Discover how Monique made work work for her family and passion. Meet successful entrepreneur, digital nomad and traveller who sees the world with her husband and two kids! Who say you can’t have it all?
Full of Wanderlust?
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Hi Monique, let’s get straight to it. How do you manage motherhood and travel?
I’m often asked what it is like to travel with two toddlers. The truth is the thought of it combining motherhood with traveling is actually much more daunting than actually doing it.
I believe it’s easy for me for three main reasons:
- My husband is a very hands-on dad. He has always been in the mix with our sons. He can do absolutely everything for them. Having this kind of support and practical help is priceless to me. I’m not alone in motherhood and that allows me to relax and enjoy it much more.
- From the moment my boys were born they went everywhere with my husband and me. We ate out, went on road trips, stayed at hotels. We brought them along for every adventure big and small and they are accustomed to it.
- As Americans it’s much easier to parent outside the U.S. For example, we are currently living in Mexico what is very family oriented. It’s normal to take the whole family to dinner or on a trip. They expect our children to act like children and not like adults. Wherever we go other kids and parents help us watch the boys or offer to play with them. It very much feels like we have a village here.
The other thing to keep in mind is that we have deliberately chosen slow travel as our lifestyle. We stay in one place as long as we like and there’s no timeline we are operating from. Our entire family has a schedule. We have meals, naps, work and play everywhere we live and visit. Our boys are incredibly confident, secure and well adjusted because we make each place feel like home.
Can you tell us about your work?
The big question I always get is, how do you finance your travels? Honestly, I’m not the kind of person that can work and go on a trip a few times a year. I thrive when I’m travelling full time and working as I go.
My husband and I started a business nine years ago. We did web design, SEO and social media marketing when it was all pretty new. After having two babies in twelve months we knew our business model would change. I decided to focus on business consulting because that comes easy for me. I’m a third generation entrepreneur and business is in my blood.
When did you come up with an idea to start a Mastermind Group ?
Right after my second son was born I got the idea to start a mastermind group. Little did I know this would put me in my zone of genius. So I get to meet with female entrepreneurs every week via Zoom and it absolutely lights me up. In fact, I facilitate meetings around super practical business skills that are essential to my clients making big money and creating freedom in their lives.
What does your Mastermind Group offer?
I not only teach business skills like sales, marketing, and networking. I also teach women how to generate recurring income. So they have more options and can live the life of their choosing. Moreover, I foster a sense of community in my groups. I’m big on empowerment and support.
Most women are attempting to build businesses and create income with little to no support and very few can pull it off. I believe in showing my clients what they are capable of and holding that vision for them until they can see it for themselves. My number one job is to have an unwavering belief in them and their dreams.
How did you get to where you are professionally?
I got to where I am professionally because I had a few key components in place early on in my business. Do I feel like I have an advantage because I was raised in several family businesses? Of course, I do! What I teach to my clients is that they must find what is in their blood. They must lock into what comes naturally to them and build a business around it.
What are those key components?
- I had a foundation of sales skills. When I was a teenager my dad told me the most valuable skill I could have a job or business is the ability to sell. I read every sales book I could get my hands on.
- I chose a profitable niche with my first business. The services I offered were cutting edge. Everyone wanted to be number one on Google. Everyone wanted to profit from social media and email marketing. This enabled us to hit six figures within our first year of business. When I transitioned into consulting I essential did the same thing. I found what was hot and put myself in that space.
- I had a profitable plan. We had packages, contracts, and price points that made sense. We had a daily work schedule that focused our time around money making activities. My husband executed what I sold. I networked every day. So we had a solid plan and we worked it every single day. We didn’t chase shiny objects and we didn’t lose focus. We stuck to our plan and it worked like a charm.
- I created recurring monthly income our third month in business and we have maintained that for nine straight years. We never worked with clients for a month or two. Our shortest contract was six months and our average client worked with us over three years. We were looking to work with businesses who had the budget and commitment to work for the long haul and we never start a month on zero. We have a base of income that we can grow.
