My Journey to Success
Much like my life, my journey to success isn’t linear. It’s been a roller coaster ride with many ups and downs and great turbulence along the way. I grew up in the marketing departments of insurance companies, starting in an entry level job at the tender age of 19. Over the next 25 years, I climbed the ranks of the corporate ladder while navigating life as a single mom and facing many of life’s toughest transitions including divorce, the death of my parents, chronic illness, the empty nest, and mental health challenges. My life began to open up when I finally joined Facebook after refusing to consider social media for many years. On Facebook, I met other people who were like me — a bit strange and also looking for a better life. Through extensive research and conversations, I found that I wasn’t really severely depressed as I’d been diagnosed and heavily medicated for. Instead, I was a Highly Sensitive Person and an empath who was radically repressed, suppressed, and codependent. Dammit!
As frustrating as that was, it also meant I was in control of my destiny. I just had some healing and new choices to make. My first choice was to connect with other women and together we started dancing. Dancing was the perfect medicine and the beginning of my healing journey. A few months later, my corporate position reporting to the CEO was eliminated. Rather than get another job in the insurance industry, I decided to really explore who I was. I’d spent my whole life doing what was expected of me and caring for other people. Even in middle age, I had no idea who I really was at my core. I simply knew the roles I’d played so well. I started connecting with other people, I took a deep dive into taboo topics like sexuality, and received my first coaching certification. I traveled across the nation and met many of my Facebook friends in person and decided that California was the place I wanted to live most. A Midwesterner my whole life, I followed my heart and sold the home I’d owned for nearly 20 years and moved from Des Moines, Iowa to Southern California on a wing and a prayer with a whopping $7,000 to my name and one client who offered me a $1500 monthly stipend.
Through my personal work and the clients I quickly picked up, I learned the healing power of writing, and the way business can be different than what I’d known in the corporate world. I saw first hand the way stories created instant connections and the way business could be conducted with heart and with intuition. For the first time, as an entrepreneur, I felt comfortable showing up as myself and not having to tuck away my sensitivity, my care, my tattoos, or my swear words to be successful. This authenticity drew aligned and lucrative clients to me. I also saw first hand how my personal wellness, mental health, and stamina directly impacted my business success. As a codependent person, I thought the way to success was taking care of other people. I actually found the opposite to be true. The better care I give myself first, the better care I can offer to my clients and personal relationships. This was a monumental change in approach, and one that didn’t necessarily come easily. Success suddenly became more about serving other people in an aligned way that didn’t detract from my personal experience. I’ve been through several iterations of “success,” some with repeated six-figure years combined with mental and physical anguish and others that included forgoing traditional wealth in the name of generational healing, self-soothing, and building new personal foundations. I’m looking forward to the evolution of the next iteration that includes a better balance of financial success coupled with physical, mental, and spiritual health.
Recommendations for young people who want to follow in my footsteps
- Stay you, stay true, and be the “youest” you, you’ve ever been. Embrace all the qualities of you — especially the weird ones.
- Take the time to explore who you really are, what you like, and what literally excites you about life and work. Say “No” to everything that isn’t aligned with who you are and what you want to experience in life.
- Understand that safety is created in the present moment. Try not to stress about the future or rehash the past.
- Trust your intuition and follow it explicitly. We really know the answers, we’re just often afraid to follow them because they look different than what society expects. “Crazy” is the dance within waiting to be birthed.
- Never stop learning and connect with people who are doing what you want to do. Have fun while you’re at it. You will meet amazing friends and contacts who can help you get where you want to go.
- Always operate with integrity. Trustworthiness and authenticity are the biggest door openers when it comes to opportunity.
- Never forget where you came from, but don’t stay there. It’s more than ok to go a different way and create greater success than what’s expected from you.
- Don’t be afraid to take risks and step outside of your comfort zone. You don’t have to move across the country, but go to the meet-up, travel solo, and bet on your dreams.
- Eat your vegetables, medidate, and exercise daily. It’s way easier to establish effective rituals when you’re young than it is when you’re 50.
- Address your trauma. Take care of your emotional and mental health by doing whatever it takes to heal your body, mind, and spirit. Consider natural alternatives to big pharma for greater sustainability.
Vision for the next five years
My vision for the next five years includes more LIVING, more financial abundance, more connecting, more travel, more speaking, and more writing. I see retreats in my future as well as unique mastermind opportunities.
I’m currently launching my next book, “The Orgasmic Entrepreneur: Discover the Sweet Spot of Love, Sex, and Business by Simply Being YOU” which is one step toward expanding the life and business of my dreams. As aspiring authors, we dream of our book creating a movement for the world and financial freedom for ourselves. But far too often, what happens instead is the soul-crushing experience of publishing a book only to have sales fall flat, momentum stunted, and the potentially life-changing book that reaches precious few people. Along with my client, Jesse Panama, we are dedicated to making sure authors can have a different experience and create the impact and income they desire from their book. That’s where the publishing partnership with Ultimate Vida comes in. Grounded with decades of experience in online marketing and building sound business models around books, we help authors sidestep landmines and reach their goals by providing actionable data (like title and cover testing), a deep and intimate understanding of who the audience actually is (which is often a surprise), strategic advice on offerings beyond the book, and ongoing monthly income opportunities that far exceed book royalties.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: Uncorpedinfluence.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/uncorpedinfluence/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/meldrake14/
- Other: https://www.amazon.com/TranscenDANCE-Lessons-Living-Loving-Dancing/dp/1734654317/
TEDx Talk by Melissa Drake