Melissa Russiano firecracker who wakes up stuck and stagnant people through coachingApr 26, 2022
Melissa Russiano is on a mission to help people break through the barriers that are holding them back in life. She does this by providing coaching, training, and speaking that is tailored to each individual client. Melissa's unique approach combines her clinical expertise with directed coaching skills and life experience to create transformational results. If you're feeling stuck or stagnant, reach out to Melissa today and see what she can do for you!
Melissa's passion is inspiring fierce curiosity and empowering high achievers to slow down, breathe and enjoy their perfectly imperfect adventure of a life. She openly shares how she loves to drink water from a wine glass, dreams of living in Fiji but resides in blizzard country and considered applying to be on Survivor until she learned she would have to give up caffeine.
Melissa will challenge you to think differently, encourage you to embrace the fact that life is not perfect but if you are ready - it can be perfect for you. So what are you waiting for? Contact Melissa today and let her help you break through to the next level!
(The following text has been transcribed)
All right. Welcome back. This is Groundhog Day. Just so you know, I had actually done the first for minutes of this already. I realize that I got booted out of the system, hence technology. What can I say? So I again, welcome back to Kim talk time. Kim, having your house, that's so exciting. I will tell you, the first 4 minutes of this interview was awesome. Melissa Hersey, although she is a firecracker who wakes up stuck inside the people, her coaching, training, speaking and all around motivation to provide a unique approach with clients that pulls her clinical expertise directly to coaching skills and when life is well, experiences to reach individuals at a deep and transformative level. Her passion is inspiring fierce curiosity and empowering high achievers to slow down, breathe and enjoy their perfectly imperfect adventure of life. She openly shares how she loves to drink water from wine glass dreams of living in Fiji while she resides in that blizzard country and considered applying for Survivor until she learned she would have to give up caffeine. So Melissa's Melissa will challenge you to think differently, encourage you to embrace the fact that life is not perfect. But if you're ready, it can be perfect for you. So welcome back, Melissa.
So glad to be here. It's awesome.
Groundhog Day you know, technology and what we talked about when we were getting ready to go live. Right. Exactly where we do that for the sake of this recording and all the amazing people that are joining us. Can we go? I would love to hear a little bit about your origin story and dove into a little bit of what you do.
Absolutely. Lately. Well, thank you. And it's interesting because, you know, as we have a tech blip, it kind of reminds me of different blips that we have in life and what do you do? You pick yourself up by your bootstraps and you start over or you sit and kind of scrap the whole thing. So I love that we're diving right back in. And, you know, most worry just starts with a real focus on wanting to go to medical school, having a lot of these surgeries, growing up due to an injury and really wanting to dove into kind of giving back to experiences that I had very quickly going to college in Southern California, decided the beach was a little bit more my gym than chem lab and was able to pivot to going into therapy. And now, 26 years later, I really, truly couldn't imagine doing anything else with my life because it gives me that opportunity to truly partner with individuals in good times. In not so good times and being somebody who hasn't really walked that picture perfect life. You know, I've been through a divorce, been a single mom raising a baby girl all by myself with my family. Six plus hours away. I know what it's like to say, hey, I really want to wallow, but I can't because I have responsibilities and I need to step up and I need to dove back in. And so I really consider it a gift. With the individuals I work with just to be on that journey with them, to give them that support, to give them to hold them accountable to the goals that they've set for themselves. And also to kick them on the booty when needed. Because, you know, like I said, wallowing has a purpose, but it's not a place that we want to hang out in for long periods of time.
You also said that's what ice cream was in bed.
Absolutely. Yes. Yes. We ate good ice cream.
What's your favorite flavor?
Really? What of it? So, yes, you mentioned the whole survivor thing. Like coffee, I'm like the whole girly thing. I can't do the survivor thing because of, you know, shaving and, you know, like curling my hair. There are certain things that scare me. Yeah.
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. So tell us a little bit about your coaching. So you were in the medical industry.
