· By Mecca McDonald

Full Time Start Up Owner

Most students who graduate from Johns Hopkins University usually follow the traditional route. They move to a major city and start working at a regular nine to five. They aspire to move vertically in their careers and fields, one step after the next. It's all laid out. Often, they become doctors, researchers, politicians or maybe even consultants. Does anyone dream of becoming a consultant? Regardless, both Mia and I decided that we wanted to do things differently. Something that brought us together to create Mo.Na. was the fact that we both like art. As artists, there's something at your core that drives you to create and you can either suppress that part of yourself or you can listen to it. I think it's quite ironic that I went to one of the best STEM schools in the country to realize that all I want to do in my life is make art.

Mo.Na. is a very unique idea that has really changed us and our lives in the past year. To be honest, taking on such a huge risk is very scary. But we're young so the risks are rather more exciting than terrifying. I mean we have our entire lives to settle down and work the traditional route. The traditional route will always be there. Why not try something new, as I like to say, there's always something to learn. 

I never imagined myself to be an entrepreneur but deep down I knew I would never survive in the traditional office setting. The thought of getting up every day, going to work, dressing myself in a terrible, boring outfit. All just to work in a cold office under fluorescent lights, have small talk with my colleagues, and sit in a cubicle where my dreams would go to die. That seemed much more frightening than taking one of biggest risks of my life time. 

I know that I'm terrible at following instructions and I don't like to work for bosses who have big egos. I get bored easily and I have so many questions that no one seems to be able to answer. The inspiration for Mo.Na. came to me almost a year ago. I didn't imagine Mo.Na. going this far but now I wonder how far it can go.

I can't tell you exactly why I think its a good idea to pursue Mo.Na. full time but I'd rather see where this takes me than to wonder what could've been. Ultimately we're all going to die. Either you die, knowing you lived a life worth living or you lived a life for someone else.

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