Showing Up With Generosity and for Expansion with Melissa Camilleri # RVE #334

Being an RV entrepreneur means finding creative ways to build community from the road. In this episode, you’ll hear from Melissa Camilleri about how to network more effectively while you build your business from your RV.

Melissa Camilleri is the Co-founder of Stand for the And Education Company and the Impact Incubator. With over 20 years as a credentialed educator, a professional leader in training and development, and a decade in digital marketing, Melissa guides established business owners to maximize their impact and their income with one-to-many offers – in person and online.

Over the last five years alone, she and her business partner, Angela Greaser, have helped their clients generate over $56 million in revenue through courses/programs and other group offerings. They are also the founders of the Prosper Network – a community of women who share the values of generosity, reciprocity, and expansion in business. She’s a mom of 3 young kiddos, wife to one handsome husband, homeschools, and lives in Northern California.

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RVE 334

Showing Up With Generosity, Reciprocity and for Expansion

With Melissa Camilleri

Your Host: Kimberly Crossland


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The RV Entrepreneur #334 Full Episode Transcript:

Showing Up With Generosity, Reciprocity and for Expansion

MELISSA: We were hunting. Like, where can we meet new people? Where can we start building more relationships? Because the ones that we’ve already built have been incredible. And there’s so many people in this world that we have yet to meet. And how can we foster relationships in these new ways with people who are like us, like that, have been at this for a second and really care about showing up in service to one another, and we could not find one. So we created our own.

RV LIFE: Welcome to the RV Entrepreneur podcast. The weekly show for nomads, work campers, RVers and entrepreneurs looking to earn a living or build a business while enjoying the RV lifestyle. This week’s host is Kimberly Crosland. Let’s settle in and enjoy the RV entrepreneur podcast brought to you by RV life.

KIMBERLY: Welcome to another episode of the RV Entrepreneur Podcast. I’m your host for this week, Kimberly Crosland, and today I’m joined by Melissa Camilleri. Melissa Camilleri is the co-founder of stand for the end, an education company and of the Impact Incubator with over 20 years as a credentialed educator, a professional leader in training and development, and a decade in digital marketing, Melissa Guides established business owners to maximize their impact and their income with one to many offers, both in person and online. Over the last five years alone, she and her business partner, Angela Griesser, have helped their clients generate over $56 million in revenue, all through courses and programs and other types of group offerings. They’re also the founders of the Prosper network, which is a community of women who share the values of generosity, reciprocity, and expansion in business. She’s a mom of three young kiddos, a wife to one handsome husband. Those are her words, not mine. Homeschools and she lives in Northern California. On this episode, you’re going to hear her talk about what the Prosper network actually means and how you can take those three core values and apply them to your own business. I’m so excited for you to hear this conversation. So let’s dive right in. But first, here’s a short break to hear from our sponsors who make this show possible.

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KIMBERLY: Melissa Camilleri I’m so excited to be interviewing you for the RV Entrepreneur podcast. We have known each other for years. It feels like years and years, which has been so fun just to continue to get to know you and continue to watch your business grow. And through it all, you have done exactly what we’re about to talk about today. You are somebody who truly walks the walk when it comes to building a business and forging relationships and getting to know people. And so before I get too far ahead of myself, why don’t you kick start things by sharing a little bit about who you are, what you do, and then we’ll dive right into a bunch of nuggets of wisdom and takeaways that I know our audience is just going to love. So you go ahead, introduce yourself.

MELISSA: Oh my gosh, of course I am so happy to be here. Thank you for inviting me. Yes, we have been friends for a really long time, and so I am going to share things that you already know about and that you have been around for. So, um, my career actually began not as an entrepreneur. I never intended to own a business, ever in my life. I was a high school English and avid teacher for many years, and I loved it. I thought that that was what I was going to do forever. And and this is back in 2011, I had a group of senior kids who were applying for colleges, and they had done all of the right things. They had applied for their wonderful colleges. They had, you know, studied and taken their their standardized tests, like their SATs and their acts. They got great grades. They were involved in all these school activities, and they continually came to me and were saying, like, I don’t think I can do this. Like you said, if I did all these things, I would be able to go to college and I’m financially short. So of course my heart was breaking and I’m like, what could I do to like maybe create another fundraiser for for these students? Well, at the time I was making jewelry for fun. I was making these like Swarovski crystal beaded rings that were pretty chunky and flashy. And one of my students came to me and she said, could you make me one of those rings for homecoming? And I said, yes, absolutely.

