Falling in Love Almost Ruined My Business

There’s something I haven’t been honest with you about. Actually, I feel like I have been lying to you for months.

But now, I’m going to share the full story.

The truth is – 8 months ago I fell in love. And I fell HARD.

Yep, with that cutie you see kissing my cheek in the picture 😍

I’m gonna get the meet-cute story over with cuz I know you’ll be wondering about all the juicy deets for the rest of this post and I want you to stay focused on the point.

We met in October in Lisbon, Portugal where I was living at the time. It was Halloween. I never go out. Much less to a bar on Halloween. But that night felt different. That night I felt *called* to go out. I don’t know how else to put it.

He was dressed as a pirate (Jack Sparrow, guyliner and all) and I had my face fully painted like a Dia de Los Muertos Skeleton.

It was not love at first site.

He kept trying to put his finger in my ear and I was not a fan. Lol.

But later that night through a series of unfortunate events he caught a rogue punch in the face that split his cheek open. I felt bad and offered to meet him for coffee the next day with some ointment. 

The next day I walk into a crowded cafe and realized I didn’t actually know who I was looking for because I only met him when he was dressed as a pirate. Then I walked down the aisle and suddenly I saw him.

How did I know it was him? He was glowing. I shit you not.

I sat down and we immediately clicked. We talked about everything. We had all kinds of shared travel experience having both lived in China. It felt like heaven and hours went by in an instant. 

Two weeks went on like that. We were rom-com style gazing into each other’s eyes, having mindblowing sex like the kind you can only have with someone who’s soul you have known for eternities. We stayed up til 5am every night talking and sharing our favorite songs with each other. It was absolute bliss.

And then – as people who travel full-time often do – he left.

I had spent the two weeks we were together convincing myself it was just a fling. Just like any other hot, whirlwind romance that you never expect to last because you come from different worlds far apart.

I tried to ignore the signs that I was falling hard.

I tried to ignore the way he sang in the shower.

I tried to ignore the way he made up silly stories for me when I couldn’t sleep.

I tried to ignore the way he looked at me right before he turned and walked down my windy, Lisbon staircase for the last time.

We talked nearly every day for two and a half months. He headed to the opposite side of the world and I stayed in Lisbon. We made grand, cliche statements about how we felt about one another. But we were also careful not to talk about the future. Falling in love was not part of the plan for either of us. It doesn’t fit neatly into the suitcase of a full-time traveler lifestyle. It was not on the itinerary alongside jungle adventures and European trysts.

In November when he left is when I first noticed a shift happening inside of me.

A valve inside of me had burst and creativity began flowing out.

I started writing poetry.

I started painting.

I began humming as I walked along the cobblestone streets.

I felt this immense, boundless joy pouring out of every part of my soul.

I had never felt so seen, so heard, so understood and yet so whole. I gave him a part of myself but somehow wasn’t missing anything. It was a complex feeling that I hadn’t experienced before and I started to realize that it was time to surrender to a different kind of love.

At first this caused a renaissance of sorts in my business. I was pouring out heartfelt Facebook posts and thoughtful Instagram stories. My audience responded deeply to these raw thoughts and feelings and my business flourished.

Then, in December, him and I finally made plans to meet up again. It would be in Panama in February.

“Oh shit. This is real. I am really going to see him again.”

Immediately I started focusing on how difficult the separation had been for me and how much I really had been missing him. I didn’t let myself feel that before because I didn’t know if he felt the same way. I was afraid to feel because feelings meant the potential to be hurt. Once I knew he wanted to see me again too, I knew I had to do everything I could to give this thing a real chance.

“This is my shot. I’ve finally met the person that I thought didn’t exist. He is everything.”

Let me tell you – when someone is everything, you level up REAL FUCKING QUICK to also become everything.

I knew that my normal relationship bullshit would not fly with him. I knew that I had to cultivate patience, kindness, sexiness, understanding and communication if I wanted to create a safe space for us to explore our feelings for each other. And we had both been through enough with past relationships that a safe space was going to be the only way for us to proceed.

