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Ep 063: The Brave Leap Sideways with Cathlyn Melvin
Episode 638th March 2022 • Dissecting Success • Theresa Lambert and Blair Kaplan Venables
00:00:00 00:29:01

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Success is a moving target, but as long as we are enroute to fulfilling our values we are on our path to Success. This week Blair and Theresa met with TedX Speaker and Messaging Expert Cathlyn Melvin to chat about all things Success and how a “Brave Leap Sideways” can create the needed space to help you redefine your path ahead. This episode is filled with incredible wisdom and a refreshing new perspective for all of us to be inspired to take a brave step sideways before moving full throttle ahead.  

About the Guest:

Cathlyn Melvin is a messaging expert whose insight has been featured via TEDx, Thrive Global, Much More Media, Captivate + Convert, She Built This, and other outlets.

With a degree in theatre performance and over a decade as an actor, writer, editor, and educator, Cathlyn draws on her diverse experiences to help mission-driven experts design and deliver their life-changing messages through TEDx coaching and done-for-you copywriting services.

As a speaker and writer, Cathlyn seeks to shape our collective understanding of what it means to be mission-driven—and why values and impact are the ultimate personal and business compass.

Social Links:

Facebook personal profile: https://www.facebook.com/cathlyn.rightcatcreative/

Facebook company page: https://www.facebook.com/rightcatcreative

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cathlynmelvin/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cathlynmelvin/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cathlynmelvin

About the Hosts:

Blair Kaplan Venables is an expert in social media marketing and the president of Blair Kaplan Communications, a British Columbia-based PR agency. As a pioneer in the industry, she brings more than a decade of experience to her clients, which include global wellness, entertainment and lifestyle brands. Blair has helped her customers grow their followers into the tens of thousands in just one month, win integrative marketing awards and more. She has spoken on national stages and her expertise has been featured in media outlets including CBC Radio, CEOWORLD Magazine, She Owns It and Thrive Global. Blair is also the #1 best selling author of Pulsing Through My Veins: Raw and Real Stories from an Entrepreneur. When she’s not working on the board for her local chamber of commerce, you can find Blair growing the “I Am Resilient Project,” an online community where users share their stories of overcoming life’s most difficult moments.

https://www.blairkaplan.ca/

 

Theresa Lambert is a Business & Success Coach with an impressive hotelier background in luxury Hospitality in the #1 Ski Resort in North America. She supports ambitious Women Entrepreneurs, Coaches and Leaders to redefine success with elegance and create the Impact, Income and Freedom they desire in Business and in Life.  In 2020 Theresa became the Bestselling Author of her book  Achieve with Grace: A guide to elegance and effectiveness in intense workplaces. She is also a Speaker and the Podcast co-host of Dissecting Success. Theresa has been recognized as a business leader in Whistler’s Profiles of Excellence, and is being featured in publications such as Hotelier Magazine, Thrive Global and Authority Magazine.

 

https://www.theresalambertcoaching.com

 

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Transcripts

Blair Kaplan Venables:

Ever wonder what success actually means? How do you get it? And how do you keep it?

Theresa Lambert:

We all want it yet sometimes it feels only some of us get to have it.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

Hi, Teresa and Blair here we are to badass entrepreneurs, best selling authors, coaches and business mentors, who have had success, felt success, questioned our own success and reclaimed it. Let's be real for a hot minute. 2020 has been a roller coaster ride, and many of us to start to wonder if they'll lose the things that made them successful. So we got curious, Ron real about what success is truly about?

Theresa Lambert:

Can you put it in a box?

Blair Kaplan Venables:

How can you get it?

Theresa Lambert:

Can people take it away? Or are you the one with the power?

Blair Kaplan Venables:

Does it mean the same to all of us? Or are we the ones that create it?

