Joining the group of Female Disruptors today is Mona Bijoor. Simply put, she’s a force. Her deliberate balance of drive and compassion yields a passionate leader and mindful mentor for today’s entrepreneur. She knows that success is never one person’s job, decides to channel any fear of failure into positive energy and relies on her support system for success.
Partner, Kings Circle Capital & Founder, JOOR
Brooklyn, New York
My mother and father independently started their own businesses. Growing up in a household that was focused on entrepreneurship, I was surrounded by the hard work that business ownership entails. In the back of my head, I always knew that I wanted to start a business. I am in love with the creation process—building something out of nothing.
Today I am a partner in an investment firm that invests in real estate, franchises, online businesses, and other startups in the health and wellness, retail tech and consumer industries.
The light bulb for my first business switched while I was pregnant with my second child ten years ago. I was writing a blog every day about fashion and retail and I was on the lookout to solve pain points in this industry with the goal of ultimately starting a fashion brand. One day, I had an epiphany and realized that I should not be launching my own brand (there were so many out there already), rather I should be creating a platform for brands and retailers to connect and transact online. So I did that.
My advice is to seek out like-minded founders who can support you along your journey. Many entrepreneurs are experiencing (or have experienced) the same things that you will experience. A solid support system provides comfort, reminding you that you aren’t alone. Your network can provide the much-needed advice to get you past your obstacles faster than if you were to tackle them alone.
I advise first-time founders as much as I can and I probably take 10 or so calls each week with entrepreneurs. I also try to give advice, inspiration or just serve as a sounding board.
There are so many people that have helped or supported me along the way. Success is never a one-person job. But I find that many times it’s a brief conversation that can have a meaningful impact on your life.
An early turning point for me was in high school when a close family friend who was a couple of years older, said that she was nervous about getting into a good college. She was on track to becoming valedictorian of her class. I looked at her and thought if she was going to have trouble, then I certainly would have an issue! Through that dialogue, she taught me how to channel my fear of failure in a positive way. I also learned that intelligence doesn’t mean anything without passion and consistency of hard work.
“…nothing important, or meaningful, or beautiful, or interesting, or great ever came out of imitations. The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect [in the way people expect] and beginning the work of becoming yourself.”
– Journalist and author, Anna Quindlen
This quote resonates with me because we live in a comparison society. It’s so easy to apply other people’s standards to yourself. Reading this quote reminds me to always establish my own definition of success, set my own standards, and create rather than consume.
I’ve said this in the past, but I love Indra Nooyi, the former CEO of PepsiCo.
In business, she forged her own path and always stayed true to her values and Indian heritage. Ms. Nooyi found a way to achieve success without giving up who she is in the process.
Hip hop dance
Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
Social media will become more intimate and private. Fewer likes by people whom you don’t know, less focus on followers and more one on one and meaningful exchanges.
My husband’s Really Spicy Bloody Mary
Not active on it.
My Macbook Pro
Laughing hard with my kids
I admire a lot of women, but my mom showed me early on that you could be a successful entrepreneur and mother—and still take care of yourself. She takes her health seriously and explores lots of ways to nurture herself and keep her energy high. It’s probably why she looks like she is 50 instead of 70.
I am excited about my book tour in October and November to promote my debut book, Startups and Downs—The Secrets of Resilient Entrepreneurs. The US book tour is this fall and then I’m on to Europe and Asia in early 2020. Having the opportunity to meet so many entrepreneurs across different industries gives me so much inspiration!
Mona’s infectious passion for entrepreneurship is inspiring. Mark your calendars for her upcoming book tour and score your chance to meet this gracious gal in person.