We had the good fortune of connecting with Monica Meng and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Monica, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
Work life balance is something that is very important to me. Juggling everything that’s on my plate has definitely been a balancing act and has taken time for me to find just the right recipe! In the beginning this was something that weighed heavily on my mind. When I decided to start momfoodventures, it was very important to me to make sure that adding this to my already busy schedule wouldn’t interfere with the time I spend with my family. I have 2 adorable daughters, a loving husband, a regular 9-5 job, and all the duties and events that usually entail with having young kids. At first the thought of adding a catering/bakery business to my already busy schedule seemed impossible. However, as time passed by and the more birthday parties we hosted I realized how much cooking and baking bring such joy to my life. momfoodventures is not just a business but it’s a passion and way for me to relax and unwind from my everyday life. Although from the an outsider it may seem like all I’ve done is add more work to my schedule, in reality momfoodventures is like my sitting on the couch watching tv or reading a book, or going out for a round of golf. It soothes and relaxes me and what makes it even better is when my customers come back to me with smiles on their faces and bellies. Don’t get me wrong in order to continue to do what I love, I have had to cut back on sleep sometimes or sitting on the couch with the family to watch a movie, but the love and support they have for me to continue doing what I love keeps me going!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Professionally, day in and day out, my 9-5 job is as a Sr. IT Project Manager. Project Management is in my blood and is something that I not only do professionally, but something I do in my personal life, as well as in my business. The skills I use to be a project manager can be used in every aspect of life and I firmly believe that because of these skills I am able to juggle and be successful in my business, momfoodventures. Planning, scheduling, client expectations, and managing finances are not just used for managing projects, but incredibly important when running a business. Getting to this point in my life was not something that happened over night and it certainly was not easy. It took time gaining experience and running into roadblocks to get where I am today. I’ve learned to take whatever life throws me and find a way to move forward. I have never been the type to dwell too long on something or let it get me down for too long. In some instances it may seem like I don’t care, but I honestly feel like once something has happened all you can do is figure out a solution and try to make sure it doesn’t happen again. For me it’s like baking a cake, but accidentally drop it after it has been decorated. Funny enough this happened to me during my daughter’s birthday. The night before her party I was up late decorating her birthday cake. I had finally finished decorating it and was ready to put it in the fridge. The moment I turned to walk toward the fridge I hit the fridge door and dropped the cake on the floor. It completely smashed into a thousands pieces and my heart dropped. It was almost 1:00am, I was exhausted and the part was to start in 9 hours. Instead of giving up and not having a cake. I wallowed for 5 minutes and then decided I should get some sleep and will wake up extra early too bake and decorate a new cake. The next morning (well a few hours later) I did just that! Anyone at the party would have had no idea the ordeal I went through and my daughter loved her cake. I think this story is very reflective of how I run my business and how I manage my everyday life. The unexpected happens, you cannot avoid it. But it’s the way you handle the situation that makes you successful. I know that my journey is just beginning and there are still many things I can learn, but I look forward to what the future brings.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
If I had to plan an exciting week in San Diego to show my best friend around, there are so many places I would like to bring them to! Some must see spots I would bring them to are Balboa Park, Belmont Park, the Gaslamp, the beach – La Jolla, Pacific Beach and Del Mar, Coronado, the Zoo, Seaworld, and Legoland. I also really love to shop, so I would definitely make a stop at all the malls – UTC, Fashion Valley, Carlsbad Outlet, and Las Americas Outlet. Some must try restaurants we would have to stop by at are Tacos el Gordo, Boto Sushi, Friends House, Fancy Fish, Phils BBQ, The Original Sab-e-Lee, Charm Thai, Somi Somi, Flemings, Born and Raised, Chef Wong, Sushi Exchange, Extraordinary Desserts, Kung Fu Boba, and of course In and Out! There are so many fun and tasty places to go to in San Diego it really is hard to narrow it down to just a few places. But, these are probably my top places to visit!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My husband, Aaron Meng and daughters, Malia and Ariana Meng. They are my biggest supporters and cheerleaders. They provide me the strength and inspiration to make what I love doing become a successful reality!