Fearless - Ep 03: "The Intentioned Woman" - Heidi Hackemer / Wolf & Wilhelmine


Heidi Hackemer is building a brand strategy business in her own unique image - purposeful, opinionated and conscious. The journey that brought her and her company to today covers thousands of miles of reflection and exploration. In this episode of Fearless, Heidi talks to me about why becoming a waitress was a critical career step, what she has learned is the single most important truth for every modern brand, and the very personal challenges of becoming a leader.

Fearless is Sponsored By:  DeloitteDigital.com

Three Takeaways

  • Listen to your inner voice
  • Say what you mean
  • Do what you say


“You can still penetrate the wall — find common ground with people — even if they are a fervent Trump supporter.”

“The clients are just as tired of traditional systems as we are.”

“As the company gets more successful, you have to be willing to accept only certain people can perform at that level.”

Show Notes

[2:15] Why did Heidi become an entrepreneur and build an innovative company?

[6:55] When Heidi first went to London, she realized really quickly she was too American!

[11:00] Despite loving her job, Heidi got burned out at BBH, and one day she quit, out of the blue, and went to buy a truck so she could travel throughout the United States!

[16:35] Heidi still travels. She rode her motorcycle across country last year and was worried about the political climate. However, the people she met, no matter what their beliefs, she could always find common ground with them.

[19:00] In the beginning of Heidi’s travels on the road, she realized she didn’t even know how to talk about herself, or even be human, because so much of her identity was in her career.

[20:45] How did Wolf & Wilhelmine get started, and what problem does it solve?

[30:45] How does Heidi train people to live by the values of the company?

[36:15] Heidi is worried about too much company growth. She wants her client list small, to focus on quality.

[41:30] As the company grows rapidly, there is only a certain type of person that can really perform to the level that you need. Sometimes the company outgrows its people.

[42:10] Clients are tired of the traditional systems we put in place, too.

[42:25] Heidi shows clients intelligent ways on how to break the rules and stand out.

[46:55] Since brands have to work in real time, you have to diffuse senior decision making throughout the company.

[48:10] How quickly we have to produce quality has become much more demanding.

[48:35] What are some of the elements of a great strategy?

[52:15] Great stories begin from irresistible intention and insurmountable opposition.

[55:35] “Strategy is sacrifice.” What does Heidi mean by this?