Ep #188: When Women Stop Competing with Melanie Childers

It’s time to stop side-eyeing other coaches just because they’re hitting your goals and you didn’t.

Amazing things happen when women connect and cheer each other on. So why do we secretly want to tear each other down?

My business bestie, Melanie Childers, returns for a powerful conversation on why women feel compelled to compete with one another, how this competition makes day to day life so much harder, and how we’re gonna end the jealously and take over the world together, instead.

It starts with each of us.

Let’s go, women.

(And please appreciate the added commentary from Lou, my needy chihuahua.)

Melanie Childers is the Master Coach for feminist entrepreneurs who are committed to changing the world for women, helping them scale their businesses to multiple 6 & 7 figures. She helps them disrupt internalized patriarchy and hustle culture so they can build successful businesses that support themselves and their communities without burning out.


The doors to Free to Paid Coach are officially open! If you’re ready to learn the foundational concepts of confidence that get you from being a free coach to a paid coach who makes six figures and beyond, join us right now! 

What You’ll Learn:
  • The societal conditioning that leads women to compete with one another and the harmful effects of it
  • The concept of covert aggression in the workplace and how it influences interactions among women
  • Why it’s about nurturing one another and embracing our strengths to create a more supportive environment
  • How envy and jealousy can be used as powerful tools for personal growth to define future visions
Listen to the Full Episode:

Featured on the Show:
Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to episode 188 of The Confident Coaches Podcast, the one where you stop competing with each other and start elevating one another. Let’s do this.

Welcome to The Confident Coaches Podcast, a place for creating the self-confidence you need to do your best work as a life coach. If you want to bring more boldness, more resilience, and more joy to your work, this is the place for you. I’m Amy Latta, let’s dive in.

Amy: Well, hello there, Miss Melanie. How are you today?  

Melanie: Hi, how are you? Amy Latta?

Amy: We’re doing fabulously. I’m so excited that we’re talking to each other again. And for those of you listening, I am Amy Latta. I am a feminist business and marketing coach who loves talking about playing more in order to sell more of what you want to share with the world.

Melanie: Yes. And if you are new to me, my name is Melanie Childers. I’m also a feminist business coach that helps you get fully booked and then start to scale sustainably. And we are having a conversation. You are joining us. I hope you are enjoying your day. Maybe having a cup of coffee with us, having your full Stanley full of water like I do, or being double fisted like I always am. Hello. I’ll park all 12-year-old boy jokes right here.

Amy: Yep. So, we talked last January and now here we are again and because I just feel like we keep coming across more conversations that need to be had for our coach friends out there, our business friends out there who are struggling, and today we’re talking about how society has set up females to compete with one another and why it sucks and what to do about it.

Melanie: Hundred percent. Especially in your business. So, we’ll talk about this on a general cultural level. But I think it’s important for us to have the conversation about what makes women think we need to compete with each other in business as well, because I see this happen for a lot of my clients. I know you do too. And I know that you and I have seen it for each other personally. And what that creates for us is so much compare and despair, so much looking outside of ourselves and seeing what other people are doing, and automatically assuming that if they’re doing it, I can’t, if they have success, that’s not possible for me if there’s only room for one person at the top. So, we’re going to talk about all that shit.

Amy: The very people that we need to be able to lean on, are the people that we’re deciding, I can’t lean on her. We’re going for the same price. I can’t ask her to help me. We’re going after the same audience.

Melanie: We’re competing with each other and its mother fuck, what if we lifted each other up? That’s the decision you and I made together. It’s like, you know what? Some of our clients are going to overlap, but what if we decided that instead of seeing each other as competitors, we saw each other as collaborators and we helped each other help so many more people.

And what you say all the time is we’re in this to lift all the boats. Not just my boat. Not just your boat. Not just our client’s boats. All the motherfucking boats.

Amy: Yes. And it makes sense that we do this. I feel, and obviously I’ve only been exposed to mostly western culture, but this idea of pitting women against each other is something that we’re socialized with.

Melanie: Absolutely.

Amy: So, like when did you first notice competition between yourself and other women and other girls? Do you think? Like when do you remember that?

Melanie: Probably elementary school.

