Here’s the full transcript from Episode 40 of the Wild Business Growth Podcast, featuring The Writing Guru Wendi Weiner. Please excuse any minor typos from the transcription service. For more information on this episode, including the episode link, check out the show notes here.
Full Transcript – Wendi Weiner Podcast Interview
Wendi Weiner: 00:00 Ultimately your job is what you do, but your brand is who you are.
Max Branstetter: 00:19 Holy 40 welcome back to the Wild Business Growth Podcast presented by Hippo Direct. This is your place to hear from a new entrepreneur or innovator every single Wednesday morning who’s unleashing creativity to grow their business. I’m your host, Max Branstetter, Digital Marketing dude at Hippo Direct and you can reach me at email@example.com if you’d like help with podcasting or digital marketing. This is 40, episode 40 that is. Today’s guest is Wendy Weiner and she’s known as The Writing Guru. After over a decade in law field as an attorney, she fully cashed in on her passion of being a writer and is now an award winning writer that’s featured an Entrepreneur, Forbes, Business Insider, Fast Company and more. She knows a thing or two about resumes, LinkedIn, career branding, building confidence and more. Let’s hear from the guru herself. Enjoy the shoe. Alrighty. We are here with Wendy Weiner for a wild Wednesday edition of the Wild Business Growth Podcast. See, I told you, Wendy, I’d fit in as many W’s as possible here. But Wendy, thank you so much for coming on. Wendy is The Writing Guru. She is a top resume and personal branding expert featured in Forbes, Entrepreneur, Fast company. The list goes on and on and on. Wendy, how are you doing today?
Wendi Weiner: 01:33 I’m doing great. Thanks so much for having me on your show, Max.
Max Branstetter: 01:37 Of course. Well, thank you so much for joining. We’re going to talk about a lot of really cool and useful things today. And just to start, I mean I’m blown away by not only the amount of W’s that we’ve named in the show today, but also your career. I mean, you have the background in law and then, you know, a very successful law career and you pivoted to an entrepreneurial career and something a little bit different or maybe even completely different. Let’s start right there with law. So what made you decide to go to law school and get into your law career in the first place?
Wendi Weiner: 02:09 So in high school, uh, I was on the speech and debate team and frankly I competed at a lot of state and national tournaments. I was really good at public speaking. That’s really where I developed my love for even future going into the courtroom. So, I envisioned myself having a career in public speaking and law just seemed like the natural progression for me. I also liked to argue a lot with my family. I was always trying to fit in and why my point was the right point. And a lot of times I failed because my mom always has to be the one that’s right. (Max Branstetter – of course) So, I would always find a different angle to take in every argument. One of the things that my grandparents said to me, and they were very influential in my life. Um, my grandparents both said that I would be an incredible lawyer just because my analysis, my ability to think and rationalize and I have really good logic. Um, so like anytime I did these mind games or brain teasers, I just always cracked the code. So, law just seemed like a natural progression for me to major in English. I didn’t think about majoring in Prelaw because I always loved writing. And so when I went to law school it was just a rude awakening for me. It wasn’t what I really thought it was going to be. Um, I struggled a lot in law school just because my inner personality is I’m warm and fuzzy and loving and in law you have to be extremely cutthroat. You have to really be a shark, especially in litigation. And so I have this soft side to me but also this brainiac inside. And one of the things that I realized along the way, and I didn’t realize it until too late in my career, is that there are so many different pathways you can take in law. And it wasn’t until the last three years of my legal career when I was in-house council that I realize what I liked about practicing law. For the first eight plus years in my legal career I was miserable. I went from law firm to law firm, worked in big law, mid-size firms and they all had a common denominator, which was litigation was extremely contentious, adversarial. I was good in the courtroom. I look very young, so that played a big factor in why I often create intimidation for opposing counsel and why they also kind of scared me a bit. And, ultimately, I just decided that I really wanted to be a writer. And I remember sitting down with my parents one day and my mom said, well, you’re the writing guru. You’re the person that always, edits people’s essays. And, you’re always editing people’s resumes. Why don’t you think about doing this on the side as a freelance business and maybe down the road one day and when you’re married and you have kids and you’re raising a family, you can build up the business a little bit more. It was never in the forefront of my mind that my business would be what it is today.
Max Branstetter: 04:55 That’s amazing. You said that you look very young and I agree. We previously had Michael Rozen, who’s a big time NYC lawyer, or used to be a big time NYC lawyer. Though he has kind of changed his career recently, but we had him on the show previously and he actually, kind of the opposite of that. He got gray hair at a very early age and he was saying that helped him in his law career because he started doing things at an early age and people didn’t know how old he was, they thought he was much older than he was. So it’s kind of interesting, you have the complete opposite perspective of that.
Wendi Weiner: 05:25 The one thing that I realized along the way throughout my legal career is when I was practicing law, there was also that common denominator where I was the brief writer at every place that I worked, every law firm, every company that I worked. And really what a brief writer is is the person that writes the lengthy summary judgment motions and dispositive motions. Um, and so in addition to enjoying taking examinations under oath and depositions, because what I did as a practicing lawyer is I did SIU cases, which are Special Investigations Unit cases. So I handled a lot of insurance fraud. And being that I litigated insurance fraud for 11 plus years, I was very good at busting insureds on lying in a deposition or lying in a sworn statement. That transitioned well for me. But I just wasn’t really happy as a lawyer. And what I realized along the way is my passion lied in writing and that’s ultimately what I was destined to do. So, today my company is trademarked, it’s The Writing Guru, it’s a nickname my parents gave me. I dedicate a lot of my business to my parents because they’re the ones that discovered my passion for writing and creative writing at a very early age. And if you go to my website, you’ll notice that my writing samples all pretty much have the same pseudo name, which is Goldie Norman. Goldie was my grandmother’s first name. Norman was my grandfather’s first name. So that way I could dedicate portions of my business to my grandparents because they were extremely influential in my life as I mentioned.
Max Branstetter: 06:56 Yeah. That’s so cool. I really love how you paid so much respect to them. You talked about how naturally you’re a warm and fuzzy person, but there’s kind of this reputation in the law world and in the business world as well, especially with Shark Tank that you need to sort of be the shark and have this more, at least part of your personality needs to be more aggressive or assertive. That comes up a lot. How did you get that more strong and assertive part of your personality out when naturally that wasn’t something that you were really all about.
