We had the good fortune of connecting with Monique Bryan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Monique, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Too many of us are waiting for the “right” time to step into what we know deep down we were meant to be doing. Often, it’s not until something in our life blows up, giving us the wake-up call we need, that we gain the clarity we have been searching for. My wake-up call was on February 13th, 2017, one week after my 36th birthday and six months after marrying the love of her life. That was the day I diagnosed with stage three, triple-positive breast cancer, changing my whole life in an instant. Over the next year, I underwent eight rounds of chemotherapy, surgery and 21 rounds of radiation. It was gruelling and at times soul-crushing, but I wouldn’t have changed it, because it lit a fire lit under me like never before.
I started my business from my sickbed and I vowed that if I survived this ordeal I wouldn’t waste one more moment waiting for the “right” time to go after everything I ever wanted. More importantly, I would make it my mission to ensure no other woman did either. There was NO MORE WAITING! No more waiting for the right time, the right circumstances, the right amount of support. It was time to start my business (for the third time), get on stages and speak in front of crowds, travel to conferences and get my name out there, get that media coverage I was too ashamed before to crave, I wanted it all and I wanted it all now. Can you relate? It was time to take messy action and damn what anyone had to say about it, (yeah self I’m talking to you!)
The reason I focus on personal branding is that I’ve met so many women with amazing stories and expertise that could help so many people if they shared it, but they didn’t have a presence, an audience or a sound marketing strategy to get it out there. Without these things, you can have the best message in the world, but no one will hear it.
What should our readers know about your business?
Most small business owners struggle with positioning themselves for the opportunities they want. I help seasoned professionals align their business with how they want to be seen so they can bring in quality leads, speaking gigs and dream business opportunities.
My motto: “Branding is more than your logo,” in other words if you don’t know whom you want to be out here in the world, no amount of pretty pictures will help you reach your goals. My focus is strategy.
My professional experience is extensive and awesome if I do say so myself!
My career began as a designer at a large national retail brand, helping to optimize our department operations with leadership in global sourcing, manufacturing, and partnerships in Asia.
In 2010, I launched my first entrepreneurial venture with retail partnerships in Toronto and New York City, solidifying my love for brand development and business marketing.
My passion for branding and marketing was magnetic and attracted an opportunity for me to develop an entrepreneurship accelerator, leading the program and working in partnership with exciting global brands like PayPal, Burberry, and Toms Shoes. It was an incredible experience.
Unfortunately, I discovered a lump in my breast and needed treatment. My experience with cancer was transformative. Today, as a triple-positive cancer survivor, my self-motivation is less about fervent career advancement and more focused on helping people connect with their purposes — within a professional context.
My mission is to create space for all professionals to develop personally and thrive in alignment every day.
My personal branding programs are strategic for business growth:
B2B: I offer three key learning opportunities for my corporate clients: to connect with their personal brand and feel a deeper sense of purpose at work; to better identify the ways they connect with company culture and feel significantly more confident in broadcasting their ideas and thought-leadership on social media with a focus on LinkedIn and Instagram.
B2C: For my advanced professionals who are looking to stand out, pivot, rebrand or position themselves for new opportunities I offer curated VIP Brand strategy sessions. Together we will create the messaging and visual presentation you need to become top of mind and amplify your credibility in your profession. You will leave with clarity and confidence in how to position your expertise online and offline.
Lessons I have learned along the way?
Only you have to believe in your dream to make things happen
Always get a coach to help you create the plan for your success
Build relationships more than building your social media following
Always see if the market is willing to pay for what you offer before you invest in a website
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The design district – for high-end shopping and dining Lincoln Road – for lively cultural life
Wynwood walls for experiencing street art
Ocen drive for the best nightlife
Miami Beach boardwalk
Nikki Beach – a hot spot for restaurants on the beach
Seaspice – world-renowned fine-dining
Komodo – stylish choice for high-end
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My coach Audrey Hlembizky
She was my leadership coach and then helped coach me through my cancer journey and encouraged me to share my story. She always saw me bigger than I saw myself and lifted me up when I wanted to give up many times over.
Book: Building a Story Brand by Donald Miller – The best book on building a brand on the market
Other: https://www.juicybrandondemand.com/momentum The Mo’Mentum Personal Brand Experience is a 3-day hands-on business retreat where you’ll walk away with the proven tools and strategies required to be a captivating go-to authority in your industry so you can sell more of what you offer.
photographer – Double Jay Collective, Toronto