Are you doing what you want, or what you think you should do right now? It’s time to own who you are, discover what you want, and create a life of fulfillment and long-term success. Listen to your host Jen Du Plessis as she talks with Melissa Bauknight, a life and business coach, founder of The Ripple Connection, and an Executive Director at Beautycounter. In this episode, she shares her wisdom and her ever-evolving journey transforming her life into the life she has always dreamed about. She shares what trend she sees, the shift that’s happening right now, and what her future looks like creating a membership and a global community for people living with impact and people living with intention.
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Nurturing Your Life For Fulfillment With Melissa Bauknight
I’m delighted to have a great guest with us by the name of Melissa Bauknight. Melissa, welcome to the show. I say this almost in every show, “I’m going to get your name and then I don’t get your name. I talk about not getting your name every single time.” It’s like having one of those rooms of mirrors. It’s the same thing every single time. It’s crazy.
Let me take this opportunity to introduce you to Melissa so that we can get started with this show and share with everyone about your personal life coaching. You are Life and Business Coach and the Founder of The Ripple Connection, which I love the name and I can’t wait until we talk more about that. You are also the Executive Director with Beautycounter, which is a network marketing industry. You are committed to helping women come alive and nurture their whole selves through sales.
You spent many years in sales, being an award-winning sales representative. You are crushing it but on the inside, you felt unfulfilled, anxious and you knew that you wanted more. Now, you are deeply passionate about creating an aligned life and business by your own design. Welcome to our show. We are delighted to have you here.
Thank you. It’s so funny when people stumble over my name. My maiden name was Holmes and I told my husband like, “Your life will be easier if we keep my name. We don’t have to explain and spell it.”
My maiden name is Krabbenhoft. I have the worst of both sides. It didn’t matter what happened and you think I would learn that. Now I know it’s Bauknight, I won’t have any problems with it whatsoever. Before we talk about the wake-up call, tell us what you do.
What I do is I believe that we use our struggles and triumphs to teach other people. At least, for me, my hope is to make the journey easier for women than it was for me to get to where I am. What I do is I coach in one-on-one or group masterminds. I give women permission to own their gifts. I help them step into their value and worth to create a life that works for them versus one that is all by society’s design or what their parents said that they should do. I give them the tools and structure to go for it in life, find joy, and love what they do versus just getting through the day.A lot of times we end up in careers that we just thought we should do. Click To Tweet
In a nutshell, based on our conversation, you help women not to feel so icky in sales. It’s a self-worth way because I know this in the coaching or even in the sales that I do. We cut our costs and worth. We give more than we should, whereas men are like, “It’s $10. Love it or leave it.” We’re like, “If it’s $10, maybe what I could do is throw in something or maybe it’s $8.” We take that approach. I want to go back to something you said, which is you help women own their gifts. Explain that to us. How do you even figure out what that is? How do you help them own their gifts if they don’t quite understand how that process works?
A lot of times, we end up in careers that we thought we should do. We went to college, we checked the boxes, and then here we are. We are 40 and we are like, “What am I doing?” At some point, there’s a wake-up of like, “What am I doing?” We might start with asking them what they love. I have a partner that I work with who helps them with human design, looking at the blueprint of their soul like, “What are you here to do? What is the impact that you want to make?” It’s a lot of getting curious and having them do self-reflection on, “What do I want to do? What brings me joy? What pieces of my life do I love? What do I need to let go of?” Part of that is giving them permission to take a look.
That’s a super important point. I had that breakthrough several times. Even if you are in your 40s, you are going to have it again. You will have another one. Be prepared. It’s coming. Those types of things are important for you to figure out what makes you be fulfilled on a regular basis, how you can get more of that and increasing the awareness for that. What have you found are 1, 2 or 3 things that are a nasty thread that’s going through women who are entrepreneurs, business owners and in sales?
Part of it is this idea that we need to be self-sacrificing. I know that’s an obvious one but it’s like a plague in women. Women think, “Everybody else comes first and I will take care of me later,” which never happens with that mentality. The other thing is fear of other people’s opinions, especially around sales.