Wendi Weiner: 07:29 So candidly as a child I was bullied a lot. My last name is Weiner, so you can’t get anymore comical than that and people making fun of you. And then also I wore glasses from an early age. So back in the 80s when I was growing up, you know, kids made fun of other kids wearing Coke bottle glasses. At the time they were very thick and I had bifocals. So sort of having to learn how to have a thick skin, being bullied a lot and learning to kind of stand on my own, stand my ground. Um, so that for me to help develop a great deal of self confidence and the strong self esteem and you need that when you go into business. You have to have a really thick skin. Um, law really prepared me for that. The first couple of years I found myself crying on the bathroom stall. Like, why is this partner so rude to me? Why are they nice to me? Cause I, you know, I grew up in a home where I was very nurtured and loved and so (Max Branstetter – right) into the real world. And law can be a very dirty profession. Um, and so for me, I had to grow a very thick skin very quickly and that actually has helped me immensely in the business world. I don’t take things as personally. Um, I’ve dealt with some things over the last couple of years. People stealing my content. You know, I had a competitor write a fake review about me. Those are the kinds of things that I wouldn’t expect to deal with in business because I’m a really honest and ethical person. But I’ve grown a very thick skin in having a business.
Max Branstetter: 08:56 Yeah, and I saw that you posted the a throwback childhood picture recently on social media. We’ll make sure to share it in the show notes, but you’re so cute. I can’t believe people would bully you. That’s unbelievable.
Wendi Weiner: 09:08 Well that was when I was six years old. But eleven or twelve when you start going through puberty and you’re at that awkward stage, when I needed braces I was a little geeky. And I had that mullett haircut that everyone had in the 80’s. (laughter)
Max Branstetter: 09:24 Those, those were the days. A shoutout puberty is a fun time for everyone. How much do you think that thick skin allowed you to transition and change up your careers when most people would look at the career of a lawyer and say, wow, that’s a very respectable job of very comfortable, very, you know, well known career.?
Wendi Weiner: 09:44 That’s a great question Max. So for me, I had to be honest with myself and I get that question a lot because there’s a lot of miserable lawyers out there who want to transition, but they’re afraid of risks. And I think in life, being an entrepreneur requires you to consistently not be afraid of risk. And truly the catalyst in my life that sort of gave me that push was, believe it or not, running the New York City Marathon in 2011 That, for me, was literally the catalyst that changed my life. I know people say that there are certain moments in their life when they wake up and they realize, hey, I wasn’t meant to do this, but for me, running the New York City Marathon, first of all, I’m not athletically inclined at all. I struggle a lot with my weight. I have thyroid and hormonal issues. So I’ve been on medication for years. For me, like being able to run a marathon, which is 26.2 miles, not be anywhere near an Olympic athlete. Not even look athletic and be able to accomplish this feat. And then two years later run the Chicago Marathon For me, that just signaled to me that I can do anything that I put my mind to. Because if you run a marathon the one thing that people will tell you is that it’s always mind over matter, right? It’s all mental. It’s not about the aspects of it, but it’s more about mentally being able to take the challenge and not succumbing to pain or tiredness or fatigue or anything like that. Just by the time you are at mile 18 or 20 in the marathon, it’s purely mental. But at that point you’ve run out of glycogen in your body and your body is just completely on empty. So in order to meet the next, you know, eight miles or six miles to the end of the marathon, you really have to be very mentally strong. And for me, the fact that I was able to get through that, just signal to me, I can do anything in my life and I will be successful.
Max Branstetter: 11:35 That’s so powerful. Well, congrats on the marathon. I mean that and especially the New York one. I think it’s, it’s so cool how they go to all five boroughs, but that’s incredible. I mean it’s a huge feat for anyone. How long did you train for that in advance?
Wendi Weiner: 11:48 So actually, believe it or not, I started running about year or 16 months before. Um, I had never run before. Literally when I was like, I do the mile and elementary school. I couldn’t even do that walk a mile.
Max Branstetter: 12:02 I got some bad memories of that too. (Wendi Weiner – yeah)(laughter)
Wendi Weiner: 12:05 I started training with a running group and then I went to an advanced running group, which sounds kind of crazy, but these people were running five and six minute miles and I was nowhere near. I mean I was running like a 12, 13 minute mile. Um, but for me, like being around people that were extremely ambitious and determined was enough to help me stay determined and motivated and they were extremely welcoming to me in that group. I never felt like I was, you know, the loser at the finish line because I was so far behind everyone else. But, so I trained for about a year to 16 months or so. Really what happened is I ran a half marathon. Figured, hey, that was really cool. Let me just put my name in the lottery for the New York City Marathon. I actually got in the lottery, but it should be noted. Well, it’s actually pretty crazy is that I ran the marathon injured. I actually had, I have two disc bulges in my L4 and L5 in my spine. So it’s not really good for someone like me. And I actually had a knee issue where I had extremely bad tendonitis. Um, I was persuaded to run the marathon so I was technically injured. So getting to the finish line took me an extra hour and 15 minutes in New York through Central Park. The New York marathon is a very hill-based marathon. You’re running up bridges, through the hills of Central Park. It’s, it’s not an easy course. So a lot of people will take a marathon like Chicago and run that first because it’s a flat course. New York is very hilly. So it was definitely a challenge for me. And again, it was all mental and I felt like if I could do that, I could walk out of a decade plus career in law and be successful.
Max Branstetter: 13:46 That’s incredible. As if 26.2 miles across five boroughs wasn’t enough. You did it with 17 different injuries. But that’s, but that’s crazy and I’ve never ran in it, but I, you know, basically the same thing. I watched it last year for the first time and uh, I had some buddies running in at shoutout Tim Crowley, who was also coming back from injury and I was just blown away by how uplifting and how supportive the whole event is. Like, I don’t know how much you’ve noticed while you’re running, but literally the entire time, everywhere you are, people are cheering like crazy. You know, everyone’s rooting for everyone. It’s such an inspiring event. So it’s really cool you’ve experienced it and succeeded in it firsthand, so that’s amazing.
Wendi Weiner: 14:28 Thank you.
Max Branstetter: 14:32 Let’s dive more into that business career then. So we spoke about the transition a little bit in what made you change up your career. So what were people’s reaction when you made that big career shift? Like how would your friends react? How did your family react? How did your law coworkers react? Because that is a major change.
