Women's Journal

Transformative Wisdom for Women Leaders: Interview with Monique deMaio on Her Book ‘The 7 Secrets to Creating a Life You Love’

Transformative Wisdom for Women Leaders: Interview with Monique deMaio on Her Book 'The 7 Secrets to Creating a Life You Love'
Photo Courtesy: Monique de Maio

Explore the knowledge and motivation found in “The 7 Secrets to Creating a Life You Love: A Practical Guide for Women in Leadership,” written by renowned author Monique de Maio. Learn firsthand from Monique about her deep awareness of the difficulties experienced by women in leadership positions in the workplace and in striking a delicate balance between their personal and professional endeavors in this exclusive interview. This interview offers an engrossing look into Monique’s transformative approach to life and leadership. As the visionary founder and Chief Marketing Officer of On Demand CMO, she brings a wealth of experience, creative thinking, and a commitment to excellence that extends beyond her business endeavors.

In addition to sharing the useful advice found in her book, Monique’s engaging story illuminates her passion and mission to support women as they pursue leadership opportunities. This interview is a must-read for anyone looking for insightful information on both personal and professional growth since it reveals the nuances of Monique de Maio’s viewpoint on living a life full of fulfillment, success, and authenticity.

As the founder and CMO of On Demand CMO, can you share the philosophy that underpins your approach to marketing strategy?

Monique de Maio: For me, the most important thing for clients is differentiation. It is better to be different than better. You need to figure out what your company, your brand, and your services/products’ stand for’, and who they are intended for. We are predominantly a B2B (business-to-business) agency. Too many clients (from large Fortune 50 clients to mid-market 20+-year-old family-owned businesses to start-ups) try to sound, walk, and talk like their competitors and end up with market confusion and commoditizing their offerings. We spend a lot of time making sure the narrative, the story we create for these companies, comes across loud and clear, and we insist that the client works with us to find the ‘white space’ in their sector that they can claim and own—so they can attract their sweet spot customer and grow a profitable business. 

Can you discuss the role of self-discovery and personal growth in the context of the seven secrets outlined in your book, “The 7 Secrets to Creating a Life You Love?”

Monique de Maio: Self-discovery and personal growth are the exact objectives of the book and why I wrote it.

The seven secrets/areas of life I talk about are your: 

  1. voice …being your authentic self right now
  2. time…spending it intentionally
  3. choice …making each one, one at a time
  4. job…not letting it take over your life
  5. internal narratives…talk to yourself like a BFF
  6. external narratives…creating the story you tell others
  7. environment …using intention to set yourself up for success

And then the implementation of these secrets.

Your reviews highlight the approach of featuring stories from real women rather than celebrities. How did this storytelling method enhance your connection to the book’s content?

Monique de Maio: The book features real women because that is who I want to read it – real women. Those you know and see at work, at your kid’s ballgame, at the supermarket, at the PTA meeting, and everywhere in between. 

I want to change the narrative or perception that you have to be famous or rich to have a great life. You don’t. I have a great life, and I am neither. The amazing women who tell their stories are also neither.

It is said that storytelling will increase a person’s overall recall and the length of recall by up to 20x. By taking my point-of-view on the seven areas of life and showing you how these women and I have navigated these themes in our own lives through these stories, I can connect with the reader and have them ‘get it for themselves.’ They will see their lives in our collective stories and will appreciate that if we can master something, so can they. We are them.

  1. voice …being your authentic self right now
  2. time…spending it intentionally
  3. choice …making each one, one at a time
  4. job…not letting it take over your life
  5. internal narratives…talk to yourself like a BFF
  6. external narratives…creating the story you tell others
  7. environment …using intention to set yourself up for success

You share relatable personal experiences and stories from your life as well as other ‘everyday women.’ Can you share a particular story that you think many women experience and why?

Monique de Maio: I think the stories I tell about the sexism and double standard I faced as the only woman on the leadership team in my previous corporate career experience and my struggles with fertility are two very common and relatable stories that many can identify with. 

From the stories of other women in the book, I think the themes around not giving themselves grace, feeling overwhelmed by work, making bad choices, creating a narrative about themselves that did not serve them, not being their authentic selves, or not being intentional about time and choice are all themes we have all struggled with at one point or another, which is why I talk about them.

Or….

Page 71: In the ‘Choice’ Secret, I tell the story of my first day at school as a kindergartner and how I was treated as an immigrant. I decided, at that moment, to never be told who and what I could and could not do because someone told me I wasn’t good enough (in this case, to be with the other children/students in the neurotypical classroom).

Page 103: In the ‘Job’ Secret, I tell the story of how my male bosses applied a sexist and discriminatory position with me as the only female on the leadership team and was the impetus for me starting my own business.

Page 133: In the ‘Internal Narrative’ Secret, I tell the story of being in 3rd grade and being punched in the face by the class bully and how defending myself created a story that I carried with me long into my adulthood that I was tough and could take care of herself and could not ask anyone for help; that I had to do it all on my own. This story did not change until I decided to study mixed martial arts in my 40s and achieve black belt status.

 What advice do you have for readers who want to start implementing the seven secrets into their lives and leadership journeys?

Monique de Maio: Treat this like a reference book. It is meant to be read a little bit at a time, not cover to cover. It is the’ Cliff Notes’ or ‘Monarch Notes’ of life; in each chapter, each secret is digested, stories from me and 11 other women are told, as well as exercises for the reader to do to make sure that they ‘truly get it’ for themselves. 

I suggest not trying to do all seven things at one time but rather starting with the area that is creating the most friction/unhappiness in the reader’s life and starting there. Learn the distinctions I provide, internalize the stories and the exercises, allow time to make the tweaks you need to get better results in that area, and then move on to the next secret until they see a change in their overall joy and life.

Learn more about The 7 Secrets to Creating a Life You Love: A Practical Guide for Women in Leadership.

Published by: Martin De Juan

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