MELISSA: Meet me at the bead store after school, you know, so she she paid for the beads and the wire. It was like three bucks or something. Four bucks. And I made her a ring. And then I gave it to her the next day, and I had written a note to her with this ring, and I said, I’m so proud of you. And this is a student I had been with for four years. So like since she was 14, she was 18. It was senior year, homecoming, and it was more of just like to speak life over her and to encourage her to make good choices at the dance and, you know, not like show up drunk or get to, you know, make any not wise choices with boys that would change the trajectory of her life, you know, stuff like that. And it just said, I’m so proud of you for like, who you’ve grown to be. Whatever. So it was like a card, basically, that I had written with this ring. And the next day I had like 20 orders on my desk and I was like, okay, cool, I’m starting a fundraiser. I guess, for my students. I’m going to sell these to parents, and I’m going to sell them to the wealthier high school up the street that has more money. And I’m going to take the proceeds, and I’m going to create a scholarship fund for my students.

MELISSA: But with every ring, it was all my students who were ordering them, and they were like five bucks at the time, right? Just to cover costs, I was writing these notes and fast forward like, I don’t know, a couple months later, one of the students who had requested a ring came to my desk with her binder in her arms, and it had like a plastic cover on, you know, on the front of the binder in the back of the binder. And the note that I had written her was inside the plastic cover. And I said, oh, you still have that. That’s so cute. And she, like, just looked at me wide eyed and she goes, of course, I still have this. This is the nicest thing anybody’s ever said to me in my whole life. And I was like, what? And I still, oh my gosh, this is like, how many years later, 13 years later, I still tear up thinking about this. And she goes, nobody talks to me like this. Nobody sees me in the way that you see me. And I was like, oh, my heart just like cracked wide open. And I was like, you’re incredible. What? And I, I have never forgotten that moment of just thinking, like, how could I make something? How could I increase this fundraiser? How could I raise money for these beautiful kids who had all of the talent? In all of the potential in the world and just such little means and incorporate these notes with them.

MELISSA: And that is how I started a business called complement and what it was. And now it seems so ubiquitous. It’s everywhere. But at the time it was a piece of jewelry in a box with a personalized note. And when I was like trying to get them into boutiques and to wholesale, people didn’t understand actually what I was talking about. I was like, okay, it’s like sending flowers with a card, but like, it’s jewelry instead of flowers and the flowers die. But you could continue to wear the jewelry. And now there’s things like, you know, there’s lots of brands that do this. You can get it at target. It just wasn’t around back in 2011. So I’m not saying I started it, but it just wasn’t something that I had seen. Right. So that is my first foray into starting a business. I knew literally nothing. Nothing about purchasing, about selling, about market online or having an email list. Nothing. But I learned, and I am somebody who likes to learn and was like, okay, I mean, how hard can it be? I can figure this out. I’m a smart person. Oh gosh, it’s so much harder than I ever anticipated it being. But it’s also it was a joy to create something from nothing. And within 18 months, I left my classroom position and I pursued complement full time. And that’s when I learned digital marketing.

MELISSA: That’s when I learned e-commerce and how I met so many incredible human beings building businesses online. And you are one of them. That’s like when we first met, I had compliment, yes. So compliment was my first baby. And then I had human babies. In about nine years into my stint as an e-commerce professional, I had my first son and then 13 months later, I had my second son, and I did not build a business that was sustainable with motherhood in the way that I wanted to be a mom, and that forced me into making some decisions that really, honestly killed my ego. Any remnants of an ego that I had left it like smashed it into smithereens because I took a step back and I said, if I want to be the mom that I want to be and to be present to my life in this season, I cannot run this business the way that I have been running it. And I decided that I was going to liquidate all my assets except for my digital assets, and closed down a very successful business because it did not serve me and the season that I was in anymore. And it was a really hard decision, but it was one that I am so grateful and proud to have made. Instead of letting my ego drive the show and to like, really care that like, oh gosh, what are people? I mean, I mean, these, these thoughts went through my head, what are people going to think if I shut it down? They’re going to think that I wasn’t successful.

