Melissa Thompson is the founder of health and lifestyle publication HarcourtHealth. She is also a frequent contributor at Fobes, Inc, Today, Lifehack, and several other online publications. She spent her early years out of Journalism school drafting copy for websites, while at the same time producing webisodes for USA Today and CNN's business columns. She eventually leveraged that experience into founding her first company, Media Training For CEO's. She successfully exited that company in 2013 and founded another startup, HarcourtHealth. She currently lives in Utah with her 2 children and spends her time either going to the gym or writing (when she's not shuttling her kids to soccer and baseball).
1) How have you developed as a leader from your previous to being the Founder of health and lifestyle publication HarcourtHealth?
I started out under the impression that I was pretty much on my own if I wanted to get anything accomplished personally and professionally. While that made it easy to control the situations I found myself in, I also noticed that I sometimes lacked the skills necessary to accomplish my goals. That's when I found it necessary to start trusting other people to help me do important tasks. So although I was basically compelled to start bringing in other smart people to help me with my business and work, I found it much more effective and fulfilling to do so as well eventually.
2) What are the highlights and challenges of your career? What advice can you share with young career women?
One of the major highlights of my career was finally getting accepted as a contributor at Forbes magazine. I had been pitching the editors there for 2 years, and one day the heavens opened and they finally gave me a chance to publish one piece, on a trial basis. I worked for so long on that one article, I started to hate it after awhile. But I forced myself to submit it, after it had been revised 100 times, and hoped for the best. I also enlisted every single person I knew to share it around so that Forbes would have no choice be to let me continue writing for them because I brought so many eyeballs to their site. My advice then would be, submit your best work, but don't expect perfection.
3) How does the mission of Powers Education speak to you and why do you think it is important for Powers Education to exist?
The mission of Powers Educations speaks to me because it helps young women get in the right mindset about themselves. Even though the STEM focus is important, I believe that on average, women tend to discount their potential in just about every facet of life. It's critical to have as many organizations as possible helping women see themselves as the powerful people they can be.
4) How do you think STEM skill sets come into play in your career and day-to-day job?
Critical thinking (a STEM principle) is mandatory for my career. And by applying the principles one learns via STEM education to any business situation it automatically turns into an opportunity rather than an obstacle. That's how I approach all my potential roadblocks in life and business, and it's been critical to my success.
5) To follow that, what advice can you offer women who want a career in a Fortune 1000 company or start their own company?
Don't let emotions blind you to your full potential, and don't feel sorry for yourself if things don't instantly go your way. There are always setbacks, and always solutions.
6) What do you want to achieve in 2017?
I want to publish articles in Fortune Magazine, and Mens Health.