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Designing A Life Of Success On Your Terms

Hello, action taker. Welcome to Live Blissed Out a podcast where I have inspirational and informational conversations with business owners and subject matter experts to help you get the scoop on a variety of topics. Tired of hesitating or making decisions without having the big picture? Wanna be in the know? Then this is the place to go. I'm your host Marisa Huston, helping you achieve bliss through awareness and action. So let's get to it. In this episode, Melanie Towey he shares how none of us really have things figured out and encourages us to consider how we define success. As a professional EOS implementer, mindset coach and business coach Melanie acts as a teacher, coach and facilitator, helping business leaders transform their companies and ultimately their lives. She works with high achieving professionals who have a deep desire to make lasting positive changes, yet often have limiting beliefs or recurring thought patterns, holding them back from achieving their fullest potential and goals. Melanie's ultimate mission is to be a catalyst for professionals looking to achieve freedom, joy and fulfillment while enhancing their performance and making a meaningful difference in every area of their life. Visit to learn more.

Disclaimer 1:38

The information opinions and recommendations presented in this podcast are for general information only and any reliance on the information provided in this podcast is done at your own risk. This podcast should not be considered professional advice.

Marisa Huston 1:51

Mel, thank you for being on the show with us.

Melanie Towey 1:54

Thank you so much for having me, I really appreciate it.

Marisa Huston 1:57

Who better than you to tell our listeners exactly what we're going to be talking about and how we're going to help them.

Melanie Towey 2:03

Today we are going to be talking about how you think everybody else has it all figured out. So we're really going to hone in on what success means in your life and in your business. And really talk and have a conversation about how success is a choice and how you define it is too.

Marisa Huston 2:22

We all look at success in different ways. Part of it to Mel, is that we do compare ourselves to other people and there's this sense of if the other person can do it or if they have the dream life that I always wanted to have, then that's what I'm going to go after, without really understanding what goes into that process. So I'm really excited to dig deeper into this conversation.

Melanie Towey 2:47

Especially in today's society. We live in this microscope. And I think that we've never compared ourselves at the level that we do today. And I want to talk professionally and personally. I want to really try to wrap those two together today because I think that that's one of the things that really weighs on people. I'll use corporate as an example. You see these C-Suite level executives and the thought is man, how did they get there? And they're so much more successful than I am. What people don't realize is those people have lives. They're your neighbors, they're your people at church, they are just like you and they have their own set of problems and issues and challenges and triumphs. And I think that we tell ourselves these stories and really what it does is it hinders our ability to stand in our authenticity and really show up in who we are because we're so terrified that we're going to be judged or not like the next person and the conformity that we live in. It's really hindering people from just being who they are and finding that joy and fulfillment of what makes them, them.

Marisa Huston 3:50

We put on a show, because we don't want people to think that we're complaining or that we're struggling because that's a downer for people. So everybody wants to cheer everybody up. And so they talk about the good things without really expressing the challenges that we go through to get to where we need to be.

Melanie Towey 4:09

Yeah, absolutely. And I agree with that wholeheartedly. And I think that there's a lot of fear in that. Fear of failure, the fear of judgment, the fear of what will people think if I do have a problem? And I think that while our society is under this microscope, I will give credit to a lot of people business and personally of trying to do the work to go Hey, raise your hand and say, you know what, I feel this way. If we can get people understand that they're not alone in this. You're not the only one. If you're listening to this feeling like oh my gosh, I don't have my life figured out but everybody else does. That's a story that we continue to tell ourselves that derails our progress in getting and reaching our potential.

Marisa Huston 4:48

We look at certain people and they're successful, let's say at a very young age. You remember when you were a kid and you were in the classroom and you had somebody there that would say I want to be a doctor or I want to be a lawyer. And then when you circle back with them 20 years later, they are doctors and they are lawyers. It's almost like they knew from the very beginning. And I was one of those kids who had no idea. And then you feel really bad because you're like, how come they have it figured out and I don't? I don't get it. Or why are they able to get there so much faster? Some of us get there but it takes a longer time to figure things out. We compare and not really understanding too the challenges that they've had to go through.