MELISSA: And I’m like, okay, now looking back, nobody cares. Nobody cares. Nobody’s thinking about me. But at the time, it felt like I had built something to be something really substantial, and it was profitable and was making money. And I loved it. And we helped send 13 girls to college like it was a purpose driven business. I it opened the doors to so many opportunities and I had to be done. So that led us to working together behind the scenes on some really big online launches, because I had with my e-commerce business, had met so many people in this digital space, and I was brought into support other people’s businesses using the gifts and talents that I had cultivated as an educator and as a digital marketer with my e-commerce business. And so combining those two areas of expertise led me down a path to help other business owners create group programs in person and online that really get results for their clients. And the way that I grew that business with my co-founder is 100% through networking, which is how I know how to grow anything. That’s the only way to do it. And to me, part of my value system is that your reputation precedes you, like it matters how you treat people. And when I was a teacher, I knew that relationships were like the number one thing I had to cultivate.

MELISSA: I don’t actually care. Still, to this day, 13 years out of the classroom, whether or not a single one of my students remembers the intricate details of the plot of Romeo and Juliet. I do not care. What I do care about is that they. Are good people that they felt loved when they were in my classroom, that they felt seen, that they felt like they could take risks and be supported in trying new things. Those are the things that I really care about. And when I look back on my teaching career and how I built relationships there, it completely transfers into my career as an entrepreneur that no relationship building is ever, ever, ever wasted. And that’s led us to my co-founder, Angela and I. Who is your friend to. Yes. Um. To us, creating a networking group for established women business owners because we could not find one for ourselves. We were hunting like, where can we meet new people? Where can we start building more relationships? Because the ones that we’ve already built have been incredible. And there’s so many people in this world that we have yet to meet. And how can we foster relationships in these new ways with people who are like us, like that, have been at this for a second and really care about showing up in service to one another, and we could not find one for us. And so we created our own.

KIMBERLY: Yes. And that what you’ve created is absolutely so beautiful and wonderful. I’m in it. And I absolutely love the prosper network, which we’re going to get into a little bit more. Before we do. I want to just kind of highlight three things that I heard in your story that really just paint a picture of who Melissa Camilleri is, who Angela Griesser, your co-founder also is, is you guys are both very much people. First, you focus on the people behind whatever the product is, whether it’s a ring, whether it’s a course, whether it’s, you know, a launch that you’re working, you really focus on people first. And the more the businesses can do that, the better it brings out the humanity behind, especially in today’s digital world. And I’m thinking especially about RV entrepreneurs. We work behind a screen. Yes, we can sit around a campfire, but it’s that campfire feeling that you are really expert at bringing to the digital space. And that’s what I believe the Prosper network is, is this feeling of sitting around a campfire with a bunch of friends where you just feel connected, instantly connected because you’re like, you understand me? I understand you and I, we just want to all help each other. A rising tide lifts all boats, right? And that whole concept, the other thing that you said that I.

KIMBERLY: That really stood out to me in your story specifically because I’m going through this right now, as you know, we’ve talked plenty behind the scenes, but is the transformation and this idea of like, I am going to change what I’m doing. Yeah, I’m successful over here. Maybe the person listening right now is successful in the corporate world and like, but this is not what I want. This is not going to honor the lifestyle that I want. So, you know, you talking about you became a mom and you realized that what you had, the career path that you had, what you had created was not going to honor where you wanted to be and how you wanted to show up going forward. And so you changed it. That takes guts. And a lot of people get really nervous, like I said, myself included, because a lot of our listeners know I’m in the middle of this big transformation career wise. But it’s through networks like the Prosper Network and through understanding that big vision of where you want to go. And I think vision is kind of an overused word, but also it’s in a very appropriate word of this is what I want my life to look like. I want to live in an RV. I want to be able to travel longer in an RV.