Wendi Weiner: 14:50 It is. So my parents are very straight edge and very, you know, by the book. And my dad was a principal of a high school. My mom was an assistant principal. So for them they were like, wow, you put all this time, energy, effort into your law school education, your legal career and now you’re just going to kind of like give up on it. And my parents theory was, how is life going to be without that consistent security of a paycheck or that company that provides you a company car or 401k or the health insurance. And what I did was I told myself I would give myself six months. And, if my business did not grow to where I wanted it to grow over those six months. And I burn through the nest egg that I had saved up. So I had about nine months of savings saved up. Suze Orman always talks about how you should have six months to a year of savings always. Um, and most people in America live paycheck to paycheck. That’s how I lived as a lawyer. But when I was building my business on the side, I had stashed away a nice chunk of money that I could’ve used as a down payment for our house. But it was really my nest egg in case I needed to live off of that money in my business wasn’t generating any revenue. Um, so my parents were, they weren’t really happy about it initially and they are the most important people in my life. So I derive a lot of validation from my parents being proud of me and happy for me and supporting me. And initially in the beginning they were concerned, you know, they, they thought maybe I should go work for the government. My brother’s a lawyer, he’s a state attorney and so he’s got a very secure, happy career in law. I didn’t have that as a lawyer. I didn’t feel secure, happy in my career. I’m at the time, my now husband, who was my boyfriend, you know, he’s a big dreamer, so he’s like, go for it and I’m proud of you. You could do it. You’re going to be the best. He told me I’m like the red pen of justice flying through the air, grammar errors and making the world sound better through my writing. Um, I had a lot of friends who supported me and then I had a lot of friends who didn’t. Um, I’ll never forget. I left my company job on a Monday and on a Thursday I walked into an entrepreneur group and I remember someone coming up to me and introducing himself during the break. And one of the things that this guy said to me, it was, wait a minute, you’re a lawyer and you left practicing law to write resumes. But I don’t understand why. Write resumes and how are you going to make six figures the way that you would make big lawyer money? And I remember thinking to him, I’m going to prove you wrong. Right? Cause that’s just kind of my thing. I’m in a way argumentative. I’m a lawyer. I did litigation for 12 years, remember my grandparents said I was very good at arguing. So (Max Branstetter – right) cause that’s kind of what law is. You’re always trying to prove your opponent wrong. Um, and so why you have the better case. And so I decided I was going to make a great case for myself and prove everyone wrong. And so ultimately that’s what happened. I really worked my tail off for six months, uh, after leaving the practice of law. I, you know, when I was practicing law and doing this on the side, I was working a hundred hours a week, easily cause 60 plus a week as a lawyer and then 25, 30 hours a week on the weekends. But now I went and shifted to doing my business full-time. So in the beginning, you know, everyone learns by their mistakes. One of the mistakes I made in the very beginning was joining every local networking group as possible. I’m going to every local networking event and I realized that those are huge time suckers because if I’m the business and I’m doing all the work, I can’t possibly talk to the clients, do the writing and go to all these events. So I had to learn to be better at managing my time, which believe it or not, as a lawyer, it was hard to do because you were working on multiple things at once. You’re in court half the day, you’re going to take depositions. So balance was really hard for me and it still is. I still struggle a lot as a one woman show in my business. But really I had to put my mind to it and kind of put my, the pedal on the floor to the maximum capacity and just churn out the type of work that I needed to without compromising the quality as well.
Max Branstetter: 18:55 Yeah. Well your work ethic is incredible. It’s inspiring just to see how many hours you’re working and uh, and this brand you’ve created for yourself. In terms of the brand, the company, The Writing Guru, how did you come up with that terminology and how did you decide to trademark it? Which I know you’ve since done, which I love, by the way. I mean, it fits very well with your background, obviously.
Wendi Weiner: 19:16 Yeah. So the name Guru, as I mentioned earlier, was my parent’s nickname for me and I just thought it was a really nifty way to kind of describe like what people saw me as. But also you’ll see a lot of comments online all the time, like gurus, experts, I hate people who say that. But I let people know off the bat that really it’s a sentimental nickname that my parents gave to me and that’s where the company’s name comes from. In the early years of my business. It was more of a proofreading and editing and freelance writing style business. But as the years went on and when I learned really about the resume industry and how it is an actual industry with certifications you can get. And there’s national organizations out there. I learned about it in 2013. In 2014 is when I got very serious about branding my company as more of a resume writing services company. At the time, I was still doing edits for college admissions essays and freelance projects here and there. But the one thing that I wanted to be different about my brand is I wanted people to see me as a full range writer. So beyond just writing amazing resumes or LinkedIn profiles, which by the way, in 2014 is when LinkedIn blew up. So that was an added service.(Max Branstetter – Right) Personal branding was something we heard of, but it wasn’t what it is today. Today, everywhere you go, someone’s talking about personal branding. At the time I wasn’t as big and LinkedIn wasn’t what it is today. I realized that I needed to have a massive writing portfolio because I felt that my writing background, being an attorney, a college writing professor for seven years, um, right before I start, you know, right at the time before I started my business, I felt like that was a major selling point of who I was and I decided that was how I was going to build my brand around it. So some people will get featured in publications, but they won’t carry it their own content per say. They’ll pay a content writer to write the blogs for their stuff that they post online. But I literally write everything myself,
Max Branstetter: 21:24 Wow. Well write-on Pun intended. I like puns. Do you ever miss prosecuting law these days?
Wendi Weiner: 21:31 There are times when I miss it. But I am in a lot of Facebook groups for women lawyers and sometimes when I hear sort of the battle stories, I realize I do not miss litigation at all.
Max Branstetter: 21:42 (laughter) Fair enough.
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Max Branstetter: 22:07 All right, so let’s dive more into that personal branding. So, uh, as you mentioned, personal branding has really exploded especially over the past few years, you know, with all, with so many opportunities and channels now to create and foster your personal brand. In your mind, why is personal branding so important these days?
Wendi Weiner: 22:26 I think it’s important because we’re living in an age, the digital age where people can find you online and people want to obtain as much information as quickly as possible about you online. So gone are the days where you just need a resume to apply for a job. Now come, these are researching you online and your LinkedIn profile. Yes, it is your online resume, but it’s so much more than that. It’s in essence, your visual footprint. It’s what people read about you when they look you up. It’s the first thing that will populate in a Google search for you. For me, it’s the second thing my website pops up first. LinkedIn is what is seen. And so now today you need a digital footprint to be noticed, to have a business, for people to be able to find you. I’ll never forget one of the biggest mistakes I made advertising and marketing-wise in my business in the beginning, and I laugh about it and I was telling someone this story the other day is I put an ad in the University of Miami’s school newspaper. I’ll never forget, this is in 2014 right? My parents had a business right when I was born and it was a publishing business. And so they’re into, you know, they get social media, but at the same time, like when I was building my business, they, they thought, ah, traditional print advertising is the way to go. That’s how you know my dad. And like that’s how I built my customer base. Why you put an ad in the University of Miami’s school newspaper? I got zero responses from it and went onto their website too. But literally I got zero responses from it. And that was when I realized that something was wrong, right? Print, print media, putting an ad in the newspaper is not what it used to be. People used to open up the newspaper, but now everyone’s reading everything online and digitally. So the best way to draw a traction for your own business is through social media. You need your brand to be aligned. One of those things that I suggest for example, is having the same handle for all of your social media channels. So if I’m the Writing Guru on Instagram, I should be the Writing Guru on Twitter, on LinkedIn, on Facebook, all of these things so people can easily find you and access your pages. A lot of people have different URLs and handles for different social media platforms, but that just causes confusion because then people have to figure out, well this is his Twitter handle, this is her Instagram handle. You want everything to be uniform because that’s what your brand is.
