My second guest in our Rising Resilient series is Melanie Hussell and her story of mastering resilience habits is inspiring to others venturing into the world of entrepreneurship. As founder and CEO of Melanie Hussell Communications, Melanie’s brilliance is in helping business leaders create and deliver powerful presentations, so she channels her resilient practices into that work too.




Melanie Hussell is a Communications Coach helping business executives present their ideas more effectively, so they make a bigger impact with their work. She started out in her business just a few short years ago, firstly offering in person business English classes. She then made the courageous decision to shift to online training and coaching, despite lacking technical and marketing skills.

Investing in business coaching and with the help of done for you services. She’s created a comprehensive suite of online video rich courses, a full persuasive presentations program, including feedback through the use of an AI app. Amazing transformation, both for herself and her clients who are just blown away working with Melanie. Her testimonials are just incredible.

In her business, we’ve pivoted to working more with senior executives who have a lot riding on their presentation skills and improve the consistency of her outreach, her marketing, and the consistency of her follow up process. She started turning networking conversations into 5 to 15K coaching proposals with a 75 percent close rate and made almost 25K revenue from three new one to one clients.

And to keep some cash flow coming in whilst developing all of the online program part, we created a splinter offer, which is like the essentials component of a full program. And she made four pre sells right away. Having said all of that, where it sounds like there’s lots of peaks, lots of revenue coming in, and where all her hard work comes to fruition, there are still many dips that Melanie’s had to navigate.

And she’s found that quite challenging in terms of managing her mindset and the ongoing marketing and the sales and the follow up that has to happen while she’s delivering to clients as well. So Rising Resilient is an ongoing endeavour for her.

In this interview, she shares her journey and talks about how courage and self-belief have been the pillars for her resilience as an entrepreneur.




Jay: Today I have Melanie Hussell. Welcome to the Leverage Business Podcast, Melanie. Great to have you.

Melanie: Yay, lovely to be here.

Jay: We’re going to have so much fun. We’re like giggling girls already. It’s, it’s funny.

So the question that comes up a lot in coaching entrepreneurs, business owners, high achiever types is how do you sustain this level of work whilst juggling lots of other things inside and outside the business and how to avoid burnout, how to survive and thrive so we’re always rising resilient.

So here we are talking about rising resilient and our theme, tackling challenges and changes in your life and business with confidence, compassion and courage.

Let me start by asking what [part of the theme] spoke to you the most and why?

Melanie: Yeah, really interesting question to start off with. So for me, it was the word courage.

That really just binged out at me. And it’s how I believe that I achieve most of my goals. So it’s how I initiate the action, how I make those first really scary steps, is by being bold. Sometimes I call it cheeky, but just taking bold, massive courage. And I, I’ve always liked to challenge the status quo.

I did a lot in the corporate world. Wasn’t always popular. Always just curious about how I can improve things, people. And yeah, just Always having the courage to challenge, and sometimes making mistakes because we make mistakes, but I’m deeply reflective.

So then I’d spend sort of hours, nights wondering what went wrong. I’m not making the same mistake again, but having the courage to then do it again.

Jay: Yeah, and it can feel a little bit stressful and anxious at times, can’t it?

Melanie: Totally.

Jay: As you know, this whole series is about resilience, how you cultivate strength to survive and thrive all the work, the life, our careers, everything that is thrown at us. As entrepreneurs, we are highly driven; we’re committed to the impact that we want to have in the world. And we push ourselves madly. And we know this through the coaching conversations we’ve had….

How does your own life experience and resilience help you help others?

Melanie: I help professionals to present their ideas more effectively so they make a bigger impact with their work. so I think it helps me to push my clients to sometimes be as bold as me…

But we do it in a safe space because I really am asking them to change their communication. And to do things quite often radically different. That could be with their voice, with their body, with their language. But if I’m playing with their voice, that really makes them feel very uncomfortable.

I help many executives and senior managers and quite often they tell me that they are, they sound a bit flat and they don’t connect or engage with their audiences. So they have difficulty making the impact, driving the change that they want and that their expertise and knowledge shares.

So for me, I need them to be very self-aware and then to push them out of their comfort zone. So they change and I need them to experiment. So they find out which techniques they really like and which ones they, you know, perhaps go a bit deeper. There’s no formula.

Jay: So the clients that you support, they’re showing up with anxiety and stress, a little bit overwhelmed by the occasion of doing a presentation. So, you know, how do you start coaching someone in that respect and talk them off the ledge and help them build up that early resilience?

Melanie: I think right at the beginning, when we talk about their anxiety, their stress levels, their feeling of unease or uncomfortableness, they, we acknowledge it to begin with. Because it’s just there. We talk a little bit about the symptoms. We know what’s happening in the brain, but how’s it showing up for them?

So some people go bright red, some people sweat, some people they just go blank. Some people their hands or their legs start shaking. I mean, everybody has a different physical reaction to the stress that’s going on in the brain.

And then depending on where they are with their presentation, public speaking, executive communication, whichever you want to call it, I will target maybe two or three techniques in the first session that I have with them.

And we start to experiment because my goal is for them to have some quick wins or at least have some wins in the first one or two sessions. But they know it’s achievable. They think it’s achievable and I really dare them to go out and practice before they next come back to me.

And for me, that’s just really important from going from the self-awareness, the symptoms, then to the self-awareness of how they’re communicating, then giving them a few nuggets.

And it’s rare that they don’t achieve what they want to achieve in those first couple of sessions. And then the confidence is boosted. And then really the magic happens after that. And I can pile on lots more tools.

