5 Questions with an Inspiring Woman: Melanie Toner

As January comes to an end, we are not only closing out the first month of a new year but beginning a new chapter of uncharted territory within a new political landscape. I don’t know about you, but I’m already exhausted. It’s important for you to know that this blog will never cross into partisan political territory. Our readers are from all over the country (and world for that matter) with different experiences and view points. I think, now more than ever, it’s vital to have a resource that is supportive of women everywhere.

I’m so proud of our community composed of women of all shapes, sizes, colors, religions, nationalities and lifestyles. Getting to know all of you has made me a better, more open minded and compassionate person. Even with our differences, we have so much in common with one another. With our natural inclination towards empathy and inclusion, I truly believe women have the ability to leverage our power to make the world a more kind and compassionate place. It’s why I’m pretty sure if you locked a dozen women in a room for a few hours, we could solve most of the world’s problems, without excluding or offending anyone.

But here’s the thing, we will not be able to change the world for the better if we don’t take care of ourselves first: physically, emotionally and financially. Which is why I am so delighted with today’s interview with business and mindset coach, Melanie Toner. I’ve known Melanie forever. We were housemates in our sorority, Phi Sigma Sigma, at Temple University. Also known as the most fun I’ve ever had in my life. Back then, I always knew Mel to be thoughtful and kind, strong and articulate, so I was not surprised when she launched a business focused on encouraging women to be their very best.

We are both passionate about promoting personal respect and self-care.It’s fundamental to the success of all women that we support each other in this process. I had many take aways from this interview, including a resolve to pick back up my meditation practice and maybe hit up a few yoga classes.

 

Melanie Toner

Would you tell our readers what it means to be a business and mindset coach? What’s your ultimate mission through your work?

I show women how to take control of their money story, overcome limiting beliefs and release money blocks. I teach practical business and marketing strategies, so they can design a business that provides them freedom in how they spend their time and money and allows them to have an impact on the community. Essentially, I help my clients get out of their way by using inner and outer work.

My goal is to create a world where it is normal and acceptable for women to put their needs, their desires and their hopes first. I stand for genuine, authentic happiness for women through all phases of their life.

Your recent piece about the struggles many women face in getting their spouses to support them in the initial phase of their businesses resonated with me. When I started this business ten years ago, Bri thought I had lost my mind. It didn’t take long to get him on board, and he’s become my biggest cheerleader, but it felt like such an unnecessary battle. Realizing how scary it was for him as well, helped me communicate better and got us on the same page. What advice do you have for women who want to get started as an entrepreneur but worry about their partner’s opinions and support?

I agree, having the support of your partner is so helpful when starting or growing a business. But it’s not always a sure thing and can be the very thing that keeps many women from going for it.

Here’s my advice.

First, you must become very clear on what it is you plan to create, why it’s important and how you intend to do it. Once you are organized approach your partner being sure to ask for support, not permission.

Too often, even in 2017 women feel they need to ask permission from their husband before they can move forward with a purchase or investment or in this example – starting a business. But sadly, when women ask for permission, not support, they almost always hear “no.”
That’s why I suggest a different approach. You’re not seeking permission; you’re seeking support because you know that starting and growing a business will be hard. You know on days when you’re down you’ll need him to encourage and support you to keep going. Here are a few steps to consider when approaching your partner.

1. Keep the emotion out of it. Be practical, organized and have a plan. And a plan B. Guys love Plan B.
2. Make your man and your relationship your top priority, meaning that you make time for your relationship and your partner. You don’t want your husband to feel as if you’re having an affair with your business. The only thing that should come above your relationship is your personal self-care practice.

Be clear on what that support would look like, so you originate from an empowered place.

I know you are an advocate of yoga and it’s many benefits. Despite my love of fitness, yoga, still intimidates me so much! What’s been its impact on your life both in work and as a mother?

Yoga used to intimidate me as well. I was terrified to go to a studio because I thought everyone in the class would know I was new and didn’t know a thing. I’m so glad I got over myself and hit the mat. Yoga is about self-discovery. It’s been a great tool for me in learning to trust and love who I am today while holding the space for who I want to become tomorrow. I’ve learned to make my yoga practice work with my busy lifestyle. Some days all I make time for is a couple of moments with my eyes closed to tune into my breath while other days I’m able to fit in a full 90-minute session. I don’t judge myself for either. Yoga has given me the tools to quiet my ego (the chatter in my mind) and make space to hear my heart speak. If yoga isn’t your thing, consider trying meditation.

One of your messages that I love is what you say about self-care. I’m fortunate to have a mom who instilled the importance of self-care when I was a girl, so I have little guilt about it. I see it as a necessary function to show up as our best. I can’t say the same for many of my friends, especially my friends with kids, who think they’re doing their families a favor by putting themselves last. How do we start to shift the mindset from sacrificing to honoring oneself, without all the guilt?

Here’s what I know for sure. When a woman is happy, well-rested, supported and nourished, everyone in her life benefits. And when a woman is stressed, overwhelmed, unsupported and struggling, everyone in her life suffers. Sadly, many women don’t realize that the key to happiness, rest, support, and nourishment is self-care. So for women who struggle with making time for the things they enjoy, pampering or time with friends, I encourage them to know that it’s truly an act of service to their family and children. That taking this time to step away and do something – anything – for themselves is the most selfless thing they can do for the family. I challenge them to start small – like buying new underwear or making time to call a friend- and move their way up to a Mani/Pedi or a lunch date with the goal that they will see the benefits and become comfortable with making space for self-care every day. I have a free e-book, Recharge in 5-Minutes a Day available on my site.

Finally, you talk a lot about women’s mindset around money. What do you see as the biggest challenges women face around money, and what are some practical tips you can share to help them get on a more healthy path with their relationship with money?

The biggest challenge is most women don’t believe they’re worthy of making the money they desire. They have convinced themselves they haven’t done enough, didn’t work hard enough, should give more time, more energy and so on to make the money they desire.
This couldn’t be further from the truth. We learn many of these beliefs in childhood. We learned them from our parents, which can make it challenging (not impossible) to uncover our money mindset and beliefs on our own.

1. Discover your relationship with money.
Do you always have just enough to get by?
Do you worry how you’ll make ends meet?
Do you worry that you’ll lose it?
Do you believe it’s hard to make money?
Or that it doesn’t grow on a tree?
Take time to notice the way you are with your money, the language you use, and your fears around money.

2. How would you like it to be different?

Get clear on how much money you desire, your expenses, debts, and where you’d like to allocate your money.

Knowing the answer to both will allow you to gain a better understanding of where you are now and where you want to be. I dive deep into this work with my clients using specific coaching techniques, meditations, and the Emotional Freedom Technique, and I help them develop practical plans to create the income they desire.

 

To learn more about Melanie and her services, check out her website and sign up for her updates at MelanieToner.com.

Megan Kristel

Megan Kristel is an entrepreneur, working mom, and former personal stylist. Tired of the one-dimensional portrayal of women online, she founded The Well Dressed Life as a resource for other professional women.

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