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Thandi |Ton-dee| noun
Wife. Mom. Motivator. Writer. Creative. Distinct. Enthusiastic about business, travel, professional and personal growth. Radiant.
My name is Thandi Montgomery and I am the proud founder of Radiant Legacy, Radiant Girl & Radiant Mom Inc.
- Radiant Legacy’s mission is to empower & educate GEN NEXT & ensure they are well-equipped with the tools needed to impact the world.
- The mission for Radiant Mom is to inspire and provide a practical approach to help moms pursue their dreams, rediscover themselves as well as balance self-care, motherhood and success.
- Radiant Girl is an organization committed to leading girls on a journey to self-discovery and equipping them with the tools needed to impact the world.
As an entrepreneur, mom coach, writer, speaker, and mentor, I am passionate about equipping moms with the tools they need to rediscover themselves and live life to the fullest.
A LITTLE GIRL WITH BIG DREAMS
I was raised in a small town called LaMarque, TX (on the outskirts of Houston). To put things into context, the population size was about 15K. We had 1 high school, 1 middle school, 1 movie theater and 1 Walmart.
Although I was born in a small town, I never suffered from having a small mentality. At a very young age, my mom and dad would always tell us that you can be anybody you want to be, you can do anything you want to do and do not allow anyone to stop you from being great.
From that point on, my dreams and aspiration begin to exceed the city limits of LaMarque, TX and I began to see myself traveling overseas, graduating with honors and becoming an entrepreneur. I was a straight-A student who enjoyed acting, writing poetry, singing in the choir and being an active member of the National Honor Society.
Although I had a great support system, the pressure that came with being a Pastor’s kid and the daughter of a prominent educator within the community, became a weight that I could not seem to lift. After a while, the unrealistic expectations took a toll on me and I went through an identity crisis. I was trying to figure out who I was and often found myself on an unstable emotional roller coaster ride.
My parents got a divorce when I was in the 7th grade. During that time, it seemed as though everything around me stopped. That life-changing event caused me to question life. Although in different homes, my parents continued to support me and my siblings, however, things were never quite the same. Though faced with disappointments, I often found hope in every situation. I learned how to bounce back and use life’s lessons as a tool to help elevate me to the next level.
I graduated number 7 in my high school graduating class and was accepted into Florida A&M University, Clark Atlanta University, Hampton University and the University of Houston. I decided to begin the next chapter of my life at Florida A&M, which set the stage for a new beginning, new friends, and new opportunities.
LEAVING THE NEST
I remember counting down the years, months and finally the days to go to college. I could not wait to leave the small town of LaMarque, TX and finally experience ‘life’. My parents really helped prepare me for the ‘real world’ and although I got homesick from time-to-time, my four years in Tallahassee, FL really helped to shape me into who I am today.
My college days had its share of hardships. I remember standing in the financial aid line semester after semester trying to figure out how I was going to pay for my classes, housing, and books. Although I had received a few scholarships, it was not enough to cover my out-of-state tuition. But I was determined to stay in school and make it on my own.
I remember setting up appointments with my financial aid advisor and even the interim President of the University. I told them my story and asked ‘Is there anything you can do to help me?” I ended up getting a job on campus, but it wasn’t the most sought-after place of employment. I was offered a job in the University’s cafeteria and I had to wake up at 6 a.m., walk a few miles (because I did not have a car) to fix sandwiches and salads so that I could save enough money for my books and transportation from Florida to Texas. I also received financial assistance to help with my housing and I stayed in a scholarship house with 15 other girls.
Regardless of the financial hardship, I had some of the best 4 years of my life in college. I discovered my purpose and learned how to be creative and find solutions when problems occurred. I traveled, developed my love for entrepreneurship, mentored students, graduated summa cum laude, fostered friendships from all over the country and met my amazing husband!
THE BALANCING ACT
Fast forward a few years, my husband and I got married and decided to wait 5 years to have kids. During that time, we moved to Atlanta to start our careers, we traveled overseas and I went back to school to obtain my Masters of Business Administration degree (graduated with honors).
During our 5th year of marriage, it was game time and the plan to start our family had finally come to fruition. At that time I was an Associate Client Partner at an advertising agency in Atlanta. I was working on the Verizon account, I helped launch the iPhone campaign, and took the lead on other prominent marketing initiatives. Oh, did I mention that I was pregnant while working over 50 hours every week? After months of trying to squeeze in doctor appointments, work and family, I began having complications when I was 6 months pregnant. I went to the hospital due to excruciating pain and they had to slow down my contractions in order to prevent a preterm pregnancy.