So, like way back. So yeah, the first time I think I really realized I was in competition with other girls was either around a boy … (surprise!), or around a spot weird on the cheerleading team because I wanted the cute boys and I wanted to be a cheerleader and I was also very shy and very reserved, and all of these other girls seemed like they had so much more going for them. I was also a pretty poor kid. And so, I didn’t have money. I wasn’t the cutest in the room. I didn’t have this big, bubbly energy.

And so, getting the things that I want meant that I had to compete with these other girls who it seemed like had all the things that I didn’t have. What about you?  

Amy: I can remember one of my earliest memories was leaving preschool to go to kindergarten, which is crazy to think that’s the first time, and I have so many instances throughout my childhood and preteen, teenage well into my twenties of just knowing that the person I was in competition with was the other females in the room. Whether it be vying for the male gaze, are we’re vying for boys’ attention if we’re vying for being seen as the smartest person in the room.

I definitely had that with gymnastics also, but I just think it’s really interesting to think back so I’m just a couple of years older than you. Nothing too crazy, but what were we watching in the seventies and eighties that had this? I think about now, I think about my, my 24-year-old daughter who watches the Bachelor every week. I’m not knocking people who enjoy reality shows. Okay. Is this not a referendum against it

Melanie: We all love our trashy reality TV. It’s fine.

Amy: I’m actually probably one of the few people I know that I don’t love it, but I know you do, and this is not a referendum against that, but they pit women against each other like literally for women.

Literally competing against one another. I think about, eighties teen movies. The first thing that came to me was Mean Girls, which is like 2000. But think about Mean Girls, and before that was Pretty in Pink.

Melanie: I was just going to say Pretty in Pink,16 Candles.

Amy: The Breakfast Club, all those movies that we grew up watching.

Melanie: Bless Molly Ringwald. Bless her heart. It’s not her fault.

Amy: I love Molly Ringwald so much. I think even she would be like, yeah, this kind of fucked up women.

Melanie: To me this is a one hundred percent patriarchal, capitalistic industrial revolution cultural framing for women that, think about—it wasn’t always that men were in charge. There were times before the before times where Egypt was matrilineal. Egypt at female rulers, and that was 5,000 years ago.

I’m so curious about what shifted. I think it’s ancient Rome, but that’s me in the History Channel. But my point is that this has been so ingrained in us that men have the power. Men have the money. And there’s only room for so many at the top. And so, women therefore have to compete for resources because and that means compete for men.

Because men have the resources. And compete for your position because there’s only so much to go around. That’s a hierarchy. There’s only so much room at the top. And so, the fundamental belief is that there’s not enough to go around. There’s not enough resources, there’s not enough money, there’s not enough status, there’s not enough position, there’s not enough expertise.

And so, this has us looking at each other and having this awareness that if I want something, I have to tear down someone else in order to get it.

Amy: And how prominent, whether it be positions of power, relationships, and the person who’s going to give it to me is a man. The person that’s going to say it’s okay for you to have, this is the men.

So, like we are set up in so many aspects of our life in the same thing. We are competing with the male gays, whether it is a romantic relationship or whether it’s the CEO spot. I know we both just watched The Succession.

Melanie: I know. I’m like thinking about Logan Roy.

Amy: Did we both just think about Matson and Logan Ro? Like we are all competing for the top spot and if more than one woman want more than one woman is competing for something, then they’re competing against each other.

Melanie: And I think like the basic fundamental belief is like even that room at the top for a woman is so often a token role, and often we get set up to fail. Have you ever heard of the glass cliff?

Amy: I just heard of this. I have a couple of weeks ago.

Melanie: I’ve heard about this too, that women will get promoted in times of crisis so that they are the ones who fail.

Yes. And get shoved off the cliff. And I’m like, I didn’t know there was a word for that. But now I see it and I’ve been seeing to me, this happens in business too, because so many of the quote unquote successful businesspeople that we follow, the experts, the gurus. What are they?

They’re white dudes. And so many of us are competing to get in the room, to get in the influence of the white gays, the white male gays. And also happening is that we structure our success to look like their success. We structure our businesses to look like their businesses. And so, we accidentally are perpetuating patriarchal, misogynistic cultures in our own businesses.

