Maureen Monte is a Leadership and Team Consultant and author of 'Destination Unstoppable: The Journey of No Teammate Left Behind' and 'Win Like a Girl' (coming soon). A season one guest on the Side Hustle to Small Business podcast, Maureen is back to share what she’s been up to since her first interview, how her business has grown and changed, and the important lessons she’s learned along the way.
Episode 24 – Maureen Monte
[00:00:55] Sanjay Parekh: Can you remember what you were doing in 2019? A LOT has happened in the world in the past three years. For Maureen Monte, our guest on the show today, back in 2019 she was sitting for her first interview on this show.
In her Season 1 interview, Maureen shared her story about starting her coaching business, writing her first book, and her transition from a career in IT consulting to running her own business. Here today to share what’s new, what she’s learned, and the future of her business is Maureen Monte.
Maureen, welcome to the show!
[00:01:25] Maureen Monte: Thank you, Sanjay. I'm happy to be here.
[00:01:27] Sanjay Parekh: So, I'm excited to have you on. I listened to your episode from season one and I'm super interested to see kind of how the business has grown. But before we get into all of that, for the folks that haven't listened to your first episode with us, can you give a little bit of background on who you are and what you do?
[00:01:44] Maureen Monte: Yeah. My name's Maureen Monte and I say I build winning teams. Okay. Now winning is easy when we keep score in sport or, you know, basketball or whatever. But winning for me is helping teams unite, overcome obstacles and achieve big goals. Big goals is the important part. So that's what winning looks like to me.
I'm a team consultant. I do individual coaching as well, but are working with individuals, but I'm a team consultant. Because, getting a team to perform well is more difficult than getting one single person to perform well. And my background is in engineering and leadership. I have been running this business since about 2006, although it was a side hustle back then, and I've been in and out of the corporate world, mostly in the consulting part of it.
IT consulting, strategy consultant, for about 20 years as well. So, but I'm a natural entreprenuer. I'm entrepreneurial, even when I'm in a corporation, which can drive people nuts by the way but, okay.
[00:02:48] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah. So I’ve got to ask you then when you were younger, when you were a kid, what was your first entrepreneurial thing? Or is this your first entrepreneurial thing?
[00:02:57] Maureen Monte: My first entrepreneurial thing, in the traditional sense, now I've worked since I was young. 13, I think.
[00:03:02] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah.
[00:03:03] Maureen Monte: But you know, when your first job is an umpire for baseball?
[00:03:07] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah.
[00:03:07] Maureen Monte: I don't know if that's entrepreneurial or not. I certainly had an interesting time.
Parents were terrible back then as well. But I think my first real entrepreneurial job was, I left engineering for the first time, after living in Paris and I got into photography.
[00:03:24] Sanjay Parekh: Wow.
[00:03:24] Maureen Monte: And I ran my own photography business for 10 years. It was both writing and photography for 10 years and then went back and got a master's in leadership in business ethics and have been doing leadership development, team development since 2006. My photography business, though, over 10 years I had hundreds of clients, and it was both commercial and regular for regular people. I did about $2 million worth of business, right?
[00:03:49] Sanjay Parekh: Wow.
[00:03:50] Maureen Monte: So that is one number I do know.
[00:03:52] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah. Yeah. Did was photography, was it something that you just kind of fell into or did you have a history doing photography or?
[00:03:59] Maureen Monte: None.
[00:03:59] Sanjay Parekh: How did that happen?
[00:04:00] Maureen Monte: That it, that was a wonderful, I was working for IBM and helping create a better software product. Our customers hated it. They wanted to yank it right out of their organizations. It was sold by IBM, marketed by IBM, but it was created by a French software company in Paris. And I went to Paris knowing nothing. No French. I did not work at IBM. I worked inside that French software company.
[00:04:29] Sanjay Parekh: Okay.
[00:04:29] Maureen Monte: So, I had very few connections beforehand and I had never been to Paris, obviously. So long story short, that transformed my life though. I was there almost a year and you can't walk around the streets of Paris and not be visually stimulated. I had no inclination of being a photographer prior to that. But I would say, walking down the street, I would say, that would make a good photo.
