Monica Louie: “There is no “it” factor; Anyone can be successful”

There is no “it” factor. Anyone can be successful. Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to get to know and work with hundreds of successful business owners. One thing I realized was that there is no special “it” factor that made them successful. Every skill and talent they have was developed over time and […]

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There is no “it” factor. Anyone can be successful. Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to get to know and work with hundreds of successful business owners. One thing I realized was that there is no special “it” factor that made them successful. Every skill and talent they have was developed over time and through practice. No one starts off hitting it out of the park! If there was an “it” factor, it would be their hard work and dedication. Through ongoing commitment and loving your business, your team, your customers, anyone can achieve success!

I had the pleasure to interview Monica Louie. Monica is a Facebook and Instagram ads strategist who helps ambitious online entrepreneurs increase their impact with high-converting ads. She has appeared on The Smart Passive Income Podcast with Pat Flynn, and in The Huffington Post, Forbes, and Success. Along with her fast-growing premium agency, Team Flourish, Louie manages ads for 6-, 7-, and 8 -figure online business owners. Through her online course, Flourish with Facebook Ads, Louie has taught her method to hundreds of online entrepreneurs. You can learn more about Monica at

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Like many others, after college, I started working in the corporate world, and honestly, I thought I would work there until I retired. Once I got married, my husband and I started preparing to grow our family, my priorities began to change. I saw so many of my friends and colleagues leaving the workforce to stay home with their kids, and though I had never considered staying home before, I could feel my priorities starting to shift.

I knew I didn’t want to be spending 50+ hours per week at work, plus commuting and all of that, and end up spending very little time with my children. When I got pregnant with my son, my husband Mike and I knew that the time would soon be coming for me to leave my job.

My dream was to start a business where I could be my own boss and work from home, something that would scale with me as my kids grew and I had more time. I have always been driven to help people, and my goal is to make a positive impact in the world.

But at the time, I had no idea what I could do from home, so after my son was born, I went back to working full-time. Mike and I were committed to helping me leave the corporate world, so we began saving like crazy so we could make my dream a reality.

It wasn’t until I was pregnant again with my daughter that we were finally able to pull the trigger, and I left my job in 2013. We were very nervous to go from two good incomes down to just one — especially with two small children to take care of!

Only two months after I left my job, we noticed that our savings was starting to dip. I was scared to think that my desire for a more flexible lifestyle would not be sustainable for our family. That’s when I discovered the personal finance community online, and I got serious about managing our money and paying off our debt. In two years, we paid off $120,000 of debt on a single, middle-class income.

When our friends started to ask how we did it, I created a debt freedom blog to inspire and help others, and that was how I learned about and fell in love with the online marketing world. I learned everything I could from experts like Pat Flynn and Amy Porterfield, and I created a webinar training to help others tackle their debt. I used Facebook ads to drive sign-ups for that webinar, and I got great results with my ad campaigns. I continued to hone the skill, and soon my blogging friends in the personal finance community were asking for help with their campaigns, too.

Over time, I found a repeatable formula that worked for a variety of different kinds of offers and various audiences. In 2016, I sold my debt freedom blog so I could focus on Facebook ads coaching full-time. Less than a year later, it became clear that I could leverage my time and help more people if I created a course. So in 2017, I launched my signature program, Flourish with Facebook Ads, and have now served more than 500 students.

At the same time, I began getting requests from people in my network who wanted me to manage their ads for them. That led to significant growth in my team as I created a full-service Facebook and Instagram ads agency to serve these clients too.

When I set out on this journey to stay home with my kids and create my own business, I had no idea that I would become a debt conqueror, a blogger, a Facebook ads coach, an online expert, or the CEO of a successful ad agency. It has been such a wild ride, but I am so thankful for the journey I’ve been on and the future I am still creating!

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

My goal for my Facebook ads business was to make 6-figures in my first year of business. This was a huge goal, but I love big audacious goals, and I was committed to making it happen! Through a lot of hard work and strategic decision making, I made $91,000 in revenue in 2017. I was blown away but also inspired by how much I had achieved in just one year, so I set the ambitious goal to 10X my revenue in 2018.

I knew that if I was going to make 7-figures in my second year of business, I was going to need a business coach to help me get there. As a long-time listener of The Smart Passive Income Podcast with Pat Flynn, I wondered who Pat would recommend for a coach.

In early 2018, Pat Flynn announced that he was starting the SPI Accelerator program — a year-long coaching program with Pat Flynn himself! When it came time to apply, I went above and beyond with all the answers to the application and shared so many details about my business. I wasn’t sure if I would even qualify, let alone be accepted!

Then I received the email that I had been accepted into the program!