Melanie Towey 5:29

I agree with you. And I chuckle because it's part of my own personal story. Being successful at a young age, and what does that look like and what is it supposed to feel like? And I think that we just think if we reach this point of success, and we do it early, and we have it figured out that we're somehow further down the line. And I'm here to tell you, you're not. What I will tell you is you come with a little bit more experience. Some of the most wildly successful people that I know are still trying to figure out what they're doing and they're in their 60s. Because they've taken chances, they've tried different things. They've been honest with themselves to say, Why did I make the choice to be the doctor? Was it the choice that I wanted to make? I think there's a lot of pressure that comes with kids, family, friends, who you were around, there's pressure to get good grades. You know, a lot of people are living out their parents dreams. A lot of people are just trying to move forward to check the box and it is heartbreaking. It's very hard when you feel like you've been left in the dust but in reality you haven't. People appear to look like they're on a track that's better than yours, behind the scenes. Personally, for me, I was a mess. I looked great on paper. I have had a great career. I've been incredibly blessed. I've worked with some of the most fantastic people. I've managed teams I've traveled and behind the scenes of that my personal world and everything that I thought I was striving for when that didn't show up because those boxes were checked, that's a very different feeling and going what did I miss? Now I appear like I'm further along, but I'm actually in reality not. And I think that that's what people don't understand either is whatever side of the fence you're on however far you think you are far behind it's the story, you continue to tell yourself based on what you think you assume and know.

Marisa Huston 7:14

Going back to the story about kids, you're absolutely right. They reflect what the parents want in many cases, in some cases, not. They want their parents to be happy with them, and then they hit a certain point in their lives where they go, this isn't where I want to be, and then they have to switch gears. Then it does take them longer. And the other piece of it too, that we need to remember is there is nothing we can do alone. And oftentimes think that because they're solopreneurs are entrepreneurs that they don't need to count on anyone. They tried to solve everything themselves, they tried to do everything themselves. And that doesn't work. You need a community, you need support, you need to be surrounded by people that are better than you in many ways.

Melanie Towey 7:56

As an entrepreneur solopreneur it's lonely. You have to have that community, you have to have that network, you have to have the people that help you see other things that you can't. Because we do have blocks that are there and we've conditioned ourselves. And again, going back to childhood, I work a lot with my mindset clients on a subconscious belief repattern. 90% of my clients, and I'm dealing with executives, entrepreneurs, people that would deem successful, and these guys and gals have confidence issues. They're trying to unwind patterns that were built from their childhood, you have a lot of people on success tracks that are on success tracks, because that's how they got validated. There's a validation. And if you follow some of the most successful people, and they're really honest, is if you couldn't get validated somewhere else, you got validated through your achievements and how you can perform. And I think that's another big thing that if you can't find it someplace else, you're gonna go look for it, whether it's attention, whether it's the validation. There's a lot of people sitting in those seats currently in the past that will tell their story, and that are walking into it and they don't even know it yet, because it really comes from those belief systems that were hardwired as a kid, no matter what kind of childhood you grew up with. That is fact. Your mind is controlling a lot of that and those belief systems are definitely driving it.

Marisa Huston 9:17

Based on your experience do you feel most people are self aware of these things? And if they are self aware, is it something that they're working on ongoing? Is that something that they always have to reflect on to improve? Because we look at things from our own lens, and oftentimes what we see is totally different from what other people see.

Melanie Towey 9:41

I think self awareness is a blessing and a curse. It's a beautiful thing. It's hard to teach. A lot of its intuitive and I think a lot of people are self aware. I think the challenge that I consistently see with the people I work with or in my network is, even if you're self aware It's what do you do with that self awareness. A lot of people feel like they're too far down the road in a job or in a relationship, in a career. You can apply it to any area of your life. And there's paralysis that come with that. And there's a fear of, I don't know how to switch direction or change the course. So I would say that I think today, it's a lot more common. You see people raising their hand going, look, I don't want to live out my life, not feeling fulfilled, not feeling the sense of joy that I've always been after. And when they start to do the work, and you get that third party vantage point of somebody that can help pull some of those nuggets out for you, I think it's a beautiful thing. It takes a lot of work, though, because again, if you're unwinding a lot of thought patterns, that if the self awareness is there, and the willingness to want to change the course of your life, and redefine what that success looks for you, it's very possible and attainable for anybody,

Marisa Huston 10:53

I find that a lot of people wait, they have a good job, they feel secure, their responsibilities are taken care of. They're not fulfilled but they feel like that is not as important at this point because there are other things that they have to worry about. And then they wait long enough where one day they wake up, and they realize, Hey, I'm 50 years old now, and I've been doing this and most of my life is past. And now what do I do? Because I feel like that's the only thing I've ever done. and I've never really ventured out because I didn't really go after what I wanted. I did what I needed to do, because that's what was expected of me.

