Fear, Anxiety, and Inspiration with Melanie Anderson
Fear, Anxiety, and Inspiration with Melanie Anderson
This week’s guest is a very good friend of mine, Melanie Anderson. Melanie is a photographer, public speaker, coach, mentor, and all-around incredible person. In this podcast, Melanie and I talk about everything from value-based pricing, overcoming your fears, and having a great team to support you. I always walk away with a ton of knowledge every time I talk wither her, so I hope you find this as valuable as I do.
Adam Lowe: Today I’m sitting here with Melanie Anderson. Melanie is a good friend of mine. She’s a photographer, a public speaker, an educator, and someone who likes to kick my ass over text message. Melanie, can you say hi and tell me a little bit about your background and what you do?
Melanie Anderson: Oh, hey Adam. Thanks for having me here today. So, my background, what do I do? A wife, a mom, four kids. I own and operate a retail photography studio out of Maryland, and I am blessed to travel the world educating and motivating others. I am an integral part of our Maryland chapter for professional photographers, so the industry as a whole is really, really vital to me, as not only a professional photographer, but just the ability to be able to help others. And that’s always been to the core of who I am.
Adam Lowe: Great. So you and I met several years ago, and you were teaching a class. And so I’ve always seen you in that role of a teacher, a mentor, a motivator. And I think that’s the way a lot of people see you, as just being this motivating figure. Can you tell me more about what led you down that path to really kicking people’s butts and making them do great things?
Melanie Anderson: Sure. I started educating … I’ve been in … Let me back up. I’ve been a photographer, professional photographer for just over 12 years. About four years into that, I was given an opportunity to kind of share my story and how I had pretty much quadrupled my income within a one year span. And that story really caught the attention of this industry. And so I was given this opportunity to share that, and I started, I could tell immediately that’s kind of what my calling was. Definitely my purpose in this world was to educate and motivate others.
Melanie Anderson: Throughout that, over the last seven years, the audience that has been in front of me, I see this hunger, this desperation, this mindset of, well, I can’t do that. Look where you live and look at the assets that you have, and your skillset and the opportunities you have. And I would hear excuse, after excuse, after excuse. And I started kind of getting fed up and just started going, “Okay. I need to come up with a better action plan for my audience and my attendees and my following,” And I really just started going, “Okay. Bootcamp style,” that look, if you want to be successful, truly, it starts within. That is, without having a good sense of who you are, emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually, how can you possibly have a very successful and fruitful business?
Melanie Anderson: And so once I not only went internal in myself, but also started challenging my audience and those around me to do that, I started seeing a shift and I started seeing a different attitude. And I started seeing a mindset in them that, okay, I needed that. This is what I needed. And so I started really noticing the positive forward action that came from that. So it’s just really about being intuitive and aware of those around me and what would speak to them. And so when you talk about ass kicker and motivator and inspirator, all that came from just following my gut and being mindful of the struggles that people are facing that I too have gone through, and just being transparent about that, that look, if I can do this, anybody can do this.
Adam Lowe: So I can’t let you get away without at least telling us how you quadrupled your business in the span of a year.
Melanie Anderson: Absolutely. So I had attended a photography event and learned about … And this was very new into my business. Went into a retail location. I was working out of my home, but learned about in person sales and raising my prices to where it made sense for the financial needs of my family. And I no longer worried about what everybody else was charging, what everybody else was doing. And I made a decision to run my business as a business. And that was seriously the best thing I’ve ever done for my business, that I took the emotion out of it.
Melanie Anderson: And when you’re in the photography, it’s a very creative world. It’s a very emotional world. We sell on emotion. But I had to run my business as a business, not as a photographer. And once I changed that mindset, so truly it was in person sales and raising my prices. And all of a sudden, and I would also believe very much the law of attraction. When you put yourself out there in the mindset and you have a goal and a vision and you are consistently pursuing that mind, body, soul, law of attraction has everything to do with bringing that back full circle.
Adam Lowe: Yeah. And that goes so far beyond just photography too. We’ve got people who, they still charge by the hour and they don’t believe in value based pricing. And they don’t run their business like a business. Photographers are notorious for being horrible business people because it’s a creative industry. But I see it everywhere. I see it in consulting. I see it in marketing. I see it in web development. Most professional services business that I work with, I see some level of that, where they just really struggle with pricing based on the value that they’re providing their customer, rather than something arbitrary. Yeah.
