Monique Idlett-Mosley Takes Us Inside Her Journey
In 2019, the Discovery series Undercover Billionaire introduced us to the concept of challenging a self-made multi-millionaire by dropping him into an unknown city with just $100, a pickup truck and a 90-day deadline to survive and build a successful business. It was a fascinating and inspiring story of humanity, perseverance and business smarts. This season, the network tapped three uber-successful tycoons for the challenge: Grant Cardone, an international motivational speaker, real estate investor and bestselling author; Elaine Culotti, a real-estate developer and builder; and Monique Idlett-Mosley, the cofounder and CEO of Reign Ventures and the brains behind the Mosley Music Group, a partnership her now ex-husband Tim “Timbaland” Mosley where she managed the successful careers of several high-profile artists. Here Mosley shares more on her experiences.
What made you step away from such a successful career and take on this challenge?
Monique Idlett-Mosley: If you look at my career, I’m always challenging myself. This particular challenge, I wasn’t going into this thinking I was challenging myself. My “why” was I wanted to represent women and people of color, and be that example. Then represent just the underdog in general of whoever needed some inspiration from aspiration. It ended up being that reason, but then also I learned a lot about myself as well. It was truly a challenge.
We know you only get $100 and are stripped of your identity and contacts. So having known that, did you have a game plan going into this?
You can try to mentally prepare for something like that, but you really can’t, and you don’t know where you’re going. The only thing I knew to do was to just trust my process, and lead with my faith first, and just stay positive. That‘s kind of the approach I tried to take when I first got there. The crazy thing is that you really can’t prepare to be stripped of everything. It truly was the most unique experience I’ve ever had and my most challenging experience as well.
Just the thought of not having my cellphone panics me. Was it scary?
It was scary, but I also wanted to try to find anything positive because what we do know is people are truly going through this every day. I wanted to make sure, to the best of my ability, that no matter what, I just tried to stay positive knowing that someone is going to watch this. When people are in unfortunate situations, how do we keep still pushing past all of that?
What was your worst or maybe the most difficult time in the 90 days? Was it in the beginning when you were just starting? Was it meeting people? Was it getting people to trust you?
I think all of the above, to be honest with you. I think, first of all, I started and finished during this pandemic. That was just a challenge all in itself where Tacoma [that’s where she was placed] was shut down in a way that Miami wasn’t. So that was a different challenge, but honestly, you have good days and little wins. You’re completely met with challenges because you’re on the most expedited, most ridiculous time frames possible.
What was your biggest worry day-to-day?
It just depends on what part of the process. In the beginning, it truly was about shelter and then, food. Then the challenges become different.
What surprised you about the people you met and looked to start new opportunities with?
I think I used the phrase “kind strong,” that Tacoma was “kind strong.”
Can you speak on what business you were looking to get going?
This is what I’ll say — I did not create a business model of anything that I come from, which is even more interesting that I challenged myself within a challenge. Instead of doing something that I have done before, I did something I’ve never done before, which can be either genius or crazy.
What words of inspiration can you offer others when it comes to building a business and starting with nothing?
I will tell you this. I worked very early in my career for a No. 1 company, and I’ve worked for myself for the remainder of my career. No one ever has it all figured out, so it’s OK to not know something. What’s not OK is to give up. You can never. The difference is never giving up, even when it doesn’t feel good.
When you got back home, what were you most eager to do?
Spend some time with my kids.
>> Undercover Billionaire airs on Discovery Channel beginning Wednesday, Jan. 6
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