Stories

Mel Larsen: The Dream Project Coach

Mel has a dream job and she helps other people discover their dreams, following their passions so that they can turn their own reality into a dream life as well! A consultant, trainer and coach, Mel has traveled all around the world from Australia and New Zealand to Russia, Ghana and South Africa to The Caribbean and many other places, working with CEOs and refugees, small business-owners to children and teenagers, creating dreams and changing destinies.

I am so happy I had the opportunity to interview Mel and I must say that her beautiful energy and her incredible warmth will instantly make you want to be part of her Dream Project and let her guide you into creating your own Dream Life. She has been such an inspiration for people across the globe and she is one of the brave and generous women of today who are making a difference in the world and in other people’s lives.

Lara: You have done such an amazing work in different fields in the last years. Did you know from the very beginning what you want to do?

Mel: Thank you, I think your work is amazing too by the way: the clothes, the magazine and the imagery is all gloriously vibrant and uplifting. I do have to pinch myself sometimes when I think about all the wonderful adventures I’ve had such as delivering marketing training across five cities in Russia earlier this year. That was incredible, traveling from a snowy minus 28 degrees to Krasnoyarsk in Siberia to the city cool of Moscow.

When I was a child I would look at the atlas and dream of travelling the world, speaking in public, being creative and doing ‘something in business’. I always knew I wanted a high degree of independence. Funnily enough all those things have come true in a combined way. As an adult, the more I received coaching myself, the more I realized how much I could do with my life and how I could contribute to other people.

Lara: What do you think about our need to be inspired as humans and in the end inspire other people through our ideas, projects, creations, through art?

Mel: I think it’s a wonderful need that connects us in a profound way. Life without inspiration and creativity would be incredibly dull. I can’t imagine life without music, art, dance, cooking, fashion…

One of the most magical things about being human is to realize that we can always choose how we think about our lives. If we are fortunate enough to live somewhere where resources are easily accessed then we can also choose how we live our lives and we can change the environment around us for the better (and hopefully make a positive difference to others too).

I get inspired easily. If I don’t feel inspired then I know it’s a sign that something is off in my life. It usually means I am tired and need to take a break or that I am upset and then I need to learn something or forgive someone!

Lara: What is your inspiration? What inspires you?

Mel: So, so many things. Excellence in creativity makes me swoon with delight. People who do things differently intrigue me, for example I really love the work of the late Alexander McQueen. His approach to fashion was extraordinary. I went to see the show of his work at the V&A and all you could hear in each incredible room was people quietly saying ‘Wow!’. Also courage and innovation in leadership inspires me and entrepreneurs who make a difference excite me. I am a crowd-funder and share-holder of Positive News magazine and their mission to offer uplifting news really lights me up.

If you are open, you can find inspiration everywhere, it is an amazing planet we live on after all. I have to admit I don’t really understand people who get bored. I love to paint as a relaxing hobby and when I am ‘in artist mode’ I gain so much inspiration just from enjoying the colours and textures that the joy can sometimes be quite overwhelming. When I am in ‘coach mode’ I am deeply inspired by the commitment my clients have to finding a way to make their dreams happen. I find the challenging of helping them to find their own natural power and wisdom really rewarding. It’s like a puzzle that we solve together.

Inspirational thoughts

Lara: Please tell me more about “The Dream Project Coach”

Mel: Thank you for asking. Through being coached myself I started to realise that you can have all the information in the world about growing your business (and as we all know, information is easy to find for free online) but if you lack self-belief or you are afraid of people or you think that wealth is wrong then you just won’t move forward as much as you desire deep down. So I began to coach people as an extra service on the side of being a marketing consultant.  As well as helping people to fine-tune their marketing approach I discovered I wanted to help them fine-tune their mindset too.

So I help people create a BIG vision and then find the strategies (both inner and outer) to make it happen. Sometimes it’s really clear how a result has happened: one of my executive clients has just doubled their income simply by changing their planning and promotional approach. Other times results just seem to happen as if by magic – this has happened so many times with my clients, even the most skeptical ones, that I now expect it and don’t question it anymore.

