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Tips From The Top: One On One With Rosalie Guillem

I spoke to Rosalie Guillem, co-founder and CEO of Le Macaron French Pastries, about her journey and best advice

Adam: Thanks again for taking the time to share your story and your advice. First things first, though, I am sure readers would love to learn more about you. What is something about you that would surprise people?

Rosalie: Before my daughter, Audrey, and I opened the first Le Macaron French Pastries, we were both residing in France. I ended up leaving everything behind, from my house and job to my family and friends, to move to America. I didn’t know English and was incredibly intimidating and challenging—but I fell in love the country and the people when I visited in the past.

I think people are surprised to find I spent six months taking English classes once a week and spent my spare time watching English movies with French subtitles to truly learn the language. I finally became fluent when I fully immersed myself into the community and began to have real life interactions with people I met.

Adam: What failures, setbacks or challenges have been most instrumental to your growth?

Rosalie: I created Le Macaron French Pastries with me daughter, Audrey, at the peak of the recession in 2009. Essentially, I had to build my life up again when I moved countries – it’s like starting from scratch– I was resilient and pushed forward and still have this mentality today.

Adam: In your experience, what are the defining qualities of an effective leader? How can leaders and aspiring leaders take their leadership skills to the next level?

Rosalie: A leader should remain positive and passionate about what they are doing – they need to motivate people with their resilience and hard to understand every aspect of the business.

A true leader will to share their experiences and knowledge with others who are ready to learn. They should teach others what they learned and give back to staff and employees through knowledge to help each person growth on a personal and professional level. Remember, just because you’re a leader doesn’t mean you have the answer to everything – don’t be afraid to ask questions until you learn.

Adam: What is the single best piece of advice you ever received?

Rosalie: My husband has always been my strongest support alongside my family. They believed in me more than I believed in myself and they continue to be my inspiration every day. They are always telling me to not worry, believe in myself, and have the confidence because when I do, I’ll succeed. I continuously tell myself “I’m going to make it.”

Adam: What is one thing everyone should be doing to pay it forward?

Rosalie: I mentioned this above, but I think knowledge is the greatest thing we can give to others. We need to do more than pay for someone’s coffee — so many people are doing this and it’s fantastic, but we should be sharing knowledge to help people reach their goals and become the best versions of themselves. When I started Le Macaron French Pastries company, I was desperate to find someone who had the business experience I lacked and now I’m paying it forward and sharing what I know with others who have the same dream.  

Adam: What are your hobbies and how have they shaped you?

Rosalie: I spend a lot of time with my family or reading motivational books. Both of these hobbies are incredibly inspiring for me. Reading these types of books always spark the leader inside of me; they taught me how to be more confident and to make my own decisions.

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