Melody Godfred, the Self Love Philosopher, is an entrepreneur, writer, and speaker who leverages the power of self to inspire transformative growth in people around the world. She started her career as a litigation attorney, and soon after founded Write In Color, a full-service resume and career development company that specializes in developing compelling personal brands.
Through her work coaching hundreds of women, and upon undergoing several life transitions herself, Melody discovered a common trend: in their quest to fuel their careers and relationships, women were increasingly sacrificing their authentic selves, happiness and well-being. So Melody created the Self Love Pinky Ring and launched her self love movement Fred and Far to empower women to choose themselves by practicing self-love and self-care daily. The company and Self Love Pinky Ring quickly went viral, achieving hundreds of organic press placements around the world and starting a global conversation around self-love. In 2018, she published her book, The ABCs of Self Love, to continue that conversation.
Melody regularly speaks at workshops and conferences, including the Massachusetts Conference for Women and Teen Vogue Summit. Her advice has been published in Forbes, Payscale, The Muse, Mashable, Bustle, and Inc., and she contributes to the Huff Post and Motherly.
Melody is based in Los Angeles, CA, where she lives with her husband Aaron and three kids, Stella, Violet and Theodore.
Where did the idea for Self Love Pinky Ring come from?
I came up with the Self Love Pinky Ring because I personally needed a daily reminder to choose, love and honor myself. At the time, I was a working mother with twin girls and a resume writing and personal branding company I was scaling (Write In Color). Despite “living the dream” of having a beautiful family and successful company of my own, I was burnt out from taking care of everyone’s needs except my own. Given that I had already experienced the power of wearing a ring that symbolizes commitment — my engagement ring — I thought it was time for me to have a ring that symbolized and energized my commitment to myself. I searched and found that a self-commitment ring didn’t exist, so I created one: the Self Love Pinky Ring. Although I wasn’t trying to start a business, when wearing the ring helped me reclaim my happiness and identity, I knew I needed to bring it to market to help other women. The result? The Self Love Pinky Ring went viral within six months of launch. Thousands of women in 40+ countries around the world now wear it and have joined my self-love movement, Fred and Far. I’ve had the privilege of watching them transform their lives by claiming their wholeness and worth, rather than being defined by relationship status, external validation, or self-sacrifice. Since creating the ring, I’ve committed to making self-love and self-care more accessible by writing and sharing content that empowers women, including my book, The ABCs of Self Love.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I currently manage two businesses – Fred and Far and Write In Color – and am also a public speaker (I’m known as the Self Love Philosopher) and author (The ABCs of Self Love). I also have three kids: twin girls that are 7, and a son who is about to turn 2. In order to be productive, I have to schedule my time and treat that schedule as sacred. That means scheduling everything from working on my digital marketing strategy to grocery shopping to exercise and even downtime to allow for creative thinking. No two days are alike and with so many competing priorities, I have to always remain open to the possibility that something urgent will present itself and require that I shift all my energy in that direction. As an entrepreneur, I’m most proud of my ability to be nimble, adaptable, creative, and open. Rather than being fixated on a specific outcome, I’m most interested in making sure that I take care of myself during the ride. Entrepreneurship can easily lead to burnout, as I experienced once before. My Self Love Pinky Ring is my reminder that the ride is all we have. I’m not going to miss it.
How do you bring ideas to life?
