BUSINESS / ORGANIZATION:
Clear Communication Solutions, LLCAlpharetta, Georgia
ABOUT THE BUSINESS / ORGANIZATION:My company, Clear Communication Solutions, LLC provides communications training, consulting and coaching that helps leaders - especially women - go from good to great as confident communicators. I teach leaders and teams how to use effective communications strategies that will enhance the quality of their professional and personal relationships.
My mission is to use positive communication to empower and inspire people to build confidence through authenticity, develop compassion using emotional intelligence, and maximize their unique strengths to produce their best work.
Unique differentiators include:
-Graduate degrees in Communications (Master of Science in Broadcast Journalism, Public Relations & Advertising)
-Trained DiSC Facilitator & Certified Life Coach
-Wrote a public speaking curriculum for Southern New Hampshire University and served as Subject Matter Expert
-Taught over 2000+ adults in Inter and Intrapersonal Communications
-Co-founded a thriving youth after-school TEDX club, broadcast globally on TED.com
-Founder and Host Sponsor of Forbes recommended leadership conference, Leadercast Alpharetta
-Quoted multiple times in local, national and international publications
-Author of "Positive Affirmations for Increased Confidence: Build Character and Great Relationships That Will Last A Lifetime"
-Frequent guest on local, national and international radio
-Mom of two amazing boys and wife
-Speaker on personal experiences and observations
-Multi-cultural (Bahamian, Nigerian, American)
THE STORY:I left the warm islands of The Bahamas to go to school in cold, Minnesota. I was confident and could win any Miss Confidence contest back then. Within two weeks of my arrival, I found myself working as a multi-cultural student consultant, getting international students acclimated to the campus. Soon after, I gave consultative advice to the Minnesota Orchestra on how to improve student performance. Almost everywhere I turned, I found myself in an advisory role, sharing winning strategies to improve performance. I did not know it then, and only through reflection did I realize how every experience I had helped to shape who I am and what I do today.
After graduating college, I set out to fulfill my dreams and desires to be an international broadcast journalist. I completed many applications and was rejected. I thought nothing of it at the time. Kids, marriage and years later, I still wasn’t doing what I thought I should be doing despite delivering great results where I worked. Working in executive support wasn’t where I wanted to be, but with the power of reflection, I realized that being there gave me insight into what sets great leaders apart, and those experiences are part of what gives me such a unique edge today. It was almost second nature to give advice on simple to complex issues on employee engagement and other matters.
I relocated to Atlanta, Georgia, and it was there that my journey to re-discover myself began. I didn’t even know I had lost myself because you don’t lose confidence overnight. It is a slow process, but you will know when it’s done. You’ll feel different, and I did. I began to doubt even my natural abilities. I connected to a women’s organization call WATTS (Women Aspiring Together to Succeed), and it was there that I learned how to complete my very first vision board.
I always knew how to set goals, but this was a new way of goal setting and visualization for me. I placed on my board many things, including starting my loc journey for my hair. It was something I always wanted to do, but never had the courage to do so. Three months after the creation of the board, I started my loc journey! A few months after that, I met a friend who said he needed my services on a contract. I jumped at the opportunity to do so and when he asked me my rate, I told him I didn’t know. I had never thought about it because starting a business wasn’t something I decided to do with serious intention. I had the desire, and dream, but the opportunities and knowledge of what to do and how simply wasn’t there.
That was the beginning of something great.
Throughout the years I served clients with various services in Communications from editing to public speaking to marketing and advertising. I learned that I could not be all things to everyone, and quickly made changes. I was still trying to figure out what my focus should be, and it wasn’t until I started connecting my strengths to my passion, and more importantly accepting who I am that true clarity really flowed. Without true clarity, you end up going through motions and actions, but not really having a solid direction. It is because of my experiences personally and professionally with losing and regaining confidence, being fuzzy and gaining clarity that I am so passionate about teaching effective communications strategies that empower positive and productive relationships.
I especially get excited about removing stigmas and normalizing difficult conversations because it is through these aspects that true connection happens.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS / ACCOLADES / AWARDS:My biggest accomplishments and proudest moments involve being available for the emotional, spiritual and physical well-being of my children.
My biggest leadership lesson learned was that I had to learn how to lead myself first in order to be the best mom, wife and friend I could be. This came through hiring coaches, connecting with positive supportive groups and investing in books, and conferences.
I am also proud of the youth programs I developed and delivered that helped parents guide activities to the interests of the kids. I am proud of the HOPE parents felt after feeling hopeless with their youth.
I am proud of co-founding a TEDx after-school youth club, and pouring into the young people, and also founding and hosting a Forbes recommended leadership conference.
I am extremely proud to have eliminated all student loan debt.
ADVICE:I am married with two boys. I love to travel, be outdoors, and visit the beach. Sushi is one of my favorite foods. I am a journal junkie and constantly write notes to myself.
OUTLOOK:I've received so many nuggets over the years, it is hard to say the best. One profound comment I had from a colleague that I will never forget is "not because you could, means you should". It seems so simple, but I have applied this in many areas of my life and in my business. It simply means that if you find yourself in a position to dictate an outcome or demonstrate an unbecoming behavior because you have a stronger authoritative position, you don't have to make that choice. You can choose an alternate route.
For example, as a parent, just because you can dictate orders to your child, it doesn't mean that you should. As a Director, just because you can ignore your employees' input, it doesn't mean you should. As a business owner, just because you can refuse someone's business, fire a client or otherwise, it doesn't mean that you should. You have the choice to take a different route. You have a choice to get curious about others without dismissing them even though you can, and it would probably not impact you, or your business. I use this philosophy to help guide my actions daily.
25 Apr Monique Russell
Posted at 21:22h in BUSINESS