Melissa Dawn is Coach & Founder of CEO of Your Life. As a life and business coach, she helps entrepreneurs build a business that fits their values and creates the lifestyle they crave. Her specialty is helping people transition out of their day jobs and into building orgasmically joyful businesses.
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- CEOofYour.Life – Melissa’s Website
- Coaching Training Institute – Coaching company that helped get Melissa’s ball rolling
- Karmic Management – Melissa’s Best Business Book
- The One Thing – Melissa’s Best Business Book
- The HeartMath Institute – Melissa’ Small Business Resource
3 Key Points:
- Connect with your heart and follow what it has to say.
- Don’t let fear drown out desire.
- Be genuine at all times… people can smell B.S. at the snap of a finger.
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Time Stamped Show Notes
(click the time stamp to jump directly to that point in the episode.)
- [00:37] – John introduces Melissa to the show
- [01:09] – Melissa’s background
- [01:48] – Single mom living in Montreal
- [02:34] – How Melissa generates revenue
- [02:47] – The challenge of creating online courses
- [04:15] – Worst Entrepreneur Moment
- [04:57] – Coaching Training Institute
- [05:53] – Jumping into the fire!
- [08:05] – The “baby-effect”—you MUST succeed
- [09:20] – Don’t let your heart be overcome by fears
- [09:32] – Entrepreneur AH-HA Moment
- [10:08] – Just because a template worked for someone else, doesn’t mean it will work for you
- [11:52] – When the red flags come up in your gut, listen to them
- [12:56] – Your difference is your strength
- [14:44] – Melissa’s biggest weakness?—patience with technical issues
- [15:46] – Melissa’s biggest strength?—being herself
- [16:08] – Melissa’s online course is what has her fired up right now!
- [17:55] – The Lightning Round
- What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?—Being a single mom
- What is the best advice you have ever received?—Be brave enough to be yourself
- What is a personal habit that contributes to your success?—Meditate 1st thing in the morning
- Share an internet resource, like Evernote, with Fire Nation—The HeartMath Institute
- One book to have on your bookshelf?—Karmic Management
- Imagine you awoke in a brand new world, identical to Earth, but you knew no one. You still have all your experience and knowledge. What’s the 1st thing you would do?—I’d put myself out there as MUCH AS POSSIBLE—success is all about connections.
Interviewer: Melissa is coach and founder of CEO of Your Life. As a life and business coach, she helps entrepreneurs build a business that fits their values and creates the lifestyle they crave. Her specialty is helping people transition out of their day jobs and into building orgasmically joyful businesses. Melissa, take a minute, fill in the gaps from that intro and give us a little glimpse into your personal life.
Melissa Dawn: A little glimpse of my personal life?
Interviewer: Absolutely. Well, I'm going to ask for a lot of glimpse now that you just said that.
Melissa Dawn: Okay, a little glimpse of my personal life – I've been doing this. I love doing this and the reason why I say orgasmically joyful is because I really want to help people wake up super excited about the life that they live and they business that they have, so it's not just loving it. It's super excited.
Interviewer: Killer and that was just a little so expound a little more. Where are you at? What's going on in your world?
Melissa Dawn: Well, right now I'm having a full-time business as my coach. I'm developing an online program. In my personal life, what can I say? I'm a single mom but I love it. I have an amazing son who is a 9 year old black belt karate kid.
Interviewer: You're in Montreal?
Melissa Dawn: Yes. I love to travel. I hope to come see you in San Diego soon.
Interviewer: Yeah, especially this time of year. I mean, March 1st is not the warmest month in Montreal.
Melissa Dawn: No.
Interviewer: So, Melissa, it really sounds like we're going to have quite the journey on this interview today. We're going to get into your scariest entrepreneurial moment. We're going to get into your aha moment but before we dive into either one of those, you're an entrepreneur and our listeners, Fire Nation, we are entrepreneurs looking to grow viable businesses. Viable businesses generate revenue. How do you, Melissa Dawn, generate revenue in your business?
