Ep 472: Building a Huge Business without Having a Huge Audience with Melanie Ann Layer



Are you eager to start a business or grow your company but feel like you need to build a massive online following first?

What if you could permit yourself to take the next step before things were perfectly aligned?

If you’ve been struggling with questions like these, then you won’t want to miss today’s conversation with Melanie Ann Layer, Founder and CEO of Alpha Femme, a global coaching and mentoring company that has helped countless clients transform not just their businesses but also their lives.

Tuning in, you’ll learn how Melanie first built her company from the ground up without the help of paid advertising, funding, or social media, all while working out of her car, and how she got to where she is today.

She shares how her desire to transform her client’s lives fueled the growth of her business, why authenticity was instrumental to her organic online growth, and how she made her first million with only 284 clients and fewer than 10,000 followers on Instagram.

If you’d like to learn more about Melanie’s inspirational journey and how she achieved her success without a huge audience, then be sure to tune in for this eye-opening conversation!


  • Get to know Melanie Ann Layer and how she got to where she is today.
  • Insight into her global coaching and mentoring company, Alpha Femme.
  • How she grew her company without the help of funding, social media, or paid advertising.
  • Reasons that referrals were fundamental for her early growth.
  • Key things that motivated her, including her desire to transform the lives of her clients.
  • How she made her first million with 284 clients and fewer than 10,000 followers on Instagram.
  • Why being authentic was instrumental to her organic online growth.
  • How Melanie pivoted from a few hundred followers to her current digital brand.
  • The events that helped Melanie radically alter her mindset and let go of limiting beliefs.
  • How to know when you’re ready to take the next step and grow your business.
  • Why you don’t always need to wait for things to be perfect.
  • Insights on what will help incentivize your clients to give referrals.
  • Where you can go to find Melanie online today!


“Open your mind, open your heart, start getting curious, ditch whatever you’ve been told that would have felt limiting, and let’s get into the expansive mindset of what could be. That’s who I am. That’s why I’m here.” — @MelanieAnnLayer [0:06:00]

“My focus at that time was helping people fall in love with their lives, regardless of their circumstances.” — @MelanieAnnLayer [0:07:20]

“If I can find gratitude, I can help anyone find gratitude in their life right now. [That’s how] I built this life coaching brand from the front seat of my car.” — @MelanieAnnLayer [0:07:36]

“Who wants to work with a person who’s like, ‘Yes, I succeeded on the first shot, I have no idea what failure feels like, learn from me.’” — @MelanieAnnLayer [0:21:26]

“Make sure that you amplify everything you receive and you’ll never have to get blocked about worthiness again. It [then] becomes about the world, [so] you can stop being all stuck in your ego, and – actually start doing something.” — @MelanieAnnLayer [0:29:57]

About Melanie Ann Layer

Melanie Ann Layer is an online mentor for business women. She is the founder of the Alpha Femme Brand: a global Coaching and Mentoring company that launched in the online space in 2017. ⁣

From humble beginnings, her journey has been one of evolution and growth. Since the creation of Alpha Femme in 2017, the brand has generated over $70 Million dollars! ⁣

Her revolutionary teachings are taking the world by storm.⁣ Her unconventional success has left many puzzled… and so many more excited and magnetized.⁣ ⁣

Melanie walks alongside her clients who grow heart-centered companies of all sizes, many Alpha Femmes celebrate multiple 6-figure and multiple 7-figure years! Although wealth creation is a significant pillar of the Alpha Femme brand, more importantly, through this journey, and at every level, they celebrate their lives, sovereignty, freedom, and womanhood.


