S4E26 Victoria Pelletier The 4 Ways to stand apart in your career

S4E26 – Victoria Pelletier – The 4 Ways to stand apart in your career
Victoria Pelletier – The 4 Ways to stand apart in your career. My next guest advanced to COO at age 24, President by 35, and CEO at 41. In this episode, she breaks down the 4 things you can do to stand out and advance in your career. Please welcome, Victoria Pelletier.

Payback Time Podcast

A Podcast on Financial Independence. Hosted by Sean Tepper. If you want to learn how to escape the rat race, create passive income, or achieve financial freedom, you’ve come to the right place.

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Key Timecodes

  • (01:04) – Show intro and background history
  • (02:37) – Deeper into her background history and career path
  • (06:15) – Understanding her personal branding strategies
  • (09:47) – Deeper into her strategies
  • (12:02) – The importance of storytelling
  • (14:52) – How to build legacy and impact
  • (16:19) – A bit about her books
  • (19:23) – A key takeaway from the guest
  • (20:57) – What is the worst advice she ever received
  • (21:16) – What is the best advice she ever received
  • (22:28) – Guest contacts


[00:00:00.000] – Intro
Hey, this is Sean Tepper the host of Payback Time, an approachable and transparent podcast in building businesses, increasing wealth, and achieving financial freedom. I’d like to bring on guests to hear authentic stories while giving you actionable takeaways you can use today. Let’s go.
[00:00:16.800] – Sean
A lot of the guests on this podcast talk about how to build businesses, create passive income, how to invest in real estate, or how to invest in asset classes that can build your wealth faster. Well, there may be a lot of you that maybe becoming an entrepreneur isn’t your thing, which is totally okay. The question is, how do you advance in your career? Well, my next guest gives us four key steps you can take to start making an impact and setting yourself apart today. To give you context, she was able to advance to COO by age 24, President by age 35, and CEO by age 41. So if you’re in a position where you want to maybe set yourself apart and climb the ranks, this episode is for you. Please welcome Victoria Paltier. Victoria, welcome to the show.
[00:01:06.570] – Victoria
Thanks for having me. Happy to be here.
[00:01:08.370] – Sean
Good to have you here. So why don’t you kick us off and tell us about your background?
[00:01:12.060] – Victoria
How much time do we have now? I’m kidding, Sean. I’m a career-long professional services executive. I got my start actually at age 11 working in a hair salon. So I’ve been working for a very, very long time, which makes me feel quite old many days. My first leadership role was that at 14, where I was the assistant manager of the shoe store I worked at in high school, I had plans on being a lawyer. And while I was in university, I worked for a bank and got promoted really quickly through the ranks and realized just how much I loved leadership, and I love the complexity that came in business. So I never went to law school, and I pursued that. I was recruited at a banking at the mere age of 24 and a brand new mother to be the Chief Operating Officer for a large what’s called BPO company, Business Process Outsourcing. And back then, it was almost exclusively like contact center things like the telemarketing calls you’d get and doing customer service and tech support. And although it was a pretty big stretch role for me, they had large banking clients, and I had been running large contact centers.
[00:02:15.020] – Victoria
So there were lots of ticks in the boxes, but there were many things I needed to learn. And the journey into that B2B world added this other element of complexity, which I loved in having a different constituency to serve. And so I’ve stayed there ever since. And then on the personal side, married two kids, fitness fanatic, foodie, wine lover.
[00:02:34.940] – Sean
Nice. We’ve got it all covered. We’re good. So, with payback time, a lot of people tune in to learn about creating businesses, building their wealth in some way, shape or form, what I’d really like to drill into is your career. And there are people listening that entrepreneurship maybe isn’t their thing, which is totally fine, but they’re thinking about how do I accelerate my wealth-building process? At the same time, how do I invest more in great stocks, which is what Tykr, what my company is all about? So what I want to do is drill into your career because you’ve been able to level up positions at a pretty young age. And we want to learn some of the key takeaways, best practices, maybe red flags to avoid. So just to summarize here to the audience, COO by age 24, President by 35, COO by the first quarter of 2021. Let’s get into that. You touched on you got into the COO role at 24. Let’s lead into the President by 35. How did you do that?