Melissa Dawn: Well it is mostly through one-on-one coaching but I also do workshops and I'm about to launch an online course in the spring as well.
Interviewer: What does the online course going to be about?
Melissa Dawn: It's a step-by-step program on how to help people transfer from their day job to creating a full-time business that they love so even if you're not sure, it teaches stuff on how to brand yourself, how to put yourself out there, the messaging to put in your website, how to put yourself on social media, and all being true to who you really are. So it's not just marketing techniques but it's the marketing techniques that are adapted to you and your story and your life.
Interviewer: Online courses are an amazing way to generate revenue, Fire Nation, but I hear from you all the time that one of your major struggles is coming up with the actual idea of what kind of course to create and what manner to create it. Melissa, how do you decide to create a course on that specific topic?
Melissa Dawn: Because I realize this is what people were coming to me for and because I was in VP Marketing before I became a life and business coach, marketing was natural for me and clients started coming to me and asking me all these questions. Through the questions they were asking me, I developed a one-on-one coaching program that does this and not just to help reach more people. I'm developing an online program based on the one-on-one programs that I'm doing.
Interviewer: Fire Nation, listen – listen to your audience, to your followers, even if it's just one or two people. Reach out to them and say what are you struggling with? Listen to their answers. Create a product, a service, a community off of those responses. Now, Melissa, we are going to shift into the story portion of EOFire. Where we're going to start is with what you consider your scariest entrepreneurial moment to date. Now, Melissa, this is a story so take us to that moment in time. I want to be there with you during the scariest moment. Take it away.
Melissa Dawn: Okay, so I had been recently divorced and you know that involves, so my savings were wiped out. I became a single mom. I was paying for the mortgage and what I did was I decided to become a life and business coach because I wanted to help other people avoid the same pitfalls that made me have my divorce and hit rock bottom. So I was determined to become a life and business coach and help people become the CEO of their lives. So I invested in the Coach's Training Institute, which was extremely expensive, which I put on my credit card. Then I also invested in a top business coach. She had made millions. Because I wanted to have a successful business so I wanted somebody to guide me in the steps that they took to become successful. So I wanted to transition from my VP Marketing job, build up a client base, and then when I felt comfortable, leave my VP Marketing job and become a full-time coach.
Once you start coaching and you start doing what you love, it's hard to go back and do your job that you don't like as much. I wanted to leave but I just wanted to do it at the right time because I still had the responsibilities of a young child. But as I was coming to work, it seemed like my boss and I were really not aligning anymore and I had trouble coming to work and then my coach said, "Melissa, just quit. You have some clients. Just jump and the money will follow." I thought about it and I'm like I can't do this because I'm still not making enough to cover my mortgage.
How can I do this? Then one day my boss came in and he wanted to redo something like the tenth time again and I just wanted to strangle him and I just looked at him and I said, "I quit." It was not prepared. It was not really thought out. I just did it on the spot and I'm like what the heck did I just do?
Interviewer: It wasn't prepared and it might not have been thought out but guess what? You were following your gut. Your intuition was guiding you at that moment in time and you made the decision. So what happened next?
Melissa Dawn: I was like oh, my goodness, what am I doing? Should I take this back? He's looking at me. He was like you what? He didn't believe me. He was like – I'm sure in his head he was like a single mom wouldn't do this, right?
Interviewer: Right, right, right.
Melissa Dawn: And he's like no, you're kidding? I'm like yeah, so I walked out of that meeting and part of me was scared but another part of me felt great. I’m like I don’t know HOW I'm going to do this but I’m just going to trust my coach and I'm going to jump. So that's what I did and that's what I say is my scariest moment because truthfully I had no idea how I was going to pay the mortgage that month. I had no savings. Everything was wiped out, so that was my scariest moment.