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AJV (00:02): Hey, everybody. Welcome to the Influential Personal Brand podcast. This is AJ Vaden, one of your co-hosts, and super excited today to talk about how to build a multimillion dollar business without having to build a huge, multimillion follower brand. So I think for everyone who is listening of going, man, how, how do I continue to grow my business without feeling the pressure of having to grow podcasts and email lists and paid media? And if you fit in that bucket, then this is a conversation that you wanna stick around for, because today we’re gonna talk about how you can explosively grow and build your business without having to do what a lot of people talk about in digital marketing today, which is you know, you gotta have all the things on all the platforms, you gotta have a podcast, gotta have an email list. And it’s like those things aren’t bad, and you can have ’em, but they’re not a necessity to having an amazingly successful business. AJV (01:01): So if you fit in that boat where you wanna grow your business without the pressure of having to grow everything else underneath the sun, then this is probably one that you wanna stick around to. Now, let me formally introduce you to my guest today, which is Melanie, Melanie Ann Layer. Sorry, I’ve got tongue tied there. I mean, she’s the founder of Alpha F Brand, which I’ve spent a bunch of time stalking on social media, and I love all the visuals and glamor that is associated with what you see online, but also just really love the concept and the heart around a lot of the conversation that’s gonna happen today. But just so you know, alpha Femme is a global coaching and mentoring company. It launched in the online space in 2017. So to talk about growing a super successful business and not a ton of time that’s one of the things we’re gonna talk about because that was not that long ago. And so one of the reasons I invited Melanie Ann on today is to really talk about how do you do these things in a way that works for you, and how do you weave your story into all the things that you do. And so we’re gonna talk about growing businesses. We’re gonna talk about using your story. We’re gonna talk about how you do it with staying true to yourself and so much more. So welcome to the show, MAL (02:18): . That was fun. Hello. Happy to be here, AJV (02:21): . Yeah. So since you’re kind of new to our audience, I would love for you just to start with kind of telling people like, how did you get to where you are today? Right? So if you were to do a high level overview of kind of where you started and how you ended up where you are today, what are some of the things that you think our audience should know in order to get to know you a little bit better? MAL (02:44): Well, I would probably start by saying I’ve always been a little bit different. And my, my experience of myself is always, I’ve been a little bit different, even, you know, my brother and my sister were really good with the traditional education model, and I just could not get myself to do it. It just, I’d study for a test a minute. The exam would go in front of my face. I’d forget absolutely everything, but I knew every lyric to every song I cared about by heart. It’s like I, my brain just was wired differently. And I came to realize later in life that I have an emotional brain. I have an artist brain. If I care about it, I remember it forever. If I don’t care about it, doesn’t matter how much I repeat it, the minute you add pressure, stress to my life, I forget. MAL (03:22): And so, it’s been such an interesting journey for me to not discredit what anybody else is doing, actually, to take a stand and say, let’s not ever discredit what anybody’s doing ever again. Let’s instead look for other ways. What are all the ways we can become successful? What are all the ways that we can highlight our intellect and our creativity and our uniqueness? Because I, I think that a lot of times success is put in a box where if you don’t fit the guidelines, it’s predictable that you won’t get it, or that you’re not deserving of it, or it, it’s just kind of a weird thing where even, even after I achieved a lot of the success that I achieved, I was constantly questioned about my education and why I felt I had the right. And so I think what I love about the conversation we’re gonna have today is the fact that I decided I had the right, and then I built something extraordinary after that. MAL (04:09): Nobody told me that I was special or that I deserved it. Nobody gave me a leg up, a hand up, a whatever up to help me do it. I didn’t receive any funding. I didn’t like, there was no help. There was just, I wanted to do it, and then I did it. And I feel like we need more stories like this. Yeah. Now, the other thing I wanna say is, I’m gonna talk about how I built this without any of the traditional stuff, but I’ve helped so many of my clients, whether they have the traditional stuff or not, I think the key is not to say, oh, I, I, you know, I stand against the traditional stuff. It’s more I wanna find my, my perfect recipe that makes it, that I’m not fighting against any part of myself in order to be successful. It’s the opposite. MAL (04:47): I’m leaning into every best part of me and finding what are the things that are actually my effortless, we’ll call it a strategy, it’s an energetic strategy. Like, when I do this, I feel good empowered, I feel limitless, I feel magnetic. Like those are the things that are usually the gateway. And so I just followed my own magnetism. Whenever I felt stifled, stuck questioning myself, I was like, is there another way? I just questioned what everybody ever told me was the only way. And I found many alternative ways. And what I wanna say, we’re celebrating now since, you know, I opened my brand in 2017. We’re se we’re celebrating $78 million since 2017 in Alpha Femme. And I can tell you, I have found 78 different ways to make a million dollars. I did not make any of those the same way. They’re all different. And so that’s why I feel like I can help so many different people because not one of those millions was the same. And so it’s just to open your mind, open your heart, start getting curious, ditch whatever you’ve been told that would have felt like limiting. And let’s get into the expansive mindset of what