Fearless Fridays: From dreaming about the entrepreneurial life to living that dream

We’re back on track with the monthly Fearless Fridays interviews with today’s chat with Luigi Matrone. I know Luigi from my time at Procter & Gamble, having worked with him in the digital network and staying in touch since then. I’m always impressed and inspired by Luigi’s energy and by the sheer scale of his ambition. At P&G, I remember that he always started projects with a rousing presentation that included a vision for the team: we’re going to win this award for best brand, best campaign, best team… It’s this vision and enthusiasm that drives him and the people he works with to achieve great results, whatever the project.

These days, Luigi can be found on screen talking about personal branding or digital marketing, meeting World Economic Forum leaders to shape the future, or curating gourmet food for his latest venture, Edmond’s Cuisine. Read on to find out how he started his personal and professional journey back in Italy aged 18… 

Leaving a corporate job behind to follow your passion: From dreaming about the entrepreneurial life to living that dream

Luigi Matrone profileHaving grown up in the famous town of Pompeii, Luigi always wanted to expand his view of the world, to live in an international city and to break the paradigm that a corporate job is the only option. Growing up in an environment that valued security, stability and a job for life, however, he started out in a corporate job after all, joining the only company that he believed could give him the possibility to stay anchored to his dream: Procter & Gamble. For seven years Luigi enjoyed the corporate lifestyle, constantly striving to build his career on the edge of the traditional path and with one goal in mind: staying true to his dreams about an alternative life. Today Luigi has defined his five core passions as People, Education, Business, Technology and Food. His two companies, the eBusiness Institute and Edmond’s Cuisine, alongside his Personal Branding training practice, allow him to cover all of them.

1) At what moment did you decide it was time for a change?

At the age of 18. Yeah you heard me right. I left Procter & Gamble at the age of 29 but I decided I would do so 10 years earlier. I still remember that moment: I was in my bedroom in Pompeii and I had just turned 18 a few weeks earlier. I was always thinking of the future and dreaming of what it would be to live abroad…. That felt so far from where I was that I needed to take intentional steps towards it. Somehow this thought came to my mind: I know that I will need to find a job after university but by the age of 28 I will decide if I will stay in a company or if I will fan the flames of entrepreneurship that I always had inside.

So, you guessed it, when I turned 28 this forgotten thought came back. At that moment I got promoted to Brand Manager, an important goal to achieve before leaving, and I had enough experience in online marketing to take the ten-year-old question and finally answer it: corporate or entrepreneurial life?

2) What was the biggest challenge you faced in making the change?

I’d say the environment. As long as you’re hanging out with people who think differently from you, you won’t get the support you need to go through with the big change. I believe that we are the reflection of the five people we hang around with the most. So I had to change the environment to feel more comfortable with my decision; but it took me a long time and a lot of internal debate to reach the point of feeling truly comfortable.

3) Where did you get the support you needed to make it happen?

I understood early on that I couldn’t make it by myself. Thanks to new people I welcomed in my life, I started to understand that the key to owning your life and your career is to take charge of your own education and personal development. So I started attending trainings and the very first game-changing event was a Tony Robbins seminar, Unleash the Power Within, in Rimini, Italy, in September 2011. That four-day training helped to break down previously created limiting beliefs and address my life with a completely new and open mindset.

I’m so grateful to Tony that whenever I can, I organise groups to attend his events. This year I will take 15 people to London for the same training that helped me change my life. (Editor’s note: the London session takes place at ExCel 26th-29th March. Read more and get your tickets here.)

4) What’s the best part of your lifestyle today?

Luigi Matrone snowboarding

Despite working 12-14 hour days, Luigi finds the time to chill out on the slopes…

Freedom. I get to choose what I want to do, who I want to listen to, who I want to work with. When it gets ugly, I can decide whether or not I want to keep that business activity or if I want to get rid of it. This doesn’t mean that it is easy but it feels like freedom to me.

