Meet Rhonda Moret, founder of Elevate For Her, a professional development organization with tactical programming designed to help women to achieve their goals, a Branding & Marketing Expert who directed campaigns for Google, Nike Golf, the PGA of America, Universal Studios, Tiger Woods, Billie Jean King, Robert Kiyosaki, and Donald Trump.
"I always remember to extend a level of professionalism and respect regardless of their job title or standing within an organization. And secondly, I never allow others intimidate or cause me to question my hard-earned self-confidence - thanks to Donald Trump"
Who is Rhonda Moret? define yourself
In a very succinct manner, I am a highly-motivated and incredibly driven woman in business who has always had big dreams and huge expectations. I approach life with a carpe diem attitude and hope to inspire others to pursue their life’s goals.
Tell us more about your family, especially about your mom, who raised you to never give up, how were you as a kid?
I grew up in a family with three kids as the middle sister. We lived in a rougher neighborhood and had little money beyond the basics. Even as a child, I always knew I wanted more. I knew I didn’t want to feel poor or live in where hopelessness and helplessness were so abundant. With that said, I feel my mom shaped and molded me to be who I am today. I credit her for raising me to believe that nothing was beyond my grasp. It was just a matter of how hard I wanted whatever goal or objective I am pursuing. I lost her 30 years ago this summer, but I think of her every day. I live my life in a way that I know she would be proud of.
From humble beginnings, growing up as a mixed race woman in South Central Los Angeles, you were the first woman in your family to graduate from college, you have a Bachelor of Arts in English from Arizona State University, why did you decide to study that?
I started college with an undeclared major but leaned toward pursuing a practical degree like a business. But by the time it was time for me to declare, I knew business was not the right area of study for me. I had grown to love my liberal arts classes and excelled at classes like women’s studies, sociology, religious studies, and my favorite, English. I’ve read most of literature’s finest works and learned to become an effective critical writer and thinker. I truly think that an English degree is one of the most ideal degrees one can pursue.
You have a Master of Business Administration, you had several jobs positions in Advertising, Sales & Marketing in Nike Golf learning centers, Director of Sales & Marketing for Best-Selling Author Robert Kiyosaki, Marketing and PR in PGA Junior Golf Camps, etc. How did you jump from studying Art to Business and then found your own company Elevate For Her?
After working in the advertising and marketing arena and working on several high-profile brands and working with high profile individuals, I decided I wanted to grab greater control of my destiny. I left corporate America and worked as a marketing consultant for many years and loved the work – but felt like I needed to find a project which had more meaning in my life from a big picture perspective. Elevate For Her is a professional development training organization with programming specifically created for women. Our goal is to support, educate, and inspire women to be their professional best – and for me – that mission gives meaning and purpose I was professionally in search for.
Talking about Elevate For Her, for the people who don´t know what it is, can you explain what is this company about and what does it makes unique in the consulting market?
Based on abundant the research I had uncovered showing where and why women were not ascending to the upper levels of leadership at the pace of their male counterparts, I decided to launch Elevate For Her to create programming specifically designed for women. By offering to program in areas where women have been proven to be less developed in comparison to men (negotiations, assertive leadership, and confidence/empowerment) we could support women and pay and gender parity as well. We are unique in that we are committed to elevating, empowering, and inspiring women to do more and be more in the workplace.
"I am driven to succeed and in order to succeed one must be committed to doing the work. As a small business owner, your work becomes such a huge part of your life. If you are able to look at your work as part of what drives you and brings you satisfaction, then I think you will be successful"
As a branding and marketing expert, you directed campaigns for Google, Nike Golf, the PGA of America, Universal Studios, and Subway as well as working with high profile personalities including Tiger Woods, Billie Jean King, bestselling author Robert Kiyosaki, and even Donald Trump. What was the most important learning you got from those companies and important people?
Working on high-profile projects really taught me the importance of being highly-professional. But love him or hate him…Donald Trump taught me two of the most powerful business lessons I have learned to-date. Several years ago, I was working for Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, the top-selling personal finance books of all time with over 36 million copies sold worldwide.
Robert co-wrote “Why We Want You to be Rich” with Trump. As part of the book’s promotion, we shot a series of talk-show-like interviews discussing topics ranging from social security and Medicare to building wealth and capitalism. We shot the interviews in the allusive boardroom at Trump Tower in New York City, and as head of marketing, I was the project lead and I conducted the interviews.
In the weeks leading up to the interview, I was incredibly anxious about the project and questioned if I was up to the task – this was, of course, Donald Trump (I was an Art of the Deal fan and watched the Apprentice religiously). This despite the fact that I had years of experience garnered by working with high-profile brands and personalities.
Working with an expansive and experienced production crew, we had spent hours setting up the shoot to make sure everything was tight.
He then enters. We begin rolling. And we then have technical issues.
My own version of all hell breaking loose took place before my eyes. But after being peppered with questions pertaining to why we were “taking so long to fix the issue” to being taunted by the fact that his “regular crew never had any of these tech issues” – a sense of calm took over and the nerves dissipated. It was at that moment that I realized that regardless of how much money a person may have, their title, or their power, that 1.) everyone deserves to be treated with respect and decency and 2.) we (especially women) should not allow others to intimidation us and hijack our professional confidence and sense of self.
The shoot began (finally) and instead of crumbling as a result of frazzled nerves or self-doubt, I soared. Me, a woman of color born in South Central LA, was confidently conducting the first-rate interview with two male millionaires (or billionaire?) in a boardroom on 5th Avenue.
