Meet Perrine Farque, a mum of a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old, an Award-Winning Tech Marketing Leader and Motivational Speaker who drove the strategy for Tech companies including Facebook, PagerDuty, Pivotal and AvePoint for over a decade. During her Marketing career in Tech, Perrine has gained experience speaking at industry events including Women in Leadership events in London. Perrine has also extensive experience speaking at internal corporate events including the PagerDuty Leadership Summit in California, PagerDuty events in Paris, London, Berlin, Amsterdam as well as hosting customer panels and webinars.
Perrine has an extensive track-record of motivating and inspiring teams and creating a truly diverse company culture within Tech companies. At PagerDuty, Perrine successfully helped bring the company from a private start-up into a public company within the first year of employment, established the marketing function in EMEA and got promoted within the first year; Perrine was also unanimously voted best sales contributor in the company and offered an award at the Sales Achiever’s Club and successfully generated 40 new EMEA customer references in 18 months;
Perrine also launched multiple websites in local languages during her career. Perrine drove the marketing strategy at Facebook in EMEA for the developer community in 2014; on a personal note, Perrine is a busy mum of 2 children, she is married to an Italian entrepreneur, is a fitness enthusiast and lives in London. Originally from France, Perrine successfully relocated to London in 2009 and earned the British citizenship in 2017. Perrine speaks fluently French and Italian as well as English. Perrine earned a law degree at UPMF in France, in 2006.
What made you become an international motivational speaker? When did you realize you were motivating people?
I was invited by my company to speak at an internal corporate event, a Leadership Summit, in California, that gathered all the leaders (directors and above) in the company, for a 2 day sessions on leadership. I was in a leadership panel with 3 other panelists. Being on stage, sharing my experience as a woman in leadership in a technology company made me realize how much I enjoyed public speaking and how much I had to say on the topic of inspiring women to pursue their goals, as well as establishing a gender-friendly culture in a male-dominated corporate world and educating men to become women’s advocates in the workplace. As soon as I got off stage, I was surprised by how many people from the audience reached out to me to say that my panel really inspired them and they thought it was the best session they had seen all day! When I started sharing my thoughts on social media, I was equally surprised by how many people reached out to me privately to say how much they needed to hear that, or how much it helped them in a difficult moment; I realized that not only ambitious women were inspired by my message but also men who desperately want to become women’s advocates and also senior women in leadership who need help attracting more female talents in male-dominated industries such and Technology.
What is the best piece of advice you can offer to the person who is trying to significantly improve their lives?
Focus on your what. I see so many people who live their life being “just fine”. Life is so precious, so short and every human being is so unique even when they don’t see or understand it. My job is to show people how unique they really are and to show them how to use their special talent to help the world. So many people don’t know what their purpose in life is and live without purpose. My advice to people wanting to improve their life is to pause and think about what their purpose in life is. There are lots of great tools that people can find online to help with finding your purpose, such as the Ikigai which is the Japanese concept that means “a reason for being”. People should start with their Ikigai, their “what”, their purpose in life, and everything else will follow.
How have you been affected by COVID-19? How can we stay positive during the crisis?
COVID-19 has brought uncertainty and unknown to everyone’s lives. The impact is that many companies and people are focusing on re-organizing their lives and some industries and some people are affected more than others. I am also affected by a sense of uncertainty and unknown regarding my personal life and my career. I choose to focus on what’s possible, what can be done and how this makes me better because it is pushing me outside of my comfort zone to be creative and to find solutions. We can stay positive by seeing it as an opportunity to push ourselves outside of our routine and to find solutions that we would have otherwise not even considered. We can choose to see this as a growth phase in our lives and we can choose to embrace this phase as a chance to grow more and faster than we would normally have.
What is most rewarding about what you do?
The most rewarding thing about what I do is the messages I receive from people saying how much they needed to hear that inspiration that day, or saying that what I do touched them in a way. If I can go to bed knowing that I helped at least one person feel better today, then I am at peace with myself and I know that I have fulfilled my purpose in life.
What else would you like people to know about your job/career?
One thing I would like people to know about my career is that I struggled for a long time with self-confidence, thinking I was never good enough and talking down to myself. Despite having a successful career as a Marketing Executive in Technology, having worked at Facebook, having won awards for my work, having been promoted multiple times, having had 2 kids and even finding time to work-out at the gym, I still struggled with self-confidence and feelings of inadequacy at work and at home. I am convinced this is a challenge that’s very common amongst women and this is why I am so passionate about inspiring women to pursue their goals.
How do you deal with less good days?
We all know how tough life can be. I also often go through hardships and less good days like the rest of us and in hard times, it is especially challenging to remain positive. When things get hard, I do a few things to go back on track and back into a positive mindest:
A) I take some time off to rest and recharge
It can be tough to do this especially when you have children to look after, a house to keep tidy, a day job to do, bills to pay, family to call etc… Taking a little time, even if just 30 minutes in the evening and watching a funny movie, or going to bed extra early, or waking up a bit later, take a little time for yourself to re-charge.
B) I take a small action that I know will get me back on track
For me, it’s working out. Even if I don’t feel like it, working out always makes me feel better afterwards. The first exercise is the hardest when I feel down or depressed but once I push through that first exercise then it gets easier mentally (not physically!) and when I am done, I have those endorphins running in my body and I am on a high! Just doing something that you know is good for you, even if you don’t feel like it, always makes you feel better and gets you back on the “positive mindset” track.
How do you turn storms into accomplishments?
Storms or failures or set-backs are all things that can be seen in different ways. We can choose to look at these and focus on what did not work. We can also choose to look at these and focus on what worked: we failed because we did something, so we learnt something! We actually moved in a direction as opposed to doing nothing. Doing nothing is bad. Doing something is always good because we learn from it, always. I like to celebrate failures because it shows I did something.
How do you balance work and life?
I like to talk about work and life integration. I believe that life is a never-ending experiment, where we try things, we adjust our goals and trajectory as we go along. I like to remain flexible and be compassionate with myself. I like to invest in my wellbeing (physical, mental, spiritual, emotional) so I can be the best version of myself and I can do my best work and look after my family and friends in the best way. Although I don’t have a magic formula, I start the day with a big picture vision of what I’d like my day to look like. Things may not go exactly toi plan but I had clear intentions when I started the day and that helps me focus my energy.
Where do you get your inspiration from daily?
I get my inspiration from my daily meditation, books I read, podcasts I listen to, observing people around me, noticing my own thoughts, writing down my dreams, etc…Everywhere I look is inspiration and it is about noticing things and writing them down.
How do you stay motivated?
When in doubt, I always go back to my what, my purpose. I take a deep breath and I ask myself: “what do I want to be remembered for”, “what is my special talent I want to share with the world”. This reminds me that I have a purpose and everything I do to honor that purpose is the right thing to do.