Melanie Towey 11:30

You find patterns with age, it can happen at any age. But you do you find people that kind of start to I'll call it wake up, goes back to that fear of, I can't make a change. I think the opportunity for people is change doesn't have to be quantum leap. You can make small changes in one area of your life that's going to impact other areas. Don't quit your job. That's important, right? So I'm not going to stand and say, Hey, you should really leave your career. Where are the other areas in your life that you can impact your sense of joy and happiness and defining what that success looks like for you? And I think we've got to get away, myself included, is redefining success that's not around financial security, comfort status quo, because that's what got us here in the first place. And so I think that if you grab a partner, talk to a friend, talk to a family member, get a coach. You need somebody to start talking through, of what areas can I make improvements? Baby steps. Can I pick up a hobby? Can I join a group? Can I do something that I've never challenged myself? You know, learn a new skill. Those are all crucial stepping stones to again, redefining that entire life of success. It plays into every aspect.

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Marisa Huston 13:25

Yeah, and I find that so many people do things because it's the thing. Like if everybody's podcasting, all of a sudden, then everybody wants to podcast. And I actually have been doing some events where I'm sharing with people the reality of the process. And I always get the same response. Wow, I had no idea. We're selling a dream. And especially now when we have all the social media around us. We're getting bombarded with messages from people that are saying, Oh, I'm doing fantastic. That's all we see. We only see one side of the coin and when we don't really see the reality of what it is, we think that we can just follow. And what I tell people is do what is the right fit for you. So for example. I don't really enjoy writing. It doesn't mean I can't write. It's just not something that I see myself doing on a weekly basis. But I love talking to people and I love meeting people. And so podcasting has been a perfect fit for me. But if somebody enjoys writing, I would say I highly recommend you consider blogging instead, not podcasting. So find that space that is the fit for you and don't do it because everybody else is doing it.

Melanie Towey 14:37

Amen. And I love that in your story. Because look, the coaching industry, it's crowded space. I've talked to so many people and there's some fantastic coaches out there. And there's coaches that came into the space and it became about scaling and you know, how can you get everybody online? And I'm not knocking that. There's tons of great masterminds and offerings out there. But when everybody said hey, if you're coach, you got to be online, you got to be on Facebook Lives, you got to be in front of a camera, you don't do one on ones. I had a real issue with that. And I fell for it. I started to go down that road. And I said, Whoa, this doesn't feel good. I am a people person. I want the one on one connection. I sit in front of clients, and the leadership teams that I work with, because to me, that's important. And that's where I feel like I'm at my best, and I'm authentic. I know people that crush Facebook Lives. They love it. They engage and to me, it feels so counter to who I am and how I show up. And that's taken me a while to be okay with. Because my clients resonate with me on a different level, right? And to your story is, there's a whole big world out there. Yes, there's a lot of podcasts, but you listen to what you want because you feel a connection. There's always going to be an audience, I don't care how specific your niche is, I don't care how you're doing it. If you show up authentically, there are people out there that want to hear what you say, that want to be connected to you and your words matter to them.

Marisa Huston 16:03

Yes. And not only that. To realize that, nobody is going to please everyone. That's just a fact. And this is from my personal experience, is get out of your head. It's not about you. I want this to be about listeners benefiting from it, our listeners enjoying the conversation and learning something when they get out of it, being able to provide value to my guests and learning from them, being able to connect with my guests in a way that I wouldn't otherwise. Those are the values that I see. And it's not about me. And I think many times when we get into these things, whether we're blogging or YouTubing, or whatever, it's very ego centric. And I think that when you shift that perspective, that's when the magic happens.