Max Branstetter: 24:51 Yeah, that’s an incredible story. I mean it’s actually, it’s close to home because at Hippo Direct, we specialize in mailing lists and email lists and they’re getting more into the digital and content space. And one of the things about direct mail is, you know, cause you hear the argument all the time, like is direct mail dead? Like is you know what’s going on? Like why would I do this versus other things. I personally I think newspaper ads like that, especially print, newspaper ads like that. I’m not surprised by the results at all of what you saw. I mean, I’m just thinking that how many people, our generation don’t even read the newspaper. But I still think it can be very effective using direct mail as standalone postcards and separate pieces of mail just because, uh, and kind of the total opposite way of social media. There’s way less clutter in the mail this day, so it can make a bigger impression if you do specific, you know, stand out direct mail messaging that way. But I do, I do understand your frustrations as far as the newspaper ad goes.
Wendi Weiner: 25:47 Yeah. And one thing that you just touched on Max that I wanted to be very candid about is even email lists. So, I have a friend that does email marketing. He’s amazing at it. Writing copy for some of the biggest brands like Frank Kern and um, shoutout to Dave Mitz because he does this thing called The Email Experience. And one of the things that is really intriguing is the amount of revenue generation that he acquires or his clients through the email marketing. Now I have an email list exceeding over a thousand contacts. They are either people that at one time uploaded their resume to my website, they have downloaded my ebook that I used to have on my site years ago and there were former clients. And so I used to email my email list maybe twice a month. Then I got really busy. I have Constant Contact for it and literally I may do it now once a quarter. Um, but I will tell you that every time I send out an email and it’s not sales pitchy cause that’s just not who I am. Even when I talk with prospects, I’m not a salesperson. I try to educate people, right? I try to share the content that I put out there. I encourage them to go talk to other resume writers. I’m really big on being an advocate and an educator for the resume and writing industry. But what I tell people when I do the email marketing is I actually tell them, hey, I’m booking up fast for this day. If you want a book with me, here’s the information. I also share podcast interviews that I’ve been in. For example, getting into CNN and having an interview with them. Those are , or, I’m speaking at a major conference. Those are things that I’ll generally share with my email list. I mean years I would get tons of emails from career coaches and writers selling courses and things like that. But anyone who’s put out a course will tell you that it’s very difficult to market unless you have a very strict sales funnel. And for me, that type of marketing is not really true to my brand and true to who I am. So for me to put that out would feel very inauthentic. Um, but I do have friends that are amazing internet marketers and they put products and they do email lists and they have incredible success with it,
Max Branstetter: 27:57 Right? Yeah, absolutely. It has to have a very strong fit with the personality of your brand. And it is, you know, as content marketing gets bigger and bigger, it is so much more powerful to give away valuable advice and content for free as opposed to, you know, making people sign up and pay for something all the time. It just, it just doesn’t work that way anymore. But, uh, in terms of resumes, which you pointed out earlier, I mean, it’s a very important part of the personal branding mix. It’s obviously important when you’re applying for jobs. But you did mention it’s changed over time as far as the importance of the actual resume, the actual pieces of paper. So today, let’s say today at the time of this recording, if there’s a pie chart in terms of your personal brand, how big of a chunk with the resume be in that pie of your personal brand?
Wendi Weiner: 28:42 That’s a great question. So I would divide the pie into thirds and make it equivalent to your resume, your LinkedIn profile and your strategy. The reason for that is so when people come to me and they’ll say to me, hey, I consulted with this other resume writer and they had a guarantee that I would get a job within 60 days. And what I tell people is there’s no guarantee. The only guarantees in life are death and taxes, right? We have to die at some point. I know that sounds morbid, but (Max Branstetter – it’s true) The reality is that no resume writer or career coach can truly guarantee results from the document because there’s so much that goes into it. What is the fair market right now for the job market, right? And let’s say for example, you want the salary of $150,000 and you’re only making $75,000 you have to manage your expectations. You have to look at what are people at your level earning. What are positions being advertised for? What is the full compensation? And then the other thing, and this is me thinking like a lawyer of course, is I only know what clients disclose to me, right? So a client disclosed to me that they left a company, they resigned, but perhaps they committed some crime and let’s say they have a DUI on their record and they fail a background check or let’s say for example they were charged with larceny and that is going to preclude them from being insured with the company. Those are the kinds of things that I don’t delve into with clients. So I actually have a disclaimer when I work with clients because there’s so many factors that go into the hiring process. So my thought process is if a resume writer is actually giving you a guarantee that you’re going to get a job or you are going to get an interview, I would run. Because there is no guarantee that you’re going to get that with that document. There’s so much more that goes into it than just the document. It’s how well you interview, how aggressive you are om your job search. Are you networking? That all of that is strategy. And then obviously the other third of the puzzle is LinkedIn. How well are you using the platform? How powerful is your brand and are you connecting with key players? Because a lot of people go into job strategy with that old 1995 mindset like, oh, I just have to upload my resume into the application system and just wait for a call and now that I’ve had this resume professionally done, the phone will be ringing off the hook. And the reality is, and statistically job search boards only give you a 4 to 8% response rate. More than 70% of jobs are acquired through active networking. So if you look at those, imagine Max you and I are both competing for a job at Starbucks.
Max Branstetter: 31:26 This is a real story by the way.(laughter)
Wendi Weiner: 31:29 Let’s say that we both want to go into the legal department at Starbucks and I have a friend that works for Starbucks, but they’re with the marketing department and they know someone in the legal department and they’re able to get my resume onto the desk of one of the hiring attorneys in the legal department faster than you can connect with that person on LinkedIn. I’m going to have a competitive advantage over you, which is why it’s really suggested that you look at your own network and look at the contact within your network when you’re applying for jobs because you want to see who can help you out to pivot your career to the next step. And a lot of people forget that. You don’t realize that today we have this infinite ability on LinkedIn to research all of these people, these key players at companies and build a network of connectivity with that.
Max Branstetter: 32:14 Well, I wish you the best of luck in our competition for the legal job with Starbucks. I’m sure it will be a close match, but I love the way that you divided that pie. I think those are three really strong pieces. Uh, and it’s not just because I’m a huge fan of pie myself, which is true. Let’s start with that third about the resume. Uh, you don’t, you know, you don’t need to reveal all your secrets, but is there just a few quick tips or maybe beginner tips, um, that can apply to most people for what they can do to improve the resume?
