Who are we getting to know better this week? Why the one and only Victoria Louise Rabin! A former Executive Assistant to two private hedge fund managers, Victoria launched her career with hard work, and a never say die attitude. Now the CEO of her own company, Victoria leans in as she speaks about being on the other side of the desk.
DC: Hi Victoria! Thank you so much for taking your time to speak with us. We know you are extremely busy, so we appreciate it! Let’s start off by telling us about yourself:
Growing up, I was a free, fat and happy tomboy. My father, a 43 year old businessman, soon turned single father to (what he describes as) a wild mastodon, had no clue what he was doing, and it showed. Yet, to me, he was the best father girl could wish for. He taught me all about work ethic, entrepreneurship, respect, integrity and the art of storytelling.
DC: Tell us the story of how you became the Executive Assistant to two private hedge fund managers.
Even though I enjoyed school, and did well, I yearned to set out into the world and begin my journey, my story. My first ‘real’ job was working for a hedge fund in London Docklands. I was a receptionist, and every day I found myself with my beak stuck in everyone’s business. I saw a better and more efficient way to solve almost everything. In the end, the manager made me the EA to both owners of the corporation. I was in my element!
I reveled in the opportunity to make a difference, because to me, ‘problems’ are simply opportunities to find solutions and come up trumps! And I did just that on most occasions. And, being a born ‘busy body’, I was never shy to put my hand up and volunteer when the sh*t had hit the fan.
DC: When you first started as an EA, how did find high quality services/contacts to fill up your black book fast?
I always utilised my fellow EA’s and Executives as my own personal yelp. LinkedIn was always a great resource when I ever needed a reliable third party endorsement.
So much so, that we even have a preferred vendors list at EAO for our members.
DC: What has been your most memorable experience as an EA?
DC: What makes an email get a response from a busy person? How can you connect with people who can give you advice, introductions, even job offers?
Step into THEIR shoes!
Having worked as an EA and an Entrepreneur, I have sat at both sides of the desk. Therefore, I soon learned what actually compels a highly chaotic and in demand individual to stop…………………. and pay attention to what you have to say.
First things first – step into their shoes. WHY should your recipient pay attention to your email versus the other 1001 in their inbox, all bidding for the same small window of opportunity? All as eager, many undeserving, and some more deserving than you?
This is influential communication at its best. And for the recipient, extremely refreshing.
DC: Wow! That is incredible, actionable advice. Thank you!
DC: What is your best networking advice?
Social media is a must in my world. Two things about me that will never change is that 1/. Candor- no matter what situation I am in, you will hear the truth from me (good, bad and ugly) – 2/. I LOVE to communicate and make lasting connections. Social media is a combination of the two characteristics. No matter what, there is a conversation taking place as we speak relating to your profession, your company, your employer, even you! If you choose to join the conversation, you will inevitability gain an edge of staying in the know. And the benefit of knowledge is paramount in any profession – especially one that provides a service and one that involves connections.
DC: An entrepreneur usually has to make many sacrifices to make their dreams come true, what do you believe has been your biggest sacrifice?
Lack of quality time with my beloved family in England. Plus, leaving a life of financial stability and security in order to make a difference in the world of assistants.
DC: You mention your father as your closest confidante and counsel, what is the best advice he has given you that you believe can help other PA’s and EA’s?
Life is a far more interesting place when we are curious.
“Why” in my opinion is the most influential thought provoking word in our universal language.
“Why not?” is without question an equally provoking phrase.
DC: Now it’s time for the fun questions, Victoria! Ready?!
DC: What’s your personal style like?
Rock chick chic
DC: What are your interests/hobbies outside of work?
Muay Thai boxing & drinking delicious green smoothies. 🙂
DC: ‘The gutsiest thing I’ve ever done is __.’
My agonizing self-induced fear of confrontation was soon obliterated after enduring a broken leg, a dislocated shoulder, numerous black eyes and I lost count how many times my lip was busted.
Years of taunting myself stemmed from an inability to articulate my thoughts with candor and authority. Brushing issues of matter under the carpet or worse still, having others fight my battles on my behalf was soul destroying and a detriment not only to my personal growth, but to my reputation as a powerful business woman.
After yet another dismal encounter in which I failed to dominate a situation where the battle was mine for the taking, a confrontation was in fact made. Not between I and the opposing opponent, but between myself and I.
The decision I made with myself was one that changed my world indefinitely…
I chose FIGHT instead of FLIGHT.
And in this case, quite literally.
When the plane landed in Phuket Thailand, I was rather discombobulated. Having endured a long flight laced with anxiety, we touched down onto what resembled a shack adorned with a straw hatched roof. This was the airport??
The air was musky and the heat was intense. With nothing more than the clothes on my back, a jam packed rucksack and a lump in my throat, my journey had just begun. And I was terrified.
Destination – Tiger Muay Boxing camp
DC: Wowza, Victoria. That is really brave!
DC: What is your favourite quote?
“If you are afraid to be strong you deserve to be weak” – VLR
DC: What is the last book you read?
Talent Is Overrated – Geoff Colvin
DC: What is your favourite movie?
Gladiator & Good Will Hunting
DC: ‘The best gift I ever received was _______.’
Finding my sister after thinking we would never find her again!
DC: ‘My best stress reliever is ______.’
Muay Thai Boxing and laughing. I love to laugh!
DC: ‘I am most happy when ____.’
I am pushing the boundaries and pushing my team and clients to victory.
What did you find most interesting about Victoria’s interview? If you could get a response from a famous person or influential leader in your industry, who would it be? Leave your comments below!