After losing her dream job during the Covid pandemic, Valerie Fischer dug deep and... read a book. Valerie talks to The Industry Leaders about how one little book changed her perspective and led her to a new career path and getting 190 client bookings from just a $300 outlay. Read about her inspiring journey, here.
How did you end up sitting where you are today?
I am part of the unwanted statistics.
I lost my dream job last year as Chief Marketing Officer at the start of the pandemic. It was a pretty humiliating time for me.
But sometimes, rejection is actually redirection, and that unfortunate incident led me to my purpose. When friends and family started asking for help on how they could transition their business online, I was in a unique position to help them. I had the knowledge, skills, and the time. Three weeks after my last day in the old job, I started doing paid training and the rest, as they say, is history.
What kind of work does your role involve?
I would like to think of myself as a multi-potentiality and, in business, that plays a big role in how you survive. I am the brand, the business owner, the sales and marketing person, the accountant, the Facebook ads strategist, the copywriter, the PR lady. I am also the product.
I create the modules, teach them, and use these strategies to one-on-one coach clients on how they can apply my lessons. That's why I call myself Trainer and Coach-Consultant.
What gets you excited about your industry?
"The global e-learning market, which mainly involves online coaching and digital learning platforms, is expected to reach a combined value of more than $325 billion by 2025." That quote is from Entrepreneur magazine and was published in May of 2020.
This industry is booming everywhere.
While there is not a lot of demand yet here in the Philippines, the potential is huge. Spending only $300+ in ads last year, I was able to book 190 paid training clients. That was during a pandemic in my first year of business.
What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Everyone has a story to tell. You cannot judge a person based on what you see because you do not know the whole story. So be compassionate. Be kind.
The best business advice, on the other hand, is to pay yourself first. As entrepreneurs, we sometimes forget to pay ourselves and give ourselves what is due. That sometimes leads to resentment and quickly giving up on our dream.
How do you support aspiring leaders in your field?
I give free training to new entrepreneurs, including new coaches, whether they're life coaches or social media trainers. Think of it as a forest: there are so many trees and plants, yet they all survive and thrive. There is no point in taking competition harshly. There is enough abundance in the Universe for all of us to thrive.
How do you keep up to speed with what's happening in your industry?
I'm a lifelong learner and a voracious reader. I make sure to attend at least one challenge, webinar or submit per week. I'm also subscribed to countless coaches, trainers, social media specialists to get their newsletters. I'm a member of many relevant Facebook groups, and I listen to podcasts while driving or doing chores.
Let's just say I'm addicted to learning!
What was the most challenging project or situation you've overcome?
I sometimes tell people that I have a PhD in resiliency. We grew up poor, which in itself entails overcoming many things, including hunger and lack of proper shelter. When I was young, my mom passed away, and one of my boyfriends was murdered in broad daylight.
All these things taught me grit and help me continue to overcome challenging situations in my life.
You finish work today and step outside the office to find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?
I will buy more land. We have a property in the province, and it has always been my dream to live in a little house in the mountains.
Now that I have $10 million, I would add a cat and dog shelter to the property and save and care for as many as possible. I would build a school so that the locals can study for free and, with the remaining money, I would invest back in education so I can continue to empower myself and those that I serve.
How do you switch off after a day at work?
I watch Korean TV dramas! Hahaha!
I also love playing with our cats. It relaxes me.
If you had one wish for the future of your industry, what would it be?
I wish that more people would realize how much they need a mentor in their lives.
An intelligent man will learn from his mistakes.
A wise man will learn from the mistakes of others.
Using this logic, more coaches will have clients, and more people will be empowered.
What book or podcast should everyone know about?
The book Start with Why by Simon Sinek changed my life. That opened my heart to going deep within myself to find my Why.
I was already an Assistant Vice President in a large corporation here in the Philippines. I was earning good money; I had power, authority, and even the chance to get another promotion when I quit. I knew there was something else I was meant to do and that I would not be able to in the corporate world. That book gave me the courage to get clarity on that purpose.
How should people connect with you?
Editor's note: Valerie's love of watching TV inspired her to write this excellent article on what marketers can learn from Korean TV dramas. There are some excellent lessons there, give it a read!
*Ever wondered what kind of leader you are? Take our free quiz to find out.
**Looking to level-up your leadership skills? Check out our article on the best self-help books for business leaders and entrepreneurs.