So, I photographed a lot of children. I was good at making children feel comfortable. I was just going to say, maybe that speaks to my maturity level. And it may, but and I did almost exclusively black and white, and then the old way of hand tinting, the photographs to add a little bit of color.
[00:05:07] Sanjay Parekh: Wow. Wow. And you're right. Paris is absolutely beautiful. And seeing the Eiffel Tower, especially at night when it is lit up is incredible and a one in a lifetime kind of experience. That is quite phenomenal. So okay. It's been about three years since you were first on the podcast. What has changed in the business since then?
[00:05:27] Maureen Monte: Well, certainly COVID changes everything, right? Had changed everything.
[00:05:30] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah.
[00:05:30] Maureen Monte: But for me personally, I have shifted more towards working with... My client base is sports teams, corporate teams, and nonprofit teams. But I have shifted more towards sports teams because they're so fully committed to the journey. I do not do well if I have to coddle an executive team, to be 1000% focused on performing well as a unit.
So, winning teams, they pursue victory, whatever that is, like a pack of wolves and every pack of wolves has a leader. They have alpha, and beta, and they have roles. But everybody's fully committed to getting the outcome, right? And if they're not, we have to work through that.
Now I'm happy to work through it, and we do, and that can be very challenging. But when we get out the other side of that, we have a full united team, that is full of trust and everybody appreciates what the other person does rather than they're having this conflict about you aren't doing this or my business unit versus your business unit, whatever.
So, but sports teams very naturally do that, right? And I do like helping young people, you know, I had a rather difficult childhood. And if there had been somebody there to tell me what was good about me, I use the StrengthsFinder Assessment Tool from Gallup as a way of understanding all the talent on the team so we can harness all the talent on the team.
And if I like helping young people become more self-aware so that they're better self-leaders and then make better decisions to become champions of the game of life. That's really, I do love doing that with young people.
[00:07:14] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah. So, I think this is interesting. So, you kind of went deep dive into sports teams and during the pandemic a lot of those teams continued to function in some sense. So, you probably still had clients. But we did see some interesting things happen where, on some sports teams, they had issues with COVID because you had a couple of players that broke protocols.
And they would do things that would harm basically the team as a whole. So, what are your thoughts around that? Because what you're basically describing is like, hey, we need a functioning team, everybody that's rowing the same direction, you know, taking the ball in the same direction, like whatever your sports metaphor is.
And you had these kind of outliers who didn't think they were, you know, required to do the same thing as everybody else. Like how do you work with a team like that and get everybody back on the same page?
[00:08:05] Maureen Monte: So, first of all, that's a great question, because that's where all the problems begin, COVID or otherwise. Right?
[00:08:11] Sanjay Parekh: Right.
[00:08:12] Maureen Monte: So, all my teams, and this is well documented in my first book called Destination Unstoppable: The Journey of No Teammate Left Behind, which is a sports story, but it's really a team success story. But, all my teams, and this is true, even though I have worked with Fortune 50 companies at the top of the heap.
And we commit, we, meaning every one of them, commit to a team trust bank. And here's the deal with a team trust bank. You, every action, word, decision is either helping the team or it's hurting the team. There's no neutral act. There's no, well, that, that was okay because it didn't hurt anybody. No, if you think it's neutral, I guarantee you it's negative in some way, shape, or form.
So, to your point, I make the decision to go out to the bars or whatever happened with the COVID thingy that they got COVID and that is a withdrawal from the team trust bank. Great teams make better decisions through self-leadership, through commitment to one view of the of success. And what the team trust bank is.
If teams have a healthy trust bank, they have far fewer problems. And when there is a mistake, I say something sharply to you, Sanjay. I say something like, that was a stupid thing to do. It might have been. And I bet you know that, by the way. But if I circle back afterwards and go, shoot, you know what, that was withdrawal from the team trust. And I circle back to, I say, Sanjay, that was inappropriate, I apologize, and let me know what I can do to make this better, and it will not happen again. That withdrawal from the team trust bank suddenly becomes a deposit because our relationships better as a result.