Wendi Weiner: 32:44 Yeah. One of the things that is really important and I share this and this is not like the best kept secret, is that resumes are formula, right? You need a branding statement at the top. You need a powerful either a branding statement or value proposition underneath a professional summary. Um, something that I do that’s very different than what a lot of resume writers will do is they’ll actually put, for example, a professional summary. Then key core skills section and throw in 15 to 20 key words. To me that’s called keyword stuffing and it makes it look obvious you’re trying to beat the applicant tracking system. So what I do is I pick several core areas of focus, maybe four or five and I will actually use those as the basis for bullet points of statements of fact that will be backed up by evidentiary support in the resume throughout. So I’ll have a professional summary, four or five bullet points of key highlights from the person’s career key proposition value. Then I’ll go into their professional experience and I reserve bullet points in the professional experience section for results, contribution and key achievements the person has effectuated at companies throughout their career. My style is very different than a lot of other writers. I think that my style works because it’s more authentic. And I try to create resumes that are going to look like the actual client or job seeker wrote that document themselves. I don’t want to, it’s professionally done, but I want it to give off the vibe that if the client spent eight to 10 hours writing the resume that this is what they would have been able to create. Um, I don’t use crazy graphics or colors or stuff that’s going to make the resume look fake or that they hired a resume writer. I want it to look as authentic and value add as possible for the client to strategically market themselves. Um, so definitely throw off the objective. Um, don’t do the keyword stuffing and really begin to think about what unique value you brought to a company, whether it was through business leadership, results, cost-savings processes that you’ve improved. Those types of things. You should always be able to answer if the question is what was my unique value that I provided to the company?
Max Branstetter: 34:57 I love that. That’s an amazing way to position yourself. And how about in terms of LinkedIn, because you mentioned earlier that LinkedIn, it kind of, at least at the start, it had the reputation of the online resume. Now there’s obviously more things you can do with it, but what is something that you see that many people do on LinkedIn today that you disagree with and think there’s a better approach?
Wendi Weiner: 35:15 So I’ll see a lot of people basically dump their resume into their LinkedIn profile. And a lot of times their resume is lifted from job descriptions of the companies that they’ve worked for. So what they’ve done is they’ve taken the job description for the job that they’ve held and they basically need those into bullet points and then use that to just sort of interject and insert into their LinkedIn. And you’re not taking the time to really grow your brand because ultimately your job is what you do, but your brand is who you are. So you want to think about the unique value and key differentiators you bring to the table and all of your roles and in your career. And consider writing your LinkedIn profile from a first person point of view. So I see a lot of lawyers that come to me and they just dumped their bio from their firm’s website onto their LinkedIn summary. And that’s not really what you want because LinkedIn is there to engage and interact with people. It’s there for you to talk to other thought leaders, people in your space, journalists. And so there are things and tools that you want to have in your arsenal and your toolkit that is going to enhance and accentuate your value on the platform. Um, so those are important things to consider when it comes to LinkedIn. I always recommend if you’re going to hire a resume writer or write your resume, hire them to do your LinkedIn profile as well. This way the tone of voice is the same and the writing style is the same as well.
Max Branstetter: 36:40 Yeah, absolutely. And just to wrap up the pie here as I continue to. I’m always hungry, so this is why, but (Laughter) uh, in terms of strategy, what’s, can you just share one piece of advice that you tell your clients as far as overall strategy for personal branding?
Wendi Weiner: 36:56 Sure, so you want to be able to answer these important questions. Number one, who is my target audience? Who am I ultimately trying to speak to? The other thing is what is my unique value? What are the skills that I have that provide the most value add to a company, to a manager, to a team of people? And then the other question that you really want to answer beyond just who your target audience is and what your unique value is, is what do you want to do with that once you put it on the platform? Who do you want to drive traffic to? Who are the key people that you want to connect with and mention that in your profile?
Max Branstetter: 37:34 Yeah, that’s so strong because there’s so much that you have to think about before you’re actually putting pen to paper or electronic words to your computer screen.
Wendi Weiner: 37:42 One thing that I wanted to add Max to that is another perspective to think about when you’re thinking about this. You definitely want to make sure that what you’re doing as well for LinkedIn is looking at it from a perspective of. For example, you know people have visibility to you, a wider access to you on LinkedIn. So think about this. Your resume is only getting seen by hand select number of people, but your LinkedIn profile is viewable. by millions of users. Because your LinkedIn profile is viewable by millions of users, there’s a higher rate and higher probability of plagiarism. I’ve had my stuff stolen from my website. I’ve had content taken from my LinkedIn profile for other peoples for gain. So one of the things is imagine if you’re inputting your resume into your LinkedIn profile and then you and I applied for same job, then it becomes who copied who? And so that’s why you really want your brand to be extremely authentic and value driven as to what you’ve done in your career rather than just boiler plate formulaic stuff when it comes to your LinkedIn because of the wide visibility and reach that it really has.
Max Branstetter: 38:54 Yeah. And it’s crazy. Like plagiarism is something else. Like it’s hard to believe people to actually copy stuff from other people. But I think one thing that we’ve learned from the online world is that truly anything is possible. So I’m not the amount of people on LinkedIn now. I’m not shocked at that, but that, that’s a real bummer and a really, really good point.
Wendi Weiner: 39:12 Yeah. And one thing that I’ll say is, it is, it is actually unbelievable that people would steal your content. But last year I actually had a lawyer who’s not even in my industry, steal my content. Um, kind of like how like a course that she was promoting and I actually had to retain a business attorney, you know, they say a lawyer who has his own, who is his own client, has a fool for a client. We enlisted the help of Darren Heitner who is an amazing business law attorney. Really well known, has a huge following, and done a lot of intellectual property and business law. Um, and I had him handle a cease and desist letter from me and he’s handled some other legal work for me too. Someone write a competitor that wrote fake reviews and was creating fraudulent top 10 lists throughout the last year. Um, I had Darren handle that for me as well. And I’d recommend that every entrepreneur and business owner should always have a business attorney on retainer because you do not want to be handling your own stuff. In the beginning, I would send my own cease and desist letters, but I’d rather pay a lawyer to do it. So I’m not the one having to deal with the emotional aspects of it.
Max Branstetter: 40:18 Yeah, it makes a lot of sense. Alright, So let’s pivot to a segment on inspiration and creativity. So here, think about things that inspire you, ways you stay fresh and creative with your business. Uh, and so you spoke earlier about some people that were really, really inspiring to your business and getting started, notable, your grandparents, your husband, the dreamer, as you said. How about on the law side of things because you do, you know, while law is not technically your day to day anymore, you are still involved with law and you have the law background and you’ve spoken, you know, many examples already of how well that’s translated to the business world. Who’s your biggest inspiration from the legal side?
Wendi Weiner: 41:00 Wow, that’s a great question. I would actually say my brother, believe it or not. He’s five and a half years younger than me, but my brother went into an area of law that I never would have envisioned him going into because I was the one that was on the debate team in high school and I was the trained public speaker and my brother is at a phenomenal state attorney. Um, he prosecutes DUI homicide cases. So they’re vehicular homicide cases. So someone driving drunk that kills someone or causes serious bodily injury. And I’ve actually seen my brother in trial and he is a force to be reckoned with. And I would say he’s an extremely inspiring person because in law he loves what he does and he’s extremely passionate about it. He’s extremely professional. I’ve seen other opposing counsel really try to tear him apart in the courtroom. And my brother just has a finesse about him that he has an extremely thick skin and he just doesn’t take it personally. Anytime if someone tries to ruffle his feathers, he handles it with such grace and finesse. And to me that’s really inspiring. And the other flip side of it is he’s very passionate about what he does and he really loves being a lawyer. He loves protecting victims and the voice of the outside world. And I think it’s, he’s won a ton of awards for his service and connection with MADD, Mothers Against Drunk Driving. And it’s just to me that’s really inspirational because it shows that you can be in that field and be passionate and really love what you do.