could be. And that’s, that’s who I am. That’s why I’m here. AJV (05:55): I love that. You know, and one of the reasons I thought that you would be so great for this particular, you know, time for our audience, is that we get asked all the time, do I have to have this? Do I have to do this? Right? And a lot of that circulates around, do I have to do social media? Do I have to do video content? Do I have to have a podcast? And we’re always like, no, you don’t have to do anything. So I thought this was just really good. So this is where I’d like to start, is how did you build what you’ve built in a relatively short amount of time without any websites, any podcast, no paid ads? So walk us through like, what was the strategy and how did this happen? MAL (06:41): So the first thing I wanna say is I was actually good at what I did. So when I first started my business, I started this brand. I had gone bankrupt. My whole life had fallen apart. And I started, I, I took a phone call from a friend that was going through a hard time and she fell in love with my life coaching. And my life coaching was literally just everything I was studying to try to get myself back on track. But my focus at that time was helping people fall in love with their lives, regardless of their circumstances. So I was not selling a dream here. I was, I was like, I felt sitting in the front seat of a car, low on food, gas, heat, everything you could think of in the winter snow storm. If I can find gratitude, I can help anyone find gratitude in their life right now. MAL (07:26): And I built this life coaching brand from the front seat of my car. And I hit six figures from the front seat of that Honda Civic, the fir the first year we, I hit six figures. And so what all I cared about at that point was helping people and becoming better at really saying the thing the person had. Like, what was the thing that the person wasn’t seeing? What was the blind spot? How could we create more joy now, more happiness now, more power now? How could we, how could we build on that? So I was not trying to be famous, I was not trying to be successful. All I cared about was being excellent and giving transformation to my clients. And because I was sleeping in the front seat of a car, and I did not feel that any of that was very appealing, I called my brand the Invisible Coach. MAL (08:09): And so no social media, no email, no Facebook, no nothing. Everything was word of mouth referral. So if a client loved what I did, they referred a friend, they got 20%, and that’s it. I built my whole business that way. Now, eventually things kind of got bigger because someone asked me if I could come and do this kind of work at their office, and could I help on a bigger scale? Could I coach a team for this kind of mindset stuff? Then some of my past life where I was, I was good in sales, came in and I was, I helped teach high ticket sales to people who felt kind of stressed, especially the dental field when they had to sell big cases like, you know, $60,000 veneer case. And they’re making, you know, 30, $40,000 a year. Like, there’s a gap there. It feels very stressful to sell high ticket when you’re not making a lot of money. MAL (08:55): Money. So I started bringing sales training into what I was doing. My business organically expanded. So the first thing that’s so important is I did not start trying to get rich, trying to get famous. I started wanting to be excellent and wanting to be good at my work. That, that’s the first thing I think is very important. The second thing is, I didn’t even use social media when I first started on social media thinking I would become social media famous either. So the first time I ever put my stuff out on, on Facebook, it was like 2015 or 2016, I started posting. 2016 was my first ever live stream. The reason I did this was because I never actually went anywhere. I didn’t buy a house or get an apartment after I went bankrupt and ended up sleeping in the front seat of my car, I actually just became a digital nomad. MAL (09:38): So I would drive my car all over the country, all over the, you know, all over the us, wherever, and I would just live wherever I I was. And so as my financial situation got better, the hotels got better, but I just never got another place to live. So I would connect with people everywhere, whether it was by the pool, at the coffee shop, at the grocery store. And in order to stay connected, I had the social media presence. It never crossed my mind that I could meet a person on the internet that would become client. That felt impossible. What did feel possible is someone who I’d had a conversation with, who stayed connected over time could eventually, maybe especially if I went back to that town, become a potential client or a connection, but never ever did I think I would create something on the internet. MAL (10:26): So what I think made me very different there as well is I wasn’t doing any kind of strategy. The all I was doing was being the most real version of me because it was like, you’ve met me in person, you know who I am. I’m gonna be the same person online as I am offline. ’cause That’s what it’s gotta be. And by doing that, an audience started to build. And it was the weirdest feeling of my life when someone messaged me that I did not know and said, I’ve been watching your live streams and I’m wondering if you, you do private coaching? And I was like, how did you meet me? And they’re like, I, I saw your live stream. And I was like, what is this? So it was all kind of shocking. It all came from a place of I wanna be excellent, I wanna stay connected to the people I genuinely connect with. MAL (11:06): It all came from a very real place. I think that’s another important thing to to know. My first brand that I ever made, my first company name was my name Melanie Layer, incorporated. That was it, MLI. But then people started asking me what it meant and I felt a little weird, but that’s what it meant, . So I, I said, okay, it means making a lasting impact. So for a while my company was called Making a Lasting Impact, but it, it’s never really meant anything to me. I just thought MLI needed a meaning. Then eventually I started thinking of other names. ’cause People were like, what’s your name? The name of the company? And making a lasting impact didn’t work. So I, I created this other