Melanie Anderson: Exactly. And so one of the things that I always tell my clients, as also a consultant in this industry, it’s really almost a numbers game. You’ve got to just, again, we’ve already mentioned take the emotion out of it. But what you need to do is go, “Okay. These are my financial needs in the year. This is what I need to provide for my family.” Whatever that number is, so even if we just said $100,000. Right? Just giving a number out. So then we go, okay. We divide that by 12. That’s how much I need to bring in per month, whether you want to go by net or gross. And then you go, okay per week.” You divide that up. Then you go per day. How many days a week are you willing to work? How many clients can you take on within that day? And it really is a numbers game because then you go, “Okay. I need to make $3000 a week. I’m only willing and able to work three days a week,” so that’s $1000 per day for those three days. And then you go, “Okay. I’m willing to take on,” maybe it’s only one session a day based on your business model, whether it’s a very high end boutique and you’re investing a lot of time.
Melanie Anderson: Or what if you’re more of a volume type business? It doesn’t really matter. It just matters that you need to price appropriately based on your financial needs and your ability and willingness to work and how many sessions you can take on. So when you all of a sudden go, “Oh. And you look at it objectively, it changes everything because now you’re not just kind of wishy washy and hoping for sales. No, you have an action and you have a plan in place that you go, “This is what I need to make.” And when I don’t, then I need to hustle a little bit more to bring that income in.
Adam Lowe: Yeah. And that totally is a hard thing for people when they are selling a …
Melanie Anderson: An 8×10.
Adam Lowe: Well, an 8×10.
Melanie Anderson: And you’re going, “Okay. But my 8×10 for my volume business is $20. And my 8×10 for my portrait business is $99.” Why?
Adam Lowe: Yeah. That’s one of the hard things because what you’re talking about is photography, where you’re selling to somebody something that is a want as opposed to a need. So you really are talking about how much money you want to bring in as opposed to what the value is that you provide. So a lot of the businesses that I deal with, they might be selling a marketing service, selling a web design service, selling a legal service. So they need to really think about the service that they’re providing has a value that they can place on it to their customer. And that value is a heck of a lot more than what they might charge per hour.
Adam Lowe: So a web developer might sell a website for $6000, but you know what. If that website brings in two customers, it’s more than paid for itself in a lot of cases. In photography, that’s really tough to be able to say, “Oh, my gosh. This gorgeous wall portrait that I just spent, $3000, $4000, $5000, $6000 on, it’s bringing me a lifetime’s worth of value.
Melanie Anderson: Exactly.
Adam Lowe: So you’ve got an emotional value versus a business value.
Melanie Anderson: Priceless.
Adam Lowe: Exactly.
Melanie Anderson: Priceless. And it is our job to educate our client no matter what industry you’re in, to provide that want into a need. And so what we can do, whatever that genre is or whatever your business model is, is that it’s our responsibility to educate our client and to give them the reason and the purpose and the why they need this, even if it is a want, because we’ve already established that maybe specifically for the photography industry that, that becomes a need years later when somebody passes on. You know, the emotional value. They talk about: What are the things you’re taking if your home is on fire? You’re taking your photo albums. You’re taking your wall portraits because they are irreplaceable. You cannot get back time and that is the number one commodity that each of us is only given so many hours in a day, so many hours in a week. And we cannot earn that back. And so we can’t go back in time five years ago and recreate a family portrait. And those are those things, do not delay.
Adam Lowe: Yeah. And a lot of people that know me know the story of the reason why I still do in studio family portraits, even though it’s not even a tenth of my business, is because I never had that growing up. I don’t have a single family photograph with my mother, father, and brother in it, and myself in it all together. I’ve got my mother and my brother, me and my sister-in-law. But my father hated getting his photograph taken, so all I have are a few little Polaroids of him sitting on the sofa or standing around during a holiday party. And I just wish so deeply that I had that family portrait. That heirloom, that’s something that I could remember my entire family from now that they’re gone. So it is. I see exactly what you’re saying. That has a deep, deep sentimental value to me. And that’s why it’s something that I still offer and that I think is really important for anybody to have, even though the majority of my work is for businesses and commercial clients.
