Thinking It Out Loud

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Dr. Monique Carlisle Johnson

Q&A with Dr. Monique Carlisle Johnson, owner of MCJ Consulting.  Based in the Cincinnati area, Monique works with schools and organizations and individuals who are ready to improve, grow, and change in ways that make a difference in the world.  MJC  Consulting is especially committed to full customized counsel, guidance, and support to educational organizations focused on student success.

Among other achievements Monique has her doctorate in Counselor Education with a focus in Higher Education Administration and a minor in Human Resource Development for Trainers, The Pennsylvania State University.

*Editors privilege:  When you meet Monique you can’t help but know that she is committed to what her role is.  I love to give this example of how she and her family live.  She and I were GS leaders together on an overnight camp out.  Camping is NOT Monique’s thing.  When she told her husband that “camping is for the birds” his response sums up their family mantra:  “So be a bird then”.  And you know what…she was a bird.  She cooked out, hiked, and sang songs like her entire heart was in it.  Because that is who she is.  Committed to the role she is in and gets the job done.

Q: Did you always want to have your own business?

No, I describe myself as the accidental entrepreneur. After being hired as a consultant (independent contractor) by the local school district two years ago, I realized that I was a business owner but did not see myself in that way.
 Over the past year, I began studying entrepreneurship and had an inspiring encounter with a retired Principal who inspired me to own it. MCJ Consulting was born in June of 2016.
I’m no stranger to business ownership.  My husband and I have owned a rental property business for the past 14 years.  He’s always been very entrepreneurial and owning real estate was a goal of his.  We bought our first home in 2002 and we now have 18 homes. We work together to manage the properties.


Q: What has been your most favorite part of operating your business?  What is your least favorite?

When I think about how this was all just an idea on paper just six short months ago, I’m amazed.  I’ve gone through three big notebooks.  I’m still consulting, managing my household, running kids around and working on my business every spare moment I get.  The best part about it is the business is my creation infused with my values, thoughts and goals and my overall goal is to help others make a difference.  
The fact that I already have a big client and I’m creating as I go is pretty awesome.

Least Favorite?

Keeping up with social media is my least favorite part of being a new business. You have to use social media in order to be seen.  I’m by nature a private person, so it’s been a struggle for me.  Although I am quite personable, I find social media to be sort of contrived at times and I want to quit.  I’m considering working with a virtual assistant to manage that aspect for me.

*I love that Monique is talking about outsourcing something that she believes has to be done but is a weakness.  I 100% believe that all business owners can learn from that statement.  No one is an expert in everything.

Q:  Best piece of business advice you have gotten and from whom?  And life advice?

Working with a coach, mentor or joining a mastermind group has been helpful for me.  It’s a great way to connect with like-minded people.  I’ve also enjoyed sharing resources and learning from other’s experiences.  There are a ton of coaches out there and endless webinars and people with the “best” formula to make your business grow.  I would advise you not to overwhelm yourself with too many webinars, and on-line courses because, after a while, it gets confusing and can actually impede your progress.

At some point, you have to tune it out, do what’s best for you and move forward.

If you decide to work with someone, pace yourself, and connect with whoever makes you feel most comfortable and has the credentials you are seeking.

Life Advice?

I love quotes and I’m inspired by words.   There are three quotes that I really like and I’m not sure who the authors are but they describe my thoughts about life.
Don’t let the best you have done so far be the standard for the rest of your life.
    My interpretation is that learning, changing and growing is a lifelong process and a wonderful opportunity.  Set your standards high.
If Plan A didn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters.  Stay Cool.  by Claire Cook
        My interpretation is that change is about being creative and using your resources.  Don’t give up, stay the course and believe that it will work out.
Service is that thing that makes your heart beat a little faster.  Wes Moore

    My interpretation – when a student finally grasps a concept you’re teaching or you get your first client in your new business, or you volunteer your time …your heart beats a little faster.  It’s the joy of serving.

Screen Shot 2016-09-01 at 11.35.56 AM



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll To Top