In the weeks leading up to Stampede you probably heard lots of buzzing about Stmpdr, the new online resource for everything related to the 10 craziest days in Calgary. From July 4th to 13th, Stmpdr was the best way to stay on top of Stampede shows and events and it also included an incredibly entertaining blog that shared advice on what to wear, what to eat and how to survive the mayhem.
We can all thank David Wald for starting this awesome site. David is the founder of Social Sesame, a creative company that manages social media for other business who are interested in creating more of an online presence and getting conversations started with customers. Between tweeting, texting and brainstorming on his next great project, he found a few minutes to tell us a bit more about what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.
Describe your job in a nutshell.
I own and operate one of the few social media marketing agencies in Calgary called Social Sesame. When I’m not building the company and getting business, I act as the Chief Idea Guy, drafting strategic plans, directing community management activities for our clients and educating others with our training programs. I also founded Stmpdr – a guide to what’s happening in and around Calgary during Stampede Week.
Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
After a few years of working for “the man” I came to the realization I’d do much better working for myself. I always knew, deep down, that I needed to run my own show. My family is very entrepreneurial and a breed of hard workers. Plus, I’ve always had success doing things my way. And with the help of my wife, family and friends, and the stars aligning, I knew it was time. This was just over three years ago.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
Best part of the day is making anything I want happen. Seriously. And that’s the mindset that got me to where I am today. Worst part is administrative work.
What is one sign that you’ve seen over the years to suggest that your work/life balance is off?
I get sick. I never thought I’d be that guy that gets sick a lot, and since running my own business, on top of many other projects I’ve started or am a part of, I’ve gotten sick more times than ever before.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I’ll always have my hand in a bunch of projects and looking to new endeavours to keep my interests in check. Social Sesame will be larger with a more national and perhaps global client base. I see myself in Calgary still but travelling more for business and pleasure on longer stays in fantastic places around the world. The UK and Italy would be two of those places.
What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
Having clients not like or appreciate the things we do for them is a tough one. One particular occurrence really got me heated. I dealt with it. Chatted with my wife about it. Learned how I should have handled it and will try and implement those learnings in the future.
What does success look like to you? Does Money = Happiness?
Money doesn’t always lead to happiness, but it helps make things easier. Success is when I’ve achieved a great work-life balance, which includes working way less and spending way more time with my family and on special projects.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Landing big accounts is always memorable. We’ve had a couple of large ones this year I’m proud of.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Network, network, network. You’ll more often get a job or be invited to a cool project because of the people you know.
Do great work. The business will come when you do great work.
Put yourself into uncomfortable situations. It will make you better and get you to places you only dreamed of.
Make something happen on a daily basis. I learned this from Seth Godin, who is a master.
Know how to write well.
Say thank you, lots.
Embrace your individuality.
Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
Murrieta’s is one of my faves.
When you’re not working how do you love to spend your “Me” time?
I love hanging out with my two amazing kids and my brilliant wife. On evenings, my family can usually be found doing other activities or I’m chilling on the couch with my wife catching up on recorded television.
Where is your favourite place to travel? Why?
I love Europe because of how intact their history is, how it’s so different from country to country, and because it’s so diverse. But I can’t wait to travel to the rest of the world and see more.
If you had to choose a theme song, what would it be?
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what would you be doing?
I’d love to spend some time delivering for UPS and just thinking about stuff.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I’m an active volunteer and committee member at Glenbow Museum. We support the YWCA Sheriff King Home. I also have become a fan of Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids and The Big Give Project.
What to you is notable?
Leaving your mark in a positive way.
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
iPhone (for now).
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