Melanie Anderson: And right there is a great reminder of how many moms that are behind the camera and taking pictures because maybe they don’t have a good self image of themselves and don’t feel worthy to be in front of the camera, whether they are overweight, or just don’t feel good about themselves, or whatever that case may be. I hear that time and time again. And I have family members that are like that. They never want to be in front of the camera. And I have to really make sure that, again like you said, it’s for your children. It’s for your grandchildren. There’s a reason and purpose for this, and that we want to celebrate you as well. But you’ve got to have that ability within even when you’re not confident in yourself because you’re doing it for your loved ones.
Adam Lowe: Right. So something else that always struck me about you was that you are everywhere.
Melanie Anderson: Yes. Yes.
Adam Lowe: Tell me about this. It seems like Melanie Anderson is absolutely everywhere.
Melanie Anderson: Everywhere.
Adam Lowe: And that’s been one of the keys to your success, so talk to me about that.
Melanie Anderson: Yeah. I would say it could be a key to my success or a key to my eventual downfall. You know what I mean? It’s one of those things. I get asked the same two questions all the time. One, do you ever sleep? And two, how do you do it all? And so the first one I want to address first is that over this last year, it’s been really important to me to kind of take a step back and be more mindful of self care. So I think that for me, and I’ll talk a little bit about faith, but God puts me in situations so that I’m a better educator, and allows me to be more relatable. And so when we talk about being everywhere and the toll that takes on your health and on your mental stability and your physical stability and your emotional health. And the challenge is, you’ve got to find … I don’t like to use the word balance. You’ve got to find harmony in that.
Melanie Anderson: Make sure that we take care of ourselves. Then I go into: Okay, how do you do it all? Well, I have an amazing team, and that starts with my husband, who we have been together for 30 years. That man is the reason I can do all the things that I do. He supports me wholeheartedly, unselfishly. He is the epitome of servant leadership. And his role, and he would say this, is for me to be able to do what God intended me to do. And I could not do it without his support, without him being my sounding board, without him being the one that, when I come home and I’m physically, emotionally, mentally drained, and spiritually drained, he’s the one that will pray over me. He’s the one that will.
Melanie Anderson: We keep a bottle of rubbing alcohol by our bed. My husband, actually, when I am so depleted when I talk about those things, emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually, he will rub my feet with rubbing alcohol. And that’s the cleansing. That’s the washing. That’s the fresh start. And it’s a symbolic thing and it’s very powerful and very emotional. And even in the middle of the night, he’ll do that if I’ve got a restless leg syndrome type thing. So I could talk about that relationship for hours. And having the support of my children, I have four. We had four kids in five years. They’re pretty much adults now, 22, 20, 19 and almost 17.
Adam Lowe: And yes, you are crazy.
Melanie Anderson: I know. Exactly. And so I grew up with this mindset, not only being a first born and a Leo, so I’m kind of getting to your question. There’s a personality and a drive in me that is a leadership drive. And having four kids in five years, you figure out how to make things happen, and find ways for all possibilities. And so that’s one of the things that drives me, is that there’s so much I want to do with my life and there’s so many opportunities that I want to pursue. And this industry and my perseverance has opened up a lot of doors. And that allows me to travel. It fills my soul, which makes me a better wife and a better mom and a better friend.
Melanie Anderson: And when you know who you are to a core, and when you understand that, when you talk about being everywhere, it’s this mindset of allowing me and making sure, again want versus need, in a way. I need and I want to fulfill many things in my life. And so that allows me in turn to be what my friends, family need and want out of me. And so I could say maybe there’s a selfishness to it because it fills me and I desperately need that. But then there’s also the servant leadership that I provide to others so that I can be of a resource and motivation and inspiration to others. But I have to be very careful because I don’t want to always say … I’m always very transparent about, it’s not all it looks. From the outside looking in, people need to be mindful of that, the curse of social media I talk about.
