Wednesday, April 6, 2016

BOSS Spotlight: Meet The "Empowerment Cultivator" Monique A. J. Smith

Monique A. J. Smith, A certified Prana Business Partner and Founder of the consulting firm Seeds of Empowerment ®LLC. Smith’s focus is leadership development and uses her weekly podcast  “A Chat in the Garden with Monique A. J. Smith” to share career paths, advice and initiatives of women leaders.

TheBOSSNetwork: What were some obstacles that you faced in the beginning process of starting your business or career?  

MoniqueSmith: The mind shift of monetizing services from a Higher Education  Administrator to an Entrepreneur was an obstacle I had to navigate.

BN: What inspired you to break into your particular industry? 

MS: I was inspired because I knew I was fulfilling a sense of community and a publicity void for African-American Female Athletic Administrators. My endorphin's are in Professional Development, cultivating a crop of able and accomplished administrators who are ready to be Deputy or Director of an Athletic Department, specifically but not limited to females.  My consulting duplicates that nationally through professional development offerings such as:  “A Chat In the Garden”,  a weekly podcasts where guests share their career path, advice and  current initiatives ; “Garden Connecting Events” held across the country that are live versions of the Chats; “LeadYourShip Retreats”,  intimate 2-3 days personalized Executive Coaching workshops  that include bonding with other participants, and lastly interactive “Line of Sight” departmental retreats.

BN: How do you balance your personal and professional life or have you been able to find a balance?  

MS: It’s Ebb and Flow, it depends where your moon is at the time, moon meaning priorities. As an entrepreneur, I set the high and low tides based on my priorities at the time.

BN: What is an inspirational quote that you live by? 

MS: The scripture, "Create in me a clean heart and renew the right spirit in me."

BN: Who were some influential people or mentors that helped or encouraged you along the way? 

MS: Jeanette A. Lee, the first Female Athletic Director for the CIAA and was my first BOSS. She set the stage for my success. Many days it was just us sitting in her office talking and I observing her interaction with others that had the most impact.That is why I know intimate settings are effective in leading women to climb this hill of Athletic Administration.  Lessons Learned from Lee are 1) relationships are key to success, 2) patience is like fishing, if you make a lot noise, will get no results. In contrast, take intentional preparatory steps and let the process work to achieve desired outcomes, and 3) always be polite, even if others aren’t. Thomas Smith, my husband, always says, “Go Big or Come Home”. He’s my biggest encourager. You need that as entrepreneur because it’s easy to want to give up.  

BN: What are your ?must-haves? to keep your career or business going strong?

MS: Word of mouth, is the engine that drives Executive Coaching.  To keep my business moving, I must  have good relationships, credit and feedback.

BN: What is your definition of a BOSS?

MS: Brings her authentic self everyday, Over Delivers, Strategic with Relationships, and Self-focus not selfish. That's BOSS

Be sure to follow Monique A. J. Smith on Twitter @MoniqueAJMorgan and check out her products and services at

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