Tropical holiday fitness with Vickie Helson
Vickie Helson is the founder and CEO of HyperFit Travel, a travel agency that offers fitness getaway packages to exotic destinations in Southeast Asia such as doing CrossFit in Bali and Mixed Martial Arts in Ho Chi Minh City. The Kiwi entrepreneur combines her passion for travel and fitness with her background in technology product strategy and startup leadership.
What do you love most about what you do?
I love being able to create something from scratch that is completely mine and the ability and requirement to make ALL the decisions that you get when it’s your very own business. It’s also not a bad thing to have to travel in Southeast Asia regularly!
What was the inspiration behind starting HyperFit Travel?
After almost 20 years in the technology industry, I wanted to do something unrelated to technology! I also suffered a burnout in 2017, so a renewed focus on fitness, health & wellbeing is important to my personal and professional life.
You have a very extensive background of experience across a variety of different roles, both as an intrapreneur and an entrepreneur. Were there any significant challenges that you faced during your career and if so, how did you overcome them?
Being a technology industry product manager, a significant challenge that I had to face was learning how to engage with all areas of the business. The relationships and ways you work with the finance team is different from the marketing team, engineering, sales etc. I spent the time that was needed to understand what drives and motivates different areas of the business, how they like to operate and the kind of people they are. This is now one of my strengths as I speak all the languages in the business.
What was your motivation to study the RMIT Master Business Administration (Executive) online and was it a challenge to do so?
In my earlier career as a technology product manager, I was frequently coming up against other candidates with advanced degrees. I completed the RMIT Master Business Administration (Executive) in order to give me an advantage.
I chose to study online for the flexibility, which came in handy as over the 2.5 years of study, I lived in Melbourne, Sydney, Hanoi, Chiang Mai and Bangkok at various times! I liked that I could study at the times of day and days of the week that suited my schedule, rather than follow a class schedule.
You have been involved quite significantly in mentoring. What advice would you offer to anyone wanting to find a mentor well suited to helping them achieve their goals?
Don’t be afraid to try out mentors and if doesn’t work out, try someone else. There’s no rule that says you find one mentor and have to stick with them. Get to know what makes them tick and make sure it resonates with you -it might take a few tries to “click” with the right mentor.
Also, there’s no rule that says you can only have one mentor, you could be lucky and find two or three people to learn from.
Mentoring doesn’t have to be through a formal program either. You can kick things off yourself and take your Mum or Dad’s friend out for coffee if you admire them and want to learn from them. You’ll that find most people are generous and want to share their knowledge
What advice would you give to your twenty-year-old self?
Start a business! Follow your passions! Buy Apple shares! Buy a house early because house prices are going to go crazy!
Vickie Helson completed the RMIT Master of Business Administration (Executive)
"There’s no rule that says you find one mentor and have to stick with them." - Vickie Helson