Suddenly, YEARS of therapy, internal work and anxiety management kicked into gear. I had learned all of this in theory and now it was time for me to step up and be the absolute BEST version of myself that I always knew I could be but never honored myself or someone else enough to try.

So, I tried real fucking hard.

In January I hit the gym hard. I got fit. I started to see my abs again. I hired a personal trainer and learned how to feel like a badass bitch at the gym.

This was the confidence piece. If I was gonna see this guy I wanted to outdo my previous self and blow his fucking mind (and that I did 😛)

In January I also started journaling daily affirmations. Telling myself that I encompassed the mindset and qualities that I so desired for myself. I told myself I am kind, I am patient, I am loved, I am worthy, I am enough. I wrote these love letter affirmations to myself every single day and held them in my heart as the truth.

I took up ukulele and painting again. I became more curious, more self-reflective and more ambitious.

I saw him again in February. And it was perfect. We made music together. We made pancakes and ate them in a blanket fort. We had a Harry Potter movie marathon (I’m a Slytherin and he’s a Ravenclaw.) We both got a horrible tropical illness. We fell in love with each other’s existence. I surrendered to all of it.

Not coincidentally, January and February were also some of the lowest revenue months ever in my business. While I was surrendering to love, going deep into my sensuality and uncovering the juiciest parts of my relationship with myself, my marketing suffered.

→ I wasn’t sharing this part of my story online because I didn’t feel ready. And slowly my ability to show up fully online dwindled.

I became less frequent with my social media posts and only shared what felt more surface level because I was too afraid to dive deep and share what was *really* going on with me because I didn’t want to risk putting it all on the line– scary right?

When your business runs on a personal brand, you are the brand. You have to market. When you stop showing up on Instagram and Facebook, and especially when you stop showing up in a real way, your business suffers.

This didn’t happen overnight. At first I barely even noticed. Then March rolled around and I started to feel the effects of fewer clients, a less engaged audience and no motivation to run my business.

I went deeper into the warm cocoon of love. Not only was I falling in love with this amazing, magical person, but also I was falling madly in love with myself. With the person that I had become. This wise, sexy, witchy woman with infinite patience and a desire to be nothing but kind, gentle and nurturing to the beautiful soul I was spending all of my time with.

I was happier and more joyful than I’ve ever been, having the best sex of my life, and discovering what it means to be in a healthy, loving relationship where both people are forthcoming, respectful, mature and honest.

But I started to feel a deep resistance to marketing within my business. Every day I awoke dreading having to post stories on Instagram. I felt like I had nothing to say on Facebook. My heart just was not in it.

I didn’t understand.

I knew I loved my business.

I loved creating brands and websites for badass entrepreneur women and I loved supporting women through business mentorship.

It’s my calling. I built my whole life around this and I know it’s what I’m meant to do. But I just didn’t want to do the work and I didn’t know why.

The posts I did create felt inauthentic. They felt two-dimensional, like they only showed the tiniest sliver of who I really am, where I was going and who I was becoming. They felt forced, fake and half-hearted. And the results reflected that.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was living a double life.

In my real life I was showing up fully for myself and for another person, being fully expressed, accessing my feminine power and embodying my divine energy. I was deepening as a person, my ideas were expanding and I was seriously leveling up.

In my social media life I was surface level. Showing off my travels in a sing-songy voice like some kind of Disney Princess. Any time I did talk about my problems it was carefully curated to be “on brand”. And I took great care not to show or talk about my lovely lover in my content. Ever.

In my head I constructed a false narrative: “Well, what if it doesn’t work out. I don’t want to have to explain to my audience why this person is no longer in my content, that feels too personal. Or what if it’s unprofessional to show this much of my personal life. No one cares about cute selfies of me with some boy.”

I kept telling myself this as we traveled the world together. In April we went to Los Angeles for a photoshoot for my new Biz Mentorship company with my business bff Sophie Kessner. He was there. He helped organize everything. He set up the props, he held a bouquet of flowers for me while I fixed my hair, he took behind the scenes videos of the shoot. He was a real-life part of that photoshoot, but I was careful to make it seem like I traveled alone on social media. I edited him out of my online life.