Melanie: In female run businesses. And I see this happening with, I’m not going to name names because that would be rude, but with a lot of extremely wealthy women who are having a lot of success, especially in the self-help world. And I’m like, oh, all what you did was copied. That person’s path to success and you also accidentally copied the hierarchy and the misogyny.

And the self-loathing and like the way that you treat people in your business and the competing with other women, whether you mean to or not, and I think so many of us, especially when you are either just starting out or you’re starting to scale, we think that we have to build a business that looks like what a quote unquote successful business looks like.

Amy: And so, we’re a successful business is the misogynistic, patriarchal structure that we’re also familiar with.

Melanie: Serve the way that we want to work that does not honor our value as a human, and that sets us up to compete with other women. Because there’s that underlying belief that there’s not enough to go around.

There’s only room for a few at the top. And if you want it, you got to hustle hard and scrap. And be masculine, be more male like in order to get in the room. So, you better compete with those bitches and you better tear them down if you want to climb the ladder because there’s only room for one top bitch at the top.

Amy: Yeah. Yeah. And I know we, you, something just came up. I know we hadn’t, when we talked about this episode outside of this conversation, I know we didn’t touch on this, but I feel the need to touch on this about women who sleep their way to the top. This idea of, it’s just another way that we don’t view the man who forced the woman to sleep with him to get the position.

Melanie: Hello. It’s not you, it’s the fucking system. That’s the problem.

Amy: And then you know it’s another lane and another avenue of how. Because then women who weren’t willing to do that are now judging that woman who was like, if this is the only way I’m going to get there, I guess I’m going to go ahead and go that route.

And its still women tearing down women when it’s the fucking man who put that into the position in the first place who made that a doorway to success in the first place. And it still it’s just an added layer of, it’s a more insidious, it’s a more overt and an insidious withholding of the top prize. And okay, who’s going to sleep with me for it?

Melanie: Ew. I feel like I need a shower. I know, it puts on the male gaze too, because you also got to be hot and you got to be smart, but not too smart. And you got to be willing, but not a whore. It’s this perfect trap of, what quote unquote successful womanhood looks like and success in business is supposed quote unquote, supposed to look like, and it’s just absolute bullshit. And the other side of that coin is then the women who judge what happened or that automatically assume that must be how you got there must be the only path.

Amy: As opposed to coming to her fight and defense and saying, this is screwed up. This is messed up. You shouldn’t have had to have done that. Let’s address the problem. The women are going after the women who do that, as opposed to the men who put their fellow sister in that position in the first place.

Melanie: Yeah. And that’s what the whole Me Too Movement was about. It’s like band together and bring these motherfuckers down because this is the problem, not you. The problem is the system.

Amy: Yeah. 100%. And I do for those of you that missed it, who said it really fast, because I know what you’re talking about, but I didn’t hear all of the words.

The glass, we know about the glass ceiling, but also the glass cliff. So, these are two concepts. If you aren’t familiar with, I wouldn’t go down too far down the rabbit hole because we just get super pissed off. But the idea of even when women do reach the top, it’s very hard to get there. But even when they get there, not all the time.

And we’re going to be moving more into that in this conversation. Not all the time, but a lot of time they are put into a p position of power. Yahoo has done this. JC Penny did this. There’s other major corporations must just did this. I wasn’t going to say I couldn’t remember the exact person, but you just confirmed Elon Musk just did this.

He just put a woman in charge of Twitter, right? Yeah. Yeah. Because he’s screwing up. So, he promoted a woman into the top position and now it’s her problem if, that’s her problem when it fails.

Amy: And the interesting thing is this is also, might also be being replicated. I’m going to put you in a position of power to redeem my reputation.

Like another way that women can also be doing this too, if I’m promoting my fellow sisters into the C-suite. Maybe you can help mess up the fact that I chose to run my business in a very patriarchal and hierarchal way also. Or replicating that there as, yeah. Come, fix it for me.

Melanie: Come fix this, versus wait a minute, you take some responsibility here. You created this, you got to fix it.

Amy: Yeah. There was something when we were talking about it, I thought this was a really interesting concept that you brought up, but I hadn’t heard about covert aggression. Versus, because like men do compete.

