Passion and the Pursuit of Greatness

Valeria Torres

Valeria Torres is the Director of Operations at 8 Figure Firm, which provides national law firms with consulting services and insider knowledge. In her role, she supplies operations management methods to seven and eight-figure law firms nationwide, assisting them in streamlining their operations and strengthening their businesses’ portfolios. With more than 14 years as a legal professional, Valeria’s experience includes workers’ compensation and personal injury, immigration, and criminal law cases.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Valeria Torres shares her leadership trajectory
  • How Valeria’s continuous learning and development has fortified her professional growth
  • The relationship between ambition and work ethic 
  • Valeria talks about her mentors and how they promote professional development
  • Advice for cooperating with other professionals
  • What was Valeria’s most challenging triumph?

In this episode…

Becoming an accomplished professional requires personal development, continuous learning, ambition, and a strong work ethic. How can you hone these qualities to pursue your passions?

As a growing professional, Valeria Torres credits her success to a drive for knowledge satisfied through reading and educational opportunities. She maintains that to regularly grow personally and professionally, you must be determined to engage in undesirable activities that help you reach your goals. This ambition must align with an intentional work ethic to cultivate self-discipline.

In today’s episode of The Guts and Glory Show, Luis Scott hosts Valeria Torres, the Director of Operations for 8 Figure Firm, who shares her personal journey to success and how others can maintain determination. Valeria talks about how to cooperate with other professionals, how mentors promote professional development, and her most grueling triumph.

Resources mentioned in this episode:  

Sponsor for this episode…

This episode is brought to you by 8 Figure Firm.

Co-founded by Luis Scott and Seth Bader of Bader Scott Injury Lawyers, 8 Figure Firm helps transform your law firm into a seven-figure or even eight-figure firm.

After their own law firm scaled from $3.5 million to $30 million in annual revenue in just two years, Luis and Seth started 8 Figure Firm to share their strategies and help other law firms achieve exponential growth.

Visit www.8figurefirm.com to receive a consult call and start scaling your business today.

Episode Transcript

Intro 0:01

Get ready to be amazed. Get ready to be transformed. Get ready to believe it is possible. You’re entering the growth zone, on The Guts and Glory Show with your host, Luis Scott.

Luis Scott 0:22

Welcome everyone to The Guts and Glory Show a show dedicated to helping you learn just a little bit more, so you can be bigger and better than you were before. Today, I have the honor of introducing a guest that I know very well who’s worked with me for for almost five years. And I’m really excited to introduce Valeria Torres, who is the director of operations for 8 Figure Firm, and who has grown so tremendously in her career. And so I’m really excited to talk to her about what it takes to grow as a professional. And if you’re listening to this right now, and you’re a business professional, you’re an entrepreneur, you want to hear the steps that it took about her story. I mean, her story is absolutely phenomenal. I know it personally. And so we’re going to be asking you a little bit about that diving into it. And then we’re going to walk walk into some psychological things and, and how you can actually have the best employees how you can have the best people surrounding you. And I’m very fortunate to have one of the best. And that’s Valeria Torres. Val. Welcome to the show.

Valeria Torres 1:18

Hey, thank you so much for having me on. I’m excited to be here.

Luis Scott 1:21

Awesome. Awesome. So let’s get started. Because the best part about every show is hearing the story. And you have actually quite a remarkable story. I don’t know how much you want to tell. I don’t know how far back you want to go. But take us as far back as you want. And tell us how you got here to being the director of operations of what will be a $10 million firm in the next 12 months, and now leading law firms all around the country, hundreds of law firms around the country, hosting events all around the country. How did you get here from Columbia tell us a little bit about that story.