[00:09:49] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah.
[00:09:49] Maureen Monte: Right?
[00:09:50] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah.
[00:09:50] Maureen Monte: So, but all teams, one team, if teams did one simple thing and just did a team trust bank, and every person was fully committed to the success of the team trust bank, a lot of these problems would go away.
[00:10:02] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah. What you're describing is something it's interesting. I've seen myself.
I had the honor as a part of business school to be able to spend two days at Quantico for Marine Officer Candidate School.
[00:10:14] Maureen Monte: Yeah.
[00:10:14] Sanjay Parekh: And I’ve got to tell you, learning leadership from Marines is a whole different level of being committed to the cause and trusting the person that's on your side to make sure that they've got your back. So, I find kind of this this kind of line very fascinating. But let's dig into… Did you have a thought on that?
[00:10:34] Maureen Monte: No, I was just going to say nobody does it better, I shouldn't say nobody, but the military does that very well. And I do a lot of work with veterans and police officers. And if you can't trust the guy next to you in these very dangerous situations, that's different from sport or business, right?
[00:10:49] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah.
[00:10:49] Maureen Monte: Athletics and business doesn't have that pressure.
[00:10:51] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah, and I feel like some of that is because of the trials that they go through just to become a part of the team.
[00:10:57] Maureen Monte: Yeah.
[00:10:58] Sanjay Parekh: Right. Like we went through that leadership reaction course. And I've got to tell you, I was trying to prep for months before to be able to not die on that course. And I was not in any good shape when I got on that course. I clearly recognized it right away and there were a couple of times I was definitely the laggard in our team, but our Gunnery Sergeant would lean over and yell at me and not in a mean way, but in an encouraging way to get me through that next obstacle.
But what was fascinating to me is once I got through the obstacle, there wasn't any time of hurrah, you did it, anything. It was like, no, let's go. We got the next one. There was no pause. There's no pause in the experience.
[00:11:37] Maureen Monte: Yeah. And what you got was feedback, right. Helping you get from A to B.
[00:11:43] Sanjay Parekh: Right.
[00:11:43] Maureen Monte: And all feedback is useful. But that's not the same as a pat on the back after, right?
[00:11:51] Sanjay Parekh: Right. Exactly. But I can imagine those kinds of experiences really bond a group together because you've been through a really tough time, and all made it out on the other end of it. Is that something like, thinking about your teams in sports, like, is it really good for you to talk to those teams when they have suffered a major loss?
Like, you know, they lost the championship or they lost, you know, the most important game and, you know, their season has ended, whatever it is.
[00:12:20] Maureen Monte: Yeah. So, two quick thoughts. First of all, one of the things I start with, and I think we should be teaching this from elementary school to business school, is that all teams struggle.
There is no other path. All teams struggle. Between the drama between human beings, between the challenges that you know are coming, and the challenges you don't know are coming. All teams struggle. So, embrace the struggle, because through the struggle, you come out with greater trust and better understanding, and you are stronger as a result of that. Right?
And then the second thing, and to your point during COVID, as games were canceled or even one season was canceled for some of these kids. But I would, particularly with the boys, I use a video and you can Google it it's called Good by Joco Willing. Joco is a former Navy Seal and he developed their leadership program.
So it's similar to what you had experienced in the Marines. And I've been to some of Joco's in his team's events. And it's called Good. And it's, so what happens when COVID strikes? Good. We have more time to get better. Your games are canceled? Good. More time to get better. You lost? Good. You learn something.
So ,if you can say, good ,to the obstacles that come, and do it as a team, and use it as fuel for the next big challenge you're going to face. That is a life lesson, right?
[00:13:39] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah. Yeah. I love that. And viewing every obstacle, and as an entrepreneur I talk about that all the time is that we do things and I view everything as a learning experience. When I quit my job doing my first startup back in the late nineties, I thought, well, you know, if nothing else, I'm going to learn a lot and have a lot of fun. And then I'll just go get a, I'm an engineer, I can get a job afterwards. It'll be all fine after that.
