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Dropping Her Corporate Life To Build A Coaching Business To Empower Women, Melissa Bauknight on The Launch of “The Ripple Connection”

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As a part of the Morning Lazziness series about NFT women who are encouraging and doing incredible things with their ideas in society, I had the pleasure of interviewing Melissa Bauknight.

Melissa chose to boldly follow that inner knowledge leaving her corporate career and went on to be in the top 1% of a social impact direct sales company, build a coaching business at The Ripple Connection, and coach over 1,000 women in sales, mindset, and life alignment. She is a living example of her own body of work and is a vision holder for other women to confidently take the leap to make the difference they know they’re here to make.

Her purpose is to help women break free of the conditioning that keeps them fearful of following their own dreams while creating an abundance of everything – money, flexibility, impact, and time for yourself. As a result, she attracts high-achieving women who are done living life on other people’s terms and are ready to unleash their feminine power.

Many thanks for doing this for us, please let our users know about yourself and about  “The Ripple Connection”?

The Ripple Connection is a collaborative community for women living on purpose. We intend to be a movement for women to own their WHOLE selves so that they can fully step into their feminine power. Our community manifests its desires through radical alignment.

The Ripple Connection provides daily knowledge, tips, inspiration, and support around how to bridge the gap between who and where you are today to who you desire to be. You can connect with TRC through social media posts, live streams, weekly newsletters, webinars, masterclasses, and my signature course The Bridge.

As far as who I am…..I’m a multi-passionate entrepreneur, adventurer, mother, wife, and a Business and Life Coach. I have over 15 years of sales and business development experience in the corporate world working across 6 states and consistently performing in the top 10% of my peers. Having checked many boxes on my life goals list – traveling the world, achieving corporate success, marrying a loving husband, and starting a family, I still felt anxious and incomplete. 

I knew there were untapped parts of my soul longing to be unleashed.

3 years ago I chose to boldly follow that inner knowledge leaving my corporate career and went on to be in the top 1% of a social impact direct sales company, build a coaching business at The Ripple Connection, and coach over 1,000 women in sales, mindset, and life alignment. I am a living example of my own body of work and am a vision holder for other women to confidently take the leap to make the difference they know they’re here to make.

As a soul whisperer, I ignite heart-led female leaders to embody their purpose and bravely design a business and life on THEIR terms! One of the ways in which I do this is through my signature course called The Bridge for women to bring their dream business to life. I ensure that the work you do is in alignment with your highest self.

My purpose is to help women break free of the conditioning that keeps them fearful of following their dreams while creating an abundance of everything – money, flexibility, impact, and time for yourself. As a result,  I attract high-achieving women who are done living life on other people’s terms and are ready to unleash their feminine power.

Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?

Melissa Bauknight

When I became a mom 5 years ago, it completely rocked my world and invited me to question so many things that I had previously believed to be true. It felt like overnight I went from being independent and driven to having someone who wanted to be attached to my body at all times and drowning. The career that once fulfilled me no longer did and I felt my calling to step into my purpose growing louder and louder by the day. 

When my son was 18 months old, I hired my first coach to help me from within the belief that I could actually leave my corporate career and take the leap into more meaningful work as an entrepreneur. Together we created a strategy that allowed me to exit with confidence and excitement 8 months later to pursue my dreams of being a purpose-driven leader and coach!  

Can you tell us the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

I filled the enrollment for the first launch of my signature program before I had fully created the course. I had an outline of it, but the full details had yet to reveal themselves to me. This was a practice of surrender and trust that I had never experienced before in my life. 

I trusted myself that I would show up, that I could deliver on my promises, that the content would reveal itself to me exactly when I needed to know it, and that I wouldn’t force any of it. This was my first experience in creating something this important fully guided by my deep feminine wisdom….and it was AWESOME! I created a 130-page workbook and my full signature process all while leaning heavily into intuition for execution. 

You have been blessed with great success in a career path. How “The Ripple Connection” is helping ambitious women. 

Women come to me seeking these top 4 things – Clarity, Connection, Trust, and to embody their worthiness. It doesn’t matter how much success they have experienced in the past, they have a deeper desire to redefine success and create it on their terms. I help them know and believe in themselves so that they can no longer abandon themselves in pursuit of success. They get to include their happiness and desires in the equation and create success with ease rather than overwhelm!! 

What would you say are the top 3 skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur, and why?

  • Commitment to your physical and emotional health: To operate at your best, you MUST take care of yourself. This includes sleeping 7-9 hours a night, having proper hydration, moving your body, eating nutritious foods, and managing your thoughts. These are non-negotiable to maintain optimal brain health and prevent disease. It can be easy to fall into the trap of overworking and neglecting your own needs and this is a fast pass to dissatisfaction, stress, and deteriorating health. You can either choose to honor yourself and create a business that supports your desired lifestyle or your body will demand it. 
  • Leadership Resilience: Change is constant so the more you can learn to be flexible and flow with it rather than fight against it, the more resilient you’ll be. Leadership resilience allows you to stay the course even in challenging times. It requires that you have a clear vision of where you and your organization are headed, you understand WHY you want to achieve those goals, and that you are utilizing emotional intelligence to navigate obstacles.  
  • Diverse Thinking: We are often conditioned to overly rely on logic when in fact there are multiple sources to draw from to make decisions as a leader. Tapping into diver ways of thinking allows us not to stay stuck in old ways of doing things, be dynamic leaders, and helps us continuously grow and pivot with ease as entrepreneurs. In Dr. Tara Swart’s whole brain agility model, she teaches 6 ways of thinking that you can use:
  • Mastering your emotions
  • Understanding your brain-body connection
  • Accessing your intuition
  • Using logic to make good decisions
  • Staying motivated and resilient to reach your goals
  • Using creativity to build your ideal future

What was the best piece of business advice you were given when you were starting out?

