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Blow Up Your Biz Like the Bad B__ch You Are with Melanie Childers.

Melanie Childers is a business master coach for values led coaches, course creators, and CEOs. She helps you grow and scale to multiple six to seven figures with her simple evergreen process. She disrupts internalized patriarchy and hustle culture so you can build a successful business that supports you and your community. Without burning out, so please welcome Melanie Childers.

Listen to the full episode here.



[01:32] Melanie Childers on what she’s most passionate about

[02:56] Melanie Childers on her childhood

[06:03] Melanie Childers on how her cancer diagnosis influenced her mindset

[07:52] Melanie Childers on starting her business

[09:17] Melanie Childers on her Bad Bitch Mastermind

[11:27] Melanie Childers on making money and creating more resources for women

[13:11] Melanie Childers on her success stories

[17:33] Melanie Childers on dealing with burnout

[22:13] Melanie Childers on three tips to dealing with burnout cycle

[24:47] Melanie Childers on breaking the burn out habits

[27:50] Melanie Childers on the Bad Bitch Entrepreneur Podcast

[29:56] Melanie Childers on tools for upcoming obstacles

[34:30] Melanie Childers on being a humanist

[37:39] Melanie Childers on self confidence

[40:35] Melanie Childers on building resilience

[44:42] Melanie Childers on bragging

[45:45] Melanie Childers on how she defines success

[48:27] Melanie Childers on a pivotal moment in her journey

[51:50] Melanie Childers on advice to budding entrepreneurs

[53:07] Melanie Childers on her dream for women and GNCNB people

[54:43] Melanie Childers on how to work with her


Passionistas: Hi everybody. Thanks for joining us today. We are sisters, Amy and Nancy Harrington, the founders of the Passionistas Project. We've created an inclusive sisterhood where passion driven women and gender non conforming, non binary people can come to get support. Find their purpose and feel empowered to transform their lives and change the world.

This episode is being done in collaboration with our dear friends, Danay Escanaverino and Dali Rivera with Amigos Max. Uh, Danay's amazing organization. Uh, that is elevating the Latino professional community by maximizing opportunities for members to connect with the resources and support that they need to thrive and become leaders in their industries, all while honoring our unity and diversity with a sprinkling of fun and authenticity.

And that's what our show is all about too. So on every episode of our show, we discuss the unique ways women are following their passions. Talk about how she defines success and explore her path to breaking down the barriers that women too often face. Today, we're talking with Melanie Childers. Melanie's a business master coach for values led coaches, course creators, and CEOs.

She helps you grow and scale to multiple six to seven figures with her simple evergreen process. She disrupts internalized patriarchy and hustle culture so you can build a successful business that supports you and your community. Without burning out, so please welcome Melanie Childers.

Melanie: Hi, thank you so much for having me. This is so fun.

Passionistas: We are so excited to have you here today and you're the perfect guest for our inaugural video broadcast. So thanks for being here. So Melanie, what are you most passionate about?

Melanie: Oh my gosh. To me, it's like the intersection of your personal politics and the way that you run your business, because so many of us have been taught and, and we are taught that like business was essentially.

In the American culture anyway, created by white men. And so business structures are created by and run by and sold by and inspired by the way that works for them. And when women come to business and those of us who are non conforming create a business, we Take that structure that worked for someone else and we try to adopt it and it doesn't always work for us.

And it doesn't always work for the way that our bodies work, for the way that we want to show up and serve the world, and for the ways that match our political values. And so that is what really fires me up is helping folks run a business that feels aligned with their personal political values because that is really the way that we change the world.

Passionistas: Well, that's beautiful.

And we thank you for doing that work because it's, uh, important and it completely aligns with our philosophy of life as well. So, um, where does that deep seated interest in honoring people's values come from? Is that something that was ingrained in you when you were growing up?

Melanie: I grew up very, um, Southern Baptist and, uh, rejected that philosophy pretty early in life.

I've always been a bit of a rebel and a bit of a don't tell me what to do and how to do it and hellfire and brimstone. What? Whatever. I'm not doing that. No, thank you. Um, so I've always been a bit of a like middle finger up to. Whatever the system is. And that really came out as I transitioned into college and living on my own.

I was like, Oh, okay. All of these rules and structures and ways of living that I was taught are not actually what works for me. And that was really important to me. And then I started. You know, learning more about the world. Cause I grew up in that very conservative household and culture. And I was like, Oh, it doesn't work for other people either.

So maybe we need to listen to what people want and not just assume that, you know, white supremacy culture knows because it doesn't. And then 2016 happened and I had just been through, um, finishing a master's degree and cancer, breast cancer diagnosis. And then like my whole life fell apart. And then 2016 happened.

I was like, Oh, uh, the thing that is happening for progressives and liberals in the country right now feels very similar to the gut punch of a cancer diagnosis. And we don't have to keep operating this way. And we have to do something about what is happening and we have to fight for other people. And that's when I was like, Oh, I value so many of these things.

And I started working with activists who were working in, you know, in movements and women who wanted to stand up and run for office and make a difference in that way. And eventually that transitioned into, okay, I also want to help entrepreneurs. And when I got into. Deeper into like how businesses are run.

