A Transparent Letter

by | Jan 17, 2017 | 0 comments

Dear Friend,

Last week kicked my booty. It legitimately put a whooping on my derrière and my spirit.

First, let’s rewind.

Transparent Stephanie MelishThis year, I decided instead of making resolutions, I would determine a word that my year would be focused on. The word I chose was transparency. I felt a calling to be more raw and authentic with everyone, especially via the place you can be most filtered: online.

For years, I have been determined to separate my work life from my personal life. I did not want to be overly posting on Facebook about my work or even talk about my successes with friends…even when they asked! I felt awkward about sharing and talking about all that makes me who I am. I was stuck in an old mindset of “Business is business, and my friends don’t care about that.”

Then recently, I had coffee with a friend who I’ve known for several years and was even in bible study with at one point. I asked him, point blank, “Do you actually know what I do?”

His response. Wait for it…


NO! NO? NO?!?!?! How could someone I’ve prayed with not have a baseline understanding of what I do for a living? Jesus, take the wheel!

It was in that moment I solidified my major goal for 2017: to be purposeful and transparent in all things, including business, with all people.

New mindset: “I am my business, and it’s only fair to allow the people I care about most in on how I may be able to help them.”

It’s a shift, one that, in the short two weeks of the new year, I haven’t fully embraced. The universe must have picked up on that and decided it would test just how serious I was about my focus for the year. 

Back to last week. I am about to get naked with you. Not that kind of naked!

If you’ve been keeping up with the Straight Talk, you know I wrote about my Simply The Success Speaker Series launching. Woot Woot!

Then, everything blew up. Long story short, over the course of 24–48 hours, while traveling and working back-to-back coaching sessions with clients, the date needed to be changed and coordinated with multiple schedules. I learned the venue pulled out. Booty officially kicked.

I was stressed. I was anxious. I was upset. I was panicked. I was a miserable B. I also lost sight of kindness, grace, and appreciation. However, that was quickly restored.

In running a business, sometimes you have to communicate uncomfortable news to your customers. With the shifts in the event, I had to let ticketholders know.

On Saturday afternoon, I e-mailed each ticketholder individually letting them know (hello, transparency!) what was going on with the event. You know what happened? I was delivered the best birthday, business, and faith present.

Within mere seconds, I had multiple e-mails offering to help. Each person extended grace without judgement toward me. I was humbled, honored, and reminded. Reminded of a quote I first posted on April 24, 2013:

“For every person who tries to tear you down, you have ten more who will pick you up.”

It wasn’t a person tearing me down. It was a lot of circumstances, all out of my control, that was drowning my spirit. Yet, through all of that, I am reminded, no matter what happens, I will always have people who have my back. So do you!

Thank you.

I’m planning on being transparent all year. That means you’re going to get to see all of what it means to be an entrepreneur, a business owner, a believer, and a human being. Save the filters for your coffee because I’m planning to show you that failure and faith, mistakes and miracles, and setbacks and successes happen to everyone.

Hang on tight! This year is going to be a rollercoaster worth remembering. I hope you’ll ride along.