Interview and Article MICHELLE R PRICE
Have you ever felt like life is just too difficult and sunk back into that comfy armchair and grabbed the remote? Some of us succumb and others thrive under pressure. Our feature interviewee this edition, Melanie Brandt, is definitely in the latter category. If she were an animal, she would be a cat, constantly landing on her feet.
Melanie went from being in an abusive relationship to become a highly successful business coach. And that’s with two young children in tow. After she left that relationship, she founded her own business, building a big team quickly with little to no strategy, structure or systems in place. She admitted that she started her business because she wanted more ‘time freedom’ but the opposite happened. Mel had driven herself to pretty much burn-out. “I had this idea of what success looked like and I went off to get it and when I got there, the view looked exactly the same from the top,” she said. Melanie admitted she also felt resentment because it didn’t feel right, and it felt hard. She made the difficult decision to shut that business down and move on.
From there she moved into marketing, saying we’ve entered a new age of marketing, but she finds many business clients who are stuck in the old ways and aren’t sure how to market themselves and aren’t getting the results they’re chasing. She was asked by a friend to have a look at their business and admits that everything kind of took off from there.
Her working title is Eco System Automation Specialist. What that means is she shows business owners how to simplify their operations. Melanie talks businesses through getting rid of website hosting sites and email managing sites and instead, keeping all their assets in one place.
Melanie’s concept is a six-month container, whereby she walks owners through the process of managing their businesses for success. She looks at their current marketing strategy as well as their assets and shift them all over. “The website building is done for them and the rest of it is done with them, so we work alongside the business and say, ‘this is what you’ve currently got’,” she said.
“A lot of the time we’re able to find them $10,000 or more that’s been left on the table, where we’re able to create subscriptions from the business you already have,” she said.
Recently Melanie said she helped a business owner uncover $65K. She explained that she points clients in the right direction, “It’s kind of like a BFF running alongside of you, looking at your business with a different set of lenses.” She said her clients are often too close to their own business and are too emotionally invested to see everything clearly.
Melanie also assists business owners to create a plan looking five to ten years ahead. She likes to know if they are planning to retire into their business and allow it to run itself? Or are they planning to sell it and retire? She said the systems and structures she is able to put in place mean the business is able to sustain the growth. Laughing, she admitted that back in the day she never believed people who said they wanted to earn more and work less because she was still in that mindset of you have to work harder to earn more. But, “I was able to crack the code on working less and earning more because I was working higher not harder”. From there she has been approached by business after business asking for help. She makes it her endeavour to stress the importance of ecosystem automation in achieving ‘time freedom’. Melanie’s company will manage around 25 companies at any one time saying she has worked with a giant of the business world, an entire affiliate program, which is an online academy. She said they learn how to launch their business online and build online brands. Melanie said this big business is changing hundreds of lives a month and is now able to issue affiliate payments. She said she really helped them expand their vision and save time in the process.
Melanie admits it was difficult in the start, investing dollars in various programs so she could learn her craft. She also hired several coaches. She said it was a sink or swim moment and she is a swimmer not a sinker. Over the first seven months of launching her current business she was ‘head down and bum up’, working day and night and not sleeping much. But when she started running workshops they sold out and made 200K, surprising even herself.
When she launched her first business, Melanie realised it would have cost her hundreds of thousands of dollars to hire all the experts and coaches she felt she would need. So, she became a jack of all trades, saying she has everything covered. She has experience in marketing, sales, lead generation, team building, leadership, speaking, closing sales and social media. She feels like she may be the only coach in the world with her amount of experience and shares all of that knowledge with her clients over a period of six months so all they have to do is show up and action those steps every day.
Mel’s kids are following in her footsteps too. Recently her 12-year-old asked if she could stay home from school and learn how to make $1 million!! Mel of course told her daughter she had to go to school. The same daughter began her entrepreneurial journey at the age of six. She made a stack of canvas tote bags to help save the turtles. The six-year-old leveraged mum’s Facebook page and filmed a live video telling viewers about her product and how it would impact the ecosystem. That same little girl sold all her bags to customers worldwide overnight!! They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and there’s proof. Today, her daughter has taken over mum’s whiteboard, writing down all her ideas. She’s also taking photographs for her mum’s business.