Melanie Anderson: You know I’m a very positive person. I’m very much a life is great and all of that. But I do take the time to make sure people see that other side. By my attitude is very much of gratitude. And so how I do it all, why I do it all, it’s an inner drive inside of me that I can’t always explain other than, it fills me so that I can fill others.
Adam Lowe: You talked about opening a lot of doors. And to someone starting a business or that’s just a couple years into their business, that’s a terrifying, terrifying thing. And I know in your workshops, you play this fantastic video all about overcoming your fears. What was it, last year? That was like your theme of the year, was no fear.
Melanie Anderson: Yes.
Adam Lowe: And we had talked a little bit about that. So tell me how fear plays a part in what you do in overcoming fear and how you help others overcome fear.
Melanie Anderson: That’s a great question. As you mentioned, last year my theme was no fear. This year it’s abundance. So we’ll kind of work our way into that. But as somebody that … I speak very openly about this and I know that you can relate. But for years I suffered debilitating panic attacks. And when I say debilitating, I mean debilitating, and high anxiety. And people are always surprised when I talk about that because I’m up on stage and I’m out in large groups. And I’m a leader in this industry and outside of this industry. I project that, but that’s because I know that’s who I am supposed to be to my core. That is my destiny. But the battles I face internally, that’s fear. That’s the judgment of others, the expectations of others. The constant: Am I enough? Am I good enough? Am I providing enough? All of those things that lead to self doubt.
Melanie Anderson: And about my early 30s was when it … Late 20s, early 30s was when it hit me so hard. I never dealt with this in my youth. And all of a sudden, in my 20s and 30s, I was overcome with fear, financially, because we were raising four kids on one income. I stayed at home, obviously, because geez, daycare for four. That’s kind of a no brainer. Judgements. Am I good enough mom? What are the others think of how I parent? And just feeling so overwhelmed. Nobody teaches you how to do this stuff. You have to figure it out. And again, when I talk about my perseverance, I refuse to give up. And it doesn’t mean I don’t give in occasionally, but the ultimate result always is that I persevere through.
Melanie Anderson: But I can remember laying in my bathroom floor in my early 30s in fetal position and shaking and just fear overriding me. And when I would go get ready for a program, or if I had to be involved in an event with other friends, whatever it may be. And I can remember laying there on the floor as if this was yesterday going, “I refuse this. I refuse to allow my anxiety and my panic attacks to define me,” because I could’ve easily been house ridden. I could’ve easily been, I don’t want to see anybody. I can’t go anywhere. And I knew my destiny was bigger than my fear. And I could cry talking about that because I remember that overwhelming. Why is this happening to me? Why am I dealing with this?
Melanie Anderson: And I also had the wisdom to know there was a reason. And I believe that this was my story. I believe that this was my path because when I share that, how many people come up to me afterward, one, saying they had no idea. Two, thank you for talking about it because then it helped them not feel like they were the only ones. And that was one of the things that was really important to me, was to talk openly. I was not going to allow this to be a shame thing. I was not going to keep it quiet. I was not going to be my little secret because then that gave it power. And so going through that, the fear that I was dealing with, and I look back and I’m like, “I don’t even know what my problem was.”
Melanie Anderson: Seriously, you talk about the challenges I faced then compared to now. That was an easy life. But it prepared me. It equipped me. And I always had the mindset. I always knew, and I don’t know how to explain it, but I always knew there was a reason. And that’s with all my trials that I face. I consider them teachable moments. And how bad do I want it? How bad do I want it? And I will sit there and go, “Yes. I am terrified. I am afraid to get up on that stage. And I’m afraid to make this change.” As you and I have talked about the transition that I’m going through personally and professionally with my business and where that’s leading me. And there is a reason I’m going through this. It’s that reminder of, Melanie, you’re getting a little too comfortable. You’re getting a little too safe. Let’s change it up a little bit.
Adam Lowe: Time to shake it up.
Melanie Anderson: Time to shake it up a little bit. Well, that’s scary. The risk in that and the judgment of others. And what will they perceive? And how will they take that? But when I sit there and talk openly about it, I have to remind myself that, you know what, it doesn’t matter. I’m not living a life for them. The only people that matter in my life are my husband, my immediate family, my close friends. As long as I’m being mindful and purposeful and kind and caring to them, at the end of the day does it really matter what people think? And it’s certainly not that I’m off doing bad things. That’s what’s so funny about all of this. I call it like the curse of social media. But my perseverance and my passion for my destiny, what I always knew was, is what pushes me through fear.
