Josh Meunier is an Entrepreneur, Designer, Author, Investor, and a Podcast Host! He has been blessed with so many life lessons. Ups and downs that have crafted who he is today and the fulfillment that he has been able to create within his life. Becoming an entrepreneur changed his life. Through all the struggles, came strength that led him to my purpose in life; helping others.
What were your initial years of growing up like? Tell us about your life before starting your corporate journey/venture/initiative.
I was always a student/athlete growing up which served me in so many ways throughout my life. I’m a graduate of Northeastern University where I was awarded two-time All-American Honors and selected Captain of the Men’s Lacrosse Team. I would later be selected to represent the United States of America Men’s Lacrosse in 2009 overseas in Asia Pacific.
Being an athlete taught me how to fight through mental barriers that I had created in my subconscious to test and find my limits. It also taught me what failure feels like and how to recover quickly.
Both of my parents were adamant about me being an athlete and always playing outside as much as I could growing up. They showed me what a great work ethic looked like yet they always fought about money which created a scarcity mindset for me around financials that took me years to overcome, but it is possible!
My father was unfortunately an abusive alcoholic who is a brilliant scientist that burried his pain from early childhood with the example that was set for him; alcohol. There was a lot of family turmoil for me growing up in an unstable love environment. I believe it was because their core values and vision for the family never really aligned.
They divorced when I was 21 years old and it crushed me and split my family apart completely. That was a very tough time in my life. A time that taught me I found solitude in academics and athletics in college and I really became focused to pull myself out of deep depression.
I graduated from Northeastern University in 2009 with a Dual BSBA in Marketing & Entrepreneurship. I had my eyes set on EMC, the #1 Data Storage company in the world for my first job to get into their sales training program. That happened in September, 2009 when more people were getting laid off than hired during the last recession and I felt very lucky I knew one of the top level people who passed my resume along and started my corporate journey in IT Consulting. The number one trait of everyone I began my career with was they were a high performing athlete in college. It was quite competitive but work ethic mixed with being a sponge allowed me to climb the corporate ladder quickly.
Was there any turning point in your life that changed your journey? If so, what was it? Please tell us the backstory behind it.
I almost died for the second time when I was 26 years old. It was another very tough moment for me. Ten days in the hospital where I received a diagnosis of Peritonitis where I had a 20% chance to live. This was the second time in my life that I had an episode like this. The first was when my appendix burst at 14 after being misdiagnosed with the flu.
That episode was a turning point in my life that forced me to sell everything I had and left the country to backpack through Asia alone for 11 months, then moving to Sydney, Australia. During my travels I ended up stranded on a remote island after having my wallet stolen and no money. I slept in a hammock for a week until I landed a job where I became a pizza chef while waiting for my bank cards to arrive.
I made my way through 11 countries, seeing wonders I couldn’t even dream of, then made my spiritual journey in Nepal while I hiked the Himalayas and Mt. Everest Base Camp in 2013.
I was able to find a better level of confidence in myself that I had been missing and took this opportunity to let go of my past so I could move on to a better future. It’s been more than a decade since I left and my life has become so much better because I was able to find that confidence in myself.
Every industry that is now a large-scale, top-notch business once started as a small idea in the minds of entrepreneurs. What was that idea or motivation that made you start your business /initiative? What motivated you within to say “YES, go for it!”
I had some great years of experience learning in some of the top companies in the world. That experience helped me understand and diagnose issues. Not just within business but within my entire life. However I always felt like another number. There was something missing for me and it was being able to make an impact.
I tried my luck out in different industries and in start-ups getting more in tune with how much of the business needs to be run by a small amount of people. Those environments are totally different. I was making great money but I was making great money for someone else, and I also had a ceiling to the impact I could make in those organizations.
At this point it’s 2015 and the company I worked for closed a once in a lifetime deal to take them international and I didn’t see any equity in that. So I decided that it was time for me to give this a shot on my own. I knew two things.
- I now could make my own destiny.
- I was confident enough to bet it all on myself to navigate the lessons that were coming.
There were a lot of lessons coming! Through grit, adaptability, and hard work I was able to successfully exit my first company in 2021.
Tell us something about your initiative or current role. What is it about, and what impact are you trying to make?
Currently I’m a full-time consultant and business coach for executives helping companies between $1M-$20M. I do a deep dive with them into tactical elements they can deploy in their culture that has seen massive growth in their businesses and fulfillment in their lives.