In what way do you mean around, what about their opinion? Will it be considered to be too pushy? Is it not manly? Is it a judgment from women to women or society to women?
It’s more of the, “I’m not confident in who I am and what I’m going to say. I’m worried about how it will be received.” I don’t know that it’s woman to woman but it’s in general. It’s like owning your voice, self-judgment and then projecting that onto other people who haven’t even said it but making this assumption that, “Whatever I say, they are going to think X, Y and Z, so I will be quiet.”
It’s interesting that you say that because, in the career that I had before I retired from that industry, I believe I had that in the beginning but more than half of my 35-year career, I didn’t have that feeling. I was just who I was like, “Get out of my way.” That’s part of my nature. That’s my gift. My gift is, “Tell me I can’t and I’m going to show you. Get out of the way.” How do you find the gift? How does a woman say, “Now I know what fulfills me. I know that I want to go drink wine all the time and play tennis. I want to do these things but what’s my gift? I don’t know what my gift is.” How do you get to that?
It’s a very complex question. There’s an inner knowing. A lot of what I do is getting women to trust themselves because it’s not about asking me or you, reading it in a book or what’s out here outside of yourself. It’s actually getting them to slow down, quiet down, and listen because we know.
You also know that you have multitudes of gifts. Once you find one, they all keep flying in and now you are saying, “I have even other gifts too.” You said it’s not asking people so someone is not as intuitive as they normally would be. This is appropriate for men as well. There are gifts that men have. My husband has unbelievable gifts that he needs to work on more. People tend to hide their gifts but once you have deciphered and figured out one gift, they seem to all start popping in and you start going, “Now I have this gift in this.”
You had said, “Don’t ask other people.” Do you think that, to a certain extent, you could get started with that? The only reason why I say that is that I had done that once. I had said not, “What are my gifts?” I had said the old branding question, “What are three words to describe me?” Those three words that came back fulfilled my intuition to what I thought it was. It validated it, which was good because I was glad that what I thought I was producing was actually happening.
That’s where that work started as, “I do have this gift,” but I have since discovered that that gift is in business. I’ve got gifts that are in connections like you are talking about The Ripple Connection. Tell us a little bit about it and even if you look at testimonials from clients, the signs are all in there the way that you work with them.
I agree that it’s validating. There’s the cross between your inner knowing and then the external validation. There are lots of tests you can do. You can do Human Design, Enneagram or Myers-Briggs. You can do some of those tests to learn how to find your strengths. Another thing that I did early on in my personal growth journey was to interview people, “How do I occur for you? What difference have I made in your life? What do you come and look to me for? What is something that I have inspired you to do? “You can start to information-gather if you are in the very beginning stages.You don’t have to sacrifice your happiness for professional growth in your workplace. Click To Tweet
That’s a great place to start other than the slow down to speed up instead of speeding up, slow down. I was reminded about a book. There was a TV show and I can’t think of her name. You might know her. She is really funny. In fact, she even played Lois Lane in the newer version of the Superman series. She played on this TV show and wrote a book called Burnt Toast. What the whole book is about is that, as women, we are like, “We will take the burnt toast. Don’t worry. It’s burnt. I’ve got it.”
You take all this sacrifice that you were saying. I want to bring that up, too. What inspires you? There’s a difference between motivation and inspiration. Motivation is short-lived. You have to go get more of it by going to a concert or conference. Inspiration is something that goes constantly up. It’s the thing that fuels you. Where does your inspiration come from? Perhaps this is the story where you had the pinnacle moment with your mother.
I used to think that I was externally motivated, like chasing the trophy, basically. What I have come to realize is that I’m inspired by getting to know myself. The Ripple Connection came from this idea that we are our ripple and gift. Our work is to get to know ourselves. I find the more that I give myself permission to do that, I find my voice and I’m less anxious, and I find peace of mind and joy, then I want to give that away. That’s my gift and I get to help other women find that. I’m inspired by my own journey inward and the difference that gets to make for other women.
