In business, without the right mindset, it’s almost impossible to succeed. Understanding how to balance your life with your business is one of the hardest things an entrepreneur must learn.
Luckily for influencer, fitness coach and entrepreneur Maria More, the right mindset was never a problem and balancing all her endeavors seems to come naturally to her.
The mother of four is not only a radio personality on The Ricky Smiley Morning Show, but she’s also the founder of MPowered Fitness, a wellness program geared to women that provides sustainable strategies rooted in self-care and a cardio coach on FitRadio.
She is the true definition of a Renaissance woman. The inspirational, goal-oriented, self-starter is also a property owner and a wife.
During our latest episode of ‘The Mindset of an Entrepreneur’ we sit down with Maria More as she discusses her definition of success and how exploring her interests as a child led to her current businesses. During the interview, she explained that confidence comes from taking steps toward achieving your goals and talked about the challenges she faced due to self-doubt while comparing herself to others.
Did I mention she also owns an apparel line called Self Love Is So Gangster?
Maria More is truly a motivation to anyone who has an interest in running a business while balancing and juggling a career and a family.
Despite being busy with multiple businesses and running a household, More prioritizes productivity and quality time with family. She and her husband often share positive experiences supporting their children’s interests, all while bringing excitement to life while continuing to grow her businesses.
Below we dive into the mind of an entrepreneur who was able to turn a $99 course into $33,000 in sales within a month, turning a $99 course into $33,000 in sales within a month. Her name is Maria More and here’s your chance to learn from one of the best.
What was life like before all of the success?
Life before success? So I was like two. No, I’m just joking lol. Success really is subjective. I think that you’re successful when you’re pursuing something that brings you genuine joy, and I’ve been doing that for a long time. I don’t always look at success as an accolade or title or an amount of money, but success is really moving in alignment with your purpose. So I can’t even remember what it was like before being, quote-unquote, successful because I feel like I’ve always been on this path, this pursuit of aligning myself with my purpose, even as a child.
What gave you the courage to pursue entrepreneurship after already having so much success on radio?
What gave me the courage to start the first business? Man well, I would say the first business I started would be my fitness business. And I really didn’t need courage because it was me doing something that I enjoyed. I became a dance fitness instructor. I love to dance. And I was joking the other day that once I acquire a new skill, I’m always like, now this needs to turn into a check. So I’m real big on whatever talent or skill that you have the ability also to monetize it. And so that was like the first taste of it. I always tell people that confidence comes from completion and taking those little steps towards achieving a goal to become an entrepreneur. Whatever dream or goal you have for yourself, the more steps you take, the more confident you become and the more likely you are to be successful at it.
What were some of the challenges you faced when starting MPowered Fitness?
I think most of my challenges had to do with moments of self-doubt because especially in this age of social media, you see so many people doing fitness, so many people no matter what business you’re in or you’re trying to pursue, you have so many examples of people doing it. So it’s really important that you stay in your lane, stay focused on what you’re trying to do, because when you’re looking at other people, you can think, oh, well, maybe I need to do that. And then you get your eye off the ball. Because you get distracted by what other people are doing, it can be detrimental to the goal that you’re trying to pursue.
So for me, I think that would be what I would say was my biggest challenge, is overcoming self-doubt and not comparing myself. But once I got over that hurdle, it was all green lights.
How do you balance your own fitness goals and routines with the demands of running a business?
It’s interesting because a lot of people get into entrepreneurship because they’re not satisfied with their full-time job, right? And so they kind of look at entrepreneurship as an escape. But I think that there are so many lessons that you can learn inside of a nine-to-five that will make you a successful entrepreneur. Once you become an entrepreneur, and I think any person who owns a business can agree to this, is that you’re going to have some of those same challenges. You’re going to have disgruntled customers, you’re going to have projects that have a certain deadline. So you have to take those experiences with you inside your business. You have to apply them inside of your business. So that was like, one of the greatest benefits to me. That was a perspective that I took going into starting my business. And because I was in the entertainment business, being in front of people, hosting events, talking on the mic, and having to be in this space where my personality was at the forefront, it was easy for me to kind of parlay that into being a good fitness coach. Really understanding people and listening, determining what their needs were and catering a program to help them meet their goals. So lots of parallels there.
What was one of the most memorable moments from your business journey?
