Browsing Tag: designed life


When Melissa quit her job to start her real estate business she knew she wanted more out of life and to live it to the fullest under her terms. There were days of doubts and the lack of support sometimes heightened those feelings; however, she pushed her way through, as a woman in a dogged male-dominated industry. Designed life caught up with Melissa to learn more about her entrepreneurial journey and hear her thoughts about life.

What or Who inspired you to start your business?
I always hated working full time and this is what inspired me to start my own business. After changing jobs multiple times, hoping that with each time, having an increase in pay or being with a different team would make me happy; for some reason I always hated it. I would say to myself ‘surely there’s more to life than being on this constant hamster wheel’. I had no idea where to start, or even how, but in hindsight, everything just fell into place.
I was also inspired by the fact that I was in control – I didn’t have to travel into an office to prove that I was worthy, or have a certain job title, or be stuck when my pay wouldn’t always last the full month and I would have to do a countdown until the next payday.

What habits helped make you successful?
I would love to say that I have a series of daily habits that have ensured my success, but I don’t fully feel that I’m at that point yet. I have just worked hard and tried to think creatively. I want to get to a point where I have a dedicated daily routine but I’m a work in progress. At the moment, I find that I have to naturally get ‘into the flow’. When I try to force working in my business, I find that I procrastinate on tasks that aren’t important, but when I get ‘into the flow’, I do all the tasks I know I should be doing, with ease. I do believe that routine is key, so if I was following my own advice – I would get up at the same time every day, go to the gym at the same time, and schedule certain tasks around what I like doing throughout the day (for example: with my business being based around property, I can end up spending a lot of time on the phone! So I’m currently working on managing that so I can get to see more properties and meet more people, etc).

How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
How I distinguish myself from my competitors is that I understand that I’m in my lane, on my own path and it’s my daily dedication and hard work that will make a difference. I also find building relationships fairly easy, so I don’t view my competitors as something to worry about. I think about supermarkets – they each sell the same or similar products, for variable prices, yet people still have their preferred ‘go-to’ supermarket. So I bear in mind that I’m attracting ‘my type of customer’.

What was your biggest mistake?

My biggest mistake when I first started, was not having a pipeline of sales. I was close to completing my first 2 sales and for some reason, I stopped chasing business. I let my pipeline go cold and it was much harder to build the pipeline back up. But it was a worthwhile learning experience, which allowed me to prove to myself how determined I am to make my business successful. That was the point I could have given up…but I didn’t.

What was unexpected when you started your business?
The main thing that was unexpected when I started my business, was just how lonely the process was. I felt that friends and family didn’t fully understand why I would choose to put myself through the stress and aggravation of owning my own business. I also wonder why I do it myself sometimes, but that’s all part of the process.

What did you learn?
From this, I learned that fellow entrepreneurs are your biggest supporters. The people who like and comment on my social media posts are people who I’ve met and connected with along the way. I also learned that everyone sees you. For the moments that I get zero likes and comments on posts, I don’t let it affect me as it doesn’t mean that my posts haven’t been seen.

How can you minimize the unknowns?
There are lots of unknowns with being an entrepreneur but the way you can minimize the unknowns is DO IT ANYWAY! If you follow a certain marketing plan or you make a decision on doing something, you don’t know how it will be received and you know what? It doesn’t matter. You don’t know until you do know, and the only way you will know is by doing.

What does it mean to live a Designed Life?
To live a designed life is to have the flexibility and freedom to control your destiny. It’s about you carving your future and creating the type of life that you want to lead.

What impact do you want to have on the world or change you’d like to see?
The impact that I would like to have on the world, is by proving that you don’t need to fit into a stereotype to be an entrepreneur. I show up every day as my true authentic self and I’m always a work in progress. I have sometimes wondered if I would be more successful if I wore higher heels to networking events, but I refuse to give in. It’s hard enough walking into a room full of strangers, much less thinking about your feet being on fire in gorgeous shoes.

Describe yourself in one word?

What mantra do you live by?
Everything happens for a reason, but you can’t sit down and wait for things to slot into place. You have to work hard at making things happen and then from there, things will either slide into or out of place.

Where does your passion come from?
My passion comes from wanting to be happy and wanting to carve a life that I have created by myself, for myself (And a family one day).

What makes you smile?
Caring people make me smile. You can’t beat a genuinely nice, honest and friendly person.

I love what I do! I feel that my business is fully aligned with my personality. Helping people and coming up with solutions to problems makes me feel good and that’s what fuels me to keep going. My business is about finding properties for investors, so I get to help sellers who have homes that need modernization and are ready to sell; and I also get to help Investors find the right properties, which meets their requirements.

Business Name: ML Property Venture
Socials: @MLPropertyVenture (on Facebook and LinkedIn)


Mind mapping your way to achieve a strategic goal can do wonders. It’s a great way to map out all the crazy voices in your head. When I was in school for my MBA, we had to do some mind mapping and brainstorming.
I find mind mapping to be a quick way to get your ideas on paper. A feasibility study or business plan is great but the first thing I do when I get an idea or when I am strategizing a new path for an existing organization is to create a simple mind map.
A mind map is a tool that helps you think, gather information/knowledge, and create ideas. Its easy for your brain to easily capture and remember ideas through the use of  mind mapping.
Creating a mind map is easy in this case I created a simple one on a 5 by 7 postcard for by my organization.
The first thing is to place in the middle of that postcard exactly what you are thinking about it.

In this case, Designed Life is considered my central theme. Your topic or central theme can be a title, an idea, subject, a problem, a thought, a project, a business, or personal etc. The next is to create associations or topics, for designed life I had to come up with the list of outlets we currently use or plan to use to express our ideas and share our voice.
The next is the subject focus, since Designed Life is a platform I use to inspire others, mapping this out helps me not to lose focus on subjects we will focus on and not deviate from. I broke those down into topics that focuses on life, entrepreneurship, inspiration, stories, food, spirituality etc.
The next is the growth strategy how do we plan to grow all of the outlets mentioned.
Then to the methods we will use to send out our message which is still similar to the outlet.
The great thing about mind mapping is that you can literally make it out the way you want. It’s in your head.. there’s no specific formula to it. It can be as simple or as elaborate as you want.
Mind mapping is also a great visual think and structure to your ideas or goals.
As we begin to design the life or business we crave for, let’s work on mind mapping and brainstorming our strategies for the new year.

Another mind mapping you can do is more personal. I believe in the “start now philosophy” of not wasting time to get things done. I also share daily on my social media platform.
In the image below you would see my start now strategy which lays out my 3 months, 1 year, 5 years, and lifetime goals. With each of these you can create a second mind map for that specific goal.

In order of priority I focused on the 3 months goal of losing weight. The goal is to lose weight, with that I listed the steps that I would have to take to make this happen.
My goal is to lose 20 lbs in 3 months, but how will I lose 20 Ibs in 3 months? I will need to join a gym but how do I find a gym and when is my deadline to achieve this goal?
The map for my weight loss goal is all mapped out and ready to go. Doing this ensures that I can create an attainable goal and visual think of my personal weight loss journey.
I can also map out my plan for the year 2020. Then list each of those goals then map them out individually. It’s pretty simple, and can take less than 10 minutes. Make sure its measurable, make it personal based on where you are and what you have. Commit to achieving the goals, and make sure you stick to it. I’m rooting for you.
Try it and start now..

P.s. You can use tools like to create a fancy mind map. I didn’t really care much for it.