Melanie Anderson: But it doesn’t mean it doesn’t creep up still. It doesn’t mean that I don’t deal with that, sometimes even on a daily basis. But I have my coping mechanisms, especially if I were to talk about anxiety and panic attacks. My little things that I know. I need to make sure I stay hydrated. I need to make sure I have snacks with me. I need to make sure, and usually that’s peanuts and then fruit snacks. I need the protein and the salt, and I need the sweet. And I know that about me now. And so I always have a little goodie bag with me wherever I’m at, to make sure that I’m taking care of myself. And as unhealthy as maybe that sounds, whatever, but that’s what keeps me and my blood sugar where it needs to be and eases the anxiety. But I will say, coming through that and still dealing with that, it’s a constant battle, but it’s a choice because if I allow my emotions to control me, man, I wouldn’t be here. You know, I wouldn’t be living the life I’m living now and being able to help others.
Adam Lowe: Anybody that doesn’t know Melanie, it seems like everyone in the photography industry knows you. But you stand up in front of thousands of people and give speeches, give talks, do education. You gave a keynote speech at Shutter Fest last year. Right?
Melanie Anderson: Yes.
Adam Lowe: In front of how many people?
Melanie Anderson: Oh, I don’t even know. I don’t even know. And at WBPI and imaging.
Adam Lowe: This is seriously, seriously.
Melanie Anderson: Yes.
Adam Lowe: I’m getting anxious just thinking about it.
Melanie Anderson: Exactly. Exactly. And don’t get me wrong. I certainly want to throw up right beforehand. Seriously, I’m like, “Where’s the bathroom?” Because I’m going to either pass out, throw up, or poop my pants. And yes, I said that because one of the three things is going to happen.
Adam Lowe: No, no, no. There’s a fourth.
Melanie Anderson: There’s a fourth. Oh, no.
Adam Lowe: You could give a class that goes on for what? Eight hours straight.
Melanie Anderson: Eight and a half hours, yes. Yes. That does happen.
Adam Lowe: Where you have to have pizza delivered midway through.
Melanie Anderson: Yes. And adult beverages after midnight.
Adam Lowe: Right.
Melanie Anderson: Yes.
Adam Lowe: Because this is how Melanie rolls.
Melanie Anderson: This is how I roll. Right, right. But I want to keep it real. I’m always about, I live a very blessed life, but I work hard for it. And it doesn’t come easy, as easy as people think it does. It’s truly that I work hard for this.
Adam Lowe: Yeah. So what’s your biggest fear right now?
Melanie Anderson: Biggest fear right now. I’ll actually say there’s probably two. One, I’m going to try not to cry, that three of our kids are now out of the home. And so life is different. It hit me really hard this past fall when the third one went into college. And I still have one at home, but he’s the boy. The three daughters were off and I’ve got the boy at home. Well, he doesn’t feed my emotional stability the way the girls do. And so loneliness set in. And people are surprised to hear me talk about this. Loneliness set in. I was used to chaos. I was used to sporting events and running and being an integral part. I’m going to cry. An integral part of my kids’ life. And tomorrow, my oldest graduates college. And she is very independent now. She’s got her career job. She’s got an apartment. She is living the dream of what she envisioned, what she wanted. And that means I did my job well. I did good.
Melanie Anderson: But it’s the release, the letting go, and the emotions that come with that, that you’re no longer needed as you were. Your role is different now. And finding the joy and the appreciation in that, so it’s a different relationship, which I love. But the fear, and it is: Am I still needed? Am I still wanted?
Adam Lowe: Oh.
Melanie Anderson: I know. I know. I’m sitting here, tears streaming down my face. But I always remember. I have to go, “Okay.”
Adam Lowe: Kids adore you.