Max Branstetter: 42:32 Yeah. And that’s such heavy stuff, like it’s not like anybody could just step into that role. It’s amazing that he’s excelled in that role. And then obviously, you know, between you two and what you’ve said about your parents and grandparents, obviously you have some incredible DNA. Something’s running through your family that is fantastic from a career standpoint. (Wendi Weiner – Thank you) How about hobbies? So what do you like to do outside of work that helps you stay creative, helps you take your mind off things? What do you like to do in your free time?
Wendi Weiner: 42:59 So I love my Peloton bike, which that was one of the best investments I made as an entrepreneur. I’m sure you’ve seen the ride at home bike, I use a membership to Flywheel. Loved my membership to Flywheel, but I found it really hard to leave for an hour and a half a day and go out to the studio and ride and do a class. So I actually purchased a Peloton bike just over a year ago. I love it if you have a Peloton bike follow me on the leader board, The Writing Guru. I kind of took a break with it for the last couple of months and I was just going to the gym. Um, but other than that, I, I still enjoy some online shopping. Amazon that makes it easy today, right? Cause we’re, of convenience. Um, I love a good coffee shop. Um, I love to go to brunch with friends on the weekend and really what I, what I do now for myself, um, I talked talking about balance, right? I actually really try to take off most weekends, um, to decompress and use those two days to spend with my husband and go out to dinner with our friends and try to get out and sort of decompress my mind from work because one of the hardships of working from home, and I know you can appreciate this Max, is you become accustomed either working your pajamas or your workout clothes and not being able to differentiate your start time from your stop time. And that was something that I really struggled with a lot in the beginning years of my business. There’s so much work that you can continue to do. And so one of the things that is really important is being able to step away from it. And enjoy those hobbies. Go for a walk outside. I have a 13 and a half year old Shih Tzu who’s like the love of my life. I’ve had him for 13 years. I got him when he was a puppy, he’s almost 14. Um, but I enjoy my lots of my dog, Riley and I really try to take advantage of getting out there and taking a break from my day and going on road trips. My husband’s in the travel industry does luxury travel. So we go on vacations now, quite a big sea tours, a lot of these resorts. So I love traveling. And in fact, um, we were talking the other night about, we have, so our first year anniversary, it was, you know, we’ve been married almost three years, but I bought him a map of the world and it’s one of those things as the adventures of the Eric and Wendi and you’re supposed to put a pin every place you’ve gone to together. And so my husband says, why I’ve traveled so much. And I said, well, so have I, but we haven’t traveled that much together. We’ve always gone to like the same geographic areas. And then we realize, hey, we need to travel a little bit more to add more pins to it.
Max Branstetter: 45:26 Yeah, seriously.
Wendi Weiner: 45:27 That’s a, that’s a hobby of ours. Um, but there’s a solo business owner to take the time off. So I have a little travel laptop that I bring with me and at work when I need to, but I really try to decompress and detach myself from my work when I can.
Max Branstetter: 45:41 Yeah, totally. I mean, I was just nodding my head the whole time because the things they were saying, it’s working from home as well. It’s so similar as far as getting dressed for work. I mean I, I like to work out in the morning and I’m working on getting better with this part, but I tend to get into a trap where I come back, turn my laptop on, start going through email and next thing you know, it’s halfway through the day and I’m still in the gym shorts and I’m like, wait a second.
Wendi Weiner: 46:04 Yeah, well it’s easy because you’re not showering to go to court or go to work. And the funny thing (Max Branstetter – hopefully not) is well, for me it was going to court was all this training for the marathons. I was also doing crossfit. And one of the things that, it’s funny because I used to work out in the early morning, so I get off at 5:30, six o’clock, do my workout, come back, shower, go to work. Um, sometimes I’d work out at night if I did two workouts in a day. But the reality is like I had start and stop periods, right? Cause I was going to an office and I had to be there by basically a certain time. You have to have Facetime with the bosses. They have to see you can’t roll in at 11 o’clock in the morning. Whereas now if I wanted to, I’m master of my own destiny. As a business owner, if I wanted to, I could literally walk out three hours in the morning and go for a facial, go shopping. I can do anything I want to do. But you have to be very self disciplined. And you can attest to this as a business owner is that no, you don’t have that set nine to five schedule. You have to be very disciplined and have the ability to be motivated to work as much as possible. Because if I don’t get on the phone with clients, if I don’t do consultation calls, if I don’t, you know, speak to new prospects or network, I’m not going to continue generating the revenue that I generate. So in a one person business, if you’re not selling a product online and just leaving it out there and deriving passive income, it’s very hard when you are a service based business because you are the business.
Max Branstetter: 47:32 Yeah. And it’s so true. I mean it’s so much self discipline. I literally have a, like you mentioned, going outside for a walk. I literally have a recurring calendar, a meeting every single work day where in the afternoon I go out for a 10 minute walk because you just can’t, if you’re trapped inside all day, like literally all day, it’s not going to do good for you. So it really helps to, to take that time.
Wendi Weiner: 47:53 You don’t realize it either. I’ll never forget like one night my husband came home from work and he said, you’re still in your pajamas from last night. And I felt so embarrassed. He’s right. But I got so much work done. So it’s a, it’s a hard,
Max Branstetter: 48:05 Yeah. Yeah, it really is. How about resources like for inspiration and creativity. Do you read books? Do you listen to podcasts? You know, what’s your sort of favorite ways to consume information?
Wendi Weiner: 48:15 So I do listen to podcasts every so often. I also read a lot online. I do watch webinars and I try to learn as much as I can. So one of the platforms I really worked on building up this last year is my Instagram channel and I learned a lot about Instagram. Um, by consulting with an Instagram coach and then also sort of reading up on these webinars that talk to you about curating your content and also how to lay out your content. So my, the visual aspects of my Instagram were terrible. I would just randomly post things. I didn’t do a lot of storytelling and the moment that I really understood like how the platform works, what people engage with, I went from 5,000 followers to now over 14,000 followers and like, uh, Instagram is not where I find clients, clients find me through various traffic sources, not even just on LinkedIn, but they’re finding me through articles I’ve been featured in, articles I write find me on Google searches. So the thing is with Instagram it’s a totally different mindset and totally different visual aspect. You really have to understand. And I didn’t understand how the platform worked. And that’s another thing is like thinking about how different platforms work different. They carry different audiences and I do watch a lot of webinars, so when I see something come up in my feed I think is a cool webinar, I’ll bookmark it and then when I have time I’ll, I’ll read it, but I attend a lot of conferences for professional development purposes. I do attend summits that are online just to keep my brain fresh. Like for example, I signed up for a new certification, which is through the National Resume Writers Association. It’s called the NCOPE Nationally Certified Online Profile Expert. It’s taught by one of my amazing colleagues who is a LinkedIn guru himself. Not that I need another certification or acronym name, but I believe in a consistency of always growing your knowledge, always thinking about how you can eat better. I took a writing class through NYU a couple of years ago just for fun. I know that sounds crazy, right? But I did an online class just because I love writing and I always think I could be better at it or I can improve something. And so the goal is never stop learning. Right? That’s the most important thing. I say that to my clients too. You know, even if you got an MBA 20 years ago, maybe getting an executive certificate or a new certification is a great thing to show your commitment to learning.
