Monique Idlett-Mosley, the founder and CEO of technology fund Reign Ventures, was challenged with the difficult task of building a million-dollar company in 90 days without all of her resources. Throughout her journey, she turned to the one thing that has always been there for her: her Christian faith.
The music mogul and brains behind the Mosley Music Group, in partnership with ex-husband Tim “Timbaland” Mosley, left her home in Miami, Florida, to film the new series “Undercover Billionaire: Comeback City” in Takoma, Washington, which premiered on Jan. 6 on Discovery. With only $100 and absolutely no connections or other resources, she was challenged to build a million-dollar business out of $100.
Idlett-Mosley is responsible for managing the careers of One Republic, Nelly Furtado and Chris Cornell and has generated hundreds of millions for the startup companies she’s collaborated with. While on this new venture she did what she has always done, relied on her faith.
“For me, it was leading with my faith and going to the church because that's what I know,” Idlett-Mosley said to The Christian Post of the reason she immediately went to a church for help once she arrived in Tacoma.
Each episode of the new season of “Undercover Billionaire” provides insight on how Idlett-Mosley and two other billionaires individually build businesses in different cities from the ground up. Idlett-Mosley, who used an alias when she arrived in Tacoma, will get to reveal her true identity to the locals who helped her start the business at the end of 90 days.
The following is an edited transcript of Idlett-Mosley’s interview with The Christian Post in which she offers advice and tips on leadership. "[When] you lead with your faith, you are literally unstoppable,” she said.
CP: Before joining the show, how did faith inform your career and financial success?
Idlett-Mosley: I don't know that I always understood it as me being led by faith, versus me just growing up in the church.
I grew up in the church, sang in the choir ... But when I became a teen mother and was in college, I started looking at my faith very differently, as a very individual relationship with God and understanding the [blessings] we're allowed to have, and what we should feel valuable of ourselves and trusting this process and trusting this journey, no matter what it looks like, in front of me.
So from college age, I absolutely took on this approach to life that no matter what it looked like, in front of me that that was just temporary. And it was never my future.
If I prayed for something, I prayed for it once. I never revisited it because I trusted it that much. It could be a fire right in front of me in my life, I looked at it as "Oh, that's just temporary. That's not who I am. That's not my future. Those aren't my permanent circumstances." That is absolutely how I've been able to navigate through this life and I'm so grateful that I learned early to take that type of approach to life.
CP: In the very first day of your journey with just $100 and nowhere to stay you said the church was a safe place to find help. Furthermore, you talked about leaning on your faith through this process, how did that help in this journey?
Idlett-Mosley: My mother's a pastor and we grew up in a state of service. I’ve seen, to this day, what my mother and her church, what they do for the community. So for me, I felt like it was most important for me to show the audience, in particular women, especially if any of them have watched season one, what I wanted to do was hopefully show people, to let others know what you need and you probably will get some help.
For me, it was leading with my faith and going to the church because that's what I know.
CP: You talked about the importance of building relationships and being vulnerable. For people of color and women that can be looked down on. Can you speak to pushing past that and being vulnerable and allowing those relationships to establish in order for people to build generational wealth?
Idlett-Mosley: I'll start with just being a person of color, right? I think that when we look at it from just a statistical perspective, the lowest paid person, when you talk about wage gap, is the minority woman. We still make the least amount on the dollar, or any other market, and any other gender. That is very sad to me that in 2020, we are still talking about civil rights, civil injustices, we're still talking about pay injustice, all based on gender and color. If the stats alone aren't enough, I'm not quite sure what else people will need to understand that we've come far, but we haven't come far enough.
When we're talking about building businesses, I have a quote that I stand by. I understand, historically, that we have to force ourselves at the table. But I like to kind of give back the power to ourselves as human beings. And I believe that if you trust your journey, your process, and take a stance on something, if it's something that's valid and valuable, you build it yourself. And anyone who believes in that will come to you.
Part of the problem of forcing ourselves at the table, that one person got to the table, and then everyone was complacent. It's not enough for only one of us to be in a room, it's not enough for only one woman to have a great business. Not enough for one woman to be on the board.
We have to fight for equity, equality for all. One of the things that I take a lot of pride in, once I got to Tacoma, is that when the end of this happened, literally, we saw the most inclusive, diverse room of people. That is how the world looks and that is how every organization should look. That is how everything should be in our life. In our world, there are many cultures, we have to show love. I like to lead with love and I think that's important.
I don't look for people to solve these problems, I'd rather just solve them myself. Because we keep having conferences, we keep trying to talk about these problems, but the reality is that faith without works, and actions, what is that? It's nothing! I'd rather just do the work and be the example.
I think one of the most important things is understanding how powerful God designed us. People, we're not our circumstances, we're what the possibility is. And I think that if we look at life in that perspective, we do have a better outcome, we have better examples.
CP: What did this experience remind you of?
Idlett-Mosley: There is nothing to compare it to. I've never done anything like this before. It was the most difficult thing I've ever done in my personal or professional life.
I grew up in the projects in New Jersey. It's not that I've never had adversity. Adversity has been a part of my journey and I'm OK with that. I think that the hardest part was, I've never done life not as myself. I could not use or have access to my very intentional life. So that was probably the hardest.
The hardest was being with a community of people that I wasn't being honest to. That's something I never had experienced before. It became harder and harder each time.
CP: What helped make your company Reign Ventures the success that it is?
Idlett-Mosley: Reign Ventures is nine years old. This is something that we believe in. I will tell you that I am a true believer that everything happens for a reason. I believe everything I've been through in my life led me to that moment, to be able to be humble enough to be able to be present enough emotionally, mentally, physically through that process.
I just want people to trust their journey to trust their process. Understand that if you lead with your faith you are literally unstoppable.