Leandre Larouche is an author, speaker, and writing consultant based in Toronto, Canada. He is the author of Hétérochrome (2017), Write a Book That Matters (2021), the Architecture of Grammar (2021), and The End of Nonsense (forthcoming). Though he grew up in French in Saguenay, Québec, Leandre has been writing in English for the better part of the last decade. He studied English literature and professional writing at Concordia University, where he also worked as a writing assistant and developed a unique writing methodology.
Léandre Larouche was a 2019-2020 Fulbright fellow at Lycoming College in Williamsport, PA. Upon coming back to Canada during the COVID-19 pandemic, he founded Trivium Writing Inc., a consulting agency that helps thinkers get their wisdom out in a book through innovative writing frameworks. Léandre is a writing activist. He believes that writing is the most powerful skill in the world, and that writing well isn’t hard with the right mindset and approach. Léandre represents the thinkers, entrepreneurs, and intellectuals who were left without a voice because writing was made obscure.
With Trivium Writing, Léandre’s goal is to give writing back to the individuals and organizations who have world-changing ideas. Léandre believes that ideas matter, writing brings success, books change lives, and writing is a duty with which we can make the world better.
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Before we begin, our readers are interested to know about how you got started in the first place. Did you always want to be where you are today or was it something you were led to? Share with us your journey.
Leandre Larouche: I grew up in a small town in the French-speaking part of Canada. Growing up, I had the sense I could do more than what was offered to me in my hometown. I wanted to move as far away as possible and “make it elsewhere.” However, that meant I had to learn English and truly master it to unlock the opportunities I desired. At around 15 years old, I started studying the English language obsessively, setting the goal to move to the United States. At around the same time, I also started writing (in French). I found in writing the passion that lights up someone’s life.
From that day on, I’ve been on a quest to be the best writer I can be, and that has led me to become a writing coach and partner. At 21 years old, I published my first book, which completely changed my relationship with myself and the world. It’s opened me to a world of opportunities I didn’t know existed before. In university, I worked as a writing assistant, and that’s how I started helping people with writing. After graduation, I took on a Fulbright fellowship, achieving my goal of moving to the U.S., where I taught French in a college in Pennsylvania. It was after that amazing experience that I went into business full-time.
Tell us a bit about your current focus. What is the most important thing that you’re working on and how do you plan on doing it?
Leandre Larouche: My current focus is developing the world’s most comprehensive content library on writing. I want individuals and organizations to have access to the best resources so that they can leverage writing for success. Most writing resources focus too heavily on the specific type of writing. While I also create resources specific to certain types of writing, I am more focused on the writing fundamentals that apply across all writing types.
These fundamentals, I believe, are what help people truly stand out with their writing. I am currently a variety of resources such as blog articles, books, courses, and workshops, which I’m testing with different audiences. Although I work 1:1 with clients on their book, I believe it is important for me and Trivium Writing to make my knowledge accessible to as many people as possible.
Some argue that punctuality is a strength. Others say punctuality is a weakness. How do you feel about it, please explain.
Leandre Larouche: First, punctuality is a cultural value. We North Americans value it, while other cultures don’t. I personally think punctuality is a strength because how you do one thing is how you do everything. It’s one of these little things that let people know you’re reliable and take words seriously. One might say there’s nothing wrong with being 5 minutes late, but it shows a lack of rigor. Being on time is not hard. That’s what makes it a big deal.
When you’re not punctual (unless it’s a real emergency) and you can’t let people know in advance you’ll be late, you’re losing authority and credibility. You’re training people to think that what you say isn’t serious.
How important is having good timing in your line of work and in the industry that your organization operates in?
Leandre Larouche: Timing is everything. We help people write and publish books. Some times are better than others to publish a book. Cultural conversations don’t last forever, too. If you have something to say that’s timely, you need to write and publish now—or else, someone else will do it. The truth is that ideas have people, people don’t have ideas. If you have a great idea and you don’t use it, someone else will get it and they may just reap the rewards for you.
