You absolutely don’t need anyone’s approval to be you so don’t waste time trying to get it.

 

Tatiana Bonneau is CEO of AMAfeed.com a search engine and platform for knowledge exchange in an Ask Me Anything format. Tatiana started her career in IT in the early 00s covering quickly anything from design and coding to project management and sales and shortly after creating and managing a web development and marketing company in the UK. She has worked with clients across borders and industries, managing international teams and projects. Her diverse background and first hand experience in different fields give her a unique view and ability to easily identify good opportunities, spot and address issues at any stage of the business development process.

Tatiana joined the AMAfeed team in early 2017 as a Marketing Director and in 2018 was promoted to the CEO position. Her fascination for personal stories and questioning everything fit perfectly with the AMAfeed spirit. Married, a mother of four, speaks four languages, loves painting, biking and singing (badly).

Where did the idea for AMAfeed come from?

The Ask Me Anything format itself is not something we have invented, it goes back to AOL chatrooms in the 90s and could possibly have been around even before. To have a platform focused around AMAs is just the most fitting way we saw to facilitate information exchange in a very open and honest format. You can manipulate news, you can pay to have great marketing materials for your company, you can present yourself as anything/anyone you like and the audience won’t necessarily be able to tell what’s real and what isn’t. But with the AMAs you are being interviewed by a crowd so everything is on the table. They are a real insight into the person, the company, the idea behind them. And at the same time, if you have nothing to hide and are open for a discussion they are a great way to engage your existing audience and connect with ours. Each and every one of us is a story to be told and we are making the storytelling easier as you don’t have to think about it – you just answer questions.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

At the moment it is very hectic, we just turned one year, have many new features in development, we are looking for more people to join our team, we have started a partnership program that got ahead of us in terms of demand as we are not yet ready with the presentation for it so my days are pretty exhausting and not very planned, I am just trying to get as much done every day as possible. I try to make sure I have time for the kids and my husband, they really don’t see much of me during the week and then biking/running at least couple of days a week too. I am trying hard to get decent sleep and eat healthy, as old school as that sounds those two are the best contributors to a productive day and productive life.

How do you bring ideas to life?

By not giving up, focusing and re-focusing when needed, not wasting time over things I can’t affect, not taking work personally and personal issues/life to work. And sharing – so many people are afraid of discussing something because someone will steal their idea or someone will criticise them or someone will have a better one or already had – it really doesn’t matter. The world is not such a big place and you can never know who and how you will connect to, what will that bring in the future for you and for them so one should always be open to opportunity and to help others too. That is yet another way where my personal views on life align with the spirit of what we do at AMAfeed.

What’s one trend that excites you?

People realising the risks of the internet – not in a bad way, I think it was about time and as with anything new we, humans get over excited and don’t think much before jumping into it and overdoing it, now everyone is getting to terms with the responsibility we all have. I believe it will result in much better regulations, more responsible use, safer web based services and many new ideas.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I am very coldblooded when it comes to business, not sure it can be called a habit but it is a learnt behaviour, it wasn’t always like that so it should qualify:) I would analyse why something hasn’t worked out but wouldn’t waste time on « should’ve, could’ve » debates or regrets. I can work in pretty much any situation and when I work that’s all I think about and I rarely take personally anything work related.

What advice would you give your younger self?

You absolutely don’t need anyone’s approval to be you so don’t waste time trying to get it.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?

Alfa romeos are the best cars in the world! That and education being the key to solving just about any problem we have. I think in theory everyone agrees with that then we lose focus on the execution of that statement – when it comes to racism, homophobia, sexism, any kind of inequality, we often focus on addressing the symptoms and not the cause and fighting 100s of battles on different fronts as opposed to addressing the core issue.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Try to take different positions on a topic/issue, even if it is not one I initially agree with. It helps me see things clearer and often you can find useful information and logic in completely opposing views to yours. We are all way more similar than we are different.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business? Please explain how.

If this can be called a strategy – honesty. Sometimes people don’t expect it, sometimes they don’t even like it, sometimes they go away and come back in some weeks/months but it is what has worked and is working for me. People are less and less tolerant to being sold to with fluffed up statements to fit a narrative and that is a good thing.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

Relying on someone who was not reliable. This applies to life in general, it is ok to give chances to people, to try work things out, to help. But you should be clear on where is the limit to all that as at some point it is not for you to be helping, there is that saying « You can take something away by force but you can not give something to someone by force ». There are people who don’t want to be helped and you should stay away from those in business and in life. I just moved on and hopefully won’t make that mistake again.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

I don’t think I have any discovering the wheel ideas but anything subscription based if packaged and thought through well I believe can work. We all have less and less time and like personalised attention and things delivered to our door that make our life simpler.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

Professional photoshoot, definitely will do more, for work and for the family.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?

I am pretty old fashioned so you might laugh but I absolutely rely on my Google calendar and the notes on my mac for everything.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Nir Eyal’s “Hooked” because it is fascinating and applicable to pretty much any industry and business idea.

What is your favorite quote?

What doesn’t kill you will likely try again“. /unknown

Connect:

https://amafeed.com/user/17544
Tatiana Bonneau on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/tatiana-shuvalova-bonneau/
Tatiana Bonneau on Twitter: https://twitter.com/shuvafluffie
Tatiana Bonneau on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/tatiana.shuvalova.bonneau