Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 0:15
Once upon a time, there were 10s of 1000s of makers struggling every day they build for hours and hours, but they didn't chip and didn't earn enough income. One day, the no Caldwells podcast came to help them find the way because of this, makers became founders and live the life they deserve. Because of this, founders live lives of abundance, freedom, and creativity. That's what I'm really all about. Hello, my name is Aziz and from being a poor boy born to a single mother in North Africa, to failing multiple startups, yet learning a whole lot to barely escaping alive the war in Ukraine, even living as an illegal immigrant. I've lost everything twice. And now, I'm rebuilding my life one more time. 1% a day sharing the wisdom of luminaries have interviewed on this podcast from Google executives to Amazon, Microsoft, Forbes, Technology Council, Harvard, Financial Times, and even a priest from the Vatican church. Everyone is welcome, here. So let's begin. My guest today is Taylor Robichaud, from California State University, San Marcos, to health dimensions Orangetheory fitness, F45 Training, micro mobility industries. And now Variance Taylor is the growth developer at variance helping fellas crush their goals. Variance, helps companies convert their prospects faster and identify expansion opportunities they didn't know existed. But this is all about Taylor today. Taylor, how are you today?
Taylor Robichaud 2:16
Hi, Aziz, thank you so much for having me. I'm doing great. Thank you.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 2:20
It's my privilege. It's my honor. And I'm really happy to explore who you are as a person. So my favorite first question is you as a person? What have you been in thinking about these days or lately? That is demanding your attention or thought maybe it's a problem, you're trying to solve? An insight you're trying to implement more often your life? Or anything that is important to you as a person?
Taylor Robichaud 2:52
That's a great question. You know, one thing that's been on my mind recently has been not to take life too seriously.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 3:01
Actually, I agree with you. 100%. Yeah, no, very sad saying that. Don't take life too seriously, because you'll never make it out of it alive. That's very true. And to understand something about you, I know you're doing business development, and you're dealing with something like sales, which has a lot of rejection and all that. But before that, you were dealing and in the field of fitness and health. Do you describe yourself as someone who is identifying as a health and fitness freak or, like focused or someone who that is a big part of your identity and important for you?
Taylor Robichaud 3:51
Yes, that is a huge part of my identity. I grew up playing competitive soccer. So living an active healthy lifestyle has always been embedded in my life. So promoting that through fitness sales was a big part of my life. I recently made the switch to technology sales, but I still make sure to advocate for living a healthy lifestyle in many ways as I can.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 4:18
Why is it important for you? Is it a habit? Or growing up? Did you see someone who wasn't so healthy? And it like something was traumatic about it that pushed you to value it? Imagine this, okay? You can have a happy life, but you cannot do any fitness activities anymore? What would be missing?
Taylor Robichaud 4:43
Right? So I grew up in a gym. My mom was a fitness trainer. And since I can remember I was always in the daycare playing with friends and my mom was a personal trainer training people to become the best versions of themselves. So she was really my role model. And when I was in college playing college soccer, I was really starting to think about what I was going to do after soccer and what my career would look like. And I was really driven to the idea of promoting a healthy active lifestyle, because that's what my mom did. And that's what I grew up doing jeans active, and it felt natural for me. So I moved on to work for Orangetheory fitness as a sales associate. And it was very natural. For me, I had a competitive drive in me from playing competitive sports. So the sales aspect became very natural, and very fun. I saw instant results by helping people change their lives, and it became extremely rewarding. So I was really driven by helping people in the sense of promoting fitness.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 5:57
So does fitness have a connotation of family of friendship of being similar to your mother? Does it have that feeling that makes it more than just an activity, but rather, a deep connection?
Taylor Robichaud 6:15
Definitely a deep connection with my family, friends, the values that have been instilled in me from a young age, and so forth.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 6:26
Thank you, and you played competitively. And you have this competitive drive? I'm sure. But how do you reconciliate this with the fact that when you're dealing with sales, business development, or real life or even sportsmanship and soccer, you lose at some points, you know, it's not always the best team that wins sometimes is the team that gets the better opportunities, that wins and things like that. So being competitive, how does rejection or failure not crush? You know what I mean?
