Episode 12 : Building a Career Worth Living



Director of Rouge Marketing in Mont-Tremblant, Dominique Laverdure was always a rebel at heart. See how she changed her life completely by moving to the country and building a career worthy of her love for life. Dominique started her career on a much different path: ready to dedicate herself to her successful corporate job at L’Oréal, everything changed when she realized she had to compromise too much to fit in the corporate box. 

Dominique’s Growth Story Book Title: 

“Make it What You Want it to Be”

When challenges occurred, Dominique felt like she lost focus on what she truly wanted out of the entrepreneurial experience. The most precious thing about being an entrepreneur is having 100% freedom. She is now gladly back on tracks, using that freedom to build a life and a company that allows her and all of her employees at Rouge to enjoy life on a daily basis.

What you’ll learn:

  • One of Dominique’s first jobs was as a recruiter at Quantum. The manager didn’t want to hire her because she came from a rich family, therefore, she wouldn’t be as hard-working. Dominique had to prove herself twice as hard and ended up working there for three years.
  • Dominique was on the career path of becoming VP of sales for L’Oréal in Canada but then she had to decline a promotion located in Toronto because of her newborn baby. She learned the hard way that a corporate lifestyle wasn’t what she really wanted out of life.
  • Dominique initially met her partner at Rouge Marketing, Marie-Stephane, to discuss potentially taking over her marketing consulting business in Mont-Tremblant. Instead, they got along so well they decided to grow the marketing agency together. The next day they were already pitching together.
  • Rouge Marketing is now 14 years old. Since its beginnings, Rouge has acquired three businesses and now has two offices; one in Laval and one in Mont-Tremblant.

Notable quotes:

  • “I deal with all the sh*t. Obviously!” – Dominique on her role as founder and director. She is still very involved in business development, HR, finances, and with her title comes great responsibilities.
  • “My biggest heartbreak was with L’Oréal. They’re the reason I cried the most in my life, not even for boys! I was ready to dedicate my life to L’Oréal. But today I thank them so much for showing me the ups and downs of the corporate life.” – Dominique reflecting on the heartbreaking choices she had to make while working passionately in a job she adored but also wanting to start a family and enjoy life on a daily basis.
  • “They wanted to put me in a box to make me be like everybody else. That’s when I realized the corporate style wasn’t for me. I’m a rebel.” – Eventually, it’s Dominique’s rebel soul who won the work-life battle.
  • “If a client was mean, we would drop him because we were not having fun. We were not moving to Montreal because we were not having fun there. Everything was based on what brings fun to the table. We want to fully live our lives on a daily basis.” – Dominique about the founding and core values at Rouge.
  • “Do what you have to do to be happy and achieve those results.” – Dominique is glad to be back to her original focus and vision of a company. Rouge Marketing offers unlimited vacations to its staff, as well as the tools to work remotely from anywhere they want.

Show notes: 

02:15 – David mentions being on the board of memberships for EO Montreal.

03:44 – Dominique Laverdure is director of Rouge Marketing, a marketing integrated service agency based in Mont-Tremblay.

05:20 – Rouge marketing is a one-stop-shop type of agency. They work with clients on branding and marketing strategy, but they also produce the things that they propose: video, websites, social media content, SEO, etc.

07:12 – Dominique grew up in the West Island of Montreal, in Dollard des Ormeaux.

07:40 – Dominique attended the girl-only private school Les Marcellines and hated it. She managed to convince her parents to let her switch to Notre-Dame College which she loved.

08:50 – Dominique’s great-grandfather started a textile company called “Textiles Laverdure” which grew to be very successful. They eventually sold the family business to Americans.  

10:48 – Young Dominique knew she wanted to be an entrepreneur without knowing “in what” yet. She registered in Business at McGill University and picked a major in entrepreneurship.

11:50 – She started working at 16 years old as a camp counselor in Tremblant. She then took a temp job through Quantum in accounting at Standard Life. A year later she was hired as a temp at Quantum.

16:00 – L’Oréal was a client of the software company Dominique worked for. She applied through their online interview program and, 3 interviews later, had the job. She loved L’Oréal and worked there for 5 wonderful years.

17:50 – When Dominique started at L’Oréal, they told her she wasn’t a marketing person. Even though she applied with marketing in mind, they told her that her personality indicated she was going to be good in sales and that they wanted her to work towards a career as VP of sales.

30:35 – Dominique and Marie-Stephane used the Soutien au Travail Autonome (STA) program offered at the CLD des Laurentides to get started with their business.

37:10 – Penetrating the Laurentides market was a bit tough at first. Dominique decided to get involved in the community. She became president of Centraide Laurentides for two years, joined a couple different boards, and became president of a chamber of commerce for three years.

44:45 – The second company that Rouge acquired was a marketing agency from Longueuil, South Shore of Montreal, that Dominique’s dad saw on Acquizition.biz.

57:30 – Rouge Marketing now offers unlimited vacations and the transition was a bit challenging with Les Normes du Travail and even some employees.

01:04:55 – Dominique is now a member of EO Montreal with David.