Making Peace with Money
24 January 2019
Myriam Tellier, #courage entrepreneur
An entrepreneur’s life is full of twists and turns, and many things can set you onto a new path. For Myriam Tellier, Co-founder of Planette produits écologiques, the bumpy road of entrepreneurship would have looked quite different without her aunt’s last wishes, the partnership with her mom, and without a candid discussion with one particular businesswoman who has been an inspiration to her…
Occupational therapist by trade, and professor and researcher at the Université de Montréal, where she also completed her PhD, Myriam Tellier had a bright university career ahead of her. Yet her life projects were tossed out of the window when she was called upon to support her aunt, suffering from terminal cancer, through her final days. “We had many deep conversations about life. My aunt worked so hard all of her life to end up leaving us before she’d had time to accomplish her many retirement projects.”
Following her aunt’s death, Myriam wondered about the kind of person she was and who she wanted to be. “I wanted to use my talents to build something that was a better representation of me.”
To make sense of her aunt’s death, she decided to change her habits, particularly when it came to household cleaning products. “A French student introduced me to Marseille soap, and I loved it! After that, I decided to take classes to learn how to make 100% natural products.” Myriam’s chemical-free products were a hit with her friends, aunts and cousins. In fact, they were such a success that she teamed up with her mother, Ginette Éthier, and created the company Planette produits écologiques. “I’m pleased to say that in just two years, we have opened 55 points of sale, built a community that follows our progress, and the transactions never stop on our online store,” stated the mother of three.
Money, Her Pet Hate
Despite her success, Myriam Tellier, who has 14 years’ experience as a practising occupational therapist, can’t shake the feeling of imposter syndrome. While looking for references and advice — “access to information really is a challenge to any young entrepreneur!” — she listed the people who inspire her and whom she would have liked to meet. Danièle Henkel was on that list.
The two businesswomen arranged a meeting. “One of the first things I said to her was, ‘I don’t want money. There are banks offering me money, but what I want is an outsider’s perspective of my project.’ In a matter of minutes, she’d identified my rocky relationship with money.”
Since she launched her business, Myriam Tellier constantly tells anyone who will listen that she isn’t a “salesperson” and that her goal isn’t to make money. “I’ve come a long way since our meeting. I now understand that money can be healthy; it enables me to grow and to evolve in my business. I thought that money was against my values, when in reality it can be compatible with them. It can be used cleverly to make even more progress with my eco-friendly projects and, in particular, to give back to others.”
Since then, the entrepreneur is a lot closer to her financial objective. “I’ve learned to let go of my fear of making money, so that I can get to where I want to be…
Envisioning a bigger future for her company doesn’t mean losing sight of her mission and values. “Making our products in a factory would be more profitable, but I’m not willing to put an end to my social participation project for people with disabilities. I like different people, and there are many companies who do business with me because I inspire them, so I win on a different level.”
Building on the strength of her new path, Myriam is ready to tackle 2019, which she believes will be a year of growth. “I’ve decided to stop teaching and concentrate all my energy on Planette. It won’t be easy, because I’m still not in a position to pay myself a salary, and I won’t be for a while, what with hiring new employees and moving… But this is a family project and everyone is ready to get stuck in and ensure this next stage is a success!”
Courage was identified by Marie-Josée Gagnon, President of Casacom, as being one of the five leadership trends for 2019–2020. Here at Danièle Henkel.tv, we believe that Myriam Tellier is a great example of a courageous entrepreneur who acts in coherence and transparency with her values.