company name called The Boss Vibe. And that was the thing for a little while, the actual name Alpha Femme came to me. MAL (11:52): I didn’t look for it. It, I didn’t work hard to find it. I didn’t hire someone to tell me what I should call my company. I didn’t wait until I had a good name before I made money. I didn’t wait until I had a good name in order to become successful. I called it whatever I wanted to call it until one day Alpha Femme came outta my mouth and I was like, oh my God, that’s it. And I, I could not believe it when I was looking for it on the internet and no one had it. I was like, how does this not already exist meant to be, meant to be? So when I claimed Alpha Femme, the next thing that happened is I realized this is a really good brand. I’ve gotta raise the bar. There was a moment where I realized this is not just about me making money. Mm-Hmm. . This is like, I represent something. This is, this is a brand that could be for the world. And I started opening my mind up where instead of it being about me and my business, it was about the brand and the people. And that started really moving things in a very amazing way. I made my first million dollars with 284 clients. We didn’t even have 10,000 followers on Instagram. I had AJV (12:58): One thing, I wanna pause there and talk about this just for a second. So one of the things that you said earlier, which I, I jotted down because I think it’s so good, it’s, you know, let your results speak for themselves. Right. And it’s like, kind of like that’s what I heard you say. I don’t know if that’s exactly what you said, but it’s along these lines of just be so good. People can’t not tell other people. MAL (13:17): Yeah, AJV (13:17): Exactly. It’s like they can’t not, and so I just would love for you to talk about that for a second of like, what was the mentality that you had around? It’s like, if I just focused on the people who I have right in front of me and changing their life, I know that by the nature of doing awesome work, more business is gonna come. ’cause One of the things that I feel like I’m constantly hearing from friends, family, and our Brain Builders group community is like, well, how do I get more clients? How do I get more clients? How what our constant message back to them is just focus on the ones you have. MAL (13:49): Yeah. AJV (13:50): And so that’s such a mentality shift. It’s such a, a redirecting of abundance versus scarcity. And so I’d love just to hear like what your message would be to anyone who’s out there going, yeah, I’d love to have a word of mouth referral business where everyone is just sending me business. How do I do that? MAL (14:08): When your intention is being excellent for your clients, they feel that when your intention is growing your business, they feel that it’s a different energy. And sometimes it is hard to pivot it when you’re like, okay, that sounds great, but I really do wanna build my business. And it’s like, I know, but is there something else inside of you? Is there something bigger inside of you? Can you actually see that your business, if it, if it were to grow the people, it would help that that’s good for the world. Like, can you actually get behind that? Can you see the ripple? Like I remember early on in my career when one of my first clients was telling me, she’s like, my, my marriage was on the rocks when we started. And I, I’ve, my husband is completely different. You know, another client with her daughter, she’d had, she’d been on the rocks with their daughter and things were just turning around. MAL (14:56): Another client’s sister reached out from, for, you know, years ago that hadn’t talked to her sister in years, you know, promotions. And I’m like, I’m speaking to one person. But the the wor their work is changing their, their, you know, sister, their mother, their partner, their everything’s changing. And I was like, the ripple effect of this is spectacular. I’m making such a difference. Mm-Hmm. And that was the thing that really drove me was like, this is helping. This is working. And I think especially in businesses where people have this profession, obviously it depends what profession you have in your life. I, for me, ha being a, a coach, that meant I have to be good at, at having people change their lives. That’s my job. Yeah. You know, I think a lot of people get caught up in being marketers and then the job is secondary. MAL (15:45): But really it’s, you’ve gotta be good at your job and then you’ve gotta market how, you’ve gotta market that you’re good at your job if you are a good marketer, but you’re not good at your job. It’s like, hmm. So the first thing is be good at your job, then the marketing is easy. Is it word of mouth? You know, is it through live streams? Is it through a beautiful brand? Is it through this? Now you’re adding things to support this amazing career that you have. And it, and it’s never do I have to, it’s like what are the channels that are gonna help me expand this? But nothing’s gonna make you good. You know, you, you can’t just market. I mean you can, but eventually your reputation will catch up with you and it won’t work. You know, it is gotta come from I’m excellent at this and then I market my excellence from that. The sky isn’t even the limit. AJV (16:27): Yeah. I love that so much. ’cause I think that is, that is just such a heart change of going, the marketing will come, the sales will come. But right now I just have to be the best in the world out of what I’m doing or MAL (16:39): The best therapist I can be right now. Because this is another thing is every single industry has nuances. Mm-Hmm. , you know, you can be the best in the world at one thing. Like, let’s say, okay, the best French cook in the world, the best cook in the world, but he cooks French cuisine. Mm-Hmm. . But you’re like, but my favorite food is Italian. Yeah. And so my favorite chef, she’s been cooking for x amount of years, she doesn’t have any awards, but she’s the best to me. Yeah. I love that. And so I didn’t even care about being the best in the world. This is another thing I saw a lot of people do along my career. Like, I wanna be the next Tony Robbins. I wanna be the best this I wanna be the next this I wanna be. And I was like, I I wanna be me. Mm-Hmm. AJV (17:19): . MAL (17:20): I really only thought when I first started this work