Worked in the hospital as a trauma social worker post the first couple of years of my life until my career until my daughter was born. And at that point decided that going back into a hospital setting with not really knowing your hours and if there's a trauma, you're staying late, you know, pivot and started working with families and I think that's where my love for partnering with individuals on through a clinical social work lens really kind of came to the surface and then morphed into working just with women and walking women through some of those really difficult times in their lives. And with that I have found that sometimes therapy isn't needed, sometimes coaching is what's needed, that somebody just needs somebody to come alongside with them, hold them accountable, like I said, you know, encourage them, empower them, give them some skills. And that's when the coaching arm of my business kicked in. So at this point, I still do a lot of therapy. I do a lot of coaching. I love them both. I think there's a place for both. But at the end of the day, it's meeting that particular woman exactly where she's at, the good, the bad, the ugly, wherever life takes you. It's being along that journey to help them get to where they want to be.
Okay, so you actually just touched on something that I've been talking with another individual over, and I want to get your insight on this. I'd like to know what year, how long ago, that you decided to transition from full on therapy into coaching. It's a long process.
11 years at the very early onset. And the trends that we saw with Udemy think if it could Jobie all Yes. Okay. Yes, this is I'm so glad because with you having a therapist education, a background like you truly is class work within the space that you're in.
So we know a lot of people. So can you share with us when people are looking? You said not everybody needs therapy, but something I think you just share with us what kind of markers people need to look for when they're trying to differentiate what their needs are between coaching and therapy.
Absolutely. And that's a great question because I think that's one of the controversies and debates within my field. But it's also one of those markers that when you haven't done it for a while, kind of it's that struggle with, you know, do we go to the therapy room? Do we go to the coaching realm? And I think the beauty of being trained in both is you can overlap slightly. But how I differentiate is when somebody is contacting me is that they're looking to tweak to better to improve, that they want to catapult forward, that there's nothing that's pulling them backwards, there's nothing that's holding them back from a psychological standpoint, so we're not looking at any type of underlying diagnosable anxiety. We're not looking at diagnosable depression. There's not a trauma background, there's not a history of something that's diagnostic versus somebody who shows up, even if they have perfectionist tendencies. I deal a lot with imposter syndrome, burnout, and perfection. Those all have a little bit of an underlying anxious kind of presentation, maybe a little bit of you know, of an obsessive compulsive flavor at times. But there's the differentiation between being diagnosable and having it be a core issue that needs to be addressed and being able to have traits and behaviors that can be reframed with very future focused exercises and goals to move forward. Does that make sense?
Absolutely. Absolutely. So basically, one has these are more this would be like, would I love the book by James Clear, Tom. Absolutely.
Yes. Right. Perfect.
So it's like we're talking about a clear set of issues, getting those habits in place yet versus a Freudian style like this is something deeper. This is just correct. And that makes absolute sense because that is something that we're seeing a lot of coaches. We're seeing a lot of people stepping into this realm. I do believe personally and maybe I'm gullible but I believe most people do that by stepping it and putting that energy in because I'm, I'm here to tell everybody if you're launching something online, it's not just you're putting it actually all the bricks and mortar virtual. Right. It's not easy. It's not cheap. No. And if you're actually putting that effort in, I do believe that that person truly wants to help. What are some of the challenges you see that you come across with? What's kind of the most common challenge that you've seen that's come out of this pandemic?
Over the last few years. What are you seeing that's really been a huge impact?
Definitely worth more than value issues. I think that's almost the tail all this time. You know, it's something that's always been a part of it. But I think through the pandemic with isolating, juggling, multiple different people, not personalities, response abilities and having to do that all from the comfort of their home are not so comfort of their home is it really triggers that. But so and so on, social media is doing it better. I remember and I mean, I could do a whole show on social media with you. Oh, my God.
You call me I'll be gone. Even though social media is a tool, folks. It's an absolute newspaper.
Yes, very, very much. And I use social media for my business. And so it's kind of like this irony of I use it, but yet I'm really not a huge fan because I and I've even said it myself for probably a year and I was like, my gosh, I'm busier than I've ever been. And where's my pandemic experience? I didn't learn how to bake five different kinds of bread. I didn't clean my house and organize all the closets that I haven't touched since I moved into my house. And I think that comparison was heightened because people would see on social media what all these other moms were doing, homeschooling, plus working from home, plus cooking gourmet meals. And I think what it did was trigger a lot of that that good enough ism or not good enough ism that people have inside to say, well, hey, Suzy did it over here, why can't I instead of realizing that Suzy did 20 years takes to get that one clip and like I do with my office, there could be a mess over here. But you're not going to see it on camera. Now, trust me, everybody is clean. I have visitors. It's clean. But, you know, you always show what you want people to see. But I think it's really heightened that comparison game. And in conjunction with social anxiety, I've seen a rise in social anxiety with home. And so comparison and social anxiety as we venture back out. And we think everybody else has had these picture perfect two years and we're just struggling to get real pants on that aren't pants, are sweat pants.
