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Entrepreneurship: Stepping out on faith

Monique Clark-300ON OUR WAY TO WEALTHY Stepping out on true faith, Monique Clark voluntarily left Corporate America to start her own company. In partnership with her husband, Kenneth, Mrs. Clark created Infinite Clean, a full service maintenance company with a concentration on public and private sector. Having been moved by the wisdom of their 11-year-old son, The Clarks have not looked back. Join us for a two part article as Monique shares her journey with us.

Carlee McCullough: Tell us about yourself.

Monique Clark: I am originally from Sacramento, Calif. I have been married to Mr. Kenneth B. Clark for 23 years. We have six children and six grandchildren. I moved to Memphis fifteen years ago to assist my husband in caring for his grandmother who was 88 years old at the time.

I am at my best when I collaborate with others who share the same mindset when it comes to brainstorming ideas and seeing them come to fruition. I rely on the strengths of my husband in seeing opportunities that I could possibly miss. He sees what is not there, and that helps to blend our talents and gifts. We share a common goal which is to always provide "stellar" customer service in every aspect of our business.

CarleeMcCullough-160CM: Tell us about your Professional Background.

MC: I worked in Corporate America for over 23 years while volunteering my time with non –profit organizations such as my church. I learned the value of integrity and hard work through the church's teachings and while employed in Corporate America.

I have administratively supported executives in varying businesses which allowed interaction with client development, recruiting, project management, human resources, and proficiency in all standard office software and a diversified knowledge to cover any shortages in areas of staffing.

As the President and Owner of Infinite Clean, my responsibilities are to increase our clientele and build solid relationships among business leaders in Memphis and the surrounding areas. I am also responsible for hiring and training our employees with the skills and knowledge needed to effectively address any issues that may arise while they are in the field.

My husband, Kenneth, is our Vice President of Sales & Marketing. His main objective is to build and market Infinite Clean. He also assists with training and hiring our sales team. He is a person who thinks outside of the box and enjoys collaborating with like-minded individuals who take risks that others do not think is possible. He thrives on creativity and innovation. Once he engages a client, he seeks to understand their needs to determine how he can develop a plan to solve their problem. This type of aptitude allowed him to become the number one salesman in every position of sales.

CM: What made you quit your job and pursue entrepreneurship?

MC: We were contemplating purchasing a cleaning franchise until after speaking to a franchisor and looking at the money that they wanted you to invest. We thought about using those resources to develop our own "brand". I have always wanted to become financially independent and wanted to have the authority to dictate what my worth is.

When God gave me the name for Infinite Clean, I sat on it for awhile. I was still employed trying to figure out how all of this was going to come to pass. One day during spring break, I was in the kitchen washing dishes. As I entered the dining room, my then eleven year old son stopped me and he had a quarter in his hand. He said "Mom heads or tails?" I said [that] I did not have time for that. He said, "Mom, heads or tails." I said 'heads' to get him away from me. I had no idea what he was doing. It landed on heads and he stated "Mom, God wants you to start Infinite Clean," and he just walked off. What you have to understand is five months after the name was given, he (my son) confirmed what I was pondering. I went the next day to obtain our business license.

CM: How did you prepare to go without your stable income and pursue your dream fulltime?

MC: I always thought about what would happen if I left my job and after realizing that we did not have much debt, (mortgage, or car notes), it was an easy decision to leave. I used my salary and retirement money to start and grow Infinite Clean. While I concentrated on our business, my husband kept his job and maintained the household.

CM: Who is your target market?

MC: Currently our focus is to target commercial accounts -- large and small -- as well as property management facilities. Although we are qualified to service private residential properties, our primary focus is to develop lasting relationships within the public and private sectors.

CM: How do you market to your target market?

MC: We utilize the internet, cold calling and networking opportunities. We also collaborate with other entrepreneurs who we feel could contribute something of value to clients. This in turns aids them in the developing of their respective companies. Again our credibility increases when we concentrate on our specific area of service and that is providing stellar customer service in all aspects of our business. We want our clients to feel as if they are a part of our family and in essence they are.

CM: Who or what inspired to start your own business?

MC: We were under a Pastor in Sacramento who always taught us about being great leaders. But it was when I attended a meeting at World Overcomer's Outreach Ministry here in Memphis during a time when I did not know what I could do or should do as it related to the topic a speaker taught on. She mentioned a scripture in Deuteronomy 8:18 and it states "Remember the Lord thy God, for it is He that gives thee power to get wealth, so that He may establish His covenant as He promised to your fathers."

This scripture, she went on to explain, states that God gives us "power" to mean "gifts" that allows us to get wealth. She went on about how every experience we have on the job is an experience to gain wealth for ourselves and that we also have gifts that "make room for us". Acknowledging my "gifts," I began writing business plans for each idea that came to me.

CM: Do you have any advice to those interested in leaving their jobs to pursue business opportunities fulltime?

MC: I would advise that you pray and really hear from God on what it is that you should do as it relates to what business to start. He most definitely will give you a confirmation even if it is through the mouth of a child. Secondly, while you are contemplating or waiting, make sure that you clear up any debt that may hinder your progress. We were fortunate enough to not have a mortgage or car payments when I quit my job. While others may feel that God is calling them to quit even with those items not checked off their list, it makes it easier to know that you owe no man anything except LOVE.

"Write your vision down." Use a poster board, write the year on it and put on that poster board exactly what you want to see happen in that year. If in that year you do not see it, write it down again. I had a loan that was $50,000.00 and due this September. I kept putting that loan on my poster boards every year until finally within this year that debt no longer exists! I thank God for knowing that His favor can do what man cannot. Learning to pay off debts also teaches you to become fiscally responsible. Take no one for granted, but take advantage of every opportunity to listen and learn. Look at everything around you and start being a leader within even if you do not possess the "title" at work, train yourself to act as if you are where you want to be.

CM: Parting words of wisdom?

MC: Deuteronomy 8:18 "But you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who is giving you power to make wealth, that He may confirm His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as {it is} this day."

(For more information, visit: www.infinitecleanmem.vpweb.com.)

(Contact Carlee McCullough, Esq., at 5308 Cottonwood Road, Suite 1A, Memphis, TN 38118, or email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .)

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