Taylor Robichaud 7:08
So there's no better feeling than working hard for something and winning as a result. But of course, you have to fail and receive and know, to be motivated to get a yes. So no, is just motivates me to work harder, because there's no better feeling than winning and receiving a yes. So I'm motivated to continue to work hard and push through the nose to receive that. Yes. And it's like an adrenaline rush. It reminds me of when I was playing soccer when I receive a Yes, from a buyer. It reminds me of winning the CIF championship when I was in high school, it's such a great feeling. And I feel like I'm constantly chasing that result.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 7:55
Thank you. I like this. I wish more people had it. Because to them, they prefer the hope that comes when you're not acting, when there is inaction and procrastination even. And people will be like, if I were doing it, I'll be crushing it. But then excuses and all that. So to you. It's an adrenaline rush that comes when you push through the nose to get to one. Yes. And everybody, every salesperson or business developer has those dry spells or streaks of negative like or whatever. How do you keep yourself motivated me, for example, I had in the beginning, my first startup, which it failed, but I learned a whole lot. You know, I didn't know what I was doing. But I needed to be doing it. And I remember every morning, I will say today could be the day, because life is not all our actions. Sometimes there is luck involved. A lot of it is luck, actually. And sometimes you think well, today could be the day where you get a lucky break that'll help you push you forward to you. If you had periods of low results or anything like that. Even in sports, how do you stay motivated? Is it only chasing that feeling? Or do you have some mantras, some affirmations, some ways of thinking that help you through it?
Taylor Robichaud 9:24
That's a great question. It is hard to keep yourself motivated. But setting goals for myself really helps me achieve those. You know, every month we have quotas we have to hit but I also set my own individual goals so that I can keep pushing myself. You know, I've learned through working in the tech industry from the past nine months, you really have to be a self starter. You have to create your own urgency. You have to raise your own expectations and grind towards your missions. And I'm inspired to do this by The goals that I set for myself so that I can feel successful. What really helps me is, again, going back to fitness working out, the more I work out and clear my mind, the more motivated I feel, the more healthy I feel, I really value feeling good. And that helps me wash away the negativity of the nose that I get. I feel like I become stronger after every workout and then that emulates into my career. And that helps me push through the hard times so that I can be stronger to get the Yes,
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 10:35
I have so many questions. But I'll ask this. When you create your own goals? Do you create process focus goals like today, I will do a specific number of outreach emails or outreach cold calls or something like that? Or is it your own goals that push you but in a way where you have outcome based goals where you say I have to make X number of fails by next Tuesday, and therefore, you'll stay up all night or whatever, until you reach it.
Taylor Robichaud 11:09
So what I like to do is I set up a game plan each day. And I set up a game plan that will help me organize my day so that I can feel successful at the end of the day, and which will help me reach my goals by the end of the week. So each day, I set up a game plan of how many emails I'll be sending out how many meetings I want to book, how many people I want to network with, and the email campaign sequences I send out, and so forth.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 11:39
Thank you. And you mentioned three times how you're feeling or feeling good. And all that which is an more emotional or emotive kind of way of approaching the world? And do you find yourself surrounded by similar people who feel in this tech and startup scene and space that you moved into? Or do you find yourself a feeler among logical people?
Taylor Robichaud 12:09
That's an interesting question. It's hard to answer that now that I'm working remote, and I'm not working with people directly in person. So I don't get much of a sense of others through zoom or to LinkedIn messaging, I think I get this from my mother, she is a very intuitive person, she's always taught me to go with my gut feeling. And I have emulated that from her, to really just make sure I'm in tune with what feels best. And my gut has never strayed me. And I feel like my intuition really does help push me and motivate me and guide me in the right direction, which helps with my career.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 12:50
I love this topic. And I have to ask you, a lot of people don't trust their intuition. They either have been traumatized, they had hunches that didn't come through. And so they don't trust it, or they trust too much too much into Logic and the visible side of reality, and therefore, they think, oh, trusting my intuition, that's childish. That's like neon, you know, something from primitive something that is not working? What makes you trust your intuition? What supports you in it? Did you have situations where by trusting your intuition, something extra ordinary, was manifested for you are what's shown to you? Or happened? How do you trust it so much, and why?
Taylor Robichaud 13:43
I wish I could give you a specific example. I feel like it plays a part in my daily life. When I don't trust my intuition. Things don't go as planned things don't go the way I had expected them to. So I feel strongly about trusting what my gut says, and it hasn't led me in the wrong direction when I do.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 14:05
Thank you. And as someone who feels and you were you are you grew up in a gym and you're very active, and we played soccer and you speak about your gut, which is very embodied. Do you see the world as a kinesthetic person? Are you kinesthetic, and one of the best things or ways to know is that you feel sensations and emotions deeply, often more than other people and often your enjoy or want or are in that flow state and the present moment rather than in your head thinking about the future or reimagining the traumas of the past and things like that. Are you such a person?
