#BEYOUROWN MEETS JESSICA FLAUTRE-AUBRY
Home to the beautiful city of Quebec, Jessica Flautre-Aubry is a passionate relevant social media consultant and CEO of Femmes Alpha.
Her mantra: Innovate, unite, engage and surprise.
You will be quickly conquered by her energy of fire and her implication. It improves the lives of everyone she meets and rubs shoulders with. And today, the mission of Alpha Women sticks to her skin. She believes in the spirit of community: nothing like support, help and encouragement between women to propel themselves together.
Over the years, she has experienced illness, life hardships, career changes, entrepreneurial challenges and motherhood. We explore why Jessica redefined her life’s priorities and how she aims to support women through the Femmes Alpha ever-growing community.
Hey Jessica, can you introduce yourself to us?
Epicurean. Enthusiastic. Giver. Woman of action.
Since I was a child, I always desired to change people’s lives around me. Human has always been the core of my actions. Open-minded, I love being in contact with people from all walks of life and learn from them.
I love open-minded conversation and building meaningful relationships to inspire others to take action about their life and their leadership.I’m a mother of two girls (8 and 10 years old), an entrepreneur and a wife. I believe in collaboration in my professional relations, as much as in my personal life.
Can you take us through your journey to where you are now?
I was not a natural born leader, but I sure was a natural organiser when I was young. I worked as a summer camp counsellor with children, and then I became an educator in a daycare. I can say that you need to have a good drive and organisation skills to maintain order and harmony in these type of jobs.
When my second daughter was six months old, I opened a daycare at home. This was my first step as an entrepreneur, even if I didn’t realise it was.
During those years, I was sick. I had unexplained pain symptoms and lack of energy. Doctors were searching for a tumour. It took years to find out what it was, and it led me to depression. They finally diagnosed me with fibromyalgia.
This is when I decided to redefine my life’s priorities and my happiness. I had to change things in my life, and the way I spend my energy and take care of myself. I closed my daycare business and went back to school to study social media marketing.
Thanks to my summer camp experience, I was hired as a coordinator position, to manage, well, pretty much everything and everyone there. This is where I developed most of my leadership and self-confidence. Then I found a project manager position in a web company. This is where I started to do networking and business development.
I finally decided to use what I have learned and start my own business, as a social media consultant. This job led me to meet a lot of interesting people, experiencing ups and downs of entrepreneurship, and finally, to acquire Femmes Alpha from Joëlle Boutin and Viviane Graillon. I am now the CEO, since July 2018.
What is a day in the life of you like?
As soon as my daughters leave for school, the first thing I do is to start my coffee. Then I sit on my computer and answer as many emails and messages on social media I can.
Early morning at 8am to 10am I do the strategic monitoring for my clients and Femmes Alpha. I program content to share on social media and check yesterday’s sharing statistics. I focus on content production for web and social media, business and partnership development. During the afternoon through until 6pm, I follow the progression of our events with meetings with my teams, bloggers, clients. Between 6pm and 9pm is family time or networking activities, followed by an hour of social media monitoring and last minute tasks. Then at 10pm, it’s reading before I go to sleep.
What is the concept behind Femmes Alpha?
Femmes Alpha is a women’s community, and an online media, which promotes women’s leadership in La Francophonie (French community around the world).
We also run NUEVA, an annual contest, which consists of an online pitch for women in digital and technologies business. Our mission is to spotlight at women evolving in areas where they are the minority. We do this by writing articles, organising workshops, activities and networking. Our goal is to provide a positive voice to women and leave a mark on the actual and next generation. We want to inspire them to get into action because too often, women tend to stay in the background and we want to change this.
Can you tell us more about your brand DNA and ethos within Femmes Alpha?
Femmes Alpha are women, coming from different paths, who have the courage to get things to move. We are women who take action, stand for our decisions, and keep looking straight forward. We aren’t conforming ourselves to what society wants us to be. Wherever we come from, it’s where we go that matter. We are motivated to surpass ourselves, in all aspects of our life, and follow our own path. We are leaders, prepared for changes. We are not afraid to admit our mistakes and show vulnerability.
Femmes Alpha community exists to inspire, motivate and believe in each other.
We believe in collaboration. We establish a connection and acknowledge other people’s strengths and values. We do not harm each other or neither do gossip. Our community is based on these aspects, because we believe that leadership can be developed and it is never too late to work on it.
Can you tell us how you are supporting women?