Melanie Anderson: I know. I’m very close to my kids. I’m very, very close to them. And that can be challenging maybe when you disagree with a decision that they’re making. But you have to give them their wings, and that is our job to train them and let them go. And along the way, to instill the wisdom and the teachable moments. And I’ve done that. And I’ve done a great job with them. So fear, there is a loneliness. And that continues to set in, which then puts a lot of pressure on my husband because he’s kind of living with a psycho lady this year. He’s like, “Oh my gosh. What is going on with her?” But that’s real life.
Melanie Anderson: And then the transition in my business now that as our kids are older, there’s a different freedom that’s happening, and different finances. As the children finish through college, our finances change. I don’t need the big house anymore. I don’t need to work as hard, nor do I want to. And I’m really, gosh, the last year and a half to two years, it’s really about time management, understanding that every moment I’m with a client is a moment I’m not with a family member or a close friend. And finding that, again, I don’t like to use the word balance. I want to use harmony. But reminding myself that the work that I do provides fruitfulness and abundance for the things that I want to do, so I’m choosing clients more intentionally now. I’m choosing genres more intentionally now. I’m expanding my business as I’ve seen my leadership grow and how my business has changed intentionally, that I want to be more impactful to other businesses to remind them that: What is it you want? And what’s holding you back? Why are you not living the life you want to live? And just kind of helping them determine that for themselves. And honestly, that’s where I really feel fulfilled.
Melanie Anderson: So my transition over the next year is more into a corporate world, more into a leadership speaking role. I’ll talk frequently when I’m on stage about being intentional about things and listing five things on your bathroom mirror, like with an erase marker. And I do that because it’s the first thing I see when I wake up in the morning and the last thing I see when I go to bed at night. And when you talk about law of attraction and being intentional, well, for me as a visual, I have to have that in my face, shoved down my throat, all day, every day because I also have an ADD side to me that gets very easily distracted. And so I have to have my reminders. What am I after? What is my goal? What is my purpose? And I can’t tell you how many times I’m like, “Okay. I’ve achieved that one. I get to erase it and put a new one on.”
Melanie Anderson: And so one of my newest ones is speaking at a women’s conference. Well, that will be fulfilled in October, and everybody will get to hear more about that later because I don’t want to jinx it. But that’s already the date set. I’m confirmed and really, really excited for this. And without being intentional about what is it I want to do with my life, then unfortunately you’ll look back and go, “I wasted years.”
Adam Lowe: Right. You said something. You said that you were being intentional about the clients that you take on, and I think that is so, so important because so many of us take on any work that we possibly can because we have this scarcity mindset.
Melanie Anderson: Yes.
Adam Lowe: We have this feeling like, oh my gosh, I need every penny that’s coming in. And then they run themselves ragged trying to serve these clients or these customers that aren’t a good fit for them. And it sounds to me like you’re really saying that the more you focus in on the people and the clients that are good fits for you, the more you grow-
Melanie Anderson: The more you attract that.
Adam Lowe: The more you attract that.
Melanie Anderson: Exactly.
Adam Lowe: And the better your business is overall.
Melanie Anderson: 100%, 100%. I have to say, so many times that is not my client. That is not my client. People that maybe walk into the studio, or the phone calls, I can tell immediately based on the type of questions they’re asking. I don’t want to waste my energy. I don’t want to waste their time. And I want to get right to the point. It’s either we’re going to be a good fit, or we’re not. And that even goes with your close friends. People have to remember. I’ll hear so many people say, “I’m so upset. My friend is going to another photographer.”
Melanie Anderson: Or this client that I’ve had for years is now going to the photographer down the road based on price. And they get so emotionally attached to that, it’s devastating for them. And they want to throw in the towel and being overwhelmed by that emotion. And I’m like, “That is not your client. And that’s okay because you now have changed your business model,” so you’ve got to stay focused on that and appreciate that you now have a better understanding of that because it frees you up to attract the clients that really are going to help you be successful and provide abundance. And have that mindset that, don’t shame them. Don’t feel bad. Don’t make them feel bad. Don’t make it awkward. It’s, we’re still friends. We can still be friends. It’s okay. You’re not my client.
Adam Lowe: That’s great advice. I hate the phrase not my client because I hear it so many times. But definitely being picky, being choosy, and targeting your niche, I think makes the world of difference.
Melanie Anderson: Absolutely.
Adam Lowe: So that you’re not marketing to everybody. You’re not taking on whatever work comes in. You’re doing the stuff that you love, that you know you can do well.
