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Life as a Serial Entrepreneur- Photography, Nutrition and fitness

Melissa Hadley joins us this week and discusses her multiple ventures with photography, nutrition and fitness & life with multiple sclerosis

Melissa Hadley, from the Happy Party Podcast, joined me this week on the show! Melissa is a wife and mom of three. She has been a Certified Personal Trainer and online health & fitness coach for over 10 years. She is certified in holistic health with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and certified in behavior change with the National Academy of Sports Medicine. As a Multiple Sclerosis warrior, she strives to show women how to have breakthroughs in their mindset to move forward on their nutrition and fitness journeys. She empowers them to accomplish physical challenges they never thought possible! Melissa is the host of the Happy Party Podcast, where she celebrates the big things and the not so big things in women’s lives, because all of the things matter! She intertwines health, business, her faith and spreading joy to the world around us.

Connect with Melissa here:

The Happy Party Podcast

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Emily 0:03

Well, hello, everybody. Thank you for joining me at the No Mercy Business Podcast is your host Emily a Woodruff. And I have a special guest here for you today. It’s almost a Hadley, Melissa, why don’t you give us a little interview or introduction of yourself and your business businesses?

Melissa 0:23

Sure, yes, I have multiple businesses. I am a mom of three. And I have a husband, his name is Matt, my three kids are 12, five, and three, I always have to pause and remember. And we live in Massachusetts. So I have an online health coaching business that I’ve been doing for over 10 years now. And I’m a partner with an amazing company that I love. And I also have an online course that I offer to women that I created to work on mindset. And we have the happy glamper photo camper, which is just a fun thing that we created out of an old vintage Shasta it’s a photo booth that travels around. And we’re adding on to that to add on a mobile bar. So we are very busy, but we love it. So it’s fun. How

Emily 1:17

did you get started with the happy with the camper. I know I

Melissa 1:23

had the glamper photo camper. So I I’ve always loved photography ever since I was on yearbook committee, way back when I was in high school. So I did photography for a while. I did weddings and was an assistant for somebody and I do senior photo shoots here and there. But weddings just became a lot for me. I have multiple sclerosis. So being on my feet that entire day, because anybody who’s been married or is a photographer knows that the photographer is there from basically the minute the bride wakes up until all the fun is going on at the wedding. So then I just said, I want to buy a vintage Shasta because our whole wedding was vintage themed. And I just love camping. But I really love glamping Yeah, camp. And I just I love those things. And my husband said if you can find one and make a business out of it, we’ll do it. And so we thought about lots of different business opportunities to build out of these things. Because there’s so many ideas out there. But when I saw somebody in Texas doing a photo booth, I said, oh my goodness, this is it. And so was the first one he agreed on. And so he did the whole thing was it’s fun. That’s

Emily 2:40

so neat. I I also am a photographer. And I used to do weddings, too. And I have told my husband for years that I would love to do that sort of thing. Oh, it’s so fun. Yeah, I told him about our meeting today. And he’s like, that’s a really good idea. I’m like, Dan, we talked about this for years. What do you say? Like, that’s, that’s pretty cool. So maybe I’ll be hitting you up for some more. Yeah, please do. Yeah, it sounds strange.

Melissa 3:11 Yeah. Find one.

Emily 3:14

I, yeah, I would love to do that sort of thing. But we’ll see. I got my hands full right now. How did you decide to pursue your businesses? Where did it all start?

Melissa 3:31

So with the health coaching business, it started really with my MS diagnosis. I had been training for the Boston Marathon and realized that something was going on with my body. I used to be over 200 pounds. And so I knew that I had to change my health, if I was going to be able to continue to not take medication for my MS or never take medication for it just a personal decision. I just wanted to do it naturally. So totally overhauled my health and my nutrition to be able to continue like that. So that started my health coaching. Because I had somebody reached out to me about this company that I’ve partnered with. And from there, it just kind of snowballed. And it’s, like I said, 10 and a half years later still here. And like I said with the camper, it was just a deep appreciation for photography, not wanting to be on my feet all the time. And it’s just so much fun. Yeah. But, but that was born out of COVID like we did we redid it during that whole craziness and then launched it a year ago.

