The Failure Factor: Stories of Career Perseverance

There’s a myth out there that failure is career-ending and that success is achieved without any bumps in the road. But in reality, it’s surviving rock bottom that gives entrepreneurs the experience, confidence and edge that ultimately causes them to thrive. You’ll hear stories of challenge, perseverance and triumph. Plus you’ll learn how to capitalize off the failure factor--your secret to success.
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The Failure Factor: Stories of Career Perseverance






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Dec 27, 2023

Naveen Jain is a serial entrepreneur and self-made billionaire whose latest venture, Viome, is revolutionizing personalized health and longevity. Jain rose to success as the founder and CEO of InfoSpace, previously one of the largest internet companies in the Northwest, and has since inspired millions to go after their most audacious goals as the founder of Moon Express – the only company permitted to harvest resources from the moon. In this episode, he shares his story of going from being an immigrant with five dollars in his pocket – to having a worth of 6 billion dollars and living on a private island. Listen in to hear how he thinks technology has democratized entrepreneurship; and why he believes passion, naivete, and viewing entrepreneurship as "research" is the secret to persevering through a goal that's "so big, people think you're crazy."

Aug 15, 2023

Carly Stein Kremer is the founder of Beekeeper’s Naturals, a collection of natural remedies and immune support products she developed after years of living with a chronically suppressed immune system. She was recognized on the 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 list and has raised nearly 20 million dollars to date. In this episode, she tells the story of how she left Goldman Sachs to pursue her dream of developing a line of bee propolis-based products. Listen in to hear her advice for staying confident when taking a risk, convincing the person across the table of the upside, modeling healthy emotional expression at work, and the importance of celebrating wins. 

May 24, 2023

Payton Nyquvest is the founder and CEO of Numinus, a mental health company at the forefront of the psychedelic-assisted therapy movement. He's raised over $80 million for the startup, which currently offers psychedelic-assisted therapy, traditional talk therapy, and practitioner training--and conducts research trials. In this episode, Payton shares with Megan how psychedelics saved his life and the challenges of marketing and scaling while maintaining clinical ethics and integrity. 

May 16, 2023
Hayley Williams--who you might know as the lead singer of Paramore--and her longtime stylist Brian O'Connor are a best-friend duo and the cofounders of Good Dye Young. They're unapologetically making creative self-expression more accessible through the brand's bold hair color products and social justice mission. In this episode, they share with Megan how being outcasted inspired Good Dye Young, the challenges of being first-time founders, the hiring mistake that almost cost them the company, and how they manage their mental health today. 
Dec 5, 2022

Serial entrepreneur Tara Simich launched Mermade Hair's hero product, the Mermade Waver, right before the pandemic hit. The brand became an overnight success, blowing up on Instagram to the point at which she and her team couldn't keep up with supply. The supply chain issues were wildly exacerbated by the pandemic, and she was soon faced with unhappy customers calling the product a sham – which, given the main marketing platform was Instagram, threatened to bring down the brand. Listen in to hear how Tara managed the stress of the supply issues and trolling customers, how she mitigates "mom guilt," and the growth mindset she brings to entrepreneurship that's been at the root of her success. 

Aug 23, 2022

Nicci Levy is the founder and CEO of Alchemy 43, a DryBar-meets-Botox-and-fillers concept transforming the experience of cosmetic injectables. In this episode, she shares the story behind Alchemy43; how she and her team almost had to close their doors because they ran out of money; and the empowering wisdom for taking risks and persevering through challenges that she learned along the way.  

May 2, 2022
Chris Pan is the founder of, which has gained a cult following from its intention-personalized necklaces and bracelets. In this episode, the former McKinsey consultant and early Facebook employee shares: how a dark time in his life led to, how he navigated the depression of isolation and his business screeching to a halt during the pandemic, and why every entrepreneur should sing. 
Feb 1, 2022
Erica Huss and Zoe Sakoutis are largely responsible for the success of the cold-pressed juice industry. But on their bootstrapped five-year journey to a $26m sale, they encountered repeated challenges and feedback that their idea could "never work." In this episode, they share how they persevered, plus what they learned from their failed venture, and how it led to the new f&b trend they're capitalizing on now. 
Feb 17, 2019

In this episode of The Failure Factor, Megan sits down with Bluemercury co-founder and Marla Beck. The CEO of the rapidly-growing luxury beauty retailer shares how the initially Ecommerce company almost ran out of money, sparking the inaugural pivot "from clicks to bricks." Thanks to Beck's perseverance, in 2015 Bluemercury was acquired by Macy's for $210 million. You won't want to miss Beck's advice on authoritative leadership, secrets to employee retention, why she doesn't endorse "productivity," and the growth-inspiring way she responds to failures and mistakes – both personally and in managing others. 

