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Brewing Sweet Results: Monica’s Successful Story of Creating Joy (Interview)

Are you choosing to live a happy, fulfilled life?

That’s right, studies have proven that ninety percent of the factors that make the difference between a happy life and an unhappy life are factors within your control. One life hack proven to help unlock your best life is setting, pursuing, and achieving goals.

Yes, you can choose a happy life, but don’t take my word for it! Here’s an example of how other people – people just like you – are choosing to achieve happiness through their goals.

Are you ready for a dad joke?

I offer you this "dad joke" as a light "amuse-bouche" to entertain your mind before we get serious. My dad joke may be groan-worthy, but it's worth every penny you paid for it, right?

My wife accused me of stealing her thesaurus! Not only was I shocked… I was appalled… aghast… dismayed. 

Brewing Sweet Results: Monica’s Successful Story of Creating Joy (Interview)

Welcome to this week’s Interview with a Goal-Crusher. In these interviews, I sit down with someone accomplishing big things by setting and achieving their goals to learn their secrets. Then I share those secrets with you. It’s like free mentoring from someone already on the road to success. Who doesn’t want that?!

Cheers, Moe’s, Café Nervosa, Central Perk, The Regale Beagle…. Throughout pop culture, we see iconic hangouts that feel like a home-away-from-home for the characters. The phenomenon isn’t reserved for fictional characters; many of us experience that comfy, homey feeling of finding real-life hangouts that become part of our lives.

While I have found many go-to hangouts in my city, none have been as pervasive a force in my life as Winans Coffee & Chocolate in Columbus’ German Village. I struggle to remember a time when this welcoming neighborhood coffee shop wasn’t a fixture in my day.

  • Through many years of commuting to my corporate jobs, Winans was where I saw the first smiles and heard the first kind, welcoming words every morning.
  • During my personal transformation and weight loss, Winans was always a welcoming pit stop during my walks and runs – something that continues today (I’ve visited twice today!).
  • A significant chunk of my books and blogs have been written at Winans, with the employees encouraging me along the way.
  • The morning of my first half marathon (which marked the emotional finish line for my weight loss), I stood at the starting line, a few tears of happiness running down my cheeks while holding a Winans cup full of coffee. This cup was given to me the evening before with a round of well wishes for my race.

My local Winans has been part of nearly every run, walk, race, gift shopping, meeting, book or random coffee with friends for years. The business, the team and the owner, Monica, have brought countless moments of joy to my life.

It seems only fitting, days after Monica opened her second Winans location, to feature her as this month’s Interview with a Goal-Crusher.

Please introduce yourself and tell my readers about you and your portfolio of businesses.

My name is Monica Thomas, and I, along with my husband Miles, own Winans Coffee & Chocolate in German Village and the newly opened location in Short North. I am a mother to Alexandra (9) and Lillian (8).

I have opened and (sadly) closed multiple businesses; however, my passion is inspiring moments of joy throughout the communities where I do business.

Monica Thomas

What motivated you to leave your corporate job to work for yourself? What was your vision? Can you share some/all of your story?

Ultimately, what led me to leave my corporate job was my firstborn daughter, Alexandra. I was already heading down the path of misery with my last corporate job, but starting a family really put things in perspective for me.

My vision I wanted for my life was to be there for the big and small moments of my daughter’s life. I didn’t want the next 18 years to fly by and not be present for them because I was grinding away, working 12+ hour days at a job I had zero passion for. My vision was to have the flexibility to be there for my family.

I wanted to be present for my daughter physically, mentally, and emotionally. My corporate job left me drained at the end of the day. I was tired, miserable and just sad. What kind of mom would I be if I continued down this path?

I needed a change, and being a former entrepreneur, I decided to take the plunge and buy the Winans franchise less than a mile from my house in German Village. I frequented this shop daily during my corporate days. On my first day back from maternity leave, after dropping off my daughter at daycare, I went to Winans to get my favorite cup of coffee (hoping it would lift my spirits).

What I felt when dropping Alexa off at daycare is what made me ultimately decide to buy Winans.

Monica and family at Winans

What was the first step you took to get started building your business empire?

Life is a journey, and I believe several steps have gotten me to where I am today.

I have an entrepreneurial spirit that runs in my family. Several of my family members own businesses, so I have been surrounded by it my whole life. My finance and marketing background also has led me down the path of entrepreneurship.

I am comfortable taking risks, which not everybody is; this helps when starting or buying a business. Early in my career, I took some risks, which helped prepare me for owning a business.

