Los Angeles, California ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

Joss Richard

CEO & Founder

Hey! I'm Joss, the CEO & Founder of Margot. I could talk forever about my rescue Pitbull - Annie, and you can currently find me watching re-runs of New Girl for the 6th time.
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Where are you based as an entrepreneur?

I'm originally from Toronto, Canada and now living on Los Angeles, California.


What led you to move to Los Angelos?

I've been traveling back and forth from Toronto to LA for a few years because of my job; I worked a lot of red carpets, award shows, movie premieres, etc. After a few trips I fell in love with the city, mostly for the weather, and thought it would make the most sense to live here.


How do you use your experience in Production for building Margot?

I've mostly been using my networking and communication skills. Because the majority of my career was spent interviewing celebrities, it has thankfully helped in reaching out to potential mentors and mentees, conducting Instagram lives, and tapping into my network to build Margot's community.


What sparked your inspiration to start an inclusive Community like Margot?

I had the opportunity to join a Mentorship program at Disney and I realized that not all companies offer opportunities like this. There wasn't really a trusted place that existed to find mentors. Once I noticed the gap, I wanted to fill it. After talking to many women I decided I wanted this space for women and gender-marginalized individuals to advocate for themselves to be paid. It's a safe space for them to feel empowered to charge for their times and not feel bad about it.


What was your experience starting and growing your Company and Community?

It happened fast. I came up with the idea for Margot in January 2021 and we launched as a beta in April 2021. It was definitely a learning experience; I literally had no experience starting a business. The steps in registering as a business, working with a lawyer, hiring contractors, was something I've never done before. I wish Margot was something that existed as I was creating it because I definitely needed my own Mentor! Once I started our social handles and began setting up informal interviews with potential mentors, the community quickly grew. I'm extremely fortunate Margot is a concept that resonated with a lot of women who wanted to be a part of it.


Tell us about your Give Back Program at Margot...

We work with three non-profit organizations to bring free mentorship to individuals in communities with socioeconomic barriers. It's an area of Margot that I am so passionate about because I want to be able to provide mentorship and guidance to those who don't have the privilege of using a platform like Margot.

Our mentors are able to donate their time to personally mentor someone a part of our non-profit partners programs; or, they have the option to donate their profits towards our partners. As of May 2021, we launched our Membership program in which 15% of our membership will go directly towards our Give Back Program. It's been so wonderful because even though it's been a few months we've heard such inspiring stories from the young girls we work with and our mentors who are, in return, learning from their mentees.


How has mentorships helped your personally?

I never had a formal Mentor. As I look back I've had incredible mentor figures, but I didn't call them my "mentors" at the time. As I look back on these men and women who have helped me grow, I realize I would not be anywhere without them. To be able to have someone personally invested in your growth and not give you generic advice is invaluable. There's also such a unique feeling in updating your mentor on your growth and challenges you've overcome. I truly believe everyone needs a mentor in their lives.


What does a typical day look like for you?

I wake up around 6am every morning and walk my dog Annie in the morning (she's a little Pitbull and one of the best things in the world to happen to me). I take a shower, get ready and either have a cup of coffee or a matcha latte while my husband and I watch an episode of something while eating breakfast (right now it's New Girl). Around 8am I'm working or on my first call. I work from roughly 8am - 6pm every day and it can be a mix of meetings, IG lives, podcast recordings, etc.


What is your current desk setup?

It's quite minimal, I have my podcast mic to the left, my laptop in front of me and my agenda and notebook to the right.


What work are you most proud of in regards to Margot?

Everything. The creation of it and the community we built amazes me every day. Any small business owner knows the feeling of someone using their product; the fact that we have over 500 women in our community who genuinely care about what we've created makes me proud every single day.


Which Product recently blew your socks off?

I think Typeform has been a game changer for me. We use it for our Mentor applications and I'm impressed with the functionality, design, and analytics.


What challenges do you face as an entrepreneur?

The hustle and time management are hard. I've experienced serious levels of burnout and ebbs and flows of success. There will be extremely busy days and days where nothing is happening and it kills you a little inside. At least for me, when things aren't as productive I question everything.

In addition, I've never been an entrepreneur, or even freelanced, so to stay accountable for the work I do has been a challenge as well. I also never stop working, so I need to schedule in time for myself to take breaks.

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How do you keep up with your product team as the founder of Margot?

Saakshi is my Product Designer and she was a gift sent to me from above. I could seriously praise her all day. We have a weekly hourly meetings that are equal parts talking about Margot and Mentorship, which has worked really well for us. We also stay connected via Slack on a daily basis.


What are some go-to tunes while working?

Okay, I'll be honest - I can't listen to music while I work! I never understood people that do it. I need absolute silence!


Three suggestions for entrepreneurs.

  1. Just do it. If you're thinking of an idea and are unsure if you should go through with it, remember someone else in the world has the exact same idea as you and if you don't do it, they will.
  2. Do your research:ย Market researchโ€“โ€“is there a need for something like this? Financial researchโ€“โ€“what steps do you need to take financially to build out this idea?ย Etc.
  1. Don't give up. There will be discouraging times, but don't give up when it gets hard. If it was easy, everyone would do it.

Thanks for reading my story!

Los Angeles, California ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ

Joss Richard

CEO & Founder

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