Note: The below is a an excerpt from the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
As a finance major in college, Monetha Cobb wanted to be a commodities broker. She had spent high school stuffing envelopes and separating blueprints for New Market Development Co., a now-defunct real estate firm where her sister worked, and her college days interning with Ben Carter Properties. One connection led to the next, and after graduation, she found herself in a brokerage position.
Cobb is now regional managing director of commercial real estate firm Franklin Street’s Atlanta office and a senior vice president of retail services.
What led you to your career? I was just around the industry. I never intended to be in commercial real estate. But I learned quickly that it’s who you know, not what you know. And then you realize that you’ve got this network. I was introduced to Gail Fargason and Ruth Coan, who were principals at the Shopping Center Group, and started working on the tenant rep side. I look back on it and think about how blessed I was to be able to end up there as my first real job into commercial real estate.
Who was your biggest influence in your career? My mom is the furthest away from understanding what I do but she was a consummate entrepreneur when we were younger. She raised kids, ran the house. She had a huge philanthropic influence on our tiny little town, started businesses here and there and still was a CPA. She instilled the ability in me that we can do it all.
What is the biggest challenge in your career or job? Having the courage to take risks. The team I’m on, we lead with [the philosophy], “fail and fail often.” Because if you’re not [failing], you’re not trying. That wasn’t common when I got into this industry back in the late 1990s. It was more like, “don’t embarrass us” and “let me see everything you do before it goes out. You’re an extension of us.” It had long-standing effects on my ability to take risks and to be okay with failure.