Melanie Marshall – Business Growth Specialist

A Portfolio of boutique portrait photography featuring actors, business owners, artists, kids, parents and individuals.

You cannot meet Melanie and not immediately like her! Honestly, you just can’t. She’s the walking embodiment of moxie and her joie de vivre is contagious. I first photographed Melanie early 2021 and again late 2023 and now that I’ve reinvested in the Story section that is my blog, I really wanted to update Melanie’s post. “Long term relationships” with my clients is where it’s at for me and I absolutely love watching them grow with their businesses. We are not the same business person year after year. There’s something that happens – it’s a comfort, a maturity – and it shows as we settle into our roles.

Melanie is a perfect example. Please, continue reading below to learn more about her, in her own words.

Tell us a little about what you do for a living?

I’m a Service Development Expert who helps leaders and teams to adapt and grow their services in a way that is achievable, healthy, and sustainable.

How did you start in your business?

When I really think about it, I started my business decades before I made it official. I’ve always acted as though I owned part of any organisation I was employed by.
When starting out on my own I had 20+ years of lived experience in what doesn’t work so I intimately knew the problems people had and what caused them. From there I built my approaches on what needed to be better and leveraged global research on what does.

What has been the biggest challenge or fear you have had to overcome in business and how did you manage it?

The usual not good enough stuff that everyone goes through, not knowing where to start or how to progress and feeling overwhelmed at times are the biggest challenges and they happen every time I’m leaning into a new opportunity.
The way I manage and overcome those is to get support and advice from people who have set up their own successful business, learn or outsource the skills I need to turn down the volume of the discomfort or fear, do the work with consistency, and celebrate all progress however small.
I’m incredibly driven on why I do what I do, and know it’s worth the effort and occasional pain to achieve it, but managing the challenges and fears of running my business is always going to be a work in progress every time I want to develop and grow my services.
Being real about this is a super power though because it means I can empathise with my clients on a deep level, and better help them with strategies and tactics for their stuff.

A Portfolio of boutique portrait photography featuring actors, business owners, artists, kids, parents and individuals.
How do you achieve balance between relationships, work and personal needs (or kids, family and time out for yourself)?

Being physically active and strong is a must for me so investing that time in looking after myself is a non-negotiable, it makes be feel, think, and perform better with everything.
I also colour code my calendar so I can see where I need to create balance each week. When my calendar is a rainbow I know my time has been spent on the things that matter, if I’m flat or cranky it’s usually the result of overdoing or underdoing particular activities.

How did you prepare yourself to start your business?

I was a student at the Thought Leaders Business School. It got me on the path of packaging and commercialising my thinking and approaches for people, service development and organisational performance. Since then I’ve engaged a range of different experts to show me how to think, sell and deliver.

How do you know when you are ready to do something?

Being able to sell what I do and how with genuine experience and depth is powerful. When I know that I’ve done the work and I’m starting to get bored or frustrated it’s time to adapt and grow further, whether that be through offering a new service or working with different clients.

What have you put in place as a reminder to nurture your soul?

On top of my exercise routine, I’ve started doing 10 minutes every day or two to just lie down, close my eyes and let my brain wander. I set a time, expect nothing, focus purely on breathing and lying still and when the timer goes off I’m refreshed and ready to go again. I also love walking barefoot on grass and usually go to the beach once a week.

In the beginning, how did you attract your first good clients?

I saw a massive gap between company visions and operational realities where people and teams being unable to make the most of what they have and adapt to changing needs.
This is still happening and in some companies it’s getting worse, particularly with digital transformation efforts and expanding infrastructure where companies are not developing the business foundations to support the sustainable growth of their services.

A Portfolio of boutique portrait photography featuring actors, business owners, artists, kids, parents and individuals.
What does a typical day look like for you?

For balance, I try to maintain a rainbow combination of thinking (pink), connecting (blue), selling (green), delivering (yellow), developing (purple), and family or personal (orange) activities across each week and/or month.

What do you love most about what you do?

My clients and the people I partner with are amazing – they are my ‘love at hello’ kind of people!! Helping them adapt and optimise what they have to deliver and grow high-value services is what lights me up.

Who are your biggest role models or influencers that have impacted your career?

I have had a few people that we’re shining lights of generous wisdom and kindness throughout my career.
To get to where I am now, most of my influencers were the opposite of who I wanted to be. They made me hungry to do the work and become the leader and expert I was looking for.
Today I focus on mastering my craft for the people and things I care about.

If time, money and resources were not an issue or concern, what would you most want to offer your clients? 

I’m really proud and love what I offer now or I wouldn’t sell it.
My clients are smart, passionate and committed to delivering high-quality and high-value services.
I genuinely care about the outcomes they’re working for, we have a partnership approach and use our complementary skills to work through challenges, and co-design great ways to do things so that their and their team’s efforts are achievable, and sustainable. We also measure the impact of what is implemented to celebrate progress and confirm that any changes deliver immense value.
It brings me joy to help people make the most of they have and deliver exceptional services to their clients and customers.

What do you want your clients to experience and feel during the program/process?

Highly capable, confident, energised and inspired. I also want them to feel like this afterwards so they can continue to adapt and grow.

A Portfolio of boutique portrait photography featuring actors, business owners, artists, kids, parents and individuals.

I am a person who wants to build millions of adaptive leaders and organisations that serve humanity and the planet.

How do you feel valued by your people around you?

The smiles, laughs, and hugs are a pretty good indicator. It’s also nice when we can be honest when things aren’t going to plan and work through things together as a team.

What do you think you need to possess or own to be viewed as successful, valued and recognised?

For me it’s all about self-leadership mastery, I strive be the best version of myself because positive presence, influence, and impact is something you earn, it comes from within, it’s powerful, and people feel it.
Some might argue that money can buy those things but it’s not a given, I believe that money is a vehicle, enabler, and amplifier of your underlying character and values.

How do you think you need to be seen?

As a leader and master of their craft who partners with people to deliver exceptional and lasting value.

How do you feel recognised by others?

When clients see the value of what I do, respect the investment they need to make for the outcome, and when we celebrate progress together.

A Portfolio of boutique portrait photography featuring actors, business owners, artists, kids, parents and individuals.
What do you need?

You can never have too many people that you love at hello. So more of them would be lovely! I also enjoy any challenge that is ‘hard fun’.

What’s next for you and your business?

Writing and publishing my second book, continuing to work for high-value outcomes with people I love, and increasing my monthly recurring revenue.

How has working with me helped you?

Amanda has helped me professionally promote myself by continuing to refresh my photos and strengthen my brand and profile. I love the passion she has for people and photography. I also deeply value Amanda’s commitment to mastery as a leader in her field.

Hi there! I’m Amanda Waschevski

I AM A HEADSHOT AND PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHER BASED IN IPSWICH, QLD. I help people be themselves in front a camera.

Amanda Waschevski, Ipswich Portraitist

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