LAUNCHING:
MELANIE CHARLES

Company:

Live in the Flow

THE BIG QUESTIONS

WHAT IS YOUR PROFESSIONAL TITLE?

I’m a wellness mindful and life coach and trainer.

WHAT DO YOU DO ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS?

I work with people to understand how they can maintain balance in their life and also to understand where their fear is holding them back so they are not reaching their full potential. The two are interlinked for me because as we become busier, so does our mind and the mind has such impact on how we feel, what we think we can do and achieve. I know when I’m out of balance, I’m just not as nice. I don’t see the world as clearly and often these are the times when my core beliefs rear their ugly head. But it’s different for each of us. Balance and conquering our fears needs awareness and tools. It’s not always yoga and meditation though. Although meditation is my bliss.

WHAT DID YOU WANT TO DO WHEN YOU WERE A CHILD AND WHAT CHANGED?

I played with my barbies a lot.  I used to dress them up and play detectives. I think it must have had something to do with the type of TV shows my older brother made me watch! I’m not sure I knew exactly, but maybe other people did. In my first job at McDonald's, they made me a trainer. And more than 15 years later I was doing that as a full time job. In between that, I trained as a medical laboratory technician. I worked in that field for many years. At one point I wanted to be a fighter pilot, but was too short and then I wished I had studied medicine because I loved the thought of helping heal people (and maybe too much George Clooney and ER).

WHAT ACADEMIC QUALIFICATIONS DO YOU HAVE?

Workplace trainer and assessor certificate IV and associate degree in clinical laboratory techniques.

WHAT’S THE BEST CAREER ADVICE YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN?

This one was a hard one. I couldn't think of anything within work. But when I was 19 , a friend said to me never have any regrets and sometimes when I’m sitting in that frozen moment of fear, I think. How would I feel if I didn’t do this if I was on my deathbed? It usually prompts an answer. I know it did when I was 33 and decided to move from Australia to here. It was the final push that I needed and what helped drive me through the fear. Because conquering fear isn’t about not experiencing it. It’s as Susan Jefferies says. Feel the fear and do it anyway. But working out what your push button is, sometimes takes a while.

WHO IS YOUR ROLE MODEL AND WHY?

All of the women who surround me. I am in a mastermind coaching group and it is so wonderful and supportive and each of the women brings something unique and soulful. Then there are some friends of mine who are quite a bit younger, their bravery is just different than how I grew up. They expect more, which has pushed me to expect more of myself and others. And finally my sister. She’s 12 years younger than me. If she wasn’t in my life I think I would have played it safer than I have. Just seeing how she tackles the world and fights for what she believes in fills me with joy and the inspiration to want to be a better person so she is proud of me.

WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR CURRENT WORKING ENVIRONMENT?

The freedom to make my own hours. Some days I start early. Have a break during the day and work late. That really suits me. I’m also playing to my strengths and that’s something I didn’t always feel like when I was working for other people.  And the biggest and best thing is the wonderful clients I have. Their journeys inspire me.

WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT YOUR DAILY WORK ROUTINE IF YOU COULD?

I’d like it to be a bit more structured. I’d like my working days to be less weekends, so I can have clear switch-off boundaries. I’m just not there yet in my business.

WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF PROFESSIONALLY IN FIVE YEARS’ TIME?

Still learning. Still growing. Having deepened my learning, so I have more for my clients. But in 5 years. I aim to have published at least 3 books (2 of those my middle grade fiction and one the ingredients to balance). Speaking and reaching more people and to be collaborating with others and to have a charitable arm to my business.

DO YOU FEEL YOU CAN BE THE SAME PERSON AT WORK AND IN PRIVATE?

I’m still working on this one. Each day I get closer and closer. But I’m not there yet. Some days I nail this. Others. Not so much.

WHERE AND IN WHAT ROLES ARE WOMEN IN THE LEADERSHIP STRUCTURE AT YOUR COMPANY?

It’s just me leading at the moment. But I really would like to work collaboratively with other women. I don’t always want to be in charge. I think if you have the same vision and surround yourself with women who you can be with, you can all lead at different times. Leadership doesn’t always need to be a role either. Some of the best leaders I knew weren’t even in senior roles.

DOES DIVERSITY MATTER TO YOU?

Yes. Diversity is important. The last place I worked in had people from all over the world. My ideas were always shifting as I learnt more. I believe with different views and ideas you have more resilient and rounded ideas.  I’d love to get to a place where we don’t even have to think about this. I know it’s a long way away and maybe not in my life. But instead we are able to see the true value of difference and celebrate that rather than be fearful.

HOW GOOD IS YOUR WORK LIFE BALANCE?

Pretty good - it has to be. I talk about this all the time, so I expect that I am role modelling this. I’m not perfect, but it’s about awareness of me and what it takes to maintain that balanced version of me. I also think the not perfect is important. Not that I do that on purpose, I’m just flawed. But I find that perception of perfection I see on Instagram is so unreal. Who has a perfect life. Whether it is balance or anywhere. Some of us are better are some things than others because we have focused on learning that and is a priority in our lives, but we are all imperfectly perfect.

WHAT QUALITIES DOES BEING IN YOUR ROLE NECESSITATE?

I believe my job is to keep learning so I have more to share, to be able to create a safe space to share. To listen ( that’s a biggie) and to help others be able to make it on their own. My job is not to be a guru, but to help others facilitate their own journey by supporting them.

ANY FINAL COMMENTS?

I feel like as a society we on the verge of some wonderful breakthroughs in how we see ourselves and each other, but often we take a couple of steps back and then go forward again. Change is scary. The ego wants to keep us safe and safe means doing what you’ve always done. But remember those times when you’ve done something different and what you’ve learnt and how wonderful it’s turned out. Don’t let the ego hold you back from being that imperfectly perfect person that you are. Dreams stay dreams only if you don’t take action.

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