In Conversation with Mory Fontanez of 822 Group
Describe 822 Group in a few words?
A Transformation Consultancy built to guide brands and their leaders toward their purpose and a higher consciousness.
What made you take the leap to start your own business?
Realizing I had a special gift and a powerful purpose and there was no ready-made box for me to fit into to bring it to life. I had to create an entirely new category in order to really help people in the way I was made to do.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
I am a brand strategist and crisis management advisor by trade. I spent 20 years in agencies helping Fortune 500s build their reputations, reach new audiences and navigate really difficult challenges.
Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
No. I always thought working for myself would be too frightening and that I’d never have any peace of mind.
Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?
A lot of it was about relying on the relationships I had developed throughout my career. Learning to speak about my purpose and my gifts with confidence and passion so that my authenticity and enthusiasm inspired others to go on the journey with me. From there, I worked on really utilizing social media to share my unique point of view with a broader audience. I began blogging and doing these 2 minute videos about topics like intuition, self-awareness, and love but in relation to business and leadership that started a new conversation with people and brands.
We always learn the most from our mistakes, share a time with us that you made a mistake or had a challenging time in business and what you learned from it?
I don’t believe in mistakes. Honestly, I believe every dip in our paths happens for a very powerful reason and that we gain information and a chance at evolution from those experiences. I will say a challenge for me was, and has been, moments when the business grew more slowly than I would have liked. The challenge for me was to not take that personally, and to not associate my own value to those slower moments of growth or understanding of our services/how we can truly help companies evolve.
What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
3 years in business! A brilliant and growing team and some really dynamic and impactful clients.
When hiring for your team, what is your go-to interview question? Please share any hiring tips you can share from your experience?
What do you understand your purpose to be? How does this opportunity help you live it? My most important hiring tip is to make sure you are clear on your purpose and your mission and what kind of individual you really need to help bring that to life. Then spend time during the interview understanding what inspires the person, how they demonstrate their passion and what their personal values are – to see if it aligns with the energy you are working to bring to life in your own business.
How has your business or industry been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic?
We’ve been fortunate that we work in the space of chaos and therefore we’ve seen business grow. The key is to be really respectful of what each client/business needs from us, to customize our approach to where they are and not to sell just to sell.
What’s next for your business? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
So many things! We are going to be adding new services to our consulting business and branching out the 822 Group umbrella to include more avenues to teach and inspire leaders about purpose and the intersection of business and consciousness.
What is the biggest lesson you have learned in 2020?
Pause is just as productive as activity. Embracing pause pushes us further than we imagine.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were first starting your business?
Every meeting and conversation is important and even if it doesn’t immediately turn into business, once you plant a seed with someone, it will undoubtedly grow – even when you least expect it. I’ve had prospects that I spoke to a year ago come back and ask to engage with us a year later. It happens all the time!
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
ABSOLUTELY. They both need one another to make you feel that you are thriving. My biggest piece of advice is to work hard to be really present in each area. Don’t let the temptation to peek at your phone while your kids are excitedly telling you about their day to steal that moment away from you.
What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?
I’m a hybrid of an excellent strategist and an intuitive. Maybe they wouldn’t be surprised, but it’s not something I’ve openly said that often, until recently.
What are your top 3 tips to stay productive each day?
- Know what you love to do and do some of that every day.
- Meditate so you can clear your mind and envision great outcomes at the start of each day.
- Change your relationship with doing. Doing creates busy work. Embrace being who you are and do the things that bring that to life.
What does being an Entreprenista mean to you?
A strong, intuitive and courageous business owner that is here to change the world in a way only she can.