Knowing how to best use your resources and connections can help you become a successful business owner. And that was especially true for Faustenia L. Morrow and her business, Monarch of Infinite Possibilities, LLC (MIP).
Morrow started her business as more of a side gig in 2005. In December of 2020, she decided to make it her full-time effort – shortly before the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Thanks to the Women’s Business Center at Canisius College (WBC), coupled with Morrow’s persistence and determination, MIP continued to bloom throughout the pandemic. A self-described connector, conductor, and consultant, Morrow focuses her business on the environmental, arts, and health and wellness industry and uses her special skill sets and specific niche to ensure its success.
Morrow focuses on connecting CEOs, executives, and decision-makers to black, brown, and indigenous (BIPOC) communities along with faith-based leaders by helping her clients raise awareness, conduct public and community engagement outreach, and develop strategies and networks that include access for all.
MIP works to increase participation in the arts by helping arts institutions find creative ways to put people in seats; and ensure from an environmental focus that the BIPOC community has access to green jobs, healthy food, clean water, clean air, renewable and clean energy.
Morrow has utilized the WBC’s services to expand and grow both her business and herself as a women entrepreneur in Western New York.
Finding Joy In The Journey
Morrow said that, in addition to pivoting her business, she had to learn not to give everything away. “I was told to find your niche because you can’t help everybody,” Morrow said. “But I used to reject that sentiment because I wanted to save the world.” She said that kind of thinking is why so many entrepreneurs get started in the first place. “But scope creep is very real, and you have to manage the expectations of your clients or you will be giving it all away.”
Morrow also stated that collaboration is vital and that communication with clients is especially important. Morrow tried for years to meet everyone’s needs but found herself frustrated and exhausted.
But then one day someone asked her if she really knew who her client was, and she thought critically about her answer. “Until you really know your client, you will waste a lot of time. As my company has grown, I have found profound joy in helping the people assigned to my journey. The road has bumps and curves but the destination is well worth it – and a big part of finding that joy is simply embracing the ride itself.”
Getting Proper Guidance From The WBC
Morrow jumped headfirst into the WBC, and ever since, has been using all of the resources and connections made available to her in order to ramp up her business. Morrow found out about the WBC through the Small Business Association and friends who had used their services. In 2019, Morrow attended an Ignite Session and found herself moved by the programs provided.
During the pandemic, Morrow got accepted into the Building Allyship Program where she met some dynamic women business owners and connected with mentors from the program.
Morrow says she has benefited tremendously from the WBC programs, especially working with her mentor. She talks about the professional relationship they’ve formed saying, “We meet once a month over coffee,” she explained. “We have built such a trust and bond that I have called on him to review my business plan and look at my website. He is candid and his feedback is always constructive.”
Morrow also connected with another mentor in the program and built an instant rapport with the individual and has spoken with them on multiple occasions regarding fine tuning invoices and budget forecasts. For women considering pursuing the WBC, Morrow encourages them not to be afraid to ask for help, saying, “If the WBC does not have access immediately, Sara and her team will work tirelessly to accommodate your needs.”
For example, Morrow was hoping to meet construction developers who are focused on “green building” and sustainability. She was then introduced to a former WBC board member who welcomed her with open arms and steered her company in the right direction.
“I feel like the WBC helps unlock the doors for women in business like me, so we can safely walk through them and gain access. As an independent, strong, ambitious, and focused black woman, I have always been prepared to walk my entrepreneurial journey alone, but I have been pleasantly surprised by the warm embrace I have felt by the WBC,” Morrow states.