My podcast is another way for me to get more examples of members of our communities who make people’s lives better. The Uncommon Element was launched as a community of humble warriors who are entitled to nothing yet appreciate everything. My guests and I change our communities by setting the example of people who have seen success in all areas of their lives.
My hope is that people can get good tips from people ahead of us in life to create a sense of fulfillment and happiness.
It’s a passion of mine to give back the knowledge and lessons I’ve learned to help entrepreneurs leapfrog ahead years by not making the same mistakes I did. There’s nothing better than getting messages from clients when I’ve impacted their lives, their families, and their relationship with themselves. It gives me chills thinking about it.
I also get to write for Forbes Business Development Council and I’ve been published in several scholarly articles and books. It allows me to give back to an even larger community to help more people and businesses in the world.
Everyone has their own set of challenges when starting an entrepreneurial journey. Still, the most essential part for others to learn is how you deal with those. Would you like to share with us your challenges and your coping mechanisms?
I made a lot of mistakes early on by not choosing better people to partner with. Those were very tough lessons for me to learn because I’m a very loyal person. I would have made sure that all of my business partners aligned with me on core values and on the vision of the company.
I made the mistake twice and it was very painful for me to go through those separations. The other side was freedom for me though and I needed to find my true core values that I live by.
My coping mechanism was finding these through journaling my experiences and identifying what was really important to me from all the lessons I’ve learned.
Average is unacceptable, Excellence is Essential
Love those who love you back
Strength through Struggle
Living by these core values has helped as my lighthouse and helped me avoid decisions that don’t align with who I want to be. Because relationships are important to all of us, but the quality of our relationships determine the quality of our lives. When I started living by my core values then I started to attract people with the same core values as me!
While the global pandemic of COVID-19 is associated primarily with adversities, it has also brought about a true boom in startups, with successful entrepreneurship in many countries. The pandemic has impacted all of us in one way or another. Would you like to share your experience on a personal and professional level?
I did have COVID-19 in 2020 and it was really tough. It put me out for two weeks and I felt terrible. I know that it’s affected so many people throughout the world from a mental toll. It’s tough being isolated as we are humans who feed off of interaction and variety.
That was tough to watch. I am fortunate to live in Texas where there were less strict laws and our rights as humans to choose were upheld. My business was also deemed essential as I ran a home service and construction business at the time. So we were fortunate to see a lot of growth in the outdoor living industry with people being home more.
Your journey and your vision are very inspiring, but are there any achievements or accomplishments you would like to mention?
When I was able to get clear about who I wanted to be around everything changed for me. Finding people who are like you in this world may seem rare but those relationships will bring you more happiness than you could ever imagine.
That’s the best accomplishment I’ve had in my life and I’m so grateful to have been blessed with this lesson.
Would you like to share with our young budding women entrepreneurs the change you would like to see in the world if given an opportunity?
Follow your heart first and don’t give up. You only lose if you quit. Each time you fail to understand it’s a lesson that you can now learn, adjust, apply, and evolve towards who you want to become! And you can become anyone you want to be!
These three things are the ones that got me to where I am today.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned in your personal life and professional journey? What is your personal motto in life?
You have to have a place that you’re going. A goal. A definite aim of what you want to accomplish. Figuring that out takes time, heart, and experience. Find your goal of who you want to be first and from there you will lead to your passion.
It is possible to love what you do every single day. Be intentional with your actions, disciplined in your schedule, patient with your results, and more consistent than anyone.
Women are a growing force in the workplaces worldwide, standing shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. There are cracks in glass ceilings everywhere, with many women breaking through to carve out a space right at the top of the pyramid. What are your thoughts about women’s leadership today?
Women are essential to leadership. One of the leg up’s women have on men is they have a higher level of emotional intelligence which is paramount to leadership in an organization.
Being self-aware and regulating your emotions are a superpower and so is empathy! If you have motivation to achieve your aim in life and master the skill of developing great teams you can accomplish anything.
You should always be striving to have smarter people in the room and sometimes that is women and sometimes it’s men. I’m happy to see those tides changing here in the United States. I’m fortunate to have many friends who are women CEO’s and I really admire their stories. They are fantastic leaders!
With your grit and determination, you are making a considerable impact, breaking through, and serving as role models for many budding entrepreneurs. What would you want to say to our young women leaders/audience reading this?
You are enough. Your happiness is the quality of your relationships. Find those people who support your growth and don’t drag you down. Don’t be afraid to hold your ground either. You are stronger than you know! Go test your limits. Find what suits you. Exercise your mind and body as much as you can and find the life of freedom you want!