KIMBERLY: That’s my case specifically, is I want to design a life where I can, like you said, spend more time with my kids. You know, building sandcastles on the beach or going up to the mountain and going mountain biking and running into a bunch of deer on the trail. I mean, like, these are the memories that I want, and I need to have that life in order to get there. That’s exactly the kinds of things that you were. You were deciding to and to hear you say in your story, I love the way you said, take your ego out of it. And it wasn’t ego hit. I felt it too. And I know that other we’re not alone in that. And so for the listener, if you have any permission slip like please, please, please feel free to take that bold next step. And like you said, people looking back on it, you realize, okay, people actually don’t care that much, but at the time it feels like they do. Yeah. Right. So and again, having those people around you can be like, no, you’re good. I support you just to hear that. The same messages that you, Melissa, were giving to your students, like sometimes we need to hear that too for ourselves. And I love that you’re creating this space.

MELISSA: Thank you so much for for saying that the last couple of months in particular, I have been talking to more and more people who are like, you know what? I burned it all down the first thing that I started, the second thing that I started, and at first, like when I was going through this pivot and I would say my pivot like it took a long time, I think it was like a two year pivot of trying to figure out, okay, what is next. And I never stopped working, but it never felt like anything clicked, like I was just kind of chasing down different things to figure out. And. Doing just so much introspection and immersing myself in communities where I could talk with other people who have been through this. I felt like burning it down and starting something new was just more evidence of how flaky I was. And that was a story I was telling myself like, oh, you started off as a teacher, you big old flake. You quit that, and then you started as doing this, like fundraiser thing for e-commerce. And you, you had jewelry and rings and candles, you big flake, you quit that. And now you’re doing courses and you have a network. And now that I’m like, kind of on this other side of it, and looking back at the plot points of my own life curriculum, I’m like, you know what? That actually, like you said, that takes so much guts to crack out of a box that you have maybe even put yourself in, or somebody else has put you in and just be like, you know what? This actually doesn’t align with where I’m going.

MELISSA: And so I’m going to do something about it instead of continuing on a path that you know is not right for you, for your family in this season that we’re in. And I have so much respect having now gone through it and realizing, okay, wait, my perception has changed completely pivoting and doing it like coming out the other side and not quitting is actually so courageous. Like, I want to talk to more people who are like, you know, I had this really fancy job as an attorney, and I walked right out and got in my RV, and I started traveling the country because that’s what I actually wanted to do with my life. And we have this one precious life. Why are we wasting it, you know, doing something that isn’t aligned with our value system. So you’re going to come out the other side. I already know that you are, and you know that you are. It just sucks in the middle, you know, it just is like that messy middle where you’re like, oh, and so uncomfortable. And it is it’s uncomfortable. There’s but there’s no way around it. And then you grow so much out of it and then you’re like, okay, cool. I figured it out for the next season until the next pivot comes along.

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KIMBERLY: Exactly. And I love that you said that. And already I’m starting to feel like I’m coming out on the other side of it, like, oh, this is where I want to go. This makes sense. In the middle of it, it can feel like you’re just trying to like you’re like in a cash machine, just like grabbing for ideas and like, what’s gonna stick? What’s gonna be that $100 bill versus that $1 bill? Like, you know what’s going to be the right thing that I’m going to grab. But then as the flurry of those dollar bills and the cash machine starts to settle down, you’re like, oh, hold on, this makes sense. This feels right. This feels really good. Then you can come out through it. But another element and the third element that I really want to dig into with you from your story and how we met, was all by coming together with other people. So you and I met specifically in that season when we were having our little tiny babies and we’re like, oh my goodness, this is a lot to run a business and to have babies. And that’s when we really came together, us and several other people, and we’re like, okay, we need each other to come through this season to bounce ideas off of, to support one another and to really be a community.

