“More than a Bag”: Cindy Monroe’s Best-Selling Book Reveals What Every Entrepreneur Wants to Know

By David Thompson

Aug 03, 2023 11:53 AM EDT

Cindy Monroe(Cindy Monroe) (Credit: Getty Image)

What does it take for a business to beat the start-up odds of failure within the first five to seven years? What about coming through a Great Recession and a once-in-a-century pandemic to celebrate its 20th anniversary? 

Cindy Monroe's book, "More Than a Bag," captures the ups, downs, ins and outs of building her company, Thirty-One Gifts, from the ground up, and it's a must-read for professionals and entrepreneurs looking to build a meaningful life while growing a company.

Released in October 2022, the book narrates Cindy's transformational journey from being a fledgling entrepreneur with a dream to leading one of the largest direct-selling companies in North America.

While working in insurance product development as a young wife and mother of two, Cindy had the idea of creating her own gift catalog company. Along with a few friends, she launched Thirty-One Gifts in her Tennessee home.

As Cindy honed in on what customers loved-totes, bags, and products to simplify life-the company began to climb up the success graph.  

With Thirty-One's mission to celebrate, encourage, and reward women, the company provided an opportunity for other women to work as independent consultants, earning commissions selling products at in-home parties and online. Within about 10 years of starting the company, Thirty-One had more than 100,000 consultants across the U.S. and Canada, nearly $800 million in sales, and 1,000 employees.

"More Than a Bag" details this success story. The book contains 31 chapters, interweaving Cindy's journey with 31 principles that can guide other professionals and entrepreneurs. She offers important takeaways, such as the value of defining your "why"-that inner calling, deeper desire, higher goal-that can motivate and guide you in your work. She also opens up about the "hurricanes" that will come your way, and what it takes to survive the inevitable stormy setbacks. 

 In fact, one of the book's standout features is its frank portrayal of both the high and low aspects of Cindy's personal and professional life. 

It is easy to forget the struggle behind success. Cindy did not want to sit in her ivory tower and pretend that establishing a business was all about steady growth. She aimed to portray the process honestly.

Thus, the book chronicles Cindy's childhood, growing up with a single mother, and struggling with ADHD.

As a businesswoman, the book shows Cindy struggling to figure out how to meet the increasing sales demands of sales, operations, and employee relations. She is real about inventory mistakes and miscalculated budgets. And she lets you in on the challenges of building a company while focusing on family.

True to Cindy's passion for empowering other women, "More Than a Bag" is relatable and encouraging-reminding you that you are not alone, and that you can achieve more despite your circumstances.

Curious for more? Listen to the "More Than a Bag" audiobook by clicking here.

You can also grab its paperback by clicking here. Visit Cindy's website to keep up with her future endeavors.

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