Meet Monique & Alisha Lombardo & Marfatia. Two 23 year olds women who were meant to be “competitors”, from two different cities, had never met but came together to create a multiple six-figure business together (during the pandemic no less), helping thousands of business owners everyday, labelled by Instagram as the ‘Reels Pros’.
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Table of Contents
Thank you for joining us, please introduce yourself to our readers.
Monique & Alisha Lombardo & Marfatia: Hi, we’re Mon and Alisha! We’re the co-founders of Rise With Reels and resident Reels Queens who have been labelled Reels Pro by Instagram! We’re two girls from Sydney and Melbourne who met on Instagram and decided to start a business together without ever meeting!!
To get us started, Can you tell our readers what does your company solve differently in the crowded marketplace? Give an example or share a story.
Monique & Alisha Lombardo & Marfatia: We came together as Instagram marketers who were technically competitors in the field to create the very first Reels Course to hit the market in November of 2020! When Instagram launched Reels, marketers and business owners scrambled to try and figure out how to make them! So, we came in to create a Reels course that not only taught them how to use Reels, but how to use them to exponentially grow their businesses!
What this course and what our business stands for is community where we’ve been able to connect businesses around the world with each other and create incredible collaborations. For example, we have helped other women from different cities come together as competitors to create their own programs and courses as we lead by example.
We’ve also been able to help “small businesses” gain the publicity from HUGE publications just from their Reels! One of our students was asked to host her own pop up on Oxford Street as a part of the clean waste week! She then went on the be featured on BBC and in world renowned podcasts.
While your company is growing, what are some of the challenges you face? Hiring? Tech development? Raising capital? Branding? Tell us more about the journey.
Monique & Alisha Lombardo & Marfatia: The biggest challenge we faced was lockdown! Even though we started a business together, we still hadn’t met for 8 months! Then, when finally had the opportunity to meet and then it sunk in: what if we don’t like each other in real life? What if our whole business falls apart because of this?
Then we finally met, it was like 2 worlds colliding!
From here, scaling and growing the business has been a challenge we have faced with a growing global demand, we have to work around different time zones and work with different contractors around the world. Annother challenge is hiring contracts vs. hiring fulltime in the business!
Everyone has a different story, what influenced your decision to be an entrepreneur, what would you have done differently?
Monique & Alisha Lombardo & Marfatia: We decided to become entrepreneurs because we saw a gap in the market and we wanted to make a change in the culture of what work should have been. We wanted to see more female CEOs on top and dominating the marketing sphere where in most cases can seem like a very masculine industry with those on top.
If we were to change anything, it would be to start it sooner and go all in sooner so we could make a bigger impact from the get-go! Starting a business is scary and sometimes you’re one foot in and one foot out and this was the biggest thing that held us back in the beginning.
Now for the main focus of this interview: what qualities or characteristics do women entrepreneurs have that make them great leaders? Please share some examples.
Monique & Alisha Lombardo & Marfatia: Women entrepreneurs have great tenacity and are able to build emotional relationships which strengthen our brand. What makes a great leader is their ability to connect and put themselves in the shoes of others. It’s not all about the sales, it’s about the connection and allowing others to feel heard and seen – thus, showcasing that we have the solution to their problem.
What are some of the biggest challenges you still see women face while conducting business, compared to their male counterparts? What would you like to see change, and how would you make it happen?
Monique & Alisha Lombardo & Marfatia: When starting our business journey’s we were both only 23, and whilst it took a long time for our businesses to be taken seriously… we had to navigate an online space filled with ‘experts’ who are competitors.
Defined rules and it seems that women are only *now* learning that we don’t need to compete with one another to get ahead. When starting our business journey’s we were both only 23, and whilst it took a long time for our businesses to be taken seriously… we had to navigate an online space filled with ‘experts’ who are competitors. Defined rules and it seems that women are only *now* learning that we don’t need to compete with one another to get ahead.
With all of your experience as a business leader, what is the most important thing you can tell fellow entrepreneurs that you’d like to share with aspiring women entrepreneurs?
Monique & Alisha Lombardo & Marfatia: COLLABORATE. You do not need to do this alone. The obstacles, the highs, the lows… you too can find your biz bestie and build your life changing empire. There are your kind of people waiting for you to find them and when you do, that is when the magic will happen!
What do you plan on tackling during 2022? Share your goals and battles you expect to face.
Monique & Alisha Lombardo & Marfatia: in 2022 we look to take our community to the next level!
They have learnt how to create Reels and now it’s time to use Reels to supercharge their business, explode their sales and become the go-to in their industry. We plan on doing this with our advanced course called Reels Queens!
The battle we face here is the growing number of reels experts creating courses! To combat this, we’re creating the world’s FIRST advanced Reels course!
How do you keep learning? Podcast? Books? Audiobooks? Videos? Share some of your greatest sources of inspiration? Share an impactful story.
Monique & Alisha Lombardo & Marfatia: We’re constantly investing. In our mindset, our business… our processes, our relationships. From podcasts to programs. to our own coaches. We’ve seen the power from investing and the fear…. that risk when you hand over money… it never gets easier. It is always scary but the rewards, when done right – this is what has allowed us to pivot, stand out and truly pave our own pathway through this crazy world.
I’m sure our readers will be very thankful for the insights you have shared. Where can our readers follow up with you?
Monique & Alisha Lombardo & Marfatia: Of course! Our Instagram handle is @risewithreelscourse and our podcast name is @cutthefluffpod
Jerome Knyszewski, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Monique & Alisha Lombardo & Marfatia for taking the time to do this interview and share their knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Monique & Alisha Lombardo & Marfatia or their company, you can do it through their – Instagram
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