Our Founder & CEO, Megan, had an opportunity to speak with Alec Harvey of Business Alabama Magazine to talk about her journey as a “self-taught entrepreneur.” Listen to the full interview here or read the transcription below.
Alec: Hey everyone, welcome to Business Alabama podcast from business Alabama magazine. I am Alec Harvey, the executive editor of Business Alabama magazine and my guest today is Megan Nivens-Tannett, Founder and CEO of Flourish, a marketing and PR firm based in Huntsville. Megan calls herself a self-taught entrepreneur, building a business that not only lets her clients her clients flourish but an employee culture that lets women flourish as well. Please join us as we talk with Megan Niven-Tannett on the Business Alabama podcast. Megan welcome to the Business Alabama podcast.
Megan: Hey Alec, thank you so much for having me.
Alec: Great to have you here, thank you. So Megan can you tell me a little bit of yourself, where you are from, your Alabama connection, you may be born and bred in Alabama but how you got to where you are, and doing what you are doing today?
Megan: Sure, so I am originally from Clearwater, Florida. I am a Florida girl, I grew up there most of my life and went to school at the University of Central Florida in Orlando; Go knights! And after I got out of college, I was lucky enough to get a job offer in Atlanta. I studied hospitality management actually so not even close to what I am doing today but I don’t know how anybody is supposed to know what they are going to do when they get to college because I sure didn’t and I did every internship in the book, paid and unpaid, trying to figure out what I wanted to do and eventually fell into hospitality management which was a huge program and still is today at the University of Central Florida.
I started working in hospitality after school which brought me to Atlanta and lived there for a couple of years if you don’t know much about the Huntsville area, it is truck full of engineers and back then I followed an engineer to Huntsville, like most people do and so I’ve been in Huntsville Alabama for about seventeen years and I absolutely love it. I did not have any experience with the state or with Huntsville specifically prior to moving here but since I have been here, I just absolutely love it. It’s such a beautiful city and just filled with innovation, creativity and technology so it’s just been amazing working here. And when I started my career working in hospitality, I wasn’t really loving it, if I’m being honest. I just didn’t really get that passion really that I was looking for in a position.
And I had my first daughter, Madison who’s now sixteen years old and at the time, I was given an opportunity to work from home with her, working for a small engineering firm doing marketing and I didn’t have any marketing experience but I had a lot of hospitality experience and so I was given an opportunity to work with this company and in essence do marketing for a product with zero experience prior to. So I really had a chance to start from scratch with a blank slate and I found that I loved it so much. And what I loved about it was that I was able to help people solve a problem and so they would contact us or identify a challenge that they had and it was up to me to figure out a solution and at the time, this makes me feel very old but at the time the industry was taking folks and going from traditional to digital and it was a transcription product that doctors and lawyers used to be able to transcribe different voice recordings and so they were going from the manual typing of the transcription to a digital version of the transcription and so I had to create this very seamless process of how they could ‘go digital’ which at the time was a very intimidating premise, they were like “We don’t know what that is?”. I mean it was confusing and so it was my job to really simplify what that process was and make it approachable.
And so I loved that component of it, I loved being able to help people and explain things to them in a very simplified way that wasn’t intimidating and make them feel comfortable in that process and I was hooked on that feeling of making someone’s life easier and helping them so I did that for a little bit and I was lucky enough to get a job as an Executive Director for a local area nonprofit where I ran that nonprofit for a couple of years and absolutely loved it. I would’ve moved into that office and worked there if I could, I just did so much work. As you know, in the nonprofit world, you don’t make very much money but you sure do work a lot. It gave me a ton of experience in just being able to promote community and help our patients and figure out creative and fun ways to figure out this information.
And the after that, I was able to get a position with McCann Erickson, they are a large advertising agency based out of New York city and they actually at the time held a contract for the US Army and so I worked on the US Army account doing their advertising and marketing for about five and a half years. I had a great opportunity to work for the second recruiting brigade for the US Army and I worked with both (5:23) and TC to help recruit at the time and it was a phenomenal experience honestly working for a large agency like that and just being housed with the client, I just loved it.