Melanie Towey 16:48

So all you people pleasers that are listening to this, you heard her get out of your head, you can't please everybody. I say that as a people pleaser that's trying to change my habits still. That is a lifelong battle and I think that the people that acknowledge that they have that as a trait. There's tremendous value in it but it's also detrimental if you don't get it under control.

Marisa Huston 17:07

Oh, totally agree Mel. We put like a mask of sorts, because we want people to see us a certain way. Put it as a, I'm there to serve people. I'm there to help people, I'm there to make a positive difference. And it's not about you. You are just a catalyst. When people thanked me for being on the show, for example, I'm like, why are you thanking me? You are a gift. I think it's important, though, to recognize when people appreciate something, and vice versa. But I think it's really a dance. It's really collaborative. And I sometimes find that people are just one sided, and they're always worried about themselves. What is something then that we can help our listeners do to help them get out of that mask? Not put themselves out there in the way that they think people need to see them, but put their authentic selves out there.

Quick Win 17:58

We live in a world, the facade, the mask, the put on the costume, but not wanting to be visible. Again, I think that comes from comparing ourselves everywhere we go. And there's a lot of assumptions that are made. And so it's one of my favorite tools. I love Brene Brown. I think she's awesome and inspiring. I use this with my clients, with my friends, use it with your spouse. But I think there's such an impact that the next time you feel like you have the answer to everybody else's life, and you've got them all figured out, you're standing in a restaurant going, man, they've got it together, or you're standing next to somebody in the parking lot, you know, picking up your kids from school, it's like, Wow, she's got it all figured out, here's what I'm going to challenge you to do. Is I'm going to challenge you to say, the story I'm telling myself is and then make up whatever you want. They're rich, they're successful, they've got this great life, and then I want you to pause. And then I want you to say "And what I actually know is." And it's gonna take you some time in your head to figure out you don't know anything about their life that's factual. It's a facade. I'm not saying that there's not incredible people in this world. There are. There's people that have done a tremendous amount of work on themselves, in their marriages with their kids and their business. So there's reality to some people. They do have some of what they appear to have. But getting that out of your head and going "The story I'm telling myself" challenges you to hear it back to go, I just made that up. I know nothing about their life. So let's hold the mirror. Because is that about them or is that about you? That's an insecurity. That's a comparison thing. And just notice how many times that comes up. And I think it's really powerful for people to be aware of it because you have to be aware of it to start to change it.

Marisa Huston 19:38

Think about all the celebrities that we know in our lifetime that this applies to. We grow up admiring these people thinking they're living a perfect life. They're so smart, they're really good at what they do. And then a truth comes out that kind of floors you. And you're thinking how could that even be? It's like a totally different person from what I perceive them to be at the peak of their careers.

Melanie Towey 20:03

As much as I don't follow celebrities, I could name 10 celebrities that you know, off the top of your head. It's not a coincidence that a lot of these people are coming out of rehab that are dealing with mental health. I've heard celebrities that are interviewed going, I would never wish being a celebrity on somebody. But people equate their money and they go to fancy parties to success. It's gotta be one of the loneliest lives. You can't know who's authentic coming at you, right? And I think that's another. We sit there and yes, the media plays into that and it does not help the magazines that's been going on. But again, if you use that, and go, really does that person's life behind the scenes, when they get off stage? You don't know anything about it. That's a story you've developed and until you know the reality, and it comes directly from their mouth, that's speculation and it's just somebody you're putting next to you that there's no way in your head you're ever going to be able to compete with. So it makes you play small, because you think they're playing big.

Marisa Huston 20:56

I love what you just said, because it goes back to defining success. I remember back in the day, because you and I both worked in the corporate world, where they always made it a point that if you succeeded in something that they wanted to reward you publicly. I really thought that it was punishment, that I did something really well and then they wanted to put me on stage and have me do a speech or do something that would celebrate whatever it is that I did. I didn't like it, and they never understood it. Everybody else wants to get a trophy, and they want to be acknowledged in front of all these people. And you are the outlier, and we don't get it. I think at that point, I knew already what I defined as success. The reason I'm sharing that story, and it's important to think about is, what is success to you? Success could just be, I can pay my bills, and I'm living in a safe space, and I'm happy with my family, and I have peace in my heart, and I'm able to spend time working on myself. What are those things that define success for you? If somebody told me success meant going to parties and meeting all these high end people and spending a lot of money, that would not entice me. And so I think it's important to understand that first, so that then you know exactly how to build around it.