For me the path from idea to execution is very much an intuitive one. I get a feeling for what something needs to be, and I run with it, ideating, defining, building and modifying as I go. I’m willing to take the risk and try new things, even if an idea is something I have no prior experience with (which is true of both of my businesses). Recently, I’ve been embracing the power of analytics to evaluate and refine ideas once they come to life. While the origin of my ideas is very intuitive, what has kept them flourishing is my willingness to evaluate and adapt them time goes on.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Authenticity is the biggest trend that excites me, especially because it is a core pillar of both of my businesses: Write In Color (my resume writing and personal branding company) and Fred and Far (my self-love movement that is powered by the Self Love Pinky Ring). Across social media, everyone from the highest level celebrities to private individuals around the world are bravely sharing their true identities, true feelings, true selves. This trend is a big reason why Fred and Far and the Self Love Pinky Ring have been successful. As the founder of this movement, when I share I show up as my authentic self, and people see that and want to be part of it. I’m grateful to have a community of women around the world that allow me the privilege of witnessing their lives and celebrating their highs and their lows. They absolutely do the same for me.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
Even as a child, the more responsibilities I had, the more productive I was. I thrive when I have a lot to accomplish; this is a superpower when you’re an entrepreneur. Rather than feeling overwhelmed by everything that needs to get done, I’m in awe of the opportunities that abound. I do what I can each day and know that tomorrow I will continue. I’ve also made it a habit to work with smart, creative and determined people – both vendors and employees – who I can trust to delegate to. Early on in my entrepreneurial journey it was hard for me to let go of anything and trust that someone else would be able to see it through the way I would have. In large part due to the inner work I’ve done as the founder of a self-love movement, I’ve now made trust one of my core personal values. I pick the right people and then give them space to do their best work.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Stop chasing your potential. You’ve done enough. You are doing enough. You ARE enough. You will see your talents and intellect to fruition. You will make a difference in the world – a real impact. The sooner you learn to love and embrace yourself and let go of your need for control and perfection, the sooner you’ll feel whole, worthy, loved, chosen. You’ll also inspire other women to do the same. Your greatest strength isn’t getting straight As or earning the validation or praise of others; it is being bold enough to simply be yourself.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Don’t expect anything from anyone and you’ll never be disappointed. Or as Anne Lamott put it: “Expectations are resentments under construction.” We shouldn’t have expectations – we should make agreements with people instead.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
The best thing you can do as an entrepreneur is show up for your customers in a real way. Care about your customers and show them that you care. For me, that means following my customers on Instagram and leaving them supportive comments or sharing their content. It means personally answering some customer service emails and going the extra mile to make magic happen when another company might have said, “That’s impossible.” My customers are the reason my company exists; they’ve carried me for years – not just because they continue to purchase from me, engage with me on social media, and believe in my mission and product, but because they literally watch out for me and are invested in my personal well-being beyond my role as founder of a company.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
My business growth can largely be attributed to being laser-focused on one product with one clear mission. When someone discovers the Self Love Pinky Ring and goes to the website or our social, who we are and what we stand for is 100% clear. That clarity and consistency is echoed in every detail, from our email communication to our packaging to the original content I write every day on social media that inspires, delights, engages and empowers women to practice self-love and self-care. While there are thousands of companies that make rings, there is only one Self Love Pinky Ring.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
The biggest failure I’ve had as an entrepreneur is not being prepared to scale. When I launched Fred and Far in 2016, I envisioned a slow and steady growth progression. Instead, the company went viral within six months and we went from a few orders a week to a hundred in a day. I didn’t have inventory and I didn’t have a digital marketing strategy to capture and remarket to all the traffic. Ultimately, I managed to ramp up production and put all the systems in place necessary to maintain and power our growth and I no longer worry about the lost sales or unrealized potential (Remember my letter to my childhood self? That’s a story about myself I’ve learned to finally let go of). In the future, I will not only be prepared for my success and rapid scale, I will count on it.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
All of us are accumulating thousands of pictures every month and most of us aren’t organizing, managing or even looking at them. We’re just accumulating content. Someone needs to figure out a way to fix that.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I replaced the halogen light bulbs in my house with LEDs, cutting down our electricity usage per bulb by 90%. Our steadily growing electric bill has been giving me anxiety and with $100 I secured a long-term solution. It may seem mundane, but anything you can do to alleviate causes of lingering anxiety will make you an exponentially better entrepreneur.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I use Asana (project management software) to manage my remote staff. We keep track of dozens, if not hundreds, of active projects without ever needing to email or talk on the phone. Asana has transformed my operations.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Stop Stealing Dreams by Seth Godin. It’s his 50,000 word manifesto on the education system and is available for free online (just search for it; Seth made it readily available for download). When you realize how broken our education system is given the modern way of life, you’ll feel empowered to approach your own ongoing education, and the education of your children (if you have them), differently. It will also empower you to be a better teacher, leader and founder.
What is your favorite quote?
“Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes.)” Walt Whitman.
- Embrace authenticity both personally and professionally
- Have a focused and consistent product and brand
- Show up for your customers
- Be flexible and adaptable as you grow
- Enjoy the ride
- Love yourself!