And then after that, I just took a leap and went to a tech company here in Research Park and did their digital marketing for about three a half years and then I was laid off of my job and that company grew very quickly and had to scale down very quickly and I was part of the third layoffs since I had been for three years. And at the time, I had recently gone through divorce. I was a single mother with two young children and I was stuck without a job. It was at that point that I was like, “Okay, I’m not really sure what I’m gonna do but I know what I don’t like doing”. And I found that at that time I just really wanted to do something that really made me happy. You and I have talked about this a little bit but I was very much so on that fast track to climbing the corporate ladder, that was my goal and I always wanted to be VP at a certain age and just make more money and make more money, develop in all of these things.
But when I got laid off, I was sort of forced to really ponder what really brought me joy but it wasn’t the money at the end of the day. It was the joy that I had at the end of the day in what I was able to do with my time. I kind of did a couple little things here and there, I did some consulting on the side and I just loved doing marketing and public relations. I loved helping people and so it was my 11-year-old daughter, at the time, who sort of saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself and she’s like, “Why don’t you just start your own business and do your own thing?” And I was like, “Are you crazy? You’re crazy right?” I was like, “There’s no way, I have no concept of how to begin a business, how to start a business.” But she really got me thinking and she was a huge cheerleader of mine and is still is and she really pushed me to go outside my comfort zone a little bit and so that was three and a half years ago.
And now we founded Flourish and we are a full-service marketing and public relations firm here in Huntsville and we have provided services to probably over 50 different companies and organizations and nonprofits in our area. We have eight full-time people and we’ve grown significantly and we are stable in the community and just absolutely love what we do and that’s where we are today living the life and enjoying every moment.
Alec: Well one of the things you call yourself, which I love, is a self-taught entrepreneur and I like that because at first I thought well aren’t all entrepreneurs pretty much self-taught? But that’s not the case anymore, I mean there are incubators, startup accelerators and I guess you’re saying you didn’t go through any of those, can you please tell me about the hard way and some of the pitfalls along the way?
Megan: You know it’s funny that you say that because we actually as a business, Flourish, we support local area accelerators and organizations that do just that where they are designed, I mean their business models are used to provide resources and coach and mentor local startups. And we actually coach a lot of those businesses who go through that program but I think you lends a great perspective because I didn’t have those resources at the time, what I had at the time was an opportunity in my life where I knew that I could not fail and I could not let my kids down because my kids saw something in me and that to me was the biggest motivator. And so I checked my ego at the door and quickly realized that I needed to be vulnerable, I needed to admit what I didn’t know, I needed to reach out to people who were smarter than me and who knew more about starting a business than I did and that’s exactly what I did. I just literally googled ‘how to start a business’, which I would not recommend by the way.
Alec: Google knows all right?
Megan: Right, I mean it’s a very intelligent platform right? But that’s legitimately where I started because I didn’t grow up in the world of wanting to be an entrepreneur. I never had that vision in mind of wanting to own a business, it was never ever something that crossed my mind when I was growing up or even when I went to school. And it’s funny now because so many people are entrepreneurs and that’s a fast track when you take entrepreneurship classes in high school. I mean I’m a mentor for a local area high school in this entrepreneurship course and it is amazing. But the perception of what they think being an entrepreneur is a little bit skewed because they think it’s all food ball machines and Slurpee machines and flexible days and you and I both know that is not the reality of being an entrepreneur. Not to ruin those visions by any means but let’s just get a reality check, right? So, I didn’t really have those resources available and it was when I was able to just again be really vulnerable and really admit what I wasn’t good at and also lean into what I knew were my strengths, was really something that helped me in the direction that I needed to. And what I found here in Huntsville and I know there are organizations like he’s around the world; they are designed to help people just like myself figure the steps to building a business. I didn’t receive any capital, I did go through a program over at The Catalyst Center for Business and Entrepreneurship here, who do a phenomenal job of providing low cost and free courses to help you come up with a business plan and figure out how to do accounting and how to work in QuickBooks and all sorts of different things. And so I leaned on those resources and they certainly helped a lot and I would say, Alec that I definitely went down this path and that I made so many mistakes which now I really appreciate and it’s not that I’m like, “Let me fail” but I’m definitely really appreciative of the opportunity because every time I do something and I do it wrong it’s an opportunity for me to learn and so I really am humble about that component of things because I know that there’s so much that I don’t know. And when I’m open and honest about that I think it’s truly when I’m able to learn and grow to the fullest because if I have those sort of parameters that I know it’s all and this and that I will never be able to exceed the way that I want to. So I started on my own with little resources but just a lot of grit and determination and so far it has worked out pretty well.