So, let's talk about kind of now your perspective, looking back on, on these years and, you know, you started as a side hustle and then went full-time. Like looking back now at this point, what is it that you would've done differently, knowing what you know now? Or is there anything you would've done differently?
[00:14:16] Maureen Monte: Hmmm. And I am a backward-looking person. I do like to look at what happened in order to do it better next time. The only thing I would've possibly changed, when I got my Masters in Leadership and Business Ethics I was exposed to the StrengthsFinder for the first time. And when I was rehired into IBM in, I think 2007 or 2008, to help.
I like to build strategic partnerships. I was hired to build a strategic partnership between General Motors and IBM. And you have two large companies, that's going to, you talk about all teams struggle. That is a difficult situation to make a strong partnership. And I said to them, I was already doing my side hustle of StrengthsFinder with teams to help them understand the talent on the team and appreciate one another, rather than say, you're different from me and I don't get you, and actually you're annoying me to death. Okay?
And I said, can I bring that with me? And they said, yes. So within, when I was within IBM from about 2007 or so through 2016, and during that timeframe, I did two roles. One was the partnership of General Motors, and one was building strategic partnerships with small software companies. And I always used the StrengthsFinder. I should have pushed harder to bring it into IBM as a formal solution.
As it was though, my entrepreneurial nature almost got me fired, right? Is that I brought it in at the ground roots level and began to offer these global webinars. We had 6,000 people sign up.
[00:15:44] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah. This was the 6,000 people that you talked about in the first season.
[00:15:47] Maureen Monte: In the first podcast.
[00:15:48] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah.
[00:15:48] Maureen Monte: And I wish I had pushed harder to make it a formal program, but when they began to make people feel uncomfortable that this was not a formal program, I backed down. And I wish I'd pushed harder. Because I think IBM would be a different company today if they had followed that path, right?
[00:16:04] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah.
[00:16:05] Maureen Monte: It is what it is. It's it was probably all for the best because then I could say, okay, I'm leaving now. Right?
[00:16:09] Sanjay Parekh: Right.
[00:16:10] Maureen Monte: So.
[00:16:10] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah.
[00:16:10] Maureen Monte: These things all work out for the best. But no, I don't have any regrets and I wouldn't change anything. No.
[00:16:15] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah. That's great.
[00:16:19] Adam Walker: Support for this podcast comes from Hiscox. Committed to helping small businesses protect their dreams since 1901. Quotes and information on customized insurance for specific risks are available at Hiscox.com. Hiscox, the business insurance experts.
[00:16:35] Sanjay Parekh: Okay. Let's dive into your books. You've written and released your second book, Win Like a Girl. Tell us why, first of all, you decided to write this book. And how the process was different for you, compared to the first book.
[00:16:47] Maureen Monte: Well, first of all, let's start with the beginning. It isn't, it is not released yet, which is how this process is different. Okay?
[00:16:54] Sanjay Parekh: Okay.
[00:16:54] Maureen Monte: So, let's start there. And it's not a, it's not a problem, it's a small detail. Both Destination Unstoppable and Win Like a Girl are my programs for companies and sports teams. So, they're both a program and then they're the title of my books. Okay? Destination Unstoppable was released in 2016.
And but as I began to work with female athletes, I began to see that there are gender differences in how they approach winning. So, first of all, let's say that women and men, male and female athletes take a different path to victory. The male athletes, this was shared by a coach friend of mine, Mark Luckett.
He's described it well. Male athletes battle as a team to bond as a team. This is back to your point about the Marines, you know, struggling through, and then you come out stronger on the other side.
[00:17:45] Sanjay Parekh: Right.
[00:17:46] Maureen Monte: You are bonded through the struggle. Female athletes bond as a team in order to battle as a team. So, the bonding has to happen first. So there, I can see the differences in how they behave as teams, and I can measure the differences with a StrengthsFinder. The biggest difference between male and female athletes, well, there's two major differences. Both genders are extremely gritty. They're tenacious, won't quit, they would make great entrepreneurs, right?
They work their tails off. Both genders do that, right? They are they're flexible. They can take the ups and downs of a game. The men are way more competitive. I can measure high compete level. They're competitive nature. It's the number one talent in male athletes. Which is you think, well, that's not shocking. It's athletics.