Emily 4:48

Okay, that’s awesome. That’s great. So how do you where do you find your clients for? I guess for for either of your businesses, how does that differ between the two of them?

Melissa 5:01

So it’s a, that’s a great question it does differ. So with the camper, it has been a lot of social media, but a lot of word of mouth, once we were able to go, we went to some wineries around. And those are some fun spots to set up the camper. And once people have had a couple glasses of wine, they’re much more likely to have a ton of fun inside the camp or getting their photos taken. And once people started to see those people posting their photos, and talking about it, to whomever word of mouth has been huge, but we had to first get out and do those more free events, so to speak, to be able to build that clientele base. And so now we’re on the, where you know, all that kind of marketing stuff, but it’s mainly word of mouth. With my health coaching business. It is mainly me telling my story and how our products and our workouts have really helped me. And then my team talks about that as well. And so it’s really, that’s word of mouth, too. But that is heavily social media. And so while social media can be at the dark sometimes, yeah. I look at it as a way to connect people and spread happiness and smiles and be the light amongst the darkness sometimes so. And for free. Usually. Yeah, yeah, it’s all been for free. I did do a couple ads for the camper. But I found that word of mouth is always your best, as you know, as a photographer yourself. It’s like, word of mouth.

Emily 6:46

Yeah. That’s great. That’s great. So how, how would you say that your health coaching business is different than others? What makes you stand out?

Melissa 6:57

So I think for any business, for me, it’s, it’s my story, it’s always you are the difference. For any business that you’re in my husband’s an electrician, what makes him different, he makes his business different. Like, there’s not much to different differentiate yourself in the electrical business. Besides yourself and your personality. The same is true. With my coaching is it’s my story. And anybody who is a mom who might have a chronic illness, who is, you know, running from place to place every day, you’re going to connect with the people that are part of your tribe, so to speak, who really connect with your story. So anybody who’s who’s listening that has a business should understand that it’s you that differentiates yourself from everybody else.

Emily 7:48

Does your husband own his own electrical company?

Melissa 7:51

Yeah, so he’s just a general client. He has his own general contracting business with electrical so.

Emily 7:58

So you guys really are serial entrepreneurs?

Melissa 8:02

Yeah, yes, we are. Yeah, we’re trying to raise three little serial entrepreneurs.

Emily 8:10

That’s great. That’s so great. So what is being a work from home? Mom? How does that look for a typical day in your business?

Melissa 8:20

No, that’s a great question. So I, I want to like I tear up every time I think about how blessed I am to be able to be home. Because it wasn’t always like that. So when I started with doing my business, with a company that I partner with, it has been a huge blessing because it was a year and a half in where I really started to see a traction with the business while I was working at a health insurance company working in a cubicle dropping my firstborn off at daycare having to pump breast milk in a closet. And it was like, painful. My husband was laid off from the union before he opened his business. He worked for the Union, and he was laid off all the time. And so he was able to be home with our son. And then he went back to work, and then we had to send them to daycare. And I was jealous of my daycare provider. I had been jealous of my husband for being able to stay home. And so when I saw the traction with the coaching business, I was able to take a step home and be home with him. And that comes with a lot of work. But my goal was to be home and now that we have two more children home. It’s crazy and I’m also homeschooling my I was just going to ask for the first time. He’s now in seventh grade. So I’m homeschooling him this year. So it will be interesting, but I look at it as a huge blessing to be able to be home, make an income from home. Do all the passions Is that I’ve put on my heart and be able to homeschool him. At the same time. I’m not homeschooling my kindergartener, I don’t. I don’t want to be responsible for teaching. Yeah, right. Yeah, no, but it’s been a big blessing. Yeah. In my day in the life, it’s like to answer your original question. It’s just get up, have a routine have schedule things, I keep a very detailed schedule. And if some stuff gets knocked off the to do this, awesome. If some stuff doesn’t, I don’t beat myself up about it. You just move it to the next day. But I do my priorities first, which the priorities are always the kids, of course, the important stuff that needs to get done for the businesses. And my workout is one of my priorities. So

Emily 10:48

that’s great. That kind of leads into my next question, how do you? How do you find time to spend God find time to spend with God? And what does that look like for you? With everything that you’ve got going on?