Alec: You’ve got such a diverse background; big companies, small companies, the military, does that diverse background help you when it to comes to dealing with some of the companies you are dealing with now?
Megan: It certainly gives me a great appreciation for a variety of different businesses that we support and I have a very close place in my heart for nonprofits because I’ve ran one and I know how hard it is to run a nonprofit and you have such limited resources and you are fighting for every dime. And regardless of making money from a non-profit’s standpoint, you’re still providing services to your clients and you know for us what really opened my eyes to the nonprofit world was working for a nonprofit where a lot of our clients were young children. It was The Muscular Dystrophy Association. If you remember Jerry Lewis, the Jerry Lewis Telethon, which is no longer a thing, I lived at the local TV stations for a long time putting telethons on when we actually had telethons but I would have these families and these parents and these young children, who were my daughter’s age of the time, come in and talk about the struggles that they had and the financial struggles that they faced and they were depending on me my team’s job to help fund the services that they received. You want to talk about putting all your money where your mouth is. It didn’t matter how many hours were in a day, it just motivated me so much and gave me such great appreciation for the little things, not only for my business perspective but also personal perspective as well. I love my children sometimes I don’t like them all the time because they can get on my nerves but let me tell you when you work for an organization where you see children struggle in that regard it makes you so appreciative of the health and wellness of your own children but then that was totally different flipping over to McCann.
McCann is one the world’s largest advertising agencies. They’re huge; they are the subsidiary of the Interpublic group which has so many different companies underneath it. I can’t even keep track at this point. Number one, working for the Army was amazing. It was one of the best experiences in my life especially being here in Huntsville because he gave me just such great exposure to the military world which I didn’t have previously. Newfound respect to our nation’s military and just the sacrifices that they put themselves and their families through but it’s funny because a lot of people are like, “Ooh you worked for McCann, this big ad agency” I’m like, “Let me tell you, bigger is not always better at all”. I mean they may have all these fancy office of Lexington in New York but let me tell you, it was a very interesting experience. We were very disconnected from what a lot of people view working at an ad agency is all about as far as sitting in a room and coming up with these really cool and creative campaigns, we didn’t do any of that.
Alec: No Mad Men
Megan: No it’s not like that and you know Mad Men is based on McCann so it was a really interesting experience but it gave me a lot of really great exposure to the world of advertising, also gave me a lot of experience to the world of public relations. The IPG had a public relations division that we worked alongside with, called Weber Shandwick and that was an amazing experience to be able to see how you can have a dedicated strategic team doing nothing but public relations. And not a lot of people really understand PR, they don’t understand how that can be a super sharp tool in your tool set as a business owner. If you can do it right, it can be an extremely powerful asset and so that really opened my eyes to that whole world of public relations and what that meant. And then you know working with the Army, I was sort of capped out, progression-wise where I could go from a professional development perspective, so me being again on that ladder of wanting to grow as much as I could. I was looking for ways for me to do that and I stumbled across working for a tech company, of which at the time, was a small company which had recently been acquired by a company out of Birmingham actually and so that was working for that startup tech firm we had the we have the foosball tables, the Beer 30 on Thursday afternoons and did all those and rented out the movie theater to watch Star Wars when they came out and did all those really cool things that you think about with a startup but let me tell you, we were mismanaged in this run and they did not do well at all and just as quickly as they grew, they went straight downhill and had to let go of most of their team.
