Melanie Raw

Dear Melanie, you’ll be WAY cooler.

Dear Melanie, you’ll be WAY cooler.

You’re not getting older, you’re getting cooler. 


All I’m seeing right now are decade reviews and humans saying “resolutions are dumb.” It’s a LOT of judgment on others, without even realizing it. It’s also a lot of highlight reels or “this was the worst year.” It’s just a lot.

Do you really remember where you were 10 years ago today without looking at your Facebook memories? Do you remember how you were feeling? What you were addicted to? WHO you were addicted to? The shit you said to yourself when you looked in the mirror? The belief system that drove you? The loneliness you felt, even in your relationship? The guilt you felt for that thing you hate about yourself? The friends you had? The friends you left?

Most of us have a hard time remembering how we felt 6 months ago. We look at our 2019 in review and think about only the darkest and brightest moments. It’s a survival mechanism that allows us to keep moving – or that holds us back. We forget about the stuff that doesn’t matter. Except that the stuff we forget is a lot of the stuff that matters. The FEELINGS are what we forget.

10 years ago today, I was only 8 months into my business after losing my job. I had just paid off my student loans and my car, had just opened my first office in Bethesda, Maryland and felt lonely, isolated, unfocused, and unhealthy. My best friend was about to die unexpectedly and my other two best friends would walk away from my life two weeks later. I wouldn’t go deep with anyone for a very long time. I would be an emotional wreck without a support system while looking like I had TONS of friends.

10 years ago today, I had just started running races and realized how much they were a respite for me in entrepreneurship. I was only at the beginning of feeling healthy in my body, except I was a mess emotionally. I was still going back and forth in a relationship that was emotionally abusive and taxing on my system. I ended up hiring my pastor’s wife as my first employee (who thought I was a nut-job for staying with him until she found out years later why I felt I had to). I was even told by my then boyfriend that I only went to networking events to meet men (when in reality, I was going because they served free food & I was broke.) I hated him, yet was addicted to how I felt when I was with him. Ashamed, yet wanted. Mostly.

photo by Mary Gardella

5 years later, the picture above was taken on my first real photoshoot with Mary Gardella. She took me to a warehouse freight elevator near her studio in Baltimore and made me feel like a model. I had just finished the Live Your Brand Tour, still wasn’t talking to my mom, and was doing everything I could to keep my business and team intact. We were making over half a million in revenue and my inbox was a daily dumpster fire. I wanted out, yet had NO idea what that would look like.

Until this photo was taken, I’d had people I didn’t even know tell me that my chin was too big for profile shots, my body was shaped weirdly, my height was a distraction, my crooked nose didn’t fit my face, and my tattoos would make me look manly. Except they were all wrong – and I had to realize that their comments had NOTHING to do with me.

This photo captures me feeling damn sexy. Simple, yet damn sexy. White t-shirt, jeans, and chucks – standing in a dirty elevator being ONLY my badass self. I felt like an effing model. Mary Gardella is one of the few humans who has ONE incredible purpose and she’s MASTERED it. She makes you feel like yourself – amplified.

It wouldn’t be until 5 years later – right about now – that I would realize my sole purpose – to amplify humans. To make sure humans become their full selves in whatever way that means for them – without judgment. Even my Crew of badass ladies boldly told me that it was my gift to put incredible humans into the same room and allow them the safe space to be who they were meant to be. I accept this fully.

Right now, we amplify humans through my keynote speaking, sharing free workbooks & courses & our in-person trainings. I’m sure 10 years from now, it’ll look TOTALLY different, but for right now, I have a 2020 mission – to amplify 7320 humans. 

Will you help me reach 7320 humans this year? Create your Life Vision & then share the free workbook. Come to a speaker training retreat in Denver this year. Learn to write a stage-worthy talk in under 45 minutes & share it with your friends. Get your company to bring us in for a corporate training. Learn more about your business brand & start sharing yourself with the world. I can’t do this all on my own – and we can’t do it without you.