One of my fondest memories is of a woman in Chicago who eventually lost 100 pounds. But I remember when she was at about the 65 to 70-pound weight loss mark and she was obese and she was a mom of two sons and she wasn’t living a healthy lifestyle prior to doing my program. One of the most touching moments was not necessarily her before and after because she was melting, she was shrinking, clothes were falling off. But she shared with me a picture that her son drew at school and her son had to draw three things that his mom enjoyed doing. The first picture was of his mom preparing a salad in the kitchen. The second picture was his mom running on a treadmill. And the third picture was his mom spending time with him and his brother. That just touched me so much, because she not only lost weight and got healthier and looked amazing on the outside, but she really embraced the lifestyle changes and she encouraged and motivated the people around her, and she made an impact on her kids. Like her kids get to see that living healthy is important to my mom, and this is how my mom is changing because of it.
I really think impact and purpose should always be at the forefront because when those are in place, I feel like everything else falls in line. The success comes, and the money comes. But just seeing that people’s lives are changed and knowing that I had a role in it, that’s the most fulfilling thing for me.
So, is impact always kind of in the back of your mind? How can you maximize sort of the impact of you the entrepreneur, but also just spreading that positive message and getting people fit?
Oh, yeah, impact is always at the forefront. When I think about my fitness program and even like my apparel line, the sales, and helping people lose weight, it always excites me when people say stuff like, well, tell me about how you started your t-shirt line, or I lost a lot of weight, maybe I can be a fitness coach. I had one girl who became a yoga instructor and one girl who got her personal training certification, and she took the experience from the Empowered Fitness Program and became an entrepreneur. She started a business off of that.
Talk to me about your clothing brand. What does “Self Love Is So Gangster” mean to you?
Oh, man, yeah, you got one business and then an idea kind of springboards off of that business. And so ‘Self Love Is So Gangster’ came from basically those Sunday Success sessions. I had so many women in my fitness program, so I’ve had over 3000 women go through my wellness program and inside of that program because women were losing weight and were so fitness-minded. I would have shirts like, not only self-love is so gangster but I had one that said, chasing goals is my cardio and smart chick and fit chick, and I love my body. So I would just randomly think of all of these slogans to put on t-shirts and tank tops, and I would sell them inside of the group to the women in my group. And then I came up with ‘Self Love Is So Gangster.’
And everybody was like, oh, that is so dope. And I said, well, what if I sell this outside of the group? And lo and behold, one day I was on Instagram, and I saw an ad for a $99 Facebook ads course, I took the course, learned how to do Facebook ads, and just started going crazy selling ‘Self Love Is So Gangster.’ And I’ll never forget maybe about eight months after that, I took that course. In one month, I had $33,000 in sales. One month.
What does that feel like?
Crazy. I was like, who am I? Who am I? I remember a time when I would give somebody a whole year of my life for that much money. And I’m just like, why didn’t anybody tell me that this was what the entrepreneur life was like? But it’s really when you apply yourself. I think the most gratifying thing was like, I took something I invested $99 in and I turned it to $33,000. And I was really proud of myself that I just took the knowledge that I acquired and turned it into that. And I was really proud that people liked the apparel and they were tagging me in it and they were sharing it with their friends. I got a lot of sales from the Facebook ads, but also a lot just from organic promotions, too.
With so many career ventures, how do you still find time to be a mom? (Mother of four, two children diagnosed with autism, 5k awareness)
It’s interesting when I tell people everything that I do, they say, well, you’re very busy. But most people who have nine-to-five jobs work for 8 hours a day. So if I’m doing one thing for 2 hours, another thing for 3 hours, another thing for 45 minutes, I mean, it really does add up to about an eight-hour workday. So it’s about me being more productive and utilizing my time wisely. And so that’s what I’ve had to learn in my entrepreneur journey is just to be really selective with what I say yes to. And I’m still learning to say no and to be better at that, to work in a distraction-free environment so that I can focus better and get stuff done quicker so that I’m always prioritizing my family and I can get it all done.
What are some of the most rewarding aspects of being a mom, and how do you incorporate these experiences into your content or business?
