Episode 09 : Setting Goals and Achieving Them



Well aware of what he wanted out life, Olivier made sure to get it. See how he archived his goal of managing his own consulting firm by believing, visualizing, and defining a clear roadmap to get there. Listen to his story where a combination of life experiences and seized opportunities helped shape his goals, towards which he worked with confidence.

Olivier’s Growth Story Book Title: 

“Set a goal & Believe.”

When you’re setting a goal for yourself, you visualize it and believe in it. But along the way, multiples things are gonna happen and at lots of times it’s very easy to stop believing that you can actually reach that goal. It’s important to go back to when you set that goal and keep on executing towards it like you never stopped believing.

What you’ll learn:

  • Two particular lessons from his youth helped shape Olivier’s career goals. The first one was being expelled from high school and see his partners in crime get away with it, and the second was losing his student job over somebody else’s mistake.
  • Olivier Laquinte values trust more than anything, a lesson he learned from his mom when he got expelled. He hasn’t lied since then.
  • Olivier’s father was a teacher, but he also had that entrepreneurial spirit in him. He owned a couple of businesses in Montreal, and he was great at seizing opportunities. A talent he transmitted to Olivier.
  • When starting his own firm, Olivier took a year to thoughtfully write his business plan. To set a goal and make sure that he wasn’t gonna diverge from it.

Notable quotes:

  • “I was lucky enough to be able to capture opportunities. There are things at CGI that I did, that I could never have done at Accenture or so early in my career.” – Olivier on how CGI was a great company for allowing him to thrive on his entrepreneurial spirit. 
  • I’ve seen something new, and I can’t go back to implementing SAP in the third basement of a hospital. – Olivier on how his amazing experience at working on the World Aquatics Championships changed the way he saw work and what he wanted to do.
  • “What am I good at? What are the goals that I had set myself for 30 years old? What do I need in order to be successful?” – The questions Olivier would ask himself at 29 to determine his next career move.
  • “You start from your basement. After you go to a co-working office. But don’t have a portfolio, you have nothing else to show than a website, a business card.” – Olivier on the modest debut of a service business.
  • “You need to empower people and trust that they’re going to do the job” – Olivier on the challenges of growing as a company and the importance of trusting yourself and your team.

Show notes: 

1:40 – Olivier Laquinte is the president and founder of Talsom, a technology and management consulting firm.

8:50 – On the personal side: Olivier has an 8-year-old daughter. He is now living in Greenfield Park, south shore of Montreal to be closer to his mother who also lives there. He loves sports and the outdoors to keep a balanced life.

10:30 – Olivier grew up in Greenfield Park himself, he has a half-sister from his father’s side living in Vancouver.

11:20 – His mother is from Lac-Saint-Jean. Olivier and his family would spend all summer when he was young as his parents were teachers. Olivier still goes every summer. His father is from Haiti.

12:40 – Olivier’s first job was at the amusement park LaRonde in Montreal.

20:30 – After, Olivier was working at the forum during hockey games of the Montreal Canadiens selling chips in the alleys in 1993 – the year they won their last Stanley Cup.

31:00 – Olivier studied at HEC Montreal for his bachelor’s. He was planning on doing a master’s degree right after graduating but he got an unexpected job offer from Procter & Gamble and he took it.

31:25 – After his bachelor’s, Olivier worked for a year in Toronto for Procter & Gamble in their IT department. He didn’t like the fact that in this type of company, you couldn’t really move up while working in IT at the time.

32:05 – At P&G, he was put in the SAP team, which turned out to be a very lucky event when the Y2K bug occurred and it turned out that having these letters in your CV was a really good thing.

33:00 – Now very interested in IT consulting, Olivier applied to CGI to be in their SAP team and got the job so he worked there 7 years in Montreal.

33:25 – While working at CGI, Olivier did his master’s degree in project management.

35:14 – While working at CGI, Oliver started two businesses: one was a small production company organizing parties, the other one, in partnership with a friend, called ADM Media.

39:55 – Oliver got the opportunity to take part in the organization of the 2005 World Aquatics Championships by managing the technology side.

43:35 – Olivier determined a few things he needed before starting his own firm: understanding the structure of a big consulting company and finishing his master’s. So he worked at Accenture for 2 years and got his PMP title.

48:18 – Talsom was first named DexterIT.

53:20 – Olivier’s first client was for Ratiopharm as an independent consultant through DMR-Fujitsu. He was transparent from the start about his intentions of going on his own and starting his own consulting firm.

54:35 – Ratiopharm was bought by Teva and they stopped all contracts. So Olivier now had people working with him and overnight they didn’t have a client anymore.

55:12 – Olivier and his team focused on business development and two months later had three new clients: Aeroplan, Cirque du Soleil and CN.

59:00 – Olivier says that the biggest challenges of being a more mature company are operations and making sure you don’t lose your culture along the way.