I was so thrilled to be accepted that I could not stop smiling through the entire first call with the other SPI Accelerator members. We’ve since become great friends, and I gained so much knowledge and insight from the other members of the group.

It was so inspiring to get to know these amazing people during that year. Though the year in the program has ended, we still keep in regular contact, supporting and encouraging each other, and sharing updates about our progress.

I am so thankful and feel so blessed that I had the privilege to be part of the program!

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?

Back in 2016 before I started to grow my Facebook ads business, I was in a Facebook group when someone asked for recommendations for a Facebook ads coach. Someone nominated me as a good candidate. I saw all these other people (with much more experience than me at that point!) throwing their hats into the ring, so I thought the chances I would be selected were slim. I submitted a detailed email to this potential client, outlining everything she could expect if we worked together.

And I was selected! I was beyond honored to be hired, and we started working together right away.

After a month or so of working together, the scope of what I was doing for her had grown to exceed my initial invoice, and I knew it was coming time to send her another invoice to reflect all the additional work I was doing for her.

And I was so nervous! I was scared to initiate the conversation and ask for more money — even though we were getting amazing results. When we finally had the conversation, she was more than happy to continue working together and we made arrangements for an on-going monthly retainer.

Back then, I had a very different mindset toward money. I was scared to ask for it, and I often undersold my real value because I struggled with the confidence to command the price that I deserved. I look back and laugh now, because all the anxiety around money was just in my head!

But I learned an important lesson about valuing yourself appropriately and being confident when it comes time to invoice a client. Don’t undersell yourself. If you’re doing good work, you deserve to be paid fairly for what you do!

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

I love what I do, and I love building relationships with other successful business owners. I’m blessed to work with talented people who are building companies that I admire — and they are people that I admire too. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve these people and help them grow their businesses, so that they in turn can serve their audience even better.

My team and I are extremely organized. Early in my business journey, I had a business coach who predicted that my high level of organization would play a big part in my future success. And I think that’s true! I have developed a team that shares my high standards for organization and detailed systems, and my clients and customers love the high level of quality we provide.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

I recently launched my podcast, Flourish to 7 Figures, and it’s all about what it really takes to build a seven-figure business! Together, we explore the many variables of a sustainable and successful business, including mindset, strategies, personal development, funnels, time management, growing your team, scaling your business, building your list, and of course, using Facebook and Instagram ads to connect with your ideal audience!

Each week, we sit down with entrepreneurs to hear their stories of challenge and triumph, and I share my own journey as I grow a thriving 7-figure business.

The Flourish to 7 Figures Podcast helps higher-level entrepreneurs who already have successful businesses gain the insight and inspiration to achieve an even greater level of success that they envision for themselves and their businesses.

What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?

When I first started my business, I struggled so much with imposter syndrome. I was worried about what other people would think of me, and whether I could really be considered an “expert.” I felt like it was a title I didn’t really deserve.

I had to move past that feeling and have since stepped into the role of CEO.

If you want your business to grow, you have to focus on the vision for your company.

Developing yourself as a leader will give you confidence to gain clients, command respect, and lead your team as well. Your team needs to see you as the confident, female leader that you are.

My advice to other female leaders is to push past the fear. Demonstrate your leadership abilities.

Mentor your team so that they can become the best that they can be. The more confidence you have in your team, the more they will show up for you and believe in the big goals you have for the business. Especially if you have a fast-growing, fast-moving team like mine, it’s important that you demonstrate integrity in your work and expect the same from your team.

Respect the boundaries of your team members, as well. The more respect you give them, the more they will show in return. Trust them and empower them to solve problems on their own and make decisions with less input from you.

What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?

Be clear with your communication. Pick your channels of communication and stick to them.

Establish a chain of command within the company. If you are a leader of a large — and growing! — team, you can’t be fielding questions from every single team member. Create a chain of command so that the relevant people are alerted when needed. It’s good to have an open-door policy, but an off-the-hook phone policy cuts into productivity fast.

On our team, the ad assistants work closely together to resolve questions first. If a question or problem can’t be resolved among the ad assistants, they escalate the conversation to our senior ad assistant, and if needed, she will bring the conversation to me.

We use Asana for our project management. Questions and comments related to specific tasks occur within the program. And we use Voxer to send voice messages. We have specific channels on Voxer to communicate about client or administrative projects, and we are extremely cognizant of who is in each channel so that we don’t bog down members of the team with unnecessary messages.

Since we have an all-virtual team, team meetings are conducted on Zoom, and we always make sure we have a detailed agenda so that we can be productive with our time.

Managing a large team can be challenging, but by creating systems and processes that facilitate clear communication, you can work together no matter where you are to grow a thriving business.

None of us are able to 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?

