Monica Eaton-Cardone has taken a long and winding path to her present success. Through her journey, she has gained a wealth of skills and abilities that led her to find success as an “international entrepreneur, speaker, author, and industry thought leader.” She has also achieved numerous accomplishments throughout her long career. As a leader, she is “dynamic and inspirational,” and she “values hard work, collaboration, and innovation.”
As an entrepreneur, Monica Eaton-Cardone has found success at an early age. After graduating high school at 16, she worked two jobs while finishing her degree in art and architecture. During that time, she also started a business, which she was able to sell before she turned 20. Since then, her entrepreneurial brilliance has never dimmed.
Over the years, Monica Eaton-Cardone started several business ventures, teaching herself the necessary skills to succeed in each one. Her ability enables her to “identify voids in the market and create opportunities that are overlooked through traditional sales strategies.” She has helped several companies, such as Ford Motor Company, Nextel, NatureMade, and MetRx, in terms of reducing risk and optimizing profitability.
As founder and COO of Chargebacks911, Monica Eaton-Cardone has enjoyed tremendous success. She has used her success to give back to her community, by starting a student incentive program called Get Paid for Grades, which offers literacy tutoring, career planning, and life skills acquisition. Apart from this program, she also gives grants to participating schools and provides scholarships to enrolled students.
Monica Eaton-Cardone is also a significant voice for women who wish to reach the summit of IT enterprises. If you are a woman and you are dreamer, a risk-taker, or if you want to break through advancement barriers, Monica will advocate for your success.
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Jerome Knyszewski: What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Monica Eaton-Cardone: We are the first company to really specialize in chargeback management, and because of that we have the benefit of first-mover advantage. We are also the first company to identify the need for chargeback management for financial institutions, which led us to launch our new brand, called Fi911, which is focused solely on financial institution pain points.
We were also the first company to recognize that chargeback reason codes were not a reliable indicator of chargeback sources. In response, we developed leading edge Intelligent Source Detection technology, which uses a combination of machine learning and human forensics to drill down and identify chargebacks by their source. This gives us the power to deliver a better ROI for our merchants.
Jerome Knyszewski: Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
Monica Eaton-Cardone: I think the topic of work-life balance has weighed heavily on all of us this past year as we’ve navigated through the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of us are working from home and it’s easy for the days to run together and for the lines between work and home to blur.
My advice is to learn how to unplug. It can be hard sometimes; after all, you’re putting everything into this company, and you want to see it succeed. That said, you’ll be much better positioned in the long run if you prioritize mental health and take time to step away from work to recharge. I do this by getting outside, staying active, and spending time with my family.
Jerome Knyszewski: None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
Monica Eaton-Cardone: My first boss, Blair Rigby, was instrumental in teaching me how to lead. If there’s one thing I learned from him, is that it’s okay to make mistakes. I can’t tell you the number of mistakes I made while working for him. However, he had a way of turning those missteps into learning experiences, and he didn’t mind providing space for that, because he knew it would make for a stronger team in the long run.
Blair always challenged me to be better, to think more deeply, and to try new ideas. I try to carry that same approach in my own business.
Jerome Knyszewski: Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. The title of this series is “How to take your company from good to great”. Let’s start with defining our terms. How would you define a “good” company, what does that look like? How would you define a “great” company, what does that look like?
Monica Eaton-Cardone: I would define a “good” company as one that is successful but hasn’t totally found their stride yet. Good companies haven’t reached their full potential and there’s not much that sets them apart.
A “great” company, on the other hand, is one that has gone the extra step. They are leaders in their industry and are well-respected because they’re innovators. Great companies are never content to remain static; they’re always looking for new ways to change the game, provide better value to customers, and move the industry forward.
Jerome Knyszewski: What would you advise to a business leader who initially went through years of successive growth, but has now reached a standstill. From your experience do you have any general advice about how to boost growth and “restart their engines”?
Monica Eaton-Cardone: My advice would be to revisit your company’s core values and chief mission. Sometimes, we can lose sight of what we first set out to do, and by reflecting on where you came from it might give you a clearer perspective on where you want to end up.
Running a business isn’t something you can do without passion and purpose. You have to be able to fully invest yourself in the organization, and losing sight of that purpose is the main reason business leaders lose focus.
