KISH: What advice would you give someone who is interested in being an entrepreneur?
Melody: The advice I would give to an entrepreneur hopeful is to 1) Always look to solve a problem, be helpful, and provide value. 2) Be resilient. Entrepreneurship comes with some really high highs and some really low lows. 3) Be consistent. Sometimes it’s not about who has the best product or service but about who shows up most often. Even when you feel like no one is paying attention, keep going.
In addition, my book “The 9-5 Entrepreneur: Twelve Questions to Consider Before Taking the Leap” addresses several questions that will assist those looking to leap into entrepreneurship. Some of those include: What if my family doesn’t support me? and How do I discover my passion? I encourage anyone new in entrepreneurship or considering making that leap to purchase a copy at www.holtnholt.com
KISH: What advice would you give someone who is building a personal brand?
Melody: When building a personal brand, you should consider your target audience. Everyone is not your audience so drill down on that. Then once you have pinpointed your audience, think about the role you want to play for them. Are you the teacher/educator? The motivator/encourager? Or the disciplinarian who helps keep them on the straight and narrow? Next, consider what you want to provide to the audience and how. Once you have those things you can start to think about logos and brand colors. People usually start with the fun, creative aspects first but the essence of any brand is what you have to offer and to whom you offer it. And remember that brand building doesn’t happen overnight. It requires consistency and sometimes takes years.
KISH: You are producer and reality tv star of a show in Alabama called “Love & Marriage: Huntsville” which airs on the Oprah Winfrey Network. How did that come about?
Melody: There was a void in reality-style television, so we wanted to try and fill it. We thought about a concept featuring a young, black couple who was making an impact on the property preservation industry. Once we had a concept, we worked with a content writer at Prose & Pens who helped us write a treatment for our concept. Once that was done, we scheduled a paid consultation with Carlos King. He loved the idea for the show and worked to get us in front of the right network. That network ended up being OWN. We invested our time, money, and energy into getting our idea in front of the right people and it paid off.
KISH: What are three skills you think successful entrepreneurs need?
Melody: Successful entrepreneurs need to be researchers, swift decision-makers, and have the ability to know when to pivot or slightly alter their paths, products, or services to survive and thrive.
KISH: How has your life changed, both positively and negatively, since appearing on the show?
Melody: Being on the show has afforded me new opportunities. From my virtual academy and national speaking opportunities to music and acting, the show brought an audience to me that it might have otherwise been more difficult to attain. On the flip side though, I’ve faced negativity and opposition from people I know and from strangers. It was overwhelming at first and I tried to defend myself against people. But now I’ve realized that those aren’t my battles to fight. I’m doing what I was meant to do and it’s my responsibility to do it well. God will handle all those other things. I’m set on my course and no one, and no amount of negativity, can stop that.
KISH: Melody, we see that you have a lot popping in your life. I mean you are literally in almost everything. How do you manage it all so well? You’re a mom, businesswoman, involved in the community, motivational speaker, and author. HOW do you do it all?
Melody: I don’t do it all! I do what needs to be done at the moment. If I tried to give equal attention at all times to each of those things, nothing would ever get done. But prioritizing allows me to see what needs the most attention from day to day…sometimes hour to hour. Once I knock out what’s most pressing, I can move on to the next thing on the list. That’s how I accomplish everything I want to accomplish AND maintain my sanity.
KISH: How has your faith contributed to your success?
Melody: Faith is the foundation of my success. The dreams, goals, and desires I have were placed there by God. That’s how I know that I can accomplish anything. He is with me. Even during difficult times, I know that He is still there. There is no success without him!