Welcome to DORO – Pull Up a Chair
“Hmph – I remember when I couldn’t sit at the counter at Woolworth’s – now you’re gonna be living in his house!” Virginia Lemons – Monique Greenwood’s Grandmother and Champion
A rainy Sunday in DC turned into one of the best stops on my entrepreneurial journey. While tweeting late one evening, Kathy Korman Frey suggested that I attend a Tea & Talk for Women’s History Day. She had no details handy and emailed me the address with basics: Monique Greenwood, former Editor-in-Chief of Essence Magazine and owner of Akwaaba would be sharing tea with us in the quaint Bed & Breakfast nestled along 16th Street.
I put the bad weather and clothes-at-the-cleaners excuse aside and made the jaunt to the event, thinking all along of a growing to-do list back on the laptop. The room was electric from the minute I walked in the door with at least 60 women spread throughout the house. Greenwood led tours up the staircase to the rooms with names of my favorite authors like Toni Morrison. Then, it was time to listen.
“A Special Intimate Experience”
Those were the words Greenwood used to describe a stay in a B and B. Fittingly, the atmosphere of the day’s celebration was close and unique. Businesswomen made their way into the parlor, squeezing in to take it in. No one worried about being too close; some sat comfortably on the floor. This was clearly a porch moment! While sharing the building blocks of her dream, the proud visionary recounted the steps along the way that may not have been as easy or simple. Demanding a meeting with a realtor who clearly didn’t take her seriously prompted her to sing herself into a position of power … “You must not know ’bout me!” she sang, remembering the moment as if it were yesterday. Choosing to take a pay cut and title reduction to work at Essence Magazine led her to the Editor’s seat. Climbing over a wall to peek into carriage house strengthened her resolve to own a 5th mansion. She could have continued, I’m certain, with a parable for every scenario, but the clock was moving and she was prepping for guests.
“Success is a mindset.”
Greenwood was crystal clear as she discussed how she began the journey knowing exactly what she wanted – “a home that I love in a city that I love for each season of the year.” Greenwood made a decision to be successful while caring for her child and marriage. As with any choice, there are natural side effects that require attention. But none of those side effects stopped the dream – which seems to get bigger each year. The next stop on the Greenwood path: The Mansion at Noble Lane in Bethany Village, PA sits on 20+ acres in the Poconos Mountains, adorning herself and readying to greet guests from all over the world.
It’ll take at least 2-3 more blogs to capture everything I gained in the evening. Most importantly, I found it to be an affirming experience that helped me realize that I wasn’t all THAT crazy to believe in my vision. Throughout the week I’ll share more – and please share your business goals as well!