Well, it's not number one for females. In fact, it comes in at seven. So, they don't, and instead at the top for all the hard work and, I call it hard work and love. They need to bond and have good relationships and if a team gets off to a bad start and I worked with one this year, a female team.
A kerfuffle over, who was selected captain, who wasn't, and then some mean behavior by the person who wasn't selected. That team never recovered. Never. And they did not reach the full potential as the goal. So secondly, and this is the one that why I wrote Win Like a Girl. The more I began to see female athletes and I now have some close to 700 female athletes, only 13 of them have self confidence in their top five strengths as measured by the Clifton StrengthsFinder. 13.
[00:19:18] Sanjay Parekh: Out of 700?
[00:19:19] Maureen Monte: Out of almost 700 women.
[00:19:21] Sanjay Parekh: Wow.
[00:19:22] Maureen Monte: We have a confidence crisis in the female sports world. When we've seen it. Athletes committing suicide, Naomi Osaka suddenly, highest paid female athlete on earth, tennis, suddenly cannot hold a press conference without weeping. Simon Biles, unable to compete at the Olympics. These are, and it isn't about the talent, right? They've got all the talent in the world and then, and they've got all those sponsorships in the world, and then they've got all the money in the world.
So, but what they don't have is raw confidence, which we can measure. But here's the great news, confidence can be taught and developed. We have to stop thinking that there is a safety in the comfort zone. There is no safety in the comfort zone. Trouble will find you. COVID was a good example.
This is my point. We have to train to move outside the comfort zone and because, and use the strengths they do have, whatever it is, gritty, kindness, use the strengths they do have as a source of courage and confidence. But there is no safety in the comfort zone. And young women need to learn this now because. Down the road, it will be a boss, it will be some other difficult circumstance, that they need to practice being a little bit more assertive and/or asking for help. Both are very difficult for women, young women in particular to do.
[00:20:43] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah.
[00:20:44] Maureen Monte: That's why I wrote Win Like a Girl. It is a confidence program for female athletes to become champions of the game of life. Strong women.
[00:20:52] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah.
[00:20:52] Maureen Monte: Listen. I think it's really more about we have, we've got to stop paving the road. If, when they were seven, we turned to them when they were little and said, what's one thing we can do today outside your comfort zone?
[00:21:06] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah.
[00:21:07] Maureen Monte: It might be in, in my book, I talk about, it's driving to the, going to the car wash for the first time by themselves. Okay. This is, they update me. I don't, I I have a confidence tracker with my athletes. Give me an update. What you did today outside your comfort zone.
[00:21:21] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah.
[00:21:21] Maureen Monte: I talked to a teammate I didn't know. I didn't cry when I spoke to my coach. There's all these things that, and they get all excited, but we have to train for it. It is going to come in some way, shape, or form. That it is just the reality of life. So, let's help them.
And one other quick example, this is the other side of it. I have a story that I share with teams of a Black woman on Wall Street, who, when she goes to financial conferences is sometimes mistaken for the staff. Okay? Now you could scream and kick and say, how dare you or I'm going to, you know, whatever, the world's unfair, da. Her take is no, I refuse to let that disempower me. So, you are choosing, this is back to self-leadership. You are choosing to be disempowered if you go that route mentally, right?
Instead, you say, Actually, I'm very good at what I do. This person, they've made a mistake. I will raise my hand and call the waiter over and said, get this guy a drink or whatever it was. Right? But I refused to be disempowered. And that means it's a choice, and if it's a choice, it's a self-leadership opportunity.
And if you cannot lead yourself through the minefield of your own emotions, you do not earn, you have not earned the right to lead anybody else.
[00:22:38] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah. Yeah. Fascinating example. I can't think of any time that's happened to me. I think that has happened to me where I've been mistaken for an employee at a restaurant or something, but.
[00:22:48] Maureen Monte: Yeah. And how did you react? I'm just curious. While I interview you.