Valeria Torres 1:57

It’s been a crazy journey. It’s definitely been a long one. But very exciting. Just going back to kind of where it all started. I think it started back when I was in high school, most likely, I started getting leadership positions and a lot of community service was how I got involved in how to manage bigger groups or how to get a goal accomplished. So one of my biggest experiences back in the day was doing a blood drive for the American Red Cross. And we had to collect pints of blood for an emergency situation. So we were able to kind of gather all of these kids because we were just all kids, including myself. And we were able to pull over this event and get over 200 pints of blood or an emergency scenario. So that was kind of the beginning of what turned out to be leadership, what turned out to be a passion and leading other people. And also operations overall, because I had to plan this event from the tiniest detail to the biggest details and make sure that it was successful. And so that drove me all the way through college and my career. And as I got into the legal field, I started from small businesses that I was literally the person picking up the phone as a receptionist. And then I moved on to my roles. And then I didn’t, I was like come get QuickBooks certified. So now I’m QuickBooks certified and can do finance. And then it became now do software. So little by little, the opportunities were opening and the doors were opening to just create more of myself. And that drive and ambition that internally I had was able to help me but also teach me that no matter what you set out to do, as long as you have ambition, and you have that drive to get to the next step, you will get there. So long story short, all this happens. I’m in the legal field for now almost 15 years. And I started from a receptionist, I then ended up opening up or not opening up, but I got the opportunity to start my own department and it was called the Learning and Development Department created a bunch of training material for our workers comp and Personal Injury departments. And that sparked another new interest of like, let me teach people let me consult let me explain things because the aha moment that people get when they just get things explained a little bit different. That’s what makes the difference when you are consulting or teaching others. So that sparked an interest. And then I got another huge opportunity. Thanks to you, you’ve already been my biggest mentor. And you gave me this opportunity where you believed in me so much more. So I think that was another great opportunity, my ambition, my determination, but now I had somebody else that believed in me and helped my career move forward. And then, you know, titles came and went, but I just got the big opportunity to say, Hey, you’re gonna go nationwide, you’re going to plan events, you’re going to consult multimillion dollar firms, and you’re going to help these individuals not only scale, but change their mindset about what can be done, because we know that you’ve been able to do it from small steps. And now you’re here and there’s just so much more potential coming forward. So I’m excited to see where we can take our clients and I absolutely love their success stories because there are success stories.

Luis Scott 4:52

you unpack so many. I mean, we went through a lot right there, right? So we what I heard was that it takes them Mission, it takes drive, it takes courage, it takes a continuous learning. It takes having taking advantage of opportunities, it takes having the right mentors. I mean, there’s so many lessons just in that short set. I mean, we could actually just end the show like, that’s the that’s the full show right there. But I so I want to unpack every single one of these things. And talk to me about how has this continuous process of learning and development? How has that improved your future professional life? Like? What is it actually done for you? directly?

Valeria Torres 5:35

So initially, for me learning and development, it all started, when I was younger, one of the rules at home was, you could like nobody can take education away from you. So education has always been a big piece in my career as a child all the way up. And learning and development was not only literally learning and developing yourself, but it was what else can you gain knowledge from? How else can you pull from different areas and concepts and make them into something better every time. So as I did learn, I have like certifications and all these kinds of stuff. Now, as an adult, I decided, well, you know what, there’s more to learn, there’s always more to learn. So, we used to read books all the time. And I still continue to read books just at a faster space or like in a short setting. Because the development has to continue on a daily basis, like it just can’t stop, or else you won’t be as knowledgeable or you just won’t get the opportunities that you might, they might be knocking at the door, but you’re not opening the door because you haven’t read a book or developed yourself. Now myself, I’ve actually started and I’m currently doing my master’s in industrial and organizational psychology. And so that’s how I’m currently developing myself to say, what else can I gain? How else can I help these businesses? How else can I help these individuals by me learning a new piece, which is bringing in psychology into the business world into the legal industry, which hasn’t been done before. This show

Intro 6:54

has been brought to you by 8 Figure Firm Consulting at 8 Figure Firm, we help law firms turn into law businesses. Stop wasting your time with gurus who’ve never built a successful business at 8 Figure firm will show you how to unleash the power of your law firm for personal and financial freedom. For more information, go to 8figurefirm.com. Welcome back to The Guts and Glory Show with your host, Luis Scott.

