2020 was a year that none of us will soon forget; many would say it was the most stressful year of their lives. So as we come to the end of Stress Awareness Month, we thought there was no better person to wrap up the Apirl Female Feature Friday series than with a woman turned the stresses that live threw at her and turned it into a thriving business that helps others create soul-centered businesses that still leave room for fun. Without futher adieu, please give it up for Monica Monfre, The Wellthy Teacher.
Monica Monfre is a business coach, social media strategist, and high school teacher in Brooklyn. She’s also BRCA1 and committed to helping women launch their dream offers, get massively visible on social media and grow their network to grow their net worth. Never one to let sparkles go by, she loves a good glitter pen.
Who are some women who inspire you daily, personally or professionally?
I’ve been inspired by so many women, especially those who chose to break boundaries. Growing up, I was a dancer and decided I would live a life in New York City. In 2000 I came to NYC to attend Teachers College Columbia University and began taking dance classes at STEPS on Broadway. There I met Roberta Mathes and began training with her. She inspired me to show up and keep moving, as a dancer and even now as an entrepreneur. I continue to be inspired by women like Rachel Rodgers and Cate Luzio who have created communities for women to collaborate, to grow and most of all to achieve their dreams whether it be in entrepreneurship or in life.
Who has been the most influential woman in your life, in becoming the person you are today, helping you discover and pursue your passions?
She’s not here to hear this, but it would be my younger sister Maddie. Growing up, she and I fought often. We were 13 years apart and honestly, our lives were very different. In March of 2020 she passed away from Stage 4 triple negative metastatic breast cancer. She was 29 and a mom to 4, the youngest was just 2 when she passed away. She passed away right when the pandemic started and helped me realize we only have a short time on this earth. As I am also BRCA1 I decided to finally launch my business coaching and strategy business.
Is there anything that you wish/hope will be different for girls growing up today than it was for you?
I thought that to be successful I had to go to college and work my way up the ladder by following the pathway others had travelled. Now that I am in my 40s I realize that was the safe route, but not the route that made me fulfilled. I’m glad I took chances when I did to live in New York City and Washington DC, even when I was nervous. I hope girls growing up now will blaze their own pathways to success, even if others question them on it.
What has been your proudest moment personally or professionally?
I’ve had so many amazing wins, including being nominated as teacher of the year. More recently, Rachel Rodgers featured me in her millionaire address after I had a $25K launch in less than 10 days for my coaching program. This news came as I was recovering from a preventative cancer surgery that saved my life. I realized that even when we are down, we can still bloom.
What has been your most challenging moment personally or professionally and how did you overcome that challenge?
March 2020 was by far the most challenging moment of my life. The month started as normal as could be. Like many, my life started to change on Friday, March 13th when our school announced we might close. That Saturday my cousin told me that my sister wasn’t doing well and I should call my mom. As the pandemic began, I hopped on a plane to fly cross country and see my sister who was taking a turn for the worse. During the week I was with my family in Wisconsin I watched NYC close as the covid numbers rose. As I heard there were positive cases at my school I wondered - had I brought covid with me? When my mom called me from the hospital (I wasn’t allowed to go), she told me “I’m bringing your sister home.” As it became clear the end was near I had to make a decision...would I stay in Wisconsin and be there when she transitioned but perhaps be stranded? Or would I say my goodbyes and board a plane home to enter a city that was on edge? I chose the plane and flew home with 6 other people. I’ve faced loss before but this loss was compounded by the loss of normalcy. What helped me to overcome and move forward was launching my business. I channeled the grief and loss into something that gave me purpose. I honored to share her story with my clients and to know that I can help others achieve their dreams.
What does wellness mean to you? And why is it important to you and your family?
Wellness to me means taking care of the body, mind, and soul. I’m a yoga teacher and a former dancer so movement is a huge part of wellness for me. When I found out I was BRCA1 wellness took on a whole new perspective. It’s not only what I eat but what I put in and on my body. Wellness is how I practice rest and self-care. Wellness is going in for mammograms and MRIs as part of my preventative care. Wellness matters when you have a genetic mutation like BRCA1. Knowing is power. I have opportunities my sister didn’t and I plan on being around for a very long time.
What does your typical daily wellness routine look like?
I love Peloton! (y'all starting to notice a trend here?!?) I wasn’t a big cycler before the pandemic, but we have one in our apartment building. I also work to practice yoga at least 3 times a week. I only use natural deodorants and have been working to use homemade skincare items. I am working to add in more opportunities for meditation and for tapping (EFT). For me, these are ways to holistically practice wellness. Oh, and I always make sure to hug and kiss my fiance. Connection is a powerful aspect of wellness.
What drove you to become an entrepreneur? Do you see Teach Wellthy Coaching as your only entrepreneurial endeavor or do you have plans/goals to be a serial entrepreneur?
I’ve always been a side hustler (I used to make and sell Barbie clothes!). Being an entrepreneur is powerful because I get to serve and to have control over my success. For now, I’m happy being focused on my business coaching and social media strategy business. But I love to daydream….stay tuned! My mom would love to create a wellness spa and cancer center in honor of my sister. Maybe I will be her cofounder!