That shows through, even in your answers to your questions, you are holding your line and holding your own. I’m challenging you on some things. I’m playing a little Devil’s Advocate here and there. You are holding your line and saying, “Look at what inspires me. It’s me being the true and natural me, the advocate for myself.” How does this apply to business? We’ve got all the life stuff done. We are going to get ourselves together. We are going to be designing our lives and not have it by default but by design.
I love Human Design. I have done min, so I know what mine is. I’m a Manifestor. I was like, “I know I am. This is what I know.” We work on ourselves first and then we get into our business. How does this apply to business? I know a lot of people that are reading are in transition or thinking about transitioning, not because of age but because of the pandemic that we are in. Many people are looking at this constantly and saying, “Do I want to be where I’m at? Could I go someplace out?” How does this reveal itself there in business?
Women were not great at compartmentalizing their lives. Whatever growth work we are doing on ourselves, it’s happening in our business. I believe that what we are going through in this Great Resignation is people want to have time, flexibility and do work that matters. They are tired of showing up to make a paycheck and sacrificing their happiness. They are not doing it anymore or finding a way to not do it anymore.
When you commit to your core values, that transitions over to business and you get to hold those high when you are looking for, “What is my next move?” Whatever you are finding through COVID is like, “I cannot sacrifice this anymore. This is incredibly important to me.” You go to, as you are looking for your next move or if you are growing your business, remembering those at the foundation because this is our life. We don’t get a do-over in this body and so why waste our time?
That’s a brilliant point to go back to your core values, assuming someone has them. We all have them. We are just not sure what they are. No one thinks about it. How do you help people discern core values?
Scott Jeffrey has a great core values exercise that I have referred to a lot. It’s very detailed. Some of the ways in which I do it is we might go through a verbal exercise, where they write down those things that they are unwilling. It’s unwavering things about themselves and their lives that they are like, “These are the things that I’m unwilling to negotiate on. These are the top priorities in my life.”
From there, it’s phoning a friend and your values before you make a decision. We tend to make decisions loosely and they are counterintuitive to the core values. We say, “I’m a failure. I missed this kid thing. I missed a husband and wife dinner.” That’s super important. What do you see for women in the future moving forward? What are you seeing as a trend and shift that’s happening now? How will that play out in the future?
I see women being women in the workplace and not trying to be a man. It’s what I see in a very big way and I love it. I’m lighting up talking about it. I see women owning their empathy, fighting for spaciousness, and crying like having emotion and not being embarrassed by it. Our learning to take these masculine gifts that we have and to combine them with more of our feminine energy, that blend is going to be the future of business. We are not going to try to fit ourselves. This is not in a negative way. It’s not towards men but it’s more of being so hypermasculine, which is not a male-female. We have been trying to be hypermasculine and we are done with it.
I want to share a story so that you can share a story. I’m a panelist at the University of Washington in Washington DC once a year for an organization called Women in Business, WiB, which is all of the college students who are taking Business, Accounting and Finance courses. I was there and I always wear a dress. It’s very rare that you don’t see me in a dress. I have nails and jewelry. I call it popcorn because it drives me crazy. When you ask that first question, the first piece of popcorn has heated up and then it pops. Everybody got questions.We need to see women as women in the workplace and not trying to be a man in a very big way. Click To Tweet
The first piece of popcorn came up and she timidly put her hand up. I said, “Yes, you, back there.” I was talking about finance, business and networking. She said, “Is it okay to wear a dress to a business meeting?” I thought, “This is what our colleges and universities are teaching or not teaching.” I said, “Look what I’m wearing. Yes, you can.” “I’ve got a question.” I said, “What’s that?” She said, “Can you wear nail polish in a business meeting?” I showed her my fingernail, “Yes, you can.”
I said, “Ladies, You have to command the room. you have to have enough confidence to walk in the room no matter who is in the room. It can be a room of women or men. I don’t care. It doesn’t matter to me. I’m walking in with the confidence I deliver right in here.” We have such a long way to go because these girls are coming out into the workforce.