Jerome Knyszewski: Generating new business, increasing your profits, or at least maintaining your financial stability can be challenging during good times, even more so during turbulent times. Can you share some of the strategies you use to keep forging ahead and not lose growth traction during a difficult economy?
Monica Eaton-Cardone: Like I touched on earlier, innovation remains our key focus and our best asset to remain strong. You have to keep your ear to the ground and identify new needs and opportunities to solve problems, then provide a solution. You can roll out new products, while constantly refining and improving on your offerings, to make yourself indispensable.
Jerome Knyszewski: In your experience, which aspect of running a company tends to be most underestimated? Can you explain or give an example?
Monica Eaton-Cardone: I think it always comes back to the people. The bigger a company gets, the more manpower is needed, and that small, intimate startup feeling isn’t easily replicated. More people means more moving parts. As our company has expanded and grown, we really make it a point to create meaningful connections and cultivate that team mentality.
Whether you’re running a business of ten employees or a hundred, you need to find ways to nurture relationships and build trust with everyone you work with.
Jerome Knyszewski: Great customer service and great customer experience are essential to build a beloved brand and essential to be successful in general. In your experience what are a few of the most important things a business leader should know in order to create a Wow! Customer Experience?
Monica Eaton-Cardone: You have to be willing to do whatever is necessary to provide customers with the best experience possible. While it’s important to have solid and comprehensive policies and procedures, you need to be flexible in how you exercise these policies.
If you need to bend the rules a little to provide a customer with an excellent experience, it could be worthwhile to do so. This way, you build a positive brand impression and secure that customer’s loyalty. They will also share their positive experience with others, thereby building your reputation over time.
Jerome Knyszewski: What are your thoughts about how a company should be engaged on Social Media? For example, the advisory firm EisnerAmper conducted 6 yearly surveys of United States corporate boards, and directors reported that one of their most pressing concerns was reputational risk as a result of social media. Do you share this concern? We’d love to hear your thoughts about this.
Monica Eaton-Cardone: I’m not overly-concerned with our reputation in regards to social media, personally. We’re a B2B company, and mostly take an “engaging and helpful, yet professional” approach to our social media. However, this can — and should — vary from one business to the next, so I can understand why it’s a pressing concern for a lot of businesses.
You have to walk a fine line when navigating social media. You want to leverage the zeitgeist, while avoiding anything that could result in a backlash.
You need to be wary about engaging on social media. Whoever manages your profiles should have a very adept understanding of the landscape, and also understand your social media strategy and the niche you fill in that landscape very intimately.
Jerome Knyszewski: What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start a business? What can be done to avoid those errors?
Monica Eaton-Cardone: I’ve seen many make the mistake of always trying to be the smartest in the room. This constant need to prove yourself can be exhausting, and can lead others to mistrust your leadership. Try to focus on the individual strengths of the team and acknowledge that everyone brings something different to the table. You can’t be the best at everything, and that’s okay; that’s why you build a team of trusted people around you.
Jerome Knyszewski: Thank you for all of that. We are nearly done. You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.
Monica Eaton-Cardone: I am very passionate about speaking on the gender imbalance in STEM fields. One of the main problems is that, because of historical trends, not as many opportunities for self-promotion are available to women; they may not have as many opportunities for mentorship and advancement as their male counterparts.
I want to be able to open doors for the next generation of girls and young women. I believe that female leaders in STEM fields need to serve as role models toward students and young women. This will illustrate that these jobs are an option for them, and will hopefully inspire them to follow their dreams if they aspire to pursue a career in tech or science.
Jerome Knyszewski: How can our readers further follow you online?
Monica Eaton-Cardone: You can follow me on Twitter (@Monica_Eaton), as well as on LinkedIn, and on my own personal blog. I contribute regular guest content to a number of sites including Forbes,PaymentsSource, and other outlets focused on payments, finance, and business leadership. Following me on social is a great way to keep tabs on everything I publish!
Jerome Knyszewski: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!
Monica Eaton-Cardone: Thank you so much for having me!
The post Meet Monica Eaton-Cardone, COO of Chargebacks911 appeared first on Tekrati.