A SELF-MADE millionaire has told how she gave up her safe career path to pursue her dream.
Monique Rodriquez, 39, quit her “recession proof” job as a nurse of nearly a decade to open natural hair care brand Mielle Organics.
The entrepeneur told how a tragic moment in her life triggered a shift in her career focus.
“It took something pretty traumatic to happen for me to realize what my true purpose and ultimate calling was,” Rodriquez told CNBC Make It.
“And that was in 2013, I suffered the loss of my son.
“I was eight months pregnant.
“It was a high risk pregnancy and unfortunately, my son passed away as a result”.
After handing in her notice, Monique started concoting hair products in her kitchen.
The businnesswoman told how she “depleted” her savings to serve the fledgling business.
“Every time I got paid, my nursing paychecks, my husband’s bank account and his paychecks, everything would go to the business,” she revealed.
“So we had to sacrifice our living situation and couldn’t do things that our friends were doing.
“[We were even] taking our 401k and depleting all of that to invest into the business.”
After a bruising year of networking and penny pinching, the couple received a loan, and subsequently obtained their first retail partner, Sally Beauty.
What started out as a humble experiment has now morphed into a multimillion-dollar business filling shelves in over 100,000 stores across the U.S.
Monique spoke about how some wise words from her other half continue to inspire her despite what she’s already achieved.
She said: “He gives me amazing advice all the time, [the best being]: Success is not owned, it’s rented — and rent is due every day.
“Don’t get complacent, don’t get comfortable, and never feel like you ‘made it’.
“Because when you get to that place, there’s always someone trying to take your spot.
“You have to continue working and striving as if you know [your spot] is not guaranteed.”