Learning to slow down is key to longevity. 

In western society, we operate at an unreasonable pace with unreasonable expectations of ourselves. If you desire to be successful over the long haul, then you must learn how to create space in your schedule, say no to things that truly aren’t for you, delegate, and prioritize your own needs. 

What is your no-fail go-to when you need inspiration or to get out of a creative rut?

I get out in nature and tune out the noisy world. I find taking a hike without my phone on is a quick way to reconnect with myself, my inner wisdom, and divine guidance. It’s where I can truly listen and reconnect with my inspiration!

What are your plans for the future, how do you plan to grow this company?

I intend to be a multi-7 figure earner and create a global collaborative women’s movement. I am doing this by recreating my signature course as an evergreen course, collaborating with other complementary entrepreneurs, launching a membership, hosting live in-person conferences, and expanding my incredible team (because we never do this alone)!! 

There is no shortage of good ideas out there, but people struggle to take a good idea and translate it into an actual business.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?

Here’s a video I did on the 5 things I wish I knew 

  1. Learn to manage your thoughts: Being an entrepreneur is an emotional rollercoaster and isn’t for the faint of heart. When I began, I had no idea what it took to start, run, and scale a company. I have had more moments of extreme joy and equal numbers of tears as I’ve navigated entrepreneurship. It’s the most profound personal growth journey you’ll ever go on! If you can begin to notice your thoughts, question them, and replace them with more empowering ones, that will even out the volatility and self-inflicted stress that can result from the rollercoaster.
  2. Hire people early. One of my favorite sayings is “just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should”. When you start a business you get to wear A LOT of hats. As a business coach, I have been the head of marketing, sales, operations, finance, and anything else you can think of. When I hired my first virtual assistant it was both terrifying and a breath of fresh air. Now I have one that works full time for me and a marketing agency supporting my strategy and implementation. I’m never fully ready when I hire someone but it’s what keeps me running my business with excitement and joy rather than overwhelm and exhaustion. Hire someone to get you out of your business and into your zone of genius before you feel ready.
  3. Don’t sacrifice yourself. If I could shout this from the rooftops every second of my life I would…well I kind of do in my business lol. If you value joy, ease, and happiness, you have got to prioritize yourself and your own needs. It does not work to make sure everyone else is taken care of besides yourself. You can be proactive about this or you will find out the hard way. It takes intention to ensure you don’t work yourself into exhaustion. I highly suggest doing blocking blank spaces every day for creativity, spontaneity, and nothingness. I also recommend doing something loving for yourself daily as a non-negotiable.
  4. Success will not happen overnight. When we look at other people and their success, there tends to be this immediate bizarre idea that it happened overnight or it was somehow easy for them. I have yet to see that be true. Great things take time and so will your ideas. I like to compare bringing an idea to life to birth. It needs time and space to grow and develop and a lot of the process is outside of your control. Don’t force or push. Be patient and give your creativity time to breathe otherwise you’ll stifle it.
  5. Trust and believe on repeat. Let go of the idea that you have to or that you can control everything. That is a fast pass to anxiety. As someone who personally lived with anxiety for decades, I realize that letting go of the grip takes time and intentionality. I know that might be triggering for some but control is toxic. Elizabeth Gilbert says “You’re afraid to surrender because you don’t want to lose control, but you never had control, all you had was anxiety”. Learning to trust yourself, that the path will continue to reveal itself, and that you’ve got what it takes to stick with it through the hard times are paramount to you finding success on your way. Remember success isn’t all about objective outcomes. Consider that how it feels is more important than what’s accomplished!

Has there ever been a moment when you thought to yourself “I can’t take it anymore, I’m going to get a “real” job? If so, how did you overcome it?

2 weeks ago actually! I was in the middle of a launch and I was witnessing myself slip back into old patterns of attachment and overworking. I started looking for jobs on LinkedIn (even though I knew I wouldn’t apply for one). It was my old patterns of seeking security that was creeping back in to keep me safe. 

I did 3 things to overcome it:

  1. Got support: I reached out to a dear friend who knows me and my business well for support
  2. Spoke my fears: I told her and my marketing manager very vulnerably what my brain was doing and saying. I gave my fears a voice so that they would loosen their grip on me and began to question if what I was thinking/believing was in fact true.
  3. I sat with my emotions: I didn’t try to rush through this discomfort, I sat in it. I got curious about the emotions that were surfacing and what they were trying to tell me.  As they say “name it to tame it”. I didn’t make any decisions in this heightened state of fear. I waited until I had sat with them as long as I felt necessary and then reconnected with my why so I could get back to this important work I’m doing! 

What is your favorite mantra or affirmation that you say to yourself to keep you going?

My liberation is my life’s work for other women.

What helps you stay driven and motivated to keep going in your business?

3 main things keep me driven

  1. A clear vision of where I’m headed
  2. An INCREDIBLY supportive community of women who see my light and stand with me exactly as I am
  3. An unshakable belief in myself and why I was given this soul assignment

What valuable advice would you give new entrepreneurs starting out?

Being ready is a decision, not a feeling. You get to decide today to start scared – to choose brave and to get supported around moving through all of your fears. There’s never a perfect time so you get to choose when you’re ready to commit to stepping forward as the leader you’re being called to be. 

Being an entrepreneur is the most intense personal growth journey you’ll embark upon. Hire a coach like me to be your guide on your journey so that you can create a business with alignment, that brings you joy, and do it in a way that truly honors the lifestyle you desire to create! You are ready – you just need to convince our brain that you are!!

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