To use an example from my own life, one of my dreams was to have international coaching clients. I had no idea how that was going to happen but I kept believing it would. Then one of my clients moved to Australia so they became my first international client. Soon after one of my UK clients referred me to her international network and suddenly I had two new clients based in Eastern Europe and so it went on. I love it when the ‘miracles’ start happening, it’s so exciting.

Lara: How would you define a “Dream Life”?

Mel: A Dream Life means different things to different people. I think a dream life involves having peace of mind, choice about how you spend your time and constantly developing yourself as a person with heart, caring about yourself and others. If you can leave something good behind when you leave this earth that’s even better.

On a personal level, first and foremost it means that my family are well and happy. Also that I live in a home I love with my husband, I am as healthy as possible, I do work I love and I have enough time and money to relax or be creative when I want. Those are the non-negotiables. If you don’t know what your non-negotiables are, you will find yourself being pushed and pulled all over the place by other people and by your own mind! There’s an exercise in my book ‘Turn your Vision into Results’ that can help you to work out what your key needs are around your business or project. You can get a free chapter via www.dreamprojectcoach.com

 

Dream Project Coach

Lara: You have traveled around the world coaching and inspiring people. Did you notice any resemblance in the way people coped with their fears or insecurities? What about the things that inspired them?

Mel: I have noticed that although cultural habits and beliefs can be very different, at heart we are not really that different as human beings. We all need to feel respected, connected, loved and to feel that our lives matter. Making a difference really inspires people, I have worked in many places with a challenging history where people are re-building or re-shaping their society such as South Africa, Russia, Northern Ireland and Eastern Europe. In places like that you can really feel the energy and excitement of working towards a new Vision.

In terms of coping with fear, people can do some very ‘interesting’ things to deal with their fear. For example they deny their feelings, develop unhealthy habits or do work they hate just to avoid taking a risk. I think this is pretty universal: we all have some version of this – and I wrote a blog about my own fears recently: www.dreamprojectcoach.com/6-times-i-nearly-ran-away-with-fear – even successful people have fears and go through phases of avoiding them or learning how to overcome them. For example, I often coach CEOs and if you met them at work they seem so powerful you’d never guess they have fears and worries but they are just the same as the rest of us. So fear is normal but it’s best if we don’t let it hold us back.

Lara: What do you think about empowerment and women’s role today?

Mel: That’s a HUGE and important subject. What I have noticed through coaching a lot of women is how so many of us have internalized the limitation of the so called ‘’glass ceiling” even when we think we haven’t. I never realised the extent of my own self-imposed boundaries around being a woman until I started to explore the subject more deeply. I went to hear a panel of female leaders speak last year at the Women of the World festival in London and it was fantastic. The founder of the Everyday Sexism project Laura Bates was one of the speakers and I remember her sharing how she got that lightbulb moment when she ‘joined up the dots’ about how women are treated in society and realized that the disempowerment is not random, its part of a centuries old patriarchal system, culture and consciousness that we are born into and the time is well overdue to dismantle it.

I remember mentoring a young woman who asked me if I thought she would be able to progress upwards in her job because she was a woman. I was shocked she even asked. I had thought younger women had overcome those limiting beliefs but I was wrong: confidence and self-worth are still big issues, again due to this outdated culture.

However, things are on the up. I have organized and coached on a lot of women focused events and courses and have observed the steady rise of women wanting and demanding to make their mark in business and the workplace. On the whole, women are still relatively new to leadership in the workplace en masse so there’s still a lot to learn: we still need to develop our psyche to expect, enjoy and feel entitled to empowerment. I can see that day is coming and I know nothing will stop us!

Yes, indeed! Nothing will stop us! Thank you so much for the amazing interview and the beautiful inspiration! 

Here at TEYXO Style we aim to uplift, inspire and empower; to create a hub for amazing, brave and daring people who are making a difference in the world! There is so much beauty out there and so much creativity and together we can brighten up the world!

Check out Mel’s “Dream Project” and get a FREE chapter of her book “Turn your Vision into Results”:

DREAM PROJECT COACH

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