Rock Bottom to A1: Mommy Mogul MarQuita Leonard
For all the single moms in the world who are discouraged and believe entrepreneurship is not feasible for them, let me introduce you to MarQuita Leonard. This Mommy Mogul took the rock she hit at the bottom and shattered the glass ceiling turning her life around for her and her children. Now she is helping others do the same.
Tell us about your professional/personal background and how you began your entrepreneurial journey.
I’ve always had a job, but I realized working for others was not for me. Having to ask for permission to leave if my kids were sick didn’t sit right with me. I was a single mother going through so much, so I decided to fix my own credit and realized I was good at it, and in October 2016, I birthed Bright Beginnings. I have 10 years of collection experience, so I know the business from both sides.
How did you balance rebuilding your life for yourself and your kids while also starting a business?
I set goals and followed a schedule for years to ensure I stayed on the right track to success. I prioritized my life with work, kids; I was determined to reach financial freedom and provide generational wealth.
In both life and business, you need a village. When you created Bright Beginnings Credit Repair in 2016, who was your village to help you get through both personally and professionally?
I didn’t have a village; I only had God and my children. I lost my mom in 2007 to breast cancer and my grandmother, who raised me to a brain aneurysm in 2013. I only had me, so that’s why I had to step up and change to give my children more.
What did your personal road to financial recovery look like? How long did it take to go from homeless to A1 credit?
It took me about 14 months. When I started fixing my credit, my score was a 590. I had to repair what I damaged. I had three evictions and a lot of other things that I had to get deleted. It’s the rebuilding part that takes the time.
In your interview with Tony Gaskins, you mentioned you began your business by bootstrapping and using money from a severance package. How did you learn to obtain business credit?
I taught myself credit! Honestly, I just started writing to see what would work. I started building business credit through my bank and learning more through Dunn & Bradstreet.
What do you think is the most common misconception about credit repair services?
It’s a lot of bad business, so a lot of people think it’s a scam, but they really don’t understand the process. It takes time, I tell people often look at credit repair as losing weight; it’s a process.
Let’s talk about the Entrepreneurship Expo coming up. You will be conducting a workshop on business credit on Day 1. What can attendees be prepared to learn and take away from the class?
How to properly build business credit and not ever have to use their personal credit for anything business-wise.
There are a lot of people who don’t know the difference between business and personal credit. Can you give us a brief run-down of the difference and how they can work together?
Establishing business credit is an important step for any new small business and helps you to:
(1) maintain a credit history separate from your personal credit history and experience the business benefits of having good business credit, and
(2) demonstrate separation between owners and the business. Personal credit A credit score is a number between 300–850 that depicts a consumer's creditworthiness. The higher the score, the better a borrower looks to potential lenders. A credit score is based on credit history: number of open accounts, total levels of debt, and repayment history, and other factors.
Bright beginnings are not your only business endeavor. Tell us about the other businesses in your empire and what you have coming up.
Bright Beginnings is actually my 2nd business. The first business I started was a non-profit for the homeless. I also do personal and business taxes, business coaching, real estate, and notary services.
Lastly, what would you say to other single mothers who have entrepreneurial aspirations but think it’s unattainable?
You only fail if you don’t try. Never give up because you could be one goal away from Success. Life is temporary, so you should do everything now while God has given us the chance.
Catch MarQuita Leonard May 24th and 25th at the Entrepreneurship Expo in Las Vegas, NV. Go to itsthewrightlife.com for more information.
You can also find MarQuita @brightbeginnings.creditrepair on IG, and at https://www.brightbeginningscreditrepair.com/.
Author: Kierstin Tonic
Entrepreneur, Freelance Writer
Novice Cigar Aficionado
Most importantly, Mommy
IG & FB: @ktonicwrites