Interviewer: There's a couple of things that I want to really focus in on, Melissa, here. One thing, Fire Nation, that I really want to make sure that you are absorbing is the steps that Melissa took to find a mentor. She found somebody who was currently where she wanted to be. That is so important and such, you know, obvious in hindsight but such a mistake that so many people make. They look for just successful people in general and they say well that person is successful. I want them to mentor me.
You have to find a person who is where you want to be in life and have them mentor you there because they know the path. They know the pitfalls, so that was so important on every single level. Now listen… Melissa was a single mother. She wasn't making enough in that side hustle at the time to even pay her mortgage but she still took that leap. And this is something that I want to share, Melissa, and get your feedback on. I call it the baby effect.
In your case it might have just been the child effect but so often on EOFire, in the past 1,300 interviews that I've done here, I've just heard my guests share that they finally put all of their doubt behind them and just said hey, I now have to succeed because I have a baby. I have a child. I have somebody who I am responsible for and you will do whatever it takes. You will make those outbound phone calls that before you were scared to make because now guess what? You HAVE to make that happen.
When you have that and when your back is against the wall, Fire Nation, when that survivalist instinct really kicks in, guess what? You make things happen period. So those are my two big takeaways, Melissa, from your story but I want you to really break it down into just one or two sentences to sum it up into what you want to make sure Fire Nation gets from your story.
Melissa Dawn: I totally agree with what you said. It is a matter of finding a coach where you want it to be and she was exactly where I see myself being. I'm still not exactly there but I'm closer to there than ever so that was great advice. Following your intuition, following your heart, I mean, in my heart I wanted to do this but I was afraid, so I let my heart overcome my fears.
Interviewer: I let my heart overcome my fears. I just love that quote. Now, Melissa, let's shift away from your scariest moment into an aha moment, an epiphany, and just like you told that story of blurting out "I quit" to your boss, I want to be there in this great aha moment that you've had. So share the story of one of your great aha moments and the steps that you took to turn that idea into success.
Melissa Dawn: Again, it was with the same coach – the one that I wanted to be exactly like. So I really wanted to build my six-digit business. I wanted to replace my VP Marketing salary and I wanted to do it fast. She was giving me the formula of how to do it, so she gave me step-by-step what she did. She gave me templates of how to write content, what to put on social media, and what to post. So I took this and I'm like well, this is the formula. This is what she did. It worked for her; it's going to work for me, but deep down it wasn't feeling right.
It wasn't feeling like me. It wasn't feeling like my voice. It wasn't my words but, again, I didn't listen to that voice unfortunately. I was afraid of not making the money, so I went with exactly what she said. I'm like if it works for her, why wouldn't it work for me? It was funny because when I started putting content and messaging out there from the template she gave me, it wasn't working. Actually, my results were worse than when I was doing it on my own.
Melissa Dawn: Yeah. That's when I realized I have to put my true voice out there. People are attracted to me for me. When I'm using someone else's voice, people feel it somehow. So that's when my biggest moment came. It's like no, I have to be me. I have to put what I think out there and that's how I'm going to attract people I love working with because people resonate with my message, with my truth, with my story, with my values. This was a big aha moment for me because this is what I use at the basis of my coaching right now with my clients.
I help them create brand, content, and marketing that's based on their story, their lived experience, and their values so that they can attract clients that THEY love working with.
Interviewer: I love all of this for so many reasons, Melissa, because No. 1 – we've come back around to following your gut, listening to your intuition when it's there. You know, there's these red flags that come up all the time, Fire Nation. You need to be aware of those when they happen and listen to them. No. 2 – I loved your message about the unique you. Fire Nation, there's only one you! There's seven billion people in this world. There is ONE you! You are unique and humans… people that are hearing your message, that are receiving whatever is coming out of your mouth, out of your fingertips, whatever that might be. They're receiving it. They can tell at snap of the fingers. Is it authentic? Is this real? Like, is this genuine?
