Melody Herman – Pop Benefits
What is your company?
A unique blend of guiding, counseling, and educating entrepreneurs, in actual ways to feel good and operate from a place of strength, clarity, and creativity no matter what’s happening in life or business, and in the protection of what matters most by providing an array of insurance plans that protect their businesses, families, income, and teams in the event of the unexpected.
Tell us why you do what you do in 1 sentence.
It goes deep; it’s very obvious to me that I’m on this planet to elevate others and bring humor into life, business, & topics that may not necessarily be thought of as humorous…the fun part is that once I finally identified with and understood this, I could take the opportunity to create and mold a business with that as the core.
Why is the Asheville Startup Scene such a passion of yours?
When I moved here 4 years ago I didn’t know anyone; both personally and professionally I was starting from scratch. The startup/entrepreneurial space was the first place I felt a connection, so I kept showing up. The relationships and support network I cultivated, ultimately at a time when I had nothing, gave me everything…so it only makes sense to put love and energy back into that source.
What are 3 valuable lessons about business would you hope to pass onto young women considering becoming an entrepreneur?
Seek self-mastery. You must know yourself, what your habits are, what your edges and self-perceived limitations are…Where do you usually want to call it quits? When do you start to feel overwhelmed? What areas are you more confident in than others? What are your unique gifts? When do you try to self-sabotage? When do you need to take a step back, rest, or review? When do you need to push yourself? Etc. Once you really start to develop a relationship with your own behaviors, patterns, and needs you can maneuver through challenges more seamlessly, take better care of yourself, and 100% have more humor about the whole thing.
Trust yourself and your own intuition – this may be something you have to work on and develop, but women’s intuition is an innate gift. While advice and guidance from trusted mentors or advisors should certainly be taken into consideration, you must know that you always “know,” and the moment you can take ownership of that and access your ability to tap into what’s beneath the noise of your mind (and other outside sources), you’ll be way ahead of the game.
You must have patience. Success doesn’t happen overnight. Are you prepared to keep working at the thing for 10 years or more if that’s how long it takes? Do you have the mental and personal flexibility to make shifts as you go? Entrepreneurship is a long game; it takes grit and staying power and not everyone is cut out for it. If you’re patient, if you’re taking some form of aligned action every day, and if you stay focused on the overall vision as opposed to getting caught up in comparison to where others are in their journey or how long things are taking, then you will have victory no matter what the outcome is.
How are you a revolutionary?
I am me and no else is like me, just like no one else is like you. We are all revolutionary in our own ways…
By having deep love and reverence for who we REALLY ARE, not what society or outside forces tell us we are, and leading and creating from that place, is revolutionary.
Having a really strong sense of self and ability to see things from multiple perspectives in a time where there’s an abundance of “group think,” is revolutionary.
Encouraging, guiding, and teaching others the tools of how to embody those same things so we have more sovereign and happy humans on the planet, is revolutionary.
You are extremely active in supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem, like serving as an organizer for Hatch This, what about this work is so inspiring for you?
Aside from the fact that it’s fun, it’s an honor to participate in the growth of this ecosystem and watch how things are unfolding towards the future. I feel so fortunate that I get to collaborate with others that genuinely want to not only see the success for others but to draw from their own pool of knowledge and resources to help them get there. We all know that it takes a lot of courage to be an entrepreneur – surrounding myself with courageous and creative people on the day to day is not only inspiring but ultimately helps me to feel more courageous and creative.
Emily transforms communities through entrepreneurship and innovation. She is a Branding Specialist and Growth Strategist who specializes in building the framework, platforms, and partnerships needed to be impactful in today’s challenging economy. Currently serving as the Executive Director of the Hatch AVL Foundation, a non-profit foundation supporting high-growth startups of WNC through incubation, regional programming, and events.