Rolling Out

Serial entrepreneur mentoring others to sustained success

Serial entrepreneur mentoring others to sustained success
Monique Mills (Photo courtesy of Nick Nelson)

Monique Mills’ journey to becoming a serial entrepreneur was not a straight path. In fact, her family background and desire for income certainty originally motivated her to pursue a more traditional career in electrical engineering.

“I come from a large family. I’m the youngest of 13 kids, the first and only to go to college. And so it’s either you’re gonna sink or you’re gonna swim,” Mills explained to rolling out. “I was like, all right, let me look through this list [of college majors] and see what type of engineering pays the most money.”

That wasn’t just Mills’ major — for about 12 years, it was her occupation. But everything changed when she decided to go back to school for her MBA, at Georgia Tech. It was there that she made discoveries that permanently changed her career and her life.

“I mean, they’re people raising families, sending folks to school, building buildings. Think of all the things that happen within these major corporations, all with other people’s money. Just the whole way that works was mind-blowing to me,” Mills said.

With this new understanding, Mills’ mindset shift accelerated when she completed her capstone project for her MBA program. While doing so, her engineering practice of learning and then implementing helped her bring the project to life.

“My concentration was in technology and innovation. So that’s how I came up with the first software company that I ended up launching after the MBA program,” Mills recalled.

The company, ThePartyMatch, was a success. But running a fast-moving company while raising a family proved to be overwhelmingly stressful for Mills. Faced with the decision of what to do next, in 2017, she chose to exit and pursue a career in consulting. Mills already had a wealth of knowledge and life experiences to share — she simply started charging for it.

“Folks would come to me and say, ‘Well, how did you do this? … Yeah, and I started charging people,” Mills said.

Mills’ relationships and reputation helped her build a stable base of clients that formed the basis of her consultancy, TPM Focus.

Mills also serves in an official capacity as a mentor, adviser, and strategic partner to several entrepreneurship and innovation organizations. Her list of clients in that capacity includes the Advanced Technology Development Center at Georgia Tech, STEM to Market, Founder Institute, and several others. Her goal? Making an impact, while keeping her priorities in place.

“At this point in my life, not just my career, my life is focused on impact. So when I’m asked, ‘Can you do X, Y, and Z,’ I think about who am I impacting, and how? And if the answer is yes, how I can squeeze it in, and if it doesn’t interfere with what I need to do with my family, which comes first,” Mills said.

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