If the answer is no, they are not going to be attracted to that message and when the answer was no when people were getting Melissa's message because it wasn't genuine from her, that wasn't working. But when she flipped that switch, she had that aha moment and now she teaches this at a great level, things change. Things flipped quickly. Now, Melissa, that was my big takeaway, or takeaways actually, from your aha moment. Sum it up for us. What do you want to really make sure our listeners get from your story?
Melissa Dawn: Well, two things – Merrill Streep says it too – like, your difference and what makes you unique, that's your strength so bring that out there. Don't be afraid to shine. I mean, my tagline is create an orgasmically joyful life in business.
Melissa Dawn: That was brave to put out there and I really struggled. I thought oh, my God, what are people going to think of me? But then I thought what are my values? My values are being real, brave, and fun. My tagline reflects this so I'm attracting people that want a coach that's real brave and fun. So you've got to put your true self out there. Be bold enough to do it to attract the right clients to you. Second of all, you said it – when something is not feeling right even if it's an expert that's telling you to do so, it's not feeling right for a reason.
So honor that and follow where the not feeling right is bringing you. Follow the path that it is bringing you towards.
Interviewer: Real… brave… fun. Those are three words that describe Melissa so thoroughly, Fire Nation. Have you ever stepped back and thought of three words that describe YOU? This could be a great exercise, Fire Nation. Step back and say hey, what are my three words? What is my truth? Then start living that every day. Write those three words down. Put it on your computer screen on the top right hand corner or bottom left hand corner – wherever it makes sense. Every day glance at them and say, "Am I living this truth? Is this MY truth?" Melissa knows her truth and she lives it every single day. And her tagline – orgasmically? Yeah, that's a little risqué but guess what? It's Melissa. It's real, it's brave, and it's fun. What are your three words, Fire Nation? Write them down, put them there, live them and guess what?
They might evolve over the years and that's okay. You're not putting down something in cement. You're putting down what's real now and that might change tomorrow, next week, next month, next year and that's okay but put down what's real for you now. Melissa, what would you consider your biggest weakness as an entrepreneur?
Melissa Dawn: Patience with technical issues.
Interviewer: I'm holding my hand up right now.
Melissa Dawn: Yeah, this is why as soon as something technical comes up, I don't even try. I just call somebody. I hire somebody and no, this is not my area of specialty.
Interviewer: Yeah, a couple areas, Fire Nation, that I am incredibly weak in and that is one of them for sure. I love WP Curve because it's like $69.00 a month and I basically have a WordPress expert on standby, which is amazing value. I also pay an incredible website developer, Cory, a significant amount of money every single month to have him for website design. Anything that I need, he is there. He is my independent contractor in this area so having those two things means that whenever what Melissa is talking about happens – these technical difficulties – I don't have to deal with that.
I don't have to pull my hair out. I can say hey, you do this so I can amplify what I'm good at, which is talking to people like Melissa. Now, Melissa, what is your biggest strength?
Melissa Dawn: Being me.
Interviewer: Well said.
Melissa Dawn: No, but it's true. It's like I said before. Because I'm me and this is how I connect with people I love working with, so you've got to be real in your personal life and in your professional life and that's how you attract the right people and the right opportunities to you.
Interviewer: What is one thing that has you fired up right now?
Melissa Dawn: My online course.
Interviewer: Let's hear about it.
Melissa Dawn: First of all it's because again a lot of technical challenges here so it is a challenge to put this out there but I'm enjoying it and I'm just excited to share this with so many more people. It's kind of like you have a new baby that you're putting to life.
Interviewer: It's a baby.
Melissa Dawn: I'm excited about my new baby.
Interviewer: Now where would Fire Nation be able to go to find out more about this course?
Melissa Dawn: CEOofYour.Life/Iamready, so if you're ready to become the CEO of your life and business, this is the course for you.
Interviewer: One more time. What's that URL?
Melissa Dawn: CEOofYour.Life/Iamready.