I turn 40 in 2020. 9 months from now, I’ll officially be in my 40’s. I think that’s about the time everyone stops telling me “you’re still a kid” and I realize that I’ve finally become old enough to know better. (Is there a point that people tell you you’re old enough!? I digress.) Now, as I’m about to hit the end of another decade of my own life, I’ve decided that I’m not getting older, I’m getting COOLER.

If I could go back to tell my 29-year-old Melanie anything, I’d let her know that everything will be WAY better than she ever imagined. She’d have her dream husband, dream apartment, her dog wouldn’t be a dick (thanks to Prozac), her business would be helping humans become Rockstars, and she’d get to go on her dream vacations.

I’d also let her know that she would still be stressed out about money, would still wish her body was more fit, would still want to get rid of her forehead wrinkles, would still have a hard time sleeping, and would still wish she had a few friends to go see girly movies with. And yet, everyone else has similar wishes, stressors, and issues. Because while Facebook and Instagram are filtered and highlight reels, EVERYONE – and I repeat, EVERYONE – has issues.

So, let’s all work together on being less frustrated with ourselves, more hopeful about the human race, and more focused on how we can better ourselves so we can better the world. Because we’re not getting older, we’re getting cooler. Together.

To being grown-ass humans who love and accept ourselves in 2020.





Making Courage Out Of Fear

Making Courage Out Of Fear

“Courage is resistance to fear.

Mastery of fear.

NOT absence of fear.” – Mark Twain

It’s a Monday morning. I’ve been up since 4 am feeling stuck. Sitting in one of the scariest emotions ever – FEAR. I’m scared of my own self-induced changes – and there’s been A LOT of them. I’m scared of having them all fail. And if you read my post, I wanna see you be brave, you’ll see I’m also afraid of them succeeding.

I’ve had a lot of time to think about fear. My relationship with it, its purpose in my life, and how to keep going with it instead of letting it hold me back. I’ve come to the conclusion that we don’t have any answers about overcoming it – or if we even should. But I do have some ideas about how we can sit in our fear, move forward with it, and allow fear to bring out our most courageous sides.

“All you have to do is have the courage to ask for help. The courage to want more for yourself. The courage to let go of the fact that this fear has control.”​

Listen to the podcast to find out more.

Featured in the podcast is Wim Hof – get some of him here.

Podcast production by Javy Espejo


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Give me 1 hour, I’ll give you 9 years

Give me 1 hour, I’ll give you 9 years

Over the last 9 years, I’ve been asked “Can I buy you a cup of coffee & pick your brain?” at least once a week. To celebrate my 9 year anniversary, I’ve dumped 9 years worth of entrepreneurial experience into a 1-hour podcast episode. (It was NOT easy and I talk really fast – so beware.)

Grab a notebook and your favorite pen – and feel free to pause as often as you need. I didn’t structure it like a talk, so it’s not a pretty account – it’s my raw, real memory of everything I remember learning since becoming an entrepreneur. The good, the bad, the ugly, and why vacations are so dang important.

In this episode, you’ll hear about: (in no particular order)

  • why I started my business
  • when I hired my first employee
  • how many times I’ve pivoted
  • why I dumped Sisarina after 8 years
  • why I started Branded Confidence
  • why you have to have thick skin to be a boss
  • why profitability matters
  • how to dump the scarcity mindset
  • why your strengths matter most
  • how branding has to take center stage
  • understanding your core values
  • hiring for growth
  • and why growth doesn’t matter

I am ONLY telling you this so you can take what you want and throw away the rest. Because, as you’ll hear in this episode, YOU have to learn how to run YOUR own business for yourself. No book will teach you what you’ll need to learn from experience. But I DO give book recommendations and resources to help you out.

Dive in – but beware. It’s real, raw, and as usual, me. ENJOY!



Podcast production by Javy Espejo

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You can’t schedule creativity.

You can’t schedule creativity.