They do. Let’s be really clear. We’re not saying that men don’t compete for spots, but women are doing it differently. And you brought the covert aggression term to my attention. I had not heard about that.

Melanie: Yeah. Think about the way that men compete with each other. They do it outwardly. They will say it to your face. There’s no hiding that you are competing, whether it’s on the golf course or for the attention of a woman or whatever. Like they’re going for the most part, we’re speaking in generalities here, but for the most part, they’re going to be like in your face about it.

It’s a game. There’s some trash talk involved. Women compete very differently. We compete with covert aggression, and what that means is that we hide our competition from each other. And we tear each other down. Or we ask questions in smarmy, like sneaky ways. Like we’re presenting ourselves as abandoned sisterhood, but we’re actually like looking for chinks in the armor. But we’re actually looking for secret ways.

Amy: And it’s really funny because I don’t know if you’re familiar with the comedian, John Mulaney. He did a, I don’t remember which of his old shows this is from, but it’s from years ago.

It’s probably a 10-year-old joke because it came up before our Oceans Eight. So, before Oceans Eight ever existed, he made this joke about they could never make a woman Version of Oceans 11 because there would always be two people that would go off to talk shit about the other person and I always remember the line that he says of all the women would be all passive aggressive.

Oh, I love how you can just wear anything. And that’s, he was talking about that covert aggression. No, the backhanded compliments. The backhanded compliments.

Melanie: The sneaky takedowns.

Amy: Oh, we’re ocean. We’re an ocean. The female Oceans 11 we’re all working together for the same goal, but people are talking shit about one another behind each other’s bags but presenting.

And I was like, the fact that there was a term for this thing that is a joke in popular culture, this is how women are competing with each other, which makes it even more deceptive. It’s more I don’t know if aggressive is the right word because it’s riddled with just falsity.

Falsity. It’s not a word. I just made that word up, but it’s false. It’s false pretenses and it’s, I have your back while I’m stabbing you in the back.

Melanie: Yeah. And think about in my mind, the reason that this happens is because we’ve also been taught by the patriarchal system that we’re supposed to be nice.

We’re supposed to be polite. We’re supposed to be good girls. We’re supposed to be the nurturing, supportive ones, and so if when we have these pieces of us, we’re supposed to bury them because we’re supposed to look nice. And we’re not supposed to be ambitious.

We’re supposed to know our place and know our lane and know exactly what we deserve, which is, second class citizenhood. And of course, this is the way that we compete. This is the way that the culture has been structured and has taught us that we must compete.

Amy: And it’s so interesting that this rule that we’re supposed to be so nice to one another and be the peacemakers of one another actually has us tearing each other down even more painfully from within.

And boys not being taught that are just very clear about their intentions. And this is not to say that men aren’t harming one another with their unmanaged aggression. I don’t think we’re saying that either. We definitely have seen two men beat the shit outta each other over stupid, ridiculous stuff.

And even worse, we’re not saying that at all. I think it’s just really interesting how it has taught us to internalize our desires and to internalize what it is that we really want. A fear of saying it for fear of being judged and bringing that competition, as you said, it’s an internal competition where we think we’re being like our, the women around us think we’re being friendly, or we think they’re being friendly only to be completely shocked.

When that’s not how it turned out at all. I definitely had experienced some of this in the corporate world. Not everybody knows this, but I spent 10 years in corporate marketing and my desire to be nice definitely trumped any ambition and aggressiveness. I didn’t think I had the right to be ambitious.

So, I was never trying to compete because I didn’t think I had the right to, I just didn’t think that was available to me. I still internalized it in a way that I was always friends with women in the other departments.

Melanie: Just not your department, because then you’re not my department because we’d compete directly.

Amy: Yeah, we’re not competing directly. The women that I was ever competing directly with, and I was in my twenties. I didn’t understand any of these concepts. I’m not even sure I had an awareness of it at the time.

But the women I was making friends with that I found the easiest to be friends with, were women who weren’t competing with the same jobs that I was competing for. We weren’t competing for the same promotions. Again, even though I wasn’t that woman who was vying for the top spot, it still even affected me in a very different way of viewing the women I’m working next to as there’s only one, there’s only one promotion available, which one of us is going to get it?

