156 Happy Independence Day! Melinda on Finding Her Own Independence
Melinda Wittstock shares how an ‘aha’ moment a year ago today led her to find her true voice and independence. A 4X serial entrepreneur and CEO and founder of the social intelligence company Verifeed, Melinda shares how she had gotten out of alignment with her authentic purpose and how she found her way back building a fast growing platform to help women take flight and soar high as leaders, innovators, influencers and high-performing entrepreneurs. Happy 4th of July!
This is a very special day for me. Independence Day has many meanings to many people and to me, there is now a very personal new meaning … because this time last year – on a beautiful hot day sitting by a babbling brook bathed in the green of the forest in Washington DC’s Rock Creek park – I had a revelation. And this revelation put me on course to truly step into my authentic purpose and passion.
I’m Melinda Wittstock and today on Wings of Inspired Business as Americans celebrate the 4th of July … I am celebrating my own journey and the movement I am building to help women take flight and soar high as leaders, innovators, influencers and high-performing entrepreneurs.
This time last year I started writing a book about female entrepreneurship and the specific challenges most entre-pioneering women face … in finding the confidence, connections and capital to scale our dreams. I’d been putting it off for several years – waiting, like many people do, for the “right moment”. I had convinced myself I needed to grow and scale my social intelligence company Verifeed to a sizeable 8-figure exit … before I could write the book. Why? I don’t know; it was just a belief I had – mostly because I did not want to let my investors down by diluting my focus. Also, as a single mom, I was in financial recovery both from massive losses in the 2008 meltdown and then a bitter divorce, so supporting my kids was also top of mind.
Problem was, Verifeed wasn’t growing or scaling as fast as I wanted.
Building a predictive “concierge” for personalizing social media conversations using artificial intelligence isn’t exactly easy. It’s one thing to innovate the technology, which we did, and a whole other thing to educate an entire market about why they need something … they never needed before…. When you don’t have bags of cash to seize that market.
These types of gamechanging businesses take time and serious capital, and like many female founders, I was running on empty – undercapitalized yet somehow pulling off tiny miracles to stay in the game. It was exhausting. I was exhausted.
Have you ever felt that way? You’re on a path, it is starting to feel like the wrong path, but you’re halfway there, so you think you have to keep going, even if it is the wrong path?
So ever resilient and willfully determined, I kept pushing …pushing… pushing … until this one day, this day, last year, in the forest by the brook, when one of my investors and the best mentor I have ever had, simply said, it’s ok.
Write the book, he said. Find your joy. Rekindle your passion.
I realized then that I had been unhappy – actually out of alignment, taken further and further from my true mission – of empowering conscious companies and leaders – as I toiled in an enterprise software world. I had always preferred to sell direct to consumer and Verifeed had morphed into a B2B company, which was fine and a good business but not exactly lighting my fire.
As I started interviewing incredible women entrepreneurs for my book I realized I was not alone – they too had gotten stuck or out of alignment at points along the serial entrepreneur path. The more interviews I did, the better I felt, and I didn’t really know where it was going other than I had tremendous experience and expertise to share – and a belief that for too long women like me had been succeeding in silence … or worse, we’d been jailed by our own limiting beliefs, beliefs keeping us from stepping into our true authentic feminine power.
There’s more to this story in just a moment – and before I continue – a shout out to our wonderful sponsors at Wings Of Inspired Business.
First Audible.com – because predictor of success is reading, and reading a lot – and sometimes there is just not enough time in the day for us entrepreneurs to keep up with all the latest thinking, trends and hacks. So here’s what I do…in the car, working out, waking up, going to sleep… I listen to audio books from Audible.com – as well as my favorite podcasts. I never allow a sponsor on this podcast unless it is a product I use and love myself, so that’s why you can get a FREE AUDIOBOOK DOWNLOAD …and a 30 day free trial at www.audibletrial.com/wingspodcast. That’s Audibletrial.com/wingspodcast
And here’s another of our sponsors – Zero Limits Ventures – which has been a game-changer for me and my businesses. Here’s why: As business owners we’re so focused on revenue and earnings … that we can often overlook what’s driving the VALUE of our companies. Zero Limits Ventures supports female entrepreneurs like you and me – and ZLV is offering WINGS listeners its VALUATION GROWTH PLAYBOOK and a complimentary 1-hour consultation. Check it out at zerolimitsventures.com/access to understand your valuation and capital acquisition strategy. It’s free and it’s gamechanging – zerolimitsventures.com/access
Now back to my Independence Day story, I am sharing with you this week on Wings … as we focus on getting into alignment with our authentic purpose, power and passion. Because when you do, as I know now, miracles happen. Intentions manifest. The right people suddenly show up at the righ time. You notice increasing numbers of synchonicities … seeming coincidences that help you on your way.
