Welcome to another Konnect Africa Interview. Today’s interview is a special one because for the very first time, our Guest is not an African or an African American. She is from the United Kingdom.
One of our goals here at KonnectAfrica.Net is to let Africans everywhere to know what’s possible, so that the much-needed break through can be experienced in our hearts and in our houses.
Today, we have on our hot-seat, a lady who has redefined the word – FUN. From her, I found out that having fun is all about expressing ourselves and this could take various forms, depending on what feels good to you. She taught me that having fun is all about being true to me. Wow! Have fun.
I can go on and on but before then, let me introduce you to our Guest for today. Her name is Melanie Whittaker.
Tell us about yourself, family, ethnicity, education, base location
I’m based in the UK. I am an only child to an American mother and a British father. I was educated in the UK schooling system and left when I was sixteen. After that, I went to college to learn how to type so I could work in an office.
What specific solutions do you deliver in the marketplace?
I make natural skincare products made with essential oils. I recognise that people love to buy natural products because some people have skin disorders.
Others just like to know that there are no harsh chemicals in what they’re buying. Plus, some like the personal touch and would like to know that they have bought handmade products instead of mass produce.
I also coach women who have lost that spark for life. They are going through the motions, they neglect self-care, they don’t put their own needs first and they have lost their va va voom for life. They desperately want to live their dream but they’re too scared and don’t know how to get out of a boring rut. I help them blast through fear and create a life they love.
What inspired you to start your business?
It was when the economy collapsed I had to relocate to a part of the country where most jobs are very unfulfilling and don’t pay well.
Before that, I had a great life, so I completely lost a lifestyle and felt very unhappy. I have always been creative but working in an office I never pursued my creative side. I went on a workshop one weekend to learn how to make soap and skincare and loved it. It was then that I decided to create a business as I knew working the jobs I was doing at that time were not going to make me happy.
What has been the most effective strategy you have used to grow your business?
Facebook! I absolutely love it. I have met many people, I am in a lot of groups and have made great connections, plus I have my Facebook group which is growing a lot now.
How have you leveraged the power of social media to push your message?
My Facebook group has been amazing, plus I’m in lots of groups so, I make connections to interview people for my blog and to collaborate.
I’ve not done Facebook ads, but will do that this year. Plus I’m building up a following on Instagram and people are interested in my message.
What are some of the major challenges you have encountered and how have you overcome them?
For me, it’s balancing a J-O-B and my biz but I’m getting very clever with my time and I focus purely on what matters. Once you have a system in place, you know what’s not important and what needs to get done.
Also, mindset is huge. I’ve really struggled to keep my mindset positive at times and fear has stopped me from doing a lot of things. Once you overcome your mindset, you can do anything. I have a product that people can take a look at called Kickass Scheduler. This will help you get clever with your time, keep your mindset positive and blast through fear. You can check it out here>>> www.melsplantoplay.com/kickass-scheduler.
Where do you see your business in 5 years’ time?
All around the world. I want to move to Gran Canaria, so will be based there. I want to host retreats all around the world and host workshops too. I really want to help women see that they can follow their dream.
Any mentors? What is the best advice you have received from a mentor?
Stop worrying how things will work out and just start. Don’t waste time worrying because life never goes to plan anyway. Once you start, things start to happen and doors will open but you have to start.
Providing the best service you can for your clients. There is lots of competition out there but if people love your service, they will stay loyal.
Customer service is so important whether you’ve just gained a customer or they’ve been with you for a while, I offer the same service to everyone. People want to feel like a person, not a number.
It’s also about keeping up to date with business trends. You have to stay current or you will get lost. You do need to know where your clients are hanging out online and then speak to them in a language they understand. Client’s don’t want to hear jargon and be blinded with science. They just want to know why they should buy your product and what it will do for them.
Life is hard for many people all around the world and people just have fun at the weekends. So, how can people have fun 7 days a week? what advice would you give a woman who feels like she isn’t having fun in her life?
That’s a great question. My advice would be –
What’s that one thing you can’t stop talking about? That’s your passion. You need to pursue your passion.
Even if you think you are useless at your passion, you need to give it a go.
Where can we find out more about you?
Ladies can join my group at Mel’s Plan to Play on Facebook
I can also hop on skype and help you clear through what’s stopping you having fun. Then, I will help you create a life you love . Here is my skype username – melanie.whittaker6
Many thanks for sharing with us, Mel.
You are welcome.