Tuesday, December 30, 2014

XX statements that will CHANGE YOUR LIFE

Let's skip the preliminaries. We know each other well enough by now.

This list is inspired by an article I read on inc.com (with my own little spin on it of course), but I am saving you the trouble of having to *click* twenty times to get through the complete list. (That's love!)

Here are 20 things that you need to say to yourself  (and others) as motivation to "Git'er Done". . .

[I] "Hi Mom." - Our parents want what's best for us and will always give the best advice. They won't be here always. Pick up the phone and call. (But not just mom...how about the other older relatives that you don't speak to nearly as much as you should?)

[II] "I FINALLY got started." - Basically, stop talking about it and BE about it..."beby"

[III] "It's totally my fault."- Take ownership. We all make mistakes.

[IV] "That wasn't nearly as bad as I thought." - Don't let fear paralyze you, and recognize the small wins. Overcoming any fear should be an exciting moment.

[V] "You're AWESOME!" - You KNOW YOU'RE awesome, but, in this case we aren't talking about YOU but someone else. Recognize SOMEONE ELSE for getting it right or going above and beyond. Surprise praise is something that everyone can appreciate.

[VI] "I'll show you, asshole!" - We all get upset, sometimes even at things that we probably should let go. However, this anger, if applied toward the right things, can be just the boost of motivation you need to get something accomplished that you have been putting off.

[VII] "Can you help me?" - Don't waste time or resources simply because you were afraid to ask. Asking someone for help immediately adds credibility to their skills and values and shows that you admire and respect them. That's reason enough to ask. But actually getting the help you need is the icing on the cake.

        [VII 1/2] Ask for help and also ASK for WHAT YOU WANT. We miss out on so much simply because we assumed a "no" before ever asking. Even if you get a "no" you were no worse off then you were. And, in some cases, you actually may be better off if you can get more information out of that person as to how you can get a "yes".

[VIII] "Can I help YOU with something?" - If you're going to be asking for shit... Pay it forward.

[IX] "I did something that no one else is willing to do." - Think of something dirty or tedious or boring as hell that you know NO ONE else wants to do. It can be small or it can be big, just do it! If everyday you can do one thing that no one else wants to do, after a week you will be uncommon, after a month you'll be special, and after a YEAR you'll be INCREDIBLE.

[X] "I don't care what other people think." - To a certain extent, you SHOULD care what other people think, but not when it stands in the way of you living life how you really want to live. Don't hold off starting your business because your family will think you're crazy. They will be singing a different tune after you show them what's what. (See numero VI)

[XI] "I'm really sorry." - Pick someone you have wronged and tell them you are sorry. (We all have at least ONE person.) Be genuine. Do NOT place blame. And move ON! You will feel better, and so will they. - P.S. The more time that has passed, the better.

[XII] "I'm the king of the world." -> "King Kong ain't got SHIT on me." - Either will work perfectly fine, but I like Denzel's confidence in Training Day a little bit better. But, hey! we are all motivated in different ways. However you choose to say it, apparently, Harvard professor Amy Cuddy says that saying something like this and "power posing" (standing like Superman with your hands to the sky or on your hips) is a GREAT boost to your confidence. 

Try THAT before your next big public speaking engagement or meeting. 

[XIII] "Yes." - Trust yourself and say "yes" to that opportunity that you have been reluctant to accept. Say yes to something scary. Then say (see numero IV).

[XIV] "No." - Know when to say "no". You can't say "yes" to everything.

[XV] "You're fired." - Soooo... you don't have to get all Donald Trump on all of your friends that you feel have done you wrong, but... There are some people you need to fire.
These may be subordinates, friends, a client, anyone who is bringing you down or holding you back. Let them go.

[XVI] "It's not perfect, but that's OKAY." - It won't be perfect. Get as close as you can and then let it go. Maybe feedback will allow you to make a few improvements, but you can't get that feedback without an initial release.

[XVII] "That's not my job, but who cares?" - You're never too good to roll up your sleeves and do a little grunt work, if that means getting the job done. (See numero IX)

[XVIII] "I'm really glad I tried their way." - We all want to have the next BIG idea, and sometimes we do ourselves a disservice by thinking this way. Don't reinvent the wheel. Learn from someone else and expand upon it.