I was like, Oh, all of this is the same. And, you know, I've worked in a lot of corporate offices that have like, here's our values and here's our mission, but nobody's living it. Nobody's like actually walking around doing that. And I'm like, can we fix that please? Can we please have our personal politics?

Show up in the way that we run our businesses, in the way that we treat our clients, in the way that we treat the environment, in the way that we give back to our communities, and in the way that we set up our businesses to run for ourselves. Can we have it honor our humanity? Can we have it honor other people's humanity?

Why the, why the fuck not? Why not? Can we please do that? Yeah.

Passionistas: Yeah, it's really, it really is mind boggling. Um, so let's step, step back a little bit. Um, you mentioned your cancer diagnosis. So tell us how specifically that influenced your mindset as you were moving forward and post your cancer treatments.

Melanie: Oh gosh. Um, that absolutely flipped my entire life upside down, um, in the span of three to five years. I went through chemo, like three surgeries. It was breast cancer, so I'd have... You know, the cleaning out and then the putting in of the implants. Um, I was 34. Um, I'd also been trying to get pregnant. So that put an end to that.

Um, and I lost jobs and eventually I left my marriage in that short time span. So it's like all the things that are tumultuous in life I did in three to five years and ended up on my best friend's couch trying to figure out what do I want to do with my life. And I found. Life coaching. I went through a program and it fundamentally changed my life and my mindset and my perspective and the way that I saw the world and helped me really get out of like the depression hole that I was in that was so deep and so severe that I was like, I know I want to be here.

I know I have a difference to make, but I don't know what it is and I don't know how. And you know, it, it ultimately just changed everything for me so that I was like, wait a minute, I'm really resilient. And wait a minute, I've been through some really tough things. And wait a minute. I can figure some stuff out.

Let me figure out how to help myself and then take that knowledge and go help other people. So it absolutely completely changed the course of my life for, you know, for the harder, but also for the better in a lot of ways.

Passionistas: And then how did you start that business? How, what was, what was the process from there? Okay. I want to help other people. Where'd you go?

Melanie: Yeah. So I took a, I took a course. I actually found Jen Cinchero's course. She did You Are a Badass, um, the book. And then she did a, like an eight week phone course. And I was like, I can, I can do that. I can do that. Okay. Let's do that. And it was so life changing that I was like, okay, I want to teach people how to do this.

I want to know how to do this. So I went and got certified and then. Um, right after I got certified, 2016 happened. And so I started working with other breast cancer survivors and I was like, wait, but I'm so passionate about politics. I'm so fucking pissed off right now. And I'm so committed to like figuring out how to, how to use my voice and my money and my, you know, white privilege to.

Fuck some shit up. Um, so then I started working with activists and then that turned into candidates and their teams and leadership. And then I started working with businesses. So it was really like it evolved into what it is today. But, um, yeah, it was absolutely pivotal in, in changing the course of, of my career.

Cause I, I had just finished a master's degree before breast cancer in instructional design, which is designing online learning and curriculum, which was great, but it didn't. It didn't light me up. I just needed to make more money.

Passionistas: So tell us about starting Bad Bitch Mastermind specifically and what that is.

Melanie: Um, that was just the first name that came to me. I was like, what do they want? They want to feel like bad bitches in their business. Be that version of themselves out in the world. Um, so in that program, I teach essentially like how to create completely irresistible in demand offers, how to launch those offers and how to deliver them at a really high level for, you know, online course creators, coaches, online service based businesses.

It doesn't matter what it is. It works. For most of those businesses, but we get really, really clear on who you are talking to and what you are selling and making it really compelling in an ethical way. We're not talking about manipulating people or lying or any of that stuff. It has to be ethical. Um, and then I also teach what I call the consensual sales framework where we create.

Win, win, win sales conversations that feel amazing for everybody so that that even if someone does not hire you, they feel empowered when they leave the conversation or when they read your marketing, they feel like, Oh, this person gets me. This person cares about me. I'm not just a number and they're not going to just going to ditch me when I say no, they're going to keep, you know, nurturing and.

Caring about me and caring about what I'm doing. And then we start to scale and create scalability offers that serve more people, but also take care of you as the business owner and create those like back end delivery systems that have your customers feeling like special and cared for. Even if they're not always talking to you personally.

That's great. Yeah. I love it. We have so much fun. We've, we've, I've been running it for about two and a half years and Like, I think that we're at about 3 million now, like that everyone's made. It's, it's amazing. It's absolutely transformational.

Passionistas: Well, and that's, you know, that's something we talk about all the time is like, the more people like you make and the more people like us make, the more we can feed into supporting other people like us to make money. You know, I think we're taught, taught as women as activists, as, you know, people doing socially conscious work, that it's not right to make money. But it is, and it sustains not only your livelihood, but it helps so many people thrive. And I feel like that's a mindset that needs to change.

Melanie: Yeah. Something that I share a lot is that the more resourced you are, the more resources you have to give. And those resources mean the more income that you have, the more revenue that you have, the more that you can give back, the more capability you have to create more resources that may be free or very low cost.

