“Use Failure To Drive Your Success” The 5 Lessons I Learned Being a 20-Something Founder

© Julian Murray
I had the pleasure of interviewing Megan Fazio, CEO & Founder of Neon Public Relations, a full-service PR and marketing firm based in Las Vegas representing hospitality, entertainment, adventure and non-profit clients. As a public relations business professional with several years of travel & tourism-related industries, multi-agency, high risk accounts, and non-profit PR experience, Megan focuses on helping businesses penetrate targeted markets and attain high visibility in these markets by garnering positive buzz and media attention, but more importantly, she measures her success according to the impact she has on driving her clients’ businesses forward. A trusted PR advisor at the highest levels, she’s led hundreds of successful media campaigns, develops strategic messaging, builds relationships, and protects brands and reputations.

Jean: Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory” of how you become a founder?

The genesis of Neon PR came about from realizing what every entrepreneur in their respective fields comes across at some point — that there is a gap in the market that they can fill. I saw ways some firms I had worked for could be more effective for the clients, so I turned those obstacles into opportunities and opened Neon PR.

Jean: What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

Finding and aggregating good talent. Finding great talent is hard. The culture at Neon PR is so important to me and building a great team is imperative, so getting that right and finding a balance of people who subscribed to those values of effectiveness was a delicate and evolving process, but when you find the right people, it’s truly rewarding.

Jean: Are you working on any exciting projects now?

For the last year, we’re proud to be making waves with Downtown Project (DTP), a $350 million investment initiative funded by Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, dedicated to the revitalization of Downtown Las Vegas with a goal of making it a place of creativity, inspiration, innovation, and discovery.

It is so neat to watch a city change from a dilapidated, forgotten area of town to a downtown-chic urban oasis right before your eyes — and have a role in that. From the concepts to the implementation, to the amplification. It’s truly incredible and anyone who comes to downtown Vegas is not disappointed.

Jean: Do you have a favorite book that made a deep impact on your life? Can you share a story?

Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist — the primary theme is that each person should live in the singular pursuit of their individual dreams. Coelho is a philosopher, so it’s definitely an inspirational read — especially for the entrepreneurial-minded, and it reads like a fable so speaks to the kid in all of us.

© Julian Murray

Jean: What are your “5 Lessons I Learned as a Twentysomething Founder” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

  • The people around you are what make your business better. Sometimes you have to let go of seemingly valuable clients and employees to move your business forward. I invested a lot of time for too long in people that had negating factors. Sometimes there’s no way of knowing if someone isn’t what you thought until you’re already involved, but learning to ‘trim the fat’ was hard but quick lesson learned.
  • Let success speak for you. As a young entrepreneur, it’s important to recognize that sometimes having better ideas or knowing what works better than those older than you is intimidating. Applying the age old ‘Don’t just talk the talk — walk the walk’ will allow you to earn respect instead of shouting about how much you deserve it on the path to it.
  • Use failure to drive your success. Use the years you’ve spent working for other companies and observing various strengths and weaknesses to hone in on what makes sense for how to run your company. Learning from a former company or employer’s mistakes can be the most valuable tool for running a successful company.
  • The single most influential factor in a business’ success don’t involve personal successes, they involve the successes of everyone around me. Working with great people is what makes it easy to keep waking up and putting in the hard work. Being more concerned with your team’s successes rather than your own allows the whole of your company to shine.

Jean: Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. :-)

Warren Buffet. He’s a favorite thought leader of my dad’s and his lifestyle to wealth barometer is one that is intriguing to me.

— Published on July 19, 2018