My Working Day – Laura Valerio – Sales Enablement Principal Consultant at Highspot EMEA
As the leader of a company, you are there to set an example and to lead and inspire a team of individuals to achieve a series of business goals. But how do these business leaders go about their daily routine? We spoke to Laura Valerio, Sales Enablement Principal Consultant at Highspot EMEA about her working day.
What time do you wake up?
I set my alarm to go off at 6.00 am. I have a busy couple hours before starting work. This is the best time of the day for me to exercise and boost my energy levels. When I’m not travelling it’s also the time when my youngest daughter gets ready to go to school.
I like to catch the five minutes she dedicates to breakfast with a smile, and spend some time with her to get my morning off to a good start.
What do you have for breakfast?
My breakfast is a mix of English and Italian fare. When I am in a rush, just two slices of bread with butter and marmalade, orange juice, tea and coffee (yes I drink a lot in the morning!). If I have 10 precious minutes and I have done my exercise, an egg on toast will get me through the day.
What is your mantra for your working day?
Start positive. Not all days are easy days. What I have learnt from past experience is that the way you start the day sets its pace and its outcomes.
When I don’t feel at my best, I put some ‘feel good’ music on, jump on my Peloton, and think of the accomplishments I’m proud of which makes me feel so much better. When you are a leader, all eyes on you, your positivity needs to be contagious.
As a business leader, is it hard to separate your business and personal life?
Over the years, I came to the conclusion that when I enjoy what I do, work is not just work, it becomes a passion. What’s important for me is to have the flexibility to dedicate quality time to what really matters to me – my family, my friends and my passion for travel, sport, and work that I enjoy.
What advice would you give to aspiring female entrepreneurs?
Aspiring female entrepreneurs usually have a great dose of tenacity, grit, and drive. They are focused on their objectives and are working really hard to achieve them. They often do not ask for help, which can put them under a huge amount of pressure.
My advice would be to ensure they invest time to connect with others, build a strong diverse network (including other female entrepreneurs) and not be afraid to ask for help. Every time I asked for help, I learnt, I grew and I progressed.
Who is your business idol? Why?
Truth is, I don’t have one, I have many. Depending on my aspirations, I read articles, listen to podcasts, and read books to learn from a variety of big names with different points of view, like Satya Nadella, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson and Sheryl Sandberg to name but a few.
I have been fortunate in my career to meet some really inspiring leaders who have invested their time to help me, as well as others grow and succeed. One of the top drivers of joining a new company is the leaders I report to. These are the ones who lead the business, develop the culture, and set the pace and the aspirations of the company.
What motivates you?
Helping people find their strengths and realise their full potential. I love seeing them progress, grow and succeed. Doing this at scale is the driver that really motivates me the most.
How do you persevere through challenging times?
A mix of gratitude for what I have achieved and a clear vision for the future helps me through challenging times,
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a female entrepreneur?
I was 28 years old, and about to be promoted to Director. When I announced I was pregnant, not only was my promotion put on hold. I was also demoted. It was a bitter pill to swallow.
It took hard work, perseverance and consistent results to get to the point where I was before. They say challenging times make you stronger and you grow from these experiences. That’s so true.
After my demotion, I not only grew but progressed quicker in my career. I hope that what happened to me is now a thing of the past, and that the modern times reflect the equality many of us are fighting for.
What is the best piece of advice you have received?
At a critical moment in my career, I was given two big job opportunities. One was a ‘safer’ route with a mapped-out career path. The other was out of my comfort zone, but if I were to succeed, it would have potentially had a much bigger impact.
To help me with my choice, one of the female leaders I was working with at the time said to me, ‘choose the one where heart and mind align’. That’s when I decided to start my career in Sales Enablement. This advice was very precious to me. I am at my best when my mind is stimulated and I’m enjoying doing what I do from the heart.
Are you hopeful about the future of female entrepreneurship in the UK? Why?
The positive, powerful, infectious vibe I get from great women makes me feel hopeful about female entrepreneurship in the UK.