So glad you said that. I'm looking at my shoes. I have never had shoes last this long. This is so easy. And you know what? I'm very much an extrovert. I'm one of these types of people that my heart rate slows and I actually go very Zen when I'm on a stage in front of 500 people. Whereas when I walk down into the audience and I go one on one, that's where my social anxiety comes in. I'm literally the opposite of most people. But I found that coming out when we started opening back up, I found that there was a real struggle to get my butt out the door.
Yeah, absolutely. And that's pretty common. Yeah.
So what are some strategies or techniques that you've helped women to get back out there? Because it's almost like this whole trait we all have. This train is our life right? Right. And then all of a sudden we went to full stop fuel to get that train going again. My energy isn't right. I never experienced that. I've always been going, go, go, go, go. And this is the first time in my life where I've sat here and said, Do I really want to go to that?
Right, exactly. Exactly.
That's interesting. So what do you say in those cases? Because a lot of people got to get that locomotive going again? Absolutely.
And I think it's twofold. I think part of it is that trains stopped literally overnight and after the panic and the fear subsided a little bit. And I understand it was residual for all of us for two years. I get that. But then it was like, wow, is this what it's like to not go a million miles an hour? Is this what it's like to actually have family time or downtime or actually watch a movie without multitasking? And not looking at the clock? So I think a part of it was the appreciation for the slow pace. And now part of it is a concern of the speeding up of that's going to take energy, that's going to take effort. Oh, my gosh, do my clothes fit, which I hear for a lot of people. But it's, you know, it's the freshman 15 it's the pandemic pounds and getting back out there is just the amount of emotional energy it takes for people. So I think it's twofold. I think it's because they're slow but it's also fear of ramping back up and the other end up being able to keep up or just not being able to show up in a way that they were able to show up two years ago. Whether that's because they're reevaluating whether that's because they've gained weight or they've just lost that confidence for a multitude of reasons. Comparisons a lot of relationships failed and didn't survive quarantine.
Uh huh. Yeah. Yeah, I'm still married. It is not buried in the backyard.
So there you go, that's a bonus. Yeah. Yeah.
Here in Canada, I wouldn't even attempt to dig up the backyard I understand. So everything you talked about, what's really fascinating is now we're going in, we have a compounded effect here of inflation here. So we have that slow down and the appreciation of rights and pension. Penny's not spending the money on gas, not just spending the money going out right. Not spending the money on pets, but also we've we've we're able to a lot of people were actually able to reduce their spending during a pandemic because we eliminated a lot of excess engagement. But now we have in January, February, a 7.5% inflation rate which means the household used to before the pandemic do 80,000 a year means that the household now needs to make close to $500 more per month in order to offset inflation. And then we have all these other world issues going on. So knowing that and knowing that you work with women, what are some of the around strategies with women? Todd is self-starting doing business and shares a little bit of it through coaching the women and getting them to go. Yeah that that is a good idea. I should watch that or yes, I should execute that share a little bit as to how each woman out there can find $500 more a month in. Right. Offset inflation.
Right. Yes. And it's there's where there's a will there's a way and I am such a huge fan like the biggest cheerleader for female entrepreneurs for anybody, but especially women wanting to launch what they're passionate about and a lot of women who are going into business are going into business because they identified a need, whether it be in their life or in their friends lives or because they're super passionate about something. And when you're passionate about something that I'm like, dove in, come on, let's go. Like, I'm going to be your biggest cheerleader. On the sidelines, because there's always a way to create 500 more dollars in your budget. And so before some of the listeners roll their eyes and say, okay, Melissa may be in your budget world, but not in my budget world, sometimes you have to get super creative. Sometimes your choices are fabulous. That ideal, but it's taking.
