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Monique Rose Sneed Talks Business, Sisterhood, and More

Monique Rose Sneed talks business, sisterhood, and more in the latest issue of SwagHer Magazine. Enjoy this excerpt from the interview. 

When we think of lady bosses who are presently making moves, restauranteur /non-profit owner, Monique Rose Sneed must not be left out of the mix. Though she was a teenage mom, the now multi-hyphenate entrepreneur has over twenty years of business experience. She started out on her path in her early 20s by subleasing her first bar from its owner and consequently making it a success. To her disappointment, the owner returned and took the bar back. Sneed–void of a contract and legal backing–was defenseless. 

Since then, the current mother of two has grown tremendously. She has overcome insurmountable odds and outworked her competition which has enabled her to earn seven figures annually with her many ventures, ranging from food and beverage services, music production, media podcasting, brand building, and more. Let’s get better acquainted with this sister as she shares with us her journey–including everything from her business ventures to domestic abuse to sisterhood to marrying younger men.

Fancy: What do you think are the elements of any successful business in this day and age? Before, I felt like there were all these rules and thought processes, but now it’s like things have changed so dramatically for entrepreneurship. 

Monique: A lot has changed. One element that you must have is that businesses are good because businesses solve problems. But we’re moving into a space where you not only have to have a business, you also have to have a brand because brands tell a story, and that is what people are looking for. Now that we have so much access to companies on social media and see the people behind these businesses, we’re being let into their lives more. So that’s another element that you must now have–you really have to tell a story. People are now following brands and supporting businesses because of the story. They are like, oh, I like this thing because there’s so much access there.

Fancy: I agree with both of those things. When I listened to your interview on the Girl Stop Playing podcast, and you mentioned how social media allows us to market to people for free, I was like, “Girl!” That was my “Girl, stop playing!” moment. Right? It’s crazy to me, and I know we’re supposed to be on social media, but it really affects me mentally. So, I took a step back. And then to hear that–it was just like something clicked.  Like, “Okay, you know, you’ve been resting long enough. It’s time for you to get back into the game.” So thank you for that moment there. 

Monique: No problem. I’m glad it did click.

Fancy: To follow up on what you just said about branding and sharing our stories, my next question was that you’ve been in the game for almost twenty years now, but you’re just now stepping into the spotlight. Is there a reason for that or is it because you also just had a pivotal moment where you realized that it was more about branding?

Monique: To be honest, it’s piggybacking on what we were just talking about. As far as telling the story, I’m stepping into things more, being more in the spotlight, and talking to followers.  Stuff like that. But it’s new to me. That was by design. I like to be behind the scenes and just ensure that the business is running like it is supposed to. But again, if we’re talking about telling a story, I realized that people bought into my story and wanted to hear more of the story, and it felt like I could reach more people when I told that part of the story. 

The only way to do that was to step into the spotlight and be more open about what I’ve been through. I needed to tell my testimony, say where I’m coming from, and really just become a light to people. They say, “Okay, she did this. She had a child at sixteen. She’s from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She only has a high school diploma. She didn’t go to college. But if these are things that she can accomplish purely through hard work, then maybe I can do that too!” So I think that’s why I have leaned into it a little more now.  I realize that it’s more impactful when they hear it from the source. 

Fancy: Yes, I totally agree with that. And from those years, did you ever feel stagnant? If so, what did you do? 

Monique: Oh, for many of those years. Like I said, I’ve had a job since I was thirteen, so you know what I mean? I’m 44 years old.  That’s a long time, a long work history. Many of those years were paycheck to paycheck. Many of those years, I felt like I was just on a hamster wheel and doing the same thing over and over again.  I didn’t know how I was going to get off of that hamster wheel. I had no idea, but I always felt like work would intersect with success at some point. You know what I mean? My definition of success was some type of freedom; to me, that’s what money provides– freedom. It’s not about the money itself. 

It’s the ability to be free in my mind and my soul and to help my family not worry about so many things. So, yeah, that’s what I had to do to keep going because I did feel stuck for many years. I’m going to say almost close to twenty years. Dang, that’s a long time! I feel like you dig yourself out of a hole and then take 100 steps back. It’s like, I do this and then something comes to knock you back down. Life happens, you know what I mean? So I am ahead, and then there’s a divorce. I am ahead, and then I move into Atlanta. I am ahead, and then something else happens.

There have been so many times that this has happened, but I always knew there was something on the other side of it. I am extremely spiritual, and I believe in God. I did not think that He would take me through all those things only just to drop me right there and that be the end of it. I felt stagnant many times, but I persevered. You just have to keep pushing through and have faith that there’s something on the other side of this valley. 


Sisterhood issue cover with Monique Rose SneedTo read more of Monique’s interview, you can purchase our newest issue here. 

Follow Monique at @themoniquerose.

Francheska Felder
Francheska Felderhttp://swagheronline.com
Francheska “Fancy” Felder is an award-winning editor, publisher, publicist, and quiet Southern media mogul. In 2010, she launched SwagHer Magazine, an empowerment and lifestyle publication for the Black woman who likes to keep it real, which also doubles as a PR boutique. SwagHer Magazine uses positive media and storytelling to create new narratives and mindsets around Black women, their communities, and the businesses and organizations they lead, while the boutique strategically executes press and brand campaigns. The proud SU alum is also the publicist for Power Influence Radio and hostess of the CEO Chatter LIVE Podcast. Because she battles with bipolar disorder, Fancy is a proud mental health advocate.

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