Theresa Lambert:

From PGA golf pros to doctors, CEOs, entrepreneurs and spiritual mentors. We get together to meet with successful people from around the globe to dissect success for vibrant conversations and interviews. Make sure you click the subscribe button on the app store because each week we will drop a new episode to bust through the myths around success and dissect its true meaning.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

Welcome back to another episode of dissecting success. I'm Blair Kaplan Venables. I'm with Teresa Lambert, my business bestie co hosts extraordinare and today we're with Kathlyn Melvin. She is a messaging expert whose Insight has been featured via TEDx, thrive global, much more music, Captivate and convert, she built this and other outlets with a degree in theater performance. And over a decade as an actor, writer, editor and educator, Katelyn drives on her diverse experiences to help mission driven experts design and deliver their life changing messages through TEDx coaching and den for you copywriting services. Holy smokes. Oh, my gosh, Hi, I'm Hi. You know, it's been on my goal is for years years,

Cathlyn Melvin:

what has

Blair Kaplan Venables:

giving a TED talk?

Cathlyn Melvin:

A gonna do it. Are you gonna make it happen?

Blair Kaplan Venables:

Yes, yes. It's all it's like top of my list. I did coaching last? Well, we'll talk about that. But I did like a female speaker training accelerator, I have my signature keynote, I have what I'm pitching to them. This is the air I pitch it, but um, I'm just, you know, in the process. But before we go into anything, I want to know Kathlyn. What does success mean to you?

Cathlyn Melvin:

So, for me, I have always taken a path that sort of, contrary to the traditional definitions of success, I went to school for theater, my degree is in classical theater performance. I worked as an actor for 10 years. And obviously, the the arts community isn't where people go to, you know, make all their money and get ready for a great retirement. And as I've sort of navigated from place to place in my life, and in my career, what I've always tried to come back to particularly deliberately in in the last few years, is what are my values? How do I want to show up in the world? What, what do I want to be for other people in the world, and I think that our values shift or values change throughout life. And so success is sort of a moving target. Because for me, as long as we are fulfilling or on route to fit, fulfilling those values, that really means I think that we're being successful. I think that's beautiful. Thank you.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

So your transition out of being an actor didn't really like transition, because doing things like speaking in the media, like doing a 10x, I imagine is like a form of acting, but not like let's talk about that. Because after seeing this, like, I'm like shit, should I be taking some drama classes?

Cathlyn Melvin:

They really are different. There's a theater theorist, I guess you could call him, named Sanford Meisner, and he was quoted to say, Acting is living truthfully under imaginary circumstances. And I am a special combo platter of introverted and shy with social anxiety. And usually when people hear They're like, but But you were an actor. How, how does that work? And actually, theater performance attracts a lot of introverts. And I think one of the reasons that it feels like such a place of home for me to be performing in a play because I did live, I did live theater is that when I'm performing as an actor, Kathlyn doesn't exist. No one cares. No one's watching Kathlynn they're watching someone else live their true life, whatever that happens to be. And so the difference, I think, between being an actor and being a speaker, or other presenter is that when I'm onstage speaking, it's Kathlynn. And paying attention to me and my ideas. And that's a very vulnerable place for me. But it's still it has a lot of the same energies of interacting with the audience of receiving what they give you and, and fulfilling that and giving it back to them. And so in that way, it can, it can be really similar. But I don't think that in order to be a great speaker, that you need to have acting training or theater training, you can be a great speaker, right from where you are.

Theresa Lambert:

I love that explanation. You know, that's so funny. I used to be doing theater growing up. So I, I loved it, like I loved playing different roles and like showing up and like embodying this different character, but what's really interesting is with with what you said, I always say like I'm an extroverted introvert. So most people believe me to be an extrovert, but I'm actually quite, like, quite an introvert. Like, I need a lot of space on my own. But what's interesting with speaking for me, like speaking, you know, on digital stages, or vill stages, like I always, um, it's almost like with my brand and the brand identity, I've almost given that its identity. And yes, it's me and yes, it's my story. And yes, it's my, you know, teachings, but I definitely have this dislike fog, but I'm like, okay, like, I'm getting ready to go on stage and to be on

