Thursday, March 26, 2009

Virtual Book Tour~~Interview with Monique Hayward

Welcome to the virtual book tour!!! We are excited to bring you this wonderful interview with Monique Hayward!
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1. You have enjoyed a long, successful career in high technology and along the way decided to start a restaurant business. What inspired you to write this book?

Monique:
From my own experience with running a business while managing a career, I wanted to impress upon other women who are thinking about pursuing their dream of entrepreneurship that they need more than conventional wisdom. I felt I needed to provide women entrepreneurs a helping hand and give them a boost up the entrepreneurial ladder.



2. Many business experts and analysts have identified the trends in increasing business ownership among women. Many books have been written about the subject in the past few years. What makes Divas Doing Business different from other books on the market for women entrepreneurs?

Monique: Divas Doing Business complements the traditional how-to guides and “fills the spaces in between” with a fresh, unique angle on entrepreneurship. So many books focus on “success stories” and I have tried to provide a perspective on the “real deal.” In my book, I provide how-to advice combined with experience on the ground and in the trenches that can help them avoid the pitfalls, obstacles, and challenges these women surmounted. I get help from nine pioneering women who pass on their hard-won tribal knowledge and share with aspiring entrepreneurs what it takes to start and manage a business and to see it thrive and succeed.

3. How did you approach Morgan Freeman to write the foreword to Divas Doing Business?


Monique: I approached Morgan Freeman to write the foreword with one simple request: Can you please help me? Morgan is a close business advisor and mentor and he and I have worked on various projects in the past. He was gracious and happy to support me. To continue in this spirit, I’m donating a portion of the book’s sales proceeds to PLAN!T NOW. This is Morgan’s charity that provides assistance, research, and educational programs for individuals, businesses, and communities at risk for hurricanes and coastal storms. Learn more at www.planitnow.org.



4. You have assembled an impressive lineup of women entrepreneurs as contributors who are very well known in their respective industries – media/entertainment, skin care and beauty, casual video games, restaurants, consulting, marketing. How did you select your contributors and approach them to participate in this project?


Monique: While the women entrepreneurs profiled in Divas Doing Business are well known in their industries and have received national recognition, they are not household names like Oprah, Suze, Tyra, or Martha. In other words, if someone is immediately recognizable by her first name, I figured her story has already been told enough times. Readers want to hear about other inspirational women who are inventing breakthroughs, beating their competitors, commanding the respect of their peers, sparking cultural trends and social movements, and successfully running their own businesses, thereby rewriting the rules for women in the working world.



Also, I wanted to ensure that readers can relate their own personal experience to what the entrepreneur has done. For example, readers certainly admire how Oprah Winfrey has turned Harpo Productions into a media powerhouse, but she’s out of reach for most women who are thinking of starting a media company. On the other hand, Divas Doing Business contributor Crystal McCrary Anthony, who’s making a name for herself in media and entertainment as an author, TV personality, and movie producer, can provide a more realistic, closer-to-home example of someone who’s getting it done.



Like with Morgan Freeman, I reached out to these fabulous women with a simple request for them to lend their expertise and knowledge to my book because I thought their stories were compelling and inspirational. I knew a few of them already, and for the others, I simply did a lot of background research to find women whose personal experiences and insights would add tangible proof to the concepts set forth in the book. Everyone was enthusiastic.



5. In your book, you encourage women entrepreneurs to assess what you call their “M Factors” carefully as they’re developing their business plans. What are the “M Factors”?


Monique:
As I was creating the business plan for my business, Dessert Noir CafĂ© & Bar, I assessed my lifestyle and worked hard to ensure my plans comprehended protecting what I call the “M” factors:

1. Money

2. Marriage and/or Motherhood

3. Mortgage

4. Mercedes (or whatever is your “Motor Vehicle”)

5. (Peace of) Mind

I’ve learned in the five years I’ve been on this journey that entrepreneurship will test the strength and stability of each of my Ms, requiring me to absolutely clear about how I’m going to balance what’s important in my life with the demands and rigors of running the business. The Ms are exposed to these demands at various points in time and to different degrees. What I have to do is determine my priorities, negotiate them with my loved ones, and draw the boundaries I don’t want to ever cross.


6. You have a lengthy chapter on raising capital which you call “The Real Deal on Raising Money,” detailing what women entrepreneurs should anticipate with banks, angel investors, and other sources of funding. You advise readers to proceed with caution when pitching their businesses to potential investors in this male-dominated arena as many men are only thinking about “one thing” with a woman, regardless of the situation or circumstances. What has been your experience when seeking capital from would-be male investors?