Melanie: Why wasn’t it me? Who’s going to be the most ambitious? Who’s going to be willing to be risk looking ambitious? Because then here comes the criticism. And I think that really what plays into this is this difference of the locus of our confidence and the locus of our self-worth. Because for men in general, self-worth comes from within.

Confidence comes from within. It is indisputable. It is undoubtable and they’re raised that way. And for women, we are taught that our locus of confidence and self-worth relies on what other people think about us. And so, we don’t want to look too ambitious because people will have negative thoughts.

We don’t want to go after that big thing or look like we’re too big for our “britches,” because people will come after us. There will be criticism and that will be too painful. And this, I think, too, plays into why we covertly compete. We compete on the dl, we compete in pettiness, we compete in, backhanded compliments.

We compete in befriending and then stabbing in the back, and it doesn’t have to be this way. It really doesn’t. In my mind, the way that you and I operate and the way that we are helping other women in the world operate in their businesses is starting to fuck this up a little bit.

So, I would love for us to talk about how do we handle envy, jealousy, compare and despair when it comes to seeing other people succeed, other women specifically succeed? What are your thoughts on that?

Amy: I think the first step in any kind of change is, the first step is believing that there’s a problem in the first place.

I think the first step is just us really being honest with ourselves in terms of seeing, okay, I am feeling a little jealousy in this moment, and a little envy. In this moment, and I understand why, like we’ve just spoken to the why so that we can address the shame that then comes with admitting that’s what’s going on in the first place.

We’re manipulated to act this way. It makes sense if those thoughts and feelings ever come up. I still remember the first time I was coached, and I was being coached on something personally speaking, and I was having a really hard time admitting that I was jealous of another female that was in my life at the time.

And the coach was like, we’re talking about jealousy, right? No. It’s not jealous. And you’re feeling jealous doesn’t mean you are. A jealous person because we take that on. I was feeling so much shame. So, I think that’s the first step, is just really allowing us to be aware of the shame that comes when we are acting that way.

When we find ourselves having those thoughts or those feelings about that coach that got the thing that you really wanted to get and the unfairness of it all. And admitting, I’m having some feelings of envy right now. I’m having some feelings of jealousy right now and reaching out and asking for help to process those feelings.

And then I don’t know that there’s any other way than that emotion of discomfort of reaching out to a person and saying, I see you, but this is what we did. I see you; we are doing similar work; we are doing similar things; we have similar values. I see the awesome menu. Let’s have a conversation about this, or let’s start a conversation with one another.

I think at some point it’s just women really turning to other women and saying, I see you, let’s support with no ulterior motive.

Melanie: Y’all. Yes. You cannot do it from a sneaky place of, I want to learn everything that you’re doing so that I can then steal your audience.

Amy: Don’t fucking steal your audience. Of I have no ulterior motive. And I wish I could remember our exact beginning conversations. My memory is not my strong suit, but I’ve, I never felt like either one of us had an ulterior motive once we started, having side conversations, and texting one another, et cetera, of just that idea of we’re, we had so much in common.

So maybe that’s the thing is like reach across and I’m keep saying reach across the aisle. We’re not talking politics here necessarily, but, reaching across the aisle to our female friends and sharing our commonalities with one another and being willing to experience vulnerability with each other. Here’s the interesting thing. We’re actually really good at that.  

Melanie: Yay. Coaching.

Amy: And like women in general tend to like, have more empathy and compassion. Like we have been trained and raised to be the nurturer. What if we used that for one another instead of against one another?

Melanie: For each other’s success.

Amy: Yeah, for each other’s success. And instead of like, how did they do that? Call her up, send her a message and say, you do that? That’s really cool. I have a similar idea, I’ve been wanting to do, it’s that tone of difference.

Melanie: Why can’t I do that and why can’t you do that? Envy and jealousy and comparing really just means that you see something you desire. It does not make you a bad person. These are normal human emotions, right? It just means, oh, I see something that I want, and in my mind when I see another woman succeeding in a way that I deeply desire and might.

Feel a tinge of, or even a lot of envy or jealousy. What I look for is how could that be possible for me? Let me stand here and think about how that, she’s like paving the way for me. Even if they’re doing the exact same thing, they have a very similar audience. What I look for instead of, let me be jealous because I don’t have it yet.

