Monica Davis is a communications and media professional and award-winning brand narrative strategist and storyteller. She is the visionary behind the media platform, the Exceptional People Network, an invaluable resource offering a comprehensive selection of life-changing content aimed at educating, inspiring, and helping entrepreneurs and professionals. Monica is a trusted media source who inspires countless people to transform their life purpose into exceptional masterpieces.
Monica’s 20+ year career has allowed her to create an entire network of trustworthy brands for people looking to make positive changes in themselves and the world. As a communications and media professional, her expertise has enabled her to develop exceptional and award-winning narratives for small businesses, luminaries, Fortune 500 leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs.
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Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Monica Davis: I’ve always had a vision of helping people improve their lives personally and professionally, but it wasn’t until writing my first book that I gained a clearer picture of how I could have an impact on humanity – and that was by helping them share their stories and seeing the value they bring to others, and how they could further improve their own lives.
While I’ve been in the media industry for over two decades, building a successful media network wasn’t the initial goal, but I soon realized that media would be the tool that would give me the ability to help change lives. I’ve used it for that purpose for the past 20+ years.
As a media and communications professional, I’ve helped develop award-winning narratives for small businesses, luminaries, Fortune 500 leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs.
We’ve recently launched the Exceptional People Network, a business platform designed to engage, inform, inspire and support entrepreneurs and business leaders in a way that encourages and enables them to excel by providing content, tools, and resources for success.
2020 and 2021 threw a lot of curve balls into business on a global scale. Based on the experience gleaned in the past couple years, how can businesses thrive in 2022? What lessons have you learned?
Monica Davis: To thrive in 2022 and beyond, you have to step back and take a deep look at your business. Review how it’s being run from time to time. What can you do to improve things or prepare for possible setbacks?
Ask yourself a series of “what if” questions. For example,
- What if the product I sell can no longer be shipped promptly?
- What if the material I need for making my product is scarce, and I can no longer produce my product?
- What if the one or two people who have the most knowledge and impact on my business decide to leave?
- What if my customer base is reduced by half or more?
- What if my business partner has a long-term illness?
A good practice is identifying the most critical areas of your business and thinking about how and where you can potentially make adjustments when certain circumstances or events present themselves.
It can help you better understand the possibilities for enduring hard times and becoming resilient. There’s no way to identify or determine all possible circumstances, but if you look at it from the perspective of your industry, you may be able to identify ways that you can make a few changes now to help better position your business when you encounter some challenge or adversity in the future.
The pandemic has had a ripple effect on how we live, how we do business, and run our companies, but on the other side of the spectrum, the one thing the pandemic has reminded many of us is that change is constant. Not all change is bad, even though the experiences we encounter in the process may be highly detrimental.
No one likes dealing with adversity, but we all experience it. Sometimes it takes a significant event to show us that change is necessary. Because of the pandemic, from a business perspective, business leaders and entrepreneurs must now learn to be more flexible and open to change even when they don’t think change is needed. An excellent example of this is that many employees now want to work from home, which means companies will have to adjust if they’re going to maintain a certain level of productivity and competitiveness.
I believe identifying and documenting your business processes to clearly understand what happens in your business is a good practice. Make sure your employees are clear on them as well. Review those processes now and then to ensure they’re current.
These things are lessons I’ve learned over the years, and I’ve put them all into practice.
The pandemic seems to keep on disrupting the economy, what should businesses focus on in 2022? What advice would you share?
Monica Davis: Business owners should focus on how much they’re spending and how much money they’re bringing in.
Where can you cut expenses yet continue to provide excellent customer service and products? How can you improve your processes and streamline your business to reduce waste, including time?
If you’re a small business owner, think about those things you can farm out to other people with the expertise you need so that you can focus on growing your business. If you intend to grow, then you can’t afford to try to master everything because it will stunt your growth. Take inventory of your skills and identify what you do best. Then delegate the rest to other people.
How has the pandemic changed your industry and how have you adapted?
Monica Davis: The pandemic had a considerable impact on the media industry in various ways. For example, the pandemic halted studio and television production on one end of the spectrum. On the other side of the spectrum, more people sought digital media and entertainment at home because in-person events were no longer an option. As a result, we saw an increase in streaming video and social media use but a decline in revenue for entertainment production.
Although I work in the media industry, I didn’t have to make significant adjustments because we’ve already been utilizing digital media for quite a while.
What advice do you wish you received when the pandemic started and what do you intend on improving in 2022?
Monica Davis: I wish I had received advice on how to pivot so that I could meet people where they were at the moment quickly. But as we’ve all have learned, pivoting can be a challenge in any business when unexpected challenges are presented to you, especially when it’s something that has never occurred before.
I intend to improve my business by increasing online engagement beyond what we have done in the past.