Cathlyn Melvin:

like, it's your it's your public persona. It is my public persona

Theresa Lambert:

full on. And it's so interesting that you said that, because I feel like, you know, a part of that comes in from this background, and it gives me a lot of comfort because I'm just on and then you know, I'm in that. Yeah, I guess. Yeah, to be able to Pullman's persona. I love it. Anyways, it has me really curious. I love that as I'm walking towards my TED talk to so

Blair Kaplan Venables:

I love this. Oh, my God. First of all, I can't wait to learn more about Theresa Off, off offline, or maybe in our next chat about her acting career as a or like when she was younger. But we didn't even talk about what your TEDx was about. What was your TEDx about? Let's like,

Cathlyn Melvin:

yeah, so my TEDx talk is called the brave leap sideways. And I mentioned earlier that I sort of like hopped from place to place in my career. And one of those most recent parts was I decided to go to law school. So I had gone to school for theater, done the theater thing for about a decade ran a national touring arts education company that sends teaching artists across the US to work with different communities. And around 2018 2019, I decided that it was time to leave that industry, do something different. And for a lot of reasons, the different thing that I decided to do was go to law school. And I before we started recording, we were talking about how I lived in Chicago and I live in Florida, where obviously the weather is very different. But the reason that I ended up in Florida was because I was offered a full ride scholarship to the University of Florida Law School, which is a really highly ranked school. A lot of really good benefits. It was someplace warm. So that's how I ended up here. And I spent about seven months in law school and started to go back to revisit those values and figuring out how I wanted to show up and was it possible for me to do that while I was in school, was that going to be possible for me to do that if I graduated and pass the bar and practice with a traditional firm, and ultimately, I decided it wasn't. And so, in the middle of my second semester of law school, I decided to drop out and pursue my full time copywriting career, which I had been doing sort of as a side gig, before I decided to leave the theatre industry. And I decided that that was the way that I was going to really be able to create a calm life for myself, a life and a lot of agency and autonomy. And those were things that were really important to me that I, when I decided to go to law school I had sort of lost sight of, because I knew that last school was going to be stressful, I knew that it was going to be an outside entity controlling a lot of my schedule and controlling a lot of my my life. And yet, I decided to make that choice anyway, which was fine, it was a thing I did. And dropping out of law school, is what inspired my talk the brave, leap sideways. And the idea of that, is that in life, I think most of us take several brief leaps sideways throughout our lifetimes, it can be really easy to feel like we are stuck on a treadmill, kind of going nowhere. But gasping for breath, because it's moving too fast. But it's not getting us to where we want to go. And that can happen in a lot of different areas of our lives, in our relationships, whether platonic or romantic relationships, it can happen in our careers as we chase promotions, and never find that fulfillment that we really hoped for. And for me, it was in my education, you know, I had gotten my undergrad degree. And then I decided to go back to grad school to law school. And even before I had started school, I was having doubts about whether that was the right thing. But I, at the time, there were other things happening in my life that I just felt like, I've started on this path, and I do not have the capacity to make a different choice. And so I went, and ultimately, I'm sure you know, 10 years from now I look back and be like, Oh, that's why I went to law school. It all led to these other things. And one of those things, I suppose, is giving this TEDx talk. And so that's really where that where that came from, was I wanted to show that I'm an example of taking that brave leap, and that it's possible. When you're, when you're feeling stuck in whatever part of life you're feeling stuck, that you can always make a different choice, even though it's scary, and sometimes logistically, incredibly challenging, especially if you have a family or people who are depending on you.

Theresa Lambert:

Wow, you know, it's so interesting. I mean, I always find that every choice we make ends up opening the next door, right? Like, when we start making these brave leaves, and I agree with you. My brave leap was leaving my hotel career behind, that I was really successful at and I could have, in fact, after I left in January 2020, I had two offers heading my way, like people had hunting me to come and open a property somewhere and take on a property again, somewhere different and were really really eager to talk to me and I had not even told like anybody like I left and literally these opportunities were coming in and I didn't want to do that I wanted to like I had made this conscious, brave choice into entrepreneurship and so I love what you what you shared that because it took so much bravery and for a lot of people, like a lot of people said to me sounds like you're taking a step backwards. And I love that you're talking about this because I felt stuck for a long time and I always say like the golden handcuffs are a thing people like It's like it is real, like this felt real to walk away from the perceived security All right, but it needed to happen for this evolution. And so I love that, you know, this, like you finding your footing and acting and then here you are stepping out of it going back to school, right to law school, like what a big shift from acting to law school, and then leaping again, and starting this Korean copywriting and ultimately ending up giving it at TEDx talk from learning all that. I mean, yeah, you know, that's amazing. But what I want to highlight to everybody listening is that if it wasn't for the brave leap, and for those via Jospin and reconnecting with your values, right, like, you set this, like, I realized it was no longer aligned with these values, I was looking for peace in my life, I wanted autonomy, like, that is such a big thing. To to take that. And via jobs based on that and taking a leap. That's scary to make. Always scary to make no matter where you are in life, you know? And I just want to put that out there because it's comes what's after the leap? Right? It comes what's after the feeling of stock? And I would love for you to take us, you know, maybe in like, what did it start to feel like once you were on the other side of stock once you were on the other side of that leap.

Cathlyn Melvin:

So I think it's interesting that you, you brought up the phrase taking a step backwards. Because I think that when you make big shifts in your life, it can absolutely feel like that. But I would encourage people to think about it as a step sideways, not a step backwards, because when you're on whatever treadmill of life that you're on, it can be impossible while you're under that pressure. And under that strain, to really look at your values in an objective way to look at where you want to go and an objective way. I think that that's something that's happening right now with the great resignation is that people are desperate to leave where they are. And don't have that capacity to really think through it. So they make a choice to go to another company or another department. And they might run into the same challenges, the same misalignment that they were experiencing, in whatever position they were in before. And so when we take our brave leap sideways, whether that is deciding to become an entrepreneur or whatever, getting yourself up over that handrail of the treadmill, and onto the ground next to it. That leap sideways is really the first step. And I think that that's where people might look and say, seems like you're moving backwards, are you taking a step backwards, when really all it is, is giving yourself the space and the solid ground to breathe for a minute, and reevaluate what you really want, and where you really want to go. And it might really only be a minute, because you have bills to pay and mouths to feed and you need to get into a new job right away or whatever your you're moving toward. But even just taking that breath, letting your mind clear. So that you can move forward. If you don't take that step sideways, you You are cheating yourself of the opportunity to move forward. And I think that as entrepreneurs, we can probably all identify with that. That yeah, it might seem like we're missing out on something else. We're missing out on the stability, we're missing out on the retirement fund and the health insurance. But taking that leap sideways, is what is ultimately going to allow us to find the right path that does help us move forward in our lives.

Blair Kaplan Venables:

What what you just said is so powerful, and I think people and I know we've talked about this on dissecting success, people don't know when they don't know how to recognize they're not aligned with where they are. How did you know?

Cathlyn Melvin:

So, I I had started to keep a journal several years back when when actually when I was when I was first starting to consider the idea of copywriting as a business so why I was teaching and running my children's theater and working as an actor. I was doing all of the writing for that children's theater. And so people realize that's what I was doing. And they started referring people into me. And so that that sort of set my set my gears turning about, well, is this a possibility. And I had a, a copywriting mentor at the time, whose program I was in, who sort of helped introduce me to the idea of really focusing on your values, and moving forward in that way. And I don't, I don't remember how involved it was at the beginning. But I know that over time, I started asking myself different questions I started thinking about, okay, when was the time that I felt proud of myself? Why, what, what does that anecdote represent? When? When is i My mind is blanking, but there were several questions that I came up with that just helped me sort of pinpoint times in my life that I did feel aligned. And I wouldn't describe it as aligned. At the time, as I was doing this work, that's a word that I've really come into awareness of more recently. But just like times when you feel like yourself, when you feel whole, and why, why do you why do you feel that way? What, what is sort of emblematic of that experience, and thinking through those experiences, and really,

