Motivation and Starting a Business

For this episode of the Essential B2B podcast, Joe was joined by Antoine Marsden, Co- Founder and Chief Sales Officer for Sales DRIIVN. Antoine chats about starting his business with his business partner, outlines something he isn't necessarily a fan of on LinkedIn and talks about his achievements and motivation.

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Joe: Hello and welcome to the Essential B2B Podcast brought to you by Lead Forensics. I’m your host Joe Ducarreaux. This episode is a conversation with Antoine Marsden, Co-Founder and Chief Sales Officer of Sales DRIIVN. We had a chat about how he built his business from the ground up with his business partner, how he’s not a huge fan of the absolutism he sees on LinkedIn and the things that really drive him to be the best he can be.

So without further ado, here is Antoine Marsden’s episode of the Essential B2B podcast.

Joe: What do you love about your industry and is there anything you would change about it?

Antoine: That’s an interesting question. What do I love about my industry? I love the fact that you’re able to help people that previously didn’t know anything about you. That you can find people that are struggling with a problem. Maybe they’re not even able to articulate it properly. Maybe they are. But you’re able to help them actually overcome that problem with solutions that are going to really galvanise them in their role. Either makes them look like a hero in their organisation, helps their organisation save money, whatever the case it may be.
It’s really being able to get out there and speak to people that didn’t know how to overcome this problem and you’ve been able to find them and help them do it.

What’s the changes I would make? I think the holy grail would be that whoever you call for, you’re able to have a conversation with. You’re able to understand, I’m going to call 50 people today and I’m going to have 50 conversations and I’m going to be able to get information from everyone. That would be a perfect scenario. But it’s never going to change. So I think there is that.

Then maybe one other thing I think is just the huge amount of information that you’ll see on platforms such as LinkedIn for example, about how to do this and how to do that. This is the only way and everything of this absolutism which I just think is nonsense. I think you have to keep on pathfinding every single day. Find what works because one thing that is constant in life is that things change. So you always have to be ahead of the change or at least understanding when change is happening to be able to remain relevant and current within the industry. I don’t know if I’ll be able to answer the question the way you expected, but that’s kind of what would be in my mind for how I’d answer it.

Joe: Yeah, I suppose the thing about taking bits and pieces from LinkedIn, there’s no reason why you can’t take a bit from this and a bit from that, rather than going, this is the only way you can do this.

Antoine: That’s it, it’s the absolutism that I think comes about with a lot of people’s focus on LinkedIn. It has to be, this only works this way, this only works this way. If people can take a blend of different styles and make it work for themself, or a different frame, different methodologies and make it work for themselves. It’s just how somebody’s able to articulate that to somebody else and for it to make sense for them.

I just think there’s just a rise of this stuff on LinkedIn recently. I’m on LinkedIn, so I post my thoughts and comments but I think it’s more to a degree of just saying, alright, let me test this stuff. Let me test it, let me get results from it and then let me see whether or not it’s moving me any closer to my desired outcome. What else can I now look at taking to add to that? Just building up your own process that works for you and that’s delivering the results that you require.

Joe: This can be professional or personal? What’s your biggest achievement, Antoine?

Antoine: Biggest achievement? My biggest achievement professionally I would say is today, in building a business with my business partner, employing people, really giving people an opportunity to learn about sales under mentorship of somebody that actually cares about the industry and actually enjoys what they do. I think that it’s a huge step for me personally to have moved from being an individual contributor in a company to being a sales manager and then a sales leader in companies to then go and take something on for myself and make it happen, along with my business partner.

Professionally, to date, where I’m at right now is the most accomplished I’ve ever felt, even though I’m still learning every single day. Definitely I’m happier here than I’ve been anywhere else. I think just from a personal standpoint, I think the biggest thing that I’ve achieved is really having a five-year-old son that I have right now who knows exactly what I do, which I think is interesting. But that kind of pushes me on. That’s my ‘why’ for my professional career and that has given me a whole new perspective that I didn’t have five years ago.

