I understand the dreams, challenges, and goals of business owners because I come from a family of entrepreneurs. My grandfather (Pop) immigrated to the United States from Greece in the early 1920s. He worked as a dishwasher in a small Canton, Ohio restaurant until he had saved enough money to open his own place.
He named his first restaurant “The Ideal”. Pop’s business savvy and discipline would make any corporate executive envious. My Pop’s determination and grit were what helped him keep his restaurant afloat during the Great Depression. He sold a soup and sandwich combo for a nickel. How’s that for a value menu? Pop’s business plan was simple, “No matter how bad the economy gets…just remember…everyone’s got to eat.”
I owe a debt of gratitude to my mother, Evie, who owned a successful bakery for 14 years (making the most elegant cakes) and showed me the meaning of hard work and dedication first hand. Also, to my Aunt Elaine and Uncle Bill, where, at 10, I worked cutting strawberries for pies and watching the parking lot for violators. Quite an adventure for a young lad! Then, at 11, I worked for my other Uncle Bill and Aunt Chris, beginning my illustrious dishwashing career. I started out making .25 an hour and got a raise to 1.25…I felt like Donald Trump in those days!
Ten days after I graduated from high school I left all of my family and friends behind and headed to Air Force basic training. What I didn’t realize is that I would learn lessons that forever changed me as person and helped shape Predictive ROI to this day. It is there that I re-learned the meaning of entrepreneurial grit. When my drill instructors would stand over my head, look into my eyes, and shout, “Airman Woessner…you are required to perform 25 repetitions of this exercise. However, you ARE encouraged to do more.” Rest assured, I never did 25 – it was made abundantly clear that the minimum requirement was not an acceptable standard.
I would be remiss if I left out the part of my story where I have made costly mistakes along the way. I built one of my previous companies up to a valuation of $10 million, only to lose millions when the dot com bubble imploded. This very expensive lesson is where I became passionate about measurable ROI! I went on to write two bestselling books based on all of my research and also to share what I have learned through workshops, training seminars and keynote presentations. I am happiest at my whiteboard and flip-charts, empowering others to do digital themselves!
For a number of years I served as the business education coordinator and a business counselor at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Small Business Development Center. I had the privilege of teaching many training sessions throughout the University of Wisconsin System, including the prestigious UW-Madison School of business.
In 2011 I launched Predictive ROI LLC because I wanted to devote myself full time to sharing what I have learned and to strip away the mystery of digital marketing. We work with clients, using my patent pending ROI process, so that they can dramatically increase their sales immediately. It is our passion and we never give just the minimum! One of our core values is “One More. Hustle.”
One of the many blessings that has blossomed out of the conception of Predictive ROI is that I have been able to realize my commitment to paying it forward through education; because I believe that is the greatest equalizer. What I did not mention above is that Pop accomplished all he did with only a third grade education. Pop had to drop out of school to care for his family when his father was, tragically, killed in an accident. It has been my greatest honor to provide scholarships to children in need.
When I am not analyzing streams of data, working with my valued clients or speaking with amazing business leaders, you can find me enjoying my wonderful wife, Christine, and daughter, Caitlyn. We find great joy in bike rides, hikes and football games (Go Broncos and Buckeyes) and all things Disney.