And one of the exercises I do with anybody I work with therapy or coaching is what are your core values? What defines you as a person? Who are you at the core? And when you look at those core values and you apply it to finances, it's pretty fascinating what you seek is a lot of people, myself included, when I first looked up my budget was like, Wow, my budget doesn't really reflect my core values. So either my budgets are off and I really need to sort of evaluate that and kind of figure out where my money's being funneled or my core values are off. And that's never the case. Your core values are what makes you who you are, but when you align with those core values, you get the energy, you have the stamina, you have the authentic sense of who you are at the core that's going to catapult you to find a way to shave $500 off your budget so that you can continue to believe in, dove in and launch that business. It's your passion project.
Absolutely. And I do believe so. Forbes put out an article in 2019 that stated that the online coaching, edutainment, education and mentorship space globally generated $117 billion that year, that year, and they were predicting by 20, 25, $350 billion. However, this is before the pandemic. Right. So as we move into the age of knowledge away from the industrial age, so we're moving away from those set workweeks, we're moving away from that manual, that manual labor space. Right. There are a lot.
Of room for.
Women because women tend to work more cerebrally, like where we're smart, we're multiple faceted, we're all struggling, right? We're able to accommodate. Men are great. We're for you know, see a fire run in, put it out right. Let's fire out.
Run out. Yes.
And I'm a mother of two boys and married for 27 years. This is not to belittle or negate men's roles. However, we're seeing more and more women come into medicine as doctors because it's that multifaceted opportunity. And we're seeing more men stepping into the nursing role because that is a singular focus task. Right? So it really is fascinating. So what are your top three kinds of things you think every woman should do? When they're reevaluating where they're at the business wise, where they're just taking that step backward and do I really want to return to the office? Do I really want to do this? And we're seeing this a lot, especially for women over 45 of the top three things you tell them to stop and do.
First and foremost, if you haven't done your core values, do your core values, you know, to really lean in and figure out, okay, what makes me tick? Does it make me tick to show up at the office or was that just a paycheck? You know what that is? That really defines who I am at the core. So first and foremost, what are your core values? Secondly, where do you derive your energy from? And if you derive your energy from creating a product B, you know, from having performance evaluations, from showing up and doing the nine to five okay, great. If that's what drains your energy, well, then we need to reevaluate and figure out where your energy is coming from. And thirdly, where's your passion? We all can create a passion project. I get that. But I just spoke with a woman this morning who has a very cushy job and she's like, But it's not my passion, Melissa, and this is my passion. I want to launch this business. And we had a great conversation about Oak. How can you live a parallel life for a little bit, really lean into the business opportunity, start doing investigation, talking to people, developing a business plan, creating that dream to determine can this dream become my funding source? Or is this dream going to be a side project? So core values, energy changers and really identifying what are you passionate about? We're all passionate about something.
It absolutely is. And you just said a word side project your thoughts around a value on side projects. So side project side hustles, whatever I'll share with you. Personally, I think they're as valuable. I believe that you should have two or three going all a time if you're a diverse person, but have fun with it. Enjoy life, explore all the things that make you tick. But give me some of your language. I know a lot of people diminish their side hustle with that word side hustle, right? So do you share with me some ways to empower yourself and put validity on the fact that you're creating.
Absolutely your side hustle? At one point in time, I think I had eight side hustles. Okay. So if you're out there with eight side hustles, maybe we need to chat because that's a little bit too many balls in the air that you're juggling and that's going to create a little bit of stress and potentially burnout therapy was my side hustle 14 years ago. It was my side hustle. I was an executive for a social service agency. I would oversee the therapist. I did some therapy on the side because I love it and I enjoyed that until I was ready to take the leap. And so your side hustle, whereas it can be diminished, a lot of people find their passion in their side hustle, and sometimes that side hustle then becomes their full time gig. When you're ready to take the leap, when you're ready to jump, when you're ready to go all and say, this is who I am and this is what my purpose is, then your side hustle is no longer on the side. But if for whatever reason it can't make enough money, you need the benefits is what I hear from a lot of folks. You need the benefit package. You're raising a family. 100% get it? But the side hustle is if that's what fuels your soul, if that's what gives you purpose, meaning happiness in life, I say bring it on. But this was my side hustle and that's my full time gig. And I have zero regrets.
Oh, you know, you can tell because you come across very concisely. There's a lot you listen to a lot of coaches and they'll say something and then literally four sentences later you can I know you say that's.
