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Meet Mona Molayem of Viva Voce Communications/MonaCorona.com in DTLA

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mona Molayem.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
As an adjunct social media marketing professor, a digital strategy business owner and consultant, a travel blogger, and a beauty and lifestyle influencer, the path that got me to where I am today can be most attributed to a life In pursuit of continuous education – both formal and informal/self-taught. My quest for higher education began with attending the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) in Los Angeles where I graduated with a B.S. in Business Management and an AA in Visual Communications. After FIDM, I went on to complete my Master’s in Communication Management at the University of Southern California (USC), and shortly after USC, I completed a credential program in business through HBX | Harvard Business School.

I now teach at my Alma mater FIDM, and use the resources and connections I’ve gained from teaching and consulting to give back to my community and help like-minded individuals connect as the HBX | Harvard Business School Los Angeles Chapter Leader and Community Organizer. All three of my educational institutions have provided me with the benchmark of who and what I am today. FIDM is essentially where I learned my design sensibilities and the foundations needed to start my own business as an entrepreneur. At USC, I deepened my knowledge and understanding of design thinking and how it applies to the digital space. Finally, through the advanced mastery of business fundamentals that I acquired upon receiving my certificate from HBX, I was finally ready to give up the life of working for someone else’s dream and completely surrender to working solely towards my own.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Stepping out of the norm is never an easy path. There is a lot of risk that comes with starting your own business. People are drawn to the entrepreneur track for the promise of escaping the 9-to-5 grind. While there are many benefits of being your own boss so to speak, 9-to-5 quickly gets replaced with 24/7. The business of starting a business is very much one step forward, two steps back. Anticipating pit falls and road blocks that may materialize in the future has been fundamental to my success, but it hasn’t always been that way. I had to experiment a considerable amount and experience a few set backs before getting to a place where I feel comfortable and confident in what I do.

Managing the work, school, life balance has also presented challenges of its own. Many people forgo continuing their education for reasons such as lack of time or finances, rationalizing that they will get ahead by jumping straight into their career. Education is an investment in yourself and success is a long-term strategy. Education is never a waste of time or money, and without it, I personally believe you are cheating yourself from living your full potential.

Please tell us about Viva Voce Communications/MonaCorona.com.
Viva Voce Communications is the name of my boutique digital strategy agency. Viva Voce translates to “word of mouth” in Latin, which in marketing, is one of the most crucial aspects as well as the most trusted source of consumer information. Part of what I do at Viva Voce is help brands and individuals find their unique voice to tell their stories online. Much like in my teaching role at FIDM, I like to educate and coach others how to properly implement social media marketing tactics based on their unique business objectives. Even the most high-level CEOs can feel puzzled and intimidated when it comes to social media. As a business owner, it is important to understand all areas of your business, including the proper execution of your digital strategy efforts. I try to make social media marketing less scary for people, so that they feel confident in implementing it on their own as opposed to outsourcing it to others.

My newest endeavor is the launch of my luxury travel blog, MonaCorona.com which combines my love for travel with a source of passive income. I have worked as a beauty and lifestyle influencer/micro-influencer for over 5 years under my social persona, @MonaCorona, and wanted to find a way to monetize the content I was creating on a platform that I personally owned. This was an important step for me because possessing my own platform and audience meant complete control over the content I create and distribute. My work would no longer be affected by algorithm changes, terms of usage, or data breeches imposed by social networks; and if those platforms were to shut down tomorrow I won’t be at a complete loss of audience. In the interest of continuing to carry out my own personal ethos of helping others, MonaCorona.com teaches people how to make luxury travel more affordable and attainable while touching on topics such as responsible tourism, eco-tourism/travel sustainability, and education against the abusive practices of the animal tourism industry.

There is no doubt that the future is digital and we are moving towards an era of enhanced digital connectivity. My personal goal is to leave a digital footprint that influences, entertains, educates, and inspires, while helping and connecting others to grow and prosper in both business and in life.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
My favorite childhood memories are the opportunities my parents provided me to travel at a young age. While nothing may replace formal education, the world at large can be the best classroom for a child and the opportunity to experience different cultures at a young age is paramount to growing up with tolerance and acceptance for people of all walks of life, while instilling an appreciation for what we have and a drive to help others and better our planet.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Main photo: Charlotte Jones

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