Online business surged higher than ever, B2B, B2C, online shopping, virtual meetings, remote work, Zoom medical consultations, what are your expectations for 2022?
Monica Davis: As most companies have realized over the past year and a half, doing business online (or at least more business online) is now a significant priority. It has become a part of what most call the new norm.
So, as everyone attempts to get back on track, one thing rings true: you’ll have to increase your online engagement with existing customers and update or expand your business model to incorporate an online component if you haven’t in the past.
Smaller retail establishments may need to consider selling some of their products via online channels to increase or achieve consistent revenue. Entrepreneurs who were providing in-person experiences and services like motivational speakers and training have had to make drastic adjustments. Some companies that have all of their employees work in the office will now have to consider shifting to ‘work-at-home’ or flexible work schedules to remain profitable and competitive.
How many hours a day do you spend in front of a screen?
Monica Davis: I spend a minimum of 8 hours a day in front of a screen in my business. It’s a lot, but there’s work to be done, as most of us know.
The majority of executives use stories to persuade and communicate in the workplace. Can you share with our readers examples of how you implement that in your business to communicate effectively with your team?
Monica Davis: The fact that executives use stories to communicate in the workplace is good. Stories can have a significant impact when told the right way and in alignment with a core message.
I use them with the people who support my company and prospects to help them see the possibilities. I use stories to help my team see the opportunities that lie ahead for the company and how we can support our clients. I use stories to help them discover better ways of delivering services.
As a brand narrative strategist and storyteller, I help my clients develop impactful stories to build prominent brands, communicate better with employees, reach more customers and increase revenue.
Business is all about overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities for growth. What do you see as the real challenge right now?
Monica Davis: A real challenge I see right now is everyone having to re-adjust their thinking and approach to how they do business going forward? Change can be difficult, and when something such as a pandemic forces you to change, it requires you to take a hard look at what you’ve been doing in the past and realize that “doing business as usual” is no longer an option.
It’s now a matter of identifying those areas in your business that you can quickly adjust to help you adapt and increase momentum in sales and productivity.
In 2022, what are you most interested in learning about? Crypto, NFTs, online marketing, or any other skill sets? Please share your motivations.
Monica Davis: I’m interested in learning more about artificial intelligence and how small businesses can leverage the technology.
With a background in technology, I’m always interested in what software or hardware is being developed to help businesses be more efficient and effective in delivering products and services and providing customer service. Because technology changes rapidly, I believe it’s essential to stay abreast of new developments and how they will impact the business industry.
A record 4.4 million Americans left their jobs in September in 2021, accelerating a trend that has become known as the Great Resignation. 47% of people plan to leave their job during 2022. Most are leaving because of their boss or their company culture. 82% of people feel unheard, undervalued and misunderstood in the workplace. Do you think leaders see the data and think “that’s not me – I’m not that boss they don’t want to work for? What changes do you think need to happen?
Monica Davis: Yes, there was a mass exodus in 2021, and the reasons you’ve listed are accurate. There are many reasons why people have decided to leave their jobs and continue to do so, including having the flexibility to work from home.
The questions many business leaders have to ask and answer honestly are:
- How many people have already left within the past year?
- Is there a possibility that more people may eventually leave in the coming months if we don’t make adjustments and be more flexible?
If they’re leaving in large numbers or consistently, and it’s become a revolving door, the only way to know why is to ask. Don’t just ask. Use the feedback to help improve how you do business internally — how you manage and lead your employees.
When you help them thrive, your company will also thrive. Take a serious look at your existing culture. Companies that thrive in today’s business environment are those that invest in their culture and employees. The return on investment includes employee longevity, continued growth, and less waste of time and money.
Developing a culture where people are happy and want to work requires commitment. Your bottom line and ability to attract and retain great talent are directly linked to your culture.
On a lighter note, if you had the ability to pick any business superpower, what would it be and how would you put it into practice?
Monica Davis: I don’t know about superpowers, but I believe what I’m doing through my work with the Exceptional People Network is essential. It’s about educating and empowering people to do well and live well.
We want to help others realize the importance of encouraging unity and developing renewed vision from a personal and professional perspective. If I can help every person I work with or communicate with recognize the importance of those things and encourage them to apply them daily, I believe I’m serving an essential part of my purpose.
What does “success” in 2022 mean to you? It could be on a personal or business level, please share your vision.
Monica Davis: Success to me means serving others in ways that will positively impact their lives today and help them envision what possibilities lie ahead and how they can leverage them to live the best version of themselves tomorrow and beyond. They can then create a ripple effect by sharing their experiences with others. That’s my mission in 2022 and beyond.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Monica Davis for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Monica Davis or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
Disclaimer: The ValiantCEO Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.