KIMBERLY: And as our RVers community is not something we have abundantly right. We’re on the road. Yes, we meet people around the campfire, but then next week we’re meeting somebody else. And, you know, unless you caravan with somebody around the country, then you’re really always having to. You’re not having to. You’re getting to meet new people, but you’re also it feels like you’re having to start from scratch. And that can feel very lonesome. Entrepreneurship in and of itself can feel very lonesome. You can feel very challenging all by yourself. And I mean, I have a spouse who I love very dearly but doesn’t always understand the entrepreneurship world because he’s not in it. And that’s when I need my people who are in it who do understand it. So tell us a little bit more about the prosper network and really the three core values that you stand on. Because these core values, whether or not you join the Prosper network, RV entrepreneurs can really take these and apply them to their travel life, apply them to their entrepreneurial journey, and use it to grow just as you have and as I am doing right now.

MELISSA: Yeah. Okay, so like I said before, Angela and I were looking for a community like this and could not find one and therefore decided to create our own. And when we sat down to figure out, okay, what is this network going to be about? And how do we make sure that when we open the doors, we’re calling in the right people who are values aligned? So we looked at our own business philosophies, our business values, and decided that the way that our business has grown and any business. That’s because Angela has another business beside the one that we have together is through generosity, reciprocity, and those two things lead to expansion. And so what do those core values actually mean in practice? So generosity that one is almost self-explanatory, which is if I show up to a networking event, I’m going to show up in generosity. I’m going to show up in service to other people. I’m going to be really listening and figuring out how can I connect this person in front of me to an opportunity that will help support them in their growth? And I feel like I’ve been to dozens, maybe hundreds. I don’t know of networking events or places where you could be networking. And so often I’ve had the feeling of somebody like looking over my shoulder at somebody who might be more important or a better, better suited for a conversation. And that feels like junk.

MELISSA: Like nobody wants to be made to feel like they’re not a valuable person to have a conversation with. And it’s very extractive, which is like, oh, who, who can, like, help me here, right? And who, who is there here that I can get something from or who, who can hire me out of this network. And we wanted to make sure that wasn’t the feeling that anybody had when they were a part of our events in the prosper network. So generosity, that’s what we lead with. And our motto is give, give, get. So the more you’re able to give connection and opportunities for expansion to others, the more you’re going to get in return. And that’s where the reciprocity comes in, is that we want to cultivate a culture of reciprocity, that if somebody has hooked you up, they they’ve hired you or they’ve connected you with, you know, people who can who can support you in your business growth, that we want to make sure that we’re encouraging and calling out people to find a way that they can give back. And it might not be reciprocal, like 1 to 1 where, like Kimberly, I have a connection for you, and Kimberly has a connection for me, you know? But it might be, hey, I have a connection for Kimberly, and Kimberly has a connection for another woman inside the prosper network, and that is still reciprocal as a network, right? It’s not just one person.

MELISSA: It’s extracting all of the resources. We are a collective that are sharing resources and then expansion. So this one seems like duh, of course. But when you gather women in business together, there’s so much hiding. And that is what we wanted to break out of. We wanted to call in people who are claiming, I’m ready to expand, I want more, I am here for a reason. And it’s not just to over give and to overdo and only to like, be this martyr who is giving, giving, giving to everybody around her and not receiving anything. It’s that you’re going to give, you’re going to receive, and we’re all going to expand together. The idea is if you’re in a network, you’re there to grow your business, and we’re just going to call it right out, call it as it is, and it’s okay to want expansion. And so naming that in our values is really important, because we are trying to find people who have similar values to gather together, which, you know, when you were talking about the campfire scenario, it’s not so unlike the RV community, which is you value freedom, you value being on the road and meeting new people and being outside when you pull into an RV community, I’m sure, because I haven’t read yet, but it is a deep desire of mine.

KIMBERLY: But you will. I will take you somewhere.