So that for me was a really big eye opener as far as managing a business, thinking strategically with a plan. I probably gained most of my motivation to start Flourish while I was at that company believe it or not because it was an engineering driven company and they led with the engineering mindset- ‘so I’m gonna make this thing and people are gonna love it just as much as I do and they are gonna buy it’. That is not the way that you run a company. If you run with a product first as opposed to the customer, you are never going to succeed and in my opinion, that’s what they consistently did and from a marketing perspective, I found myself trying to always fight for a seat at the table. Being a woman certainly I don’t think helped that in a man’s world as it was mostly men as in an engineering company and it was like, “Oh marketing, we’ll pull you in when it’s time to order the trade show boosts, oh we’ll pull you in when it’s time to put a logo on it at the end” as opposed to really being involved in that persona development in the market research from the very beginning. That way we can design a solution that is based around the market need, not around the engineering desires to think around the fourth floor and do what they want to do.
So it was very interesting to me that experience, I was like, “ok that’s really weird”. From our business perspective now everything is your strategic growth partner. We are a strategic marketing firm, we don’t do just logos, we don’t do just T-shirts. We are a strategic firm meaning most of what we do before we ever engage with a client implementation from a marketing perspective, starts with discovery and research. A ton of research goes into everything that we do and so we really found that a lot of these companies that I was engaged with before don’t think of marketing in that way. They think about, “Oh what can you do besides like post stuff on social media”, I’m like, “Are you kidding me right now?” Social media is the least of the things that we love to do; it’s so much broader and impactful than that. And so that message really resonates through everything that we do and probably the greatest joy that I get in the role that I play today is being able to have those types of conversations with business owners primarily who are in the engineering space and I kind of share with them that story and talk with them about what we feel we can help them achieve based on that research and that market development understanding. It blows their minds because they are like, “Holy cow! I’ve never really thought about it that way”. And so that’s been really exciting to kind of be able to flip the identity of what a lot of people view marketing to be on its head and really talk about it from that perspective because it’s so much bigger than that “marketing term” that a lot of people associate with what the industry is because it’s just so much broader and more impactful in that way.
Alec: I’m intrigued by this idea of needing a marketing plan for your business to succeed. I would guess a lot people just jump into it without that plan. How important is it?
Megan: Alec, a lot of times that we work for businesses for the first time and mainly businesses who either don’t have in-house marketing and communication support or businesses who are just getting started, one of the common things that we run into that we find is that they don’t have a strategic marketing plan and this is not my quote, it’s somebody else’s and I don’t know who but I love the quote of, “Failure to plan is planning to fail”. And that is so important for a business’ growth strategy as they understand how to take their business from point A to point B. And I mentioned this earlier about really diving into the research and discovery when we work with a new client because if we can’t confidently provide strategic recommendations that are based on data and based on validation, then we are foolish and we are just saying things for the sake of saying them.
So having a strategic marketing plan is critical for a business to grow in the direction that they want to grow in. And there’s a variety of different ways and factors that go into creating a strategic communications plan but that’s the biggest thing that we run into that people don’t understand about. And so that’s one of the things that we are super passionate that we focus on all the time that we love doing because again it’s that very eye-opening thing for business owners when they’re like, “Holy cow! I never thought about that”. And the whole goal is to take that business notes from point A to point B and we always start with that question, ‘Where do you want your business to be 1,3,5 years down the road? Well let’s work backwards to get you there’. And the only way to do that is a strategic marketing plan so that’s one of those commonalities that we always run into. So I’ll definitely businesses to think about that and think about what their strategic marketing plan looks like and if it’s something that they’re lacking, head on over to Google because Google knows it all and figure out how to do it and we’ll be more than happy to help.
Alec: Megan you mentioned a second ago about being a woman in a man’s world and I’m sure that has happened quite a bit as you’ve gone through these phases of your career, and you’ve mentioned one of your goals is to create a company culture, and I guess that I intend this pun, where women can flourish. Can you tell me how you’ve done that at your own company and what exactly you’re talking about?
Megan: Yeah, you know one of the things that you and I have spoken about before is especially as we see what’s going on with COVID and in the recession that’s come out of the result of COVID and there’s a term that floats around and you’ve probably heard of it, she-cession and you know a lot of women were impacted by COVID are unable to go back to work or have been unable to go back to work because of child care needs. They are the ones who typically will stay at home with their children when they are unable to go to school. I am so blessed and so fortunate that I work for a company that I own and so if I need to stay home with my three young children, you better believe that I’m going to do that in a heartbeat but that does not mean that my work is going to be impacted.
