Do more than you promise to do, with joy.
With over 35 years of professional experience, Douglas Williams, President and CEO of Williams Data Management, has led the full-service data lifecycle management firm to become a leading national data protection source for small businesses. In 2017, Douglas Williams brought on a data breach reporting service powered by CSR Privacy Solutions, Inc. to enable companies to protect Personally Identifiable Information (PII). Additionally, Williams and his team have been understanding the full impact of the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) for its launch in 2020.
Through Douglas Williams’ guidance, the Williams Data Management team educates, consults, has the source materials, and provides the structure for self-assessment and corporate plan structure for information breach notifications in the U.S. Over the last decade, he has pivoted the firm into an expertise solution provider, offering professional records management, data protection, imaging and digitization, cloud storage and certified data destruction services to all sectors and sizes of businesses. Industries served include legal, healthcare and medical, wholesale and retail, entertainment, banking and financial services, manufacturing and apparel, including hundreds of small businesses who may be subject to the new regulatory environment and internal governance practices.
As the data protection and security market rapidly changes, Douglas Williams goes above and beyond to stay at the forefront of maintaining Williams Data Management’s position as a leading data management and protection firm. He enjoys equipping small business owners with the tools they need to be successful in protecting their companies and the sensitive information of today’s litigious consumers.
He also serves as Chairman of the Board for the Vernon Chamber of Commerce, a Board Member for the Jewish National Fund, a Shareholder, Treasure and Board Member of National Records Center, Inc. and participates as a member of VISTAGE.
Where did the idea for Williams Data Management come from?
The business evolved from our public warehousing business, a natural transition from industrial and commercial storage and delivery to storage and protection of business records of professional service firms.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My day begins at 6:00 a.m. with coffee and a review of the plans for the day. I use email and my phone to ensure I’m productive. I conduct face to face meetings as well; however, many of our clients prefer telephone, and some are comfortable with online video communications via GoToMeeting, FaceTime, ZOOM, etc. The productive nature of keeping in touch is very easy with mobile communication tools.
How do you bring ideas to life?
A good idea can come from anyone at any time, and our team and I will discuss how best to ‘do the idea’ within our set of enterprise services. We do our due diligence and our marketing surveys to test the market for the viability of the idea, and if it proves out in testing, we go forward with it quickly
What’s one trend that excites you?
I am truly excited about the acceptance of short video messages, about podcasts, and about the multiplier result of positive recommendations within the business social media space. This is growing geometrically and has had great results for our brand.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I truly attempt to return calls within the same day. I think that is a very productive habit. And, a call is not an email, but it is a text.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Do it now, tomorrow is a maybe!
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Truth is fact, not feelings, and in that meaning, I know that most of our clients are not protected from self-inflicted data breaches.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Do more than you promise to do, with joy.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Well, we look into the crystal ball and try very hard to know what is next, and how to be prepared for it, so we are ready for our customers. Sometimes we have been years ahead, and sometimes we were a little late.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Funny – we began our cloud storage vault, when few knew what a cloud was. We marketed, we spoke at meetings, and talked for months about ‘going to the cloud’, to deer eyes. Then Microsoft opened up their Microsoft cloud, and we were in their dust.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
LOL – I’m not in the frame of mind to give away ideas, as I have done so in the past, and got burned.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I recently bought a nautical tool for assisting me in my sailing effectiveness, which has helped me greatly at sea.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
We are launching a Data Protection and Privacy and Breach Notification tool in October. It provides SMBs a pathway for self-assessment and structural gap analysis for internal data management. It is a step by step 5-module format built by Data Protection and Privacy Pros for application to business owners so they have a roadmap to create an information security plan and data breach response plan.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I give this book to all of my staff: Nine Things Successful People Do Differently by Heidi Grant Halvorson. This little red book is the primer for personal reflection and personal planning, for a better life view. It is our company teaching tool. I read it over and over, and advise my team to do so as well. Keep it simple, and keep it moving forward. Know your destination and know how far you have to go to finish.
What is your favorite quote?
Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
- Be productive.
- Do what you love, with joy.
- Read the book: Nine Things Successful People Do Differently by Heidi Grant Halvorson for great insight on personal planning and reflection.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.