[00:03:40.660] – Victoria
Well, the first thing about accepting what was a pretty big leap role for me, leaving a bank that I was relatively, I’ll say, secure. We know there’s no real job security. I do believe that growth doesn’t come if we don’t lean into the things that challenge us and make us really uncomfortable. So that first role for me was that. Moving towards how did I become President at 35? I took several bold moves even during that nine-year period. I have always been a voracious learner, and I always wanted to challenge myself for growth. I made a bold move in leaving industries. And so, although professional services ever since, I was in that pure BPO world, I went into the world of corporate travel, and that was new for me. I was recruited to run a shared services organization for a large global corporate travel company. So I had to learn a new slice of the B2B world. And I gained so much experience by doing that. The company I worked for, I went over there, I think I was about 28 at the time, 28 or 29. We went through a joint venture that broke up.
[00:04:54.670] – Victoria
The company went public under a new name, and we acquired six companies in 18 months. And I was accountable for a majority of that because I led North American operations. So I got recruited by a competitor. I’d gained all of this experience. And so then I became President of another corporate travel company as a result of all of that experience. And then the actual CEO was through an acquisition of a company that I personally made. And so I attribute broadly my career success to a few things. So the resilience and determination and grit that I have, that’s a large part and result of overcoming some pretty significant adversity when I was younger, but also to the strength of the personal brand that I’ve built and being known for just more than being a subject matter expert or industry leader. It’s about who I am as a whole person, what values, and what do I stand for. Also the ability to create boundaries. So as an executive, I sit on multiple boards, having built and bought and always had businesses and had side hustles, being a wife and a parent. I’ve learned to be really good at creating these boundaries, saying no to things that don’t bring me personal or professional joy or value or delegate or outsource.
[00:06:09.780] – Victoria
And so those are some of the things that have been pretty key and pivotal to my success.
[00:06:15.370] – Sean
Right on. Let’s drill into personal branding. This can be a little more difficult, I think, for people to grasp if they’ve worked for somebody. If you’re an entrepreneur, it’s all the rage. It’s like, okay, so you got to be on YouTube and social media, and you can put your personal brand out there. How do you do that when you’re working for somebody?
[00:06:33.230] – Victoria
I think a lot of people who are working in the corporate world for other companies, where they get it wrong, is they focus on their job title in the company as their personal brand, and that is not it. I think a successful personal brand consists of four things, one of which is that element. What do you do? What is your subject matter expertise? Whether that’s functional or that’s in an industry. That is definitely important and where you’ve had success and how do you evolve from being a subject matter expert to a thought leader in that space. The next is about storytelling. Who are you as a human? What are your lived experiences that you can share, the passions, interests, and values that you have, that builds a connection with people. And people do business with people they like, trust, and therefore want to do business with. And the next part, one, is what makes you different from others? What is that unique value proposition and differentiator? So in the world of management consulting, there’s lots of consultants who have deep expertise. But why would a client choose Consultant A versus Consultant B when they have all things being equal?
[00:07:43.000] – Victoria
And so figure out what that differentiation is. One, for me, is I operate with radical candor. To borrow that phrase from Kim Scott’s books, I tell clients, I’m here to tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. So the fourth element of your personal brand is around legacy and impact. What do you want to be known for? And so for me, I think about I’ve got nicknames or monikers as the turnaround queen and CEO, Whisperer. I’ve done 18 mergers and acquisitions, but I can tell you on my proverbial, figurative, tombstone, is not going to talk about sales, revenue and profit that I draw for the companies I work for. It is going to be about who I am as a human, the fact that I left this world in a better place than when I came into it, focused on social justice and advocacy for social justice and also being a very different leader. So just to recap that, it’s what you do, your subject matter expertise, it is your storytelling, who are you as a person, experiences, values, interests, passions. What makes you different from others? And the last is legacy and impact on what do you want to be known for.
