A brazen spotlight: Victoria MacLennan

by | May 1, 2020

A brazen spotlight: Victoria MacLennan

Every week Brazen will shine a spotlight on someone by asking them a set of questions.

Those questions are

1) What are 3 things people don’t know about you?

2) How do you motivate yourself and stay motivated?

3) If you had to start your adult life over again, what would you change?

4) What’s the single best thing that has ever happened to you?

5) What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

Our first brazen spotlight is on Brazen co-founder Vic MacLennan. Vic’s LinkedIn bio says

Victoria is passionate about many things – growing great companies, raising digital literacy, growing New Zealands economy and equality for women. Her day jobs include Managing Director of data and information specialists OptimalBI, investor in start ups and numerous mentoring, advisory and board appointments. Victoria’s community contributions include co-Chair of NZRise, Chair of the Digital Skills Forum, and Chair of Digital Future Aotearoa.

1) What are 3 things people don’t know about you?

I feel like an open book so this one is tough

  • I was once a competitive swimmer, trained 364 days a year, travelled the country to swimming meets. My best strokes were backstroke and butterfly.
  • My parents owned a fast food joint for nearly 30 years and I worked there off and on the entire time. One New Year’s eve in my early 20s, the busiest night of the year, our whole family were working plus staff, I had a 6 week old baby and an 18 month old and was breast feeding at the time (they were home with their father). So all I remember is an 8 hour shift with aching boobs. We didn’t close until 4am and I must have flipped 1000 burgers that night. On reflection it was a great night with my whanau.
  • I love to cook and own a $6500 oven (which is amazing) and have never owned a microwave.

2) How do you motivate yourself and stay motivated?

I have had jobs for as long as I can remember, working for my parents in the fast food joint from about the age of 6, then the local dairy, the pub, in various offices in my teens etc. This instilled a work ethic that just sits comfortably as part of my DNA. So the motivation and mahi come naturally.

I also have a strong sense of purpose – everyone deserves the opportunity to realise their potential – which provides natural motivation and reminds me why I do what I do.

Like everyone however, I do have low moments or days. My partner is fantastic at cajouling me out of those, exercising with me, helping me with projects (I have many), walking along the beach with me, making me cups of tea – I am really lucky to have him in my life.

3) If you had to start your adult life over again, what would you change?

I would have a plan, a list of things I wanted to do, see, experience and focus on making it happen. My life has been awesome and I got to the plan phase eventually, ticked loads off the list and am loving it, but would have been cool to have started that earlier.

4) What’s the single best thing that has ever happened to you?

That easy, becoming a mother. Changed my world view and filled my heart. Love my (now very adult with their own partners and lives) children to bits.

5) What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

Wow this is a confronting question so having contemplated massive life changing options I am going to stick with this:

I would be a rock climber. I love the idea of climbing mountains, cliff faces, exploring the world from a different perspective BUT I am petrified of heights.

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