In the end, it’s these people who are making sacrifices and taking risks because they believe in you and your vision. As a brand emerging from being client-centric to providing online training courses and digital downloads, our message to other entrepreneurs in the service industry is to find a way to scale, set realistic benchmarks and hire amazing people to help you reach your goals.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Los Angeles has thousands of hidden gems waiting to be explored. In terms of attractions, my favorites are The Last Book Store, Huntington Gardens, Universal and Universal City Walk, and Venice Beach. Restaurants you have to try out include Barton G, Inn of the Seventh Ray, Pink’s Hotdogs, and any of the entertaining Hibachi-style restaurants (our favorite is Benihana). No trip to LA is complete without a visit to Orange County, which includes Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, and shopping at the Irvine Spectrum. Look for rooftop restaurants in Santa Monica, and have a cocktail in the revolving lounge at BonaVista Lounge.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Our Shoutout goes to Judi Fox (#FoxRocks), our LinkedIn coach and trainer. We brought Judi in to help us understand how to effectively grow a presence on LinkedIn. What we received, in addition to the training, were some incredible small business lessons on how to build meaningful relationships at scale. These new relationships have culminated into marketing content, in the form of webinars, podcasts, interviews, and cross-promotion, in addition to driving actual referrals and clients. As agency-trainers ourselves, it was exciting to be on the receiving end and seeing how a true pro handles and time-releases knowledge transfer in a way that’s understandable and not overwhelming. Big Shoutout to #FoxRocks, our real digital marketing hero this year!
Other: https://www.academyofsearch.com https://www.seoverified.com
All photos were taken by team members of Wiideman Consulting Group.