FYI: Good Girl Season is a rebirth of my blog Good Girls Finish First. (The following blog post was transferred from there, originally posted on December 3, 2019.) Enjoy!
Happy Holidays Good Girls! We are all in a season of thankfulness and reflection. This year you may have experienced a lot of ups and downs, but guess what...you're STILL HERE! We are getting closer to a New Year, and I want to keep up with the theme of Black entrepreneurship, because I believe it's important that, as a community, we learn the value of ownership. Whether you're thinking of a side hustle, or plan to quit your job to start a business...this is the platform to encourage you! That brings me to my next Good Girl, Montrelle "Montie" Green (IG: @montiegreen).
Montie is a 29 yr old Virginia Native, who graduated from Howard University for undergrad and the University of Maryland with her mater's degree. She is a Process Improvement Consultant, for a Federal Law Enforcement Agency and opened up her first beauty salon (@velvetwaxandbeauty) in Hampton, Virginia.
Starting a business takes so much sacrifice. What thing(s) did you have to change in your lifestyle to make it happen?
First, I had to learn to be less fearful. I am a perfectionist and tend to want things to be perfect before anyone sees them. However, I learned having 100% of something developing is better than 100% of absolutely nothing. So I learned to operate with more confidence. Then, I learned to be more introspective. No-one knows me better than me so I had to be real about what I was and was NOT doing.I realized I wasn't going to get the body, the life, the freedom or the career I always wanted unless I looked within myself and got real about what needed to change. Becoming more disciplined is one of the biggest things that has helped me succeed. Finally, I began setting my intention on being spiritually aligned to God. I read the bible everyday but also listen to sermons, podcasts and place scriptures in random places on my calendar so that I am always connected. When I'm busy, I get distracted but being spiritually connected is how I've been able to remain focused.
Most of the time, we see the glamorous side of entrepreneurship on social media. What are two of your constant struggles and how do you continue overcoming them?
My two constant struggles are time management and proper evaluation of the right people or company to partner with and either hire or outsource work to. I believe that if you want your business to be scalable, you will have to learn how to delegate work and share responsibility. This is difficult because no-one is going to treat YOUR business like you would. I overcome this by being extremely selective, doing my research and quantifying every decision before I move forward.
______________________________________ If you could go back in time and start your journey all over, is there anything you would've done differently?
No. There are many decisions which perhaps would have sped up my success however, a lot of my struggle is the cause for my success and persistence. When I left my job as a beauty assistant at Essence Magazine in 2013, I thought leaving New York was a mistake, but I knew that being with my family after the sudden passing of my mom was more important. When I left Hampton, (only 3 months after opening my business in that same city,) after my dad died, many people said " you can't run a business from another city." Well, 3 years later, VELVET is still standing. ______________________________________ What's next for you and your business? (Where do you see it going in the next 3 years?)
I plan to open a second VELVET in Northern VA or PG County Maryland by April 2021. I would like to have 4 full time waxing/sugaring staff and a manager at each location and leave my full time job free of credit card and college loan debt by that same time.
In a culture where so much on social media and in music glorifies a fast money/gold digger lifestyle, what has kept you from that path? (For lack of better terms...what kept you off the pole? LOL)
LOL first of all that SH*T HURTS! Um, just wasn't for me! I was raised by 4 independent women (Grandma, 3 Aunts and a Mom) who never took no for an answer or any mistreatment from a man. I certainly am not going to live my life depending on one to make ends meet and give me a purpose. Also, I believe that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, in God's image. I believe that we were created to worship God through our acts of service to one another and to this earth. In other words, it's not about me! Success means different things to different people. I have no desire to be a multi-billionaire. I desire to be wealthy yes, but I've found that I don't have to minimize myself, my dreams or my God to do it.
As we all know the road to success is not always easy, what motivates you to keep going?
First, my mom and her legacy. I named my salon, VELVET after her motorcycle bike name, Red Velvet and always seek to make her proud. Second, I realize that there are a lot of petty, rude unhappy, excuse my french but hating ass girls who despise to see others win. IDK why but that motivates me; because it's absolute insanity and many of them will never change. However, that motivates me because there ARE women out there who genuinely want to see other Girl Bosses WIN and they need support and love.Knowing that I'm doing my part in combating their negative energy is what makes me feel pretty damn good about myself; knowing that my heart is in a non-hating place and I'm sowing good seeds into promising soil. The bible says that you can tell a tree by the fruit that it bears. Over the years, many friends have come and go but I'd honestly say that I have a group of at least 10 women who are phenomenal, inspiring and positive. As long as I keep pouring into them, we will all win.