Melissa Jones is an inspiring girls empowerment coach and highly effective licensed classroom teacher who helps girls learn daily positive habits so they can feel confident in who they are and connect with other girls in an empowering environment. She has been motivating and cultivating connections among hundreds of girls and providing families with resources she has gained through over 22,680 hours of experience.
After noticing patterns in girls across 4 different school environments related to struggles with self-esteem and confidence, and having struggled into adulthood with low self-esteem and lack of confidence and strategies herself, she now uses her transformation and research with experience-based strategies to elevate girls to live their best life while linking arms in a community centered around growth and empowerment. Melissa uses techniques that are responsive to the unique needs of each group of girls in creative and engaging activities that motivate girls to take action toward feeling confident and empowered focusing on their strengths instead of their challenges.
Through Girls Positivity Club, Melissa works directly with elementary and middle school girls and their families by virtually creating positive communities of girls where she teaches lessons in confidence, positive daily habits, and learning how to have positive relationships with other girls and family members.
Where did the idea for Girls Positivity Club come from?
The idea for Girls Positivity Club started in 2018 through my own transformation in personal growth. My dad was going through cancer treatment and I had gone through a 2-year transformation in weight loss and as a side effect of being in an online group with a mentor who focused on personal mental and physical transformation, I saw my growth in confidence, self-esteem, and positive habits. It opened up an idea- to teach what had helped me to girls in my 4th-grade classroom gain positive strategies and tools for building their confidence. I started thinking, why did I not know how to do these powerful strategies as a child? It would have been a game-changer for my younger self.
This realization opened up a reflection for me. Girls in every school setting I had worked in had a common thread of need- practical and easy tools for managing everyday life as a girl, which fell into categories: feeling good about themselves, having confidence, and connecting with other girls in empowering environments around a common goal.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
My typical day starts at 5 am where I journal gratitude and use my planner to set three tasks that are going to be needle-moving for my business that I can accomplish in one day. Productivity is crucial for me as I am teaching 5th-grade full time on top of running my small business. I came up with the idea of using “pockets of time” and it works well for me. My first pocket of time is from 5:00-6:30 am that I break down into three 30-minute increments. I write pitches for media, take courses on business and marketing, and create content for my girls. My morning routine is crucial for my success.
After my contract time at school ends, I stay an hour longer to continue any tasks I did not complete in my morning pocket of time (broken up into two 30 minutes). Another time I sneak in productive time is during my 30-minute commute. I listen to business and personal growth podcasts or listen to audio from courses I’m taking. I do the same on my way home from school, which allows me another half an hour to commit to growing my business. When I get home, I put on my wife and mom hat and try to put business aside and stay present with my family. This process is how I get up to 3.5 hours of work in a day, which helps me make steady progress toward my ultimate goal of doing this work full time. On the weekends, I use the mornings to my advantage before my family is awake to work on bigger tasks or to wrap up anything I wasn’t able to accomplish during the week.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I bring ideas to life by responding directly to what my target audience, girls and their parents, are showing me they need. I pay attention to what they’re saying, what they’re doing and use my experience in working with girls and growing up to try and reflect on the hardest parts and create something useful to help them in everyday life. I try to get in their heads and think not only as the girl but also as the parent who wants their daughter to feel confident as herself.
I think of the category of need and try and summarize what I want to teach in one sentence. I research creative projects around art, music, movement, cooking, science, mindfulness, that would be fun and related to that topic. I connect the creative piece with the lesson I am trying to teach them as a visual tool or experience to remind them of what they have learned so that it will be memorable and practical. I also come up with ideas for low-risk conversations the girls can have around the topic where they can interact and find commonalities around the experience. Connection experiences are crucial to the whole idea of what I’m doing. They need to feel seen and find commonalities around something positive. Girls don’t want to sit and listen to someone talk, they want to DO something.
What’s one trend that excites you?
A trend that is exciting to me is the pivot businesses are making from in-person to digital services to bring good to the world. The main part that I think is exciting is the idea behind the motivation for business owners supporting the public even when the services used to be dependent on in-person contact. There is a craving for entrepreneurs making something good out of a hard situation and I think that is a good trend happening in the world. Even though there are people resistant to doing things digitally, I think it has a hidden theme of perseverance behind it. A by-product of this trend is the creativity that comes around making services accessible for people, especially families and youth, who in my opinion, are craving light, hope, and renewal in 2021. I wake up every day wondering how I can help girls and their families in new ways and I know there are many others out there doing the same, which is going to have a ripple effect on the world.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
My morning routine and pockets of time are two habits that make me more productive as an entrepreneur. It is literally the only way I can get everything done while also working full time. In the morning, even on weekends, I get up early and then I work on timers. I set my timers in 30-minute increments and consider those little pockets of time that I use to my advantage. I ask myself what I can accomplish in 30 minutes and even if I don’t complete the task I choose for that increment, I come back to it later in my next pocket. I prioritize my pockets of time into categories so I have variety in what I am doing, but am making focused progress in multiple areas. Being a solopreneur and still working full time, I must use a lunch pocket of time and have an evening pocket of time as well. My pocket categories include: connecting, creating, and learning.
Connecting- connecting with families and the girls through my groups, sending out pitches, and finding connections I can make with getting my message out to a larger audience
Creating- creating content for the curriculum for the girls, social media videos, and posts that I think will help my audience, marketing including email broadcasts, lead magnets, course creation, etc.
Learning- courses I am taking on media connections, course creation, developing coaching programs, and watching Youtube videos to teach myself anything I need to learn about running a business
What advice would you give your younger self?