Interviewer: Fire Nation, I know that you ready to ignite your life. Just like we are about to ignite the Lightning Round. We're going to take a quick minute to thank your sponsors. Melissa, are you prepared for the Lightning Rounds?
Melissa Dawn: Yes.
Interviewer: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Melissa Dawn: Being a single mom. That's the only thing.
Interviewer: What is the best advice you've ever received?
Melissa Dawn: Be brave enough to be yourself.
Interviewer: What's a personal habit that contributes to your success?
Melissa Dawn: Meditation first thing in the morning. So first thing in the morning, don't look at your social media. Don't look at your phone. You know, just like your phone needs to be charged. You need to be charged, so I say first thing in the morning charge yourself to the higher power. Charge yourself to source, meditate. You can put personal questions out there. You can put business questions out there and you get answers. These answers really help you make decisions from your highest place. It helps you to be your highest self throughout your day.
Interviewer: Share an internet resource like Evernote with Fire Nation.
Melissa Dawn: My favorite is the Heart Math Institute. Have you ever heard of them?
Melissa Dawn: The human heart possesses a heart brain. There's about 40,000 neurons that can sense, feel, and remember. The heart brain sends messages to the head brain about how the body feels. So what the Heart Math Institute does is they have proven techniques that help people bridge the connection between their heart and their mind and I find when you do this and you're working with your heart in your business, it's much more fulfilling and it's also much more profitable.
Interviewer: If you could recommend one book for our listeners, what would it be and why?
Melissa Dawn: It's Karmic Management. I love this book because what goes around comes around in your business and your life. It's all about planting good karma so that it comes back to you. Always start from yourself. See what you can change. See problems as your friend, embrace them, take ten percent of your profits and invest it in the people that helped you become successful. So this is all about planting good karma for a profitable business. These are things they definitely do not teach you in business school but I strongly believe that they should.
Interviewer: Well, Fire Nation, I know that you love audio so I teamed up with Audible and if you haven't already, you can get an amazing audiobook for free at EOFirebook.com. Melissa, this is the last question of the Lightning Rounds but it's a doozy. Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning in a brand new world identical to Earth but you knew no one. You still have all the experience and knowledge you currently have. Your food and shelter is taken care of but all you have is a laptop and $500.00. What would you do in the next seven days?
Melissa Dawn: Well, I strongly believe as a brand you have to be like a beacon of light. You always have to shine your light fully so that you attract the people you are meant to work with, so what I would do is I would try to put myself out there as much as possible. I would go online and I would say okay, the people that I want to connect with – what are they doing in their spare time? Where can I find them? What networking events do they go to? I would go and connect with them. It's all about connections. I mean, it's like Richard Branson said, "Success is all about connections." So I would just go out there and connect, connect, connect.
Interviewer: Melissa, let's end it today on fire with a parting piece of guidance, the best way that we can connect with you, and then we'll say goodbye.
Melissa Dawn: Well, if you want to reach out to my email address, it's joyful (J-O-Y-F-U-L) @melissa (M-E-L-I-S-S-A) dawn.ca. (email@example.com). I also have a free e-book if you would like nine steps towards your Orgasmically Joyful Life in Business so it's CEOofyour.life/fire.
Interviewer: Fire Nation, you're the average of the five people you spend the most time with and you've been hanging out with MD and JLD today, so keep up the heat. Melissa, drop us with that parting piece of guidance.
Melissa Dawn: Connect with your heart and follow what it has to say and be you!
Interviewer: Fire Nation, head over to EOFire.com and just type Melissa in the search bar. Her Show Notes page will pop up with everything that we've been talking about today. Of course you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and every other link that we've been talking about. We'll be live when you're hearing this so that will be on the Show Notes page or just go directly to them. I want to thank you, Melissa, for sharing your journey with Fire Nation today. For that we salute you and we'll catch you on the flip side.
Melissa Dawn: Thank you for having me on your show.
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