And truly, the more you have, the more you can make a change in your community. Like it's not just for profit here. We're talking about like, let's dedicate 10% of that to, or you decide what percent that feels amazing for you, to the causes and the communities that you care about. Like, I want to make so much money that I make an impact on big elections and local elections too.

Right now it's local elections, but you know, eventually it will be much bigger elections.

Passionistas: I think we've all learned that local elections are. They're really important. Really, really important. More important than besides perhaps the president, you know, more important than anybody ever really is taught that they are.

Melanie: Yeah. Yeah.

Passionistas: So, Melanie, um, during your time as a coach, have there been any, like, Really like success stories with your clients. So really memorable moments where you thought, you know, this is working. I'm, I'm making it happen.

Melanie: Oh my gosh. Yeah. All of it. Um, but if I were yet specific, I was just talking to that.

The fun thing about, to me about being the kind of coach that I am, um, I love being very approachable and very relatable and. In my, in my experience, so many of the clients that hang with me for a couple of years, like we become really good friends. Um, because I, I, I care that much. I, I really see myself as like a mentor and a partner in your business.

And, but, but not, you know, non equity partner and you make all the decisions, but you know, um, here's some advice, here's some things to try. Mindset shifts to help you get there. Um, But yeah, one of my absolute favorite clients is, is also one of, one of my most successful and, and a really good friend. We're going to France together in a couple of weeks. Um, but when she first came to me, she was transitioning from being, um, a personal organizer, which is labor intensive, physically demanding.

And she was like, I just, I can't do this work anymore. Um, I want to have an online business. I want to teach X, Y, and Z. I want That income was just not consistent for her. It was between three and 5, 000 a month. And essentially she felt really out of control of her calendar because her clients would just make appointments whenever.

And she was like, I don't know what my week looks like. So we worked together to really refine the way that she created her offers so that they match the kind of business that she wanted. I'm like, if you want to know what your calendar looks like every week, you have to tell them, this is the. We need to pick a steady time to meet every week.

And it's okay if you're rescheduled, but like, I need to know what my calendar looks like every week. So like giving her control back over her business in a way that made her feel empowered, not like, you know, authoritarian, like just empowered. Like I know what's happening in my business every week. And then we work to get her selling more online.

Because she was already brilliant at what she did and she was brilliant at marketing. She just needed to show up more and be really, really clear with who she works with, how she helps them very specifically and start speaking to that. And the more and more people started coming out of the woodwork and within like, I think a week or two, she had already signed two more clients and within two months she was making 12, 000 a month and then 20, 000 a month and now 30 to 50 is her norm and we spent about.

Three years working together and got her to about 400, 000 a year, just, just her and a VA occasionally. And so like. A solid, you know, 80% of that is profit that she could then turn around and donate some to the causes that she really cares about and support the local candidates that she really cares about and the things that are happening in her community and the life that she wants to live.

And so now she's creating groups, she's creating courses, she's creating that more resources equal more. Resources to give. So now she's creating more of the resources that she can give away and that she can offer at discounted prices or sliding scale, um, options so that she can help more and more and more people.

And I think so many people like our heart centered folks in business, they come to it and they want to do that from the beginning and. I get it. And that's important. And you will also starve and be burned out. And so it's like, we gotta, we gotta create some things that give you the resources that you need in order to run the business the way that supports you so that then you have more to give back.

It's like, you have to, you have to like, go smaller to get bigger. And I think that a lot of people think that that's really counterintuitive. They're like, no, but I want to, I want to help all the people. And I want to help, you know, at a very, very affordable and accessible rate. It's like, yes, but you also have to eat. So let's feed you first and then we can feed the masses.

Passionistas: Let's talk about burnout because we've actually talked about that a bit on this show before, but I think it, uh, bears, bears deeper conversation because. So many women we know, and men too, but I think women, especially these days, are really burned out.

So, first of all, we've read that you've said, you know, it's to the benefit of the patriarchy for us to be burned out. So, let's start there. Like, what, why is the system built to benefit from women being burned out?

Melanie: How long do we have?

Passionistas: All the time you need. Go for it.

Melanie: Buckle up. To me, it is, we are conditioned that we are the ones who give and the ones who nurture and the ones who care for, not the ones who are being cared for. And When you are focused on caring for others and when you are focused on, you know, beauty standards or trying to fit into this perfect box for women, don't be too loud.

Don't be too small. Don't be too sexy. Don't be too smart. Don't be not sexy. Don't be. You know, like you can't win. It's a, it's a, it's a perfect, the tiniest, perfect little box that literally no one fits into. But when, when our focus is on, let me fit into this box and let me take care of everybody and make sure everybody's happy and let me, um, compete for resources.

Whether it's men or money or, you know, let me tear other women down and compete for resources. We've all been taught that this is how we are supposed to act. And when those things are our focus, we don't focus on changing the things that are keeping all of us fucked and screwed over. That's intentional.

That's purposeful. They don't want you to look at those things. The patriarchy benefits when you are Exhausting yourself, working on caring for everybody else, being a good woman, being the perfect progressive, whatever it is, the perfect woman, and competing with other people for resources. And when you are exhausted, In your business, when you are giving all of the time for very little money, because we've also been taught as helpers and as people who deeply care, well, you shouldn't charge for that.

