Game Changer: Meet Wesley Hoffman Of Treehouse Networkshop
Forget everything about traditional, suited-up networking you know. Wesley Hoffman, founder of Treehouse Networkshop, is doing something different. This month, Hoffman decided to turn his passion for connecting people into a full-time gig. What emerged was a positive, social networking business packed full of motivational content that showcases talent at monthly events and panel discussions. We sat down with Hoffman to pick his brain about St. Louis, growing up on a farm and how he can help you find your dream job.
ALIVE: So, tell us how Treehouse started.
Wesley Hoffman: A little over a year ago, I was let go from a job and during that time I did a lot of networking. I decided to just try and meet people for the sake of meeting people. After doing that for a while, I got hired full time as an independent contractor and I felt like I was where I wanted to be. When that happened, I started asking myself, how can I help other people? I found that I could help a lot of people connect and I was good at just getting people together that didn’t know how to network. I originally invited 15 people to a network happy hour and 40 people showed up. It quickly caught on and some friends encouraged me to go for it. The meetups kept getting bigger, and I got excited about growing it and spreading the word.
ALIVE: That’s awesome. You made it all about the relationships and less about the end goal.
Hoffman: Yes! I noticed that it was helpful to people so I wanted to keep going.
ALIVE: Tell us about the Meeting Of The Minds Panel.
Hoffman: We held it at Nebula Coworking Space earlier this month and featured local entrepreneurs, tastemakers and movers and shakers who are doing something a little different. We focused on educating people and motivating them by asking the panelists questions like, “How did you get here?” and “How do you use your networks?” I’m all about the real-talk. I don’t like when people say,”Follow your dreams” and “Just do it.” It’s motivating to hear people say, “It’s hard sometimes,” and to see how they get through it and move forward.
ALIVE: What’s a goal you have for Treehouse? What’s next?
Hoffman: I definitely want to stress that we will still have meetups that will be free every month. There will be other facets of Treehouse as well, that will be admission based. But, those will still be at an economically friendly rate.
ALIVE: We love how you call out businesses and really utilize the connections you have.
Hoffman: I love giving shout-outs to people in town. The meetups are usually scheduled at local businesses so we can boost the local economy in that way. I also have a great group of people that help me at events.
ALIVE: So, why the name Treehouse?
Hoffman: You’re one of the first people to ask me that question! For some reason that name just stuck out to me. I grew up in the country and as a kid, we didn’t have a treehouse but we had forts that we built up in hay bales. That’s where we would go to make plans and talk. I feel like a lot of people had that place they went to reflect. It’s like, “Let’s go up in the treehouse and talk about it.”
Treehouse Networkshop’s website is now live here. The next event is August 27 at The Ready Room.