Being yourself is one thing I know that will never go out of style.”
A native New Yorker, Melissa Molomo has captivated many hearts worldwide by writing her heart out and speaking her truth. Since the July 2014 release of her debut self-published book, “Say What’s Real,” Melissa has independently sold 8,000+ copies and has amassed an incredibly strong fan base via social media platforms. Melissa speaks to empower, enlighten and encourage. She writes about living life through heartache, carrying the torch of forgiveness and respecting one’s personal flaws via a storytelling technique, engaging readers to believe within. Never one to give up easily, Melissa learned the values of intense dedication to an art form while previously working as an A&R executive with hip hop and R&B musician/producer Ryan Leslie (a Harvard graduate at age 19! ). Experiencing firsthand the positive affect his music had on countless fans, Melissa decided to turn her passion for writing into something greater. After that, Melissa wrote her second book: “Say What’s Real 2”! One day, Clyde, a rare purple tri American Bully dog came into Melissa’s life. Clyde has helped Melissa through many tough life situations, anxiety, and heartaches, and wants to share Clyde’s kindness with the world through charity work. There is a stigma that comes with the American Bully breed, and Melissa hopes to educate and spread awareness that this bread is not as scary as it seems. Melissa took the time to properly train Clyde, and posted videos of him along the way. His videos went viral, and a dogfluencer was born. An already experienced business woman, Melissa launched a line of affordable, and luxurious dog chains, called Bullies&Co. As a dog owner, this is something she found was missing from the market. Melissa has always been a hustler and self-taught entrepreneur. She hopes to continue to grow her businesses, and create more opportunities with her beloved dog Clyde. Her famous line when Ryan Leslie asked if she knew how to do something was “I’ll figure it out.”
Where did the idea for Bullies&Co come from?
Bullies&Co was created because a man and a woman fell head over heels in love over a dog named Clyde. When we first got him, we were looking everywhere for a nice chain but noticed that they were very expensive and out of our price range, so we thought to ourselves why not create something luxurious but at the same time affordable for everyone who is in the same boat as us.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
A typical day is training with Clyde for about ten minutes to keep his drive and focus on point, followed by a photoshoot, answering and sending out emails, getting inventory and the packaging ready for our Bullies&Co product, printing shipping labels, posting on social media and interacting with our devoted followers.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I think it is very important to not only have ideas, but to believe in yourself enough to invest, execute and conquer them. If there is something you do not know, there is nothing you can’t research and take the time to learn.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Being yourself is one thing I know that will never go out of style. Some people will hate you for it, but the rest will love and respect you for who you truly are, and that is what makes you extraordinary.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I am extremely persistent. If I want it bad enough, I will apply and believe in myself enough to know I have everything under control even if I do not. I convince myself. My main habit is to train my brain to see the vision turn out successful and KNOW that it’s going to happen. Success does not come from what you do time to time, it comes from what you do consistently. If someone doesn’t answer an email, write a follow up. If the follow up doesn’t get answered, make a phone call. There are many ways around everything.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t rush growing up so much. You have all the time in the world to be an adult and grow older, but you only have one chance to be a kid, and really enjoy the moments without having any other worries.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on?
If you can’t be kind, be quiet.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Make To Do Lists! According to Dave Kohl, professor emeritus at Virginia Tech, people who regularly write down their goals earn nine times as much over their lifetimes as the people who don’t, and yet 80% of Americans say they don’t have goals. Sixteen percent do have goals, but they don’t write them down. Less than four percent write down their goals, and fewer than one percent actually review them on an on going basic. Needless to say, those that take notes, write down their goals, and review them regularly are the ones making progress and more money.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Promoting our happy customers on our social media accounts! Word of mouth is the best advertising you can get.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
As an online business it becomes a challenge when any social media channels change their algorithms. It seems to make things a little more complicated on our end! We overcome this by doing researching, joining educational groups on Facebook and trying to stay up to date with what’s hot and what’s not. Most importantly, we overcome this by being creative & original.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I always thought it would be a great idea and option to have a track made for baby stroller wheels, that one can put lock on to keep them rocking back and forth. Imagine a very short train track where the babies feel like they are on a walk in their stroller, but they are not, they are just hooked up to the device that’s doing all the work! (no one better steal this idea – haha)
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I have to say it was a little more than $100, but hiring the perfect publicist was the best money I’ve spent recently.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive? How do you use it?
I like to use Upwork.com, an incredible site that connects businesses to freelancers. There are so many talented freelancers on there willing to work at any time for whatever you need done. All you have to do is put an ad. For example: I need a editor for a five page essay – you input your budget and anyone who wants to work with you will send you their cover letter, resume and let you know why you should hire them! It’s great!
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
“Say What’s Real,” 1&2, simply because these books are daily reminders to inspire, motivate and encourage you to keep moving forward with a positive mindset! I am also the author!
What is your favorite quote?
Today was the absolute worst day ever
And don’t try to convince me that
There’s something good in every day
Because, when you take a closer look,
This world is a pretty evil place.
Some goodness does shine through once in a while
Satisfaction and happiness don’t last.
And it’s not true that
It’s all in the mind and heart
True happiness can be attained
Only if one’s surroundings are good
It’s not true that good exists
I’m sure you can agree that
It’s all beyond my control
And you’ll never in a million years hear me say
Today was a very good day
Now read from bottom to top.
• You are more than good enough, but you can always progress. There is no limit to how great you can become or what you can achieve.
• Don’t ever cancel your dreams. Reschedule them if you have to.
• Be the key that opens your own doors.
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Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.