A few months later, after being in labor for 34 hours, a handsome baby boy named Joshua was born. I have to be honest with you, although I was grateful for the gift of motherhood, it was not love at first sight. So many thoughts flooded my mind. I thought about my career, my relationship with my husband and most importantly the I feared that I would lose my identity.
I decided to leave my job and I became a stay-at-home mom for 6 months. During that time, the fear of losing myself became a reality. I was so consumed with ‘trying’ to do everything right. I was overwhelmed with changing diapers, washing clothes, nursing, cooking, food allergies and finding the best remedy for eczema.
I put my dreams and love for acting, writing and designing on hold. I began to live a life of regret and I thought to myself, “there has to be more to life then what I am currently experiencing.” What about me? What about my dreams? I struggled with balancing motherhood, being a wife, going back to work and not to mention having time for myself. While being a stay-at-home mom I decided to birth Radiant Girl, a non-profit organization that offers the most comprehensive curriculum and workshops for girls. The mission is to lead girls on a journey to self-discovery and ensure they are well-equipped with the tools needed to impact the world. The company filled a void in my life and I begin to write, design and help others in the community.
Years later, we decided to move to my home state of Texas to be closer to the family. That helped tremendously and we decided to have another child. By that time, I had been promoted to a Senior Strategic Marketing Consultant at one of the largest data companies in the world and my salary had nearly tripled since I had first started working in corporate. I developed data-driven marketing strategies for Dell, Macy’s, AstraZeneca, The Home Depot and more high-level accounts.
Amidst my determination to climb the corporate later, I found out that I was having a girl and decided to name her after me (different middle names). After 4 hours of labor, she entered the world. The 2nd time around was much easier. We were smarter and began to implement systems to help streamline our day-to-day responsibilities.
After the 3 months of my maternity leave had ended, I felt guilty about leaving my children at the daycare in order to pursue my career. I had trouble focusing during meetings, I doubted my abilities to continue providing thought-leadership ideas to CMOs and VPs, and I wondered how I would juggle everything that was on my plate. I did not think it was fair to have to choose between family, my career and myself. Surely, there had to be a way to balance. I thought to myself, “I can not be the ONLY mom going through this.” I began to research to find resources that specifically helped moms organize their life and bounce back after giving life. But I was disappointed time and time again because I could not find what I needed.
I started talking to other moms to see if my situation was ‘common’ and most of them struggled with finding the perfect balance as well. They were either focused primarily on their career and as a result, their home life and health were in shambles. On the opposite end, some moms were so focused on taking care of their children that they lost sight of who they really were.
I prayed for a strategy to help me balance my life so that I could continue to be a great mom and wife, have a successful career and take care of myself. I began to put schedules in place, created a checklist for my son (which helped streamline the morning routines), shopped online (including my groceries), cooked with a crock-pot, said ‘NO’ more often and the list goes on. After making a few changes, I started to find balance again. I began excelling in my career, my family was happy (well, most of the time) and I had more time to workout, watch movies, read a book, go to the spa and more.
And before you knew it, other moms began to ask me for help and advice. I decided I could no longer keep the strategies to myself. I started developing programs, writing blog posts & guides as well as building a supportive community where moms are able to be transparent about their struggles with motherhood and also be equipped with the tools they need to pursue their dreams. I expanded the ‘Radiant’ brand and gave life to Radiant Mom.
I welcome you to join me on this journey to rediscover yourself and to live a life of fulfillment while balancing the endless responsibilities. You owe it to yourself…it’s not too late!
I love seafood & gourmet popcorn (think Garrett’s)
I enjoy traveling overseas! I have been to South Africa, Zimbabwe, Dubai, France, Italy, The Netherlands & more.
I am a Dallas Cowboys fan.
Books & Netflix are my escape from reality on Friday nights.
“Don’t fear failure, fear being in the EXACT same place next year as you are today.”
“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.”
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To inspire and provide a practical approach to help moms pursue their dreams, rediscover themselves as well as balance self-care, motherhood and success.
The 'Mom Motivator'
Thandi Montgomery is the founder of Radiant Mom. She is also a dynamic speaker, writer, successful entrepreneur, and a coach who helps moms rediscover themselves and live a successful, balanced life.