Taylor Robichaud 14:49
I am and I think this is a great question because I I am new to the tech industry and I don't think being a kinesthetic person. Is, is involved in the tech industry. And I think a lot of females are bringing this dynamic to the tech industry and is helping helping grow the dynamic of the way women are selling in the industry.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 15:19
Thank you. And since you're speaking about it that way, and a lot of founders, they are not really good at selling, or they don't understand what is salesmanship and all that they think about it as the sleazy car used car salesmen, etc. For you specifically, what is your own way of thinking about sales? Do you have your own method? Or how do you approach it? And how is it similar to you being a soccer player?
Taylor Robichaud 15:52
So my way of selling comes from my background in fitness sales, and what was the most successful way to sell for me when I was doing b2c sales was gaining a genuine connection, being empathetic, listening to understand and trying to solve to find out the best solution. And I've carried that over into the tech industry. And I've noticed that it has been extremely helpful for shaping solutions.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 16:31
Thank you. And how was that decision to move from fitness to the tech space? What motivated it? How did you approach it? Why not any other thing? How was that experience situation and decision making process.
Taylor Robichaud 16:49
So I was working in fitness sales for five years, it was a great experience extremely rewarding. I moved my way up from a sales associate to assistant manager, I then opened three fitness studios leading the pre sales process, we opened three studios with over 1000 members at each studio, it was extremely incredible. And then I moved on to be a Sales Director leading a team of 10 sales associates, the pandemic hit, and there was a huge shift in the fitness industry. I did not think fitness would survive, we immediately moved all of our fitness workouts to zoom workouts, we were able to survive the pandemic, through technology, we kept our membership base via zoom social media and email. It was incredible to be a part of people crave socialization. So when we got back into studio and we were in person, we ended up having more members than we did pre pandemic. It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my career. But towards the end of my journey, I reached a point where I wanted to continue on, I wanted to be stimulated in a new way. And I wanted to learn more. And I was reflecting on my experience in fitness. And I thought about how tech was the foundation of how we survived through the pandemic. And I decided to quit my job, travel for three months, and then figure out my next career move. During my travels, I did more reflecting on tech and tech sales. I had a few mentors who I sat down with and had some coffee. And they inspired me of their experience in the tech industry. And they told me how lucrative the industry was, and how there's no cap and there's so much to learn. I was really inspired by my mentors. So I started to apply for different tech roles. It was extremely hard to break through the tech industry with a fitness background. The variants took a chance on me about nine months ago. And that was extremely exciting and intimidating at the same time. Joining a fully remote team of six male engineers, and me being the first salesperson in my first ever tech sales role was a huge change. But it's been extremely, extremely exciting and very, very educational.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 19:36
I have so many questions but the first cell will ask. You spoke about the humans need to be social to connect with others as well as you grew up, you said in competitive sports, which is a group activity rather than an individual thing like lifting weights or working out or anything like that. So working remote Lee, how do you keep yourself sane? I know y'all mentioned working out, but how do you keep that human connection, you said through zoom, it's not the same, can you get some of it through online means
Taylor Robichaud 20:15
it's a challenge, it really is a challenge to keep yourself motivated. Alone, I do have a dog, I recently got a puppy, which has been a game changer. So it's nice to have her companionship. I also have made sure to put myself out there, I love to connect with new people in different communities on LinkedIn, and Slack channels, and set up virtual coffee dates, I have many mentors, who I meet with weekly. And it's nice to set up these zoom meetings, and not necessarily chat about work, but also chat about life and stay connected that way. So that's been extremely helpful for the transition of me working remote. And another note that I would like to point out is that the benefit of that is that I get to meet people from all over the world, not just my community in California, but across the world. And I gained so much knowledge, meeting people from different places.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 21:17
I have a ton of questions again, but I will ask this one. Yes. You said you get a lot of knowledge from meeting people. Do you feel you learn and you do focus more on learning from people that are from books or courses and all that? And how is it like a lot of people in the tech industry will say no, I love to learn by reading a book or from a structured audiobook? I'm not sure through chit chatting and speaking with people, I can learn much, but how do you learn from people? Is it organic? Do you ask them questions related to what you're struggling with? Or thinking about in that time? Do you listen to the stories and ask for the stories from their experience? Or how do you approach learning from people? And are they the most valuable source of knowledge for you much more than books and resources and things like that?
