4 Things Every Entrepreneur Should Know—Cindy Monroe Shares Insights for Building a Business in Her Book “More than a Bag”

If you’ve ever thought about starting your own business, it helps to learn from those who have gone before, as the journey of an entrepreneur is a path of dreams, determination, and overcoming obstacles. In Cindy Monroe’s book, “More than a Bag,” the founder and CEO of Thirty-One Gifts essentially creates a roadmap for aspiring entrepreneurs as she unveils the trials, triumphs, and insights she has gained while building a business.

Cindy takes the reader through her life as an entrepreneur, starting from Thirty-One’s humble beginnings in the basement of her Chattanooga, Tennessee, home. She’s candid about the challenges of hypergrowth as the company soared to nearly $800 million in sales and 100,000 sales consultants in the U.S. and Canada within the first few years. And she’s open about the ups and downs of maintaining a company’s longevity over 20 years (and counting!). 

A Vision Ignited

In “More than a Bag,” Cindy shares her initial vision—beyond creating a successful business, she wanted to empower women, foster a sense of community, and make a positive impact.

Cindy articulates how a clear and purpose-driven vision is the foundation of success. It acts as a compass, guiding decisions, actions, and long-term strategies. 

As you consider your own entrepreneurial dreams, take time to get crystal-clear about not only your products or service, but think about the bigger picture: your mission—what you want to accomplish.

Overcoming Adversity

Success is an adventure with hurdles that must be overcome. Perseverance is critical for weathering the inevitable trying times. Cindy’s story is no different. In “More than a Bag,” she gets specific about the roadblocks she encountered, from personal challenges to financial constraints and societal expectations. 

She struggled in school, as she dealt with ADD, but she didn’t let that get in the way of pursuing her goals. As she ventured into starting her own company, she took each new obstacle head-on, gathering a talented team around her to tackle financing, production, marketing, and sales. 

When the company made mistakes, she owned them, communicated, and worked to resolve the issues. 

As you look ahead to your own journey, know that, like Cindy, you can overcome challenges by staying resilient, learning from failures, and pursuing your goals.

The Power of Adaptability

A core theme in “More than a Bag” is adaptability. Cindy delves into how the business landscape changes constantly and how flexibility is crucial for success. She shares how she and her team at Thirty-One Gifts have navigated market shifts and consumer trends.

Decide now to remain flexible in your own ventures, be open to change, and be ready to quickly adapt to new circumstances

The People Element

Cindy’s book emphasizes the value of relationships, in personal and professional spheres. She highlights how fostering strong connections with her team, consultants, and customers have contributed to the success of Thirty-One Gifts. 

The book encourages you to prioritize building meaningful relationships and nurture a sense of community, valuing empathy, communication, and collaboration.

“More than a Bag” by Cindy Monroe is a memoir and guide for entrepreneurs. It offers valuable business insights and provides actionable steps you can take to navigate your own success.

You can find her book here and listen to her podcast, Permission to Lead, for more powerful strategies. 


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