AF295 - Lead Thyself: Why entrepreneurs need leadership with Monica Marie Jones?

Entrepreneurship is tough. Working alone as the boss can be difficult and lonely. Who do you share ideas with? Who holds you accountable? Today we are going to learn strategies to help us lead ourselves to greatness and where to find quality personal development when we need it most.



I am finding it really important to get into the inner entrepreneur, our inner selves. How can we run a business, take care of our responsibilities, take care of our families, take care of ourselves, and take care of our bottom line if we are not really caring for our soul and we are not leading ourselves? Entrepreneurship can be so lonely. It can be very isolating. We do not have a boss to relate to every single day to go and ask about our duties.  

Some of us have teams or have a couple of people that work with us. But other than that, we are the boss. We are self-motivating and self-regulating. So the best thing that we can do is take care of ourselves. This is real genuine entrepreneurship from a holistic approach. And the lady that I have on today is fantastic. Her name is Monica Marie Jones. I met her through our Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program. I was immediately drawn to her communication style, for her authenticity, and boldness. She is a fantastic leader and a personal development expert.

Whether you are spiritual or not, we are all spiritual beings. No matter what you choose to believe in and what your belief systems are, I am not going to push that on anybody. Monica is going to come on today and talk to us about how we lead ourselves, how we care for ourselves, and basic care for our souls. We have constant decisions to make. Decision fatigue is real. 


How did you get started? How did you become the amazing entrepreneur that you are today?  

It was actually like a journey of just following the next logical step. I thought I wanted to be a teacher. I started off as an elementary school teacher because I always had this knack for helping people play in school, all the things when I was young. But then I realized I wanted to make more of an impact than I could within the confines of school districts. I went back to school for social work. I did some work in the community in the same afterschool program I was in, but I found that I was too emotionally attached to trying to save the world. I took a step back and still made a difference trying to save everyone and solve every problem.

That is what led me into doing training and consulting, and professional development. I was able to help the adults that worked with young people to make sure they had the skills they needed. Over the years, as I worked with more adults, I realized adults need a little bit of extra support. People would always want to pull into the side, have coffee, and share some thoughts. That is what helped me to pivot into being a personal and executive coach.

Leaders need to be led as well. Our cups get empty as well, so we need someone or a group to pour into us. Sometimes it really starts with self-motivation. I need someone to lead me even though I am a strong leader. We all experience burnout and sometimes we just do not know what to do on our own. 


Do you have your own personal mentor or a group of people that you lean on to help lead you as well? 

In everything I have done in life, I have always tried to find the person who was aligned, and who had done that before me. There was a part of my journey where I was writing books. I joined the local writer's network and an author who had published many books. I volunteered for everything just so I could sit at her feet and get all of the wisdom and knowledge. Throughout life, whatever I decided to try out, I always tried to find some sort of mentor and not just, “How can you help me?”, but “How can I serve and help you?” It was always a reciprocal relationship. As my business started to grow, I realized it was time to invest in higher-level things like coaching programs. 

About five years ago, some friends and I who have similar businesses, a therapist, and a business coach, formed a mastermind group. Every Thursday morning without fail, some of us are in other countries at the time, other time zones, but we get on the phone and share our wins. We talk through challenges and we just have different topics of discussion that not only help us grow professionally but also help us with the personal things we are going through. 

This is us being authentic and telling people for sure that even as strong women business leaders, we need each other and we need to be led as well as lead other people. Sometimes our spouses do not understand what we are going through. Sometimes our friends do not know what we are doing in business. They do not understand that every single day we probably have to make at least a hundred decisions. And we are not talking about what kind of creamer we want in our coffee.  We are talking about big decisions. Decisions to either hire or fire, launch a product or not or join something or go on a retreat. These are hard decisions that really do take a lot out of us. Going through those things, we need people that can relate to what we are going through.



I went through all the things they say you are supposed to go to. Go to school, get good grades, go to college, get degrees, and get a good job. I did all those things, but I still was feeling stuck and I realized there were certain mindsets that were holding me. I sated myself down one day and kind of took myself through a process and it actually started with the book, the Richest Man in Babylon.