Melissa 11:03

It’s a great question. So I like to start my morning with my coffee, lots of water, first, coffee, and listen to a podcast. That is a church and they I go through their sermons, they go through the Bible, every chapter, every verse, so that’s what I like to do daily, and follow along, if I’m doing dishes, or doing laundry or whatever, I don’t follow along necessarily in the Bible, but I, I just love to hear what the pastor is saying about each chapter. And then for our homeschool, that’s what we’re doing for Bible class is where we’re going to sit down and take the time to read along with the pastor, and then my simple journal about it. So there’s no curriculum, but it’s just reading the Bible. And so an every decision that we’ve made in our businesses, like the decision to open this mobile bar has been God led, we don’t do anything that we don’t feel as God led. And, you know, at first I was a little trepidatious, about a mobile bar that I bled, but at the same time, my husband is so extroverted. And he talks about his faith, he talks about God, so you just never know who God’s gonna bring along your path on that journey. And we’re gonna serve other stuff besides, sure. No typical bar stuff. But

Emily 12:33

well, in that’s I’ve had this conversation with a lot of people lately, but just, you can’t expect to encounter people and have interactions with them. You can’t expect to, to share God with people if you don’t take take him to places that God’s not Yes, everywhere, but you’re not going to find them in a bar, typically, you’re not going to find them on the dance floor at a wedding. But if you’re a Christian who’s serving somebody, some booze, you can start those conversations. And that’s where it really starts to happen. So yeah, it’s important, and I love it. I’m all for it. That’s great. So do you have any advice for somebody who’s just starting out as a health coach or as an entrepreneur, you’ve got quite a bit of experience in that realm, though. It sounds like

Melissa 13:23

Yeah, yeah, one could say, I, my biggest piece of advice is to just understand that if you fail is not failing, you’re going to learn from every single thing that goes wrong. There’s been plenty that’s gone wrong. In my coaching business, there’s been plenty that goes wrong with a camper. But you’re not failing. And that’s, that’s hard for me to accept sometimes, because I’m always I’ll tell you a really quick story. My when my husband and I got married, we did premarital counseling, which I think is the best thing you could ever do. And we realized all of our differences, we also realized we were very different. The only thing on the little test that they had us take that we agreed on was our spirituality and, and where we find our peace and God, which is a great only thing to have in common. Yeah. Everything else was totally they even said, We think you should consider taking a little bit longer. And so to me, I failed. I failed that test. Yeah, we are 13 years later. And we learned so much and we continue to learn every day in our marriage. And the same is true for your business. You’re going to fail you’re going to make mistakes, but you’re going to learn from that. And the old saying fail forward is so true, but don’t beat yourself up and and don’t look at everything that goes wrong as oh, maybe this isn’t meant to be just trudge forward and figure out what you can learn from it.

Emily 14:58

I love it. I love it. So much. Where or is there anything extra that you want our listeners to know about you and your businesses?

Melissa 15:09

I’m just that I’m always here. I’m always here to help even like for you, if you found a camper and you wanted to do it Emily 15:16 again, save in your info.

Melissa 15:19

I love it when women want to do a business no matter what that business is, if it’s social selling, if it’s doing something ground ground up by doing both, and there’s room at the table for everybody. And so if you ever have questions, if you ever need help on your health and fitness journey, I am here to help with that to anybody listening, so yeah.

Emily 15:42

Awesome. And then if you just want to share where listeners can find you online, connect with you.

Melissa 15:47

Sure, my website is www dot It’s one L two S’s and then on Instagram. I’m Melissa dot Hadley dot fit with Ms.

Emily 16:02

Awesome. Well, thank you so much for your time. This is so great. I’m glad we finally got to chat.

Melissa 16:08

Yeah, it was great to chat with you. Thank you so much.

Emily 16:11

Of course.

Transcribed by


Connect with Melissa Hadley:

The Happy Party Podcast

Connect with Emily:

Get my weekly business tips / newsletter here 
Transcribed by

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