Mel Watson, founder of Australia's best wellbeing membership for women, is passionate about helping women beat the overwhelm & prioritise their self-care. Being a neurodivergent woman with an autoimmune illness has not stopped Mel from doing what she loves. So, what did Mellie do next? Read on, to find out.
Tell us a little bit about What Mellie Did Next
What Mellie Did Next is a well-being membership dedicated to helping women beat overwhelm and prioritise themselves.
Our approach to well-being is to make it as accessible, practical, and effective as possible by focusing on three essential areas: Planning, Expert Wellbeing Advice, and Self Care.
Each month members receive new digital resources in their online library as well as a self-care box delivered to their door, curated in partnership with a guest expert on a specific well-being topic. Our guests are always women with lived experience or qualified professionals with expertise relevant to our monthly topic.
So far we’ve covered Sleep, Burnout, and Connection with so many more brilliant themes and experts slated for 2023!
What is unique about What Mellie Did Next?
So many things! A couple of the major ones are:
Our well-being membership is designed by women for women so that it fits into our lifestyles and it’s not just another thing we have to do.
It’s not a subscription box! We don’t just send members some lovely bath salts once a month. We give them an entire framework and all the resources they need to implement well-being strategies for themselves (but also, lovely self-care products - we still send those!).
Our commitment to accessibility, across all aspects of our business. From including a hardcopy planning workbook and pen in every box, making it more neurodivergent-friendly (and easier for everyone), to providing two accessible formats of guest interviews, accessibility is always front-of-mind.
Our roadmap to gaining BCorp certification in 2023, covers everything from our supply chain and operations to our packaging, products, and service providers.
Our Ethical Sourcing Policy formally sets out who we will work with and how we prioritise products from small businesses led by women, First Nations people, and people with disability.
What have you sacrificed (both personally and professionally) at any given stage of your career?
Personally, for a long time, I sacrificed growth because I was too busy trying to “fit in” and do things “the right way” instead of the right way for me.
I also sacrificed a lot of personal happiness when I put work first ahead of myself and my family, but I think that’s the case for many women who worked through the pandemic. When something had to give, it was never work, but always home!
Professionally, nothing. I have made choices and decided not to pursue certain opportunities because of timing or other commitments, but it’s never been a sacrifice, I’ve never regretted those decisions, it’s just prioritisation.
Women have long represented the archetype of the ‘juggler’. How do you balance work & life responsibilities?
I have a great support network, both personally and professionally. I’ve had to work hard to learn how to accept help, but I think that’s something that’s really important, particularly in business. You need the right people around you to tap you on the shoulder when you’re pushing too hard and to help you work through problems when you’re stuck.
The other thing I’d say is to reflect on what it is you want to achieve and what you’re willing to do to get it. I’m not willing to work 100 hours a week on a regular basis to grow the business right now. I love it, but the hustle culture doesn’t work for me at this particular stage of life. That doesn’t mean I can’t do it, it just means I have to accept that I can only grow at a certain pace to maintain that balance. Once you know that about yourself, it gets a lot easier to say “no” or “not right now”.
What would you say is your personal definition of success?
Success isn’t a destination, there’s really no end-point where you’re “a success” so you stop growing. You really need to know what success means to you through different life stages.
For me, I think if you have a passion, a purpose and you’re known for what you bring to the table as a person, not just a job title, that’s a success.
What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?
I have two. Learn about yourself early. Self-awareness is the single most underestimated tool that successful leaders use. This means learning how you work best, what you really need to work hard at, and what comes easily, and working with that. Know what strengths you bring to the table as a leader, and most importantly, know your worth.
Secondly, build your support team. “Networking” is scary for some people so flip that on its head and instead of looking for people who can benefit you, be generous with your own time and knowledge to benefit them. That’s how you build a circle of people who are genuinely happy to help each other succeed.
What’s been the highlight of your career?
Apart from What Mellie Did Next, I’d have to say the work I did with public service. In the last couple of years in particular, working with some of the most amazing diversity and inclusion advocates in the country - leading the development of diversity strategies and a groundbreaking Disability and Inclusion Action Plan was a fantastic experience.
Since then, starting this business has been an absolute highlight! I really have to pinch myself - At this point twelve months ago there wasn’t even a business concept, and now I’m the Founder of an amazing women’s wellbeing membership with a nomination for both a Telstra Best in Business Award and a Women Changing the World Award. But the best part is I have the most beautiful community of members and it’s exciting to receive wonderful feedback from them and to be able to take on board their suggestions and add to our offering as we grow.
What’s on the horizon for What Mellie Did Next in 2023?
Some amazing collaborations with brands and organisations doing amazing things in mental health and wellbeing and supporting women!
More work with our Not-for-Profit partner this year, The Happy Boxes Project.
Expanding our gift lines for Christmas 2023 - stay tuned for our online store later in the year!
A few guest speaking events and articles which is so exciting.
A lot of other things I’m not allowed to say anything about yet, which is torture for an oversharer! So watch this space.
Location: ORANGE | NSW
Facebook: What Mellie Did Next
Photography: Jane Allen