Do you enjoy being an entrepreneur?
I love being an entrepreneur and a leader. For me these two go hand in hand. How did I get where I am? I act like the CEO and I do what it takes to get where I want to go. I take personal responsibility for my success and my failures. At the end of the day, the buck stops here. When you’re in business for yourself, you realise that any glass ceilings you hit are self-imposed.
Last but not least I’m a huge action taker. I’m proactive. I don’t wait for anything. I go get what I want.
What advice would you give to others who want to work and travel?
My advice to young women who want to work and travel would be, make it happen. Do not, for one second give up on your dream. Do not let anyone talk you out of it. People won’t always understand why you are the way you are and why you want what you want. And it doesn’t matter. Hold onto your dreams and make sure every decision you make lines up with the kind of life you want to lead.
Please do not think you have to go to college and get a job. You don’t. Many young people have amazing gifts and talents that they can make a business out of. But unfortunately, they lack confidence and experience. Take opportunities, not based on pay, but on the experience. they will give you. Talk to others who are living the way you want to. Being open to limitless possibilities is the first step.
It’s easy to spend money the way most people do. If you want to work and travel, you must do things differently than your peers. You will find that how you spend your time and money will greatly determine how your life goes. Choose wisely and make yourself aware of who is influencing your choices.
The world is constantly changing and the opportunities to be a digital nomad are all around you.
How has travelling helped you?
I’m from a very small town in rural Colorado. I was raised with people who were all very similar. From income to religion to ethnicities, we didn’t have a lot of diversity. I didn’t know I was living in a bubble. I was completely unaware of my prejudices until I went on my first overseas trip when I was nineteen years old to Myanmar.
It was during that steaming summer that I woke up. Before then I literally thought everyone in the world lived like I did. I had no idea that some places in the world you can’t flip a light switch or step into a hot shower. My world was rocked to my foundation. That trip ruined me. I couldn’t go back to how I used to think. I couldn’t be naive or ignorant anymore.
It took me months to recover from the culture shock. I had to process what I was going to do with my new world view. Within two years I moved to Albania to volunteer at an orphanage. Next was Nairobi, Kenya. Travel so completely opened my heart and mind. I fell in love with people who I was supposed to be afraid of. I found myself leaving a part of my heart in every country I visited and realised I am not an American, I’m a citizen of the world.
Why is it important to empower women through travel?
I am forever grateful for the solo travel I did in my twenties. When I moved to Tirana, Albania at twenty-one I don’t even think I was aware of my bravery. I just wanted to go and since I had heard about an orphanage that needed help after the Kosovo Crisis and I bought a plane ticket. I didn’t join an organisation or went with a group. Instead, I flew into by myself and I learned how to figure it out: I managed my money, I found a place to live and I can tell you nothing in my life has contributed more to my confidence as a woman than my first year in Albania.
Why is it important for women to travel?
If I could talk to every parent and every teenage girl I would say, let her travel. Buy her a plane ticket and let her go explore and find herself. See how capable she really is. Allow her tune into her intuition and direct her own steps. So that she can realise who she is when she’s standing on her own two feet and feel her power.
First of all, I didn’t get married until I was almost thirty. I believe the reason I was not in a hurry getting married was because I liked my own company. I had travelled alone. Furthermore, I had gone to the movies alone, ate dinner alone, I had managed my life alone. I wasn’t looking for a saviour or a hero. I wasn’t looking for someone to take care of me. The only reason my now husband caught my eye is because he seemed to be like a great co-adventurer and he absolutely has been that for almost ten years.
Travel empowers women in a special way. If you want more confidence to go explore. Go get lost and find your way. If you want to be more independent, buy a plane ticket. Fall in love with your own company and prove to yourself- that you are more than enough. You can handle whatever you may encounter. Most certainly can figure things out because you definitely have abilities you can’t image. Go.
That’s all from Monique, got questions? Leave it below! Can’t get enough of us? Follow for daily updates!
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