Melanie Towey 22:17

I love what you said, because I think that's so true. And I think for me, the definition of success has probably changed more in my life than anything. I look back at what I used to define success as what is I chased. It was money for a long time. I was successful in my career and if I'm being honest and authentic with everyone, it was a validation thing for me. I didn't feel validated in other areas of my life. And the success that came from that over the feeling of I could actually make a difference and an impact, it wasn't about the attention. It was about I feel like I can contribute. And that was a big thing for me. As I started to redefine that I think the biggest aha for me, and I think when I talk to other people is, I think there comes a point in everyone's life when your definition of success, which is from a tangible to a feeling. And I think that's where I am. I mean, you alluded to it. It's like what makes you fulfilled, what gives you passion, what brings you joy? You can't write a check for those things. You can't run a successful business and check all the boxes on those. Now you can run a successful business that brings you those things if you understand your why and your definition and where you're going. And I think that that is so powerful for people to understand. Your definition gets to be your definition. And it can look any way you want. I don't care what you do for work, I don't care where you live, I don't care what hobbies you like, I don't care how much money you have in your account, when your time's up. You have to make a decision for you. And what does this look like for me? And I think that goes back to the whole how are you going to redefine what success looks like for you, not by the standards of everybody else in this world?

Marisa Huston 23:59

Yeah, and let's be honest. Financial security and freedom are what money brings. And I think that we all strive for that. But to what point? If you're trading off your life, you're trading off peace, you're trading off time with yourself, with your family, with the things that matter constantly, because all you ever want to do is amass that and you're giving all that up. You'll wake up one day and realize that you can't get that time back and then you have all this money for what? And your time might run out tomorrow because you never know how much more you have left of it.

Melanie Towey 24:35

You're right. And I think that goes without saying money doesn't buy happiness, it buys freedom. I've got nothing wrong with money. We all try to make it but what's it worth, what's the value, what are you going to do with it? And at the end of the day, like if you're standing at the end of your life and you're rich, but you got no one around you and I think that was a wake up for me. I was young and I felt like I hit that much faster and it was like, you can keep doing this for another 10 years but then what? What's next? And then at what expense? You've given up and haven't focused on anything else but trying to conquer your career? And it doesn't mean you don't have to like your career. I loved what I did. I loved the people, I loved the industry. Striking that balance and integrating those parts of your life to say, is it worth giving up the this? If the answer is not computing for you, then you got to adjust the sail somewhere else.

Marisa Huston 25:29

So well said. That is exactly it. And the sooner people realize that, then they can move the trajectory of where they want to go sooner as well and not end up waking up one day and having regrets. I think at some point, we all have regrets. We're going to, regardless. But what matters is that you are constantly asking yourself these questions so that you can make the best decision for yourself and not put yourself in a situation where you're always comparing, and it's never enough. Mel, how do people get a hold of you and learn more about how you can help them?

Melanie Towey 26:09

The best way to get a hold of me is to go to my website, which is So You can learn more about what I do. I'm an EOS Implementer. So I work with leadership teams to really get more of what they want out of their business and in turn, get more of what they want out of their life. On the other side of the coin, I do a lot of mindset coaching. So a lot of solopreneurs entrepreneurs. Getting those blocks unstuck and helping you move in quantum leaps forward to where you want to go and really define that definition of success for you. I love having conversations with people. I love connecting. I love just getting to know people's stories. It's so inspiring. Please reach out. I'd love to talk with you and I'm just so appreciative for this time and the conversation, Marisa.

Marisa Huston 26:58

Same here Mel. It was great to have you and thanks for sharing your insights with us today.

Outro 27:04

That's a wrap for this episode of Live Blissed Out. Thanks for listening and thanks to Melanie Towey for joining us on the show. If you have a question or comment for a future episode, all you have to do is go to or click the link in the show notes to leave a brief audio message. If you find value in our show, please visit to reach out, subscribe and share on social media. This show is made possible through listeners like you. Thank you. So long for now and remember to keep moving forward!

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