Today I had the opportunity to chat with Melody Wilding, a therapist for female entrepreneurs. She had some AMAZING insights, which you can read about here. She talks about dealing with negativity as well as realllllly rad tips for a healthy lifestyle (I’ve already incorporated a few).
photo courtesy of Melody Wilding
ALSO, if you’re in the NJ/NYC area, she’s also got a really useful and needed workshop coming up on March 27 in Hoboken, NJ. It’s called “Close Sales, Land Deals, & Get What You Want: Fearless Negotiation for Women in Startups.” She’s going to work through one of the toughest challenges young women in the startup world face: negotiation. So, if you’re a female entrepreneur, you might wanna check it! Here’s a link to sign up: http://bit.ly/1eP0xhU
- Briefly describe your past life and what your journey was like to get from “there” to “here”.
I hail from a family of entrepreneurs so from a very young age I knew that a standard desk job was not for me. Growing up, my family’s ability to grow businesses and create their own living had a profound impact on me – and it still does today!
When I graduated college, the country was facing its worst economy since the Great Depression. Though the job market was in the trash, I saw it as an opportunity to continue my education and follow my lifelong dream of becoming a therapist. After I graduated with my Masters degree, I fell in love with the world of digital health. Not only does it combine some of my biggest interests – health, technology, the Internet, and community building – but also I was instantly attracted to the idea of turning the traditional model of therapy on its head by using the web. And with that, the entrepreneurial streak in me was unleashed. Over the past few years I have built a digital, 100% online practice counseling and coaching young professionals and entrepreneurs.
Coming to a place of acceptance has been a journey for me. When you’re pursuing an unbeaten path, you’ll bump up against criticism, which can hurt especially if it comes from people close to you. We all want a clean-cut identity, a perfectly wrapped-up-in-a-bow response to the question “So what do you do?”, yet when you’re an entrepreneur the answer to that question isn’t so easy. It takes hard work to fight past flashes of self-doubt. Surrounding yourself with people who admire and support your ambition is SO important.
2. What is an instance- career or personal- that you would handle differently today?
There was a time when I was so ingrained in building my business that I neglected important personal relationships in my life. I had blinders on, and while it’s important to have focus, you cannot possibly perform to your maximum ability if you are not nourishing the emotional and spiritual sides of yourself. Never put off once-in-a-lifetime moments with people you care about for work that can be done tomorrow.
3. Tell us about a person who has had a profound impact on your life and what that impact has been. (you can use specific names, but do not have to).
My parents are my heroes and role models. Their courage and strength is remarkable to me. As the owners of multiple businesses, they’ve looked fear in the face hundreds of times and they never let it get the best of them.
4. What would you say to women who have a dream/ambition but are discouraged from reaching from it or are told that ‘it’s going to be difficult.”?
When others express negativity, your first response may be to become defensive (they’re being a Debbie Downer about your awesome idea after all!). But getting defensive will get you nowhere. Plus, most of the time negativity is a result of another person’s insecurity.
Instead of getting upset, come from a place of curiosity and ask that person why they have those feelings towards your goal. You’ll often discover it’s because they abandoned a dream of their own.
5. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
One piece of advice sticks out to me right now. My godmother gave me a necklace as a graduation present that has a daisy charm with a pearl at the center. She explained that I was the pearl in the middle and each petal represented something important in my life that contributed to who I am – family, friends, passions, etc. I wear it nearly every day. It’s a reminder that we’re constantly influencing people, places, and things around us. Don’t underestimate how one seemingly small kind deed or act can completely make a person’s day.
6. What is your #1 tip for a healthy lifestyle?
Don’t rely on your willpower to create change. Health is a habit, and to get there you have to schedule it like you would professional matters. Some of the most valuable personal changes I have made involved putting systems in place to support my physical and mental health. Willpower is finicky and finite (for more on this read this great book: The Power of Full Engagement). For example, group workout classes go on my calendar. I keep of list of friends I need to set coffee dates with in an Evernote file. It helps keep me organized and moving forward — just like a to-do list.
Another thing: If you want a healthy life, start believing in your ability to grow and change. If you have ever uttered the words “I’m not the type of person who is a good at [insert skill: working out, finances, networking…]. Stop…now. You’re only limiting yourself. If you don’t think you’re the “gym type”, then what’s stopping you from fitting exercise in by walking a longer route to the office or doing yard work over the weekend instead of lifting weights? Get creative.
Melody Wilding, LMSW, is a therapist for female entrepreneurs and young professional women. Melody has helped women running some of today’s top startups along with published authors and media personalities using secure and confidential online therapy sessions & counseling. Her advice has been featured in The Huffington, Post, Glamour, and Business Insider.
You can find her here: