Today we’d like to introduce you to Monica “Dr. mOe” Anderson.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Monica “Dr. mOe”. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I am a survivor. A survivor is a person remaining alive after an event in which others have died. When we hear that word, we tend to think of things like cancer and near-fatal car accidents. I have walked away from both of those but that is not why I call myself a survivor. I am the naturally introverted, African-American female child of two Fort Worth, Texas school teachers.
No one, including me, would have looked into the crystal ball of my life half a century ago and seen a Doctor of Dental Surgery who gives motivational speeches and has published six books in three genres. I literally remember making the decision to become more outgoing. It was the summer after seventh grade and I was tired of being bullied into letting people copy my homework. I also wanted to be invited to more birthday parties! I sat on the floor in my bedroom and wrote an action plan based on people I wanted to be like.
I decided to raise my hand more in class rather than wait for the teacher to call on me. I decided to get involved with student government. I decided to make new friends. I decided that I would no longer let fear paralyze me. I decided to move. I was 11 years old. For the next 13 years, I raised my hand so much that teachers would say, “Does anyone besides Monica know the answer?”
At times, I didn’t even know the answer! That’s when I realized the importance of exuding confidence. I also realized that I have a gift with words. Whether public speaking or writing, I am in love with the alphabet. The fact that I can create a one hour keynote, an eighty-thousand-word novel or five minutes YouTube video continues to amaze me. We take the magnitude of language for granted sometimes. It is only when communication becomes impossible that we realize its power.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I am a true Texan so every major highway in my life is permanently under construction. My first year at Baylor, they taught us the importance of fully developing all the areas of your life: academic, spiritual, physical, mental, emotional…. As those areas grow, they become very heavy. Like most people, I am challenged with finding the right balance so I avoid a nasty fall. For me, these priorities don’t carry the same weight: they have varied depending on the current stage of my life.
My family has always been a priority. I love having adult sons and a daughter in law. Who knew I would make such fabulous grandchildren? Other things have gotten out of proportion or simply been dropped onto my plate and I have fallen hard. Cancer was one of those things. I went into the ER for food poisoning at 3 am one early morning in 2012. In one sentence from a stranger, my life was changed. Every other battle like racism, sexism, and stupidism simply pale in comparison. Don’t get me wrong.
Divorce and a pile of rejection letters from editors really sucked. But cancer? That’s been the fight of my life. My focus on what is important has become laser-like. I know what is important now. While the scientist in me researches the formula for balance, the artist in me has learned to make mosaics from broken plates.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Dr. mOe story. Tell us more about the business.
I have been a dentist for 30 years. I am no longer in clinical practice. I work as a full-time consultant in benefits administration. That is my profession and I enjoy it. My passion is writing. I don’t remember not being a writer. My first byline was the high school newspaper. I limited writing to my journals during college and dental school.
After dental school, I started writing for local magazines. I was writing for the Leaguer, a publication of the Junior League of Arlington, when another member, our editor, introduced my writing to someone at the Star Telegram. That led to a guest column in the paper that quickly turned into a weekly writing assignment. My editorials were on relationships and family humor. The popularity of those columns led to speaking engagements and a book, “Mom, Are We There Yet?”. I went on to write multiple novels and my latest book, “Success Is A Side Effect.”
My most recent book is on professional development and personal growth. It covers everything from the pitfalls of spiritual anorexia to why you should never trust anyone you at work. I believe in Maslow’s pyramid and what they taught me at Baylor, if we don’t take care of our own needs, we cannot be our best for our families, employers, and communities. What sets me apart is my dual career path and my willingness to be transparent about my joys and sorrows. Tears and laughter help us see the humanity in people who don’t look like us. My mission is to inspire others to shift their focus from making a dollar to making a difference.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I don’t know the role luck has played in my life. I do know that everything good that has happened to me has been because of the good family, good friends, and supportive people. Every bad thing has been because of my poor choices and the actions of other people.
For example, my health issue is likely related to something in the environment in my past and/or genetics. I don’t know exactly. I have been exposed to a lot of chemicals as a dentist and someone who had a very poor diet for many years of my life. Our bodies react differently to these factors. The fact that my body reacted the way it did may be called bad luck by some. That’s fine. I’m not sure it matters. I must make the best of my Now.
- Success Is A Side Effect: Leadership Relationships and Selective Amnesia 6.99 e-Book/10.99 Paperback Amazon.com
- Phone:(512) 703-0651