“You can’t schedule creativity.” I said this in a recent podcast episode. It’s a phrase that’s been haunting me lately. More like, forever.

Determination means nothing if you’re not in the right mindset. (I know, because I’m a REALLY determined woman.) You can’t force the creative process. You can’t sit down and will it into being. You will end up getting up to do the laundry or clean floors before it shows up. And it will show up when you least expect it.

Creativity is like a stubborn child.

It needs quiet time, playtime, nap time, time outdoors, and time to release all of its energy before it can go to bed. Most of us sit behind a laptop, stare at the screen and say “Let’s be creative,” but we are typically staring at a TV screen, flipping through our social media, and wonder why we’re not being creative enough.

You CAN create the right environment for creativity. You CAN put together a routine to help the creative process along. You hear about authors going to the lake, the ocean or the mountains to write. They find solitude and they’re also closer to nature – to the essence of who they are as humans. They find the open space to let their brains free.

Trying to schedule creativity ends up being more of a mess than it’s worth.

I’ve been trying to write a book for two years. And when I say trying, I don’t mean writing – I mean, planning, thinking about it, and hoping for it to happen. Some say you can’t TRY to be an author, you have to WRITE to be an author.

Then I get busy again. I have all of the material. I have a pile of Moleskines filled with notes. I have a quiet environment, I wake up early, and somehow I don’t seem to want it badly enough – my “busy” life, my ever growing to-do lists, my phone’s notifications, and the ticking clock always creep in to remind me it’s not time to be creative. And then I hope for time in the future that will be well-balanced. My future self is ALWAYS more balanced than I am. You know how that works… it doesn’t.

As an introvert who plays an extrovert in the outside world, I LOVE spending time by myself. The recharge is what I crave. The quiet time with a book, a notebook, chilled out music, and a clean house. This last part is usually the death of my creativity. Just now, I had to start the laundry, clean up the kitchen, put away the collecting items from the dining room table, wipe down the bathroom counters, put on some makeup – oh, yeah, and earrings… because you know, what happens if I have to see someone. In my house. Sigh.

I am a productive procrastinator. If I have something to do that I know will eat up a bunch of brain space, I’ll find little things to make me feel productive first – and then never get around to that to-do list item I REALLY need to do.

Liz Gilbert talks about this in her book, Big Magic – Creative Living Beyond Fear. She shares that great ideas are bouncing around all the time – like little fairies. The idea muse touches down on you to show you that this great idea will be yours and only yours. It will touch you and ask for you to host it – to take care of it, nurture it into the real world. That’s the key – you have to DO something with it. You can have the best idea come to you, yet if you don’t do anything with it, it will fly off and find someone else to host it. And then you’re watching the news wondering how THAT person got THAT idea when you thought of it first. *throws fists at the sky* It’s because they DID something with the idea. Just like this blog post (and the podcast episode in here) – I keep getting reminders to write it – then finally broke myself from cleaning (my productive procrastination) and decided the floors didn’t need sweeping – I had to write this.

I recently heard about the Ambrosial Hours on the Beautiful Writers Podcast. Guru Singh talks about the 2.5 hours before the sun comes up when rays of arriving light are infrared. This invisible light carries vast quantities of information for nourishing life. The time when meditation and yoga is best. The time before the rest of the world is awake. It’s the best creative time because we’re the most open to receiving the information to nourish the world. What a perfect time for me to write. Right? Sigh.

One of my favorite authors & pastors, Mark Batterson, talks about how he first got pushed by God to write his first book. He knew it was time but he had to create the right environment for getting it out of himself. Despite not being an early bird, he woke up way earlier than the rest of the East Coast and wrote. Every morning, he wrote. Until it was done. He created routine and an environment to make sure creativity happened. He knows it was a God-idea birthed in him years before – and when it was time, he created the space for it to become a reality.

Just like Liz Gilbert talks about little ideas bopping around looking for a host, the Divine (God, the Universe, your greater power) gives you God-ideas. They aren’t just good ideas, they’re divinely appointed. And it’s up to you to host them and bring them out into the world.