that there was me, Tony Robbins and Esther Hicks. I thought that was it. Like we, we were the only people in the world that knew about this profession. I wasn’t trying to beat anybody. I thought the world was in need of more people like me. That’s another perspective shift. I don’t need to be the best. I wanna be one of the greats. AJV (17:38): Yeah. That’s so good. That’s such a good, you know, just even verbiage reminder to me it’s like, it’s not about being the best in the world. It’s about being the best you, which somebody needs that somebody needs the best you. And so, so, okay, so here’s my second question that kind of popped up through all the things that you were ta talking about in my notes, is this whole idea of figuring out what feels most aligned with you. And you said, you know, it’s like made $78 million done at 78, you know, different ways. So what, what advice would you have or any sort of tips around, like, how do you just figure out what that combination is? MAL (18:20): So what I love about marketing and also coaching, what I love about the whole thing is it feels to me like a scientific experiment. I think a lot of people do marketing and do business like math. I sucked at math, but I love, like, why is it that when you add milk and vinegar, it, it does this weird thing? Like why? And that’s a lot of times what business is. It’s like, why did that work? How did that work? Why did that work? It’s not one plus one equals two, it’s milk plus vinegar equals like why? And so I love it so much because I always tell my clients, you’re gonna wonder how to do it until you wonder how you did it. Mm-Hmm. It’s not this like recipe that you do it once, then you nail it forever. You’re gonna have to pivot course correct. MAL (19:08): You’re gonna have to innovate. It’s gonna work once in the second time. It won’t work again. You’re gonna have to change. Like, you’ve gotta be a mad scientist. It’s gotta be this like, let me explore myself, my clients, the world, the market. Like it’s, everything’s changing. So if you’re trying to find the one ticket to success, the one ticket to fame, the one, it’s like, it’s very rarely gonna be an energetic match for you to succeed long term. But if you’re like, sky isn’t even the limit. Give me everything you’ve got. I’m a mad scientist. I’ll make anything work. I’ll make 1 million, I’ll make it 1,000,078 ways I’ll do it so differently. It doesn’t need to be perfect. It doesn’t need to be the same. I don’t need to do it like her or like him or like them. I do not need to beat anyone. MAL (19:45): I wanna be one of the greats. I respect the people I walk with. I walk with giants. I love this moment that we’re in, in this planet. I love that I get to be in business in this modern time. I love that there’s so many different ways I can market what I do. Let me do this this month and if I’m sick of this next year, I’ll find something new. Like I’m in the game evolution and growth over a lifetime. Let’s figure this thing out. That energy is so magnetic, so playful, so fun. And you’ll just end up making money. And it is like, money’s the byproduct of the entrepreneur you become. Yeah. AJV (20:16): And I think I, and I love what you said, it’s like don’t be afraid to just try it. Yeah. And if you hand it, stop, pivot, do something else. And I think that’s a lot of people just kind of feel like if I start it, I have to just keep doing it. And that’s not true. MAL (20:29): No. You get to say, okay, well look, and, and you can see it through, you know, you can say, okay, so we did this and here, what’s the outcome? Well, the outcome is this. Okay. So now we know we won’t do that again. Like, you track it without meaning. Yeah. Kind of like Einstein, who found 3000 ways not to build a light bulb AJV (20:45): . Yeah. MAL (20:46): You can’t get defeated. It’s like, okay, so this is not the way for me not, and this is not the way for me. And it’ll just make you wiser. Mm-Hmm. more supportive of any person that you work with in the future that might be going through a harder time or people that are not making things work. And you’re like, I’ve tried that. I tried 17 times before my thing work. Don’t worry about it. It gives you more like, who wants to work with a person who’s like, yes, I succeeded on the first shot. I have no idea what failure feels like. Learn from me . You know, we wanna know that the people that we’re modeling with and who we’re learning from know what failure feels like and they survived and they’re okay and they’re not afraid for us. ’cause They know what it’s like. MAL (21:20): Like get your hands dirty. Go in, leave your ego aside and just go in the sandbox. Be like, let me get my hands dirty. Let me build something fun here. Let me figure out what I’ve got, what my tools are, what my skills are, where I need to get better. What results can I produce with what I’ve got? Because it’s not gonna, it might not be a million, but it could be a few tens of thousands. And that’s celebrate something to celebrate. Like, you’re gonna get good stuff on the way, and then you’ll learn to celebrate those little things and build off of those. And it really is, it’s a scientific experiment. And the people who are able to play like a mad scientist at this, they have fun for way longer. AJV (21:57): And that’s a key word in all of this is you wanna have fun. Yes. It should be fun. It shouldn’t be, I think MAL (22:04): Before we all decided to be entrepreneurs because we imagined it would be, yeah. We thought, can you imagine not having to wake up at a certain time? Imagine being able to go to lunch at the restaurant in the middle of the afternoon. Imagine not having to work till 5, 6, 7 every night. Imagine not being stuck in traffic. Imagine. Oh my gosh, I could work from wherever in the world. Oh my gosh. Then you get this opportunity and you make it, you, you forget a job. I AJV (22:28): Think . Yeah. You make it a job. Yeah. Yeah. So at some point there was clearly a pivot where you said even earlier it’s like it was time to kind of like up level. Yeah. And so, you know, I’ve gotten to know you at, you know, the ends of all this, you know, creation you’ve been doing. And so what did that pivot look like to go, okay, now I’m really going to create my online presence? Because I feel like you’re, you have a great online presence and you have a really