My first business didn’t work out, and it was heartbreaking, but that experience is what helped my next business succeed. Going through that failure helped prepare me for my next adventure. All these steps led me to where I am today.

However, I would not own Winans today if I did not believe in myself and that I could run a successful business.

Winans Short North

What were your biggest challenges in achieving your goals? How did you overcome them?

Oh gosh…so many challenges.

The goal I had set for myself when we took over Winans was to have more flexibility to spend time with my daughters. To get to that place, I had to make the business profitable, and I needed to put a team in place to help manage the business while I was not around.

During our first four years, we were very successful at this.

When COVID hit, we basically had to start over from scratch. The pandemic turned our business upside down, and we are still working through the challenges of it to this day.

Still, I keep my ultimate goal in mind every day I walk into work – my family.

Winans German Village

What goal success tips and techniques have worked well for you that you would like to share with my readers?

Build relationships.

Surround yourself with people who want you to succeed and will support your dreams.

Surround yourself with people who have expertise in areas that you don’t.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Be persistent, don’t give up.

Have fun.

Winans Short North

What is one big goal you are pursuing now?

One day, when my daughters are slightly older, I would like to spend a summer camping across the country with them. We would spend the majority of the summer away from home but making the most life-changing memories.

And if that goes well, I would like to do a second summer in Europe! Ha!

I am preparing now to make this dream a reality.

Monica and family

What else would you like my Operation Melt readers to know about you, Winans or about goal success in general?

Setting goals and achieving them is hard work. Success (for 99.9%) of us doesn’t happen overnight. It is a journey. It takes time to accomplish your goals, so persistence is key!

Stay true to your heart; it will transpire in all you do!

I love creating moments of joy in people’s lives, and I believe simple things like coffee & chocolate can do just that.

Good luck with achieving your goals!

How can people learn more about you?

Stop by Winans and let’s chat! I am there most days. 🙂

Winans German Village is located at 897 S 3rd St. Our new Short North location is at 611 N High St.

Coffee and chocolate equals happiness

I hope Monica’s inspirational story will be a triple espresso jolt for your goals. Let’s reflect on some ways that Monica leverages Project Manage Your Life principles to inspire moments of joy for her customers:

  • Set SMART Goals: There’s no denying that Monica has goals. Moreover, she believes in herself, which helps ensure they will be attainable (the A in SMART). She leverages one of my favorite goal “pro tips” and reminds herself of her why every day. 
  • Build a plan that works for you: Monica knew she couldn’t achieve her goal of being a physically, mentally and emotionally present mom in her corporate job. So she built an alternate plan that leveraged her strengths, including a hefty dose of courage and escaped her passionless daily grind.
  • Expect and plan ahead for problems: Monica knew the road to her dreams wouldn’t be easy, and she would encounter problems. She built a plan to work around these problems and to make her business profitable. Then, when COVID upended those plans, she adjusted and worked to keep her dreams on track despite the curveball.
  • Don’t go it alone: Monica stressed the importance of building a team and relationships and asking for help.
  • Enjoy the journey: Monica’s passion is “creating moments of joy in people’s lives,” and she gets to do this every day at Winans.

Another important lesson in Monica’s story is about the importance of failure. The first business she started wasn’t successful. As painful as this failure was, Monica didn’t allow it to shake her self-confidence. She persevered. She used her failure as a learning experience that equipped her for the success she is experiencing now.

Is there something in your life that leaves you “drained at the end of the day…. tired, miserable and just sad”? Are you ready to take control of your life, build a different vision and start bringing it to life? I am a certified Master Life Coach and would love to be your partner. Consider me your “Goals GPS,” providing the turn-by-turn guidance you need to build effective goals … and crush them!

Please visit the Operation Melt coaching page to learn more and submit an inquiry form… let’s chat.

I believe in you; let me help YOU believe in you!

Meet Coach Tony

My name is Coach Tony, and I am a coach, author and project manager on a mission. I am working to build a world where no goal ever dies of loneliness.

I almost allowed one of my biggest life goals to die without ever being attempted for forty years. My goal almost died, not of failure but of loneliness. But, I took a risk and leveraged a simple, logical process that helped me wildly exceed my goal. 

I transformed my life, and you can do the same with the help of Operation Melt. 

Operation Melt provides engaging, practical content and hands-on coaching to inspire, motivate and equip project managers and other left-brained high-achievers to pursue and accomplish their biggest goals. 

Breathe new life into your goals

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Published inDon't Take My Word For ItInterview with a Goal-Crusher