[XIX] "Wow! That was STUPID. We should do that again!" - Some of your fondest memories will be of the dumb shit that you did when you were younger. Stay young by doing something absolutely ridiculous every now and again.

[XX] Nothing. - Talking yourself up works wonders, but sometimes just a look in the mirror and a super BOSS head nod is even better.

Credit [Jeff Haden, Contributing Editor, Inc.]
Original Article (in all of it's "click-next" glory) [inc.com]

Thanks for reading,
[www.moniquemcclain.com] <- view in "desktop" and click on "services"

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Woman Thou Art ASSERTIVE...

This was a very interesting and encouraging read for women in the corporate world seeking something other than just "getting the job done". For those of us who seek excellence, and raise ourselves to a higher standard, in hopes of one day becoming not just a manager but a top executive of the company that you work for, I highly suggest reading this article...

FedEx Custom Critical CEO Virginia Albanese discusses taking charge of your career development and asking direct questions to get the feedback that you need to succeed. Instead of letting things come to you, Albanese tells us women (although I think this message is just as valid for ANYBODY seeking the same level of success or higher) that we need to be more strategic and deliberate about the career moves that we make. And I agree!

Click the link to read the entire article. -> [x]

Thanks for reading,

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Rat Race (A Sometimes Necessary Evil)

The ultimate goal is SELF EMPLOYMENT and SELF SUSTAINABILITY, but there are times when you just need a paycheck (while you are still working on your master plan of course). Don't forget to tell them to. . .

Here are some pretty cool job opportunities for my business minded readers in MEMPHIS that you might find interesting. (This is my first time doing this outside of private consultations, but, depending on the response, I may do this more often.)

[Intern Position at Fedex (Sales Analyst)] : There is a MYTH that "intern" essentially equates to "volunteer". This is simply NOT true.

mastermindsinc.blogspot.comFedEx is a GREAT company to work for, and one of the biggest contributors to the city of Memphis. This PAID opportunity would be GREAT experience for your resume, and it is important as a student to remember that you still need real world experience in addition to that degree! ;-)
IF you are a University of Memphis student, try out [memphis.experience.com] to find some great career and internship opportunities. As an alumna (and now a current student working on my Master's) I am SHOCKED at how many students are not aware that this resource is available to them. I have secured so many opportunities through this site.

[Financial Analyst at First Horizon] : First Horizon is hiring for this and many other positions RIGHT NOW!

[Analyst and Human Resources Jobs at MLGW] : MLGW has several open spots that they are trying to fill. The opportunities that piqued my interest were the analyst and human resources specialist positions. Whatever the position, MLGW is also a great company to work for with great benefits.

[Human Resources at MAXIMUS] : Maximus is looking for a human resources specialist and is also hiring for a bunch of other positions -> [x] <- Maximus was voted one of "America's Most Trustworthy Companies" in 2014 by Forbes.

[Developers, Analysts, Etc. at Pro IT] : ProIT is hiring developers and analysts.  

[Associate Analyst at Deloitte] : Deloitte is a consulting firm that has really made a name for itself. It is THE BIGGEST professional services network in THE WORLD by revenue and number of employees. Need I say more? There are also plenty of other opportunities on their site -> [x]

[Quality Analyst at Brother] : Brother is looking for a Quality Analyst. If you have ever lead a QAT or process improvement project, this may be a position you would like to look into.

That's it. My lucky 7.

Another company that I've been looking into lately is SiteCompli, which has only been around since 2008. It is a company based out of New York that is helping other companies and real estate owners stay ahead of compliance issues. This is NOT what interested me. What interested me was their benefits package.
I mean not only do they offer competitive salaries, but they also offer a seasonal clothing budget and a PAID, PAID vacation (whatever that means)!!
If you are interested in a change of scenery, take a gander. -> [x]

Here are also some other pretty cool companies with perks equal to/better than Facebook and Google that you might consider -> [x]

Great job search sites:
I also love love LOVE [glassdoor.com] because it gives you employee reviews as well as sample salary amounts and benefits offered for different types of jobs and employers.
If you need help with your job search, advancing in the rat race, or getting your resume/portfolio together, I am happy to help. -> [x]
Thanks for reading,

Thursday, November 20, 2014

TRADING FLOOR OPEN - University of Memphis

Thanks to Michael Cook, founder and CEO of SouthernSun Asset Management firm, and his commitment of a 1 MILLION dollar pledge toward development earlier this year, a new state-of-the-art finance trading lab is NOW AVAILABLE to University of Memphis students.