Taylor Robichaud 22:16
Yes, people are the most knowledgeable resource for me, I would say my love language is quality time spent. My favorite thing to do is spend time with my friends and my family as well as meet new people, I gain the most knowledge from them. I think it's really important to stay curious and ask questions. And through this, I have learned so much in the past nine months working in tech from other people and how to approach my sales tactics, my strategies, how I go to market. And it's been extremely valuable for me.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 22:59
Thank you. And a lot of founders and tech people focus a lot more on the product than on meeting people on networking. Maybe some say I don't have the time, or it's not so important, or it's not so valuable to you. Do you feel that networking? And you mentioned your mentors and things like that? Is one of the top if not the most important activity? How do you build a connection with a new person? Imagine someone is an introvert or socially awkward is listening. Like what's your way to connect with someone new to build a relationship? How do you network? How do you keep connection with people that you've met from before? And is networking a big part not only of sales, but just for a way for you to live and grow as a professional and as a person.
Taylor Robichaud 23:55
Networking is the biggest way for me to grow as a professional as a person. I love to grow my network and explore opportunities of meeting new people. I think the best way to gain connections is ask people about themselves and really get them talking to you about their experiences, ask them about their challenges, what's made them successful. I love to maintain relationships through social media, especially through LinkedIn staying connected, they're engaging in their content. And especially, you know, you know, group events in person events. I've now been to two in person tech events, they're slowly starting to open up and the strongest relationships that I have, with others in this industry have been through my in person connections that I've met at these events. I think it's extremely powerful to shake someone's hand look them in the eyes feel their integrity. and really get a sense of who they are and show them who you are. So you can feel and build that trust. So networking to me is extremely important, professionally and personally.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 25:13
Thank you. Growing up in California, you said you traveled before you're like meeting people from all over the world? What I mean, I understand the other cultures, they open, new doorways for you to learn from people. But why didn't you consider as someone working remotely living anywhere in the world, whether it's South America, Southeast Asia, you could be in Bali right now? Or something like that? Or somewhere else in Europe, in Paris, etc? Why California? And do you have like a future plan? Or is it part of what you intend to do and want to do, to travel the world be wonder and the Globetrotter and just explore the world and learn from local people? Or maybe that's, you know, your network is more localized and California and the tech industry, and so it's much better to be in the place to be.
Taylor Robichaud 26:15
I love this question. I'm sure based on my previous answers, you could probably guess what I'm about to say, but I love quality time spent. I am a huge family person. And my family is located in Southern California. I have moved away twice for short periods of time. But I was so far away from my family, I decided to move back and Southern California is beautiful. We have it all here. And I love traveling. I love being a globetrotter. And, you know, I really believe it's not about the destination. It's about the journey. So getting up and going to travel is is such a blast. And it's so easy to do in California. So staying in California, where my family is based. My Network is here. And being able to travel around the world here is a okay with me.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 27:10
I really, really love that answer so much. And, well, you're staying there, you're being connected. But you mentioned it's about the process and about the journey rather than about the destination. When it comes to sales. Is that how you approach it? That it's about the process of going through the best practices and your game plan as you said, rather than thinking Oh, my God, I'm not hitting quota today. Or this week or this month? I'm stressing out and like trying to frenetically get some business is it about rather than cramming everything in the last second or focusing or stressing about the outcome? You follow the zen of the journey rather than the destination? Or how does this translate into your work as a business development and salesperson.
Taylor Robichaud 28:06
That's a really great connection that you made. That's a connection I haven't made. And I'm really happy you did. As I mentioned, I've been working for variance for the past nine months, and I am the first sales person on the team. So I'm essentially creating the processes and the go to market approach. So I do have to take a step back. And remember, it's about the journey, not the destination. Thank you for that connection.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 28:33
You're welcome. And thank you too. This was an enriching conversation. I learned a lot from you. I appreciate your time. And if people want to learn about variance since you're working there, can you share a few words about it? What you do and if people want to learn more about you and or about variance, what are the best links for them to go and explore. And I'll make sure also to put some in the description.
Taylor Robichaud 29:04
Thank you. Variance is a customer growth platform. Our solution enables you to track your users journey on your product and your website for revenue growth. Product lead growth, sales leaders and product managers use our platform to qualify, convert and expand accounts all based on customer data. We're helping customers close deals faster, and increase revenue by showing them exactly what their customers are doing. You can find our [email protected]
and you can also find us on LinkedIn.
Abdulaziz M Alhamdan 29:41
Thank you again, Taylor. I recommend you enjoy the great weather in California this weekend. I'm sure your wells with your family. And I wish you a wonderful day.
Taylor Robichaud 29:52
Thank you Aziz. This is a pleasure. I really enjoyed our conversation and I hope you have an amazing day.