01. Introduce Yourself
I am Wendy Breakstone of Build Success with Wendy. I’m a Simplified Success Strategist.
I believe that a well-planned business doesn’t have to be complicated or overwhelming. I help new and “new-ish” coaches and service-based professionals eliminate overwhelm by helping them create simple systems to run their business smoothly. This allows them to focus on serving their clients and building their success!
I often see that my clients are doing too many manual, time-consuming processes that with a bit of effort, could be automated to save tons of time in the long run. By working them to put a few tools and systems place to help maximize efficiency, they can make leaps in building their success – and more importantly reduce stress!
Sometimes people need what I call a Systems Sanity Check-Up (because the word “audit” feels so daunting) to determine where their processes could be streamlined.
For my clients that are just completing their coaching program or an educational certification and want to start a completely new business, we often start at the beginning. This can be defining their target customer and niche, to setting-up their client management processes and lead generation.
02. What’s your background?
My background is in small business management and marketing. I fell in love with online software around the time that AOL “you’ve got mail” came into existence.
I started my first company in 2001 with a focus on website development and marketing for ecommerce. This was when building an online store became an attainable option for all small businesses that had products to sell.
I found that there was a disconnect for business owners between simply opening up an online store, and creating a strategy for making it part of their integrated marketing plan and business ecosystem. There was a misconception that “if you build it, they will come.” My goal was to help clients not only build their online store or website but create actionable marketing strategies.
My passion and obsession for online tools and software continued to grow as innovation made it easier and more fun to run a business. I’ve tested hundreds of different types of software over the years!
Over the past 15 years, I’ve held marketing roles in both small and enterprise-level high-tech companies. And I’ve been fortunate to work with best-selling authors, celebrities, entrepreneurs, and small business owners in a variety of fields.
I also continue to personally and professionally develop as a coach and consultant with on-going education and certification programs in entrepreneurial coaching, business development, and software training.
03. How did you start your business?
I’ve always started with identifying a problem that a niche market is suffering from and needs to change.
Once I’ve defined pain points, I build service offerings based on my unique business experience to solve those needs. After that, I research the competitive landscape and talk with people that fit into what I believe is the viable target market for my services.
During this period of time, I’m also looking inward to measure my passion and excitement around the business and serving this target customer group. I believe that you have to feel passionate about working with that specific group, otherwise you won’t build success for them or yourself.
Then I hit the ground running, by defining the systems, processes, and marketing that I need to build success!
04. What inspired you as a creative woman?
I’m always inspired by helping someone succeed! Whether that means recommending a podcast episode I’ve recently heard, to working with a solopreneur to create an automated workflow in a client management software. I actually feel a rush of adrenaline when I’m helping someone grow their business.
I’m also profoundly inspired by color and design. I owned a modern fabric and quilt shop for a short period of time because I fell madly in love with the colors and patterns of quilting fabric. While that business venture wasn’t one of my best ideas, I’m still drawn to the colors and designs of fabric. (And it was an amazing entrepreneurial growth opportunity.)
05. What was your first job ever? Any funny or memorable stories?
My first job was at a local ice cream parlor that made their own ice cream. They had the best coffee-chip I’ve ever tasted! I can still scoop a perfectly round ball of ice cream! (I also met my first love who also worked there. We dated all through high-school.)
My second job was at local business that owned several flower stands around the county. I learned the business and quickly started managing and training new employees. In hindsight, I think that’s where I fell in love with entrepreneurship!
06. If you won a lottery today, will you still continue to build your business?
OMG – Winning the lottery would allow me to reach and serve more people! I would also hire a marketing assistant to help me move projects along more quickly and create all the content ideas that I have floating in my head!
07. Walk us through your day as a Success Strategist
My sweet husband brings me coffee in bed daily at 6:30 a.m. (Yes friends, you read that right!) Then I start my day by checking my calendar and writing out my important-urgent tasks. I use the Eisenhower Matrix, made popular by Stephen Covey to organize my tasks and focus on what is most important to build success.
One of the many benefits of being self-employed is that I make time to walk my son to school every morning at 7:45 a.m. It’s a chance for me to connect with him and get exercise at the same time. Plus, my sweet companion, Macy the Labradoodle, loves the walks too!
Then I’m back at my desk for most of the day. I meet with clients and work on projects. I also spend time each day focused on a task that will build my own business whether its networking outreach, content development or building a funnel.
I take a break at 2:45 to stretch my legs and walk my son home from school. Truth be told, he doesn’t need me to walk with him. However, I love hearing about his day or just walking with him in silence holding hands.
In the late afternoons, I focus on anything that must be completed by end of day. I also try to reserve this time for easier tasks, or items that don’t require a heavy amount of creativity.
08. What has been the highlight of your career thus far?
The biggest highlight of my career is the number of people I’ve helped with their business in one way or another.
Sometimes I find out that I helped someone in what I thought was a small, insignificant way has turned out to be something that truly helped their success. It can be small wins that make the best highlights.
All too often we forget to celebrate ourselves, or we don’t believe we’re doing enough because we’re not inventing new technology or curing disease. But if your work helps even just a handful of people in small ways, that is cause for celebration.
09. Where or what do you think you will be/do in the next 5 years?
I’m an entrepreneur with new ideas all the time so it’s hard for me to know exactly what direction this business will take me. My long-term vision is that I’ll continue to train new coaches and consultants how to build simplified success in their own business. I’ll be facilitating master classes and workshops on my Simplified Success System.
10. Share a quote/advice that you’d like to tell the 25-year-old you
I’d definitely tell myself to SLOW DOWN! Not everything has to be done at that moment. Slowing down to assess, plan, and measure makes it easier to stay focused and finish what you start.
My favorite quote is “When the tide rises, all ships sail.” This resonates with me because so often people are afraid of oversharing or giving away too much that people don’t need their services. I’ve found that the more I share, the more I give, the more business that comes to me.