This trading center will allow students to dive in head first into the financial markets and get pragmatic, hands-on experience in trading through the use of innovative technology and a cutting-edge data center. Partnership with Oxford Analytica (OXAN), a leading global analysis and advisory firm based in Oxford, England, also puts the University of Memphis among a select list of universities across the WORLD with access to their advanced educational tools.

This is great news not only for the business students at the Fogelman College of Business and Economics on the University of Memphis campus, but all students who are interested in exploring the world of trading.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, June 9, 2014


Masterminds dream BIG, and we go after the GOALS that everyone else is too busy doubting themselves to entertain. The ultimate secret to success is to KEEP GOING. Notice I didn't say "never stop" or "keep trying". To "try" is to imply that failure is an option. And you may reach bumps in the road that may take you off course, or even cause a change in focus altogether, but as long as you KEEP GOING and KEEP PROGRESSING you will always be headed in the right direction.

I want to share an article/video with you, but not before sharing a few notes of my own, because that is what I am here for! I never take anything for what it is. I am an analyst, so I tend to pick things apart only to put them together again in a way that creates a clearer message for myself.

Here are a few items that I've learned as I continue to pursue my first MILLION, that have kept me as I jump from tax bracket to tax bracket:

The only thing worse than being undercompensated for the work you LOVE to do, is being overcompensated for the work that you HATE to do!

Why do I say that?
Because on one hand you want to follow your dreams, but you don't want to let your dreams create a poor man/woman of you.

On the other side of the poor, starving artist, though, is the angry, fat business man. And it makes it very difficult for the angry, fat businessman to leave the job that makes him angry and stresses him to no end, when he knows that he is making way more than he should. Money should be a motivator, but it shouldn't be THE motivator.

It's tough to leave a position that pays us well, especially with the job market the way that it is, but if you find that money is the only thing keeping you in a certain situation, it is time to reevaluate your options.

Take time to figure out WHO you are and WHAT you want before you begin this journey, then check in with yourself at each milestone to see if you are still that same person with those same goals.
You WILL change; your priorities WILL change.
Stay in tune with self. Check this post out to start --> [X]

SAVE BEFORE YOU "STUNT": A nice car, and a big house may attract great compliments from friends, and even make you more attractive to the opposite sex. HOWEVER, what good is having such "things" if you truly cannot afford them? Notice I said AFFORD them not BUY them. Just because you can BUY something does not mean you can AFFORD it.

Build your legacy, stack your money, and then splurge on the things you've been dreaming of!

Reward yourself for reaching certain milestones. This will ensure that you won't get lost in the spending, and that you will keep your goals at the forefront of your mind.

Besides, you look much better in that new Aston Martin than that Mercedes coupe anyway.

(And you don't want to be one of those people who can't get their A/C fixed, becasue they have to keep up with the payments for their rims.)
You can wait a couple years! :-)

Putting your money into savings, is the fool's way of getting rich.

It will NEVER happen.

If your goal is not in the thousands but in the millions, you will have to use riskier ways of growing your money.

This includes investing! Do your research first!

You might start with one of my earlier posts concerning the markets--> [Bull vs Bear]

Only allow debt that will increase your income later on.

Sit down and make a list... How does your assets list compare to your liabilities list? How many of these liabilities are DIRECTLY related to income-generating activities?

For example, many people see a mortgage as an asset. In most cases, this couldn't be further from the truth.

Most people are not making the money out of their homes to validate the idea of their homes being assets instead of liabilities. Let us help you sort it out. . .

The harsh reality of life (and one of the most difficult pills I had swallowing), is that it the smartest person doesn't always in. *insert exasperated sigh here*

The most loyal person doesn't always win. *insert horrified gasp here*
The most dependable doesn't always win.
The most honest person doesn't always win.

