Joelle Tremblay was tired of social media’s portrayal of perfection affecting herself and tearing down her friends, so she created Failure is an Option in order to restore balance and bring realness back into the online world by highlighting celebrity failures. Read our interview with the lovely Joelle below…
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
After graduating from my master’s degree in project management and seeing many of my friends and millennial peers struggle through comparison on social media (careers, relationships, vacations, body image, etc.), I decided to launch a platform that would help bring realness back into social media. The project is born out of kindness and strives for balance.
Tell us about your business.
Failure is an Option (FIAO) is an online platform that features failure stories lived and written by famous and successful individuals themselves. The project aims to teach social media users that the road to success is never picture perfect by highlighting some of the hardships the person they admire went through.
Where is your business based?
Everywhere! As my platform is online, I am lucky enough to be able to work from all around the globe. Last week, I was in Vancouver (Canada), today I am in Ottawa, and next week I will be in Sydney (Australia), and then Melbourne, and so on. I love being a millennial!
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
I called friends. Friends who are experts in fields I know nothing about: launching a website, writing a press release, reaching out to famous people, etc. I also reached out to similar online projects that I had been following for a while. This proved to be very impactful – I had coffee with a very genuine e-entrepreneur, I am now an HuffPost collaborator and I also have a mentor who built a very strong following (and a now full-time career) sharing only stories.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
My contributors are truly generous and they are so resourceful. Due to their profile, they often have a very strong following. They help me by sharing their stories as I post them online.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Although I have a very strong support system and can rely on many connections for support in areas I am least comfortable in, I am a one-woman team. Which means I manage all the reaching out, the communications, the editing, and the coding by myself.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I have an agenda, and I am an avid color-coder. Which person do I need to follow up with? Which person is awaiting their final draft? Which day should this press release be sent out? Everyone has a color and a date. I also allow time for the unexpected (this is the project manager in me ha!).
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I love every single ounce of my project – it’s my baby. How do you keep motivated to change your baby’s diapers? No second thoughts, I just keep on going and keep on loving.
How did you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
Fortunately, I came in at a time where there was no other platform quite like mine. However, when I stumble upon a website, a seminar, an author that specifically addresses failure I always send out an email to introduce myself. We are neighbors; I can lend you a cup of sugar.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
A quote I read recently really stuck with me, “Failure is an event, not a person.” – Zig Ziglar
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Not only to embrace failures, but also to record them and use them as a metric for what does not work. It is the best tool to measure what does not work and where you should no longer invest resources. We often focus on what does work, what should be repeated, not taking the time to write down what did not work out, where we should no longer invest our resources. But this is crucial for any business and individual. Many of my successful contributors swear by it – if they hadn’t failed, they wouldn’t be where they are today.
What is your favorite business tool or resource?
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
“Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Life of Well-Being, Wisdom, and Wonder” by Arianna Huffington. You will never regret reading this book! I have lent it to many friends and everyone is hooked.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
Communications and publicity. I am so into my stories and insuring my contributors have the best experience, that I often forget about working on my visibility.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
To help at least one person. One of my stories coming up was written by the founder of @AnxietySupport and many millennials are dealing with e-anxiety. FIAO strives to reestablish balance on social medias and help others understand that we are all humans.