That's the patriarchy's message for women. Your value is less. It is worth less, two different words, not worthless, but worth less. And if you're a helper, you should be giving it away for free. Why should anyone pay you? Well, then you're going to work your ass off. You're not going to make a lot of money and you're going to be exhausted.

It's intentional. It just is not a sustainable way to run a business. And so you have to charge enough to be resourced and to take care of yourself and to feed the business and your humanity so that you can give in ways that don't wear you out. And so much of, you know, we talk about hustle culture.

That's a big thing that's, you know, come about in the last couple of years. It's a way of being, and it's a way that we've been taught to be as entrepreneurs, that you're supposed to, you know, be part of the 5 a. m. club and rise and grind and work later than everybody else. Um, I vehemently do not subscribe to that and it's a mindset.

You can do it to yourself and not even know you're doing it by constantly thinking about your business, constantly worrying about your business, constantly being on. Like if you're, if you are waking up in the middle of the night thinking about your business, I do it sometimes too. Your brain is in hustle mode.

And what I really mean is your brain is in survival mode. It is you're not allowing yourself to rest and relax and take care of yourself and rejuvenate and what that really creates for you is less creativity, less, um, Oh, what's the word I'm looking for? Like pivot ability. Is that a word? I don't know, but, but less react responsiveness to what's happening in your business because you're just in like, well, let me just get my head down and work harder.

You can't work your way out of that. You have to rejuvenate your way out of that, to come back to creativity, to come back to the desire that, that fuels your business and the reason that you started in the first place.

Passionistas: So if you were to, um, Say three tips to break that cycle. What are they?

Melanie: Ooh, take a day off. Number one, clear your calendar. You're not going to want to, and that's why you must. Listen, I went to Hawaii for my, um, I got married and then we spent two weeks there on a honeymoon. And the first three days I was like, but where's our itinerary? Where's our to do list? What are we doing today? And my husband was like, if you don't fucking stop, what is happening right now?

And I was like, Oh, I even brought hustle with me. Oops. He's like, can you just relax? We're on vacation. We don't have to do anything. I'm like, but we're on this island. We need to see it all. We've got to do all the things.

So I want to say, take a day off. On purpose and pick three things that light you up, that fill your cup, that make you feel cared for, luxurious, and amazing. That might be a mani pedi, it might be a massage, it might be a nap. It might be a walk or just go put your feet in the grass, but go intentionally do something to take your mind off your business.

Leave your business in your office and walk away and fill your spirit. It was like, take a day off, fill your spirit and rest, get some rest and your brain will not want to. It will say, but I have so much to do and so much on my to do list. And you have to say, I hear you. I love you. And you also need a rest.

You deserve to read a book. You deserve to meditate, you deserve to have a latte, whatever it is that you're choosing to do. You have to, you have to mentally allow yourself to do that in order to actually get the full benefit of it.

Passionistas: Yeah, I was, I was excited because I, I knew I got a full night's sleep because I had so many anxiety dreams. And I'm gonna end with a good step in the right direction. Right? I was like, Yeah, but I don't think that was what it was intended to happen.

Melanie: But sleep is important. It's important. I would put that high on my list of things to do on my day off. For sure. Absolutely. Absolutely. And then when you when you do that, so you take your day and you rejuvenate.

Passionistas: Then when you come back, how do you prevent yourself from getting into those bad habits or restructuring your way of thinking so that You're, you're changing those bad habits.

Melanie: Yeah. Um, one of the things that really, really helped me, and I have ADHD, I'm a little neurodivergent, um, and I have to have lists and I have to have things in front of me or they don't get done.

Um, so what I would do at the very start of my day is. Make a list of everything that's on my mind, everything that I can think of, and then prioritize that list on what are the like top three things in what order that need to happen today. And then I pick the first fun thing, cause your brain actually enjoys the dopamine hit of doing something that feels fun or light. So instead of eating the frog, do the hardest thing first, actually do something easier. Give yourself a little bit of momentum so that you get the dopamine hit of a win of checking a thing off the box or doing things as something that's fun. Um, but before I even get started, like then I go get my coffee.

And I read for a few minutes and I meditate and I pull some Oracle cards. And that's the way that I, I intentionally have to tell myself I'm easing into my day. I don't have to hit the ground running. I might have a lot on my to do list, but the business is not going to burn if it doesn't all get done.

No one, like it's just business. It's not an emergency. It's not a fire. No one's going to die if I don't make a post today. If I don't send an email today, literally it's not falling apart. My brain just wants.

So I intentionally slow down and ease in with some of those routines. So I'll light some incense, pull a card, drink my coffee, journal for a few minutes. And then when I feel rejuvenated and refreshed and ready, then I come to my desk and I come to my to do list instead of like trying to push and rush and sit down and get to work and make myself do things like, you don't have to make yourself do shit.

This is your business. You get to do it however you want. So let's make sure that we're creating, you know, routines and mindsets that nurture the CEO and the person who's doing the things on purpose. Cause otherwise you will burn out.