The most talented person even doesn't always win! *insert a big "WTF" here*
I know..I know...

It is sometimes the babbling fool who is willing to work harder and longer than you that wins.

One of my favorite quotes comes from the movie BLOW: "I smile knowing that my ambition far exceeded my talent." -George Jung.
Summed up in three words: Work hard! Period.
Scroll up and revisit the first paragraph.

Never let your mind be tricked into thinking that "poor" or "middle class" is somehow okay.
Not if your goal is to be a millionaire.

For some people, it may be okay, but FOR YOU...NAH! You've got bigger dreams!

I call it the "Pinky and the Brain theory". Everyday we are working toward the same goal: to take over the world.


But not just any mentor... A MILLIONAIRE mentor. Where do you find them? Start in your own neighborhood. Get outside of your comfort zone. Network. Meet as many people as you can. But don't just "meet" these people, develop relationships with them. Do things for them. Be nice to them. Invite them out. Show them that you are trustworthy and wish to learn from them.

The good thing about social networking, is that a lot of these prominent people are a lot easier to reach than they once were.

Don't only reach out to others for knowledge, but also share your own knowledge along the way.

Pay it forward AND give it back.

This way, just like you are able to build off of the success of someone prominent, someone else is able to use you to catapult themselves as well. It is also just another way to show appreciation. To show you haven't forgotten that poor, lost kid that you once were! This was the reason I started my student group, to give back, and to teach those younger than me, so that they would have the head start that I didn't but wish I did.

Mentoring and being mentored also helps to expand your network. It can help you advance your career, or it could bring you future business partners and associates. Also consider hiring interns if you have your own business.
Not a people person? Check this article out, and become a Charismatic Master! -> [X]

I hate to see people reach a certain level and then act like they are too good to fraternize with anyone at a lower level. Never be that person. Be humble. Be successful. Be blessed.

If you are looking to MASTERMIND your life, reach out to us. It doesn't cost a penny to have a conversation! :-)

Oh, and here is the article/video I was referencing in the first paragraph: [x]

Thanks for reading.

Monday, April 21, 2014

"Law Abiding Citizen: Consiously Lawful" Initial Followup

Saturday, April the 19th was a BIG day in the city of Memphis! We had a great panel discussion at the Cecil C. Humphreys school of law, which included some prominent and KNOWLEDGEABLE experts in the field of law.

Judge Joe Brown (candidate for District Attorney) himself also was present and gave some VERY candid and VERY honest advice. One of the most memorable quotes from the Judge was in response to an attendee who asked, "What do you do when you feel the system is unjust?"
Judge Joe's response was summed up in one word: "VOTE."
He then proceeded to say that instead of watching "Atlanta Housewives" and these other reality shows the young people should be paying attention to the things that matter, the things that AFFECT US DIRECTLY.
He reminded us that we are the ones who vote for the officials who hire the police force and other members of the justice system. So we should pay attention to who we put into office, and if they aren't doing their job, let them know by voting someone else into office! 

Everyone who was present was able to get their questions around their legal rights as citizens answered. The topics were around everything from illegal searches and seizures to gun laws to recording the police to freedom of speech (and what exactly that means) and so on. The discussion was so engaging that all of the planned topics were not covered!! (Look out for PART II!) Food was served, AWESOME vendors were present, and a $50 gas card was given away to one VERY excited WINNER!

There were even surprise appearances by law student Corbin Carpenter and Judge Sugarmon (currently campaigning for Juvenile Court Judge).

(Monique McClain, event organizer and founder of Masterminds, is not listed in the below presentation. More information on her can be found
> here < or at www.moniquemcclain.com)

Attorney O'Bryant took to Facebook to describe her experience of the event:
"It was a pleasure to be a part of this panel discussion geared toward informing the citizens of their 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 6th amendment rights. I was reminded of how invaluable a legal education is to the community.
Great job Masterminds, LLC. Knowledge is power."

[You can read more about Jayniece Higgins and JB Smiley, Jr. in previous blog posts on mastermindsinc.blogspot.com]

Special thanks to:


The University of Memphis AND Cecil C. Humphreys Law School 

Nathan Savage (mainstreammemphis@gmail.com)
Edward Wilson (www.procreationimages.com)
Cynthia Smalls (www.getsmallwithsmalls.com)
Latoya Young (www.Youneedique.com)
McClain Motors (facebook.com/mcclainmotors) 

Thanks for reading!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Jayniece Higgins [Law Abiding Citizen]


obeying or keeping the law; obedient to law: law-abiding citizens.

Jayniece Higgins is a Memphis Native and current law student at the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law at the University of Memphis. She will graduate with her Juris Doctor May of 2014.

Jayniece studied political science as an undergraduate student, successfully securing her bachelors of arts and graduating magna cum laude December 2010. While attending law school, Jayniece has gained a great deal of legal experience interning with Advance Memphis, Shelby County Criminal Court, Nashville/Davidson County Public Defender’s Office, and Shelby County Public Defender’s Office.

A natural born leader and obvious mastermind, Jayniece continues to excel in everything in which she chooses to take part. Currently she is also President of the University of Memphis Black Law Students Association and an immediate past member of the Tennessee Bar Association Diversity Leadership Institute.

An event to raise awareness around individual rights: This is sure to be an invigorating discussion around today's legal system and how to protect yourself. Chances are you have had to deal with the law in some shape or fashion, even if just for a traffic ticket.

Masterminds wants every person to be prepared for that situation before you find yourself in the situation you never expected. Don't deny yourself knowledge simply because you think you may not need it. You never know what you don't know ... until you know.

KEEP up with the EVENT and PARTICIPANTS --> [HERE]


Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Mastermind Mo [Law Abiding Citizen]


obeying or keeping the law; obedient to law: law-abiding citizens.
Monique McClain
BA, Finance 
Monique McClain (or “Mo”) is a current University of Memphis graduate student, working toward her Master’s in Business. Her undergraduate degree is in Business Finance. A Memphis native, Monique is a great supporter of small businesses and entrepreneurship in the area. It is what her organization, Masterminds, was founded on. The three pillars of Masterminds encompass personal/professional development, financial literacy, and entrepreneurship. As a student organization, Masterminds members have learned new skills to help with professional development and networking, have engaged in knowledge sharing, have mentored grade school children, and have volunteered within the community, among other things. While this will be her final year operating Masterminds as a student organization at the University of Memphis, she will still be very active in helping individuals on and off-campus find their path to success.

With the idea that energy cannot be destroyed, only transferred, Mo is refocusing her efforts on her business consulting with Masterminds, LLC. Her years of experience in project management and analysis work for companies such as Cummins, Hilton Worldwide, and now FedEx, have greatly prepared her to help other small business owners to master-plan and find innovative solutions for growth and expansion. She is trained on AGILE methodology, Six Sigma, ABLE, and a host of other project management related methods. She is also a licensed affiliate real estate broker.

Masterminds, LLC specializes in everything from project management to print work. They create websites, mobile web apps, flyers, business plans, and can help business owners to mastermind everything from business registration, trademarks, and copyrights to HR, database management, and social media management. Mo's business motto is Master plan, master money, mastermind and her personal motto is Impossible is a figment of our ignorance.” She truly believes that if everyone thought more like children, we would all be able to accomplish whatever it is we wished. Because of this belief, she is also committed to help the even younger generation in their business endeavors as well, and even has her 6-year-old daughter Paris in on the action, with her bow businessThe Bow Friends”. She genuinely enjoys meeting new faces and helping others to succeed.

An event to raise awareness around individual rights: This is sure to be an invigorating discussion around today's legal system and how to protect yourself. Chances are you have had to deal with the law in some shape or fashion, even if just for a traffic ticket.
Masterminds wants every person to be prepared for that situation before you find yourself in the situation you never expected. Don't deny yourself knowledge simply because you think you may not need it. You never know what you don't know ... until you know.
KEEP up with the EVENT and PARTICIPANTS --> [HERE]


Thanks for reading!

Monday, March 31, 2014


1. not able to occur, exist, or be done.
"a seemingly impossible task"
synonyms: not possible, out of the question, unfeasible, impractical, impracticable, nonviable,


"Impossible" is a figment of our ignorance. -Mo

I am a firm believer, that if everyone thought more like children, the world would be a better place. I mean, when you were a child you thought you could do anything, take over the world if you wanted to ;-). And then, as you get older, somewhere along the way, you learn that you "can't", that you should be more "realistic", that there are certain "boundaries" for you to operate within.

