Eight Questions with Wendi Freeman

Riskonnect’s event management maven extols the benefits of solo travel, hot yoga, and facing down one’s fears

If you could teach a college class, what would it be? It would be called “Adulting” and it would cover all the things college doesn’t prepare you for when living in the real world.

What is the best business advice you’ve ever received? When I graduated from college, my dad told me “Don’t get in your own way. And never let fear, greed or ego get in your way. If you just remember this, you will be successful in everything you

do, and accomplish anything you desire and live a happy and fulfilling life.”

This advice has turned out to be perfect for my entire life – both business and personal. At the core, it is really all about fear: greed and ego are only contributing factors leading to a fear-based mentality.

I learned about greed in my first job. I was selling advertising. I excelled at my job, was one of the top revenue producing reps and made a lot of money for a recent college grad. After a while, the culture and morale shifted, and it was suggested we be deceptive in our sales tactics. I came to resent my employer; I felt my morals were being compromised, and I no longer felt fulfilled at the end of the day. I realized that, while money is a necessity, it is not always what needs to drive you professionally.

Everyone has an ego, and when mine gets in the way, I try to redirect it into something positive… to drive self-confidence and awareness… to do things I might not otherwise do… to quest for knowledge, independence, self-reflection, integrity and continuous growth… and to challenge me to be the best version of myself.

I tend to overthink everything – to want to know the outcome of every decision, small or large, before I even start. But when faced with fear I try to remember that there are so many difficult obstacles in one’s life, but I am the only one who can allow them to become my own roadblocks. I am not always successful at redirecting the fear, but acknowledging it is the first step!

What is your favorite place in the world to visit? I was fortunate enough to experience travel from a young age with my family. Now as an adult, I realize that traveling is one of the best ways to learn more about yourself.

When you’re fixed in your daily life, it’s easy to lose sight of what you have. Your eyes aren’t really open. Travel creates the time and space to let my mind wander and reflect on my life. My resolution this new year is to travel once a month, whether business or personal.

After a drastic life change in 2015, I wanted to push myself beyond my comfort zone and decided solo travel would be my outlet. My first solo trip was to San Diego and La Jolla in 2016. In 2017 I explored London. I discovered that traveling alone, although scary at first, is also empowering. I learned so much about myself, and discovered that feelings of loneliness can be transformed into feelings of independence. Now, I am more confident, and I crave new experiences and new challenges.

What are you currently reading? Make Your Bed – Little Things That Can Change Your Life… And Maybe The World by former Navy SEAL William H. McRaven.

Who is the person you most admire? Richard Branson, because he’s an incredible leader and mentor, thinks out of the box, believes in marketing, is successful and charismatic – yet he’s down to earth and willing to make mistakes and fail. He’s also a philanthropist, committed to family and employees, has an optimistic attitude, and a perfect example of living with a work hard/play hard mentality.

What is your favorite quote? “Keep your head up, keep your heart strong, keep your mind set, keep your hair long.” It’s from Ben Howard.

What can’t you live without? Exercise! Currently, Orange Theory Fitness and hot yoga are my go-tos.

If you weren’t in this profession, what would you be? A planner, promoter and host of charity galas.


 

Eight questions with… is an occasional series where we ask marketers to share a little of their professional and personal insights. To suggest someone you’d like us to ask eight questions – or to answer them yourself! – email eightquestions@arketi.com.

By Rory Carlton – September 12, 2018

Email Rory Carlton | Read more posts by Rory Carlton

Posted in : Eight Questions With