Passionistas: Yeah. I love that. See, I have the opposite thing and I need to, I need to switch my mindset.

Cause I'm always like, I'm going to tackle the thing I hate the most first and get it over with. But if I start the other way around, then I ease into my day. I like that. I'm going to try that.

Melanie: Definitely just experiment. See what works for you. If, if doing the hard thing first works, keep doing it. But if, if it helps to like give you some energy to do something fun or to do something easy that you can check off and your brain's like, woo-hoo, I checked the thing off the list, then like, the rest of your day goes better you have more energy to tackle those hard things. Right.

Passionistas: Let's talk a little bit about your podcast, the Bad Bitch Entrepreneur. What inspired you to start that and what can people expect when they tune in?

Melanie: Oh my goodness, um, I really wanted to start a podcast that felt... Like me, and that was one of the ways that I can give something for free.

Um, so I talk a lot about different aspects of business. So I'll talk about marketing. I talk about selling. I talk about, um, launching. I talk about creating courses. I talk about, um, all kinds of really cool stuff, like, and, and anti hustle. Um, And I really just love that it feels like you can just pull up with a cup of coffee or your workout and come hang out with me.

I really wanted it to feel like me, like this is me. So I wanted it to feel like just really personable, really chill, really laid back. Um, I, I have a producer, but we don't edit a whole lot because I'm like, no, I would just, you know, if I fuck it up, I fuck it up. It's fine. You don't need to make me sound, you know, professional.

I don't care about that. And I don't want that. Let's sound like me. Um, But yeah, I, I love, I love doing that show and I'll, I'll batch a couple of episodes at a time and then I'll have like 8, 000 other ideas and of course I got to make a list. And then I'm like, okay, now I'm going to talk about these 10 things.

But yeah, it's, it's been so fun. And um, The, I love the people who listen. They, they reach out to me all the time and are like, Oh my God, this episode was amazing. This is so fire. Or, or I feel like I know you because you've been in my ear for the last six months or, you know, Hey, we worked out together. I know you, you didn't know it, but I do.

Yeah, it's, it's so fun and it's, it's created such a great community and so many of those women are growing their businesses and really kicking ass and taking names. And I, I love just being able to help them, you know, shift a couple of things or try something new that feels like the business that they wanted to create when they started it.

Passionistas: Yeah, incredible. Um, things aren't always easy, though. I mean, this is all, you've worked really, really hard to create. What you have here. Oh yeah. And to come to this place where you can be yourself and really, um, you know, have an impact. So how do you get through the challenging times? What are your personal tools for overcoming those obstacles that pop up along your journey? Journey?

Melanie: Yeah. Oh, I'm so glad you asked such a good question. Um, I've had a lot of, I feel like we grow up and we go, we come up through the education system and the goal of being a good student is to get an A. It's to not fail. And the goal of an entrepreneur, which you don't know until you're in it, is the opposite.

It's to fail. And to fail a lot and to fail fast and to learn from it. And I think so many of us aren't taught the skill of resilience of learning from the failures. And so when we get into business, it's easy to quit because we don't know how to help ourselves be resilient and how to help ourselves learn and pick ourselves back up.

And so I have failed a lot. I mean, Everything, you know, I feel like I fail 50 times a day and now it's just like, Oh, okay. Well, I just tried a thing. Let me learn from it. Okay. Well, I just made a post. It didn't work. Let me try something else. Um, but initially I took it very, very personally and it was very hard.

Um, and especially if you are socialized as a woman, we are more likely to take failure and to for have to have our sense of worth be externalized and Where men who, those of us socialized as men, they are socialized that their worth comes from within, just from them existing. We are socialized that our worth comes from what other people think about us and how well we do.

And so when we are dealing with failure, it is so much more difficult when we are socialized as a woman. So what I have learned how to do is have a lot of compassion for myself. I used to beat myself up. I used to want to quit every other day. And... What I learned is that I have to have, this is part of the ride.

This is part of the entrepreneurial ride. It, they call it a rollercoaster for a reason and the fear and the uncertainty and the not knowing if things are going to work and the failure are actually part of what makes it fun. And so when I. Created that sort of mental imagery in my mind was like, I love roller coasters.

Okay, but why? Because it's terrifying. You don't know what's coming next. You don't know how that drop is going to feel. And when you're done, you're like, you feel so exhilarated and it was so fun. You get on it again. But the fear and the uncertainty and the dips are what makes it fun. And so once I had that in my mind, I was like, Oh, okay, this is part of the ride.

How can I make failure more fun for myself? How could I make it? A game for myself. And so what I, what I've been doing and what, you know, for years and what I teach my clients to do is like, we're going to set a goal for you. You're going to go try and experiment with something every single day. And you're going to celebrate.

When it works and when it doesn't work, because then when it doesn't work, you go learn from the difference between what worked and what didn't. So that you get the learning and you get the experience and you turn that failure into something that is going to help you moving forward. And to me, the key piece underneath all of that, especially for those of us socialized as women is self compassion.