Monique:
As women, we may be confronted by the pre-conceived notion that we are not business-savvy leaders with ventures worthy of investment, and we have to overcome stereotypes in order to make progress toward our goals. Personally, I’ve experienced bias with bankers who relish the power they have over small business owners who need access to credit and “grill” you at every opportunity – e.g., picking out the most esoteric details about your business plan and quizzing you to test your knowledge and confidence in your strategy, creating obstacles and delays to loan applications getting approved. I handle this situation by bringing my “A game” to the table at all times – i.e., having complete command and control of the situation, demonstrating faith and confidence in my ability to express the strategy, and knowing the value of my business and my time.



I’ve also been in situations where would-be investors in my business had a different idea of “fringe benefits.” I thought potential investors, regardless of their gender, would view me with respect and professionalism. As time went on, however, I couldn’t believe what was happening to me in many of these meetings – the up-and-down looks, sexual innuendo, and in some rare instances, outright propositions and advances. I’ve wasted precious time with countless average guys who “kick tires” as if they are going to invest in my business and have absolutely no intention of doing so because they’re treating the situation like “The Dating Game.” They performed their parts as actors on this stage beautifully by asking for executive summaries and financials to evaluate the business, entertaining me at lunch or dinner meetings, visiting the restaurant on several occasions, getting to know me personally, and increasing my confidence and hopes that we may close a deal. Despite my track record of maintaining my business and having a clear vision for my company’s future growth and profitability, they all walked away when they realized that I’m all about business and not their games. In other words, “I’m not sleeping with you, buddy. So unless you’re going to write a check right now, don’t waste my time.” Of course, I say this to myself. In front of them I play the part of the appreciative business owner who’s grateful for their time and consideration. It’s truly unbelievable what women face out here when all we’re trying to do is make our businesses successful.



7. What is the key message that you want to deliver to aspiring women entrepreneurs as they are contemplating going into business for themselves?

Monique: For my fellow divas who are thinking of starting their own business, I strongly encourage you to be clear about your sense of purpose. Our journey as women entrepreneurs can be a long, difficult one, and there will be days when you ask, “Exactly why did I do this to myself?” The stress and anxiety will keep you awake at night because you carry a huge burden most people with whom you interact cannot appreciate or understand. After all, most people don’t have the courage to take the risk that we’re taking and are collecting paychecks at their jobs that they complain about constantly and don’t really like doing.



Your purpose is the light that illuminates the path when you cannot see. When you focus on your purpose, your inspiration for being in business in the first place and stay true to your dream of success, the day-to-day trials and tribulations become easier to manage. I live by this philosophy: God does not give me any more than I can handle, and when I wake up in the morning, I express my gratitude to Him and those who’ve helped me along the way and ask for the strength and guidance to manage my business, make good decisions, and face the challenges without fear or lack of faith and confidence. I can only pay one bill at a time, solve one problem at a time, address one issue at time. Otherwise, I get overwhelmed. You’ll find your own approach that will work for you to keep going.


8. Why did you decide to self-publish to bring this book to market instead of pursuing the traditional publishing route?

Monique:
My agent shopped the book proposal around for months and months, but with the recession, publishers shut the door on first-time authors last year and

I could not get a deal. So I’m bringing it to market myself first because I cannot wait any longer. I have something to say now, particularly as the recession leads to more corporate layoffs and women may be considering entrepreneurship as a path to prosperity. Besides, if I can establish that there’s a market for the material, a publisher may pick it up after I’ve proven that it can sell.

75 comments:

i-Virtual Assist Book Tours said...

Hello Dana, thank for hosting this exciting event.

Dana said...

Hello Mrs. Henderson, you are so welcome!

Monique Hayward said...

Hi, everyone. I'm here.

Dana said...

Hello Monique Hayward! Thank you so much for this opportunity!

i-Virtual Assist Book Tours said...

Hello Monique, how are you.

Monique Hayward said...

I greatly appreciate the opportunity to contribute to this blog and to tell you and your readers about the book.

Monique Hayward said...

I'm doing well. Thanks for asking. I started out on the wrong page. So I figured out where I was supposed to be. :-)

Dana said...

It is truly a blessing to work with you both! I know we have one reader that will be posting a comment very soon!

Anonymous said...

