This week’s #welldesignedlife interview is with Melissa K. Jones of the theCEOffice. We are thrilled to introduce you to Melissa and to share her wisdom! If you aren’t already, be sure to follow along on instagram (#theceoffice) where you can find pieces of encouragement and community within the small business world!
Let’s start off with an introduction! Tell us about yourself. Roles you play and what you do.
My name is Melissa Jones, I am the Chief Encouragement Officer at theCEOffice. theCEOffice is a management consulting boutique that caters to small businesses within the creative industry. I am passionate about empowering and encouraging womenpreneurs to lead great teams and attain a higher level of success.
What accomplishment are you most proud of in life so far?
I am most proud to see former team members promote into better roles both professionally and personally. I had a team member that was an exceptional performer, however somewhat shy. I encouraged her to become a mentor to new team members even though it was outside of her comfort zone. The reward was when she came to me and thanked me for pushing her. She said not only did it help her professionally but her pastor had asked her to be a leader at her church too.
Tell us about your big dreams. Where do you want to go, what do you want to do, and why?
My long term goal is to have a thriving staffing boutique to assist small business owners nationwide in building great teams. I want to be the resource for emerging creatives by sharing the best creative conferences, podcasts, books, and tools. I believe we are more powerful when we work together.
What are some struggles you’ve faced in achieving your dreams so far? Have you learned anything from them that you want to share?
One of the biggest struggles is learning to let go and delegate. Especially if you are Type-A like me then you think that things are done best when you do it. However, I learned along the way that allowing others to lead projects not only frees up time for you to focus on more important things, but it also empowers them to be better team members. When you allow others to lead it shows that you trust and value them and they work harder.
Do your dreams look different now than they used to? (5 years ago? 1 year ago? Yesterday?) If so, what changed about them?
I always knew that I wanted to be an entrepreneur, but I didn’t realize that it would be in this capacity. 5 years ago I loved event planning and I still do, but I didn’t love it enough to do it full-time. The great thing is that now I get to incorporate it with theCEOffice for monthly networking events. Creative Chics, Coffee & Collaborations is the perfect outlet for me to plan out little details and surprise my guests.
A little less than a year ago I started to have clarity on the type of business and impact I wanted. I saw there was a need within the creative industry for vetted creatives to assist small business owners in a full-time, part-time, intern, or project-based capacity. I knew that my passion for entrepreneurship, the creative industry, building strong teams, and empowering women could be combined into a business. I shared the idea with several other small business owners and from there the idea took off. I incorporated theCEOffice in January 2015.
If you could go back and visit yourself at any age, what would you tell your younger self? What kind of encouragement or wisdom do you wish you had at that time?
The best advice I would tell my younger self is, choose your friends and associates wisely. They influence you more than you realize especially in your teens and twenties. In my late twenties, one of my older friends told me “if you are the smartest person in your circle you need to change who is in your circle.”
I wouldn’t change anything because then I wouldn’t be where I am at now. However, now I am very selective about who is in my inner circle. I choose positive, ambitious, like-minded people that challenge and encourage me to grow and be better.
What three daily things can you not live without?
· Day Designer – keeps me organized. I try to do so much that if I don’t write it down it might escape me. Plus I love have a physical diary of accomplishments (checked off to-do lists).
· iPhone – my connection to friends and family. I heart Facetime because it allows me to see my niece, (who is 9 hours away) as she grows up.
· Laptop – it allows me to create and work wherever I am at. It’s a mini desk.
What is something you strive to be intentional about? How do you design it into your life?
I am intentional about my relationships. I schedule time to visit family, to catch up with fellow womenpreneurs, and have phone dates with my friends whom I cherish. I love celebrating birthdays, sending snail mail, and random acts of kindness. It’s a win-win because you feel good about making someone else smile.
How do you create balance in your life?
I create balance in my life by incorporating what I love into my business. I create an environment that is organized and inspired. When I am with people that I love I don’t take calls or text, but you might find me sharing a picture of the experience.
What does your daily routine look like? Is there anything that helps you feel most successful at the end of the day?
As soon as the alarm sounds I send out my daily motivational quote, check my notifications, glance at Instagram and email briefly, and then get dressed for the day. Working from home it is important that I get dressed for the day first thing instead of staying in loungewear. It helps prepare me for the day so I don’t lose time later getting ready. I eat breakfast while reading and responding to emails and social media posts. Then I take my coffee back to my desk where I tackle my to-do list for the day. I feel most successful when I have helped someone else feel encouraged or empowered to achieve something outside of their comfort zone.
What checklist(s) do you live by?
My action checklists stay in my DayDesigner and then carry over from day to day if something doesn’t get accomplished. Wunderlist is my master checklist for grocery lists, shopping lists, etc. since it syncs to my phone.
What do you wish you had more of in life? What about it makes it so special?
I wish I had more exercise in my life and a personal trainer. I love how I feel after a good workout and a personal trainer helps with the discipline.
What do you wish you had less of in life?
I wish I had less sweets in my life, they are my weakness.
Do you have a life motto?
Choose love over fear, every time.
If you could share one thing with our readers, what would it be?
Never stop learning. I love reading. Reading has opened the door to new ideas, challenged my thinking, encouraged dreams, and created a better understanding of others.