You know those people who have every right to be a total jerk… but AREN’T! The people who are accomplished, talented, passionate, and beautiful. The ones you kind of want to hate but can’tbecause on top of everything else they are the most kind, generous, and genuine of individuals… Meet David Wenzel.
David rates as a 3-4 on the enniagram scale, dresses better than most (don’t be offended, he is dapper and that is all there is to it), and will have a genuine, honest, transparent conversation with you at the drop of a hat and ACTUALLY LISTEN!
He is a writer, creative thinker, entrepreneur, and public speaking genius who is currently involved with the Story Line Conference, all while running his own company, RobinHood Ink. He is a rather busy guy to say the least.
Also, on a less professional note, the man shreds on the dance floor (see the time he sweat through a denim jacket). He is so full of life and it is absolutely contagious and inspiring.
While I could go on and on, raving about his many accolades and accomplishments, talents and travels, I will refrain and allow for you to witness his wonderment for yourself.
Ladies and gentlemen, David Wenzel.
Q.How do you take your coffee?
A.I’m a tea man these days, but oh, how I miss the coffee. Should I splurge, on occasion, I’ll take it black with a spot of cream.
Q.What gives you the most joy and fulfillment in life?
A.Public speaking. Hands down, the best gratification due to the immediate combination of risk and reward. If I was funnier, I would have been a comic. I’ve had quite a few opportunities to speak and every time, without fail, I walk off the stage knowing that is exactly what I was put on this earth to do.
Q.How do you deal with the inner demons that many creatives have?
A.My demon is rejection. It exists in the rejection of an idea, which I translate to a rejection of me. Hence, why it’s easy for me to be a consultant, hiding behind my clients and convincing them to do crazy things. Lately, I’ve been dealing with this by forcing myself to create for me every day. It’s so simple to get lost by keeping track of all the cool stuff everyone is doing around me, but it distracts from anything I want to pursue. So, I’m allowing a little introversion to create for myself. I’m hoping this will allow me to become more confident in my personal work and get past this stupid fear of rejection.
Q.What is the best book you have read this year?
A.I’m currently reading Everything is Perfect When You’re a Liar by Kelly Oxford, which is climbing the list, but overall I’d say The Know it All by A. J. Jacobs. I’d been meaning to read this for sometime, but finally got around to it. He shares a deep seeded, yet completely pointless love for the pursuit of trivial knowledge and his writing represents what I wish mine was. Should we ever meet, we’d be best friends and our days would be filled with all sorts of witty banter. Not that I think about that stuff…
Q.Who is your designer (fashion, art or otherwise)?
A.These days I’d say TUMBLR in general. I’ve been so impressed with the continual inspiration found in my feed, be it fashion, photography, art, words, etc… I not sure there is a specific ‘thing’ right now, but if there was a brand I’m stuck on, it’s Gant Rugger. Their summer collection was created for me.
Q.What Magazine, band, or movie are you in love with at the moment?
A.The Place beyond the Pines. This wonderful and painful film has stuck with me for quite some time now. I’ve been thinking more lately about the roles between a father and son, so I’ll find myself recalling moments here and there. Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing, but either way it’s a testament of a great film. I’ve also been unwinding with the new Arrested Development season, but I realized by watching it in spurts of 3 or 4 shows it’s making me feel crazy. Oh! And this season of Mad Men is phenomenal as well!
Q.If your childhood self met you now, what would he think?
A.As a child, I was extremely, over-the-top competitive. Over time, I feel I’ve let life wear down my competitive edges. I think he would be quite curious why I don’t play to win anymore or why I don’t get super vocal regarding my feelings on certain issues. But maybe the wisdom I’ve come across is that being ‘right’ or being seen as the ‘winner’ isn’t really worth all that much. I suppose he would also be concerned that I’m not spending my life savings attending as many Chicago Cubs games as humanly possible.
Q.Tell me, briefly, about your new life ventures (literary or otherwise)?
A.I just finished up a four or five month consulting gig with one a client that turned out really well. Other than that, I’m blocking off some time to write for myself. It’s rather frightening to start writing under my own name as opposed to ghostwriting. But it’s because of this strong resistance I feel I must keep slogging forward. Be it new jobs or travel opportunities, it seems the universe is completely against me when I sit down to tell my story, which should be evidence of why I must do it. Right now, I’m attempting to work my way through a variety of memories searching for for the right threads to pull them all together. Other than that, I’ve got a few events I’ll be contributing towards this fall such as Story in Chicago and Storyline in Nashville. However… I’m already planning a new event to be held next year in NYC that will knock your creative socks off.
Q.Where did you get your stellar dance moves?
A.Do I sense a wee bit of sarcasm?! No matter what you’ve heard, let me clarify, I have a strange love/hate issue with dancing. But listen… whatever happens out there, all I know is I always seem to return to the clapping hands. I truly don’t know why. In fact, I have a patent pending on for the IP for clapping on the dance floor. I’ll let you know how it turns out.
Q.What quality do you most value in people?
A.Oh, goodness. The quality of being present and communicating clearly. I’m still working on it, but I find so much value in those who are capable of being 100% ‘there’, no matter the nature of the event or conversation. I have seen people, literally, begin to physically lean towards those who live with this type of lifestyle. They seem to be the best people to invest time with, so I keep striving to become this type of person. Oh, and people who love karaoke. If you can’t karaoke, we’ve got serious issues.
Q.What is your mantra for life?
A.“Set Apart” – From a young age these two words have randomly visited me throughout my life. I have my own thoughts on what they mean in my own life, but I do believe I’m set apart to do something, still unknown to me. As I get older I’m becoming more patient to let whatever it is come to me, instead of trying to force myself into that role.
Q.Can you tell me about your tumor and the ways it has impacted your life and view of the world?
A.It’s tough to wrap up a life-changing brain tumor in a few lines, but it has definitely forced me to keep moving forward in so many difficult ways. It’s allowed me to view reality with a much more gracious and forgiving lens. It’s completely changed how I view God, how God views me, my relationships and the life circumstances I discover myself in the middle of.
In a bizarre way, I feel strangely lucky to have received a ‘deathbed experience’ at 27 years old. I’m sure it sounds so cheesy, but this tumor has been a blessing in so many ways. This ghost-cancer has become a constant reminder of both my immediate mortality, as well as my eternal soul. There’s obviously so many more details to include, but I’ll save that for another time. Maybe when I find the right threads to weave all these thoughts together.
David has an honest, real grasp on many of life’s more pressing topics. It humbles my heart to call him a dear friend. That being said, David, thank you for being a part of this; you sir, are a gem of a gem. Drew and I love the crap out of you, and as always, your air mattress is ready and waiting.