My bucket list to join us. He was maybe.
Oh, we got to see the puppy's every passing moment.
And it's paupers.
Now. My wealth you say.
I have to say.
Oh, I was sorry about that.
That's all right. How old is Marlo?
Marlo is eight, and his big brother Max is upstairs. And he is ten uh happy.
So what type of puppy is that?
He is a Yorkie poo, and the big guy upstairs is a labradoodle. So we have designer dogs because my daughter has asthma, so they don't shed. And I don't worry about fur everywhere. And they're delightful. And this one's a ham.
It's the dog shed that has me. We have this dog called Houdini. It's an Australian sheep herding black and white. Looks like one of those cow dogs and this dog has the innate ability. They can walk through a room and whatever, wherever you are, if you're wearing black it will leave that here.
And if you're wearing white, it will leave black hair. And you can certainly be two rows away and you will still get hair from this dog. Our videographer, who is hilarious, would walk in and say, gizmo is everywhere. That's for the gizmo so that he's my husband's best friend. I keep going. I got rid of gizmo. My son's like, that's my dog. Well, okay, well, let's keep the dog. Yes, I love dearly. You get to keep the dog so when we talk, husband's getting rid of one. I ha. So I have been in this space and it's crazy. The demographic both have a financial standard of living, everything around divorce. It is really brutal. Like it. It is unbelievable. So do you work with women who are coming through divorce? Do you work with. Okay, can you share with me some of the survival techniques that you give them just to get through and then how to emerge on the other side?
Yes. And since the population that I work a lot with are overachiever, high achievers. So on paper they have all this success, but personally, their life has imploded. It really comes with a lot of shame and a lot of sense of failure, even if they're the ones who initiate the divorce. It comes with the shame of failure. And through the process, first and foremost, I find the most difficult part is making the choice: do I stay even though it's unhealthy? It's a poor role model for the kids. I'm not happy. We're roommates. All we do is fight. Whatever the reason is, leading up to saying, Okay, this is what is healthiest and best for me, or This is my choice. That sometimes is the most difficult portion for a woman to know what they're about to walk into, even if they are the financial breadwinner. And finances aren't the concern like they are for a lot of women stepping up, telling family and friends, loving colleagues, not informing your significant other. That is where a lot of the difficulty comes in. And then through that process, is reminding them of their why? Why is it that you chose to go this route? Why is it that you decided that this relationship isn't working? And to be able to work through the concept of shame and failure and still the ability to function because life could stop. You could crawl into bed with that pint of coffee, ice cream and never leave. But the reality is life still needs to go on. You still need to show up for the people in your life and for your job. And so the initial part is going through what do I do? How do I manage? What is my decision and then once that decision is made, addressing shame and failure and really giving them the support they need, as you go through the rollercoaster of the legal system, to, you know, legally, financially, logistically detach from this person that you thought you were going to spend forever with.
Wow. Yeah, I and I do hear a lot around the shame that is really what so, you know, shame is one of the you quoted Brené Brown and I always associate that release of shame getting rid of it. Bernie Brown's message like she's one of my Brené Brown. If Brené Brown and if I could have somebody adopt me, it would be Brené Brown and Gail Robbins. I guess I just want to be adopted somehow. These women rocked my world for two different reasons because I'm a much for Mariel world. And I support that I'm not in a coaching capacity like you are. I would never say that my space is not my specialty. But my whole thing is to get women like your voice out there so that people know that a lot of times they don't want to go into they don't know because they don't know the questions to ask or learn. Right. When we haven't been there before. So a lot of women who are dealing with financial stress and they're dealing with shame and fear and threat going and investing. And it is investment ladies investing in counseling may not be their top priority. That's sitting down by $200. Whereas doing the day they coaching at least opens up a door, opens up dialog and gets you started. And it's far more cost effective but back to Brené Brown. You always ask what is a quote that moves you? What is the quote that you come back to? What is a quote that inspires you? You share with us the quote that you gave or any quote that really and it may have changed between the time you filled out your form in the time that you sit down. Yeah. And because we're having it obviously.