Melanie Anderson: And push yourself and continually educate yourself. Make sure you have a purpose statement. Make sure you have a vision for you personally and for your business. And constantly grow, educate, attend lectures, attend seminars. Try new things because you never know without kind of pushing a boundary, pushing a limit, the doors and the opportunities that open up, had you not attended that program or not learned this new technique, whatever the genre or whatever your business is. You are now in a position that maybe puts you ahead of somebody else in your area.
Adam Lowe: Cool. Well, I know we’re running short on time. I want to hit you with these lightening round questions.
Melanie Anderson: Oh, yay.
Adam Lowe: And we’re going to make it quick.
Melanie Anderson: Okay.
Adam Lowe: And I think I know the answer to a couple of them. Oh my God. You’re still crying.
Melanie Anderson: I know. It’s like I had to wipe away the soft tears in there.
Adam Lowe: Because I could go on for days.
Melanie Anderson: Same.
Adam Lowe: There’s so many things that I could just pick out of your brain. I want to talk about you, though, the way you handle employees. I’ve got to bring you back on here sometime.
Melanie Anderson: Absolutely.
Adam Lowe: And eventually we need to get you to share some of your deepest, darkest secrets that we need to bleep out.
Melanie Anderson: Oh, yeah. Absolutely. Bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep. Yeah.
Adam Lowe: Like you did on Gary’s podcast.
Melanie Anderson: Oh my gosh. I know, seriously.
Adam Lowe: One day I’ll find out what you said there.
Melanie Anderson: Yes.
Adam Lowe: All right. Lightening round, here we go. If you could gift one book to everyone you meet, what would it be?
Melanie Anderson: Go for No! Yes is the Destination.
Adam Lowe: And why is that?
Melanie Anderson: Because it’s really about your mindset and changing your attitude and not allowing emotion to control you. And that’s really, really been a big part of my life. And that book changed my business and my mindset. It was the start of so many other books. I mean, certainly I could go back and say the Bible would be the book that I’d want to gift as a Christian. But the Go for No book changed my mindset, my mentality, as well as Law of Attraction, so The Secret. Yeah.
Adam Lowe: You just cheated. That’s two books.
Melanie Anderson: I know. You know, I’m an overachiever.
Adam Lowe: Okay. Well, it’s funny you mentioned. And I knew you were going to say Go for No. I mean, come on. You give that away.
Melanie Anderson: Yes, yes. I should be getting a commission from how many sales I have given those authors, so they’re unbelievable.
Adam Lowe: But I actually just experienced that yesterday with somebody that kept pushing and pushing and pushing until I finally said, “No.” And it was like, “Okay. We’re done here.”
Melanie Anderson: Yeah, exactly.
Adam Lowe: And I thought of you immediately. All right. Number two. What’s the biggest mistake you see business leaders make?
Melanie Anderson: Biggest mistake. Conforming to what everybody else is doing. I think you really need to just really put yourself in a mindset of what’s best for my family, my financial needs, my integrity and my character, and create a business plan around that. Quit worrying about what everybody else is doing because the more you focus on them, the less you’re focusing on your own business. Stay focused on your business.
Adam Lowe: Holy crap. That’s good advice.
Melanie Anderson: Yay.
Adam Lowe: You do you.
Melanie Anderson: Yeah, exactly.
Adam Lowe: Another thing that I hate to say.
Melanie Anderson: Boom.
Adam Lowe: It’s so true.
Melanie Anderson: Yes.
Adam Lowe: Oh God. Boom. [crosstalk 00:36:01].
Melanie Anderson: It had to come in at least once. It had to.
Adam Lowe: Boom.
Melanie Anderson: Boom.
Adam Lowe: All right. What’s one tool, piece of technology, process, methodology, whatever, that you can’t life without?
Melanie Anderson: Oh my goodness. A piece or tool I can’t life without. I would say my phone. And I hate saying that. That sounds so, ugh. But I can run my business anywhere in the world, which is a good thing and a bad thing. But it allows me to be remote. It allows me to travel. It allows me to experience life and still manage a successful business, and also communicate with friends and family. It’s really about communicating and connecting people. And boy, if a phone these days doesn’t do that 24/7, like I said, that’s good and bad. So I may change my answer when I go listen back to this, but that was the first thing that came to my mind.