[00:22:52] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah, I, no, it's a great question. I don't really remember. I think I was like, I, it was probably something I didn't know. And I was like, I, yeah, I don't know. I don't work here. And just kind of inform, I mean, didn't get upset. I mean, you know, it happens.
I feel like many, many years ago, I used to travel a lot. And on Delta, they had this certain uniform and sometimes I would wearing that same color palette. And it was very easy to get mistaken as a flight attendant or something like that.
[00:23:18] Maureen Monte: Oh, that’s funny and they must, you must be charming, then, because all the attendants are charming. So, it's a combination of things.
[00:23:24] Sanjay Parekh: I look like I can help maybe. So, let's talk about something that you do that does help teams. So you talked about this StrengthsFinder test to assess these teams capabilities, right? I'm assuming you've taken it.
[00:23:35] Maureen Monte: Yeah.
[00:23:35] Sanjay Parekh: What about your strengths and how do you use those strengths as a business owner and entrepreneur?
[00:23:42] Maureen Monte: Well, my number one strength is ideation. I am an idea machine, right? And one of the things that's great about the StrengthsFinder assessment from Gallup is that, and I get no money if anyone takes it, right. So just to be clear, it's available to everybody. 26 million people have taken it.
And it's used in almost all Fortune 500 companies. Okay? But here's the great thing about it. It's not a personality test. I do not have a great personality. I don't. I turn into General Patton if things don't if there's a bully around or like, like. As you can tell, I am one of my, it measures harmony, which is the diplomacy. That is down at bottom of the 34 strengths that it measures, for me.
I am not diplomatic. Right? But it's important for me to know that so that I don't make a withdrawal from the team trust bank. But your greatness lies in using the top strengths. Your best life, your, you feel like you're blissful, you're in the flow as they talk about it. When you're using your strengths, the things that come naturally to you, it, you feel great.
And so, if we but it's the greatness on the inside, and this is true of athletes and people in business, your greatness on the inside drives the greatness on the outside. So, let's say we measure profit. Okay. That is one measure of greatness, but what is inside of you, that's driving that. And if we measure how many hits you got in baseball, that's great, but what's driving the inside, right?
So the StrengthsFinder measures, it's holistic in nature, it measures four kinds of talent and it measures 34 kinds of talent in how you think, which I cannot see, Sanjay. I don't know what movie is happening inside your head, but I cannot see it. And how you build relationships, which I can kind of see, how you get stuff done, your productivity nature.
How, you know, are you a slow worker? Are you a fast worker? And then how you galvanize or push someone else to do something? And the male athletes have a lot of the galvanizing push someone to do something. The rest of the world have a lot less of that. And Win Like a Girl and Destination Unstoppable both help teams use that information for success at the individual level and then success at the team level.
So, if I were to say to you, for your company, what does success look like? We all better be on the same page with what success looks like, first of all, right? Not just what we do, but how we behave to get there.
[00:26:09] Sanjay Parekh: Right.
[00:26:09] Maureen Monte: And then second of all, how can I use my talents to help the team achieve success? And how can I use it to achieve success in my role? So, number one is ideation for me. I am a creative, disruptive person. Which is why I was almost always in trouble in some way, shape, or form in the corporate world. Two, I'm strategic. I can see the path. If we do this, good things will happen. Right? I connect things, I see patterns that other people don't see, per se.
Three, I have learner, I am a constant learning, I'm a very curious lifelong learner. And I seek mastery. I'm very good at what I do in this niche that I do. Right? And then I have achiever, which is hard work every day. I do not take a day off to the point of it being probably the strength that is not managed very well in my life.
And finally, my secret weapon for my work and relationships is individualization. So, I pay attention to how you behave and act, Sanjay, and I don't seek to make you like someone else. I seek to help you, as an individual, bring all that greatness to life. So, I don't, I see individuals as snowflakes in terms of they’re unique people. And I value that, and I want to know what it is, and I want to use it to help the team win and have you use it to help achieve success in your role.
[00:27:25] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah, I love all of those. And those sound like really great attributes for an entrepreneur. I do need to ask though have you ever done the Myers-Briggs personality test?
[00:27:35] Maureen Monte: Yeah.
