We had the good fortune of connecting with Monique Flores and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Monique, how do you think about risk?
I was brought up to play it safe for most of my life. It took me a while to realize that that wasn’t going to get me too far. I found myself stuck and settling at jobs that I didn’t feel myself growing in. I had a steady, decent income and was able to build a comfortable life for myself. I didn’t realize that it had turned to complacency. I was in a constant state of agitation because I didn’t feel challenged.
I started to get more serious about being a boxing trainer; I started training anyone that was interested in throwing punches. Slowly, I started to get more confident in what I have to offer and finally started to build a business. Then, at 31 years old [and in the middle of a pandemic] I quit my “safe” job of 5 years and fully stepped into my role as owner of Mija Fitness.
To date, that’s been the biggest risk I’ve taken [so far]. I feel challenged every single day…so, I got what I was looking for. There has been plenty of blood, sweat, and tears put into this but I wouldn’t have it any other way because there’s no cap on how far I can go. It’s entirely up to me and I find a lot of power in that. I know I’ve only scratched the surface of my potential. The more I trust the process and take risks as needed, the better I will become.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I created Mija Fitness with the intention of spreading the feeling of inner and outer strength to all the daughters of the world. Boxing techniques can be very awkward to learn so I wanted to open up a community where women feel comfortable to get uncomfortable. Boxing fitness is more than just a workout for the body, but one for the mind as well. It requires focus just as much as stamina, if not more. Those are two things that we work on building to have women feeling like the ultimate badasses.
I’ve learned several key lessons along the way; 1. every experience is a part of the journey – whatever is happening is only temporary and things are always changing 2. stay true to myself and my values – once I start veering away from these, things stop aligning and 3. trust the process – if this was supposed to be easy, everyone would do it .
Having the above mindset has helped me overcome the challenges that have presented themself so far. It’s built a resilience in me that I never knew I had.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
It’s LA, where being bored is a decision! The beauty of LA is it’s diverse in cultures and in topography. Hiking and then hitting up a local frutero to get refreshing cup of cut up fruit is my idea of a perfect Sunday morning. If the weather admits for it, taking a drive to the beach on the same day is a perfect way to relax. For a night out, Caña Rum Bar is a great place for well thought-out cocktails and late night dancing. Leo’s Taco Truck in Hollywood is perfect spot for late nights out.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Having someone look into your eyes every day and tell you that you can do anything and have anything you want in this life can be the single thing that drives you to becoming your best self. For me, that person was and is my girlfriend. She believed in me when I couldn’t believe in myself. She saw that I was capable of so much more than where I was in my life. She continues to show me an incredible amount of support, love, encouragement, and even mentorship in my entrepreneurial journey. I can confidently say that I would not be this far along, making these kinds of moves without her around. I feel eternally blessed for having her in my life.
Although it took my Mexican parents a while to get used to the fact that their daughter was quitting a well-paying job to train people for scraps, they have really turned into a couple of my biggest supporters. I feel fortunate to have their help and support.
Lastly, a shoutout to Evan Flock at the Garage Gym Revolution for taking me under his wing and showing me what a successful business structure looks like. He never quit on me, even if I wanted to,