Hello everyone,

This is pretty cool. Never participated in a Virtual book tour.

Dracy

Monique Hayward said...

Thanks for joining, Dracy. I'm ready to take questions.

Dana said...

Welcome Dracy to Divas Doing Business Virtual Book Tour. We are delighted to have you here. Have you gotten a chance to read the entire interview?

Anonymous said...

What made you decide to do a Virtual Book Tour?

Dracy

Dana said...

Well, I have a comment, I cannot wait to get your book! I have been a woman in business for years. Obtaining wisdom for business as our world changes is always exciting!

Anonymous said...

How much is the book?

Dracy

Monique Hayward said...

My marketing strategy for the book consists of two primary elements: 1) Build buzz and excitement about the book in the women entrepreneur/small biz community. I'm doing that by reaching out to blogs, podcasts, online communities, and vertical media/publications. This virtual book tour is one tactic to help with that.

2) Leverage the coverage and credibility that I build in this vertical arena into broader coverage in the mainstream media.

Monique Hayward said...

The book is $19.95. You can purchase a paperback or an ebook version for the Kindle at Amazon.com. You can also get an ebook as a PDF file from my web site at http://moniquehayward.com/aspx.

Anonymous said...

cool thanks.

dracy

Dana said...

Monique, I enjoyed what you said about the M factor..

Do you think women look at all factors when going into business? Or no?

Monique Hayward said...

Another comment on virtual book tours: The advantage is that these tours live "in infamy." That means they're searchable and it's very likely that if someone is searching for content related to women entrepreneurs, I will come up in the search results.

Anonymous said...

You also have another business is that correct? And how is that going in this economy?

Monique Hayward said...

Dana: I think women intuitively think about what they need to balance, but they're generally not as explicit as I'm suggesting they should be.

Monique Hayward said...

Dracy: Yes, I own a restaurant business in Beaverton, Oregon. It's tough right now, but we're hanging in there. Check it out at www.dessertnoir.com.

Dana said...

I am enjoying this tour. I would love to consider one for my poetry book.
BUT, back to DIVAS: What do you say to those of us IN business and still at the beginning stages? For instance, I have a non-profit I am getting off the ground, but I am in the middle of a gifts business and event planning business as well.
The way to funding for NP is very different, what do you say to those like me?

Anonymous said...

Are you a pastery chef?

dracy

Dana said...

Women almost have to stand their ground in stilettos carrying a laptop, blackberry, and scolding the kids, at the same time AMEN?

As you said, you brought your A game to the table many times; with your book, you are suggesting that we leave the tissues behind and BRING IT!

Dana said...

FYI Mrs. Henderson from i-Virtual Assist Book Tours will be re-joining us.

Monique Hayward said...

Dana: For your question, I'd say it sounds like you may want to focus. Non-profits are tough. I think getting the for-profit business to a point that it will be enable you to give the NP one the focus and attention it deserves is a good strategy.

Dracy: I'm not a pastry chef. Before starting my restaurant business, I had no formal experience or training in restaurants other than a two-week stint at McDonald's when I was 15. ;-)

Dana said...

Question from an author standpoint. I self published on an online site and the costs were very low.

Would you share with me, on or off the tour, how to self-publish and get my book on Amazon?

Monique Hayward said...

That's right, Dana. Bring your A game and no one can knock you off your stilettos!

Monique Hayward said...

Dana: Yes, self-publishing on Amazon is easy and inexpensive. Go to Createspace's web site and everything is there. We can chat offline about my experience because I did a few things differently, mainly from a design perspective. Send me email -- monique_hayward@hotmail.com.

Dana said...

McDonald's is good! LOL


I am continuously building the for profits. They are in a position to make a run for themselves..but focus, as you stated, is key for all!

Monique Hayward said...

Dracy: I'm about to date myself. When I worked at McDonald's, Chicken McNuggets had just been introduced. 1985. How crazy is that?

Monique Hayward said...

Sorry, that last comment was for Dana. My bad.

i-Virtual Assist Book Tours said...

Hi Ladies, I lost you for a moment, connection difficulties, my apologies. lol

Dana said...

That's okay! We can all go back to those days when it was just a hamburger.....way before the big mack.

Anonymous said...

I have an online talkshow and I'd love to have you on. May I get your contact information?

Dana said...

Mrs. Henderson Thanks for getting back with us. I let everyone know that you would be rejoining us.

Monique Hayward said...