Cathlyn Melvin:

deliberately in a focused and purposeful way, saying, okay, that must matter. And then I think it's also important when you kind of create your list of those things that matter to work through and prioritize them, because there are going to be times when they conflict. So I always use the example of if you're on a road trip, and you're hungry, and you have a value of taking care of your body, and being healthy. But you also have a value of convenience. When you're really hungry, and you drive past to McDonald's, those values are going to conflict, you can either decide to prefer convenience in that moment and go to the drive thru. Or you can prefer your health and wait until there's a grocery store that you can go get a salad from the salad bar or something like that. And if we've already sort of internally made those decisions, not that we're sitting in the car thinking, Well, I know that I made a list of prioritized values, and then I put health at the top. But it's within you after you've done the work. So as an actor, we do a lot of script work and table work before we ever get up on our feet in rehearsal. And one of the things that that we I have been trained to do is in each, quote, unquote, beat of a scene where the energy shifts. So there's a different, a different goal, you identify that goal, you you identify what the objective is for your character, and then you identify what tactics they're taking to reach that goal. And the idea isn't that when you're performing that you're standing on stage, saying, oh, in this moment, I decided that my goal is to convince my scene partner that their boyfriend is cheating. And the verb that I'm using right now is to manipulate. You don't have that work going on while you're performing. But you've done it so that you can let it go. And it can live inside you. And I think that values work is really similar. You do the work, so that you don't have to make those decisions later. We make over 35,000 decisions every single day. Because we are so inundated by conflicting information. And do I click this button or do I go to that page, and we're exhausted of decision making? And so all those little decisions that we make, add up Burness out so that when something important happens, we really don't have the bandwidth or the energy to decide which value in this moment am I going to pursue? So I think it's really important to do that work beforehand so you can just live it.

Theresa Lambert:

So good. Isn't it amazing how we tend to really have to go in before we can go out Yeah, like for everything that you just shared? Oh my god, Kaplan, I feel like we could be talking to you for hours. And as we're coming to time to wrap this up, before I ask you the last question, I would love to know, how can our listeners find out more about you? Where would you like them to go? So they can learn more or work with you to have you help them with that method.

Cathlyn Melvin:

So the best place I think, for people to start is at right cat creative.com/brave, leap sideways, because that's going to take them to my talk. So they can watch the talk there, they can find their way to contact me right from my website. And right get creative is the name of my business. And it's right, r i g h t, which can be a little confusing since I'm a writer. But that's where people can find information about my services as a copywriter my services as a TEDx coach now, and can definitely watch the brave leap sideways and hear that message.

Theresa Lambert:

Amazing. Well, I can't wait to listen to it. So I will be putting this on my list. And we will be making sure that that is also in the show notes. So if you're listening, and if you're like, I can't, I couldn't write it down Fox enough. Don't worry, just check the show notes. And there'll be a link directly to Catherine's talk and her website, and how you can connect with us. So that that is easy. So Kathlyn last question for you. If you could only give one piece of advice for people that are ready to take a leap sideways, a step sideways, or LEAP sideways and step sideway. What would you tell them to do?

Cathlyn Melvin:

So people who are at the stage where they've realized that whatever they're doing isn't in alignment isn't getting them where they want to go, and who are ready to take the leap. I think that even when you feel ready, you can get stuck in indecision, you can get stuck worrying about the how, how am I going to move forward? What is the next right path? And I would say don't worry about what the next right path is. Don't worry about how you're ready to get to your final destination. When you take your Leap, you can take that breath. You can give yourself that freedom and find whatever the first step is, you don't have to be thinking, you know, 2050 100 steps down the road. Just work on what is that next right step? What is that next right thing?

Theresa Lambert:

Awesome. Well, thank you so so much for being our guest. This was incredible. So many takeaways from this, but I think the biggest one you just shared. Just take the leap sideways. And then just make that first step and then another and another. You don't have to have it figured out right now. So leap away. Watch Kaplan's talk, get inspired, get in touch with and we can't wait to be back next week with another episode of dissecting success. Thanks for being here. That's a wrap for another episode of dissecting success. enjoyed this episode. Make sure to subscribe to black one Venables and Theresa Lambert's podcast dissecting success on the App Store.

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