You can’t schedule creativity, but you CAN feed it and give it the space it needs to show up.

After 2 years of talking about it, I’ve scheduled 2 weeks in Costa Rica with nothing to do aside from sit on the beach, push my SPEAK With Confidence rockstars to write their talks, and write this (crazy) book proposal. This proposal has been weighing on me and I KNOW it’s time to write it. But I can’t show up to the beach with nothing ready – I have to create the schedule now so I can drop right into it. I have to start preparing so I can write while I’m there. I have to start this environment for the creative process to flow.

So, I had an incredible talk with my guy (who LOVES to sleep) about getting up during the Ambrosial Hours to write. He has so much to write as well – and we have to get prepped for this trip. So, we’re committing to scheduling Ambrosial Hours time to let the creativity flow – and then we’re going to get up early during the 2 weeks we’re on vacation and go deep with this writing process.



What do YOU have inside of you that needs the right environment to come out? Listen in to this week’s podcast episode to hear more about this and then join the challenge to see where it takes you.

Get the worksheet & get creative

Download this worksheet to help your creative process along. Start it the night before and finish it the day of – and then tell me how it’s going!


If you are ready to craft & deliver a talk, jump into SPEAK With Confidence. It’s a 6-week course (or you can go-at-your-pace) with a huge workbook, a community, and loads of videos to help you get your talk of you. sign up here



I LOVE love.

I LOVE love.

I’m super excited about Love this year.

Valentine’s Day has been a REALLY hard day for me for the last 14 years. And I have a good reason why. But this year, it’s changing. And it’s because of something a woman said to me and my guy at a tea shop in DC when we first got together. It made me realize I had a decision to make – and that decision was not something based on anyone else. It was 100% my decision and no one else could change my mind.

Whether you love Valentine’s Day or think it’s just another Hallmark holiday, this episode is all about loving your life, yourself and everyone around you. It’s your choice. Listen in to get inspired (or don’t listen and have a crappy Valentine’s Day.)

Listen here:

Also, I snuck in an easy way to understand how The DISH Method works. It’s live! Go check it out at

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The Beauty of Imperfection

The Beauty of Imperfection

“The enemy of getting anything done is perfection.”

How often do we find ourselves criticizing ourselves and/or work? Even to the point that we never share it with anyone without filtering it? Perfection is unattainable. We are perfectly imperfect human beings creating incredibly perfectly imperfect things. Why bother putting a filter on it when the world needs us unfiltered and real?

I recently went to Isla Mujeres on a personal development trip with 11 other ladies. We created visions for our lives, worked on big ideas, created steps to implement those ideas, and then wrote out exactly how we would manifest everything we wanted. This wasn’t for little dreamers – this was for women with massive magical manifesting powers. And while we were there, I realized that what I wanted was already within me – EXPLOSIVE CREATIVITY!

As I sat at the table working on what was blocking me, I realized that you can’t schedule creativity – and that my mind needed to be free so I could create. Which reminded me of why I have an enso tattooed on my shoulder. According to Wikipedia, an enso is a circle that is hand-drawn in one or two uninhibited brushstrokes to express a moment when the mind is free to let the body create. It symbolizes absolute enlightenment, but it also symbolizes the beauty of imperfection. Which is exactly why I wanted it.

Letting go of perfection allows you to be creative & free.

Even this episode has SO much imperfection, yet I didn’t want it edited out. Because who cares?! I’m a perfectly imperfect human – and you get to see me for who I really am – exploding with creativity without self-criticism.

Listen here:

You’ll even find out why I’m launching a free mini-series The DISH Method on Feb 12! Behind-the-scenes info on where it came from and why I want to give it away for free instead of charging for it. And with all of its imperfections, I’m so excited to see what you think – so I can make it even better. Get on the waitlist at and you’ll get to download the workbook & watch the mini-series as soon as it’s ready! 


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