Ownr Success Story: Weird Is Nrml

Weird is Nrml is trying to get people out of their comfort zones and run engaging and functional workshops that teach people life-changing skills. In this interview with Ownr, founder Michaud Garneau discusses why he chose to take the entrepreneurial path and the factors that keep him motivated to stay on it.


Introduce us to Weird is Nrml.

Michaud: Weird is Nrml is a modern training and development organization. We acknowledge the feels that adults get when we learn (aka the weird and scaries) and build the capacity required to sit comfortably in that discomfort.   

We believe that at the core of empathy, collaboration, creativity and communication is a willingness to be uncomfortable. We believe a willingness to be uncomfortable is not some innate bravery, rather, a skill that can be developed through exposure. We provide that exposure in a safe and supportive environment that builds teams equipped to handle the challenges of the future. 

What inspired you to set up Weird is Nrml?

Michaud: I love working with people and helping them grow. Starting Weird Is Nrml allows me to do that. I get to design and run super fun and interesting workshops that teach people life-changing skills. 

What do you love about being your own boss? What keeps you motivated?  

Michaud: I have always been authority averse, so starting my own business felt like the natural thing to do. I love knowing that I care about what I am doing, that the daily monotony is self-imposed. I love that I’m the one making myself do all this terrible stuff to get an outcome that I want. (Hint: starting your own business is a wild ride)

Basic human needs like hunger and shelter keep me pretty motivated! If I don’t work, I don’t make any money, so there’s that. I also absolutely LOVE the work when I deliver training and workshops. The majority of my time is spent working to get to work and I can stay motivated through that because of the satisfaction I feel when I am client-facing.

What has been your biggest success or earliest win?

Michaud: I landed a major brand within my first year, which was a huge win. It was hugely validating and gave me the confidence (and money) I needed to continue.

What do you remember about the initial days of Weird is Nrml? Anything you can share about your experience of using Ownr to set up?

Michaud: Everything felt so weird. I didn’t know what to do, I didn’t know how to spend my time. I didn’t know what “work” was, I just knew I should be doing more of it than I was. 

Using Ownr to set up my business was my first “Adulting” business move. It was super easy and made a big difference for me. All of a sudden I “had a business” and was an “entrepreneur”. I had been avoiding getting a business license because it seemed like an expedition through administrative hell where I would reemerge a broken person. With Ownr, it was easy.

What’s the hardest part of running a business of this nature? Is there anything you wish you knew before you started? Anything you would approach differently? 

Michaud Garneau co-facilitating with Moe Poirier of Shift Facilitation at the Institute For Performance and Learning 2019 Conference.

Michaud: There’s a lot of competition, and it takes a long time. Working in B2B spaces are great in a lot of ways, and have their unique challenges. Sales cycles are very long, and building trust as a leader in the industry also takes a long time.  

I wish I knew just HOW LONG things took. A year feels like a long time, but let me assure you, it is not.

I think I would have gotten on LinkedIn with a clear strategy sooner. It’s an excellent way to differentiate yourself and build an audience base. Creating content with LinkedIn has been a key component of my sales and marketing strategy.

What does a typical day look like for you? 

Michaud: Typical?!?!?!?! No such thing. Most mornings start with creating and posting content on LI and engaging with other folk’s stuff. Then I typically have a lot of meetings/calls with people. Other days I spend creating programs Other days I spend delivering programs or meetings with clients. It is a lot of self-directed work that usually veers toward wherever needs it most.

Are there any tips you’d like to share with other entrepreneurs starting their business journey?

Remember to breathe. Also, I believe there is a finite amount of career doubt we are all given. You have the choice to:

  1. Work for someone else and always wonder if you could have done your own thing. (low-level doubt, for a long period)
  2. Start your own company (extreme doubt, for a short period)

Everybody pays, just depends if you want to do it as a lump sum or on a payment plan.

Are there any socials or sites you want to link out to or share?

Website: weirdisnrml.com

LinkedIn:  linkedin.com/in/michaudgarneau/

Instagram: @weirdisnrml


Ready to start your business? Ownr is here to help! If you have questions about how to register or incorporate your business, give us a call at 1-800-766-6302, Monday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm EST, or email us support@ownr.co.