Monique Y. Wells (@MoniqueYWells) is the co-founder and vice president of Discover Paris! and the creator of Entrée to Black Paris tours. She is also the founder of Toxicology/Pathology Services, Inc. (TPS), a consultancy in preclinical safety assessment. Her latest venture is Making Productivity Easy (MPE), a mentoring service for discerning, high-achieving women who want to simplify their workdays and find the work/life balance they desperately desire.
I caught up Wells to talk about this new endeavor and how small business owners can maximize work-life balance.
You seem very intentional with your business undertakings. Do you consider yourself a serial entrepreneur or has one thing led to another?
I do not consider myself a serial entrepreneur. I was formally trained as a veterinary pathologist and toxicologist. I started TPS because I have a passion for pathology as it applies to the development of safe and effective chemicals and medical devices across the globe. I began this work in a corporate environment.
Entrée to Black Paris sprang from Discover Paris!’s original business model of creating private, self-guided itineraries for visitors who want to see Paris reflected in their personal interests.
I created my mentoring practice under TPS to support my colleagues in preclinical safety during the recession. It helped the corporate side of the industry improve productivity in the face of unchanged workload and reduced staff and it assisted newly independent colleagues face challenges while launching their first consulting business.
This course was very well received but as the recession deepened, enrollments declined. I realized that I needed to target a new, larger market. So I launched a “productivity practice” that targeted women like me – women working alone and women working at home. I named the business Understanding Time Management and subsequently rebranded it to Getting over Overwhelm. It was during this time that I began to learn what it truly means to run a business.
I am actively involved in all three of my current activities simultaneously, but I don’t actively pursue all of them each and every day. I organize things so each business advances at its own pace and at the appropriate time.
What are your best suggestions for busy entrepreneurs to increase productivity?
It is astonishingly easy to spread oneself too thin because so many things look interesting or seem to have potential. It is also easy to get caught up in what others are doing, particularly when it looks like or is being sold as the ticket to success. I learned this lesson the hard way and now keep a ‘brain dump’ book of thoughts and ideas that I review every six to eight weeks to see whether things that seemed like a good idea in the recent past still hold my interest. If something is appealing enough for me to bring it forward onto a list of active projects that support my business goals, then I set aside time to plan for it. If it still looks appealing, but I find that other things on my active list are more important, I bring it forward to an updated list of ideas to pursue. If it no longer seems like such a great idea, I strike it off the list.
I also limit my daily to-do list to six items, with two of these items being personal tasks. If I get more done, great, but I no longer set myself up to be disappointed by overstuffing the list with a hopeless number of tasks to accomplish.
Where can we access the podcast and is there anything else new for you?
You can access Ultra You—Where Self Made Millionaire Women Redefine Success, the podcast that I produce to support this high-end market and women in general who aspire to be part of this market, here. I select my guests for this podcast with the intent to challenge and inspire each of my listeners to become the best person she can be— both personally and professionally.
I am also founding an exclusive community for female C-level corporate and NGO executives, high-performing entrepreneurial CEOs, and licensed professionals who are feeling isolated personally or professionally because of their success and seek understanding, resources and real-time support as they build or reconstruct their lives to sustain the lifestyle they want and deserve. This community is emerging under a new brand, the L³ Alliance.
Patricia Patton (@BoomerWiz) is a fulltime writer, blogger, and business strategist for mature women who are focused on making the second part of their lives better than the first. She consults in the Aging 2.0 sphere on social media and strategic planning for non-profits and start-ups. She also conducts retreats in beautiful locations that help mature women become more of themselves. She blogs at PatriciaAPatton.com.