Max Branstetter: 50:42 Yeah. Well, you’re clearly passionate about what you do andbthe information you consume. Quick note on podcasts. What is your favorite podcast besides this one? Obviously.
Wendi Weiner: 50:50 So I like a Tim Ferriss podcast. (Max Branstetter – Oh yeah) One of my colleagues Mike Elkins just put out a great podcast, so I think it’s called Sports 7 or the 7. I am, I hope I didn’t botch that, but a great podcast. And he just started his own law firm and anytime I’ve had business questions, uh, or questions, I supporting him in a few articles of mine. He’s a great resource as well.
Max Branstetter: 51:18 Oh, cool. We’ll have to check out his. Tim, oh my God, Tim is obviously a huge inspiration for this podcast and his stuff is just incredible. Tim’s the man. So he shared this is a lot of the same interests there.
Wendi Weiner: 51:30 Oh, I was going to say one podcast I really liked for Instagram. Um, for those who want to know kind of like how to grow their Instagram a little bit more. Um, I really liked Jenna Kutcher’s podcasts called the Gold Digger Podcast. She’s done quite a few also webinars on instagramming, curating content. I like her because she’s very authentic and real. So she’s another person to follow online.
Max Branstetter: 51:53 Yeah. And I, her Instagram is everywhere. She’s all, she’s clearly good at what she does. So it’s, I can, I trust that that is a very helpful podcast as well. Okay. So let’s move to a recurring segment here called the Wild Business Shoutout of the Week. The Wild Business Shoutout of the Week. So Wild Business Shoutout of the Week this is where we talk about a recent, uh, a campaign or something a brand is doing that caught her attention and chat about it for a little bit. So earlier we were talking about LinkedIn and I know you know you are fantastic at LinkedIn and it’s very important to what you do and what you help clients with. So Wendi do you mind sharing a little bit about, you know, how you’ve noticed how LinkedIn has evolved over the past few years and sort of your take on the platform.
Wendi Weiner: 52:43 So LinkedIn has obviously over the last couple of years with allowing video content and really promoting video on the channel as well as allowing you to now do live recordings on the platform. I personally have not moved into video content. A big reason why is because I think the platform for my business is more for writing and people want to see my writing. I’ve had people that follow my content for years and then reach out to me a couple of years later and say, Hey, I’m really interested in you. I’m, I’ve been following your content for a while. I find it really inspiring. I’ve had so many people reach out to me and I didn’t even know that they were following my content for a long period of time. My content is all writing based. Um, but one the things that’s really changed is a lot of young people coming onto the platform and you know, millennial age professionals coming on and building a personal brand through it doing video content, written content as well. Um, the other thing that I’ve noticed, which is a little slimy and on the platform and I’m not a huge proponent of it, um, I actually speak about it quite a bit and I’m very much against it because I don’t think it’s authentic is Engagement Pods. So Engagement Pods are sort of like that way of buying followers or buying likes online. And so you have to be weary of it because for example, like some of my posts have gotten over 50,000 views and it’s amazing. What does that gotten me? It hasn’t necessarily gotten me a client. It’s just gotten me more visibility on the platform. Um, it’s up to me to convert the sale, right? It’s up to me to convert the client into purchasing my services. Most of the people who find me online are actually not utilizing my, the platform the way that I am. Um, so I actually don’t care about likes or comments on my posts. I just care about putting out my content there. And there are people that are digesting it, um, cause they’re following up with me afterwards. Um, so what I mean about Engagement Pods and how to be leery of it is someone who grows a following really fast online. Like they haven’t been on LinkedIn for very long, but they’ve got, you know, 20, 30, 40,000 plus followers and they’re not having the only, their engagement is very forced. You know, someone that says nice post or I saw someone do a video about this the other day, how to know if someone’s in an Engagement Pods is seeing people commenting over and over again on the pose and not really putting specific stuff. We’re putting more generic stuff because it’s almost like I’ll scratch your back if you scratch my back. So it gives this false influence or status for a lot of people that when you really kind of peel back the layers like an onion, you realize they’re not really out there speaking and they’re not out there putting themselves beyond just putting out content. So you really want to look at someone’s social media from every platform. So one of the things that I’m a huge proponent of is even playing field on all of the platforms. How active are they on each platform besides LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram. Like one of my colleagues who was millennial age, who I think does a fantastic job of putting out content is Kyle Elliot. You should actually interview him for your podcast. I’ll make an introduction. Yeah. Kyle is a close friend and colleague and I absolutely adore him and I adore his style. He’s very open about topics that are important to him. He has a lot of natural engagement and you could tell he’s not in any Engagement Pods. That he really puts out content that’s authentic to him and he’s built an incredible following and he’s someone that I really admire and I’m impressed with who has, you know, taken his business and really grown it in a very short period of time. And I like it because he’s authentic and he’s not out there for likes or followers, but he’s out there to really engage with people that want to engage with him. And that is what you want. You want an altruistic, authentic, organic engagement on these platforms. So you can tell the people that were putting out false things, their engagement has dropped dramatically because either they were throwing a pod or they were removed from a pod or they’re not in it anymore. So really look for authentic engagement. People that are not pitching sales and things like that, that are doing a good job on the platform. I think it’s easy to cheat on social media today, but you’ll know who’s truly out there in the open because they’re out there doing, speaking in person, networking beyond just posting content online.