It has these kinds of key things. Instead of just reading books for inspiration, I practically apply what I am learning. I took myself through what I call a soul journey, like a program where I assessed where I was. I call that reveal. Then I created some things to guide my journey. I call that deal. It includes things like my own personal core values, my personal mission, and my personal vision statements. And then the third component was heal.


How will you maintain this?

By focusing on an abundance mindset. Having what I call a soul journey map, you need to continuously revisit your goals and action steps. Doing such is what I call curating your community. The five people you spend the most time with, that is who you are. That is the average. 


Why did you decide to create this program? 

I took that process. I took myself through and released the things that were no longer serving me, focused on the things that mattered, and continued to do the inner healing work. That is when I saw all the things that I wanted to happen. So my money grew, and my joy grew. Like all the things I wanted to attract started coming my way. And then as I continued to do training and professional development around the country, people saw a light or something in me and women would come up to me afterward and say, “Can we meet for coffee?” And they would be like, “You know, I'm going through a transition. I'm feeling stuck.” And I am like, “Hmm, I got something for that.” 

I started with five women, tested it out on them, and then boom - their careers, their lives, their businesses, everything just took off. And so I just kept growing and growing from there. And I turned it into a solidified approach, the mindset quest or the soul journey. And I started doing it with one-on-one clients and then with group coaching. With all of the rewards and all of the testimonials, I decided to turn it into a course. That way if people want to access it in a self-guided way or in a way that is more accessible for their budget, they can just go through and take their time with the videos and the worksheets and the activities, but have the same experience.  



I am always the one that says, you do not have to subscribe to what you were born with. You do not have to subscribe. You are an adult and you can unsubscribe to any thoughts and beliefs any time you choose that is not going to be serving you. And that is something that I grew up with more of an abundance.  

Surrounding yourself with a bunch of different people that have different viewpoints and different upbringings than you is such an amazing thing. And I loved just getting to know you and watching you lean into that. I could tell right away you are a strong leader but at the same time always leaning in, always learning, and always seeing what you can receive as well as give. And I think that is such an important part of leadership.


What is one piece of advice you would have for them when it comes to both their leadership and their ability to receive instruction?  

The core of my business, the culture of my company, and that is being human and healing centered. When we become leaders we feel like we have to look perfect and be strong and not make mistakes and not let anyone see us cry. But there is so much power in modeling vulnerability and your humanness. When we are our whole authentic selves in our leadership, it gives other people permission to do the same. That is when you are going to see their true potential, their true passion. Otherwise, everyone's walking around on eggshells trying to be perfect and you never get the fullness of the experience of each person and their potential.  


Loneliness of Entrepreneurship 

Most of my audience is probably sitting alone and leading themselves and leading their businesses and may not even have a team yet. What is something they can tap into kind of lead themselves as they are making these hard decisions and kind of working through the loneliness of entrepreneurship?

I put it as a part of my approach and a part of the course where I talk about curating your community. It does not have to be a big community, but whether it is online, whether it is in person, or sometimes for me it is listening to a really good podcast. There is something about a podcast where it feels like you are on the phone with a friend. 

Community does not always have to look like what we think it does. Finding your people could be that one accountability buddy is what I like to call it. That one person. It can be the things you listen to or the things you read. And then I would say intentionally forming relationships with people who are aligned with your values, your vision, and your mission. No need to rush, no need to go to all the networking events and meet all the people because that ends up again, just taking more energy.

When I did not believe I had the budget to invest in a therapist and a coach in bigger programs, I would literally walk around a park in Detroit and it is a six-mile radius if you walk around. So that would take me two hours and one whole summer every day. I did that and listen to podcasts and those podcasts changed my life and they helped to coach me to the next level of my growth. For now, you may have a virtual community that you cannot talk back to, but they can be pouring into you.

To get Monica's course go to You can also visit 



I love that that we share that ability to kind of just be real and be vulnerable because that's a place where leadership comes from. The ability to be aware that we make mistakes and how do we fix them and how do we problem solve and how do we come together as a community and help each other. You know, we can't always hold ourselves up. - Kristin Ostrander




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