Joe: That probably going to link into this next question then, is what really motivates you? Is it him, then?

Antoine: Yeah, I remember when I was younger and watching my dad leave a very well paid job, respected position, respected company and go it alone. I would see him working from home and I would see him building this business and I felt that’s a really difficult move to take. You have everything laid out for you. What I believed then was security. You’ve got to make yourself very un-secure and take on this kind of world of work for yourself.

For me, the drive is to be able to support my son and to be able to do the things that I need to do to make sure that he has what he needs and that he can learn things in the right way in terms of what life is about as he grows older. Being able to support my family so that they don’t have to worry about income or they don’t have to worry about going out to work and doing those things, that’s a big driver for me.

But also for myself, it’s about the Antoine in ten years’ time. I do these things, then I get to that Antoine that I want to be in ten years’ time, because I want to be able to look back and say, OK, now you’re here, the journey that you took to get here, all of those things that you did has built you into this person today. So I think it’s, I’m doing it today, but I want to get to a stage where I’m able to give back to people, build on their experience, build on their learning, help them to be able to progress. Because it’s a really fun thing to do and that comes into that kind of nurturing thing and that kind of parental look over things.

I think it’s those three things that drive me. It’s being able to support my son, being able to support my family and being able to support my dreams of who I want to be in 10 years’ time.

Joe: It seems like you have a really clear understanding, clear idea of exactly what that is, so that’s fantastic. How do you decompress from your work life and how important is that divide between the work and personal life for you?

Antoine: It’s huge. It’s huge. It’s a very good question. It’s huge. The reason I say that it’s huge is because you can get attached to your career. I’ve been building this business now for three years. If something goes wrong and I take that upon myself that I’m terrible or I’m awful at doing these things, that impacts who I am at home. I think it’s very important to be able to say, this doesn’t define who I am, it’s just one of those things that adds to who I am.

So, the way for me to decompress on my weekends, I’ll be with my partner, with my son, I will go out and do things together, completely take me away from things to do at work. Movie nights, going out and doing date nights, that kind of stuff. It’s important to be present when you’re with other people or the people that you love and your friends, your friendship group, whoever it might be.

I think that I’ve, in the past, definitely been very intensive, borderline obsessed in some instances with my work and with that kind of stuff. I’ve learned over the last three years that when you step away from it for 24 hours, 48 hours, it’s still there when you get back. No one’s died, nothing’s gone wrong. Even at the lowest ebb you can be sometimes, you still have to look at the things that you’re grateful for and know that it’s not as bad as you could potentially make it out to be.

Yeah, I think decompress, get out with your family, get out with your friends, read a non-sales book, watch that film, just go and do those things that help you to remember who you are outside of that world and just to enjoy yourself. Because we’re all going to die. We’ve got a finite amount of time left, so enjoy it while you can.

Joe: Yeah, you’re absolutely right. It can be difficult, can’t it? Sometimes, you’ve probably found yourself in similar situations when you’re somewhere away from work and you’re thinking I really should just be focusing on that, but you just cannot switch off your brain from going by 8 o’clock on Monday, you need to have done this, you need to be doing this, I found that so frustrating.

Antoine: You’re not wrong, I think we’re in this digital world now aren’t we, so that when we do escape, we escape into this landscape of absolute madness, be it scrolling through Instagram or whatever it is, your platform of choice. But actually just putting your phone on silent or putting your phone in airplane mode for your weekend or your evenings and just enjoying it. Not worrying about your phone ringing, you don’t have to go online and look for anything, just be present with the people that you’re with. I think that kind of digital detox, if you can do that every week, is one of the biggest things that you can do to help yourself just enjoy your life a little bit more.

Joe: Antoine, thank you so much for joining me for this episode of the Essential B2B Podcast.

Antoine: It’s been a pleasure. Thanks.