I would never deter anyone from something they are passionate about. I say go for it! If it doesn’t work out, you will be led more and more to what does, just don’t quit! However, with that said, there needs to be a mental toughness and boundless “pull yourself up by your bootstraps and keep marching.” A do not quit attitude no matter what, be willing to adjust and course-correct, and a deep belief in yourself against all odds. Your inside voice is louder than the voices of the outer world, and that’s the one you follow.
As a part of our series about strong Women leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Monique Guild. Monique is the Founder, and CEO of Intuitive Business Enterprises Inc.With over twenty years in the corporate, start-up and consulting sectors. Featured in the Los Angeles Times and a satellite office of the WSJ, DN, Monique Guild, Futurist’, and Business Intuitive is one of the most significant global leaders in Turnaround and Development Strategy. Guild’s renowned expertise swiftly diagnoses you and your business with precision, and uncanny insight; delivering spot-on diagnoses, has garnered her access to some of the most prestigious organizations and industries in the world. She is also known as one of the most leading experts in defining how to help individuals and businesses to stop hemorrhaging cash and swiftly generate income.
Thank you so much for doing this with us, Monique! Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?
Well, this path started at a very early age. First off, I do have an inherited ability from my dad who is a doctor. However, as a result of being the daughter of a very ‘colorful’ mom — let’s say she gave me a life, where I got to hone my skills.
My home environment was an environment that was not for the faint at heart. At a very early age, I had to size up people and situations quickly. I had to know the good guys from the bad guys so to speak. My mom’s second husband, my stepfather, was indicted by the Federal Government, so we were followed by the CIA and FBI. It became one of the top Federal Cases in Louisiana, which is an accomplishment because Louisiana is so corrupt.
At that time, I had no idea that this ability that I had was in “training”; and one day would lead me to work with clients, organizations, and countries in/around the United Nations Chemical Warfare Dept, World Economic Forum, Shanghai Disney, Aardex (the most significant green commercial sustainable builders in the world) and many more.
I attended Louisiana State University where I studied Pre-Law Business and majored in Psychology. My love of acting brought me to New York to study with the renowned Bill Alderson at the Neighborhood Playhouse. My New York experience spanned over 4 years where I worked on several independent film projects, while also working as an actress, on the soap opera As The World Turns.
After a 4 1/2-year stint in New York City, I moved to Los Angeles and pursued my interests in the entertainment industry. I’ve always loved business. I soon took a position at Showtime Networks where I quickly advanced to Assistant Marketing Coordinator, in charge of 130 cable affiliates across the United States.
Shortly after, I was hired by Great Expectations, as their National Director of Success Stories for 45 centers. It was there that I excelled in applying my gift with an on-target placement of people in media events and television shows nationwide, including The Oprah Winfrey Show and the Los Angeles Times after the riots.
Within three months, of working as National Director for Great Expectations the Los Angeles Times featured me on the cover of the Metro Section.
My nationwide accomplishments caught the eye of MacLaine Enterprises. Hired as one of the key liaisons for Shirley MacLaine, her agent, publicist, books, shows, and movies. After a one-year stint, I accepted a position with Film and TV Director Mark Travis, the creator of the film A Bronx Tale.
It was Travis who said, “Monique, you have an amazing gift and ability to ‘see’ and zero in or people and their businesses, you have to take this to the next level.”
What is it about the position of CEO that most attracted you to it?
My business found me. It was not something I sought out. We all have gifts and talents and I believe that the more we follow those talents and abilities the road will be made clear. This was the case for me. I didn’t pay much attention and didn’t think I had anything unique going on until I was interviewed by the Los Angeles Times. However, with that said, the one thing I did know was that anytime anyone would talk about business, a film would run in my mind and I would follow the pictures and I just “knew” what needed to be done.
Most of our readers — in fact, most people — think they have a pretty good idea of what a CEO or executive does. But in just a few words can you explain what an executive does that is different from the responsibilities of the other leaders?