You know, you know. Right. We can change. Yes. Yeah. And I think one of the greatest gifts that I was given is that Brené Brown, in the daring way, has a certified facilitator training that doesn't exist any longer. But I was lucky enough to be able to go through the certification process. And so I joke with some of my clients that I speak Brené Brown fluently, even though I think if I were seated across from her, I would probably not be able to speak very much at all. And I'm not a fan girl. And with her, one of my most favorite quotes is that if you are not in the arena, getting your bootie connected, of course, uses a different language. But if you're not in the arena getting your booty kicked, I'm not interested in your feedback. And I think as women, when we're going through difficult times and we're making choices and really excelling or feeling like we're failing, it's all about, well, what do my friends say? What does my family say? What does my brother say? What does my boss say? You know, what do my kids think? And really, really, at the end of the day, if you're not walking through fire with me, then I, I don't care if you like me, hate me, want nothing to do with me. And I think that's a concept I wish more women would embrace: that you have your tribe, you have your circle, you have your people. But your worth and values should not be derived from people outside of that circle.
Absolutely. Absolutely. You know, yeah, it is. Dig a deep finding that works and just holding on to it. Yeah. You need to be like, what was that character in Lord of the Rings? Everybody is always Gollum. Yeah. I mean, my pretty gender yeah. I pretty well, you know, I want to close this out with one kind of final question. I want you to share with me your passion around why women, right? Because statistically, you know, most men will work with male coaches and 50% of women will work with male coaches just because there's something about them that they see the testosterone or whatever as being a stronger leader coach, whatever you tell me why women for you.
I think that too many women stay small if they take whatever life is dealt, whatever curveballs they throw and they shrink and they stay small and either look to a male figure or look elsewhere or to delineate their worth to give them validation. And that's not to say all women look to the opposite gender for that but one of my one of my quests in life to use that word is that I want to empower women to say, you can be feminine, you can be beautiful, you can be soft, but you can also have a backbone to stand up, show up and and own your worth and value. And you don't have to have anybody else in your circle to be able to step into that space and own whatever that is. That you want. And I am just very committed to really pouring into women and empowering them to be able to develop their own backbone, to get their voice in whatever arena they're in so that they can be the person that they want to be and that they thrive. And they're not staying small so that you can show up and just be you quirk amazing, imperfect, you and rock whatever it is you want to tackle Absolutely.
And on that, we're going to actually wrap here because that is a perfect closing. Remember, ladies, progress over perfection because the definition of perfection is that there's nowhere left to go. And when I will be perfect the day I hit the grave and until then, I'm a work in progress, messy and imperfect. So, Melissa, where can we find you? Somebody to listen to and they know that you are the goal to help them with something or just wants to connect. Where can they find you?
Absolutely. I am on Facebook and Instagram. My website is Melissa Reid, Salon.com and all of my Facebook and LinkedIn and Instagram handles have my name. So Melissa Siano, just do a Google search, you'll find me. I would love to talk with anybody who just needs a little bit of encouragement to be able to start that career, start that business, or just start living their life.
Amazing. Well, Melissa, as I kick the I guess I'm like, oh, okay. Well, thank you so much for sharing your time. And I want to thank every person who takes time. Be with us on the livestream through the podcast or ten years down the road. When you dig this up, you shake it out and go, Wow, this is what I needed for you. I want to thank you for your time because your platform is valuable and just remember that it is a nonrenewable resource. So I do thank you for sharing that again. Please like, share, comment and subscribe. NI just needs your support. I'm not asking you for money, I'm just asking you for your support, light, comment, share and subscribe. And until next time you will find me at Resilience Series dot com. And that's a forward slash. KimTalks podcast. Or you can just go Kim talks dot club and I'll talk to you also. Bye for now. Thank you.
Melissa Russiano is a firecracker who wakes up stuck and stagnant people through coaching, training, speaker and all around motivation. She provides a unique approach with clients that pulls in her clinical expertise, directed coaching skills as well as life experience to reach individuals on a deep and transformative level.
Her passion is inspiring fierce curiosity and empowering high achievers to slow down, breathe and enjoy their perfectly imperfect adventure of a life. She openly shares how she loves to drink water from a wine glass, dreams of living in Fiji but resides in blizzard country and considered applying to be on Survivor until she learned she would have to give up caffeine.
Melissa will challenge you to think differently, encourage you to embrace the fact that life is not perfect but if you are ready - it can be perfect for you.
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