After spending 23 years as an instructor for the Australian Army Reserve, it might seem a pretty curious career jump to suddenly find yourself running your own business, delivering acclaimed training packages to the corporate sector.
But then, perhaps training and communication have always been at the heart of the unique career of Victoria Rose…
It’s a little-known fact that I spent three years training to be a Tightrope Walker before I finally had to admit that my intense fear of heights was potentially going to make the rest of my life very difficult.
Meanwhile, Old Bert, our resident caretaker, still talks with great pride about the days when he allegedly used to be a dashing top-secret Superspy…although I’ve always had my serious doubts about this.
To back up his wild claim, he once came into our office and presented me with the official uniform that he had to wear back in the old days for all his top-secret Superspy duties.
I still wasn’t entirely convinced though.
His ‘uniform’ was just a t-shirt with big bright red lettering emblazoned on the front which read SSSSH! TOP SECRET SUPERSPY AT WORK!
Well, whatever the true story, I’m sure that he makes a better caretaker.
The far more interesting story of Victoria Rose doesn’t include any tightrope walking or superspy activities (well, not the official version anyway) but it’s still a fascinating journey which has led her from an impressive military background all the way to becoming the driving force behind Training2Live – an outstanding service which provides the corporate sector with unique training workshop packages, specialising in Leadership and Communication skills.
So, where exactly did this entrepreneurial adventure begin?
“Well, it all started 28 years ago, back when I was as an instructor in the Australian Army Reserve,” Victoria explains.
“I always sought different and more effective ways to teach those theory lessons.
“During this time, I grew to love the skill, attitude and dedication required to deliver training that made a real difference.
“Fast forward to 2008, and whilst I was working as the senior trainer for a large company, I decided to take the plunge and create my own training business…just as the global financial crisis struck!
“The first two years have certainly been tough, but I love what I do and my business is now slowly but surely growing. I love that the fact I’m not in the 9-5 routine, and I love being my own boss!”
Training2Live has already been generating some pretty amazing feedback from the diverse clients that Victoria has been working with recently.
I was intrigued to unearth the secrets behind this growing success story, and discover how exactly the specialised training packages were developed?
“Our mission is to help you see how to do things better!
“I’m passionate about my workshops, and love to build my training packages from scratch. I’ve been taking them all over Australia and New Zealand.
“All a potential client has to do is provide the topic area (for example, Leadership, Dealing with Difficult People, Managing Emotions, Teamwork, How to be a Better Communicator etc) and the three outcomes they want their team to leave with. I then go ahead and create that package, and give them the results that they need.
“Clients can expect a one hour tailoring call, followed by a one or two-day workshop (or even longer if needed!) with a comprehensive workbook plus attendance certificate.
“Most of our workshops are on-site, at the client’s workplace, or at a venue they have arranged.
“Our goal is to deliver a workshop completely unlike any other that a client may have experienced. We’ve had some incredible feedback as to their effectiveness. A typical comment is simply ‘This has been the best training I have ever been to!’”
I wondered if there were any areas of business which Victoria found to be particularly challenging on her entrepreneurial adventure with Training2Live?
“My biggest challenge has been -and still is! – to really get the attention of the decision makers. In their eyes, Training2Live might be perceived as being just another training company – and besides, in down times, isn’t training the first expense to be cut back on?
“Another challenge as a Sole Trader is just that – I am a ‘sole’ trader!
“There’s literally just me to do everything. I’m keen to find a virtual assistant very soon!
“Also, the isolation of being a sole trader and working from a home office is very real. Luckily, I get to interact with all the people I train.”
I asked Victoria what she felt she had learned by building up a new business from scratch, and if she had any insight and advice to share with fellow entrepreneurs?
“Well, I’ve learned that I can do it!
“I left a reasonably well paid job with a fully maintained company car and PAID holidays, and I don’t regret that decision for one moment. There were tough times when I wondered how I would survive – but somehow I did and I will continue to do so!
“I’ve learned to appreciate my skills, to value what I have to offer, to stand tall.
“I’ve learned to be even more curious, to be creative and to be completely open to new ideas.
“I’ve also learned that it’s scary to step outside your comfort zone, but to do it anyway!
“My main advice would be to remember how important it is to keep a positive mindset. It’s so easy to get scared with the drama headlines and gloomy predictions.
“Keep the reason why you are doing what you are doing permanently in front of you – and that reason, that purpose, must excite you.
“Then you will always find a way through to the other side.”
I finished off my chat with Victoria by looking ahead to the future. Did she have any specific hopes and plans?
“To maintain and grow Training2Live!” was Victoria’s immediate response.
“I’m currently developing new training workshops for women who are over fifty and still fabulous. I’ll also be focusing in the future on training for disadvantaged youth.
“But in general, my main plans for the future are to maintain my enthusiasm, to keep on being curious, and continually seek a better way of doing things!
“Oh, I’d also quite like to get back to playing Golf….and most importantly of all, to keep on smiling!”