Feb 7, 2019

In this episode of The Failure Factor, Megan interviews Michael Cammarata: serial entrepreneur, investor, and co-founder and CEO of Schmidt's Naturals – one of the worlds fastest-growing wellness brands. Despite being told he'd "never amount to anything" after being diagnosed with dyslexia, Michael had made his first million by thirteen years old. Listen in to hear why Michael can't stand "Five Year Plans," the mistake he believes entrepreneurs make that holds them back from opportunities, and the question he urges founders to ask themselves from day one.

Oct 9, 2018

In this special episode, Megan sits down with her good friend: writer, American History teacher and feminist sociopolitical expert Sari Rosenberg to clarify myths around feminism and how it relates to sexual assault, dating, body image and eating disorders, and more. If you want to participate in the conversation but feel under-resourced, are curious or skeptical about the movement, or want to know how not to be a "white feminist," this is a great place for listeners of all genders to start. 

Oct 8, 2018

In this episode of The Failure Factor, Megan talks resilience, sexism, and changing the world with Julie Smolyansky.  Julie became the youngest female CEO of a publicly held firm when she took over Lifeway Foods at the age of 27 in 2002 after the tragic death of her father.  Even through her grief, she managed to send the company's growth trajectory and revenues soaring, while considerably expanding distribution.  She has been named to Fortune Business ‘40 under 40,’ Fortune’s 55 Most Influential Women on Twitter and Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business 1000.  Listen in as she and Megan talk about the challenges she has faced, the strength she has acquired, and the world she hopes to build for her two daughters as well as women everywhere.

Jul 31, 2018
Ah, dating - a topic close to Megan's heart. In this episode, she interviews The League founder and CEO Amanda Bradford on the building of the elite dating app. They discuss what it's like to date as an "alpha woman," the parallels between dating and entrepreneurship, why the skill of difficult conversations is integral to both dating and hiring, and how to cope with rejection. Listen in for Amanda's go-to first-date and first-interview questions, advice on overcoming fear of failure, and why hiring her best friend as her first hire was a mistake. Oh, and skip the 300,000 person waiting list at The League by telling your concierge you heard about it on The Failure Factor! 
Apr 3, 2018

Simon "Thor" Damborg is a former competitive CrossFit athlete, small business consultant, and the owner of Raincity Athletics and the Functional Fitness League in Vancouver, Canada. In this episode, which isn't your typical TFF conversation, Simon opens up about the challenges of building his businesses, dating in a culture of toxic masculinity, his "privileged guilt," the pain, isolation and shame of creating a “macho” personal brand, and how to make room for failure as an entrepreneur.

Feb 18, 2018

Amy Briant and Lisa DeLarco Bonoff are the founders of Lumion, a skincare product line revolutionizing skin health technology. In this episode, Amy shares the story of her painful split from a co-founder in her former venture, and what she learned the hard way. Tune into hear her advice on protecting yourself legally, setting boundaries, mitigating conflict, and optimizing co-founder relationships.

Nov 30, 2017

At 25 years old, Jessie Andrews is the founder and CEO of four successful businesses. Formerly an adult-film star and international DJ/Producer, she's now also a globally sought-after photographer, in-demand brand builder, and successful model and designer. In this episode, brought to you by Discover LMS, Jessie shares her unconventional journey from dropping out of high school to becoming one of the few adult actress to break through to mainstream. Listen in for her wisdom and grit-filled story, plus how to prevent the past from defining you, plus her advice in starting up and owning who you are.