awesome following now and Eve. Like I said earlier, it’s like it’s, it’s, it’s got a very strong vibe, right? And it’s like just even like following you on social a little bit, getting to know you, it’s like, no, there’s like a very strong presence there. So what made you decide to do that pivot? And what has it looked like since then from going to like only a couple hundred followers to now you really have a great digital brand? MAL (23:22): Yeah, so there’s a, there was a few pivots. It happened a few times along the way. The first really important pivot was the Alpha Femme brand. When I said, I have a brand, like this is my brand, this is what I, it’s like I, I felt the brand had so much potential that I had to raise the bar of who Melanie was to fit Alpha Femme. Mm. And that was amazing because instead of trying to build the business, instead of having Melanie and Laer try to build a business that would be successful so that I could feel like I had done it, you know, that feeling we sometimes have where it’s like I’m trying to build a business so that I won’t have to worry about money. And so that I will feel like I have done something with my life. I, I I I, mm-Hmm it went from that to, whoa, if I end up being, if it’s in my life in hindsight at the end of my life that I’m the one that founded Alpha Femme, what will that have meant? MAL (24:14): Who do I need to be? Do, am I even an energetic match for this brand and what it could be? And so that made me raise the bar in even who, who I was. And it was like, I’m the founder of this brand that represents the world. There was like a, an uplevel there, but the real huge uplevel that happened for me that changed everything. And this is quite interesting because the story starts in 2020 or the story starts, pardon me, in 2013 when I went bankrupt and I was sleeping in my car, IWI had, I was working a commission only sales job. So if I made nothing in one day, no money came. There was no minimum wage. It was just whatever money I made. And there were days and days and days that I made absolutely no money whatsoever. I’m sleeping in the front seat of this car. MAL (24:55): I sometimes I have money for a night at the hotel. Most nights I’m just sleeping directly in the car. Some days I can eat, some days I can’t. Like it’s, it, there’s just no consistency in my life whatsoever. And I have this like really traumatic experience while I’m sleeping in the front seat of a car and there’s first responders on site and they, one woman comes, psychologist sits in the car with me and starts talking to me and she’s like, I don’t know why, but I keep having this, this feeling to give you this business card of this person. I feel like you need to speak to this person. And it was this super like spiritual, like a person, like a, that could see into the future kind of thing. And I’d never done this stuff before at all. So I’m, I, I’m like, okay, thank you. MAL (25:36): But I have no money for this whatsoever. I have no money. And so I keep the card in my car and I keep looking at it and it’s burning the image in my head of this person. Like, I, I need to call, I need to do it, but I don’t have the money to do it. So I chose to not, I slept in the my car for cup for like, nonstop, nonstop, nonstop. Even when I had the money not eat, even if I had the money to save up to buy this one session for a hundred dollars. And I drove up to this person’s condo and she was moving, there were boxes everywhere when I walked in. She said, I’m sorry, the place is a mess. We’re moving. You know, I’ll have to have you sit in my bedroom. I sat on her bed, I was like, I’m gonna die. MAL (26:13): This is how the story ends, . And so she does this session with me and the worst thing is like, I didn’t get it the session. Like, I just remember leaving there feeling so mad. I tore the card up. I was so upset because the things she was telling me were just so out there, like, I’m hoping for answers. And she’s like, I see you change the world where the mountains meet the ocean and all this stuff. And I’m like, oh my God, what have I done? You know? And so for years I thought that was a bunch of baloney. But in 2020 I was in Hawaii when the pandemic hit and they shut down Hawaii and they wouldn’t let us leave. My brother was about to have his first baby. And my sister, my fiance and I were in this one house in Hawaii. MAL (26:58): We were, we had only rented it for a few days to do content creation. They shut the country down. We couldn’t leave. They had no other Airbnbs, no other hotels. Like we either stayed there, we lived in the street and it was way above our budget. It was the craziest thing. And we were having this like meeting the three of us, what are we going to do? And my sister, obviously, I had told her the story about the this woman in the card and all the things, but she just has this look on her face. Like she just saw a ghost. And I said, what, what? Like, what? And she, she said, just look. Oh, because that’s the craziest thing. Like I was, I was in a town where there is no ocean. Like I don’t, there she says to me, you’re gonna change the world where the mountain meets the ocean. There is no ocean. Like I am in Quebec, Canada. There is no ocean anywhere. And so I said to her, which ocean? And she said, oh, I can’t tell you that. Of course you can’t. Okay, how do I even get there? And she said, you’ll be there when it happens. MAL (28:01): . I’m like very detailed, very detailed. Like this is, I’m so glad I I I forfeited food in shelter for this conversation. But later on my sister says like, look where we are. And we were literally right where this huge mountain and the ocean collided and she’s like, we’re where the mountain meets the ocean and you’re there when it happened. And I just got chills everywhere and I was just like, oh my God, we could make this a self-fulfilling prophecy. Like I could decide that this happens and then the whole thing would be true. Like this would be the greatest story in the world. And we just did this like let’s do it kind of thing. We ended up there for over two months and my business went from six figure months to million dollar months like that. Wow. But we, it stopped being about Melanie Ann layer. MAL (28:53): It stopped being about alpha femme and it started being about changing the world where the mountain meets the