She is called the 100-million-dollar woman and has built one of the most successful real-estate business in Australia. I had the pleasure to meet Monika Tu and was star struck by her amazing drive and energy. As I started conceptualizing “How did she do it?”, Monika was the first one I asked if she wanted to participate and she was super supportive! She has built up her company from scratch and ladies…don’t we all want to know how she did it?
Meet the founder of Black Diamondz a lifestyle agency in real-estate, Monika Tu!
How would you describe yourself?
Well, according to western astrology and the Chinese zodiac I am a Leo born in the year of the Tiger so I guess that can give you an idea of the type of person I am. I am very driven to succeed while remaining humble regarding my accomplishments. I love business and I am always thinking about the next opportunity and where it could take me, my team and my company.
Why did you decide to become a business owner?
I always wanted to be my own boss and create my own destiny. I was a translator in China, the first female German/Chinese translator to be exact. I had been in that role for a few years before making the decision in the mid-1980’s to move to Australia and start a new life. I worked in retail selling cosmetics and later moving into small consumer electronics. From there I started working for a man I would eventually marry and helped take his business from a small corner store to a multinational company that is still in operation today. I love business, but most of all I love networking and connecting people.
Who has been your greatest influencer in business and why?
This may seem a little cliché but I would say Tony Robbins. When I left my first company and my first husband I was a little lost. I found Tony Robbins very inspiring and he, along with close friends, helped me learn to believe in myself again and encouraged me to follow my heart.
What’s the best advice you have received in business that you wish to pass on to other business women?
I have a few pieces of advise I would like to pass onto other entrepreneurial women. The first is don’t be afraid to fail and the second is to be confident. Believe you can do it and you are halfway there. Entrepreneurship does not follow a particular set of rules like other career paths. It is important to have confidence and believe that the roller coaster journey is worth it. I believe that women who start businesses are generally the ones that help make the world a better place. Once we empower women with the right tools and knowledge, we will see an innovative business landscape that is diverse, tolerant and looking to better the world.
What is the one thing have you learned as a businesswoman that has served you well over the years?
Be honest, stay humble and don’t take anything for granted. Every opportunity is a gift and should not be wasted.
What has been for you one of the major challenges as a businesswoman?
I see challenges as good things. They make you think outside the square and enable you to grow. There have been many challenges in my life, one of the biggest would be moving to Australia when I barely spoke a word of English. However, through that experience, I gained the confidence to be myself and believe in myself! I have grown two businesses with little industry experience. Some may see this as a disadvantage yet I saw it as a huge advantage. My views were not tainted by previous experience and I was able to see things in a different light from my competitors.
What is the one lesson we all have to learn?
Nothing comes easy and you have to work hard if you want to succeed. From time to time lucky breaks will come your way but that will not sustain your business. You have to be 100% committed to making it work and hire people who believe in your vision.
What is the most exciting thing about being a businesswoman?
Closing the deal is still one of the things that excite me the most about business. However, as I have matured and grown a team around me seeing their success excites me just as much. Being able to empower and develop people is something I am very proud to be able to do.
What is the one advice you would like to have given yourself before you started with your company?
Don’t trust so quickly. I believe most people are good people however in business you can never be too careful. I have learnt the hard way that my trust needs to be earned and it takes time. With this philosophy, I have been able to establish a team and network of close, trusted peopled who I can depend on.
What do you do for fun?
I make sure my life is full of fun! Whether I’m at the office brainstorming with my team or travelling the globe meeting my VIP clients, I always have fun! If you are not having fun in business I really think you are missing out.
Can you give a short description of how your day looks like?
No day for me is ever the same, I am always on the go. A day could involve anything from meeting new vendors in one of Sydney’s most luxurious properties, negotiating a deal with an international buyer to assisting Australian business with their Chinese marketing strategies and attending high profile events. I also dedicate much of my time to my philanthropic endeavours. I believe it is very important to give back. It’s not always money that charities need, it is also time and expertise.
What advice do you have for future and current businesswomen?
As I mentioned before, believe in yourself and have the confidence to give it a go! We live in an amazing time, the world has never been as connected as now so use this to your advantage. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people who inspire you and ask for guidance, or pitch them your idea. If you get knocked back just move onto the next person. Business is a numbers game. The more times you try and fail the closer you get to success.
Follow Monika on:
IG: Monika Tu