I look at it as market proof. Oh, there’s a market for this. Awesome. Yeah, let’s fucking go.

Amy: And the other idea, and you touched on it, but it’s really landing for me right now of what is that envy and jealousy telling me that maybe I didn’t know, right? Like you just said it’s telling you what you really desire.

What if you explored that, oh, this person that I’m always comparing myself to, that I feel jealousy about if I’m not in competition with them. What are these feelings trying to tell me? What is it that they’re achieving? What does that have to tell me about me and what’s important to me? Because it might help get you more clarity about what you really want.

A hundred percent. And that’s that. That can be an area. I talk a lot about, and you, we, by the way, friends, you’re listening to two people who have ADHD and I want to publicly say thank you to Melanie Childers right here on this podcast, because she’s probably the main person who pushed me to go see a doctor, not pushed me, but you just sharing your experience about that really pushed me to go see a doctor again, how women can support one another by sharing what’s going on with themselves.

Melanie: I’m so glad that was helpful. That means a lot to me.

Amy: People were talking about it, but it was really you that was like, I think you should just go to a doctor. And I was like, all right. Melanie said, just go talk to somebody.

Melanie: Yeah.

Amy: Yeah. But as I’ve been really exploring my relatively new, in all my podcasts, my listeners are, I did a whole episode. They really know this journey over the past couple of months. One of the things that I realize is, this is an answer for why sometimes I have trouble defining everything that I want.

I’m really good at saying what I don’t want, but I have a hard time articulating what I do. So, I love this idea that who I think I’m comparing and despairing with, who I feel emotions of envy and jealousy could also be helping me see parts of that future vision, parts of that, that I’m struggling to define. That feels so much better than they have something that I can’t have.

Melanie: I think that thought is definitely not useful. Not a good one. Pick a different one. Pick a different one. Pick any different one. What really helped me break out of compare and despair, which is when you are like scrolling socials and you see someone who has what you want and you automatically assume that, oh, that means I can’t have it.

I suck. There must be something wrong with me. Everything’s terrible. That’s never going to work for me. Like it’s that trap, and my mind loves that trap, y’all. But what really helped me break free of that is starting to look for, okay, this is just proof of what’s possible for me. Yeah, this is proof.

She’s just a couple of steps ahead of me. Maybe she’s better at this those are things I can learn. So, this is proof. Thank you for paving the way. This is proof that I can follow these footsteps, or I can also get where I want to go to. And I think when we’re thinking about. How can we be both ambitious and collaborative?

Yes. At the same time, how can I go after my goals and encourage and support other women going after their goals? A lot of it is this rewiring of what we think success looks like, what we think, competition in quotes looks like, and what we think is possible for ourselves so that we can set our goals really high and be that ambitious go-getter that we are and help bring other women up with us.

We have to disengage from that competitive mindset the way that we’ve all been taught to compete with each other and start viewing other women as supportive collaborators in the process so that we really do start like doing the work to raise all the boats, but it comes from within.

Amy: It has to start and 100% has to start with us as individual women. And I think a lot about, if it’s possible there isn’t just one prize at the top for women there.

Melanie: It could be possible that there’s enough to fucking go around y’all. Just going to say it here.

Amy: It’s possible that there’s enough to go around. If it’s possible, we can, every single one of us has it in us to achieve exactly our definition of success.

And I think about being that ambitious and collaborative is then what the phrase of seats at the table of leadership. I’m like, okay, so what does it look like to just start building brand new fucking tables? Let’s redefine this idea that it is so hierarchical and redefine these rooms. We can if it’s true that the rooms aren’t set in stone and just because they’ve been a certain way for a thousand years or 2,000 years, who gives a shit? We can rebuild these rooms.

Of leadership, these rooms of entrepreneurship, and we can start right now, and it actually starts with us individually so that I can be as ambitious as I want to be. I can talk about wanting to make money and it doesn’t make me a money-grubbing whore.  

Melanie: Exactly. So that means that we have to define what we believe about money, what we believe about who has money, and who’s allowed to have money, what it means to be ambitious, what it means for women to be ambitious.