[00:08:53.860] – Sean
Love it. Let’s take a quick commercial break. Do you feel like stock investing is too confusing, too time-consuming, or too risky? It doesn’t have to be. If you ever considered investing on your own but you don’t know where to start, I welcome you to check out Tykr. Tykr guides you through your investment journey by steering you towards safe investments and away from risky investments. There were two main reasons why I created Tykr. Number one, I wanted to remove emotions from investing. In other words, I wanted a software to make buying and selling decisions for me so I don’t have to. Number two, I wanted to save time. Analyzing stocks can take hours, if not days, and I didn’t want to spend all day looking at the computer. I have other hobbies in life I’d rather be enjoying. If you’re interested, you can get started with a free trial. Visit Tykr. Com. That’s T-Y-K-R. Com. Again, Tykr. Com. Now let’s go a layer deeper because our audience likes to get tactical. How do I apply that today? So let’s take it one by one. What do you do? How do you walk us through or give us examples of conversations?
[00:09:59.790] – Sean
Is it like one-to-one? Is it like in boardrooms? Dive into that a little bit.
[00:10:05.610] – Victoria
It’s everywhere, quite frankly, Sean, where I think we realize more and more companies were focused. So I know you’ve got lots of entrepreneurs, but when you asked me around specifically, even in business, companies have leaned heavily into their employees and recognizing the value of the social sale and leveraging their employees to help support that. And so most people think it’s just purely from a digital realm, and so focused on our LinkedIn profile, for example. And then maybe it’s showing up on Instagram and Facebook and all those things. But again, if we’re thinking corporate, predominantly they’ll say LinkedIn. But the reality is you need to show up. My youngest would joke with me, IRL will text me in real life in the same way that you do from a digital perspective. And so for me, there is no different version of Victoria, online versus offline. I do choose what content I will share. So I wear sometimes inappropriate tank tops to the gym that might have a swear word on it. I can post those pictures to my personal Facebook and Instagram page, and I’m not putting it on my LinkedIn page. However, I’m also not in fear that if it ever came out that I would be embarrassed.
[00:11:17.600] – Victoria
And so you need to make sure the content you share is appropriate for the audience and the platform, but also that you’re consistently showing up. Again, I talked about values and differentiation. So the filtered photos all the time, I can’t tell you that I’ve never filtered a bad pic, a wrinkle I was showing or whatever, a blemish. But the reality is I also want to show and talk to people around authenticity, and I talk about being resilient. There’s moments where I talk about the failures I’ve had and the obstacles and doing that. That’s what I would encourage is you’re the same everywhere, and you show up in real life very much the same as you do in your online presence.
[00:12:02.460] – Sean
Right. Storytelling. Let’s touch on that a little bit. Sometimes telling stories, there’s a right time and a wrong time in a corporate environment. Can you walk us through that a little bit?
[00:12:14.730] – Victoria
I think the stories you tell need to connect with that holistic version of the brand. Think about your audience and what will connect and engage. What’s that hook, if you will? Many times that shared interests or values or if a big part of your brand is standing solidly on some things that you advocate for. And now there’s a fine line, when politically I try and stay away from that. However, I said I advocate for social justice and equity, particularly for women in the LGBT community. And so I’m going to share stories of my own lived experience in that arena and around advocacy for certain rights. People can imply who am I? I would potentially vote for. But thinking about that connectedness again, what interests do you have they’re going to be in common with others, and how do you show up in that authentic way? And so, as you said, there’s a balance. In terms of how you do that, I think you want to be professional but represent again that you’re human, that’s performing work and activities and creating value for its customers.
[00:13:24.280] – Sean
Right on. Now you mentioned with number three, how are you different? Radical candor jumped out. I do, and I’ve read a lot about it and employed it within the workplace. It’s like get to the point, but in a tactful manner. You don’t want to be that overbearing, like strong will, you’re going to do what I tell you, but like, Hey, this thing was off. Why don’t you try this next time? And fail forward, fail fast, hype, myth, thology, if you will. I’d love to hear your thoughts on radical candor.
[00:13:56.280] – Victoria
Yeah, I know. I agree with you. There’s an approach from… And I actually liked some of the visuals that Kim Scott has in her book that describes that you’re giving direct feedback from a place of care and compassion to ideally progress and move people forward. You’re not doing it to be mean. But I will tell you it’s uncomfortable for many to do that because we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. But I think there’s a recognition that we are caring about someone enough to give them some feedback that maybe no one else has.