We do support women through articles, discussions, workshops, virtual and in-person networking. Passion, self-discipline vision and persistence.
Who does the team involve behind you at Femmes Alpha?
I work a lot with Anne-Solène Rioult. She is in charge of NUEVA with me. We started working together a year ago on the 2018 edition. She is the most involved with me in Femmes Alpha.
There are also people involved who do occasional tasks when we organise events. All our inspiring bloggers. Laurence C. Germain is in charge of hosting our events, and the person behind the Femmes Inspirantes section on our website http://www.femmesalpha.com
Where can you see yourself within the next 3-5 years?
Travelling the world, meeting women of all ages, each one living different realities. I also want our network to be the gateway for women entrepreneurs, who come to settle in French communities in Canada. We are a united, sharing and supportive network.
Can you tell us what areas you have struggled in professionally?
Jumping into entrepreneurship, it is a daily challenge. Everything depends on you. You always need to find a solution to achieve your goal. People always see the results when success arrives, but it’s hard to imagine how hard you have to work for it. You need to stay in motion, adapt to change, face new challenges.
Have you ever had any other mentor? If so how has this benefitted you to grow?
Some people inspired me to get in action and surpass me. These people believed in me, and in my capabilities. They helped me develop my leadership and be the woman I am. I also learned that failure is necessary to grow.
Which methods are you using to build your own support network?
Virtual and in-person networking is the best method I found so far.
What do you believe are the common misconceptions about entrepreneurship and how are you using your platform and voice to educate people more?
Most people have misconceptions about entrepreneurship. They would think that those who succeed, have something they don’t have, which can be true, but it is not due to a natural talent they were born with. They don’t see the determination, discipline, hard work, failure, lack of money, the courage to do things that you never did.
Our mission, with Femmes Alpha, is to show to other women that a path in entrepreneurship is never a straight line, and there is not an “entrepreneur type” person. All women in our community come from different backgrounds and many of them wouldn’t have thought they would become an entrepreneur.
On our website, we regularly display portraits and testimonials of women showing leadership to inspire our community.
What is the best piece of business advice you have received to date?
Not to impose a limit on yourself. Everything is possible if you believe and work hard for it.
What is the number 1 critical lesson you have learned in your career so far?
Failure is not the end. Life is made of challenges. You have to know how to swim in calm water as well as in the rough sea.
How do you create an evenly balanced work and personal life?
For me, balance is not about the hours you put in, but how you manage your priorities to preserve your quality of life.
A seminal point in your career so far?
Going back to school 5 years ago was definitely a seminal point. Accepting a coordinator position, with 20+ people to manage, changed the way I saw myself and helped me acquire more confidence in my capabilities. And finally, acquiring Femmes Alpha as a business.
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
Accomplishing something that was out of my comfort zone. Learning, because it helps me to grow. Being in action with diversified task motivates me. Good communication with my clients and partners boost my energy to accomplish my goals.
I get a lot of satisfaction from seeing the evolution of the people that I have been able to help, see their goals come to fruition and knowing that we have contributed a little.
What challenges have you seen to have been presented during the growth of your business?
By taking back Femmes Alpha, the first challenge was to build from scratch a new team. I believe that a strong team is a key to a successful business.
Which other leading entrepreneurs and pioneering game changers do you also admire and why?
Susan Wojcicki CEO of YouTube, she had the audacity to follow her convictions, and she uses her notoriety to defend women’s rights and their empowerment. She hires more women and publicly expresses her standpoint about women technology’s positions.
Oprah Winfrey. What an extraordinary woman, and what about her path! Her motto: “Only you have responsibility for your life. Use your life to serve the world and you will find that it also serves you.” She drives me to be a better version of myself.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
I’m currently reading ‘Becoming’ by Michelle Obama.
Top 3 go-to podcast channels?
- ‘Social Media Lab,’
- ‘The Entreleadership Podcast,’
- ‘Rising woman leader.’
Also, in French: Curiozidée, URelles and La Poudre.
How do you define success?
For me, success is defined by achieving personal and professional goals. The moment your own goals are achieved, it’s becoming your own success.
What does #BEYOUROWN mean to you?
Living your life as you want it. Being unique. Being a free thinker.
Finally, what can we expect from you next throughout 2019?
I plan to combine my experiences with my new achievements. As a social media consultant, I want to inform parents and children about the risks, but also the opportunities to be active online. With Femmes Alpha, I want to travel more and meet women to make our community grow. I want Femmes Alpha to reach more women and inspire them to take action and be what they want to be.