Wesley Hoffman is the creator of TreeHouse Network shop – “a monthly networking event series with the philosophy that we should make connections as people first, and then determine how we can help each other.” He’s also a mover and a shaker who is heavily involved in the entrepreneurial landscape of St. Louis. With plans to teach a Dabble class of his own in the near future Wes is the perfect candidate for our next Dabble Talks.
Over coffee and Baileys Wes and I discussed an unrelated list of topics from Norway, to 5 panel hats and donuts, to Myspace… so I decided to use their old “get to know me” quizzes as inspiration for this interview. Also – Wes, being the supreme networker that he is, has posted a lot of interviews recently so I’d thought this would be a funny way to interview.
Before you started TreeHouse NetworkShop you were working for Living Social. What were you doing before Living Social, and what was the single greatest catalyst that inspired you to create TreeHouse?
Well, actually directly prior to Treehouse I was working for a web and app development company. My background has always been in sales & customer service. I’ve always had a want & need to meet new people. Helping others do the same, and creating a forum for people to do so is what really inspired me to start Treehouse.
You recently tucked the first of what will hopefully be many more SpeakEasy events under your belt. For those that didn’t make it – what is the concept behind this series and what can we expect from the next session?
The SpeakEasy event was probably my favorite event we’ve produced so far. I love sharing experiences and hearing other people’s stories; I believe in learning from them. I also want to give an opportunity for people to hear local speakers & comics. When I met with Frank Uible, owner of Gringo, he had recently opened his basement venue, which is the perfect venue for a small, intimate event series like SpeakEasy. Sometimes smaller events make for easier networking too.
Since TreeHouse is all about networking (something I can personally attest to, having attended a couple of your events), who are you networking/bumping shoulders with these days?
I’ve been blessed to have an awesome group of friends that I also consider to be mentors. I try to meet up with them as often as I can. Jason & Corey at Strange Donuts have been a big help to me, as well as Michael Hurst from Rukus, and Sean B from Tower Classic Tattoo. I’m really just interested in meeting anyone I can learn from, or who has a different perspective. I meet up with a lot of people who come to the Treehouse meetups. If I’m looking to learn something, or do something I’ve never done before, I tend to reach out to the people who have been there before to pull knowledge from.
What else have you been up to and what’s on your plate for 2015? Any major resolutions?
There’s a lot planned for Treehouse in 2015. I’ll be releasing an awesome new service at the beginning of the year that I’m really excited about. In 2014, I found myself reading, writing, and just getting out there and experiencing more of life. Next year, I want to do even more of that. Mainly – I want to do things that get me out of my comfort zone.
What is your best piece of advice?
Be specific about your goals. The more specific you are, the easier it is for people to help you. Once you decide what it is you’re trying to achieve, put yourself out there in as many ways as possible – online and in-person. Experience life.
First thing you wash in the shower? My face.
Would you kiss the last person you kissed again? Of course, it was my wife!
What was the last dream you remember having? I had a really weird dream about walking around the mall… that’s all I can remember.
What are you listening to right now? Music. Spoon’s album “They Want My Soul.”
Are your parents strict? I thought so when I was younger, but looking back, I had it pretty good 😉
Would you go out to eat with George W. Bush? I have questions and I want answers!
What are you doing tonight? Serving dones to the great customers at Strange Donuts.
What was the most recent thing you bought? A beer at the Rams game last night.
If you were abandoned in the wilderness, would you survive? I like to think so… I’m pretty resourceful.
What is your favorite social media? Why? Lately, I’ve been using Instagram the most. It challenges me to look for content in a different way.
Have you ever thought about getting your lip pierced? Yes! I had my lip pierced when I was younger.
Do you talk in your sleep? I’ve been told yes.
Do you snore? Yes, but not always.
What is the last thing you said aloud? “Good Morning”
What do you think of when you think of St. Louis? Hard working people. Baseball. Beer.
Do you have any scars? What happened? None worth mentioning.
What is your favorite color? It changes…
How old were you when you had your first kiss? Maybe 11 or 12?
Last song you listened to: “Do You” by Spoon
Last time you cried: I shed a tear during Big Hero 6 last weekend.
What time did you wake up today? 7:32 am
Name something you cannot wait for: The launch of my new website!
Last time you saw your mother: Thanksgiving
Nicknames: Slim, Wes Mantooth, Brother Wes, Fritz
Zodiac sign: Pisces
Height: 6 Feet Even
Do you use emoticons a lot? Yes
What is your favorite emoticon? 😉