Adam Lowe: I need to start caveat-ing that question with, you’re not allowed to say phone.
Melanie Anderson: Okay. Exactly. So ask me it again. Let me see if something else comes into mind.
Adam Lowe: No. I like your answer of a phone.
Melanie Anderson: Okay.
Adam Lowe: We’re good.
Melanie Anderson: We’re sticking with it?
Adam Lowe: You’re allowed to have it.
Melanie Anderson: Okay.
Adam Lowe: But nobody else is. It’s now yours.
Melanie Anderson: There you go. Now it’s mine.
Adam Lowe: It’s just yours.
Melanie Anderson: Perfect.
Adam Lowe: If you could have lunch with anybody, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Melanie Anderson: Oh my gosh. You’re going to make me cry. Walt Disney. Like, Walt Disney. And you talk about perseverance, mindset, all things are possible. You can do it. Come on. We’ve got this. And regardless of those that thought he couldn’t do whatever it was he wanted to do, he persevered through financial challenges, through emotional challenges, through his upbringing. Everything that was just set in place for him to not be successful, he persevered and he truly is from an entrepreneurial, leadership is my role model that I would love to sit down and just pick his brain and go, “Wow. This is what you created.” And the impact, I always talk about impact. I want to impact people. That man has impacted millions of people. It’s not about the princesses and the castles. It’s about possibility.
Adam Lowe: Oh, he’s an amazing person and an inspiration to so many people. Part of me thinks that he’d be rolling over in his grave right now if he saw what was happening with the Disney company.
Melanie Anderson: Yeah.
Adam Lowe: All right. Number five. And this is the last one. Tell me a fun fact about yourself that people might not know.
Melanie Anderson: Oh. In the fourth grade, I won the Irish jig contest.
Adam Lowe: Oh my God. How is this not a video?
Melanie Anderson: How is this not a video? There you go. Fun fact.
Adam Lowe: Okay. Well, we talked about doing a Facebook Live. It’s going to have to happen now.
Melanie Anderson: Okay. Let’s do it.
Adam Lowe: All right. Thanks so much, Mel, for coming. I really appreciate your time.
Melanie Anderson: My pleasure. Thank you.
Adam Lowe: This was great.
Melanie Anderson: Yay.
Adam Lowe: And I guess I’ll see you next week.
Melanie Anderson: Exactly.
Adam Lowe: Another board meeting.
Melanie Anderson: Boom. Yep. Exactly.
Adam Lowe: All right. Take care. Bye bye.
Using Sass with Pinegrow
I recently had someone ask whether Pinegrow supports Sass, so I thought I’d do a quick video demonstration. In this demo, I show you how we activate our Sass stylesheet and how we can use a simple Sass variable to change the color of a heading.
Pinegrow Countdown: Day 1 – Pinegrow Plays Nice with Others
A lot of products in the WordPress space have grown in popularity, primarily because of their open and flexible ecosystem that allows 3rd party developers to create add-ons, extensions, and libraries. Pinegrow also has a great plugin API. But I’m going to show you in this video, that in most cases, you don’t even need it.
Pinegrow Countdown: Day 2 – Pinegrow is STILL not a Page Builder
In this video, I’m going to show you why Pinegrow is different from Page Builders so you don’t fall into the trap of trying to use it like something it’s not, only to get frustrated and give up.
Pinegrow Countdown: Day 3 – Frameworks in Pinegrow
Pinegrow has built some fantastic helpers for popular frameworks. In fact, when you start a new project in either Pinegrow Desktop or the Pinegrow WordPress plugin, you’ll be asked which framework you want to choose. If you are already used to using one of the built-in frameworks, the choice will be easy. If not, this little video will hopefully help you understand what the frameworks do and how you should answer those important initial questions.
Pinegrow Countdown: Day 4 – WordPress Blocks and Themes
When you start a new WordPress project in Pinegrow, one of the first things you’ll need to decide is whether you will create a Block Plugin or a complete theme. In this video, I’ll help you understand their differences so you can start on the right foot.