Episode 32: My Hero's Journey

maureen smiling in her office

In this special episode, I’m sharing an interview I did with Paul Dodd.  He gave me the opportunity to share my journey to entrepreneurship, from childhood to college, and then corporate to being my own boss.  



My Childhood with Entrepreneur Parents


I grew up in Kenya where entrepreneurship was not the norm. But both my mom and dad were entrepreneurs!  As a little girl, I was so fascinated with the discussions they constantly had around product strategies every single day at the dinner table. 


We constantly talked about, “How do you continue to grow this?” As I continued to mature, the business also continued to grow.  It was then that I started becoming acutely aware of the financial freedom and opportunities business ownership afforded my family.


Later on, I learned that the secret to my parents’ success was the reputable, trustworthy, product-based business that they had created. While other people were taking shortcuts by selling commodities at a very cheap price, my parents really focused on developing a reputation that was unparalleled.  This realization led me towards my own journey of learning the process of building breakout brands. I soon realized the USA was the best place to learn this.  So soon after pursuing my bachelor's degree in finance in Kenya, I moved over to the US where I earned a master's degree in marketing. 


From College to Corporate


After graduating, I needed a job that would allow me to stay for a year because of my international program.  After applying to many places, I landed an opportunity at Nielsen. So after that one year, I went and worked at Nielsen using the visa that I had.  Rhen, through my journey, the government changed my program to be eligible for the three year extension for working. So I got that again. It's like God opened up doors for me that I never imagined.


At Nielson, I quickly ascended into leadership and became one of the brand strategists behind American brands including Lay's, L'Oreal, Chobani, and Dove.  I realized that I had developed billion dollar strategies that most entrepreneurs don't have resources and the access to.  


My Journey to Entrepreneurship


While working with these big brands, I discovered that my zone of genius was really the ability to interpret data and market opportunities and literally turn them into strategies that drive growth.  That’s what led me to create my consulting company called Startward Consulting.  In my company, we're really focused on teaching product-based entrepreneurs the sales and marketing strategies they need in order to create a new household name.


And while this market is pretty saturated, my competitors are doing something different. They're teaching the marketing aspects of business.  That includes how to do paid ads and SEO, but they're not teaching them the fundamental principles that will allow them to stay sustainable. 


I think about my coaching process as the process of building a house. We have to think about making that foundation sturdy before we do the flashy, visible things.  That's what I do. My competitors are now decorating that foundation.  They’re like the interior designers for the house.  But I’m showing my clients how to build a sturdy house that lasts.


The Role of Luck, Attraction, and Faith in My Journey


There's always a misunderstanding in my opinion when it comes to the law of attraction. A lot of people think that they just manifest and say, “I need a million dollars,” and then it's going to come.  It doesn't happen like this. There are certain things that you have to do to get that. But people never talk about that.  They don’t share about what I would call frequencies.  If we talk about the frequencies, you have to think about how you're vibrating.  Entrepreneurs need to ask themselves if they’re operating in abundance or scarcity.  And that's and that's the hard work. Right?  But then there's always this notation of the law of attraction. If I say I want to have eight pack abs tomorrow, it just doesn't work like that.  I have to put in the work for what I want.


More importantly than luck, attraction, or vibrations is my faith.  I'm a believer, and I've always anchored my life on God.  So my first step is obedience. Here’s what I mean by this.  I've always known my vision, and I presented these visions and opportunities to God.  Then, whenever the opportunity comes, I don't attribute it to luck. I think that God-given opportunity meets preparation. So God put people in my life at different times to align me to my vision.

My Top Tip for Entrepreneurs


I think it's important that when you do it, you love it. Realistically, the challenges in entrepreneurship are enormous. So if you don't love what you're doing, then I don't think you'll be able to persevere through it.  The greatest success in anything comes from operating in love. Your family, your spouse, everything…You have a beautiful marriage if you're going in with love.  And this journey of entrepreneurship is like a relationship.  If you don’t love it, you probably won’t stick with it.



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