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Life & Work with Jenn Melyan

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jenn Melyan.

Hi Jenn, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Have you ever had a long period of life where every day was clouded in uncertainty? Ever since young adulthood, you’ve been wondering… am I on the right path? Even though my job at the time was grounded in serving others (I was an elementary school teacher for 15 years), I still went home every day questioning what I was doing with my life. My uncertainty caused me to feel guilty – aren’t I doing work that helps others? Shouldn’t that be enough? Because the confusion persisted, I started seeking answers. I enrolled in personal development courses with a variety of organizations. While all of these courses contributed to my personal life greatly, I was still stuck and confused professionally.

Enter two women – my coach, Jenna Dillon, and my body mentor, Nancy King. With their love and support, my whys became clear. I looked inward and started listening to the things that really, really pulled me authentically to the surface. What was I passionate about? What was I willing to spend the rest of my precious life in service of? It boiled down to this – I am committed to helping others transformation, gain freedom, and achieve their goals. Now I have my why, what do I do?

Working with Jenna revolutionized how I saw the world of coaching. Coaching became something that could generate powerful, legitimate, life-altering results. I witnessed coaching’s potential – the transformative power it brought to communities, organizations, and companies. I wanted to become an agent of change as well, just like my coach. So, I dove headfirst into the world of Executive Coaching. Getting certified was an arduous process, ripe with failure, discomfort, and mountains of work. Now, I am a fully active executive coach for Executive Performance Institute for Coaching (E.P.I.C.). I work 1-1 with growth-minded performers (executives, entrepreneurs, and team leaders) as well as lead workshops and facilitate meetings with various organizations (such as Boy Scouts of America, Breast Cancer in Action and American Cancer Society) in both the profit and non-profit arenas.

Working with Nancy shifted how I related to my and others’ bodies. I saw how outside in messaging really impacted the relationship with how we see ourselves. So often, we clothe ourselves under a cloak of shoulds and become very, very dissatisfied with our present. How do we shake off expectations on how our body should look and function? I looked for role models and found only a handful of plus-sized women in the media championing for this peace-making liberation. I realized that we didn’t have enough representation. I decided to put myself out there and declare my plus-sized work-in-progress body as enough. To add myself to the growing group of women who are representing the “there’s nothing wrong with me” plus-sized perspective. I have bikini modeled, written a book, and am developing a women’s body liberation empowerment podcast.

I am someone who likes to have her cake and eat it too. Why choose one thing when there is the option to have it all? I am walking both roads – executive coaching and body liberation. I am committed to the empowerment, growth, and liberation of human beings in both their careers and from the disempowering ways they can relate to their bodies.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
How can the road to growth be smooth? In order to gain a skill, we must fail, fail often, and fail well. Up until recently, I have been terrible at failure. Even the potential of failure seemed like the sword of Damocles hanging over my head. I was in a fixed mindset. Each time I failed at landing a new client, messed up a webinar, or lost a modeling job, I took that as “I inherently suck and I won’t ever measure up.” I was exhibiting the symptoms of someone who was in a set mindset. I needed to transition to a growth mindset if I wanted to succeed. So, I embraced discomfort and strengthened my self-talk. Each time I missed the mark, I listened to the internal chaos and asked myself, is that really true or are you making a racket? What are you feeling? Are you upset and disappointed? Let’s validate our feelings. It’s okay to feel disappointed for failing. Now, can we be brave and get curious about what happened? What is there to learn? I am happy to say that, while I don’t like it, I embrace failure now. Failure is proof that growth is occurring. Getting curious around failure helps me understand what I can do differently to improve. Failure can be uncomfortable, but it is crucial to growth and success.

Another one of my biggest roadblocks to success is my fear of rejection. Whenever someone says no to me, I tend to take it personally. That is a terrible way to gain clients or put self out there, isn’t it? So, I’ve taken on a new challenge to help myself fall in love with rejection. I’m embarking on 30 days of deliberate rejection. I am going to make BOLD asks in the world of Executive Coaching and Body Liberation nonstop for the next 30 days. I plan to get curious around the rejection and see what I can learn and see how I can be a better asker. Rejection, here I come! I implore all of you who fear rejection to join me on this journey. Let’s get better at rejection so we can make the bold, powerful asks that can change our lives!

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am an executive coach who is part of Executive Performance Institute for Coaching (E.P.I.C.). I work with my firm in a variety of ways – as a 1-1 coach, trainer, facilitator and keynote speaker.

My coaching firm (EPIC) and I are absolutely committed to shattering self-doubt and redefining leadership for our clients. I’m personally committed to empowering people to advocate for themselves and get the results that they want in their lives. The majority of our clients achieve the results they set out to get because we keep them accountable to their vision and goals. Our coaching is different because we are results-oriented. Along the way, mindsets shift, strategies are refined, and new insights happen, but nothing is more important than taking intentional action steps towards achieving goals and making the coaching investment worthwhile. I’ve had clients double their income in the middle of the pandemic, complete passion projects, and make bold asks that they would have never dared to otherwise.

Aside from 1-1 coaching and helping individuals succeed, my firm and I also lead businesses and organizations to overcome obstacles and grow in ways they never thought possible. We do this by designing workshops to fit organizations’ needs specifically. We can also facilitate meetings to help leaders make strategical decisions with an objective, unbiased partner who is trained in spotting blind spots.

As an executive coach, another huge part of our training is being able to give an effective keynote. Believe it or not, it’s harder than it seems. Being able to capture the psyche of our audience members and speak on their pain/passion point succinctly while encouraging them to take action. One of my firm’s trainers coaches people to get ready for the TED stage exclusively.

The book I’m publishing for body liberation is called “A Body of Work.” I’m currently working to publish and publicize it. So, stay tuned! I also do plus-size modeling because representation matters.

In the “Body of Work,” body liberation front, I am working on a workbook with my body mentor, Nancy, for people who also want to liberate themselves from all the outside-in messaging about their bodies but don’t know how. We’ve been working on this workbook for over a year, combining her years of experience in the health/wellness field with my coaching skills to create a workbook with a lot of never been said or discussed methods on how to liberate your body! Stay tuned!

Before we go, is there anything else you can share with us?
Executive Coaching is a business investment for either yourself or your organization. It has the potential to help you hit the results you want in an exponential, not incremental fashion. The process does, however, take commitment. If you are ready to make the impossible possible, then please reach out! Together, we will hold your goals accountable!

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Image Credits
Cristina King Orit Harpaz

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