But who creates those boundaries? We do. There is nothing that we can't do. And, when I say that "impossible" is a figment of our ignorance (my own personal quote by the way), I mean just that! It's not that we "can't" do it, it's usually that we are ignorant as to "how" we CAN do it. But figuring out the "how" in today's age is SO EASY a caveman can do it. . .

With a plethora of knowledge LITERALLY at our fingertips, the "impossible" is even more possible now than it has ever been, and the "impossible" is happening every day! From children millionaires, to tech savvy innovators that are creating products that continue to shape and mold what our idea of "possible" is, our world is ready and awaiting the next GREAT idea. YOUR GREAT idea!

But don't just jump out there blind. You should place some structure around your ideas if you wish to be successful. We want to be limitless in our thinking but also tactical in our approach. And that is where the strategic #masterplan comes in! I want to help you with that! But, even if you don't hire me, or anyone else, just be sure to do your due diligence.

A detailed timeline/project plan greatly increases your likelihood of success.

You can't hit your target, if you haven't properly identified your target.

Such is the way of the world, such is the way of business.

Be specific.

Be precise.

Set measurable goals and milestones so that you can always measure your progress against your plans, at any given time.

Be OUTRAGEOUS in your thoughts, because the mediocre ideas are not the ones making MILLIONS. I am so thankful that when the rest of the world thought that it was impossible to walk into a room and illuminate it with the flip of a switch, Thomas Edison didn't. And I am so thankful that every day there are people out there pushing the envelope, testing what "logic" says, and creating life changing innovations that change the way we think and change the way we live.

Just think, we barely knew what an "internet" was until the 90's, now look at us with our talk of 3D printers and the such! ;-)

Thanks for reading!

Check out this TED talk
It's one of my faves!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

JB Smiley [Law Abiding Citizen]

obeying or keeping the law; obedient to law: law-abiding citizens.

JB Smiley Jr. is a second year law student at UALR William H. Bowen School of Law. The Memphis native and Bolton High School graduate attended Tennessee Technological University (“TTU”) where he majored in Criminal Justice. He was an athlete on the Men’s basketball team for three years before transferring to the University of Pikeville (“UP”). During his fourth and final year of undergraduate studies, he decided to add another major—Sociology. Despite his rigorous workload, he continued to play college basketball at UP, ranking 3rd in the nation in steals per game.

After graduating near the top of his class with a grade point average of 3.67, Mr. Smiley had opportunities to play semi-professional basketball and professional show basketball. During his professional and semi-professional basketball career, he was given opportunities to speak to at-risk youth at several schools across the country. He told the youth “to get on and stay on the right path."

In 2012, Mr. Smiley volunteered at the Hewlett Law Firm in Memphis, TN. Under the tutelage of Attorneys Terita Hewlett and Michael L. Harris, Smiley’s passion for law blossomed.  In August 2012, Mr. Smiley became a student at UALR William H. Bowen School of Law. In his brief law school career, he has been recognized as a Law Review Apprentice 2013 – 14 and Moot Court competition 2013’s Best oralist for the Petitioner. Recently, in February 2014, Mr. Smiley co-authored an article titled “What Do You Do WhenNothing Seems to Work: An Evaluation and Suggested Approach to Addressing theDiversity Issue in the Legal Profession” with Dean Michael Schwartz which was featured in the Arkansas Lawyer Magazine.  

Mr. Smiley is currently serving as the Vice-President of the Black Law Students Association at UALR William H.Bowen School of Law.

Publications: Arkansas Lawyer
An event to raise awareness around individual rights: This is sure to be an invigorating discussion around today's legal system and how to protect yourself. Chances are you have had to deal with the law in some shape or fashion, even if just for a traffic ticket.
Masterminds wants every person to be prepared for that situation before you find yourself in the situation you never expected. Don't deny yourself knowledge simply because you think you may not need it. You never know what you don't know ... until you know.
KEEP up with the EVENT and PARTICIPANTS --> [HERE]

Thanks for reading.