In my case, I am the visionary of the company and guide the direction in which it is heading. I was the first person over 20 years ago that called themselves a Business Intuitive. Following my instincts and trusting my gut were and still are a must. There was no one I could go to and ask how to “do what I do.” After I appeared on the cover of the metro section of the LA Times, it was very apparent to me that I had a unique gift. As the CEO I plot the paths to expand and what our next steps are; leaders are also great but, typically not all the weight falls on their shoulders. CEO’s are typically the face of the company and carry the weight.
What is the one thing that you enjoy most about being a CEO?
I love being a visionary and stepping into the unknown.
What are the downsides of being an CEO?
I don’t think there are downsides. Everything is an opportunity for growth.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
Yes, it would be that I’ve gotten to work with some of the most interesting and influential people and organizations on the planet. I would have never imagined that I would get to work on some of the most intense global cases that have an impact on large amounts of people.
A few examples are:
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
My business took off very fast. Once the media found out about my work, my office was inundated with calls. I had zero knowledge of how to handle all of this. So, I jumped ship, drove “6,150” miles, with my two dogs and filmed a documentary across the nation, about people who’d overcome major obstacles to achieve success.
The lesson I learned is that “mistakes” are ALL a part of the development process.
Certainly, not everyone is cut out to be a CEO. In your opinion, which specific traits increase the likelihood that a person will be a successful executive and what type of person should avoid aspiring to be a CEO?
I would never deter anyone from something they are passionate about. I say go for it! If it doesn’t work out, you will be led more and more to what does, just don’t quit!
However, with that said, there needs to be a mental toughness and boundless “pull yourself up by your bootstraps and keep marching.” A do not quit attitude no matter what, be willing to adjust and course-correct, and a deep belief in yourself against all odds.
Your inside voice is louder than the voices of the outer world, and that’s the one you follow.
None of us can achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My parents. Without them, I would have never inherited the ability I have, and I would have not gotten the supercharged experience that I received as a child if I had not been their daughter. Experience is my greatest mentor.
And along the way, I’ve had great friends, people I look up to, that I’ve gone to for advice. And one of those people is Michael Uslan. He is Executive Producer of all the Batman Films. We’ve been friends for almost 30 years. Some of the best advice he gave me when I was going through a really rough time personally was “Those were the cards you were dealt, now move on.” He was right. There was nothing I could do to change the situation, it was time to accept it, and move on.
How have you used your success to make the world a better place?
I will let one of my clients speak to this for me:
“Monique as my adviser and mentor, I have become, both personally and professionally, a more peaceful and fully expressed person who can focus on what is possible. Her assistance has helped me achieve a lifelong dream of working with a marvelous team on a high caliber international project that has the potential to uplift and inspire millions of people.
Through Monique’s expertise, I am clearer on what my intuition is telling me, taking inspired action and opening up to possibilities. Lo and behold, I am living a dream come true — wildly beyond what I imagined was possible.” — Star Higgins, Art Direction/Color and Paint Specialist, Walt Disney Imagineering, Shanghai Disneyland Resort
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
A legacy I will leave behind is making what I do the norm, especially for young adults and children.
I’m seeing too many kids and young adults be overly medicated — when there is nothing wrong with them, other than the fact that they are highly intuitive and visionaries. And instead of learning how to embrace these abilities and identify how it speaks to you; most children and young adults are behind electronics that distract them from hearing that inner voice and inner guidance on what their next step is in life.
We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why?
It would be Tesla. He was a great visionary. His visions were so crystal clear and in such detail that he did not know the difference between reality and illusion. I would have loved the opportunity to speak with him. I think we are kindred spirits!
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.
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About the author:
Phil La Duke is a popular speaker & writer with more than 350 works in print. His most recent book is Lone Gunman: Rewriting the Handbook On Workplace Violence Prevention listed as #16 on Pretty Progressive magazine’s list of 49 books that powerful women study in detail. Follow Phil on Twitter @philladuke