We had the good fortune of connecting with Victoria Pynchon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Victoria, what do you attribute your success to?
Authenticity. Let me explain. My brand – She Negotiates – is both personal and universal. The “she” refers to me – former litigator and trial attorney, turned mediator of litigated business disputes, turned negotiation consultant. These are the stages of my career life and the fuel for my consulting engine. But the “she” also refers to my clients – the professional and business women who negotiate million dollar deals for their clients and companies but have trouble negotiating a 20% raise, two-step promotion or greater human or material resources. The dual meaning of “she” suggests team work, mutual concern, and a trusting relationship. As a lawyer friend of mine said long ago, “the biggest lie in the business is ‘it’s not personal.’” Consulting is deeply personal and all of my marketing was personal, authentic, revelatory and encouraging. That’s what makes my final business such a joy and my clients pretty uniformly happy.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Every business is a journey and mine took nearly 30 years to manifest itself. I spent a quarter century in private law firms representing corporate clients fighting over tens to hundreds of millions of dollars. I learned to counsel, my clients, to persuade judges and juries and, sorry to say, bully my opponents. I was the Queen of Tit for Tat. Tiring of the adversarial bullring, I studied mediation and negotiation at the Straus Institute at Pepperdine’s law school. I learned how to sell people what they want instead of forcing them to do what they don’t. Then I blogged myself into a business I never contemplated having. Trying to show my primarily male market that I was a savvy, no nonsense, business woman who could mud wrestle with the best of them, I began writing about negotiated solutions to business problems. In my company blog and then as a regular contributor at Forbes. And women began to seek me out for training and speaking engagements. They were enthusiastic and eager. Then the career coach who became my business partner sought me out and said “we can make this a business!” And only a few short months later – 11 years ago – we launched She Negotiates Consulting and Training.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Hard to answer this one in the midst of a pandemic. But I’d take them to the arts district downtown with a side trip to Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights – on the subway (!) because who expects LA to have a subway. Then we’d go the opposite direction to the Santa Monica Pier and Venice, moseying lazily up the coast to the Malibu Pier where we’d chat with the fishermen (and women). We’d have lunch near my home at Mauro’s Cafe, now serving it’s clientele in the Fred Segal parking lot on Melrose and then wander down Melrose where we might consider – Covid be damned! – getting small matching tattoos in secret places. We’d take in the Farmers Market at 3rd and Fairfax where I’d buy thick steaks at Marcondas and fresh fruit and vegetables at the produce stands for a fabulous home cooked dinner.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Women! Every woman who had the courage to pursue a career in the face of strong headwinds and the chutzpah to ask for and earn their true market value, obliterating the wage gap one woman at a time.
Victoria Pynchon and Stephen Goldberg