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Hidden Gems: Meet Monica English

Today we’d like to introduce you to Monica English.

Hi Monica, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
I started modeling and acting about ten years ago, taking various classes at different performing arts schools. I signed with my first agency when I was scouted at a pageant. Later on, I signed with other agencies who scouted me through social media.

During my last year of college at UC Irvine, I realized I had no desire to pursue a conventional 9-5 lifestyle and found a mentor to learn more about entrepreneurship. I started a modeling and pageant coaching business and took on select 1:1 clients.

Then, I saw an opportunity for a more passive income stream and started a short-term rental business. After I saw how lucrative real estate was, I signed up for real estate classes and obtained my license.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Being a young female entrepreneur and artist is quite the roller coaster as you wear so many different hats. From starting off fresh and finally making progress to constantly failing and going back to square one. I’ve changed course so many times and ended up somewhere I never anticipated.

The pandemic was a particularly rough time in business. March 2020 would’ve been the most profitable month yet at the time and once the shutdown hit, the whole month was practically canceled, resulting in the biggest loss. I was really fearful that the business would shut down too. Thankfully, business bounced back pretty quickly in the months following and even exceeded expectations. However, my cleaner at the time quit because she was scared to work, so it became a lot more hands on as I had to balance several different jobs. A couple of cleaners after her also quit due to medical reasons and it’s been really difficult to find permanent employees, but on the bright side, it’s been a good time to focus on maintaining and upgrading the properties.

Juggling both real estate and entertainment at the same time has its challenges, but they actually complement each other in more ways than one might think. Both are highly unpredictable with semi-flexible hours and focus heavily on image and relationship building. Fortunately, my business generates ample stable income to allow me to pursue my creative passions without the pressure of meeting a certain quota as an artist. This balance gives me the option to only accept projects worth my time so I don’t overextend myself.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
I am a real estate agent and own a vacation rental business in the heart of Downtown Long Beach. The properties are historical landmarks built-in 1920, conveniently located a block from the beach. I’m grateful that the business not only survived but also thrived during the pandemic as many people were looking to get out of the house and break the everyday monotony.

I consider myself a performing artist as a published model, actress, host and musician. I’m a multi-instrumentalist; I play violin, piano, and guitar. I have played with multiple orchestras and was the concertmaster of my high school string ensemble. I performed at weddings and when the pandemic hit, I pivoted to livestream performances. I recently booked a national commercial playing violin.

As a former foster youth, I am passionate about volunteering and advocating for my community. Previously a high school dropout against my will, I am proud to be among the 3% of former foster youth who graduate from a 4-year university. I am now a member of California Youth Connection’s Policy and Legislative Committee where we advocate for change and reforming the broken foster care system.

What are your plans for the future?
I am taking things one day at a time as there are so many goals that I want to accomplish throughout my life, but for now I’m really looking forward to expanding my vacation rental business beyond Long Beach and focus more on commercial real estate.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

David Moriya John Batsakis Sameer Bhavnani Brandon Santiago Georgina Vaughan

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