We had the good fortune of connecting with Monica English and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Monica, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Each time you take a risk, you unlock a new potential life path. So without risk, there would be no room for change or growth. And personally, there is nothing that scares me more than staying “comfortable” and stuck in the same position. As a Performing Artist, Realtor, and Entrepreneur, I consider myself a trained risk taker and routine breaker. Instead of pursuing the Master’s Degree program I was accepted in after graduating from UC Irvine, I decided to pursue an unconventional lifestyle and career in real estate and entertainment. If it wasn’t for this decision, I’d be stuck with unnecessary debt living a life of dissatisfaction still trying to please others.
Taking decisive yet spontaneous action has resulted in multiple endeavors I never expected. From operating a rental business to booking national commercials playing violin (what I once thought would only be a hobby) and winning the title of Miss California Regency International, risk taking continues to land me newfound opportunities and positions. Some of my most memorable risks were while I was out of the country and I think we can all agree that traveling is a risk in itself. I still remember impulsively joining a scuba diving club while I was studying abroad at Fudan University in Shanghai, which embarked me on a journey to obtain 3 different scuba and freediving certifications, not to mention becoming a former certified lifeguard, mermaid performer, and mandated reporter. During that same period, I randomly met a talent agent at a nightclub (next door to where I trained for scuba diving) who booked me for a paid runway show, among some other cool gigs.
There are so many instances where I was told I couldn’t do the things I ended up accomplishing anyway, whether it was the naysayers who claimed there was no way to make money with classical instruments, the skeptical family members who said my rental business would fail, or the American modeling agents who deemed me as too short for runway modeling. A combination of risk taking and perseverance has led me to defy the odds against me and challenge the status quo. Truth be told, there is risk in everything. I risked security when I chose to pursue entrepreneurship and the arts, but choosing to listen to others who are not where I want to be in life would’ve been far riskier.
So if you’re reading this, I challenge you to take that risk, but to do so in a calculated manner.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My resilience and unconventional background set me apart from others. I never had anything handed to me. In fact, I grew up in survival mode, living in poverty and experiencing the foster care system. I learned to be resourceful and network to get my foot in the door. I have failed and changed course more times than I can count, but I don’t give up. Instead, I take breaks and pace myself. It’s taken me nearly 10 years to get where I am today and while I’m proud of how far I’ve come, I still have a long way to go. Additionally, being bi-racial (European and Asian) gives me a unique perspective in life. I like to think that I get the best of both worlds fused into one. I’m like a walking contradiction. I can’t be put into one box without being added into another. For example, I was both the trouble maker and teacher’s pet in school. When it comes to demographics, I am considered as “other”.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love Long Beach because it is culturally rich with a diverse music and food scene. When it’s the third Saturday of the month I take my best friend to our monthly beach cleanup at Junipero Beach, followed by beach front brunch at Saltwater Deck. On the fourth Friday of the month we’d go to the 4th Friday fair on 4th Street, aka Retro Row. Some of my favorite ethnic restaurants on 4th Street are Lola’s Mexican Cuisine, Honduras Kitchen, and Aji Peruvian Cuisine. I’d also make sure to bring them to Belmont Shore and get boba at Snow Monster. In the evening we’d go to Parker’s Lighthouse at Shoreline Village, as it has a beautiful view of the Queen Mary. If they’re in town for longer than a day, I’d plan to take them to Aquarium of the Pacific and perhaps even take a day trip to Catalina via the Catalina Express.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I am so grateful for all my friends, family, and mentors that have positively impacted my life. There are too many people to thank, but I’ll do my best to keep it concise. Thank you to my business coach @suzietravel who taught me so much about entrepreneurship and changed my life for the better. Thank you @gracefullydesignedcoaching for helping me prepare for state and internationals, channeling my best and most authentic self! Thank you to my pageant directors @christyannelopez @brittney.jarrett for all you do for us and inspiring us on the daily as boss women! Thank you to all my amazing sister queens and close friends for your endless support (you know who you are)! I also want to thank my agency @prestigiousmodels for helping me land some of the most amazing bookings! And finally, thank you to my best friend, love, and business partner @yiannis_batsakis for always believing in me, mentoring me, and helping me achieve new heights in both real estate and business.
Other: email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rod Aberegg Bobby Chi