[00:14:29.060] – Sean
Right. There’s the funny moment with the person who is two, three years out of college. They’ve never experienced radical candor. It’s like a punch in the face like, Whoa, okay. This is how this leader works. It’s like, Well, buckle up, but you need it. This person is trying to help you, and they’re not going to waste their time about it, which some people dance around it for months and doesn’t do anybody any favors. All right, let’s drill into number four, legacy and impact. How do you put that into practice?
[00:14:59.540] – Victoria
Well, think of my older son who’s coming out of college and in the workforce, and at 23, soon to be 24 years old. I don’t think he’s figured that out yet. And that’s okay. I want to tell your listening audience, in the earlier stages, you might not know what you want to be known for, so you’re very focused on usually just element number one. But I think it’s important to think about that. You want to anchor back what you’re doing today with the long-term journey and where you want to get to. I do think evolves and changes over time, and you might actually need to pivot at some point. Even I think of what I wanted from a career perspective, how I viewed success, it was around hierarchy and wealth and the corporate world. I realized at some point that actually is not what was truly important to me, and therefore the work that I was doing as a leader and in community and advocacy was much more so. I anchored back. It doesn’t mean I don’t deliver incredible business results, but I anchor back to what do I want to be known for when I die or at any point?
[00:16:09.370] – Victoria
I don’t want to be so morbid. The reality is I want people when they know Victoria Peltier to know that here’s what she stands for, and then ultimately that’ll be the legacy I leave behind.
[00:16:18.810] – Sean
Right. Let’s transition to your side hustle you could see of as an author. You’ve written how many books now?
[00:16:28.110] – Victoria
I have one that’s been published and two more that are coming out in the next several months.
[00:16:32.500] – Sean
Okay, let’s talk about that first one.
[00:16:34.410] – Victoria
That one was one that I was approached, and it almost felt like it was a no-brainer. I was approached to contribute to a book, so I’m a co-author in that one called Unstoppable, and that one is my philosophy or mantra. I sign the majority of my social media posts both with Unstoppable and the other one is No Excuses. And that one actually came about, I think, in large part because of my brand that the publishers reached out to me to contribute. I’m very, very sorry to that one. And so it’s about sharing, and in this case, I shared a very vulnerable story, a big part of my why, the adversity that I overcame in my youth that I believe has caused me to be as driven as I am today.
[00:17:13.930] – Sean
Right. And the next two that are teed up?
[00:17:16.790] – Victoria
And it’s only because I couldn’t decide between topics because who else would write two books at one time? So the first one is around personal branding. I kept seeing so many people getting it wrong. I belong to a women’s executive network, and I just wasn’t sure that many of them had it nailed or knew why they were doing it. So first one’s personal brand, and the other one is around leadership and culture in what I refer to as whole human leadership.
[00:17:39.600] – Sean
Nice. Very cool. All right. And then I got to touch on this. I don’t ask this question a lot, but fitness. You’re big into fitness. What does your regimen look like?
[00:17:48.770] – Victoria
So I grew up playing basketball and volleyball, and then I switched. My ex was playing hockey, and so a good Canadian girl. But I did learn how to skate as a young child, but I started playing up hockey when I was in my 20s, loved it, loved it. It’s the one thing I’m not a big fan of doing things that I don’t do well at. And I wasn’t amazing at first, but I stuck with it. I enjoyed it. So I did that. Switched to triathlete. Cathlete for a number of years. And then after breaking my ankle, I got heavily into weight training and did fitness competitions. And so now that’s what I continue to do. There will be no more fitness competitions in my future. However, I still weight train six days a week.
[00:18:29.060] – Sean
Six days? Wow, good for you. Are you an early bird?
[00:18:33.720] – Victoria
[00:18:34.590] – Sean
Absolutely. You’re up at 4:30.
[00:18:36.740] – Victoria
Working from home has meant I can get up a little bit later, but the sad thing about that means I go to bed between 9:30 and 10:00.
[00:18:45.430] – Sean
I’m in your wheelhouse era, so up at 4:30, hit the gym, dead tired by about 8:30. So rinse and repeat. I brought up the fitness, and maybe I should touch on this more audience out there, hang me on our Facebook channel or whatever. Let me know if you want to want me to ask more questions on fitness. I find it so important to create that balance. I know people that are working for somebody or creating their own business, they’re all in. That’s all they do. I found you have to separate and you have to release endorphins and take care of yourself. And that’s why fitness is such a big part of my life right now. All right, before we jump into the Rapid Fire round, one more question here. What is one key takeaway you can give to the listeners that are looking to advance in their career?
