It starts out as a passion project. Something you start doing because you’re good at it, it brings a sense of fulfillment, and although it might be hard work, you enjoy it. Then one day you realize the thing that started for fun as a side project is actually something you can make a career out of. That’s what happened for Wes, the founder of the Treehouse Networkshop.
As humans we have the desire to connect and be social. For some, this desire is so great it becomes a passion and direct influence over their life. These individuals actively seek out opportunities to meet new people, learn new things, and share their connections and knowledge with others. Wes is one of these people. When he started Treehouse, he just wanted a place for people to come together and be social. He started hosting happy-hours, speakers, and other networking events, and people starting flocking. He realized there was value in the brand he had created and the events he was hosting, and decided to invest all of his time into making the most out of this new venture. Something Wes made clear to me was that he has no intention of making the bulk of his money on charging fees for attendance. He wants to keep entrance fees at a minimal rate, and bring in income through sponsorships and other forms of revenue. He says that the whole reason behind treehouse’s existence is to provide people with the opportunity to connect with one another and discover new opportunities, and he doesn’t want his entrance fees to halter that mission.
Beyond this new venture, he had some interesting insights that were refreshing to hear from a fellow self-starter. We talked about the job market, how starting a business in Illinois actually is not as easy as it sounds, and the mindset needed to start making ideas happen. This last point really resonated with me. Anyone can come up with an idea, but it takes determination and perseverance to follow through and execute. Wes is the type of guy that is great at coming up with creative solutions to complex problems, and then actually following through to make those ideas into a reality.
To stay in touch and learn about upcoming events, you can follow Wes at (@WesleyHoffman) and Treehouse at (@TreehouseNetwrk).