Written by David Silverberg

Since Anne Flamant began Dare & Defy Strategic Consulting, she's sought out entrepreneurs whose goals align with her own: change their corner of the world through their core missions. She might as well be living by this infamous quote: “Far and away, the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”

Flamant says she wants “clients who want to make a difference.” Her clients include a recycling company that seeks to educate people on how to safely recycle electronics, and a fashion brand that donates clothes to women's shelters.

“I love working with companies that are passionate about their message, and I love to help leverage that message and bring it forward,” she notes.

A particular success story illustrates Flamant's approach to marketing and branding. One of her clients is a startup in the art space with two different audiences: art collectors and artists. Flamant says Partial Gallery is always working on improving the platform and the user experience for their clients.

“I consulted with them as they were going through a time of doubt as to what direction should their offering take, and which audience, artists or art collectors, should they focus their marketing and content creation efforts on to increase revenue and visibility,” Flamant explains. “I had a work session with the two founders to help them gain more clarity on their vision, mission, value, business model and promotional effort. At the end of this session, it was amazing to see the renewed energy and enthusiasm the founders gained by realizing they were aligned in their vision and the direction the startup should take.”

After generating many ideas and exploring avenues the clients hadn’t considered, Flamant worked with them to draft a plan to implement. She says, “Witnessing them shift from doubt to growth mindset, seeing their excitement to get to work, knowing they have a solid plan to keep on building their idea, increase their visibility and their company revenue, that’s what I love about my job!” 

Flamant founded Dare & Defy after years of being neck-deep in the marketing space and watching too many distractions hurt the services she wanted to offer. “I often saw the same pattern of micromanaging and people's egos and insecurities taking away from the real job of getting the work done.”

She goes on to say that “people think marketing is mostly encompassing technical skills and while there’s no magic formula, I've found that great marketing is 60 percent empathy, 30 percent common sense and 10 percent technical skills.”

Flamant's firm got a much-needed boost when she worked out of the Parkdale Centre for Innovation in downtown Toronto, a hub for entrepreneurship and professional development. “Being with like-minded people with great energy was a fantastic fit for me,” she recalls.

She was so enamoured with the Centre she began to offer marketing classes to other entrepreneurs who wanted to boost their branding acumen.

As for skills she'd like to hone herself, Flamant says she is currently working on developing more advanced productivity and prioritization abilities to become better at managing the more administrative tasks of running Dare & Defy.

“The purpose is to allow me to allocate more time to creative tasks, and be able to do for my company what I do for my clients. When that is organized, I’m planning to focus on looking into sales and business development skills,” she says.

Photo credit Zlatko Cetinic, Images Made Real