ocean. Hmm. It started being about helping people through a pandemic. It started being about having a mission, feeling like there was a reason that I was alive to serve the planet. Like I, I took it out of my, am I good enough? Am I worthy? Do I have what it takes? Do I, blah, blah, blah. All the little chatter. And I expanded my vision outside into like my impact on the world as it stands. And my entire business changed. And I just kept myself in that mindset. This isn’t about my worthiness and my deserving. Every single thing I touch helps people. Every dollar in my business is a person who’s expanding every Yes. Is a person who’s working on their life, their purpose, their their marriage, their their business is helping people. MAL (29:43): It’s like, I’m a funnel now. Mm-Hmm. Everything that goes through me comes to other people. Whoever’s distributing the funds up there is going, okay, pass it through her hands. Money in her hands is good for the world. Power in her hands is good for the world. Influence in her hands is good for the world. And so my message to people is like, get out of the little smallness of your fear that you somehow are inadequate because that, that’s like you are just hoping everything that’s funnels towards you is just gonna come to you and die there. AJV (30:13): Yeah. So good. Cut MAL (30:14): The floor. Cut the floor and make sure that things go through you, not just to you make sure that you amplify everything you receive and you’ll never have to get blocked about worthiness again. And actually it becomes about the world. And you can stop being all stuck in your ego and we can actually start doing something. AJV (30:31): You know what I love most about everything that you just said is that whole thing of like, stop worrying about what comes to you and pay attention of what’s going through you. Because I think that is, it is such a limiting belief of going, like everything I’m doing is just so that money comes into the account or a client comes into the account or followers show up or emails show up. It’s like, that’s really small thinking. MAL (30:57): Yeah. AJV (30:58): I love that about this. Like, no, don’t think about what comes to you. Think about how it comes through you of just like, whatever comes through you needs to go right back out. MAL (31:07): Yeah. And, and it’ll, that’s AJV (31:09): An abundant mindset and MAL (31:11): It’ll, and it’ll create so much beauty on the way through. But everything is temporary. You know, even the money you think you want, you want it so you can spend it on something AJV (31:21): MAL (31:22): You know, it’s like everything, if it comes through you, if there’s something that passes through, joy is temporary, sadness is temporary. Just let it pass through. Let just let yourself be the biggest conduit you can be and don’t shut yourself off and shut down the channels when you’re afraid of losing. You know, don’t hang on too tight to things ’cause you’re afraid if you lose them, you lose them forever. Just be confident that things through you are good for the world and amplify how much can pass through you. AJV (31:50): Yes. I love that. And you said something earlier, I wanna go back to really quick, and I’m, I’m cognizant of the time because I think there’s so much richen richness in the conversation. But one of the things that you said earlier, and again, this is again how I perceived it, is like, don’t wait until it’s perfect to get going. Like, don’t wait to get going. And I think a lot of people wait to get going ’cause it’s like, oh, it has to look a certain way or I have to have this lined up a certain way. So I’d love to just hear like, what would your 2 cents be to the people here out there listening? Well that’s sounds great for you Melanie. I’m so glad you did that, but I don’t have this, this or this or that. And then it’s like, and I love that you come from a Yeah, don’t give me any, I don’t have that. I was making calls from my car, living in my car. So we’re good there. And, and still people really get stuck with like, I just can’t do it yet. Right. I can’t sell it yet. I can’t teach it yet ’cause my website’s not live or whatever limiting belief they’ve come up with. And so for those people listening who going, yeah, but it’s not ready. MAL (32:56): Yeah. I think the most important thing is it’s not about what it looks like. It’s about what it is. So if it’s good, it’s ready. The only time I would say, okay, get like, take the time is if you’re like, I don’t know how to do it. You know, I wanna, I wanna do a coaching business, but I’m terrible at coaching. I want, I wanna be an art, I wanna sell my paintings, but I’ve never painted a painting and I’m no good at painting. I wanna be an a singer. But I I, I haven’t taken lessons. I don’t know how to sing. I’ve never s sang a song. Like that’s when I’m like, okay, well then get good at your craft. Mm-Hmm . But don’t wait to market something that’s already good because you don’t think it looks good. It’s not about what it looks like. MAL (33:34): It’s about what it is. How many hole in the wall spots do people line up at the door outside and it’s like, don’t let this fool you. This is the best pizza. Yeah. This is the best coffee, this is the best. You know what, whatever it is. Like there’s a lineup. You can’t even get in the best tacos. And it’s like this place, this place , it’s, it’s, it’s insane. It’s not about what it looks like. It’s about what it is. And that is such an important thing because what it is is the truth. What it looks like is what you manage to make the truth represent. You know, you get, you represent the truth as best as possible, but it doesn’t matter what it is. It doesn’t matter what it looks like. If it’s the truth, it doesn’t matter what it looks like. It will always work. AJV (34:17): And back to what you said earlier, it’s like if you’re so good at your craft that you’re helping your clients get results, everything else will work. MAL (34:28): Yes. AJV (34:28): And I don’t have to have all the things. Okay. I have one more category, so I’m bouncing around a little bit. ’cause I think there’s so many good nuggets here. You mentioned this earlier, which I think is a really good takeaway for a lot of people who are listening. And so I didn’t wanna just skip over it and not come back to it. It’s incentivize your customers