A decade ago, Monique Floyd — AKA King Moe — was living the “American Dream.” A successful 3D piping designer in the international nuclear engineering industry, she had all the success but felt miserable inside.
In this episode, she shares the moment that changed everything and how finding our passion probably isn’t as difficult as you might think — sometimes it’s just a childhood away. She’ll explain.
I worked on government science projects for almost 14 years. Literally. Like plutonium fusion, fission; one of the two; I don’t even remember at this point. We were with the Russians on a project that was like, at the time, not necessarily a top secret, but you know, there was so many details that we could not talk about.
I can’t even do the science projects with my kids, just to establish where I am versus where you were.
But I never fit in. I never fit in. That was something that I did strictly for money. You know, in college, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. College was just the next step, you know? I’m actually the first person on my mom’s side to even attend college.
So when I got there, I just kind of leaned on what was more natural to me. So, I had done graphics, 3D Draft and Drawing; I was exposed to that from my dad. And I heard they made a lot of money, so yeah, that’s what it was. I was chasing the check. But the security of it all, I mean that’s an illusion because the reason why I actually left initially was because I got laid off. I got furloughed. That’s when I decided that I was never going back.
After undergoing major surgery and spending the next several weeks in bed, Monique could not ignore the pains she was feeling. It was time to make a change.
It was real an epiphany for me. I feel like it was there; I just couldn’t touch it, I couldn’t put words on it. I don’t feel like I knew enough at the time to even own that part, to own that unhappiness because, like I said, I was living the dream; who was I to complain? I don’t think I ever gave myself permission at that point to question anything or to say, ‘you know, this looks good on paper, but this doesn’t really make me happy’. In that moment, there weren’t any huge, huge decisions made. But the word ‘purpose’ just kept coming to me; and I had never, ever considered purpose before. I was in my bed, I had my computer, and I just remember Googling the word ‘purpose’; how do you find your purpose, or something along those lines? Like, it was just hang on me at that time.
And a book came up, it’s not a book that I necessarily want to talk about. It’s not a book that I recommend to anybody, but a book came up, and that is what literally set me on this journey. I probably read, you know, maybe the first couple of chapters; because that’s what I do a lot of times. I get a book, I read the first couple of chapters, then I’m on to the next; and then I was literally on to the next.
I remember lying there and thinking like, there has to be more to life than, you know; being in a relationship that isn’t serving me that I’m just not happy and fulfilled; going to a job that I hate; and paying bills and dying. Like, there just has to be more to life than it, and I’m going to find it. I didn’t move my feet then, of course; I’m laid up in the bed, but that was the catalyst for everything that you see here today.
In pursuit of her purpose, King Moe left behind everything she knew; her job, her marriage, her home, and her old life. She is the first to say, it was not all rainbows and roses.
Let’s talk about the response, even though I know the responses were out of love, but it was so much fear that was being projected on me. From my parents, one of the closest people to me is my dad. I’m a daddy’s girl all day; he’s girl-dad, I’m an only child. So, when I actually told my dad about getting the divorce and leaving and packing up and leaving this big house, you know, and this lifestyle and moving into a little apartment and figuring my shit out; that was the first time in my life that my dad was not supportive — the first time, because he’s always been my biggest cheerleader, pom-poms, everything. But it was his fear of his daughter being on her own, you know, not having this man as her safety net, you know, giving up this lifestyle that– You know, I think he wanted more for me than I did, to be honest. I was fortunate to have supportive friends. They was probably thinking certain things, but they never really, they never said it. You know, they call me brave. I feel like I’ve inspired a lot of people since. It was rough in the beginning. You know, I’m adjusting– I’m adjusting to single life. What is that? In my mid to late 30s? I haven’t been single since I was a teenager at that point, right? So, it was all types of adjustments. There were many and many nights in tears; tears.
There were many, many nights of not knowing. There was lots of times where I didn’t have the clarity, but I had this like unshakable faith and belief that there was something out there that was for me; that would fill me up, and be satisfying, and those types of things.