In May we went to South Africa. We spent every second together taking in the breathtaking sights, hiking mountains, rock climbing, shark diving and going on Safari. It seemed outrageous that I was doing all of these things on my own, but I never hinted that I was with someone else. 

I started to feel deeply disconnected and out of alignment with the content I was creating. Everything in my personal life was going better than I could ever have imagined, so why was I so miserable in my own personal brand?

As soon as enrollment ended for my most recent group coaching program, I stopped showing up on social media. I posted the occasional travel story here and there but no marketing for my business whatsoever. My heart just wasn’t in it. I was exhausted. I felt like everything I had to say had been said before. I was bored with my own marketing.

I was silent for most of May and June. My business suffered.

I started to realize that if I didn’t take action, I was actually going to lose my business.

Not marketing for 1 or 2 months, sure I can bounce back from that. But I was coming up on a solid 6 months of out of alignment marketing and I started to see the real effects of that.

The problem was, I didn’t know what the actual fuck to do. The personal brand that I built my business on was the real me at the time that I built it. And that brand was successful. I built a multiple six figure business in alignment with that version of Mel, so I didn’t understand why it wasn’t working for me anymore.

It was around this time in June that I started to see some big shifts in the online coaching industry. Women started talking about sensuality, sexual empowerment and what it means to be a fully embodied woman building a personal brand online. My biz partner Soph Kessner started showing up in a big way talking about pleasure practices in your business and pulling back the curtain on how to build a personal brand from TRUE joy and alignment.

This content was resonating. I was watching all of this happen from the bleachers. Women saying the words “pussy” and “slut” in their marketing. Women talking about the importance of sex and self pleasure in order to build a business. Women just showing the fuck up as their unapologetic, messy, real imperfect selves.

I wanted in.

This was real. This was juicy. This is what it really means to serve and empower women online. To show up and be real and in the moment. And to give other women permission to do the same.

This is how we take back our power. This is how we rise up as a collective. This is what has been missing.

I watched but I didn’t act.

I listened but I didn’t speak.

I felt frozen.

I saw other women redefining what it meant to be an empowered woman online. I admired them, but I also knew that what they were doing wasn’t exactly what I wanted to be doing. Their message isn’t my message. So what the fuck do I ACTUALLY want to say then?

Here’s the thing.

I still don’t really know.

I am still uncovering my new message. My voice. My new voice, really. I am still in transition– but aren’t we always transitioning anyways? I am exploring how this new, leveled-up and in love version of Mel shows up online.

And I’m loving every fucking minute of it.

Here is what I do know.

No more hiding.

The first step to uncovering & reclaiming my voice is showing up as all of myself online.

No more pretending I’m traveling alone. No more making it seem like I have my shit together when truly I am still learning how to balance running my business and wanting to stay in bed with my dreamy man all day. No more fake sing song IG stories voice when what I really want to express is love, fear, anger, ecstasy and gratitude.

This is who I am in this moment. I am still becoming. I am in love. I am using my voice and taking up space with my messy and beautifully imperfect action.

I don’t know where this journey will lead me next, in my business or in my life, but I am committed to showing up every day for myself and for you so you can see ALL of me and hopefully, feel inspired to share all of you too.

Because here’s the simple truth, if you *really* want to build a brand that feels aligned, exciting, and juicy af you have to be willing to FULLY show up.

Through the fear.

Through the doubt.

Through the discomfort.

Through the uncertainty.

And let yourself be ALL in with who you *really* are online.

Stop resisting your truth.

Stop hiding what makes you, you.

Embrace the love you’re feeling and own the pleasure that’s in your life right now.

USE it to inspire you and separate you from everyone else in the industry.

This is the power of brand positioning from a space of full self expression and being willing to be fully seen.

So here I am, in love and completely naked *literally and metaphorically speaking* 😉 feeling more empowered than ever– There’s so much more you get to learn and explore about the Mel you haven’t seen before.

Stay tuned for all the other juiciness that’s in store…. 😘

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