We had the good fortune of connecting with MELISSA VENABLE and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi MELISSA, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
In my younger years, I was very achievement oriented. I was always striving for something bigger and working toward some lofty goal or metric. As a result of this constant state of striving, I found myself feeling burned out, out of balance and overwhelmed–which is NOT the way that I (as a Life Coach) wanted to feel. I knew that something had to change because how could I effectively coach my clients if I, myself wasn’t living a fulfilling life? Now that I’ve matured and grown into my business, I am far less focused on “achievement” and far more focused on “alignment”. Because of this shift, I’ve found it much easier for me to ground myself in what truly matters for me and therefore; I am also better equipped to help my clients do the same. This shift from achievement to alignment doesn’t mean that I am no longer ambitious, nor does it mean that I no longer go after meaningful goals. Instead, it means that I am better able to discern which goals and ambitions truly line up with my core desires and values; and am therefore more clear on where I truly want to expend my time, energy and resources. So…for me, balance really means alignment. When we are aligned with our true purpose, we will work hard without feeling drained and pursue goals that nurture our spirits rather than deplete us of our life force. We will still achieve–but our achievements will be in harmony with all other aspects of our life and will therefore contribute to an overall feeling of balance.

What should our readers know about your business?
My business, FabYOUlous Life Coaching is all about helping my clients (primarily women) discover their unique passions & gifts and bring those aspects to life in their every day existence. My proudest moments always come when I see something “click” within my client’s psyche that helps them to flip the switch and truly begin to build & create their most FabYOUlous life. Building a successful business is never easy, but when it is a business that truly aligns with your purpose and maximizes your talents, it becomes more of a calling than a vocation. When things get difficult, I remember the reason I started (a desire to empower women to find, celebrate and capitalize on their unique purpose so as to create a truly FabYOUlous life) and that helps to serve as fuel in my tank. When I do speaking engagements, I am often introduced as the “Train Wreck Turned Trainer”. My life hasn’t always been the way it is today. In my early 30’s I felt trapped in a toxic and abusive marriage. The pain, anger, fear and hopelessness that I felt at that time manifested itself in my life as a debilitating Anorexia Nervosa diagnosis. At 82 pounds (as a woman in my 30’s) I was quite literally committing slow motion suicide by way of starvation. Thankfully, I had people around me who took note of my situation and rallied to get me the help that I so desperately needed. After years of work and a commitment to be around for my young sons, I was able to right the ship and regain my emotional and physical health. I then, began the work to become a certified and credentialed life coach, because, I wanted to use my experience of building a FabYOUlous life after hitting rock-bottom to help other women create better, more meaningful lives of their own. My message to women is always that it doesn’t matter how far you fall–it’s how high you bounce that counts.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love living in northern Colorado because it has SO much to offer. If I had a friend visiting for a week we would have such a blast. Our itinerary would include breakfast at The Silver Grill in Old Town Fort Collins, followed by a day of perusing the shops and restaurants in Old Town. Before leaving, we’d share a Mountain Pie at Beau Jo’s pizza and have a cocktail (or two) at Pour Brothers. The next day would have us up early for a hike up Horsetooth Rock. We’d take it slow so that we could enjoy the view, snap photos and breathe the fresh air. Day three would be a relaxing day of paddle boarding/floating at Horsetooth Reservoir. Day four would be spent up in Estes Park and exploring a bit of Rocky Mountain National Park. Before heading back down the canyon, we’d grab some fudge in Estes at the Sugar Shack. Day five would send us to Boulder to play around on Pearl Street. We’d also tour the Celestial Seasonings Tea Factory and stock up on our favorite teas. Day six would be a trip up the Poudre Canyon with lots of pull-offs where we’d hop into the Poudre River for a cool off. We’d grab lunch on the balcony of the Mishawaka Amphitheater (overlooking the Poudre River). After we got back down to Fort Collins, we’d grab a beer (or two…three?) at any one of the numerous breweries in town (New Belgium, FCB, Odells, Funkwerks, Gilded Goat, Zwei Bros. etc) For the final day we’d kick around in Loveland. Maybe do some axe throwing at Axe to Grind while exploring downtown. We’d also check out the sculptures at the Benson Sculpture Park and Chapungu Sculpture Park. After that, we’d head back to Fort Collins and wrap the day up with a glass of wine and charcuterie board at Taste & Savor Wine Bar.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would love to give a huge shout out to my two, young-adult sons, Walker and Creighton Evans. I always tell them that THEY are the reason behind everything I do in my life. I want to be an example of love, grace commitment, and courage to them. They are my biggest cheerleaders and self-professed “mama’s boys”, for which I am eternally grateful. They make me a better person in all of the best ways. I am so incredibly proud of the young men that they have become and am so inspired as I watch them pursue their own passions and chase their dreams.

Website: www.FabYOUlousLife.com

Instagram: @FabYOUlous_Life

Linkedin: Melissa Morris Venable

Twitter: www.twitter.com/FabYOUlousLife

Facebook: @FabYOUlousLife

Image Credits
Valerie Mosley

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