Cause if what's happening in your mind is you suck, you're terrible. You were not cut out for this. You're going to fail. Everyone's going to make fun of you. See, everyone who said that you couldn't do this is right. What you have to do is intentionally speak up for yourself and intentionally create the voice in your mind that says, this is part of entrepreneurship.

This is not about your worth. You are still valuable and still worthy. Even if that post didn't work, even if that launch failed, you are still good enough. You are still smart. Stay in the game. This is just a game. Let's play. Let's learn, let's figure out how to get better instead of, you know, taking yourself out of the game and deciding that you suck.

Passionistas: I love that rollercoaster analogy. I mean, how many times have people talked about the rollercoaster and I've never heard it talked about that way. I love, I love that. Um, so you obviously, you work with feminist businesses. So how do you define feminism? And has it changed for you over the years?

Melanie: Yeah, to me, um, I, I prescribed to intersectional feminist feminism and I, if anything, I feel like I'm humanist.

That is what feminist means to me. I want, I want us all to succeed. I want us all to win. And I feel like the more of us women and the more people of color who are winning and the more of us who are non binary who are making more money, the more political power we have. Because like it or not, capitalism sucks.

Yes. And it's the system that we have. We have to figure out how to work with it. And politics runs on money. I hate it. Everyone hates it. It's the truth though. And so the more we're making, the more money we have, the more power we have and more power we have to change things and change them in ways that serve everybody.

Um, and Yeah, I don't, I don't think that I fully identified as feminist until I got to college. When I was like rejecting all the conservative ways that I grew up, I was like, wait a minute, that doesn't actually work for me or anybody I know. Um, and it's changed over time as well. I, I feel like after 2016.

A lot of, a lot of progressives views of ourselves got very, very narrow and very like it has to be perfect or it's shit. And I feel like that is, we're opening up grace for people who are learning and who want to do better. We are opening up the way for people to have. Learning experiences to make mistakes and to instead of like, let's shut them out and shame them.

Let's help them do better. And not everybody's going to want to do better and that's okay. But I feel like there's, there's a little bit of loosenings of like the, I call that the, like the perfect perfection or the, the perfect progressive. Cause I felt like people were like, it's either this way or this way or this way, or You're trash and we should be canceling you. And it's like, wait, we have to have, this is not how humans learn. This is not how humans grow. You have to have a little bit of grace for people to make mistakes, learn and do better. And we help the people who want to do better so that the more of us there are, the more they can help other people who are still like, I don't know if I want to do better.

Well, somebody's got to talk to them. So I feel like it, it got narrow and then it broadened back out again. And I think that that's, you know, always an influx for, for a lot of us. And we're all, you know, I feel like we're all on, on a spectrum of feminism and we all get to grow and move and evolve into the kind of progressive that we want to be in the kind of person that we want to be.

Passionistas: To me, part of being open to other people and to Being willing to make mistakes every day and have fun doing that is having some level of self confidence in your positions and your ability to be resilient. So how do you help people who you're working with who Our feeling that lack of confidence build that up.

Melanie: Hmm. Uh, I have a very specific process that I take them through, which is called their bad bitch vault. And what we do is we go find evidence for All of the things you've accomplished, all the things that you are good at, and all the ways that you have been courageous, because that shows bravery and character.

And we have to, our brains have negativity bias, like that is what has kept us alive. We look for danger. We look for what could go wrong. We look for problems by default because that has kept us alive as we have evolved as human beings. And what we have to do is actively... Retrain our brain to focus on the good stuff and to focus on the things that we have done and all the ways that we are unique and amazing in order to build our confidence from within.

And so many of us want to give that power away to what other people think, because that's also what we're conditioned to do. And When you struggle to do that for yourself, someone else's opinion holds more weight. And we actually want to shift that balance so that your opinion of you holds a lot more weight.

That is what makes you a resilient owner, a business owner. Because listen, the bigger you get, the more the haters and the critics and the, you know, armchair social media and the trolls are going to come out. The more and more people see you and the more and more and the bigger and bolder opinions you have, the more.

There will be that element that's human nature. And so instead of like, let me not grow my business, let me not be a big deal because I'm scared of that. No, no, no. Let me build the inner confidence and the inner resilience to figure out how to handle it. That is I think a huge thing that so many business owners need to work on is that inner resilience and that inner confidence so that you are hearing it.

And you take what's useful and you leave the rest. You don't let it throw you off your game or make you quit.

How are y'all, I'm really curious, how do y'all build your, build your resilience? Cause y'all, y'all have a business too. What is your resilience practice as, as business owners? I'm flipping the script on you.

Passionistas: Yeah, no, I think for me, I just. It's almost innate, like I just, I let myself think about what, what it is that, whether it was a failure or something that I'm beating myself up about, or I let myself process what bothers me about it.

And then. I don't allow myself to be self indulgent about it, and sometimes it takes five minutes, sometimes it takes a few days, you know, like, okay, now I've done that, I'm, I'm over it, and I push forward from there, and I do think that part of the reason I'm able to do that is because I do look back and think, you know, for me, I had worked at, um, my background as I worked at Warner Brothers, um, I was vice president of post production visual effects on 250 movies, um, in my time there.