Luis Scott 7:31

I think learning is the most important aspect of professional growth. And I teach as you know, the 52 and 52, read 52 books in 52 weeks, you’ll double your income in 36 months. And the reason I believe that is because something happens when you’re disciplining yourself to sit down and read, something happens emotionally, something happens physically, something happens mentally, you begin to take action you never thought you would take. And so learning is a very powerful tool, if not the most powerful tool in your toolbox when it comes to growing professionally, and ultimately financially. But there’s something else that you mentioned at the beginning, which was ambition. And I know a lot of people don’t have great ambition, or they have ambition that is far greater than their work ethic. So tell me what the interplay between ambition, you know, trying to get that that, you know, million dollar house or that awesome car, or just the lifestyle of travel, which I know you love. Talk to talk to me about what is the connection between having ambition and work ethic?

Valeria Torres 8:31

So great question ambition, I was gonna define what ambition means to me, because I’m big on words. And everybody defines things differently. ambition to me is having the drive to do something that you may or may not want to do, but still doing it knowing that there’s a bigger goal to meet. So I’m a very goal oriented person. And that comes into my work ethic as well. I have to see kind of that golden coin at the top for me to say, what am I trying to reach? And is that that’s not the end, that’s just another step in the whole ladder. So I think people something that that I’ve seen through mentoring and through talking to younger crowds and to older crowds, it doesn’t matter who it is. They always ask the question, how do I get more ambition? How do I get such a great work ethic? And I think the answer is do you want it bad enough? Do you want whatever you’re trying to reach bad enough. And when you are able to say I am disciplined, and I will make sure that I need to do whatever it takes to get there. That means staying up late and maybe reading a book going to sleep earlier? And I know that it’s the hardest one for me, but and you tell me all the time, but I’m learning like again, you’re learning and development I’m learning what else can I do to make sure that I am more successful, go to sleep, eat something, maybe create different goals like if the goal wasn’t met? What how can I break that down? So that my work ethic which is always 150% And that’s a personal choice. That’s also something people have to understand is it’s a personal choice. You get to wake up every day and make a choice and say what will I do today that I didn’t do yesterday to make me better and that has to come from? Do I want it bad enough? And so something I would tell myself is what lifestyle do I want? And how can my work ethic and my ambition match that because if it doesn’t, then I’m not going to get there. I can’t have a poor work ethic and poor ambition or a lack of ambition and say, I want a million dollar home, or I want the cars or the travel and expect it to come out of thin air, I have to work hard for it. And I think that’s what I that’s how I connect ambition and working at my work ethic. It’s putting it all together and saying, What do you want? How bad do you want it? And how many things? How many steps is it going to take for you to get there?

Luis Scott 10:34

Yeah, you know, the misconception that a lot of people have when they see someone who is wealthy or well off is that they somehow inherited it, or they had an easy life. And the reality is that only about 5% of people actually are born into wealth, or born into the lifestyle of wealth, everyone else has to work extremely hard for it. And so for me, when I see someone who is succeeding at a high level, what I really see is all the work that was behind that success, not just a success. And I think it’s really important. Now, you mentioned something about sleep, and I’m really big on sleep today, where I wasn’t that big on it. Many years ago, I went back about 15 years, where I used to say you can sleep when you die, and I would stay until two and a two in the morning. And I’d wake up at five o’clock, I was sleeping three hours, I was like, you know, grind, hustle, whatever. And what I realized was, it was like diminishing my my physical health, it was diminishing my mental health, it was diminishing my emotional health, you know, and when I started sleeping eight hours a day, it completely changed my life. So this is, this is just one more time to remind you make sure you go out there and sleep because I think it’s super important to do that. But as you think about mentorship in your life, and you mentioned me and I do appreciate you saying those words, and there’s nothing greater in life than we’re having a working relationship with someone that you really enjoy being around, and that you guys are committed and locked in step to accomplishing great things, but outside of the mentorship that I’ve provided you what other mentors have you had in your life? And how important is a mentor through your professional journey?