Dracy: Thank you so much for the invitation to your show. You can reach me via email at monique_hayward@hotmail.com.

i-Virtual Assist Book Tours said...

Thank you. I want to thank our guest Dracy for joining us.

Dana said...

Monique, you said you strongly encourage women to have a clear sense of purpose.

It is great you have said that; I heard someone suggest that you have a thesis regarding life and business. Your business, why...is that about right?

Anonymous said...

You're welcome.

dracy

Monique Hayward said...

Dana: Yes, that's about right. I think everyone needs that single source of inspiration that will keep himself/herself going when times get tough. There have been many nights when I didn't think I'd be in business the next day, and after thinking about why I am in business in the first place and what I've been able to accomplish, I get reenergized quickly.

One of my business advisors told me once, "It's only money."

Dana said...

Ha! Money is the key if used wisely. I encourage to keep going, especially with the next book.

AND Dracy is being modest. She has a newsletter she sends out every week as well..maybe you both can connect with that.

Dana said...

Now this question is for Monique and Mrs. Henderson:

Have either of you considered being speakers? Sharing your expertise on what you have done to be effective and successful in business?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the plug Dana.

Dracy

Dana said...

That's what I do! Help others.

Monique Hayward said...

I'm sure Dracy has "super powers" that she's not letting on. She's probably "rescued" whole cities from despair and destruction under the cover of her super hero costume, took care of business and beat down the bad buys, and quietly settled back into her "Anonymous" life without anyone realizing it. :-)

Anonymous said...

ha ha! That's true Monique.

Monique Hayward said...

Re: Speaking. Yes, I'm available and have been speaking and writing about women in business. Next month, I'll be Chicago for an event hosted by the Women of Color Foundation. I'm participating in a panel of women executives and entrepreneurs. Looking for more opportunities like that.

Dana said...

She HAS!!!

i-Virtual Assist Book Tours said...

Dracy I'd love to receive a copy of your newsletter. My email is info@i-virtualassist.com

Thanks.

Monique Hayward said...

Dracy: All I want is the movie rights. ;-)

Anonymous said...

virtualassit what's your name so that I may attach it to the email address?

Dana said...

Monique:Wow that is great! Being able to share you expertise in all ways is great!

Anonymous said...

you're funny monique.

dracy

Monique Hayward said...

I wasn't voted "Wittiest" when I was in high school for nothing. :-)

i-Virtual Assist Book Tours said...

Alba Henderson, nice to meet you.

Anonymous said...

Well my granddaughter wants me to log off. It was a pleasure meeting the two of you and I look forward to talking to you soon.

Thanks Dana for all you do!

Dracy

Dana said...

This virtual tour has been great. I would love to help you with another one Mrs. Henderson if I could!

Dana said...

Thank you Dracy for comming to the tour and interview.

Monique Hayward said...

Good night, Dracy. Thank you very much for attending. Please send me email about the date for the talk show.

Monique Hayward said...

Last call?

Anonymous said...

Already done Monique.

dracy

Dana said...

Yes, I guess last call!

This has been wonderful. I will still be promoting tonight's interview tomorrow during the day.

Monique Hayward said...

Dracy: Excellent. I'll follow up with you.

Dana said...

Monique, thank you so much AGAIN for the opportunity. This virtual tour has been exciting. I pray that you will reach the millions you plan to reach with Divas Doing Business!

Dana said...

i-Virtual Assist!!! I appreciate all you do! So exciting....so exciting!

Monique Hayward said...

I've got my husband fixing me a cocktail. :-)

Dana: Thanks so much for giving me the space. I really appreciate it. It was a lively discussion and I appreciate how engaged you and Dracy were. If anything comes up in the future, feel free to reach out. You've got a friend in Oregon.

Dana said...

You are most welcome! Have a great week and end of the tour! Congrats on your book and thriving business. If you ever need an event planner or travel assistant, you have a friend right here on the NET!

i-Virtual Assist Book Tours said...

Hey I am back, thank you Ladies. Monique on to Day 5 of your tour.

Dracy you have won our door prizes! Congrats!

Dana said...

Yeah DRACY!!! Congrats.

i-Virtual Assist Book Tours said...

You may log onto http://www.i-virtualassistbooktours.com to view your prizes.

Dana you were an excellent host. Thank you.

Dana said...

You are welcome!

sheela said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Kaylee

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Dana said...

Thank you for stopping by, Kaylee, share with your friends. You will be encouraged.