And I've said this to Nancy even recently, like, I went, I mean, if you looked at Warner Brothers at the time, it was the biggest, most powerful studio in Hollywood. And I was at the level dealing with the people who were In charge, you know, it would be like being a walking into the CEO of any major corporation and being, you know, colleagues with them.

And I would have to go head to head with these guys, you know, and I was 27 to 35 during that time. Time. And I did it. And I was terrified a lot of the time. I had a weekly meeting that I literally would be sick to my stomach every Tuesday morning when I had to go to this meeting for like the first year.

Um, but I did it. And I look back at those times when I'm feeling like I need to remind my, you know, it's my vault. Like I remind myself of this one instance where I had to go toe to toe with one of the biggest producers in Hollywood. A notoriously tough, mean guy and we were in an audience recruit screening and the film broke and 10 minutes into the movie and he wanted to stop the screening.

And the head of the studio came to me and said, what do we do? And I said, give us 10 minutes and I know we can fix it. And we did. And, but I remember the face of the producer and how Terrifying. He looked coming at me like I was the reason that he wasn't getting his way. And I remember standing up to him.

And so I go back to moments like that. And I think. I made it through that and I won and I saved the day for my boss who, and I saved 20, 000 for the studio. And like I, even just that one moment, that just one moment, you know, it's really just remember who the fuck you are.

Melanie: Yeah. Yeah. Hello. Yeah. Remember who you are, please.

Passionistas: Yeah. And we know a lot of really powerful women. And I think Nancy and I have downplayed ourselves.

podcast, The Passionistas the last few years. It's like, I don't know that we've told you exactly what we're capable of. Because we haven't reminded ourselves of what we're capable of enough. And so we've been really leaning into that a lot lately. Like, yeah, but I don't think you, this is on me, but you don't really know. But who we are and we, you know, so, so that, that pushes us forward. And I think it's something we're really working on right now. Not to be, it's not about arrogance or trying to puff ourselves up. It's more for our own mental ability of like, wait a minute, we. We've done incredible things. We're doing incredible things. We're changing people's lives.

Melanie: When it's the truth, it's not bragging. Yeah, right. It's the truth.

Passionistas: Yeah, right. But that's a very feminist, a woman centric thing too, right? I mean, I sat in rooms with guys who are more than happy to tell you over and over again the things they've accomplished, but when women do it, you instantly feel like you have to apologize.

Yeah, like you're bragging. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. How about you? What's your plan?

Melanie: I, uh, we encourage bragging. We brag every week. We have a whole brag channel in the Slack. I'm like, we are bragging this week. What are you bragging on? You need to take up space. Take some ownership. Find some wins. We're bragging.

Passionistas: Yeah. Yeah. We're building an online community and we're actually have, we have a space called the wall of women's wins where women are supposed to go and they're going to tell us whether it's something they, they might think is small or something massive. It doesn't matter. If it moves you forward, if you're happy about it, it's a win. And our goal is we're going to get to a million women's wins, you know? Yeah, because if one of us wins, we all win.

Melanie: Yeah. You know? Here for it. Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely.

Passionistas: So speaking of wins, one of the things we always talk about is how I think it's a patriarchal construct too, where success equals money. Success equals how big your paycheck is. So We're trying to get women to think about how they really define success. So how do you define success?

Melanie: Oh, I love that question. I was just talking to my husband about this the other day. Um, yeah. And, and I think especially when you are an entrepreneur comes down to revenue for so many of us, it's like, okay, but what did you do this year?

Are you going to do a million or not? Um, but to me, my definition of success, one of the things that I value so much is freedom and So the freedom to take two weeks to go to France at the end of the month, that is success to me. Yes, I needed money to be able to do that, but also I set up my business to run without me for two weeks.

That is success. I have the freedom to live the life that I wanted to have that I could not have in a corporate environment. That is, that is success to me is freedom. And the other piece of it is really happiness. It's like having just enough. I don't need a mansion. I don't need a million dollars in my bank account.

That's a nice retirement goal. But what really. Feels like success to me is enough to do whatever I want, whenever I want to buy, whatever I want, whenever I want. But I, I, I'm not like super bougie or high maintenance, so I don't need a 50, 000 purse every month. You know what I mean? But, you know, I mean, I don't have to sweat if I need to spend 500 bucks at Target.

It's not a problem. And then that to me leads to like that, that just level of like, not worrying about money and. Being happy in my relationship. I'm on my third marriage. It is my last marriage and it is the best marriage I've ever had. And a lot of that had to do with my own inner work and us doing some work together.

Without that happiness and that communication, the rest of it would feel like ass. And so being happy in our relationship, that is success to me. We are both so happy and so thrilled. And if I never make another dime, I'm fine. That's fine. I have this. This makes me happy. I feel successful.

Passionistas: Is there a moment on your journey so far that you look back and think that was one of the most pivotal moments and it, it led me on a path I needed to really be on?

Melanie: Oh, there are many. Um, the, probably the biggest one and the most recent one, um, was learning from a mentor that I've been with for several years that What I didn't know until I left was that the customer experience on the backend was not healthy and not good.

