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Life and Work with Melanie Williams

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melanie Williams.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Melanie. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
So, Beauty in The Rough Draft started with a frustration that I was dealing with in my own life. After dealing with the aftermath of poor choices in college, battling post-grad depression, & dealing with disappointment after disappointment, I really wanted to just give up. I had come to the conclusion that it just wasn’t going to work out for me & I would never “catch up” to everyone else. It wasn’t that I didn’t have the ambition, I just couldn’t seem to get it together long enough to actually make it happen. I wanted to do big things in life, but I felt weighed down by my past mistakes. I wanted to have a dream career/business and make a big impact, but I didn’t have the connections and resources I felt I needed to make that happen.

After coming to the end of myself, I realized that I needed help. So, I began to develop a relationship with God and sought out help from family and friends who could see that I had given up. I went on this journey of healing from my past and searching to find the purpose behind all the challenges and lessons learned. And, honestly, I’m still on that journey, figuring it out as I go. But, what I do know now is that my circumstances and mistakes, past or present, do not have to define my future for the worst. Instead, I believe that God makes it all work together for good. Life is a journey… you never arrive. Fast forward a few years later now, my life looks completely different. I’ve had many successes from building a successful dream career path to starting my own blog and personal business with many more projects to come. But beyond my successes, I’m learning how to love myself and others. I’m learning to embrace my uniqueness and my story. And, I believe that it’s my purpose on this Earth to help other young women do the same.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It definitely hasn’t been a smooth road. I’ve learned to stop expecting for it to go perfectly as planned.
I’ve struggled with overwhelming myself as a result of trying to play “catch up.” Just last year, I was working full-time, in grad school full time, doing Beauty in The Rough Draft, starting my own personal business, and still trying to maintain a social life. Although, I was able to make it out of “the fire, I was burnt out, overwhelmed, impatient and inconsistent. I also didn’t have a lot to work with. I was barely making ends meet financially, so I didn’t have a lot of money to invest in my dreams. I didn’t have a team. I didn’t have all the resources the coaches out there said I needed to be successful. So, I had to improvise.

What I would suggest for other women to do is to give yourself some grace. Give your best effort, set clear priorities, get creative, but also learn to be okay if it isn’t perfect. Even with my blog, I considered stopping it altogether because it didn’t have a large following, and I felt like no one cared. But, whenever I went to take the site down, I would always get a text, a DM, a comment about how much my blog encouraged them. And I had to learn that even if it was only making a difference in one person’s life, then it was worth the effort.

In this world where everyone has a platform, and some women may feel behind, just use what you have. You may not have all the connections, but try to find at least one other like-minded person you can bounce ideas off of. You may not be able to afford a life coach or brand consultant, but let Google & Pinterest be your best friends. Do your research. & Be consistent even if it’s only small in the beginning.

Please tell us about Beauty in The Rough Draft.
The Rough Draft helps women find their purpose, make the most out of their everyday life, and gain the resources they need to live a life of excellence. Our topics cover anywhere from how to make the most out of your daily budget or your 9-5, to how to overcome shame and regret and develop a relationship with God to launch your vision. We also offer testimonials of other women who have overcome different struggles to live a life of purpose. What I am most proud of with The Rough Draft and what I believe makes it most unique is that we combine empowerment with practical. It is our vision for The Rough Draft not to just encourage you to overcome but actually show you HOW and provide resources to help you make it happen. We offer various personal and professional development services with products on the way! What sets us apart is that we are not trying to sell a dream of how to live a life of perfection. Rather, we are teaching women how to embrace the season they’re in and be encouraged that every part of their life, both good and bad, serve a greater purpose. We cater to the underdogs that may not have it all together, that have made mistakes along the way, and we encourage and equip them to become all that God has called them to be.

Do you think there are structural or other barriers impeding the emergence of more female leaders?
Well, aside from my blog and business, I also work full-time in healthcare & project management. Fortunately, in my field, there is a heavy female presence. However, I often see the lack of representation for younger women and minority women. I feel that many times younger women don’t always get a chance to be in leadership because of the assumption that “wisdom comes with age”. While I think there is some truth to that, I would love to see younger women be able to use their creativity and innovation to actually help make critical decisions in any industry. Likewise with minority women. I feel that since this country is filled with diverse backgrounds and personalities of all kind, everyone should be able to have a seat at the table and equally lead us all into a better tomorrow. I think also that women should be able to be assertive like their male counterparts without being judged or looked down on. So many times in meetings, when women speak up and voice their opinion, they’re seen as bitter or angry. But, if it were the other way around, it would be considered a passion. I want us as women to not only have an equal presence but also have an equal voice.

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