I worked as a nurse in the private sector, and then for the federal government as a civil servant with the Department of Defense (DOD) for a few years. There were many shining moments in my DOD career but none that brought me greater joy than having the honor of caring for our Nation’s Heroes. I found myself having to move out of nursing and into a federal administrative position to get from under the glass ceiling. This is where things began to go south. I was still helping people but I didn’t feel appreciated like when I cared for my patients, and my sense of purpose was constantly questioned. Fast forward to 2017, my mom was having heart issues, my grandmother was having heart issues, and I was having recurrent eye infections. Even though I was often the first one at work, the last one to leave, and was no stranger to working overtime they gave me a hard time when I requested time off to see about my mom. The wheels in my mind started to turn or maybe they began to turn more after this incident. I realized my job meant more to me than I meant to my job. Because to the government agency I tirelessly worked for - I was just a number. When I got up the nerve to quit in March 2017 to start my own business after several devoted years of federal civil service, they replaced me with not one, not two, but THREE new people. See. Just a number…dispensable. If I’m going to work hard, then let it be for my own benefit, let me have the freedom to care for my loved ones as I see fit, and let my soul be on fire for the cause. The spark within me was ignited to strike out on my own after getting a taste of working in the music industry. I was co-managing and managing artists in my free time the last two years I worked for the government. Music has always been my life. Every time I get the chance to see the hard work and dedication I put in behind-the-scenes play out on stage, my heart instantly filled with joy. That feeling can’t be duplicated if you’re not in business for yourself. What I quickly learned was that a career in music could be very unpredictable, and that it would become very difficult to pay the bills by solely managing and working with one artist. I had to work smarter. After a series of conference calls with my business partner in Miami it became apparent that my future was in digital consulting. Since I am an avid researcher, problem solver, motivator, and social media marketer it only made sense that I create strategies for domestic and international brands that in turn generate leads for their business.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
Starting out my biggest hurdle was revenue and having the amount I needed WHEN I needed it (or at least when I thought I did). When you’re building something whether it be a house, a physical business or an online business, it takes money…lots of it. However it is important not to overfund your business as this could potentially lead to having to close your doors in the long run. I cleared and continue to clear the revenue hurdle by paying for all of my business expenses with my debit card - not credit card. If I don’t have it, I don’t spend it. I didn’t take out any loans. I made a prioritized To Do List and one-by-one paid cash for my logo design, domain, website, conferences, business incorporation, business travel, etc etc…. Rome wasn’t built in a day neither was Art Monét Consulting.
What books are you currently reading? And your recommendation for entrepreneurs to read?
Full disclosure my attention span has been super short lately. I find myself reading more articles online than actual books in their entirety, but with that being said, I am reading and recommend each of the following books for entrepreneurs around the globe. Just promise you won’t ask how long it’s taking me to finish these lol :
The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferris
Relentless by Tim S. Grover
The Art & Science of Respect: A Memoir by James Prince
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits? How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
*chuckles* You’re saying “Did you ever…” as though this is a thing of the past. I am convinced my mom and dad thought I was under the influence or needed a psych eval when I told them I was quitting my stable federal government job last Spring. Since then, they have witnessed me make sacrifices like never before in my entire life. They’ve seen the insane amount of faith I now have, that all things really are working together for my good, and how my inner survivor shows up and wills positive outcomes to manifest. My story has made a believer out of them, which perpetuates the believer within me. In hindsight, I would have liked to devise a better exit strategy before I quit my job…then again I was suffocating there. It was an emergency and I needed air.
My apologies, I have to list two factors here. #1 God - Since I began this journey He has made a way for me out of no way more than ever before. #2 My business partner Rey Fonder - There would be no Art Monét Consulting without him.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
When it comes to work quality, I am one of the most meticulous people you’ll ever meet. My family put a lot of pressure on me and made me that way. I wish that I would have known that plans don’t have to perfect or all together before they are executed. For example, I built my website TheArtMonet.com and sat on it for a couple weeks before officially launching it because I wanted it to be “perfect.” But what I realized is perfection is paralyzing. When we try to attain perfection we miss opportunities and sometimes never accomplish the goal. It’s best to do the best you can, publish your work, and make edits if/when necessary. Trust me…you’ll feel more accomplished.
What advice would you give to an upcoming entrepreneur locally and internationally?
I would give them three pieces of advice : #1 - Find your WHY. Figure out what motivates you before you do anything else. #2 - In everything, remember the Golden Rule “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” #3 - The future is digital. Hire a digital marketing agency, like Art Monét Consulting, to evaluate your digital footprint, assist with the branding process, and insure internet traffic is being directed towards your products and services. You CAN do this! No one else can bring to the world the gift that is inside you.