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THURSDAY THOUGHTS - Take a Chance on Yourself
Bonus Episode24th February 2022 • Unpolished MBA • Unpolished MBA
00:00:00 00:09:55

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In this episode, Monique is finally able to tell the story of how her husband and son beat out thousands of competitors to make it to the final round of Top Chef Jr. After signing an NDA with the show’s producers that has now expired, Monique can now properly brag about the two special men in her life and the journey they took from a long shot Atlanta audition to the heart of Hollywood. 

This story is meant to inspire listeners who may feel that they don't have the expertise or training in a given field to make an impact or breakthrough. By reflecting on this amazing experience, Monique shows that a little resilience coupled with a healthy dose of self-belief can take you so far in life and that today should be the day you start taking a chance on yourself!

 Topics Include:

  • How Expertise Is Not Synonymous With Innovation 
  • Learning Innovation Through Experience
  • The Importance of Resilience
  • Believing in Yourself Despite the Odds

Website: 

https://unpolishedmba.com/

Transcripts

Monique:

Let's take a moment to connect the dots.

Monique:

Every Thursday in under 10 minutes, I'm going to share with you real

Monique:

life, everyday situations to help you as an entrepreneur, a leader,

Monique:

an innovator, or just a person who's venturing out to try something new.

Monique:

These stories will help you make sense of situations you may find yourself in

Monique:

and also provide encouragement to keep you moving forward in your journey.

Monique:

Someone recently asked me what did I do, and what did TPM Focus do, my company.

Monique:

I said, well, I do innovation consulting.

Monique:

I help innovators launch new products and earn revenue while finding

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product market fit, so the person responded with "what's an innovator?"

Monique:

That was so funny to me because if anything, I expected them to ask

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me "what's product market fit?"

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So listen, here's my answer to that.

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Anyone can be an innovator, literally anyone.

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So if you're a person who likes to invent or create new things to

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change the way something in the world currently works, you're an innovator.

Monique:

Sure, many people will think of someone with a background like

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me in engineering or technology and science or even medicine.

Monique:

They'll usually think of us as innovators, but I've been in this work

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so long and have worked with hundreds of innovators at this point and can

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say without a doubt that none of those things are qualifiers to be an innovator.

Monique:

None of it.

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The degrees, the background, that does not make you an innovator.

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In fact, some of the most innovative clients I've had, had

Monique:

no STEM experience whatsoever.

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None at all.

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It did not matter, what they knew was how to be creative and how to solve a problem.

Monique:

As you guys know, who listen to my Thursday Thoughts, you know

Monique:

sometimes I throw in a story about something that's really happened

Monique:

in my life or with my kids.

Monique:

In this particular case, I want to share a story about what happened with my son.

Monique:

The reason I'm bringing this up is because there's a lot of

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apprehension out there from people who could be doing great things and

Monique:

providing great value to the world.

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But they're afraid of what people might think, because they don't

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have those accolades or that background, or any type of experience

Monique:

in what they're proposing to do.

Monique:

I don't see things that way.

Monique:

So, I'm sharing this story about my son who actually got selected, now

Monique:

I can share this, he got selected when he was 10 to be on Master

Monique:

Chef Junior on TV, which is crazy.

Monique:

I was just as surprised as you guys are, because he never really

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expressed an interest in being a cook or anything like that.

Monique:

So when he saw that they were holding auditions for kids here in Atlanta,

Monique:

he asked if I would take them.

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I said "yeah, sure!", so we went, he did his charismatic tricks with his Chinese

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yo-yo and he cooked and he did different things and they really liked him.

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Both him and my daughter, eventually they called us at the end of

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that day and said they've been selected to go to the next round.

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I'm like, "okay", so we went through that whole process.

Monique:

Needless to say he was a finalist to be selected for season 8 of Master

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Chef Junior, and this was in 2019.

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What ended up happening was, the show was renewed and then it was canceled.

Monique:

They didn't end up following through with that season, but every time

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we think back about that, we're just like, "wow, that was crazy."

Monique:

We had to do all types of things like secretly, including signing

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a document saying, we couldn't share the process or what was

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happening with anyone in the world.

Monique:

So it's fun to be able to tell this story now.