MELISSA: Deal. I feel like when you sit around the campfire, there is a certain shared value system. Because of the place that you have decided to gather, like you’re not gathering at a bar, you’re gathering around a campfire. And that’s a different set of values. Not one’s not better than the other, it’s just different. And you’re finding your people. Right. And so that is that feeling we’re trying to create inside of the prosper network is if you are a woman in business and you value generous exchanges, a reciprocal relationship with people, building real relationships and friendships that can last even longer than maybe even the network lasts like that, you just carry on into your future and you’re here for business expansion, and then you’re invited to join us. It’s only been around for a few months, but it has expanded and grown into a really beautiful space where the women who have raised their hand and said, yes, oh my gosh, this is exactly what I was looking for. Approach business in the same way that Angela, my co-founder. And I do, and that you do. Kimberly. And that so many of our friends do. And now we have a place to recommend each other. And it’s great because there’s a lot of jobs out there I don’t want or I cannot do, but I would want to connect somebody who I really like with another person that I really like, because I know that they’re going to get great service and everybody is operating in integrity. It’s very values aligned. It’s just it’s a really great place and I’m super proud of what we’ve created there, just really beyond Over the Moon with what’s going on in that network as.

KIMBERLY: You should be. You know, typically when I think of networking or networking group, I look back at and I won’t name the groups because there’s no reason. No, but there’s been a few groups in the past. They’ve been in-person groups, but I remember specifically one where every single time we would go around the room and as we’re going around the room, everybody, they’re not like you said, yes, that would happen where I felt like some people were looking beyond me, like, who else can I talk to? Is really gonna help me out? Not even hearing my story, who I was. But also, as you’re going around the room saying your name, you’re not listening to anybody else. You’re thinking, okay, what am I going to say? What am I going to say when it’s my turn? What am I going to say when I stand up? What’s my elevator speech? And then once it goes past, you’re like, oh, got it done. Let me just sit back, check my phone, check my email. You’re not listening to anybody out there. You’re not getting to know anybody out there. It’s a very superficial setting and those settings don’t work. But when you enter into a space and the way that you do it, you do it in a very unique way. So you offer speed networking, which is different than going around the room. You offer it through the lens of how can I help this person? You go into every single one of those breakout rooms with how can I help these people? And also I just want to get to know them.

KIMBERLY: I just want to hear their story. And you’re excited about that because you know, you’re settling into a space. It’s not this like rapid fire. Everyone has less than a minute. And if you go over a minute, then people start booing you or giving you the side eye. It’s nothing like that at all. It’s just like, let’s just get to know each other. And through that relationship building, that very organic, campfire style relationship building, you’re there for the same purpose. I also love this idea of expansion because it’s not about showing up to trade business cards, it’s about showing up to link arms. And that difference is absolutely huge because you can just physically feel like, hold on, we’re doing really cool things here. The person I’m sitting in a breakout room with or sitting next to, or my virtual campfire and I’m just going to use that. I’m going to like, picture a little campfire every time I go into the room. But the person I’m around the campfire with, they’re doing similar things, just like you said. They’re making similar life choices, just like our viewers have chosen this very freedom based lifestyle to hit the road and to explore and to go off the beaten path. When you do that, as an entrepreneur, there’s not a lot of people doing it.

KIMBERLY: It can feel like there’s a lot of people sometimes because especially if you surround like attracts like, and so you’re surrounding yourself with it. But really it’s a very different. And being able to be in that company, it doesn’t only help you to give back generously, it also helps you to really feed off that energy and see that you’re not alone in this, and you can do it and see what’s possible. And so, you know, like we’ve talked about with our stories, you know, Melissa and I are friends, obviously, but I love listening to your story, even though I’ve heard your story before, every time I hear I’m like, no, I’m doing the right thing, making my pivots. I’m doing the right thing, making these changes, and I feel inspired by that. And we can have that encouragement. That’s how we can all expand. And sometimes that’s the reciprocity that you need. It’s not necessarily a referral. It’s not another business card. It can also just be that energetic reciprocity and that generosity of like, listen, I’m in a room and I want to hear your story. That’s huge. And that’s not something we get enough of. I believe in the entrepreneurial world, which is why I think the space that you’ve created is just so special and so unique and so different than what’s out there. It’s not a typical networking group.