So I was actually turned down for a position at one point immediately after I had my youngest son and I was physically told by my male supervisor that he did not think I was well equipped for the position because I have just had a baby and he didn’t think that I would be able to travel and do the things that they needed me to do because I was a new mum. And that for me at the time, I didn’t see how massive that moment was in my life but you better believe I look back on that now and if I could you know positively impact one person’s life by completely going against that mindset, I have succeeded in my life.
So with this company, from day one my priority has always been to provide the best support possible for our team regardless of the circumstances and no matter what client deadlines or what opportunities come up, my team‘s personal life and their family life will always come first. This job can be replaced in a heartbeat but my family and my children cannot, so that is always the first thing that we think about. So, creating a culture that fuels that opportunity is something that we strive for every single day, and so we have a very flexible work schedule. There’s never an ounce of stress that comes associated with having to have a doctor’s appointment, or a dentist’s appointment or having to take a pick up your son from day care because he has a runny nose. You do what you need to. There is never that stress or burden that is there where someone on our team will feel as though their job is ever at risk because of any of those types of circumstances. We promote and we provide those opportunities purely based on performance and I have never worked with a team who is more motivated and performs above and beyond than the team that we have here today and I think that’s because we created this culture where it’s not that they work for me I work for them, we are all here to support each other and we are all here to ensure that everybody has the tools they need to succeed in their role and that goes well beyond a laptop and a screen that goes to the peace of mind knowing that their position and their role in their impacts are appreciated and protected regardless of what the world might throw at them.
I cannot control the fact that my 12-year-old son breaks his arm at school and he has to go to physical therapy and he has to do these things, and he has to do those things. I want to know that I am I’m not at risk at that and I shouldn’t have to have that stress in addition to the stress that you have going through those personal things. So, peace of mind I think is something that is big, that’s a really big deal and I’ve experienced that scenario when I was laid off of my job and I was divorced and I had two young children at the time and I’m like, “I don’t know how I’m going to make ends meet and I don’t know how I’m going to provide for my kids in a way that I want to provide”. And that feeling for me was something I never ever want anybody to feel and so if I have any influence over that as it relates to how I run this business you better believe I’m going to focus on that. So we have a phenomenal, flexible work schedule. We have a maternity leave policy that is beyond what most companies ever offer, again, because I don’t want people to have that stress or that burden. There are a lot of different things that we offer from a corporate company standpoint that of course you want to maintain competitiveness, because you want to only recruit the best possible teammates you can. But I also want our team to know that they are protected and they are supported and they have just a really good place that they can spend their time and they don’t have any doubt about when it comes to those types of things.
Alec: Does it surprise you, upset you, I don’t know that we’re still here talking about these things like they are perks when they just all sound so logical?
Megan: It does sound so logical and I think the problem is that at least in my experience you know I’ve worked with companies where they have an HR person whose job is to really make sure that their teams are provided for but they’re so disconnected from actually getting to know their team. It’s the basic fundamentals of relationships and I mean, put the phone down like get out the front of your laptop and go spend time with someone, get to know them, get to know their kids’ names, really get to know them. It drives me nuts when I have a conversation with somebody and they don’t look me in the eye but instead they’re looking just behind me seeing what else is going on, trying to survey the room, trying to see maybe what opportunity is out there. They’re listening, but they’re not actively listening those are two completely different things and I think that sometimes it’s very easy especially for companies as they grow very quickly to oversee that and not factor in those small, important things that are a big deal to other people and it boils down to just truly caring about somebody. And I think again in my experience when you have, and this is different, it’s obviously different and this is absolutely no dig on men whatsoever but it’s very difficult for a man who doesn’t have that experience to make those decisions and figure out what is best for a woman and what is best for a woman in the workforce who has young children. I mean, things are going to come up, I mean, you know this, and you can’t control when your child gets sick or throws up at school or does this, or whatever the case might be. And so being able to be flexible with that and of course you never want to abuse that but being able to really understand that, I think it’s something that often goes overlooked which is really tough. I will say one thing about our culture here, and obviously we offer all of those things, I don’t look at those as perks, I don’t look at those as things that we promote heavily on our website, we don’t. Of course we’ve got your 401(k) program and all that kind of stuff but it’s like that’s not something that we put front and center, to me, that should be expected I mean to me and again it’s based on performance too right? So we recruit stellar people and with stellar people come that mindset where it’s like I want a phenomenal environment that’s going to help me thrive and those are just the things in my opinion that are fundamentals to allowing that to happen.