Jay: That’s brilliant. And I can, there’s a couple of things that came out of what you were saying: First of all, the symptoms are all different for each of us, right?

Sometimes you assume that everyone feels the same exact way that we do. And the other is those quick wins that give you that boost of belief in what’s possible.

Melanie: Yeah, and I also I think that I don’t know whether it’s the right approach the wrong approach but it works for me. Really the first time I get on a call with a client and the first session, those two were the most important because I need to build immediate rapport and trust because I’m going to take them into a scary space on session one, because we don’t have that long together and they quite often need to deliver something in the next two, three or four weeks they need to trust me.

So I become quite informal and we sort of end up laughing quite a bit in the first session. And actually, I remember one of my children coming down one day, and they said to me, it must have been, I don’t know, about one, two years ago, and they said to me, Mum, are you sure you’re working? And I said, Yeah. And they said, I said, Why? And they said, because all you do is seem to laugh. You don’t seem like you’re working at all. I thought, well, I am, it’s really serious what I’m doing.

Jay: Let’s just flip it a moment. Cause that’s about your clients and how you help them. What about for yourself, you know, in those moments where like you feel pulled under or you’re feeling tired, what do you do yourself personally to rise above those tensions, those emotions of self-doubt and anxiety?

Melanie: In the short term, what works best for me. And actually, it just happened to me in the last couple of days, Jay, so this is really quite real.

If I find that I’ve had two or three, or even just one really quite sort of chronically bad day In my business, my first thought is to think of the future, why I’m doing what I’m doing and to really focus on the long term goal.

So where is it I want to get to? What’s my target?

And for me, that always fills me with just unbelievable hope.

The second thing is. I just think back to the present and tell myself, Melanie, it’s baby steps, it’s baby steps. You need to make progress every day.

And then the third thing that I lean into is, and it probably is the last thing, I reflect on the past and remember those clients that I have helped, the incredible scientists, the introvert engineers. And I think of the incredible work that they’re doing, so I know that they need me to help them do what they need to do in the global world.

I know some people think that you should perhaps think the third right at the beginning, but that’s just not the way I work. Yeah, yeah.

Jay: And what about on the sort of self-care side in terms of, I mean that’s like the motivation side but in terms of like giving yourself those breaks and, you know, just like sustaining the energy that you need to keep going with the work.

Melanie: Mine’s really basic, Jay, really is basic. I eat incredibly well and I don’t eat too much.

Jay: Quality, not quantity, presumably.

Melanie: Yeah, yeah I also used to be a bit of an exercise monster, so I need to physically challenge myself. So I do try and do at least two intensive yoga sessions a week.

And I can come out of that feeling I can climb mountains, that really feeds me mentally, but physically I’m just on an absolute high and sleep, sleep. I need seven and a half hours. So I’m a bit, I’m a bit of a basic monster.

Jay: It kind of sounds like you’ve answered my final question, which is all around like your positive superpower for rising resilient. That feels like that’s in a nutshell. Anything you want to add to that?

When you notice a bit of disquiet or uneasiness, a bit of restlessness creeping into your work or life, how do you turn that around? Is it part of the same kind of formula for you?

Melanie: I, maybe I was just very lucky. I was born with an incredible sense of self belief that everything will be all right. That doesn’t mean to say that I’m not going to go ups and downs.

And I think that I transmit that to my clients, so I believe almost without exception, I just believe in the individual in front of me, and I’m always trying to find out where their expertise is, how I can sharpen their messages, what it is about them that’s unique, and how can we uncover their talents and their expertise verbally, physically, you know, linguistically.

And so I think that sort of that self-belief in myself, I kind of transmit into them, that they believe that they can do it and they can, they really can. So that’s really exciting for me. And it makes me want to do it even more and get even more bolder and even more courageous.

Jay: I find that with, you know, with the coaching that we do as well is that I think the expression is that sometimes you have to believe in the client more than they believe in themselves. You know, when you drop that bit of self-belief and your coach sort of picks it up again.

I think one of the superpowers that any business owner can have, and we’ve got to say this, haven’t we, is working with a coach

Melanie: Absolutely. I couldn’t do it by myself it’s insanely difficult. In fact, I was just chatting with a friend last night. I mean, she said to me, how do you do it by yourself? And I said, but I don’t. I don’t I have Jay. Yeah.

Jay: So you’ve kind of touched on a lot of the questions I had. I just think it’s nicer when it takes a natural path. So what we’ve done is mix up how you show up to rise resilient and how you help your clients show up to be resilient as well, and talked about the ups and downs that we have, you know, it’s not all plain sailing so I think you’ve really woven that story in here as well.

Melanie: Plane sailing, it definitely isn’t, as an entrepreneur or for my clients, so yeah, yeah

Jay: These techniques are really important. So thank you.

Melanie:  Jay, I’m excited for you.

Jay: I’m hoping to turn it into possibly a co-authored book.

Melanie: Oh, wonderful.

Jay: It’s sideways from the work we do in coaching. I’m smiling.

Melanie: Lovely.

Jay: When that’ll happen, I have no idea. It’s like, where’s the space for all of this extra stuff? But I’m glad I did it. I mean, this is rising resilient. It’s easy when you’re busy and you’re tired to say, yeah, I’m not up for it. And I just thought, no, this is too important, which really speaks to what you’ve been talking about.

Melanie: It is really important. I mean, it’s how I survive. I wouldn’t be where I am now, and my clients wouldn’t be where they are. So it’s pretty fundamental, actually.

Jay: Thanks so much for showing up for us today.

Melanie: Thanks, Jay.

Jay: Take care.

Melanie: Take care. Bye bye.



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