MELISSA: Yeah. Thank you so much for reflecting that. I believe you. And it is like, it’s just so nice to know that. It’s so nice to know that the intention with which you created something is being received in that way, you know, and for all of us as creatives, because like, even if you’re not like a crafter, you’re still creative when you create something from nothing, which entrepreneurs are inherently that’s really important feedback to hear that like, hey, the thing that you created is actually making a difference for me, or I see it making a difference in others and I want you to know about it like that is reciprocity for me. It’s just, okay, cool. It’s benefiting you. Wonderful. And, you know, for us as business. Angela and I as business owners. It’s not the actual network, the membership and the network that’s making us oodles of money. And I don’t know why I feel compelled to share this, but I think it’s important to know it’s the connections that we’re making that’s leading to our own expansion as well. And so I’m just so grateful that we got this call on our hearts to create something and that it’s working and that people are finding value in it, because that’s really just that was our heart is to to have value in it. And I didn’t share our other co-founder. Can I talk about that a little bit? Because I think this is kind of a wild bit of information. Okay. So Angela and I have, you know, our business together, our agency, and we were wanting to create this business network. And Angela has another business that’s around growth strategy and operations for people in the online space who have a pretty significant platform. So she is on the team of Sheri Salata, who is the last executive producer of the Oprah show, highly connected to very fancy people all the like, you know, most famous thought leaders of our day, really, and the former president of the own network.

MELISSA: So I think Angela and Sheri were just chatting one day casually, and Angela was sharing that she is creating with me this prosper network. And Sheri said, I would love to be a part of this. I would love if you could create this network inside my own network, inside my community, which is essentially how they built the Oprah brand together, which was Oprah was the thought, you know, a thought leader. And then she brought in other people like Doctor Phil and Nate Berkus and all these other people, and kind of launched their careers as well. And she goes, I want the prosper network to be a network inside of my support system, my network as well. So a huge piece like half of the prosper network. It’s not just business networking, it’s also access full access to a whole additional side of a community, which is the one that Sheri runs called the Support System, which is all about personal development. So we have the professional development side and full access to the personal development side and inside the personal development community that Sheri runs. She does daily meditations Monday through Friday, um, live with her. She has holistic healers come in, and we know that when you’re growing in business, you have to have some personal development attached to your business expansion because you can only expand so far as you can receive the expansion, which doesn’t. I mean, for anybody who’s been in business long enough, you know, that it’s a personal growth journey.

KIMBERLY: Yeah. Yes, 100%. Right.

MELISSA: And so you need that personal development support as well. And Sheri offers that in her community. So when somebody joins the prosper network, they get all the professional development in the prosper network, plus all the personal development in Sheri’s community and the gift that it’s given to us, to Angela and myself, is that we now have access to all of Sheri’s community as well. So people who weren’t already networked with us just from our years in business, but they were somehow connected to Sheri in her career as the executive producer for Oprah, which is just wild, right? Like that’s just a very amazing connection. And she’s the other co-founder of the Prosper network. This is a joint venture with her. And so you can imagine the caliber of people that we are attracting into this community, not just from, you know, doing business. Well, Angela and I, for the, you know, collectively for the last I mean, there’s two decades behind us, you know, but also all of sheri’s people who are connected to her. And that is, I think, something that’s very, very exciting because it feels like it’s untapped. It feels like, oh my gosh, all these new people I get to meet, all these new people who may have a door that I can walk through or that I have a door that they can walk through that is like one of the joys of life is figuring out how we’re all interconnected and how we can support each other. So it goes so much more beyond just the business aspect. But it’s just growing together as individuals and as humans and as a collective that I think makes this a really exciting thing for people to check out.