to help you grow your business. It’s the, you know, the difference of like, hey, whether I’m gonna pay you or I’m gonna pay marketing agencies or Facebook ads or whatever. So being selective of like, how am I gonna spend the funds that I have to help grow my business and why not market and create some incentive to my clients to refer me business. So you wanna talk about that for a sec? MAL (35:07): Well, the most beautiful frequency I’ve ever found for my business is for me, for you, for us, for me, for you, for us. If I have it be all about me, there is no us. And if there’s no us, there’s no long-term business. If I make it everything about you, there’s also no us . So there’s no long-term business. So what really makes relationships work is I’m invested. You’re invested and we care. And I feel like if you care about your clients, but you also love your business and you’re dedicated to your business being excellent and your clients can tell you love your business and you’re so dedicated and you’re excellent at what you do and you wanna invite them to help you grow it, there’s something about that where it’s like, this is not just helping you get rich. This is like, you love what you do, people are genuinely helped by your work. I wanna be a part of that. Plus I get rewarded for that. Like, that’s amazing. And I, I think it’s just remembering if it’s only good for you, it will have a limit to how big it can be. AJV (36:07): Mm-Hmm. that’s good. And I love that too. So I, this is something we talk a lot about on different interviews on the show is, you know, different ways of growing your business that are in alignment with you. And I just like, you know, we, we also come from, we started Brand Builders group, our company with no podcasts, no email list, no social media we had nta, we had nil. It was word of mouth and a pretty decent reputation with a small group of people who said, we’ll tell people. And then, you know, that’s how this started and how it grew. And what I love is, you know, very similar to you, it’s like how we have grown our business organically for the last five years is we pay everyone 10% lifetime referral fees on gross revenue. And it’s like we made a decided decision where they’re gonna pay marketing companies and website developers and Mark Zuckerberg, or we’re gonna pay the people that we know like trust and who believe in us. MAL (37:05): That’s incredible. AJV (37:07): Anyone can do that, right? It’s like, it’s just choosing on where you invest the funds, right? And it’s like, that’s your choice. So make your choice. Don’t be mad about it. But you get to make your choice. And I think that’s a really solid, great way of going, Hey, I win, you win, we win. I love my business and this is a great way for you to spread something that you love and get paid for it. I win. You win. Thus, I think that’s such a good reminder to everyone. And back to, there’s many different ways to build something that you love. Don’t be afraid to try things. Don’t be afraid to pivot. Don’t be afraid to change and adapt through the process. It is a part of finding your niche. It’s a part of finding your groove. MAL (37:49): Yes. AJV (37:51): I love that. Where should people go if they want to stay in touch with you? Like where would be like the central place that you would wanna say, Hey, if you run a, a real feel of what I talk about and, and here’s what I, I loved this conversation today. I thought, I mean I probably have like 10 bullet points that I wrote down and I usually have like five . I think there’s so much richness in business tactics and strategies are an important part of business. And at the same token, sometimes you just need to set those aside and just be like, am I good at my craft? Is my craft ready to share? And if it is, start doing it. MAL (38:29): And the wild thing is like all the strategies work. AJV (38:32): Yeah. MAL (38:33): All of them. So it’s just none of them work for a not good product. Yeah. All of them work. When you’re in alignment, it’s just about what do you like? So even if it’s a good strategy, if you hate it, it’s not good for you. If it’s a good strategy and you love it, it’s good for you. And you tell people that’s the best way because it’s good for you. They try. It’s not good for them. So I love, I love strategy, I love trying different strategies, but from the place of if the energetics are aligned to all the strategies work. Yeah. AJV (38:59): And I love that too. It’s like anyone who says this is what you have to do and this is how you have to do it, it’s like, well not really. There’s a way MAL (39:07): For my scientific mind comes in and is like, really, let me see if I can find another way. Yeah. AJV (39:13): , because this is not true. It’s like there’s always a new way. Like, you know, we forget that only 15 years ago there was no social media. So it’s impossible that it’s the only way to get business today. It did not exist for most of yeah. History. So anyways, back to where should people go if they want more of this? MAL (39:33): So at this stage still, I don’t have a website. So the way is Facebook and Instagram. So you’ll either be my friend on Facebook or you follow, I have two accounts on Instagram, Melanie n Layer and Alpha Fme. And if you follow that, you’ll know when I have free masterclasses, you’ll know what programs are running. You’ll be able to read my posts that are masterclasses within themselves, watch my live streams. Like I’m, that’s where I connect with people and that’s the way to do it. AJV (39:58): And I will make sure to put all of the different links in the show notes ’cause she’s got her personal and Alpha F for Facebook and Instagram. So just go to the show notes and you can grab those. Connect with Melanie directly. Melanie, this was awesome. Really, really awesome, rich conversation. I’ll say that probably five more times today. totally unexpected highlight of my day. So, so enjoyed this time together. Thank you so much for being on the show and for everyone else who is listening, please stay tuned for the recap episode and we will see you next time on the influential personal brand.

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25 of the World's Most Recognizable Influencers Share Their Tips on How to Build and Monetize a Personal Brand

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