Nov 9, 2017
Mark Sisson is an serial entrepreneur and ex-endurance athlete turned ancestral health pioneer and New York Times bestselling author. What began as his blog ( has now become one of the top-rated health and fitness websites, and has led to Mark founding of several companies of "primal" nature: Primal Blueprint, Primal Kitchen, Primal Kitchen Resturaunts, and Primal Health Coach- all devoted to promoting the Primal lifestyle of balancing healthy nutrition, exercise and play.
In this episode, brought to you by Discover LMS, Mark shares his perspective on taking risks to obtain the life you want – and switching gears when you find yourself on a path that's just not working for you anymore. He offers advice on integrating "failures," as well as other lessons he learned through his television show-flop, a mindset that's led to his being one of the most renowned figures in health and wellness today .
Oct 23, 2017

Gabby Slome is the co-founder of Ollie; an all-natural, human grade dog food delivery service.  In this episode, brought to you by Discover LMS, she shares how she overcame “analysis paralysis" and what she believes is most important in starting a successful business. Warning: Gabby shares some stomach-turning truths about the dog-food industry, so you might not want to eat while listening to this episode! 

Oct 8, 2017

It's one thing to leave a job you hate to follow your dreams; but what about leaving that "cushy" job that's not totally terrible?  In this interview, brought to you by Discover LMS, Sarah Merrill of "Big Kid problems" walks Megan through how she traversed this decision in her own life and how she's made a successful business out of social media.

From appearing as a guest on the day- time Emmy winning Steve Harvey Show on three separate episodes teaching “Social Media 101” segments, and being featured on various podcasts and websites as a “millennial thought leader”, listen in as Sarah shares how she embraces fear and failure, and lets us in on her secrets to growing and monetizing her following to a quarter-million.

Jul 29, 2017

Known for taboo industry innovation, controversial subway ads, and a publicly challenging departure from her role as CEO of THINX Period Underwear, Miki Agrawal is a serial entrepreneur, author, and speaker. The four-time founder sat down with Megan for an exclusive first interview since what she describes as "trial by fire." Agrawal also shares how she believes anyone can be an entrepreneur, and how she navigates gender biases and double standards. 

Jul 11, 2017

Cassandra Bodzak is the founder of the online mind-body-soul support community,,and best-selling author of "Eat With Intention." She's a global meditation and wellness teacher, host of Eat with Intention TV, and former host of ABC’s The Taste. Hear Cassandra's story on how she successfully built an online community and personal brand alongside the grief of heartbreak and her brother's life-changing diagnosis – then rebranded and did it all over again – as well as her advice for how to combat perfectionism and own your success. 

Jun 26, 2017

Bobby Kim (also known as Bobby Hundreds) is the Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer of The Hundreds – a massively popular streetwear line worn by celebrities such as Kanye West and Justin Bieber. Hear Bobby's story about the conversation that gave him the courage to leave law; how he's built a trustworthy brand; and the unique way he copes with success and failure. 

Jun 13, 2017

Megan Driscoll is the founder and CEO of Evolve MKD, a public relations and social media agency in New York City. She's grown her business from one employee (herself) to 19 in two and a half years. But Megan's success came out of a "bad breakup" at her previous company. Listen in to hear her advice on building an agency, outsourcing PR, using fear as a motivator, negotiating the conflict of being a woman who doesn't want children, and more. 

May 30, 2017

Danielle LaPorte is an internationally renowned speaker, writer, entrepreneur, and blogger. The wise, hilarious, self-proclaimed "seeker" has mastered scaling the personal brand; but prior to Danielle's massive success, she was fired – from her own company. Listen to this rich interview filled with Danielle's personal story of challenge and "failure," as well as her advice for protecting oneself when building your company, dealing with haters, and building a successful brand.

May 15, 2017

Lauren Berlingeri and Katie Kaps are the founders of HigherDOSE, the infrared sauna experience that's taking over NYC. In this episode, they share with Megan how past career challenges have led to their present success. Berlingeri, previously a fitness model and star of the popular web show Woman v. Workout, opens up about her struggles in the world of modeling, while Kaps shares a painful near-death experience that transformed her perspective. Listen into hear their founder story, as well as their advice for owning weaknesses, building relationships, and not taking things too seriously. 

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