Max Branstetter: 57:07 Bam, drop the mic. It’s so true.That’s a great example. It’s a huge pet peeve of mine as well. This sort of engagement thing and groups like that are, I know it’s a, it’s been a huge trend on Instagram for awhile and they’re, you know, they’re kind of on a crusade against it. But it’s, it’s fascinating to hear about it on LinkedIn as well as LinkedIn becomes more of a social platform. Um, so it’s, I mean it’s, it’s to be expected with the social media world that that kind of stuff happens, but it’s so true. Like it’s so easy to sort of peel back the layers and see who is actually a real genuine, authentic person and taking the time to interact with people and build their brand that way versus as you said, just, you know, nice post or like, uh, one of my biggest annoying things is like when you, when you do a post and somebody like spams their own content in your comments, it’s like, what are you doing? Like (laughter)
Wendi Weiner: 57:58 Right, right. I delete those, cause I mean, listen, like some of my posts on Instagram, why I’m posted something last night, it’s got maybe 300 likes already. And it doesn’t have as much engagement because it’s not one of those things where I asked for feedback or ask questions. Um, but there are people that will drop in those spam or those bots style comments and I just, I’d rather not have your like or rather not have your comment. Then I want the true engagement. I want people who are authentically engaging with my content because they liked my content or they have something thoughtful to give back. I think that’s really important. And you know, another person that I follow on social media who I absolutely love is Claudia Oshry. I’ve actually seen her, um, her show. I’m a toaster, or if anyone knows what that is. So I, she done the show with her sister Jackie and they, it’s a millennial based show, but then do a lot of celebrity gossip and if you watch celebrity reality TV shows they have in there, but they’re funny and she’s very humorous and like she’s got her own, she’s built her own brand. She is authentic and real and people, and that’s what people like. People want to engage with real people. They don’t want those fake over filter pictures, you know, cause that’s how you look like day to day. And that’s really important. So even in my own Instagram feed, I don’t have a lot of face pictures of myself because I want people to engage with my writing, not just focus on what I look like. And that’s why I use it like a grid, like tile like view of it. I want to make sure that my content is being seen and being interpreted and being understood.
Max Branstetter: 59:36 Yeah. Well it makes perfect sense with your strategy. Yeah. That’s where I’ll, I’ll make sure to check her stuff out as well. It’s another great example. So we only got a little bit of time left here. I’d like to wrap up with some rapid fire Q and. A. Are you ready for it? (Wendi Weiner – sure) All right, let’s get wild. Who is your favorite fictional lawyer of all time?
Wendi Weiner: 59:54 Wow. Um, so I love John Grisham movies and my favorite one is the movie The Firm where Tom Cruise plays a young associate. I felt like my life was like that when I got out of law school. So I would say the Tom Cruise character in the movie, The Firm.
Max Branstetter: 01:00:10 There we go. What’s your favorite place you’ve ever traveled to?
Wendi Weiner: 01:00:14 Favorite place I’ve ever traveled to has been, uh, Barcelona and Italy. So top two.
Max Branstetter: 01:00:20 Okay. Oh, you beat the system. There were two answers, but I’ll, we’ll give it to you because those are two fantastic answers. How about if you had to hear the same song over and over again for the rest of your life and it could only be one song, what would it be?
Wendi Weiner: 01:00:33 Ah, Gosh. So favorite artist is U2. And I would say my favorite song would be, uh, I Love New Year’s Day. And also, um, probably second, well actually my number one favorite song from them would be Where the Streets Have No Name. That’s actually the song that was the first song on my playlist when I ran the New York Marathon. I’ve seen them probably four times in concert.
Max Branstetter: 01:00:57 Wow, that’s incredible. All right U2’s number one fan. You’re based in Miami, right?
Wendi Weiner: 01:01:03 I am.
Max Branstetter: 01:01:04 Awesome. So what is your favorite part of living in Miami?
Wendi Weiner: 01:01:07 Well, definitely not the humidity. I was born and raised here. I’ve actually never really left Florida. I went to law school in at Stetson, which is in Saint Petersburg on the west coast. I went to Florida state for undergrad. So I would say the, the best part about it is obviously the tropical climate, but not the humidity.
Max Branstetter: 01:01:26 Oh, okay. Yeah, I totally subscribe to you there. I’m just sweating thinking about it. How about weird, this is a tricky one. Do you have any weird talents? Like anything that’s super random that doesn’t really have much use but you can do it. Like, for example, some people can like bend their thumb and touch their arm or like make like shapes with their tongue. Anything like weird.
Wendi Weiner: 01:01:47 I have no weird talent, but something unique about me is that I am the only left handed person in my family.
Max Branstetter: 01:01:53 Really? Wait, same with me. (Wendi Weiner – really, that’s neat) Lefties unite.
Wendi Weiner: 01:01:58 So I actually do not write. So most lefties, as you know, they write with their hand curved over, right? (Max Branstetter – right) I do not. I actually write, this is kind of a weird quirk, but I actually, and maybe a talent, I actually write straight. So my hand, I write like a right handed person but with my left hand The reason why is when I was a kid and my mom was practicing my handwriting. She has very neat handwriting. Um, she actually sat across from me so because she sat across from me, I emulated my hand movement like a right handed person. So I don’t write like a typical lefthanded person.
Max Branstetter: 01:02:31 Oh that’s amazing. Well lefties are awesome. So I was going to be in love with your answer no matter how you answered that. But that’s really That’s really interesting. I cause I’m looking now like how I’m taking notes and I do, I guess I tilt my notebook a little bit, but probably not as much as the average lefty, but it’s definitely not as as straight as you were saying. But that’s funny. Your, your story with your mom. When I was learning how to play baseball as a kid, actually learned how to bat righty. Even though I’m lefty, because my dad, that’s what he was familiar with and he would show me and taught me that way. So it’s kind of same, same sort of idea. But it’s funny, it’s, you know, it’s being a lefty in this world there’s a lot of things that can learn how to do different ways, but I love it. I love being lefty. (Wendi Weiner – me too) Thank you so much. I think, uh, that’s about all for this interview. Thank you so much Wendi. This has been an incredible interview. Really appreciate you sharing all of your knowledge and your background and incredible insights. I can’t wait to share it out. Where is the best place for people to connect with you?
Wendi Weiner: 01:03:35 So you can find me on all social media platforms. Just Google The Writing Guru. You’ll find me on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook.
Max Branstetter: 01:03:43 There we go. There’s that brand in action. And now, so just the stage is yours just to wrap us up here. Uh, any quote you want or just a final line to end with. Whatever you want stage is yours. Go for it.
Wendi Weiner: 01:03:55 Um, so one of the things I always say when it comes to your personal brand is that famous Shakespearian quote from Hamlet to thine own self be true. Be true to yourself, be true to your brand, be authentic and be real, and you will have an amazing brand,
Max Branstetter: 01:04:12 True that. Thank you so much, Wendi Weiner, The Writing Guru. And thank you wild listeners for tuning into another episode. If you like one serving of corny for every serving of business insight, make sure to subscribe to this podcast on your favorite app and give us a five star review on Apple Podcasts and more. You can also soak up our Business Growth Tips and weekly marketing newsletter at hippodirect.com/blog and hippodirect.com/newsletter. That newsletter is the Hippo Digest and it’s your weekly recap of creative marketing from all around the web. Finally, for daily Hippo Tips, fun and more connect with us on social media at the handles, @HippoDirect and @MaxBranstetter. Until next time, let your Business Run Wild. Bring on the bongos.
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