Melanie Espeland of Espeland Enterprises on Empowering Others to Build Better Professional and Personal Lives
Hi Melanie! Please share a brief introduction about yourself.
My name is Melanie, and I’m an Executive Coach & Life Coach. Espeland Enterprises’ has helped thousands of people, from hedge fund managers to influencers, build better professional and personal lives. I have a proprietary approach to building executive presence that was featured in Tedx, and also coach on voice/speaking, appearance, and more. I’m an entrepreneur with the heart of a creative, so I also am a Voice Actor and Painter in my free time.
So Melanie, what excites you about being an Entreprenista League member?
I love connection and people – makes sense being a Coach! So I’m looking forward to meeting other interesting and ambitious women, and seeing what we can learn from each other.
What made you take the leap to start Espeland Enterprises?
I had always pictured working for myself from perhaps the age of 6, and finally did it in my early 30s. I was just never feeling quite right in my corporate career, and knew I would regret not trying something new. I was existing, but not living.
What was your background prior to starting your own business?
I’ve had quite the portfolio career, including fashion, consulting at McKinsey, business school, voice acting, and coaching. I’m lucky that I get to leverage my Fortune 500 experiences today as Coach, and get to maintain my creative ambitions in my down time.
So Melanie, some people always have had a “feeling” they wanted to be entrepreneurs. Do you relate to this?
Yes! I pretty much wanted to start my own company around age 6. I had different ideas throughout my childhood, ranging from self-employed writer to fashion house owner. Why not dream big?
When first launching a business, having a clear brand image and marketing strategy is so important! Take us back to when you first launched your business, what was your marketing strategy to get the word out and did it go as planned?
To be honest, I had no plan whatsoever. I created a basic website for probably ~$30 on Squarespace, talked to a few people in my network, and landed my first client through word of mouth. However, this approach has not been sustainable as I’ve grown my business. Today I network; receive referrals; partner with a few organizations annually such as MLT (Management Leadership for Tomorrow); complete speaking engagements; and am working on content/social media concepts for 2023. I’m always open to connecting with marketing and business development experts. I know I still have a lot to learn when it comes to SEO; paid digital advertising; non-paid content strategy; and cold outreach.
Challenges arise for Entreprenistas every. single. day. What is the biggest challenge you have encountered along the way?
The biggest challenge was just getting started and committing to being an entrepreneur full-time. This mindset shift was scary, but I made sure to have enough cash on hand to embrace a certain level of uncertainty.
Melanie, you have lots to celebrate! What is the accomplishment you are the most proud of to date?
I’m proud of a few clients who told me that I changed their lives. What could be more rewarding than that?!
Do you believe in work/life balance? What are some of your best tips?
I believe in work/life integration, not balance. Balance is never going to quite be achieved because we live dynamic ever changing lifestyles that require integration of all the different aspects of ourselves. My key tips include taking time for self-reflection every month or quarter. Are your short and long-term goals still the same? Are you happy? Has your situation changed at all? Etc. This will keep you mindful and honest with yourself so that you can intentionally live your life accordingly.
What’s a piece of advice you can share that you wish you’d known when you first started your Entreprenista journey?
I wish I had known more about marketing, social media, and business development. I would have hired a consultant to help me lay the foundation for these areas early on in order to keep business flowing. But, you live and you learn, and the worst thing you can do is NOTHING. Better to do something at a C+, learn, pivot, and move forward.
So Melanie, what have you achieved recently that you’d like to celebrate with our community?
I relaunched my website, and included FREE guides to share my knowledge. Check it out 🙂
What’s next for Espeland Enterprises? What can we expect to see over the next few years?
What’s next is continuing to develop my marketing strategies online; speaking engagements; and maybe online courses! Here’s to 2023.