It’s not often I get intimidated by an interview subject, but then again women like MONICA MEHTA don’t come around that often. At only 42, Monica has already established herself as a force to be listened to in the financial world, contributing to The Wall Street Journal’s “The Experts” with appearances on Fox News, Fox Business, CNBC, CNN, Bloomberg, MSNBC and HBO (I know right?!).
The daughter of a merchant marine ship captain, Monica spent most of her early years living at sea, before migrating to Texas in the early 80s. As immigrants, her parents faced the usual economic struggles before turning to entrepreneurship, starting their own small business. Monica’s parents left an indelible imprint on her upbringing, leading her to write her first book (she is working on a second one, so stay tuned people) The Entrepreneurial Instinct: How Everyone Has the Innate Ability to Start a Successful Small Business. With such an extensive background running the gamut from finance to politics, I jumped at the chance to get a little insight into how to get a head start, or just ahead in general, on your finances and successfully navigate today’s business and political climate.
Monica’s viewpoint is that the drive to start your own business resides in all of us. That the nuts and bolts of starting your own business is the ability to take risks, which is something we all possess regardless of what we do for a living. That while you might have a fairly straightforward path on whatever career ladder you are on, if you want to leap forward a rung, the ability to do so is innate. You just need to move forward with intent, venturing into the physiology of risk taking, and avoiding the analysis paralysis that holds many of us back.
As Houstonians, we are well aware that the last two years have been well, pretty craptastic financially. But Monica says be optimistic, and thinks 2017 will offer us a more robust economy, through lending and stabilizing oil prices. Her biggest pieces of advice for us to take advantage of the coming year’s opportunities? ”
If you are on the fence about buying a house,” she stresses, “DO IT NOW.” Like right now, as she hasn’t seen a real estate climate like this in 8 to 10 years.
“SAVE, SAVE, SAVE.” Monica feels saving is vital to getting the jump on your finances. Think of it as the fuel for your risk-taking engine.
“Houston is an entrepreneurial city with a great infrastructure network of support and it’s infectious so don’t be afraid to use this support system,” she says.
Taking into account her advice for her fellow Houstonians, I was also curious about what advice Monica would give to her past, present and future selves.
Past advice: Take MORE RISKS and don’t think so much.
Present advice: Make a conscious effort to be more present, to be in the moment. We are too easily distracted and find ourselves sandwiched between the delicate balance of life and work.
Future advice: Be incredibly picky about how you spend your time. Narrow your core focus, cultivate and curate what you are passionate about.