Valeria Torres 12:07

Yeah, I think it’s extremely important. I’ve learned that myself now, as I got older, and I’ve experienced different things. I don’t think I ever really call them mentors before when the word wasn’t really introduced into my day to day. But there was very influential people in my life that changed things. For me, I had a professor that was a diehard valve fan, that was like you will do the homework, go do it, go do everything. And still till this day, she became a family friend. And she always checks up on me and she’s like, What are you doing today? How are you going to do things better, like just pushing you and pushing you and pushing you? So sometimes the word mentor, I think it gets people a little fearful of like, do I have that? How do I find that? Where do I go get one of those? And it’s more so like, take a look at your life? And who you’re surrounding yourself around? Who is a person that is pouring into you positive and influential things? And are they reminding you of like how great you can be, and may be calling you out every so often on the bad stuff? And I say that because I think my greatest mentors now are people who actually can be super transparent. And tell me, look, you’re doing this? What the hell are you doing? Or like, why are you doing this? So one of those is my brother, he’s always he’s a great positive influence, but he will be the first one to tell me, why are you not doing this. And then I have, of course, you who would always tell me, you know, you’ll you’ll give me my praise. But you always I think the reason our relationship and is so aligned in the business. And in general is because I’m able to take the feedback, which I think is important for any individual to understand that and learn how to be self aware, and learn how to take that, that constructive criticism and really use it and make something out of it. Don’t just take it personal, don’t grab that, that information or that transparency, and think anything else of it, then this person is just pouring into me being better. This is what a mentor is supposed to do. So look for the opportunities of any individual in your life that is pouring into you. I don’t want you to pour into other people either. Because once you’re receiving that, it’s almost like anything in life, the more you give, the more you receive. And I think that’s a lesson that’s the universe has kind of given me as give more, don’t look for it to get anything back. And I’ve been thankful and I’ve been privileged to get that feedback back from family, my brother who’s a huge character in my life, a professor who’s a complete stranger that is my biggest fan. And then I have someone who sees me on daily basis talks to me on a daily basis, like yourself and just reminds me like, you’re great, but how can we be better? And that’s I think what that pushes somebody

Luis Scott 14:31

you know, it’s interesting that you mentioned that look around you and see who’s pouring into you because I think a lot of times when we talk about mentors everyone immediately assumes there has to be like like like this you know, professional like hey, you’re my mentor like we’re you know, you’re dating like hey, you are now my you know significant other kind of like, you know specifically that and I think it’s it’s it’s exactly what you said it’s looking around you seeing who’s pouring into you who has your best, you know, life in mind and I think that finding that can be hard. And there’s a lot of loneliness that exists in success, because people will judge you, they’ll hate on you, there’ll be jealous of you, they’ll be envious of you. And so it’s really hard to trust the intentions of other people. When it comes to working with people. How do you navigate that? How do you actually take this ambition, this drive all this learning, the mentorship that you’ve learned? How do you translate that into working with people, when you know that people don’t always have your best interests in mind? What do you do there?

Valeria Torres 15:33

That’s a hard question. That’s a great question. But a hard one. I think I wanted to point that out, too, because it’s even though the ambition and the drive and like it’s been great, I think part of the story is the failures and the obstacles that you’ve had to overcome. And I hope people don’t forget that, that your your failures and your obstacles and your mistakes. That’s part of the process, and you have to go through the struggle to get to the sweet part. I compare it to like having a Sour Patch Kid, it has to be a little sour before we get sweet. And so if you are thinking like man, it’s just so hard, like how do I get there, like I don’t have this in my life. Sometimes you have to go out there and find it. Like I was remembering my own story. And I waited tables, I had to clean up stuff i i worked at a like a deli, like I did the most random things. at a younger age and older age, there was moments where I had two or three jobs at one time when I was in college, because it was the lifestyle that I wanted to give myself. And so you had to do those struggling things, that at that moment, they seem so impossible. But that’s part of the story. So you have to take those failures and those obstacles and really like turn them around something I do big on mentoring, and you’re talking to me about like, how do you deal with the people who might not have the best interest? Again, you have to pull that emotional part back, not take things personally, I love this book called The Four Agreements by Miguel Ortiz, he is awesome. It’s a quick read, but it is one of the most influential books that randomly a stranger gave to me one day and said, Hey, I think you would do really good with this book, and they put it in front of my face. And I was like, You know what cool, like, I’m gonna read it, let’s see what it’s about. I read it. And ever since then I like I will throw it at anybody’s face. I’m like, You need to read this book. Like, don’t take things personal, be impeccable with your word. And I think those were just like golden rules that helped me develop with other people, you will always people are, are the greatest thing. And they’re also the very the hardest thing to deal with when you’re in a business because you have to take into account their skill, their passion, their feelings, you know, everything, literally the whole thing and take it and run with the good. But also remember that the bad is part of their journey and your journey. So you learn from that I was not the greatest leader to start off with. But I learned to become a better leader every single day, because you don’t know who you can become until you’re in that position. And you’re doing it. So now I talked to my people differently, or I’m able to say, Hey, give me some feedback, like, tell me what I can do better. So I think asking for feedback, take into consideration that they can bring in so much more just like you’re looking for who can pour into me pour into other people and your own staff will pour into you back with good feedback, bad feedback, it doesn’t matter. The point is that you each work on pouring into each other. Yeah, and

Luis Scott 18:12

I think the point of not taking things personally is a superpower if you can actually not take anything personally, you will be superhuman, because you will not look beyond the actions of people. You will not look beyond the inactions of people you will not look into intentions that don’t exist. And I think that’s super critical, especially in leadership. Because leadership is hard. I was listening to this. It was like a CD many years ago. And it was a speaker who was on stage and you laugh about the CD. And

Valeria Torres 18:43

I was like are we really showing our age right now?

Luis Scott 18:45

Right, so as a as a cassette, you know, and I’m listening to this cassette and this guy said that building the business was hard because he was building a business. He said building the business was hard. He said, but we did it hard. And I that resonated with me. And I was in my 20s at the time. And I remember thinking they did it hard. And so when I come to face a hard moment, I asked myself, am I going to flee? Or am I going to do it hard. And I think that that’s that’s the difference between those who actually achieve their dreams. And those who don’t is that people give up too easily. And I love Gary Vee talking to a lot of younger people because people feel like in their 30s I’ve given up and I tell everyone like there are multimillionaires being created in their 50s and 60s like don’t give up there’s so much time to still like, succeed and be great. Now, here on the podcast, The Guts and Glory Show. It’s all about the guts it takes to succeed and the glory of success. My question is what is the gutsiest thing you ever had to do? Like what is because guts is all about courage and courage is not not having fear but rather acting in the midst of fear So I’m curious what is the greatest and gutsiest story that you’ve ever had to overcome?

Valeria Torres 20:05

gutsiest thing. It’s a combination of two things, it was being vulnerable enough, as an individual and as a leader, knowing that there was a lot of potential but that I had created, I had done, I had experienced a mistake, when I left a firm, and leaving and getting to a new place, and seeing that the environment was different seeing that the decision and the choices that I had made, which ones I believed were so great, and they were just going to be impactful. And they were going to do such great things turned out to be a closed door that I didn’t need to be in it was a place where I didn’t need to be. And so my gutsiest thing was saying, You know what, I thought I made a great decision I didn’t, I need to go back and talk to those individuals who can reopen up these doors for me, even if it’s a tiny window, and get myself back to where I need to be. So I ended up going to a different firm. And I thought I had this great opportunity. Everything looks shiny, everything look great. And this story was it wasn’t it wasn’t my work ethic. It wasn’t my ambition. It wasn’t my determination. It wasn’t a place where I could shine in that way. So I guess the first thing I could do was I called back and I said, Look, I gotta come back. Like, I need this lifestyle in my life in order for me to get to my different goals. And that is, that was probably one of the gutsiest but one of the greatest stories that I have in my career is I came back to a place where I knew I could grow. And it was okay to sit to bet to put my head down and say, You know what, I messed up. But, but I’m going to make it better. And I’m going to do something 10 times better. So it took a lot of inner guts, literally to say, you know, what, put your ego down, put your character down, put everything down and say, I messed up, I need to go back. Am I Can you can you give me the privilege to be back at an organization that really is has the best interest in mind for me, and it can do a lot of opening doors and windows and all of it just give me the whole world in a different perspective. And I think people sometimes like are fearful of that have, let me come back to what I know what’s good. Or let me ask for another opportunity for another chance. Like, we’re all human, and we’re gonna mess up. And I think the guts and the glory that I’m seeing now, so it took the guts to get there. And now I’m starting to see the glory of that choice that you made, it wasn’t your final choice, it was just one choice that you made. And now you need to have the guts to create another one, and then see the glory in a different way.