Amy: Yeah. Women being ambitious. I mean we definitely have this idea that it’s okay for men to be, but women who are ambitious because we think there’s only room for one at the top. That if a woman is ambitious, then she must think she’s better than other women. Because if she’s going for a spot that’s only reserved for one person, then who does she think?

Why does she think she gets the one spot? But if we’re going to start building brand new tables of leadership, if we’re going to start creating brand new rooms of leadership where there’s an unlimited number, then all of us can be ambitious. We can all do that. And why not?

Because the whole idea here is ambition and collaboration. If there’s an unlimited number of spots at the top, which even the word the top doesn’t even make sense because what’s successful to you might be different for me versus, I believe it or not, it’s not the man who dies with the most amount of money in the bank that wins.

Melanie: It’s the concept that there is enough money, there are enough clients, there is enough space for all of us to be successful and to help each other be successful. Here’s the thing— the more successful I am, the more success is possible for you, and the more success that you have, the more success is possible for me.

And so, when you have that attitude, what that means is that you don’t have to compete, you get to collaborate, you can collaborate because of that.

Amy: Yes. And that’s why the collaboration can go together with ambition.

Melanie: Yeah.

And that’s really why we wanted to have this conversation today because this is not just a “me and Amy work conversation.” This is a conversation that is going to be really helpful and important to have for every. Woman, non-binary human who is out there running a business, working towards big goals, and doing the work to fuck up the patriarchy in whatever way you do with your business.

Whether it’s from the structures within or from what you offer with your services. This is part of the work. It’s the way that we think about each other, the way that we think about what’s possible, the way that we’ve been trained, to think about what’s possible for us, and really starting to loosen up some of that old bullshit and start helping each other becasue it can’t just be the two of us.

We all have to reach out and connect hands and help each other grow and help each other create more and more success because again, our success is yours and yours is ours. And so, us all doing this work together is what lifts all the boats.

Amy: If you’re sitting here and you’re like, okay, so how, what does this look like in real life?

I think it starts with really working on your beliefs around, Melanie shared a bunch of them already, but first of all, working on your beliefs that it’s there is an unlimited number of resources, success, clients, and money. We are not competing for one tiny pie. There’s endless pies.

There’s limitless pies working on your belief. That right there, and this I think might be one of the hardest things because even men buy into this. This is definitely ingrained throughout society that the only position that matters is number one. Anything less than that.

Melanie: If you’re not a winner, you’re a loser.

Amy: If you’re not a winner, you’re a loser. We’ve heard this every which way possible that is actually, I think, one of the hardest beliefs to shift. And I love always just introducing, it’s possible that’s not true. It’s possible that there’s an unlimited amount of resources. Working on your thinking there and then working on your thoughts around how, your thoughts around being a woman who has ambition.

What do you want to believe about yourself as a woman who has ambition to succeed as a coach, to make money, to have money to what you make that mean about you? Because that is, I really feel that if I actually find the unlimited spots easier. My money upbringing was a nefarious thing, but definitely money wasn’t for the people in my family.

I have to continue to do a lot of that work myself. But just really viewing myself as an ambitious woman and this being one. How is this helpful to the world? That you’re an ambitious woman, how does this serve the world that you have ambition. How is you having ambition, enriching other people, and enriching the world, enriching your family, and frankly, changing this fucking culture?

Melanie: At the end of the day, yes. How is you being ambitious and going after your dreams no matter what anybody else has to say? Fucking up the patriarchy.

Amy: How is it rewriting this for the generations that are going to come after this?

Melanie: because listen, little girls, little humans can’t see or dream until they see it. They cannot picture themselves and go after big goals until they see representation of someone else like you doing it.

Amy: And we know this. We have seen the stories, heard the stories of seeing so-and-so on the screen. Winning this thing is the first time I realized I could do it too.

There’s so many stories like that. Your ability to change your belief about being a powerful, empowered, ambitious woman in this world, how it lifts all ships, and also giving those younger generations an example that they may not currently be seeing.

Melanie: And I want to speak too about once you get to that place where you are successful, where you have power. Whatever that looks like, and whatever that means to you. Think about what you do with that. I was talking to my husband earlier today, and he works in higher ed, and one of the big problems in higher ed is like power hoarding. It’s like when somebody gets into a position of power or they feel like they have some sort of control over a little area, they hold onto it until literally until they die.