Alec: So I want to end this portion of the interview by trying to pry some corporate secrets out of you, I guess. You work with a lot of different companies, a lot of entrepreneurs; can you give me and the listeners a piece of advice or two that you’d give those entrepreneurs?
Megan: Yeah, so I think especially with an entrepreneur and someone who is starting their business for the first time, I run into this a lot, I do a lot of business coaching and talk with a lot of different business owners on a regular basis which I love so much, but I think one of the things that I run into often is that they don’t have to have it all figured out and buttoned up in order to make that leap. I think a lot of people and predominately women really feel as though everything‘s got to be perfect, their business plan has to be fully flushed out, all the details have to be there before they actually take that leap and take that jump and so you know not to say that you want to do something at 30% all the time but it doesn’t have to be perfect. Your level of perfect is very different to somebody else than it is to you and I think especially with women we hold ourselves to a very high standard when it relates to quality of work it is from where I sit, so it doesn’t have to be something that is absolute perfection every time.
Another piece of advice for entrepreneurs and people laugh at me when I say this but I truly believe it is that, you have to take risks and you have to put yourself out there and if making some big decisions does not make you want to vomit just a little bit, it’s probably too safe. And I’m not saying all the time, you’re like jumping off a bridge or whatever but it’s like take risks, you have to take risks especially when starting a business and obviously you want to think them through and make sure that you’re not dumping all of your savings into a crazy idea. But you’ve got to take risks when you start and you know honestly I don’t know that I ever would’ve gotten to this point had I not been laid off of my job in a position where I felt as though things were really, I was at a really low point I don’t know that I would’ve done what I’m doing now had I not hit that place. So my piece of advice is if you have even just a thought about going down this path don’t wait until you hit that point to actually do something. Just do it! Just put yourself out there and the worst thing that could happen is you fail, big deal, then you’ll get up, and you just move forward. I trip and stumble over my own two feet every single day and I’m actually appreciative of that because it allows me an opportunity to learn. So I would just encourage other entrepreneurs to do the same.
Alec: So Megan, I want to end with a segment that we call “business casual” which sometimes takes you out of your office. I mean, a lot of people answer these questions with business oriented answers but, a little bit of that and a little bit of how you unwind when you’re not working. Do you listen to podcasts?
Alec: Can you tell me what podcasts, and can you give me an idea of what you listen to?
Megan: Yeah, so number one, I listen to anything and everything by Gary Vanyerchuk, I absolutely love him and if you are offended by curse words I would not recommend that you listen because he definitely has no filter but he is phenomenal and I’m just obsessed with him. His real advice, he cuts to the chase he doesn’t sugar-coat anything; he says it like it is, I just admire him so much. I’m also a huge listener of Michael Stelzner in the social media marketing world, this is by the Social Media Marketing Examiner. I know I mentioned earlier that I don’t really like social media, it’s a nature of the beast right, you got to be on it but he’s just phenomenal and he’s been in the industry I think for 20+ years and he’s got a fantastic podcast that is so informative and every time I listen I walk away with 15 to 20 new ideas about how we can implement that and add value to our client work so I would definitely say anything by Gary Vanyerchuk and anything by social media examiner.
Alec: What about books, what do you have on your nightstand these days?