It was when Monique rediscovered her childhood passion of photography, that things really started to change. She launched Monique Floyd Photography and hasn’t looked back. She has spent the last eight years as a “permission giver” empowering women, as she says, to show up and glow up through one-on-one brand photography photo-shoots and her bestselling online course Love Your Selfie.
I teach these intimate Love Your Selfie Team Confidence Building workshops. I also offer those. And in those workshops, I can literally– It’s only about two and a half hours from the time that we start to the time that we finish. Some women in those workshops have never taken a selfie and have never even posted a selfie; and they’re the first ones to run to their Social Media and post. So, to me, that doesn’t say vanity; that doesn’t say she’s full of herself. What it tells me is this woman is seeing herself; and now she’s ready for other people to see her as well. That’s huge to me. It’s just huge.
How do we create good selfies?
- The first thing to creating good selfies is taking them. Take the selfies. It is an inside job, but sometimes we start from outside and go in; you know, just whatever works.
- But lighting is key; You get yourself in front of some good light, some natural light, a window or a door; or if you’re outside, maybe in a shaded place that’s well-lit.
- Body language; If you just fully extend your arm versus having it here or here, that in itself changes the game. You get yourself in front of some good light, some natural light, a window or a door; or if you’re outside, maybe in a shaded place that’s well-lit. I mean, you go keep taking these selfies.
I tell everybody; 9 times out of 10, the reason that women don’t like taking selfies of themselves is because they’re in bad lighting, and they’re accentuating what they don’t like with the shadows and all those things. Get yourself in some good light, take some selfies and fully extend that arm; and just click, click, click. You know, I love body language. And I tell people to get out of their head, you know, play some music; because, you know, music can elevate a room, it elevates the mood. It’s going to elevate your face and your energy; and you know, take candid selfies. Just have fun with this. I love for my ladies to have fun with this.
It’s mindset. We go into mindset work. It’s really that ownership work. So, I’m talking to them and a lot of the time, because they’ve lived in this smaller version of themselves, they can’t even see themselves like out there being visible with the ownership.
So, what I do is I ask them to channel alter ego, which all it is is really their higher self, but channel an alter ego; you know, who do you identify with in a book, on screen? Someone you might know in your personal life that just appears; you know, they’re confident and they’re strong, and that when you’re around them or you watch them, you kind of embody that and take that on.
Go ahead and channel them and step into them as you own more and more of who you are. So, that’s just one of the ways to help them into their body and get into their confidence. And again, it’s something that’s not necessarily inside of them at the moment, but it’s something that’s tangible that they can grab; that can elevate them to their next step.
If you’re reading right now and wondering how to (as Monique says) “glow up and show up”?
Ooh, so many things come to my head, but the first thing that I’m just going to say, ‘look in the mirror’. Like literally, mirror work is so powerful. Like, you looking yourself in the mirror, literally, from the top of your head, you know, as much as you can see in the mirror, in your eyes and owning that and being okay with that; even if it’s just one of the– If say, you look in the mirror and you see 50 things you hate; why not look for something that you actually love because I know that there’s something there?
A lifestyle photographer, makeup artist, motivational be-er, and permission giver, Monique Floyd aka “King Moe” is on a mission to inspire women to take out a new lease on life, one where they thrive on their own terms and embrace loving themselves by prioritizing their joys and desires. But just a decade ago, Monique’s life looked completely different. Though it appeared she was living the “American dream” as a successful 3D piping designer in the international nuclear engineering industry with all the “success” boxes checked, she felt miserable inside. It took an eye-opening surgery and weeks of bedrest for her to realize it was time to make a change. In pursuit of her real purpose, she left behind everything she knew — her job, her marriage, her home and her old life — and began moving her feet. She rediscovered her childhood passion of photography, launched Monique Floyd Photography and hasn’t looked back since. Since then, Monique has spent the past eight years empowering women to show up for themselves and their businesses through one-on-one brand photography photoshoots and her bestselling online course Love Your Self(ie).
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