Wes Goddard has never had a problem with the concept of hard work. Coming from a family of entrepreneurs and business owners, he’s held a job from the age of 10. By 16, he was driving freight trucks for the family business.
“Back then, you could get a lot of candy and balsa wood airplanes in a week,” he joked.
With quite a bit of business experience already under his belt, Wes delved into the world of direct sales in college. And the summer he turned 21, he was already negotiating leads and hiring and training a staff of 51 sales reps – while making a profit.
Around this time, Wes closed 105 appointments with one no-sale. Yes, you read that correctly: Wes closed 104 sales out of 105 meetings. He credits a summer of teaching his staff best practices as the launch pad for his own sales proficiency. And being the one to close the deal was cool and all, but during that time he truly realized how much he enjoyed the leadership role as well.
“High performers are different than a leader. The leader makes ripples. The high performer makes a splash,” he observed.
It’s no surprise that by this point, Wes was the target of recruitment efforts by different businesses – and found himself trying out new ventures and traveling quite a bit because of it. He ended up joining a startup in the Bay Area in 2014.
Wes’ commute became more than the usual drive to work with rush hour traffic. It looked a little like the following: wake up at 4:00am on Monday, fly out from San Diego at 6:00am, be in the office in San Francisco by 9:00am. Rinse and repeat. Before Wes came on as the company’s head of sales, the business was burning through money and unprofitable, so now it was up to him to first save the company, and then get it in shape to sell, adding a personal and financial strain on top of the grueling logistics.
At home, Wes had three young children and a wife who missed him. In the corporate world, we talk a lot about “mom guilt” and the struggles mothers go through amid fears and pressures – from both the world and internal voices – when they work away from home. But here’s a topic we don’t talk about enough: Fathers are not exempt from the difficulties related to balancing parenthood with a productive career. There is a great deal of pressure put on fathers to provide for their families, and sometimes it comes at the detriment of actually spending time with them. Wes found himself caught up in the need to provide financially, believing he was doing the right things for his wife and kids, but it came at a cost of strained relationships.
Around this time, in 2016, he reconnected with some old colleagues who had built N2 Publishing and others who had switched up their careers and joined as Area Directors. He was really impressed with what he saw and heard.
Wes remembered, “N2 looked like a place I could make an impact. I asked Earl [Seals, co-founder and president], ‘What do you need? Where do you need help?’”
He flew out to Chicago to experience Conference firsthand, witnessing N2’s training program at work and becoming more familiar with the AD process. He eventually signed on to run his own publication, and today he credits the process of simply following N2’s proven steps for getting him to print.
In Wes’ opinion, “Our product is very consistent. With N2, you know it’s an audience you want and you’re getting exposure. The product is very effective and it’s a very good investment for any business trying to reach our communities.”
Then there are the perks of the AD role. “The dollars follow value in this situation,” Wes said, explaining, “With N2, we have an opportunity to take care of things that are more important than your work and have the autonomy to decide [what to do when]. Flexibility is something you earn… there’s a value that increases the opportunity because you can go surfing when the waves are good or coach Little League like I’m doing right now – although in hindsight, I’m a little over my head [with that]!”
Wes has finally found a good balance between providing for his family and having time to enjoy life with them. For fellow ADs still working to strike the right balance, he’s happy to share advice on this subject: “Do whatever you need to do to be supportive at home, create that ecosystem, and then have a system in place to manage your business so it doesn’t manage you.”
Little League woes aside (coaching ain’t easy, folks), Wes is fully there for his kids, giving them the attention they deserve and picking them up from carpool... even in the midst of a phone interview for this article.