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Be honest with yourself for a moment. Is the work you’ll dedicate your time and energy today just a j-o-b, or is it your life’s work? Do you dream of a life filled with work and a career that lights you up, that fulfills the dreams you have for yourself, and gives you a true sense of purpose… But instead you find yourself clocking in and clocking out, collecting your paycheck, and yearning for more, regardless of the impressive titles you might have on your resume to show for it? This conversation is exactly what you need to hear.
After suffering a breakdown from the simultaneous death of her boyfriend and father’s cancer diagnosis, Melissa Simkins made the courageous decision to leave her successful and impressive corporate position to shift to a life that didn’t neglect her faith, family, and wellness. She launched her company SheSuite from her living room with no contacts, contracts or clients and discovered not only a new job but her life’s work.
Through her story and message of dreaming big amidst life’s heaviest challenges, Melissa Simkins empowers working women to boldly create a life and career with purpose. She’s on the Goal Digger Podcast to share her actionable tools to create an impactful and meaningful life and career.
A Pivot Point
During an internship at Victoria’s Secret during grad school, Melissa Simkins came across an ad in the copy room that read, “Within me lives a purpose, a reason I’m here. And one day soon it’ll say to me, hey there, the world needs you. Are you ready?” Her initial reaction was dismissal – “nobody needs me, I’m in the copy room,” she thought to herself.
However, she soon realized that there may be truth to the idea that the world needs her and started to question if she truly knew what her purpose was. Melissa recognized that there was something bigger than her current situation and began to slowly and courageously live into it.
She recalled the moment when she started questioning what would happen if she left her job. Despite not having the financial means, she made adjustments such as getting a roommate and rejecting a promotion to focus on her business plan after hours.
For two years, she worked on her business for hours after work. After careful planning and saving, Melissa realized that she had to take a risk to achieve her goals. She left her corporate job just a month before she was vested to push herself out of her comfort zone. Melissa explained, “If I don’t kick myself out when I feel like there’s more to risk, I’m not gonna do it.”
Melissa reflected on how people often get too tied up in their job titles and the validation that comes with them, referring to it as “jewelry.” She struggled to learn how to stand in her own identity because she realized that some people only valued her for who she worked for or what she did. She needed to reshape her identity and separate it from her former employer and job title. Melissa shared that this journey was difficult and made her feel inadequate, but she had to clarify her pitch and personal brand to communicate her value to others.
Going through this journey helped Melissa build confidence in herself. She shared a quote by Dave Hollis, “There’s something beautiful about watching yourself do hard things,” and explained that she now knows the source of her confidence was watching herself overcome difficult challenges.
At moments in the process, Melissa felt inadequate and unsure if she made the right decision, and wondered how she was going to keep moving forward. But Melissa realized that her ability to show up for herself every day and pursue her goals was what helped her stand on her own value and build a business that has lasted for 17 years.
Your Life’s Work
There’s a clear difference between working at a job and doing your life’s work. She believes the work starts with what she calls the MVP approach – mission, vision, purpose. She explained that as talented women leaders, it’s easy to lean into our strengths and let them define our careers. However, it’s essential to take a step back and ask ourselves if this is how we want to live our lives, “Is this defining the way that I want to live?”
Melissa emphasized the importance of being intentional and taking the time to define our why, purpose, and vision. For her, part of her mission is to be healthy and whole and to live wealthy – time wealth, that is, which requires prioritizing and delegating tasks. “We’ve gotta make the choices that support the vision that allows us to live into who we really are,” she added.
Melissa believes that by defining our MVP and making choices that align with our vision, we can live into our life’s work. “And we’ve gotta take ground back for our lives because we’re talented and we have so much that we can offer, but we’ve gotta make the choices that support the vision that allows us to live into who we really are.” she concludes.
More from Melissa Simkins
There’s so much more to this conversation with Melissa Simkins, so press play wherever you get your podcasts.
Connect with Melissa Simkins on Instagram @melissadawnsimkins and online at theshesuite.com.