Man, my family is amazing. I mean, I don’t even know where to start. We’re really close. We spend a lot of time together. I’m fortunate that all of my kids are still under the same roof as me. My oldest son kind of went back and forth with college, and that’s okay. He’s at the house, and he’s in the house with us. But we just have a great relationship. My favorite moment of the day is when we’re all just in the same room together. So I have three sons and one daughter. I just love to see them grow. I love to see my kids experience a lot of the things that I didn’t get to experience. I’m not talking about it from a privileged perspective, but just from the mindset of just exploring and trying new things and not having the pressure of living up to my expectations. I’m really big on supporting my kids’ dreams. My oldest son, a lot of kids these days are really interested in Japanese culture and anime and all that. And I’m like, you are a black man. Like, what is going on? But that’s what he’s into. I respect and honor his interests. I encourage him to explore the things that excite him. And when I think about being a mom and what I wish I would have had in my mother, I try to be that for my kids. And then my husband’s amazing. He’s my biggest cheerleader. In my early days, when I was hustling my T-shirts, he would always be there at the little pop-ups and the little vending spots. He would be pulling people over to my table, helping me sell T-shirts and stuff. Sometimes the kids will be posted up behind my table, drawing and coloring. And so we do a lot of stuff together as a family. We’re really close.
Your website says “I’m addicted to growth.” What does growth look like from here on out?
I think that growth is change, and it’s introducing yourself to new things. And to me, that’s what makes life exciting. That’s what makes life something to look forward to. And so when I say I’m addicted to growth, that’s what I mean by that. We were on the radio today and were talking about how they’re about to induct three toys into the Toy Hall of Fame. So everybody’s on there talking about their favorite toy from back in the day. We’re talking about Stretch Armstrong and the little army toys. We’re talking about Barbies. And I was talking about the Rubik’s Cube, how I used to peel the stickers off when I couldn’t get all of the colors right on each side. And you think about all of it, like Monopoly and all of those really fun games.
And the really cool thing about that is when were talking about the toys, it was like the spirit of nostalgia over everyone, and everybody’s energy changed immediately. Everybody was really excited and happy, and they had this kid-like energy. And when I talk about being addicted to growth, I’m talking about that kid-like energy, just having something exciting to look forward to every day, pursuing new things, being open-minded, knowing that whenever you reach a ceiling, you have to turn that into a floor. Because growth is an infinite process. And so that’s what makes me excited about every day, every new day. And it’s not just a new experience inside my business, it’s a new experience with my kids, who I’m going to meet.
What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs who have a dream or a vision for a business?
Don’t wait to be ready. Like, do it now, do it when you’re not known. I think just in entrepreneurship and everything outside of that, even when people talk about having kids, they’re waiting to have enough money, they’re waiting to have the right job, they’re waiting to live in a certain kind of house. Sometimes that journey to be successful requires you to go before you think that you’re ready. When I started my fitness program, when people were hitting me up, asking me did I have a wellness program, had I waited till I built a website and I did all the branding and I did all of these other things, I might not have had all of those women come to me that first month.
And so when I started that business, I gave myself the grace and the room to grow along the way. And so it’s okay to start before you think you’re ready. There’s another quote that says, you don’t have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to be great. It’s not my quote, I forgot who said it. But I’ve always thought that quote was so powerful. So yeah, whenever I have an idea, I’m like, oh, here comes a new check. I’m just going to roll with it and I’m going to figure it out.
Why be a business owner? Why is that important to you?
Why be a business owner? So that you can control your destiny. You can control your narrative. I share this a lot of times. Like, when I was laid off in 2008, that’s probably one of the best things that could have ever happened to me, because when you’re working for someone, you can get comfortable. You can just kind of settle in. You can be like, Well, I’m okay with this. And it’s so crazy that when I only had a nine to five, I really would open my check, like, expecting it to be different, and I’m like, It’s the same check.
But the cool thing about owning a business is that if you want to make a certain amount of money or you want to learn a certain amount, you can really apply yourself and do it. It’s so gratifying, not just from the monetary side. It’s a very fulfilling thing to do, especially if you’re pursuing a business that’s aligned with an interest or a passion that you have.
Do you have a favorite saying or mantra that you live by or something important to you? And if so, what is it? And why did you choose that?
Self-love is so gangster. Just dope to love yourself. That’s the stylish thing to do. That’s the trendy thing. It’s beyond the trend. I think that is a timeless statement. Self-love is so gangster, and that’s really where it came from. When you put yourself first, a lot of people say, oh, my kids are first, or My spouse is first. But people learn to love you and treat you by watching how you treat and love yourself. So you’re going to have to love on me. You’re going to have to give me a hug. You’re going to have to make eye contact with me. You’re going to have to respect me. You’re going to have to feel like you’re surrounded by good energy because that’s what I’m emitting. That’s what I’m showing you. People treat you. It’s a reflection of how you treat yourself.