And, yes, I get to define when I work, where I work from, what else I do with my life besides work. Don’t get me wrong though, I work 12-14 hours a day, but the thing is – I love it!

5) What one piece of advice would you give to someone who is considering making a big career or lifestyle change?

Get yourself into personal development. We are so used to thinking that someone else should provide us with education (the government, your parents, your company) that we forget how important it is to drive your own life and career. If you let others choose for you, you let others own you. If you understand the power of self-development, you will become more self-aware. The more you understand who you are, the easier it will be to get passionate about something in your life and to turn that into your career.

Read more about Luigi in his About Me profile or take a look at his sumptuous new food project, Edmond’s Cuisine.

 

Have you made big changes in your life and want to inspire others to do the same? Or maybe you’re 100% happy staying put where you are and want to make a case for being satisfied with what you have? Get in touch to share your story!

How to Keep Your Gadgets Safe while on the Road: Travel insurance for the digital nomad

Travel gadgets for digital nomads

When I went off on my first backpacking trip to Asia during my gap year after school … *ahem* 14 years ago … I barely had a phone that worked abroad. I would use it to send some text messages now and then but other than that we would have go to an internet café […]

Continue reading...

One Year On: 10 things I’ve learned since starting my own business

Having coffee in Mdina

In September 2013, I walked out of my office and into the unknown. I had resigned from my job, the first after my studies, with no concrete plans as to what I would be doing next. I emptied my apartment of seven years, put my boxes into storage, and moved into my parents’ guest room […]

Continue reading...

Single at 32: The 7 Deadly Sins of a 30-something Singleton

Single on Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine’s Day! A day that people embrace wholeheartedly with romantic dinners, flowers, and jewellery; that people boycott completely in protest at the commercialism of it all; or, as in my case, a day that has never really been a big deal… For that one day each year, though, I allow myself to consider – […]

Continue reading...

Packing list for a week of skiing: what to bring and what not to bring

Anna above the clouds

Continuing in the grand tradition of packing lists for different trips, here goes for a week of skiing! In this case, a week in Verbier, in the Swiss alps. I’ve only been on a ski trip once before as an adult and I have no idea what I brought last time, so I was a […]

Continue reading...

Flying High in the Swiss Mountains: A week of skiing in Verbier

Verbier

When my friend Serena suggested a ski holiday in the Swiss Alps, I jumped at the chance. I hadn’t been skiing in three years, and despite living in Geneva for nine years before that I actually didn’t make as much of it as I should have. I didn’t have a car so was dependent on […]

Continue reading...

Packing List for a Digital Nomad: Travel gadgets for working and blogging on the road

Travel gadgets for digital nomads

It’s the dream that more and more of us fantasise about: working from a beach in Thailand, or maybe from the mountains, with only your laptop for an office. The reality, of course, is that it’s hard to find a job that doesn’t require your presence at all in an employer’s or client’s office, and […]

Continue reading...

Fearless Fridays: The story of an extraordinary woman

Käthe Kühle

I was born to a middle class family in Surrey in the UK, I went to private schools and to one of the world’s top universities, I got a good job after my studies, and I’ve lived comfortably since. I’ve travelled to the other side of the world, I’ve been many times to the theatre […]

Continue reading...

Packing list for Australia, New Zealand and Asia: what to bring and what not to bring

Packing for Asia

Since returning from my three-month backpacking trip to South America, the post that gave my take on what to bring and what not to bring has consistently been one of the most visited on my blog. I hope my new packing list for Asia, once again with the benefit of hindsight, is equally helpful… This […]

Continue reading...

Flashpacking on Steroids: Staying at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore

Marina Bay Sands at night

The one part of my trip that I had booked ahead of time was the end: two nights staying at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel in Singapore, for a luxury end to what turned out to have been quite a luxury trip. Ahem. Built in 2010 and the second most expensive building in the world, this […]

Continue reading...
%d bloggers like this: