We had the good fortune of connecting with Melanie Young and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Melanie, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I have started two businesses in my life. The first in 1989 was M Young Communications, a public relations and special events agency specializing in food and beverage clients. I was encouraged by a mentor-friend and inspired after my grandmother died suddenly from cardiac arrest. I was feeling unfulfilled at my job working for a large public relations agency and had received a written reprimand for not going through proper channels to take family time off to attend the funeral. That was when I decided never to be in a work situation where I had to ask permission from anyone to be with my family. Also, I did not want to remain in a job that did not excite me.
The second business I started in 2011 was The Connected Table Inc, a media production company. I had closed my agency after undergoing treatment for breast cancer in 2010. The experience had changed my outlook, goals and work-life values. I want to do something new, again, while remaining control of my time and destiny and- frankly- with less stress and pressure.
I believe when something no longer feels right for you and no longer brings you purpose or joy, move on, The “WHY” behind starting a business starts with “YOU.”
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
For many years working in the wine and food public relations profession. My business was to tell and sell other peoples’ stories and brands to the media. After undergoing treatment for breast cancer in 2010, I decided to open up and tell my own story in my own voice- the challenges and the rewards with the goal of inspiring other women to find their own voice.
I wrote a book to help women diagnosed with breast cancer called Getting Things Off My Chest: A Survivor’s Guide to Staying Fearless & Fabulous in the Face of Breast Cancer. Winner of an International Book Award for Cancer Topics and now in its 3rd edition, this book has helped many women navigate their unexpected journey through breast cancer and treatment with confidence. I tell people in the first line- “It took losing my breasts to find my voice.”
Now, I write and cover topics that I am passionate about: wine, food, travel, health and entrepreneurship for several media outlets. And I help others find their voice through coaching and storytelling. My work also involves serving as a motivational muse to help others- mainly women- define who they are and how they want to live.
I co-created, produce and cohost the national radio show and podcast series, The Connected Table LIVE and The Connected Table SIPS (with David Ransom, my husband and fellow wine writer) which can be heard on iHeart, Spotify, Amazon, Apple Podcasts and more than 30 other channels worldwide. We share the stories of the dynamic people who shape the world of wine, spirits, food, dining and hospitality.
I also host a show by and for women to spotlight inspiring female entrepreneurs and address topics on health and wellness. It’s called Fearless Fabulous You! (also my second book by the same name) and can be heard on iHeart, Spotify, Spreaker, Stitcher and the Women 4 Women Network (W4WN radio) and 30+ other channels.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Dr Wayne Dyer’s book, Your “Erroneous Zones,” was my inspiration at age 18 and it continues to be at age 63. This book taught me the value of understanding and respecting your self-worth and to never accept or allow anyone to devalue it. Many years later in 2015, I wrote and published my own book, a collection of essays, that address recovering, rebooting, reframing and reclaiming your life after a setback. The theme of self-worth is carefully weaved through it. The book’s title is “Fearless Fabulous You! Lessons on Living Life on Your Terms” (Cedar Fort/Plain Sight).
Photo credit: Michael Gold (all with pink top). The man in the photos is David Ranson, my husband and co host of our show. The Connected Table LIVE,