Monike S. Benjamin-Smaill Business Spotlight

Tell me about yourself…My name is Monike S. Benjamin. Im 28 years old and I currently reside in Queens, New York.  I am a licensed hair stylist and makeup artist.For as long as I can remember I’ve always had my hands in HAIR!Whether it was mine (much to the displeasure of my mother lol) or one of my family members or classmates. Owning my own salon was a dream that I was never quite sure if Id realize. Yet this past year has amazed me with blessings and I am now the proud and humbled owner of my first salon ; Beautiful Impressions Studio Salon in Springfield Gardens, New York.
What motivates you to keep going? I think the word ENTREPRENUR should be a synonym for insanity ! Lol.I purchased this salon in May of 2014… Since then I have encountered constant uphill battles that make me wonder at times what was I thinking! However, in the end I’m always reminded that I’ve always wanted this and I’ve always been a fighter ; so fight I will because nothing in this world worth having comes easily.     I’m the type of person who is notorious for putting all of my eggs into one basket. That being said I constanty remind myself that I am going to put everything I have into making this work. No back-up plans means I’m am assured that I will put blood, sweat, tears, and my whole heart into what I am doing sink or swim. I am motivated by the drive to succed at what I’m doing, by the drive to be more than ordinary, by the drive to strive for more than just settling for a job I hate simply for security. I want to know that 50 years down the road I can look back and be proud of myself for stepping out f my comfort zone and daring to do something about my dreams.
Do you feel your life is balanced between your personal and professional life? Ha! Do I feel like my personal life / buisness life are balanced…. What a question. Not at all! Granted I am still very new to this sector of life, so I expected the adjustment period to be a bit interesting. However this has been a very trying 8 months. It’s definetly an interesting learning curve ; trying to juggle work life (which can be all consuming), home life, relationships, children, social life etc.    In my line of work it is so easy to get consumed with working in the buisness that you forget that you have to learn to seperate being the buisness from running the buisness. Im learning that that is the only way to take the buisness to the next level and possibly have a moment to breath and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Prior to learning that , you get the constant on the go , frazzled feeling like your always playing catchup and sacrificing one thing for another. Balance is definetly a learning experience.
 What advice would you give to an aspiring entrepreneur? There are definetly a couple of pieces of advice that I would give to an up and coming entrepreneur:~First and foremost… Do your research! I cannot stress how important this is. You need to know your industry, their rules & regulations. You need to research where your trying to set up your business so you know if the area is suited for your vision. ~Planning… Now planning can be objective because obviously you cannot account for any and every situation that may arrive starting out, but you need to have some idea of where you want your business to go and how you plan to get there… This ties in with reseasearch because its always a good idea to seek out otheres of like mind or who have walked the road before you. Its also good to read read read…..~Motivation… Don’t get it twised.. starting out isnt always peaches and cream. If noone has informed you before, I will.You will NOT always wake up and feel like a milion bucks. There will be long days sleepless nights,  frustrating moments that will make you question why the heck you got into this etc. But you have to keep yourself motivated. Keep yourself around positive and like minded people. Dont allow the negitivity to consume you.. Keep pushing and keep fighting and things will get easier in time.
What’s your favorite social media platform?  I would say right now my favorite social media platforms are Facebook and Instagram. I like the fact that they both give you instant access to millions of people on any given day.They allow you to constantly refresh peoples memories as to whats goin on. In my line of work things are very much visually oriented. Sothese two sites allow me to send out pictures of the work done at my salon to tons of people, keeping Beautiful Impressions in constant rotation.
What book are you currently reading or would recommend to fellow entrepreneurs? Currently Im reading Steve Harvey’s  “Act like  a success, Think like a Success ” I love this book because he hold nothing back. He approaches the book like an older uncle or father figure thats going to keep it real with you. No fuss , no frills, just straight up with no chasers.
 What’s your favorite app? My favorite app… Hmmm I’d say for right now its a cross between my Square card reader app and my Style Seat app. The first one allows me to take credit/debit cardsand have the funds directly transfered into my account with no fuss.The second allows me to post pics, prices, descriptions of services offered , and its geared towards potential clients/customers who are specifically on the site to look for someone in the industries offered.
What’s your favorite Podcast account name? I don’t currently have a favorite podcast. I’m pretty much a Tunein Radio and Pandora junkie.
 What’s your favorite Entrepreneur website/blog to visit? I’d say my favorite two entrepreneur websites to follow are Snobmobb ( and Alikay Naturals ( . I can vividly remember watching the journeys that both of these ladies have been on. Watching them as they sarted out on youtube and seeing what they’ve grown into… As a young female entrpreneur they keep me inspired constantly. They make me proud and give me a real life and even more relatable example of what the possibilities are….
What’s your favorite quote? Two of my favorite quotes are “She believed she could, so she did” ~ R.S. Grey and  “Sometimes you have to get knocked down lower than you’ve ever been to stand back up taller than you ever were” ~Unknown
To support and stay connected with Monike please visit the links below: 
Instagram: @Monibdstylist
Facebook (Search): Monike Benjamin or Moni B. ~ Hair & Makeup

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Tasheena showed up to my workshop and breezed through like a breath of fresh air! Wow she put the cherry on top of an already awesome morning.

She kept our attention every minute she was there and left us with knowledge and motivation. We were in GO mode when she left. Exciting, informative, awesome!
I would have her back again and again. Peace and Blessings.

— Dianne Gill
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