Silvia Dal Borgo founded The Time For Wine, a provider of online business training courses, after realising her potential as a specialist in wine, and in time management. She tells The Industry Leaders about the importance of self-investment when it comes to working as a freelance business leader.
How did you end up sitting where you are today?
After twenty years spent in the hectic world of corporate business, in different fields and roles, I realised that, although it had been an amazing ride and a lot of fun, it was no longer the place for me to be. I grasped that I was not happy where I was, and knew I had to change something. On one hand, I wanted to feel more useful to others; on the other, I longed to live a life that was more consistent with my values.
What kind of work does your role involve?
I am now an online trainer focused on business-to-business courses. I have specialised in two very different subjects which also happen to be my study passions: wine, and time management.
With my courses on time management, I help professionals become more efficient in their activities and more conscious of their one, non-renewable resource: time.
With my wine and wine service courses, I support businesses in the hospitality, and food and wine industry. I come in when owners and managers need to know more about the subject, or to train their staff on it.
What gets you excited about your industry?
What thrills me most about online training is that no place is too far away to reach — provided there’s an internet connection available. This opens up almost infinite possibilities for both trainers and learners: trainers can gain access to markets that would otherwise be off-limits; companies can hire the perfect trainers and, for instance, train their staff all at once, in different locations.
Especially, ‘live’ online training will continue to grow in the coming years. Its superpower is to remove long distances while making it still possible to provide amazing learning experiences.
What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?
“Don’t try to talk to everybody, or you’ll end up talking to nobody”.
We cannot reach or be liked by everybody, nor should we desire to. What counts most is to be able to connect with those who matter to us. This is true both in our personal and professional life.
Being able to connect with others enables us to establish a relationship of trust with our audience and with our customers, and help them make the transformations that they seek.
How do you support aspiring leaders in your field?
I am always more than happy to connect with fellow trainers for networking purposes, to compare notes, or simply to share ideas, challenges and knowledge.
It can be hard to believe, but the online world is a slow one. It takes time to position yourself and get to be known. This is why I really believe in the power of networking and in building healthy connections within the industry.
How do you keep up to speed with what's happening in your industry?
I never stop investing in myself. I take online courses, read books and articles, and actively take part in discussions about my favourite topics. If you want to be a trainer you must be the first to believe in training.
I also have different mentors who have a completely different approach to online training. From them, I have learned that structure is paramount, that strategies must always be implemented around 360°, and that the key is being yourself. People (and companies) choose you not because of your knowledge, which is taken for granted, but because they like you and can relate to you.
What was the most challenging project or situation you've overcome?
Certainly, my most difficult and ambitious project is the one that has just taken place: the setup and launch of my own training business.
After being employed for over twenty years, it was a true challenge for me to completely change my perspective and become a freelance trainer. It has been hard work, but I cannot deny that it has been a lot of fun as well.
You finish work today and step outside the office to find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?
That’s a lot of money! Other than helping out any family and friends in need, I would invest in projects for my local community, like cultural venues, exchange programs, and hospitality schemes for sustainable tourism. I come from a small, beautiful town, and I dream to see it thrive.
With what’s left, I would then immediately take off for an exciting trip around the world, during which I would continue working and delivering online training from remote locations.
How do you define failure?
To me, failure is giving up before even trying.
If you had one wish for the future of your industry, what would it be?
I wish that an increasing number of companies could start seeing the huge potential that there is in online training. It is often regarded as a necessary evil, but there is much more to it than that. Imaginative and skilled independent trainers can deliver quality, knowledge and fun, and they can make a difference with their personality and uniqueness.
What book or podcast should everyone know about?
Here are two books that I loved: The Magic of Thinking Big, by David J. Schwartz; and The Road Less Travelled, by M. Scott Peck.
How should people connect with you?
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