Fast forward to today, I engage with CEOs of multi-billion dollar organizations and receptionists of small businesses – and I always remember to extend a level of professionalism and respect regardless of their job title or standing within an organization. And secondly, I never allow others intimidate or cause me to question my hard-earned self-confidence - thanks, Donald.
"I look at each day as a new opportunity to make my mark in the world by supporting women and other underrepresented segments, understand that they can reach their dreams as well"
You are a Women's Empowerment and Diversity & Inclusion Trainer & Expert Branding & Marketing Expert, a Speaker as well, what´s the recipe of your success?
I am driven to succeed and in order to succeed one must be committed to doing the work. As a small business owner, your work becomes such a huge part of your life. If you are able to look at your work as part of what drives you and brings you satisfaction, then I think you will be successful.
You train a lot of women, what are the reasons women hold back and don´t thrive?
There is substantial research which supports the fact that women often lack the self-confidence in the workplace needed to be competitive. Everything from 56% of women noting that they lack of confidence to speak up during high-profile meetings, to only 13% of women in business feeling that they can reach the upper levels within their organizations, to the fact that women initiate negotiation scenarios 4x less frequently than men – you can easily see why we are where we are in business today. If we felt more confident and empowered, I believe we would run more companies, own more small businesses, and achieve more parity between our salaries and our male counterparts.
What is the reality of your day-to-day?
My day-to-day routine really is just the opposite - there is no routine at all. It really, really depends on what projects I have going on. So I could have a day dedicated to preparing a presentation for a training program, developing content for any one of our numerous partners, spending time reviewing new business development opportunities, or on the phone dialing for dollars as they say...each day is unique. And of course, I have to stay on top and prioritize the very busy schedules of my kids, from dance to tennis, to drama class...we're pretty much always on the run!
Do you have any particular philosophy that guides your career decisions?
Carpe Diem. I look at each day as a new opportunity to make my mark in the world by supporting women and other underrepresented segments, understand that they can reach their dreams as well.
What do you love most about your job? & what is the most difficult part?
I am driven by the challenge; which can be what I Love most and which is also the most difficult aspect of my job. Each day is a new challenge – which can be invigorating or can be incredibly daunting. For me, I need to see how many points I can put on the board that day. And just like in sports and life, I have some impressive wins and then some pretty disheartening losses.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
As with other small business owners, the key to growing your business is to be able to open as many doors as possible. I spend a significant amount of time connecting with others who might have a need for our services and cultivating those relationships.
If you could, would you change any steps you took in your career, and if so, what would you change?
I try and not look at my career in the rearview mirror. With that said, I would have placed greater emphasis on expanding my network and developing relationships with individuals from a wide array of professional backgrounds and roles.
Many authors say women can and must strive to have everything – a shining career, a blossoming family life and a perfectly balanced lifestyle all at once, others point out that– then women are placing unrealistic expectations on themselves if they believe they can have it all, You are married and have 3 kids, so according to your own experience, what do you think about these statements?
I don’t think you can “have it all” – in that life is just not that neat and tidy. There are going to be times when your kids need you – and you need to make that your priority. And conversely, there are times when business demands are escalated and throws off everything for you and your kids.
"Find professional organizations, networking groups, or industry associations which you can join and become actively involved with, to ensure you develop a network which is solid"
How is Rhonda as a mom, as a wife?
Having a strong and healthy home life is incredibly important to me. My husband and I have been married for almost 23 years and we make a really strong team. As a mother, I think my kids would all agree that they have each always been my top priority. I can be strict when necessary but also can be a helluva a lot of fun. If anyone of my kids need anything, I’m here to answer the call.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
That is a tough one…I work a lot. But honestly, in my downtime, I really enjoy hanging out with my husband for a cocktail or two or spending time with my kids and our extended family. That is when I am happiest – no doubt.
What are your plans for this 2019?
Our plans are simply to remain laser-focused on building the brand and sharing our corporate mission.
There is still the glass roof for women in the world: Fewer opportunities, jobs underpaid just for that fact of being a woman, etc. Have you experimented the glass ceiling? if yes, What are the biggest challenges you have faced and how have you overcome them?
I don’t know if I experienced the glass ceiling or just a ceiling. Throughout my career, I always worked with high-intensity and at a fast pace. I feel I hit a ceiling when my various roles didn’t allow me to progress up the so-called corporate ladder as quickly as I needed to advance.
What tips would you give to young girls who want to work in consulting & marketing like you?
First, learn as much as you can. There are so many resources online where you can continue to expand your skill set and learn more about the discipline. Second, I would encourage younger women to find a mentor and really take the time to learn from their experience. Again, there are online resources which you can use to find mentors in your field who are willing to share their knowledge. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, make expanding your network a priority. Find professional organizations, networking groups, or industry associations which you can join and become actively involved with, to ensure you develop a network which is solid.
I think in your position, many people may have the wrong idea of who you really are (personally), and what you do (professionally), with this idea in mind, what is being Rhonda and what´s not?
As I’ve gotten older, I really try to bring my authentic self to my work. So on a personal or professional level, I essentially present the same person. A person who is dedicated to the task-at-hand, incredibly driven, and who is mindful and gracious.
Who is the woman you admire the most and why?
There are far too many accomplished women to name just one. I have always had several women who I admire and/or inspired by. My top favorites include Billie Jean King, Eleanor Roosevelt, Oprah, and Michelle Obama.
Name: Rhonda Moret
Sector: Professional Development Training and Consulting
Company: Elevate For Her
Social media: http://elevateforher.com/