[00:27:36] Sanjay Parekh: What if I may ask, what are you?
[00:27:38] Maureen Monte: INTJ. Introvert.
[00:27:39] Sanjay Parekh: INTJ?
[00:27:40] Maureen Monte: Yeah.
[00:27:41] Sanjay Parekh: So interestingly I am an ENTJ.
[00:27:43] Maureen Monte: I believe that.
[00:27:44] Sanjay Parekh: And the reason why it's interesting is I read a stat at some point that said something like 70 or 80% of entrepreneurs are NTJs. Either E or I, but NTJs. And there is some weird correlation there.
[00:27:58] Maureen Monte: I think it's, you know, you're thoughtful, analytical, right?
[00:28:04] Sanjay Parekh: Right.
[00:28:04] Maureen Monte: And I think any assessment's good. What that doesn't tell us though is, and I bet, Sanjay, you may think about the future and I may think about the past.
[00:28:12] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah.
[00:28:12] Maureen Monte: Right? And it doesn't tell you if you're creative. Which the StrengthsFinder does.
[00:28:16] Sanjay Parekh: Right.
[00:28:16] Maureen Monte: Right, right. So the StrengthsFinder gets real discreet. I'm positive. And that's a strength, or I'm empathetic. I sense how you feel. Those are two different strengths that it measures.
[00:28:24] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah.
[00:28:25] Maureen Monte: Right?
[00:28:25] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah.
[00:28:25] Maureen Monte: So, it's for young people that are not self-aware, it's extremely helpful. But any assessment that helps you better understand yourself and the team.
[00:28:33] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah.
[00:28:33] Maureen Monte: Do it.
[00:28:34] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah.
[00:28:35] Maureen Monte: Do it.
[00:28:35] Sanjay Parekh: So, with that piece of advice, what other piece of advice, now, looking back on your kind of history, starting as a side hustle, now being full time. Somebody else that is on the verge of either starting a side hustle or launching from a side hustle full time. Like what piece of advice would you give them about the journey they're going through?
[00:28:56] Maureen Monte: First of all, side hustle is the way to go. Never quit your day job. Okay? Unless COVID strikes, you don't have a job and that's a different ballgame. Right? But two, you know, be a master of your craft. Don't be a, I think I could do this. Or my buddy, Joe, does this, I can too. Be really good at what you do. If you're really good at what you do.
I think Oprah said, excellence beats racism and sexism. I agree with that. Right. And finally, add value. If you do not have a very clear value proposition that you can articulate and that fits a need for whomever you're trying to market to. Why would they ever work with you? Right?
[00:29:43] Sanjay Parekh: Right.
[00:29:44] Maureen Monte: So, I think people miss out on the, where I think people fall short and finally, you're going to work your tail off. Good luck if you think this is an easier thing than driving to work every day. Okay. Good luck with that. And so, but they miss out, I think many entrepreneurs miss out on the fact that they must be really good at what they do to separate themselves from everybody else out there. And two, be clear about the value.
Be real clear about the value. So that's the advice I would, and know who you are, right? This is where the StrengthsFinder comes in for me is that, you know, know the tools inside of you that are going to help you do whatever it is that you're trying to do, whether it's as an entrepreneur or as a medical doc, right?
[00:30:22] Sanjay Parekh: Yeah, that's great. Maureen it has been great having you back on the podcast with this update and being able to deep dive into some of these topics. Thanks so much for coming back on.
[00:30:32] Maureen Monte: Sanjay, this has been a delightful conversation, as I knew it would be, and I'm honored to be back on, and I can't say enough good things about my experience with Hiscox. They've been very good to me.
[00:30:46] Sanjay Parekh: Thank you for listening to this week’s episode of the Side Hustle to Small Business Podcast, powered by Hiscox. To learn more about how Hiscox can help protect your small business through intelligent insurance solutions, visit hiscox.com. And if you have a story you want to hear on this podcast, please visit Hiscox.com/shareyourstory. I’m your host, Sanjay Parekh. You can find me on Twitter at @sanjay or on my website at sanjayparekh.com