Monique:

Crazy enough during the pandemic in 2021, we got an email from top Chef Junior so

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we're like, "okay, this is a different show he's a little older now, what

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is it that they could possibly want?"

Monique:

I opened the email and they said, "Hey, we're doing auditions for Top Chef Junior.

Monique:

it's a new season that we're doing and we'd like for you to audition for it."

Monique:

So I'm thinking, "how's that going to work" because we're

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in a pandemic and all of that.

Monique:

I brought it up to my son because with Master Chef Junior it was a

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little devastating to go through all of those things, we did a lot

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of work guys, for it to be canceled and then not to go anywhere.

Monique:

So I asked him, "do you want to go through this process again?"

Monique:

He said "Why not?

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We'll just see what happens."

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Needless to say, this kid made it all the way to Hollywood, literally.

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We went through the process of basically auditioning in our homes.

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They had cameras, we use Zoom ,and they had the producers

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watching him while he cooked.

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We had to record him cooking a full meal from start to finish.

Monique:

At this point he's a great cook now because after the process of learning a

Monique:

lot of new things for Master Chef Junior.

Monique:

I mean, he makes his own meals and thank goodness because he's a growing boy now.

Monique:

So he eats a lot and he makes his own meals.

Monique:

He knows even more than he knew then.

Monique:

So they saw just how smooth he was with the dishes and the utensils

Monique:

and said "Wow, this kid is great!

Monique:

We'd like for him to have a partner who would be the partner?"

Monique:

My husband, he's basically the one that taught them to cook in that way.

Monique:

So they partner up, I bought them matching t-shirts and all of this stuff.

Monique:

Now, mind you, neither one of them are cooks per se.

Monique:

They just do it for fun.

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It's normally just cooking dinner and trying different

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meals and stuff for our family.

Monique:

This literally got them all the way to Hollywood.

Monique:

They ended up making it all the way through all the rounds and

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all the obstacles and challenges and so on that they had us do.

Monique:

I think they said they had about 900 people audition and it was down to 10.

Monique:

Through that entire process, and these two fellows here in my house were selected

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to go to LA to film the pilot during the pandemic and I really have to give my hat

Monique:

off to the professionalism and everything that they did to protect the participants.

Monique:

Not only that they actually paid them.

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Which was again incredible because they are not cooks and they just, they ended

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up fitting right in with all of these other families of teamed up partners.

Monique:

So they ended up going out to LA and they filmed a pilot.

Monique:

They had to learn how to speak on camera for a TV show, which is way

Monique:

different than any of us thinks.

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They were there for like a week, and at the end of it, they were

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narrowing it down to even less people.

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They got eliminated at that round, but still, it was like,

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"you guys made it that far?!"

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If you knew all of the stuff we had to go through.

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Including signing contracts and already putting them in the contract

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for the TV show before they left.

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It was a lot of work, but we don't regret it.

Monique:

It was an experience of a lifetime.

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They paid for everything.

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They put them up in a secret location.

Monique:

They got to go to a set and cook and all of those kinds of cool things.

Monique:

All for two people who are not professionals at what they do.

Monique:

Well, most people would consider not professionals.

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They're not trained.

Monique:

They haven't been to culinary school.

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They don't hold the knife right when they cut.

Monique:

Whatever that is at the set, the people there actually show them, this is how

Monique:

we want you to curve your fingers when you're chopping, this is how you do this.

Monique:

And it's like, "alright cool, got it."

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You see what I'm saying?

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Take that shot.

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Bet on yourself.

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Send that email to that person.

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Respond to that DM from someone that's asking you for something

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or asking you a question.

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It might be opportunity like this.

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Tweet that person that you were afraid to tweet, and not really sure if you

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can get them to respond like now is the time to take the limitations off

Monique:

yourself and say, "Okay, I may not have those titles or that experience,

Monique:

but I can be on Top Chef Junior if I want to be and I'm not even a cook."

Monique:

I'm hoping that this story kind of brings together how sometimes you really just

Monique:

have to bet on yourself and take a chance.

Monique:

You'll be really surprised at what you'll experience in life and how much

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more interesting the journey will be.

Monique:

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Monique:

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Monique:

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Monique:

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Monique:

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Monique:

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Monique:

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Monique:

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