I am so grateful to Pat Flynn. I started listening to the Smart Passive Income Podcast back in 2014. It opened my eyes to the ways that people were making money online, and it inspired me that creating a successful business from home could one day become a reality.

I learned so many strategies from each episode, so when I did go to launch my business, I felt that I had a strong foundation to build on. To this day, I still send people specific episodes on different topics or featuring certain guests because they are so thorough and informative.

And I was blessed to have the opportunity to be a founding member of the SPI Accelerator program, which was coached by Pat Flynn himself.

In fact, before he became my real-life mentor, Pat was a client back when I was just one year into my coaching business. I was actually the one to teach Pat how to run his own Facebook ads. I was so honored to work with him, after all those years of having him as my “virtual” mentor!

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

On my team, our motto is this: we help people who help people. Whether it’s through our course, our agency, my private coaching, the podcast, or live speaking events, my goal was and is always to help people.

That’s why I started blogging in the first place! I wanted to inspire and help others to conquer their debt and take control of their finances so they could live a happier life.

And though my official job has changed to Facebook and Instagram ads strategist, my goal is still the same: to help people. I now work with business owners to amplify their impact (and make more money!) so they can serve more people.

Within my company, I invest in my team so that they can achieve their own personal dreams and goals as well. I’m looking forward to our future as we continue to spread this ripple effect of helping people so they can serve the world in a bigger way!

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)

1. You don’t need to be perfect.

I am a lifelong perfectionist. In school, I was a straight-A student and always went above and beyond to maintain that standard of performance. But over time, I’ve learned that there’s always room for improvement. Which can be a beautiful thing! It means that we should always be encouraged to keep going.

When I was younger, I allowed my perfectionism to delay my dreams because I took so long to make everything perfect before I could get started. Now, I see that a project that is only 99% complete is not going to help anyone.

To have the greatest impact on the world, be willing to settle for “done” rather than “perfect.”

2. You don’t need to wait.

When I was in my 20s, I thought I was too young to run my own business. Now, in my 30s, I am in awe of these 20-somethings who are action-oriented and don’t feel held back by their age.

I sometimes wish I had started earlier, but at the end of the day, I’m just glad that I did take action!

Don’t wait! The world needs your impact now.

3. Everyone else is trying to figure it out too.

When I attended my first major conference back in 2016, I met many of the successful business owners I had admired from afar.

For the first time I realized that these business owners didn’t have a secret gift that made them successful. In fact, they were far from perfect. They actually were normal people just like me!

No one has everything figured out. Even the 7- and 8-figure business owners I work with now are still learning and improving. The more you try, the more you will figure out.

Trust the journey.

4. There is no “it” factor. Anyone can be successful.

Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to get to know and work with hundreds of successful business owners.

One thing I realized was that there is no special “it” factor that made them successful. Every skill and talent they have was developed over time and through practice. No one starts off hitting it out of the park!

If there was an “it” factor, it would be their hard work and dedication. Through ongoing commitment and loving your business, your team, your customers, anyone can achieve success!

5. Trust yourself and your journey

Trust in yourself that you will figure it out. You will get there. You are on the right path for you, and you should feel confident that you are right where you are supposed to be right now.

Do your best to plan ahead, but also realize that life never sticks perfectly to the plan anyway. Trust yourself that if the worst happens, you’ll be able to deal with it, grow from it, and move on. (And I’ve learned that most of the time, the worst-case scenario never even happens!)

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

The movement I would want to inspire is for people to actually believe that they can do anything they set their mind to. They can create their future, their ideal reality. I don’t believe our future is predetermined. Anything we dream of we can make happen! There are a lot of people out there holding themselves back because they don’t think their dream is possible.

But when you believe in yourself, you can achieve even your wildest dreams!

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” — Earl Nightingale

I first heard this quote when my husband and I were getting started paying off our debt, and it still keeps me going when I’m working toward a really big goal. My attitude is that it’s better to be pursuing a goal and making progress toward it, even if it ultimately takes longer than you had hoped.

This is why I love to set big goals! Even if I don’t hit the goal in the timeline I originally planned, I’m still making progress, and I know I’ll get there eventually.

Some of the biggest 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? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

I would love to share lunch with Rachel Hollis. I am so inspired by her. I’ve read her books, Girl, Wash Your Face and Girl, Stop Apologizing, and I love how she’s so real and raw and willing to share it all. She’s vulnerable and authentic, and I’ve learned so much about her.

She’s around my age and a busy mom of 4. She inspires me so much because she’s living the dream and has it all! I want to prove that you can have it all, too. It’s possible to be a great mom, wife, daughter, sister, and have a phenomenally successful business that helps people and inspires others too! I want to have lunch with her and thank her for her contribution and the influence she’s had on my life and countless others.

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