So as I started interviewing women entrepreneurs for my book, a friend from one of my entrepreneur networks said, you’re a former TV and radio host right? Didn’t you do a high rated interview show for the BBC? And I’m like yeah…And then she says, why don’t you do a podcast? You’re interviewing hundreds of women any way, she said.
Podcast I thought. Right, how hard could that be? I’d been a guest on loads of them – Funnel Hacker, Mindfulness Mode, Mixergy, All the social ladies, conscious millionaire, create your own life – and so I decided to launch a daily podcast … within 6 weeks. Then amazing things started to happen. I easily found guests – amazing guests, women who were innovating game changing technologies to solve some of the globe’s most intractable problems, women who had grown massive thought leadership and influence, women with 7, 8 and 9 figure businesses and exits. All of them volunteering to appear on a podcast that hadn’t yet launched, all of them thanking me for launching it. “It” being a podcast without a name – all I knew was that it would be the catalyst to help women lift off and soar to success, that when we decided to fly together we’d all fly higher.
Yes, Wings… of Inspired Business … because women at their best are truly inspired leaders, influencers and innovators who can together solve so many of our challenges in this world.
Wings – women, innovating, networking, growing, scaling.
This is episode 156 – and I launched Wings last November. Since then there has also been a Wings of Success Summit – featuring 55 inspiring innovators and influencers – women with 6, 7, 8 and 9 figure businesses – all paying it forward with hour-long video presentations about how to manifest the right mindset, mojo and money to succeed in business and in life. The Summit is, really, a multiplier of all the knowledge and experience of all the women involved – an entrepreneurial MBA and all for the price of a mani-pedi. It was a huge success, and we’ll be bringing it back if you missed it – with more amazing women, more content and local in-person masterminds and immersive epic experiences. I can’t wait to share all the plans I have – because I want all these lessons to be “sticky” – and I want women to mentor each other, help each other up off that startup sticky floor, I want women to throw business each others way, and invest in each other.
That’s why I am so excited today to honor again the winner of my Wings contest to win an all expense paid private mastermind with me here in DC. Melitta Campbell is the winner – chosen out of many of you who stepped up to review Wings on iTunes before June 30. If you reviewed, thank you, because it helps the podcast get discovered by more women and men. So sometime at a mutually convenient date in the near future Melitta and I will deep dive into her business – oddly enough she coaches female entrepreneurs! – and focus on strategies and tactics to get her to the next level and resolve any challenges she is facing. There’ll be great food, a lot of fun, and some rejuvenating spa time!
I’m so excited that a year after taking my first steps down this new path I am able to help so many women, and be in a place where I can provide such a generous gift!
There will be more to come – another draw for the same prize on August 30, so make sure you review and follow all the instructions at wingspodcast.com/win – that’s wingspodcast.com/win – so you too can qualify.
Also if you can show me you have downloaded at least 10 episodes of wings, I will put you on the air in a new segment I’m planning featuring Wings Listeners. You’ll be heard by a fast growing and influential audience – and you’ll get a call to action for your business! Just email me a screengrab of your downloads to firstname.lastname@example.org – and we’ll get you scheduled!
There is so much that is exciting ahead, and I want to share how grateful I am that you are listening – that you find this content valuable, that there are nuggets in every interview you can put into practice in your life right now.
I’m always keen to hear your feedback and any things you have learned on wings that have helped you in business or in life. So please share with me at melindawings.com or via email at email@example.com, Twitter at melindawings, facebook at wingspodcast or I am melindawittstock, or instagram at melindawittstock2020. I can’t wait to get to know you and help you in any way I can.
By the way, wondering what happened to verifeed? Well, I’m excited about that again now too, because it is going in a direction that lifts my soul. Direct to consumer, h2h, that is human to human, your concierge connection to personalize authentic social media messages at scale – so you can grow and engage your true tribe with mobile ease and boost what we call your return on authenticity … your ROA! Now verifeed is back in alignment with my mission to help conscious leaders and evolved enterprises – and I will focus it on helping you and other female entrepreneurs take flight!
So whatever you are doing today – bbq, fireworks, family time, a little R&R, think about your own independence – independence from “should’s”, independence from regret, independence from fear, independence from any beliefs – conscious or unconscious – that are holding you back. It is time to soar! Happy Independence Day!