KIMBERLY: It really does. And it’s so aligned with the RV entrepreneur lifestyle because we choose to live on. On the road outside as much as possible. Even if we’re not full time, I’m not full time. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t love to go and explore. And that’s my personal development. I have to get outside. I have to go clear my head. And I mean, oftentimes Sherry’s meditations, I say most of the time they’re outside in the fresh air. It’s something that just you feel like just so grounded with, and you need to have that grounding. You also need to have the business support and so it goes hand in hand. She also has a book club that she runs and guest speakers that will come in. And there’s a writers circle. So if you’re writing a book, this is a great place. I mean, even if you’re not ready to book and you just want to have somewhere to go co-work and write, write your content, write whatever you’re writing. It’s just such a beautiful space. And all these like, little pockets where you can go and tap into and just feed yourself and feed your business, while also being able to give back and and really just be with people who get it. That I think is the big thing. Yeah. So just to wrap up, can you tell us a little bit more about maybe the future of the prosper network? I mean, it’s already such a phenomenal place, but I know you guys are talking about some really cool things too.

MELISSA: Yes. So we are we have a goal to grow the network to at least a thousand women established business owners in 2024. And when we do that, that gives all of us the opportunity to meet so many new people. And as we expand our vision is to include opportunities for in-person connections around the country, which I think would be so fun as our viewers that you could, like, stop in a different city and go pop into a networking event in person. And so you could take those connections offline as well. And oh my gosh, we have ideas for swag. We have ideas for, um, other partners that we’re bringing on, um, people who are coming to speak inside of the prosper network, tapping into Sherry’s list. Like a couple of months ago before the Prosper network was conceived, um, Sherry had Deepak Chopra come in and give like, just a it was like a conversation between Sherry and Deepak Chopra and everybody who is in the support system got to basically sit at their feet and listen to, you know, this incredible talk. And so it’s just getting our calendar booked with that kind of caliber of person who is coming to share with our community. And so that’s the future. I don’t know how quickly we’re going to get our in-person, um, events, the networking events, a conference, if that’s going to happen in 2024. But that is the vision for the future of the prosper network. Sky is kind of the limit, and we want this to be the number one place for digital businesses to be able to network online.

KIMBERLY: I love it, I can’t wait for it all because I’m there and I’m soaking it all up, so I it’s just such a great, great, great space. I mean, at this point I feel like everyone’s going to want to join, tell us where we can find you.

MELISSA: Absolutely. So you can find us online at the prosper Dot network. Kind of easy. And then if you want to know more about what we’re doing in our agency and between Angela and I, that’s, uh, we stand for the and com perfect.

KIMBERLY: And I’m linking all that in the show notes so it’s easy to find. Thank you for coming on and sharing everything. This was so fun to talk to you just in another setting. I love talking to you in general.

MELISSA: Agreed. Thank you so much for having me. I appreciate you so much. I love you and I’m excited for all the things that are happening in your business as well. It’s just sky’s the limit.

KIMBERLY: Yes, absolutely. For all of us. Thank you. Thank you. What an excellent conversation with Melissa, don’t you agree? I love hearing how she talks about generosity or reciprocity and expansion. And specifically I love her approach to business. It’s all people. First, from the the little notes that she would write to her students when she would give them the jewelry and the little notes that she would include with all of her product based business, to how she’s really come full circle and offered a space for other people to connect. It is a really beautiful approach to business, and I’m confident that you got a lot out of her story. I also loved how she talked about taking the ego out of business itself. She’s very much others minded, and that’s how she approaches everything that she does in business. So the fact that she was able to completely remove her ego and lean into what mattered to her, what made the most sense and what felt the most aligned for her and her business and her lifestyle is truly a testament to her character and to what she is creating. And finally, I love that she’s all relationships based. I mean, that’s how me and her came to get to know each other and to become friends, but also the fact that she is fostering a space that supports other women. She is a fantastic entrepreneur. She’s got a really powerful story, and I hope that you saw a lot of yourself within that story. I also hope that you consider coming and sitting around our virtual campfire, joining that prosper network and being a part of something that’s really, really, really outstanding. In the meantime, I’d love to hear what you got out of this episode. So if you go on to the RV Entrepreneur Facebook group and come and tag me, say hello and let me know what stood out to you, what really was a big takeaway, or what words of wisdom did Melissa speak that you really felt aligned with? Come and let us know and we would love to continue the conversation over there.

The RV Entrepreneur is presented by RV Life – Tools that Make Camping Simple

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Kimberly Crossland