Megan: So, what I’m reading right now is, there is an author who I had an opportunity to meet. I sat down with him at a Nashville entrepreneur event couple of years ago I want to think that he remembered that conversation but he probably didn’t. His name is Chris Kelso and he wrote the book called ‘Overcoming the Imposter’ and if you’ve ever heard of the imposter syndrome he wrote a book about it and I sat down with him for 20 minutes and walked away overly inspired. Such a phenomenal man, I mean he’s just so smart and so genuine and of course I stalked him on LinkedIn and became friends with him on LinkedIn and I saw that he wrote this book and I’m like, “The imposter syndrome that’s me, every single day”. I question myself, I’m like, “Who put me in this position why am I running a business? I should not be here. Yeah I think most entrepreneurs probably have those feelings here and there but I will say, it’s my daughter who is like, “Mom get over it, you’re doing great”. So I would say definitely ‘Overcoming the Imposter’ by Chris Kelso so it’s phenomenal it’s a quick read but it’s chocked full of great information. He’s a local entrepreneur so let’s just support him.
Alec: So when you’re not listening to podcasts about business and reading books about business, how do you unwind? Maybe that is how you unwind, I don’t know, but.
Megan: Well, I would say how I unwind, so my husband and I are absolute groupies so we go to as many concerts as we possibly can. Last year, was very depressing for us, because we weren’t able to go to shows but we did live stream a lot of shows cause that’s what artists were doing. But we go to concerts constantly, so that’s our thing. We don’t go on these crazy vacations or anything like that, we go to shows. Now that concerts are coming back out, I think we’ve got tickets to go to like 12 or 15 shows over the next couple of months, which I am just like so eager for.
Alec: Making up for lost time there.
Megan: Exactly, I would say, which is probably more of a priority than that is definitely hanging out with my kids, so I have a sixteen year old girl who is making college plans right now. She started driving, has a job, she’s doing great, she’s so smart. I have a 12-year-old step son who is a future inventor and just an absolute genius. Then I have an 8-year-old, little tank. He just started football and he is all-boy and so hanging out with them is just so much fun. One of the silver linings of being home with Covid-19, was that we got to hang out with our kids all the time. Of course, towards the tail end of it, I’m like, “Get me out of here I’m gonna lose my mind”. But at the start of it, it was very bitter sweet and I loved it so much. I would say the last thing that I definitely do, that I love to do is have a glass of red wine and cook. I love to cook. So I’m all about cooking for my husband and he loves everything that I make because he’s great and just loves food and so it makes it easy on me, so I’d say that’s definitely what we spend our time on.
Alec: A little bit earlier you shared some advice that you would like to give others. What’s the best piece of advice that you were ever given?
Megan: I think that the best piece of advice that I have ever been given is, again, I think it’s definitely, just to get out of your own way, really recognize what you’re good at, but recognize what you’re not good at. Gary Vee talks about this a lot, when you can legitimately say; “You know what I’m awful at? It’s these 3 things”. Well, guess what, when you’re starting a business, then with those 3 things, you know where your weaknesses are. You’re doing a SWOT analysis on yourself, and for me personally, my weakness is numbers, its financials, its accounting. I look at a spread sheet with numbers and my brain starts to vibrate in my head. But guess what? I know that’s not my strength, so I lean on other people who are super good at that. That way, I don’t waste my energy in something that just is not my jam. So I think being able to admit and be honest about your weaknesses, that way, you can then work around that, and it’s super important.
But then, also too, do something every day that scares you, just a little bit. I don’t mean drive on the opposite side of the road but I mean, make some decisions and say yes to things that maybe otherwise you wouldn’t take advantage of, just because you just assume that you wouldn’t like it. Because I think when you’re able to keep an open mind and do things kind of outside of the box a little bit, that’s when you often find new passions in life that maybe would’ve gone missed.
Alec: Well, Megan I cannot thank you enough for being on the “Business Alabama Podcast”
Megan: Thank you Alec, I appreciate it so much. I’m a huge fan of Business Alabama and your podcast and I really appreciate you letting us be on.
Alec: My thanks to Megan Nivens-Tannett, founder and CEO of Flourish, and to you the listener for joining me today, on the business Alabama podcast. Until next time, this is Alec Harvey, find more from Business Alabama, in our monthly magazine and online at “BusinessAlabama.com”