[00:19:37.140] – Victoria
That you are the CEO of brand U and of your career. I think far too many people believe that their work outcomes and performance will speak for themselves, and that will get them promoted. You are in charge of that. That’s some of where my no excuses comes in. You have choice in terms of how you are going to move forward, and there’s going to be challenge, adversity, and obstacles that come our way. But if you anchor back on the goals or objectives you’ve set for yourself and chart the course for yourself, then I believe you can be successful in whatever way you’ve defined that for yourself.
[00:20:14.710] – Sean
100 % agree. Great advice. All right, let’s jump into the rapid-fire round. This is the part of the episode where we get to find out who Victoria really is. If you can, try to answer each question in 15 seconds or less. Are you ready?
[00:20:27.170] – Victoria
[00:20:27.910] – Sean
All right. What is your favorite podcast?
[00:20:29.760] – Victoria
The Daily.
[00:20:32.360] – Sean
Got you.
[00:20:33.150] – Victoria
I start with the news every morning at the gym.
[00:20:35.130] – Sean
There you go. Next question. What is a recent book you read and would recommend?
[00:20:40.220] – Victoria
Adam Grant’s Hidden Potential. I thought it was fantastic. Nice.
[00:20:45.160] – Sean
All right, movie question. What is your favorite movie?
[00:20:48.450] – Victoria
Ps I Love You. It gets me every time. I’m like an ugly crier, and that’s one of those that I’m following.
[00:20:54.960] – Sean
Nice. All right, here we go. What is the worst advice you ever received?
[00:21:01.020] – Victoria
I recently was given advice that I think it’s horrible. As I’m in transition for my next C-suite role, someone told me they thought my resume scared people and I should dumb it down. I think that is absolutely horrible advice, and I have not following it.
[00:21:15.830] – Sean
Yeah, good for you. All right, flip that equation. What’s the best advice you ever received?
[00:21:20.440] – Victoria
I had a leader who once told me, and I was early in that whole human leadership piece, that it was okay to be vulnerable. I showed up all business, and all the time I was afraid of showing emotions and being vulnerable. That was amazing advice.
[00:21:36.000] – Sean
He gave me. Great advice. I’ve met so many people like that. They never bring it on the wall. It’s like this other version. You can never get to know the real person. But I 100 % agree with you. Great advice. All right, time-machine question. Here we go. If you could go back in time to give your younger self advice, what age would you visit and what would you say?
[00:21:54.740] – Victoria
I think I would actually go back to that first executive role that I held. I was 24 years old. I’d say I failed at leadership. I learned that my nickname was the Iron Maiden. So highly successful, but I think people feared me and didn’t follow me. Building off actually the prior question, I would go back and say that it’s okay to let the walls down, to be vulnerable, to do more of the storytelling, share more of my lived experience to build much stronger relationships with my team and trust ultimately.
[00:22:27.750] – Sean
Awesome. Love it. All right. And where can the audience reach you?
[00:22:31.590] – Victoria
Find me at my website, which is Victoria-Peltier. Com, and from there you can choose to link out with me on whatever your preferred social media platform is.
[00:22:40.030] – Sean
Awesome. Well, thank you so much for your time, Victoria.
[00:22:42.150] – Victoria
Thanks for having me.
[00:22:43.540] – Sean
[00:22:43.850] – Victoria
See you. Hey, I’d like.
[00:22:45.000] – Sean
To say.
[00:22:45.350] – Sean
Thank you for checking.
[00:22:46.520] – Sean
Out this podcast. I know there’s a lot of other podcasts out there you could be listening to, so thanks for spending some time with me. And if you have a moment, please head over to Apple Podcast and leave a five-star review. The more reviews we get, especially five-star reviews, the higher this podcast will rank in Apple. So thanks for doing that. And remember, this show is for entertainment purposes only. If you heard any stocks mentioned on this podcast, please do not buy or sell those stocks based solely on what you hear. All right. Thanks for your time. We’ll see you.