Luis Scott 22:31

And so I mean, that’s just a powerful thing. And that is, the one choice you make doesn’t have to be the last choice you make. I think that’s so powerful, great statement. And I will say, you know, one thing that I find is that there’s a tremendous amount of pride, you know, just running a business, we’ve had people leave, and they go to a new place. And in when they realize it’s not the right place, instead of coming back to where they did enjoy working, they will then go to another place. And I had I had a funny story of a particular employee who has left our firm about two years ago, they’re now onto their fourth job. And I always ask the question, why not just come back? Why not swallow your pride and just come back to the place you were for two and a half years, instead of jumping from job to job hoping that you don’t have to face your previous employer again, you know, we would welcome them with open arms. So it is gutsy to admit a mistake and and swallow your pride and just come back. But I think that as you mentioned on the other side of the most courageous thing that you do, these are really the prize and I love SCI Wakeman, she admits she says that you’re eight courageous decisions away from the life that you want. But that life doesn’t happen instantaneously, you make the decisions, and then something has to materialize over an extended period of time. So that’s a great story. As we’re wrapping up, I want to ask you, what is the best piece of advice, the best book, the best speech that you’ve ever heard? Like, what would give us the home run here as we conclude, what is the best thing you’ve ever heard?

Valeria Torres 24:00

Um, so there’s two things actually, that I go by one is I love a book by Brian Tracy. It’s called No Excuses. It’s very onpoint with my character and very onpoint with my work ethic and ambition, and people always asked me when I’m like, just read this book. It’s a simple read. But literally, he goes through and analyzes everything and says, there’s no excuses. Like, you make the choice. You go after it and do it. So I absolutely love his books. And that one in particular is a great book to read. If you haven’t read it, go out and read it. And then there’s another quote that I actually received when I was graduating, and my mom gave that to me in a like a little card that they make for you like congratulations, here’s, you know, somebody go be an adult. And so when I graduated, and it was the world belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. And it’s by Theodore Roosevelt, and that was just a great quote because it always reminded me like the world and my lifestyle and anything I want, I will achieve is just how much will I do? You to get there. And that’s what the Guts and Glory stories about how much guts Can you have to get to that glory that you want?

Luis Scott 25:07

That’s awesome. I love it. Well, we’ve been talking to Valeria Torres. And it’s been an absolute pleasure having you on as a show, not only because this was a great show, but because of how great of a person you are and how amazing work you’re doing. In fact, you have you will be helping two law firms this year go over eight figures in revenue and just getting started really in your in your coaching career. So two law firms two communities are completely transformed because of the work that you’re doing in coaching and consulting. So super proud of you. And if somebody wanted to get in touch with you, and wants to learn more about you, maybe I know you’re doing speaking engagements. Now if, if you if they want to get in touch with you for speaking they want to get in touch with you for coaching, how would they be able to reach you?

Valeria Torres 25:54

The best way is going to be a simple email first and it’s going to be my name. So and I know a lot of you are you know, they call her Val they call her Valerie but this the pronunciation of my name is Valeria, and it’s spelled valeria@8figurefirm.com. That is the best way to reach out to me if any needs that you need any mentoring, any coaching, we’re here to help. And of course, follow us on social media. It’s just my name is ValeriaTorres.vt. That is my handle. And if you want to look at anything and check out travel stories are the tears and sweats that it takes. There’s a lot of them in there. But there’s a lot of success as well. So you can follow up the dirt. That’s good stuff.

Luis Scott 26:34

Yes. So if you want to reach her, we’ll put everything in the show notes. And that way you have an easier chance of reaching out. And I’m looking forward. I’m going to just tease this out. Valeria and I are actually Co Co writing a book that comes out in January. And it’s all about leadership and how to change your organization by being the best leader that you can be. So with that, thank you once again for joining us on The Guts and Glory Show.

Outro 27:01

You’ve been listening to The Guts and Glory Show for more. And to learn more about Luis hit the website at LuisScottjr.com for consulting opportunities, 8figurefirm.com That’s the number 8figurefirm.com We hope you’ve enjoyed this show. Make sure to like rate and review and we’ll see you next time on The Guts and Glory Show