They say in order to be successful, you should do what you love. It was this line of thinking that led Yvan Delia-Lavictoire to create Collective Pace, a sports-oriented digital content agency that works with some of the biggest names in North American soccer.
We spoke to Yvan Delia-Lavictoire about leaving IT, starting his own company and staying on top of his to-do list
Why did you start Collective Pace?
I started out in IT working for a big company. Working there made me realize that I wasn't passionate about the job. So, I decided to launch a blog about soccer culture in Quebec and Montreal. This was 2010, and the blog got a lot of attention in a very short span of time. Soon enough the Montreal Impact joined approached me to be their Content Manager. After that, I briefly went to RDS [Ed's note: this is the Quebec equivalent of ESPN] and I came to the conclusion that I'd rather create stories instead of pushing other people's content. That's when I created Collective Pace.
We focus a lot on digital stories for sports-oriented organizations, from sports teams to athletes, to leagues and organizations, we help them create digital content that speaks to their audience. For example, if an athlete approached us to create content, we kinda understand who they're talking to and what they're about.
How did you build your business?
A lot of people see being your own boss as being free from the big corporation. In my situation, it just comes down to deciding what you want to be and what direction you want you life to head in. I was working for company to company, pitching ideas and concepts that sometimes didn't get approved by them. It made me realize that I should do my own thing in my own way.
My personal passion for soccer made me realize that there were a lot of stories around the players, the brands, the leagues and the culture that needed to be told. Collective Pace was the product of that. I feel that sports have the power to unite, to motivate and inspire people.
Soccer is a team sport, do you see any parallels between your work and playing sports?
Teamwork always has a positive result, as cheesy and cliché as that sounds, no matter if it's on the pitch or in a company at work. Trust in your colleagues and teammates is always the key to success within a team. For example, my partner and I complete each other in terms of skill sets. I'm more creative and she's business oriented, which gives our company the right balance.
How do you stay productive?
Staying productive is a battle for any entrepreneur. You have to go to work every morning with the mindset of getting things done. For me to stay productive I need to zone out, either with music, by booking a Breather or working from home. I need the least distractions possible. My phone needs to be as far away from me as possible. That's how I stay productive.
What are some of your favorite productivity tools?
We use a project management tool called Asana to help us stay on track with our team and all the freelancers we work with.
Google Drive is a must for anyone. It allows us to keep our files in order.
And I recently discovered the Spark app for emails. I've used a lot of email apps in the past, but right now, Spark is my go-to. It keeps me on top of all the important emails and steers me away from newsletters or irrelevant emails.
What is your favorite music to listen to while you work?
I just go for a Radiohead-inspired playlist.
The sports team that other teams should aspire to?
I hate to say it because I'm not a big supporter, but Barcelona FC has to be the standard. Wait. Has been the standard for the past decade. They have a great work mentality that's been built from the foundation all the way up to the pro team. From an agency perspective, they have the whole package. Even if I don't like them when they win, I still respect them. They get it right and they have the right values from the academy players up to the pro team.