The advice I would give my younger self is to break through the glass ceiling. I think I held myself back in accomplishing goals. I didn’t think I was “good enough” in doing anything, so I didn’t take risks. I was constantly trying to get approval from everyone around me and depended on what others thought of me to feel valued. I compared myself to other people constantly and for that reason, it took me over 20 years to realize that I am good enough and can do anything I set out to do with consistency. I push to go the extra mile. What lights me up the most is when I do something I didn’t know I could do. It gives me that little bit of courage to take the next step forward.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Looking at 2020 and the pandemic as a time for unexpected positives and renewal is a belief that I know is true for me as an entrepreneur and as a person who focuses on personal growth. There are a lot of people who would openly say the complete opposite and that no good came out of 2020 and that there is no hope for it changing anytime soon. I disagree. Because of the pandemic, I have gotten more creative in figuring out how to pivot from in-person groups to reaching and connecting digitally with the girls. I have learned how to create content in more visual and engaging ways and have made my services more accessible to any family worldwide. I have also joined groups of amazing entrepreneurs and have been surrounded by mentors that I would have not otherwise met.
2020 also amped up my hunger for growth and learning. There are so many amazing courses and groups out there and I would encourage entrepreneurs to think outside the box and get involved in a digital course, a group, or even using Youtube to teach themselves a new skill that will lead to a new idea. Yes, 2020 has been hard, but I choose to grow and come out the other side having created something that will help girls feel seen and connected and to help one person at a time see that they matter. I believe we can see the good in 2020 and in others every day.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
The one thing I do over and over that I highly recommend is to keep taking small steps toward your goals every day, even when it doesn’t feel like you are making progress and even when fear creeps up. Small steps are better than no steps. There are days I feel like giving up or I’m scared to try something new or put myself out there, but I remind myself that giving up is the easy way out. Anyone can give up. I ask myself if I would be happier if I gave up and the answer is always no. This applies not only to my entrepreneur life but my personal life too. Show up every single day for yourself, especially when you don’t feel like it or it feels too hard or too scary. That’s when it matters the most. Step into your fear and take action when you aren’t ready.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
One strategy that has helped me grow my business is to add value to people’s lives and to be consistent with how I show up for my community. When you truly develop relationships with your customers and treat them as real people, or put yourself in their position as you create ideas, services, or products, it helps you improve and treat people with kindness and respect. People remember the way they are treated more than anything else, and that idea will always be at the heart of my business.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I have failures every day. One of the biggest mindset failures I think I made in the beginning is thinking that everything I put out there had to be perfect to add value and help my audience and also worrying about what people may think of me. I would agonize over every word sounding just right, or not make a post because I worried if anyone would see it, or watch it. I worried about people thinking I was trying to pat myself on the back or get attention. Now, those thoughts still creep in, but I’m faster at pushing them aside because I always come back to my why. I believe that failures are growth opportunities and I look at them as progress toward a bigger goal of being better each day. I look at failures as proof that I’m growing.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
An idea that I think would be genius to create is a digital waterproof notepad and pen. I can’t tell you how many ideas I have gotten in the shower and then stepped out to write it down and forgot a lot of the details. I know there is already an Aqua Notes waterproof pad and pen, which I’m ordering asap, but making it digital to where it would sync automatically with my phone in my notes would be the next level up. I don’t know if it’s possible, but it would be an awesome idea to explore and would help with productivity and idea generation for any person.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I joined a Be On TV Bootcamp that cost $55, TWICE because I joined on the last day of my first round. In the second round, I planned my timing better and joined early, and went “all in.” I had amazing mentors, Jen Gottlieb and Chris Winfield, which then led me to join a more in-depth course on media that has been life-changing called Be Seen Accelerator. By applying the lessons I’ve learned on being seen and taking action on it every day, it has been life-changing. Because of doing the boot camp a second time, which pushed it to the $100 mark, my learnings have exponentially been helping me reach more people to help their daughters. I have also connected with heart-centered, awesome people in my group that are also doing amazing things in the world, so it brings hope that there are a lot of us out there and all of this started with $110.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
A web service that helps me be productive is Kajabi. Not only is it a course platform where I can learn and take courses, but it also houses everything I need for my business. I can send emails to my list, create courses and memberships, get analytics on engagement and it houses everything in one place. Their customer service is amazing too. I am still learning how to do everything, but there is always a way to figure it out.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Everything is Figureoutable by Marie Forleo is a book everyone should read. I first heard Marie speak on Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations about the story behind the idea and applied it to my life. If something doesn’t work out as planned (which happens a lot), I use this mantra, “everything is figureoutable” to help me come up with creative solutions, to ask for help, or simply keep persevering.
What is your favorite quote?
“You can keep talking yourself out of the thing you’re hoping for, or you can decide that your dream is more powerful than your excuse.” Rachel Hollis
Before I started my journey as an entrepreneur, I used to think that hoping would get me somewhere or that success comes from someone discovering you and giving you this big opportunity. What I’ve learned is that hope is not a strategy. You have to work hard and keep yourself motivated by your mission or your why over and over again.
- Surround yourself with people that are further along than you.
- See the good in others and in every day.
- Look at failures as progress and proof that you’re growing.
- Break through your own glass ceiling.
- Step into your fear and take action when you aren’t ready.
Carlyn runs the day-to-day publishing operation here at ideamensch and interacts with our awesome customers and entrepreneurs. She is likely editing this with a cat on her lap.