Um, and so I didn't know it until other people experienced it. And then I was like, Oh, well, I am leaving. Um, and. It's taken me about two years to really untangle the grief and the disillusionment and the sadness and all of the ways that I was taught to operate. In my business and the way that I, and some of the things that I picked up and then taught or did.

And so it's like, Oh, I actually don't want to operate that way as a business owner. Let me figure out what feels amazing for me. Let me figure out what actually works better for my clients. Let me figure out how I want to do business. And it is so tempting for. So many people in my experience to, we just want to grab everybody else's framework or strategy because we think, and we're sold that this is the fast way.

This is the easy way. This is what's going to work. But the truth is that everybody's business is individual and. Your personal way of working is going to be different than my personal way of working. And so it's helpful to know what exists and what options are out there, but then you've got to pick the things that work for you and you've got to pick the things that you'll be, um, consistent or that you'll sustain so that you can create a business that runs long term and that works for you.

Because if you are. Doing things that don't feel good, you won't want to do it. And if you are doing things that, you know, ultimately undermine your business or undermine your personal integrity, you're not going to sell because you won't have that confidence. And so it's like, you just finding the things that Work for me and pulling myself out of all of those rooms that weren't quite in integrity with where I wanted to go has been like, there was a tearing down, but there was also a rebirth in that.

It's kind of like a Phoenix from the ashes. I'm like, Oh, I just came back so much more powerful and so much more strong, but there was wobbly times in there and there was lack of confidence in myself and lack of like, should I keep doing this? And you know, what, what brings me home. All the time and brings me back is, is my mission for the people that I want to help grow their businesses so that they can make those impacts on their communities.

And it's like, Oh yeah, I love those people and I want, I want to help them and things might be messy back here. for a minute, but I'm going to figure it out and I'm going to keep going because it's not about me. It's about them.

Passionistas: That's great. And so if somebody listening today, um, is there at the very beginning of their journey to start a business, uh, what advice would you give to them?

Oh my goodness. Be bold, be unapologetic, be brave, be willing to try things and mess it up and learn. Cause that is really business is experimenting. You are constantly going to be learning and pivoting and learning and pivoting. There is no end of that rainbow. There is no end of that roller coaster ride.

Um, and don't take it personally. Don't take anything personally, even when it's personal. See what there is to learn from it. What nuggets of criticism, if it's constructive, if there's things there to help you. But don't, don't take it personally. It's just business. It's just, it really is just a game and a, an experiment and something to play with.

And it's okay for you to change your mind. If you decide you want to work with this group and then you change your mind six months later, it's okay. Change your mind. You don't need to apologize. You don't need to tell everybody. Just go. The faster you can just go, the more successful you'll be.

Passionistas: So, uh, one last two part question, um, what's your dream for yourself and what's your dream for women and gender non conforming, non binary people?

Melanie: Oh, wow. Um, my dream for myself is to impact thousands of us. I don't have a number of what that might look like, revenue, because it doesn't matter. Um, I care so deeply about women and non conforming people being successful with their businesses and making the difference that they want to make that my dream is just to impact as many as possible and to help as many as possible.

Um, and then my dream for them is to. Define their own success and have it, whatever that looks like. If that looks like a 100, 000 business, great. If it looks like a 10 million business, great. I want to help you get there. Let's do it. And what I'm really passionate about is the why underneath that. Why do you want that?

What difference are you here to make with that? Whether it's with what you sell or the way that you use your money later, what are you here to do? Can, you know, are you giving a hundred grand to the Trevor Project every year? Hell yeah, let's do it. I'm here for that mission. Yeah. I want them making as much money as they want so that they can have the, the impact and the power that they want to have with it.

Passionistas: That's fabulous. So if someone listening today wants to work with you or find out more about you, what's the best way to reach you?

Melanie: Sure. Um, I'm at MelanieChilders. com. All of my socials are there. My Facebook group is there. My podcast is there. My TikTok is there. My email is there. My programs are there.

All of that is on MelanieChilders. com. I'm also on LinkedIn. Hello. Please feel free to friend me. I would love to be your friend.

Passionistas: Excellent. Well, we can't thank you enough for joining us today. I know I had a bunch of revelations and a list of things that I'm going to try. So I hope that everyone else listening, uh, found it as valuable as I personally did.

And we can't thank you enough for being here.

We really enjoyed it. Yeah. Thank you so much.

Melanie: This has been so amazing. I'm, I'm absolutely in love with your mission and really happy to be a part of it today.

Passionistas: Thanks for listening to The Passionistas Project in our interview with Melanie Childers. To apply for her one on one coaching and listen to the Bad Bitch Podcast, visit

Thanks to our collaborators on this episode, Danay Escanavarino and Dali Rivera from Amigos Max. Be sure to join their growing community of Latino professionals and their allies on LinkedIn, Clubhouse, and Twitter.

And be sure to visit to sign up for our mailing list, find all the ways you can follow us on social media, and join our worldwide community of women working together to level the playing field for us all.

We'll be back next week with another Passionista who's defining success on her own terms and breaking down the barriers for herself and women everywhere. Until then, stay well and stay passionate.


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