Founder of Virgin Group, Richard Branson, states “Timing is everything in life, and it’s particularly crucial in entrepreneurship. People often equate success with luck, but it usually comes down to impeccable (and carefully mapped out) timing”. Do you agree with this statement? Please answer in as much detail as necessary.
Leandre Larouche: I agree because entrepreneurs often suffer from shiny object syndrome. They always have so many ideas and want to pursue all of them. But to be a successful entrepreneur, you need to be able to discipline yourself. Moreover, opportunities come and go. You need to be able to spot when it’s the right time to take an opportunity, and you have to be able to see opportunities in conjunction with their timing. I would say that opportunities and timing are the most important variables in entrepreneurship.
As a leader/entrepreneur/CEO, how do you decide when to put the pedal to the metal and when to take a break? How do you time the key moments in your career?
Leandre Larouche: I return to my vision and ask myself whether I’m headed in the right direction. I also reevaluate my vision to see if it still makes sense. I think decision-making is a process by which you negotiate with yourself and the rest of the world. You are moving, and so is the world. Where are you going? Where is the world going? How can you meet the world to make great things happen? Typically, I take a break when I feel like I’m running on a treadmill. I pause and reassess my vision and actions. When everything is aligned, I put the pedal to the medal.
Branson also states “If you’re starting to feel like you’re just going through the motions and losing sight of why you started, it might be time to take a break”. But how do you decide when to take a break?
Leandre Larouche: You ask yourself how excited you are about the things you’re doing and you prioritize. You step away from the things you’re not excited about. If you’re not excited by any of these things, you need to take a break, ask why, and find a solution. It’s always easier to find a solution during a break than while being in the trenches.
“Timing can be everything when starting up. It can be the difference between building a thriving business and not” How has good timing helped you achieve success in your career or business? Are there any particular examples from your career that you would like to share?
Leandre Larouche: COVID-19 was the perfect timing for me to start my business. I may not have gone into business full-time had it not been for the pandemic. My personal circumstances made it so I had little to no expenses and a lot of time on my hand. So I dedicated myself entirely to building Trivium Writing Inc. I think my business was built on the back of good timing—being in the right place at the right time, and making the best out of unfortunate circumstances.
“When you’re thinking of starting up, ask yourself: ‘Is the community I want to serve ready for this idea?’ It could make all the difference!” Would you like to add anything to this piece of advice for all the aspiring entrepreneurs?
Leandre Larouche: I’d add that you have to be aware of the conversations this community is having. Imagine you’re coming late to a dinner party. If you don’t know what people are talking about, you don’t know how to insert yourself in the conversation intelligently. Some people don’t listen to the conversation before talking; it makes them look silly. Entrepreneurs sometimes do the same; they don’t pay attention to the community they think they want to serve. That’s how a lot of entrepreneurs fail.
COVID forced many businesses to adapt fast, some did so successfully, others failed, it was a lot due to good or poor timing. What are some of the big lessons you’ve learned during the pandemic?
Leandre Larouche: I learned that things don’t change that much during times of crisis. I built a thriving business during the pandemic, and I don’t sell an essential service. When COVID hit, we already had all the infrastructure set up to adapt to the pandemic. Some people did, and some people did not. Time was of the essence because as soon as the pandemic started, some people already knew what to do. Some people were already using the infrastructure available to adapt. The pandemic taught me that timing is indeed crucial.
Your insight has been incredibly valuable and our readers thank you for your generosity. We do have a couple of other bold questions to ask. What fictional world would you want to start a business in and what would you sell?
Leandre Larouche: I would like to start a mindset coaching business in the Harry Potter world. I’d love to help Harry and Ron be more confident and less awkward with women.
Before we finish things off, we would love to know, when you have some time away from business, what is one hobby that you wish you could spend more time on?
Leandre Larouche: Playing music. I play the guitar and the piano.
Mike Weiss, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Leandre Larouche for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Leandre Larouche or his company, you can do it through his – Linkedin Page
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