They are in our wake. We are the boat out there drudging the way through all the waves and adversity. They don’t know how easy they have it, and then to think like that is scary. I know that we are powerful. I know that there is a multitude of influencers in the world now that are making a difference. I’m not worried about it but I do share it because I want people to know that sentiment is still there.
We are in the very beginning stages of this shift.
Thank you for sharing all of that and your wisdom with us. What’s happening in your practice now? What does the future hold for you personally so that those that are reading can say, “I’m interested in what Melissa has to say. I’m tired of default. I want a design?” What’s going forward for you? What does your journey look like?
I keep saying, “I don’t wish that I was able to be comfortable,” but sometimes I’m like, “Why do I always feel like I want to grow, expand and keep building?” That’s where I am. Where I’m at now is I’m doing a four-month group mastermind called Bold. It’s all about what we are talking about. It’s to help women boldly own who they are and what they want to create in the world. It will be a small group. I’m excited. This is a pilot program for me and something that has been a dream of mine to create for years.
From there, I’m going to be creating a membership and global community for people living with impact and intention. It’s women that are doing this work in the world. I’m bringing us all together because I also believe when you ask about women and what’s the future of us in business is collaboration. There’s no competition. I’m bringing us together in a collaborative way to stand in our gifts and lean on each other for support so that we can all rise.
What is the best way for everyone to reach out to you?
The last question I have for you, you can answer 1 of 3 questions. Who is your mentor from afar that you wish you could meet? What’s a quote or mantra that you live by? What book are you reading now that you would like to share with everyone?
The one I will share is, “The journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.”
That’s exactly what you have been talking about here. It’s taking that first step to slow down and listen to your voice and intuition. Men have intuition too. Gentlemen, do the same thing. Listen to that intuition because you are probably at a crossroads. I know my husband is at a crossroads now. The pandemic has made him second-guess what he is doing. We all have that journey that we are all heading on now.You don't have to fear other people's opinions when it comes to creating your life. Click To Tweet
For those that are saying, “Maybe I don’t like to do what I was doing before.” There’s a plethora of us, you and me included, that are in it doing it. There’s no change now. We don’t have time to change the stuff going on. That is very apropos for what we are talking about, “A journey of 1,000 miles begins with the first step.” I want to say thank you so much for taking the step in getting on this show and being part of our community. I appreciate you being here. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise.
You are so welcome. Thank you for having me here.
Everyone, thank you so much for reading. Please be sure to go to YouTube and subscribe to @JenDuPlessis on my channel. Make sure that you are subscribing to our videos there as well. Thank you so much for taking time out of your day to read. We hope that you walked away with something that will change your life.
If you feel up to it, give us a five-star rating, write a great review for us, and say something about Melissa. I know she would love to know that she made an impact. It’s so hard when we are doing shows because we don’t know what everyone is receiving. That is our method of keeping in touch with you. Thank you so much for joining us and have a fantastic day. Melissa, thank you so much for being here with us.
You are welcome.
- The Ripple Connection
- Burnt Toast
- Scott Jeffrey
- Women in Business
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- The Ripple Connection – Facebook Group
About Melissa Bauknight
Melissa Bauknight is a life and business coach, the founder of The Ripple Connection, and an Executive Director with Beautycounter. She’s committed to helping women come alive and nurture their WHOLE selves! Melissa spent 15 years working as an award-winning sales rep predominantly in medical device sales. On the outside, she was crushing it, but on the inside, she felt unfulfilled, anxious and knew she was meant for more. Her wake-up call came when she became a new mom and was attempting to “do it all” – working full time while building her side business and getting completely rocked by motherhood.
She knew there had to be a better way to live so she retired from her corporate career and learned how to embrace her feminine energy.
Now she is deeply passionate about creating an aligned life & business by HER OWN design with ease and flow and guiding other powerhouse solopreneurs to do the same.