So that means that there’s no redundancy for one specific area of work. And all of that is coming from a scarcity mindset. And it’s not just higher ed, it’s corporate, it’s big structures. It’s this coming from this belief again that there’s not enough to go around. And that, that your, what you have is fragile and can be taken from you, which makes you very like greedy for it.

And so, when you think about, okay, how do I want to show up when I am in this position of success of whatever power looks like to you, how am I going to be generous with that? How am I going to help lift other people up? Instead of hoarding because I’m coming from this belief that there’s not enough to go around or that something can be taken from me.

Amy: This idea of power hoarders, again, another thing that we just see replicated over and over again in popular culture and in of businesses out in the world.

Once we achieve the power, no way in hell can I give it up. I love visiting myself in the future in these positions when I’ve achieved world domination, along with all the other women in the world because world domination.

Like how do I want to feel in that space? I love coming at these things as so many times from feelings. I think you touched on generous, open generosity love, compassion excitement for actually something, something just happened today where I had a client who is in my beginning program, which is all been becoming like a brand-new coach, so these are brand new coaches.

She’s really been struggling with her messaging, and she came up with an idea that I’ve never heard before, and I get so excited. I’m like, look I want to help her nurture that and foster that. And like, how can I help you create that? So, I even think about that of that’s the kind of energy that I want to bring.

Being a woman in a position of power of some kind that other people know that they can come to me with those ideas and I’m not going to steal them from them. I’m going to have excitement on behalf of them.

Melanie: I love that you said that. I just had a client on the Mastermind who is having an incredible week, and I keep thinking about how excited I am for her and how like the future she’s going to have and like, how do I help her get the resources?

How do I help her be more successful? So, I sent her links to this like stage talk that she can pitch to. I’m like, this is your people. This is exactly who you want. It was like the thinking behind it is, I want you to succeed. Your success does not take anything from me.  

Amy: That is the attitude that you bring. I’m not going to lose my power if you also become successful with me.

Melanie: It is about sharing; it is about believing that there is enough of that as well to go around. There’s enough room on the stage, there’s enough room in the room, there’s enough room at the table for us all to succeed.

That you don’t need to be afraid that someone could take something from you. And here’s the thing— there will always be people who are takers and that’s okay. This attitude though, is what is going to help you create a generous and generative business that helps other people succeed as well. And in my mind, this is our work as coaches, as successful women as business leaders, industry leaders.

We have been doing it, but we’re having this conversation to help other women reframe what it means to be successful, what it means to be collaborative, what it means to lift up other women and help them succeed.

This is what it is. Help them succeed. Don’t see their success as something you should do or something that is a threat to you. I have seen in a lot of places where one client starts to get successful and starts to like really to run for a goal that maybe her mentor has, and her mentor won’t do the work to shut her down.

And I don’t think it’s intentional, but I do think it’s coming from this place of there’s only enough to go around. I’m at the top of the heap. I’m the one who’s the expert here. Don’t you dare go faster than me. And so, something that I have always said with all of my clients is, go run.

I want you to be successful. Show us how it’s fucking done.

Amy: You bring up such a great point that is, I don’t know if it’s specific to the coaching industry, but from like a mentor/mentee, this idea of, you and I are both business coaches and the idea that like, I might create coaches who are going to surpass me, and the excitement of that.

I want that suppose the idea of what happens when the mentee surpasses the mentor. Celebration, please.

Melanie: Awesome. Hey, you want to teach a class on it?

Amy: Yeah. I feel like I’ve seen that plot in the movie somehow of that the mentee surpasses the thing and then, oh no, the student becomes the master.

Melanie: The student becomes the master.

Amy: And then something, the old master’s no, that’s awful. Is that like the plot of a Star is Born or something like that? It’s kind of an idea of he brings us on, and she ends up surpassing him and then it’s awful. And I’m like, what if we wrote the script? I’m like, what if that’s an amazing thing.

Melanie: Yeah. What if we celebrate that instead of feeling like we need to tear that person down or stop them from being more successful than us?

Amy: Or put roadblocks in their way so that they don’t surpass our success. Because again, it still comes back to where we started this conversation. And also, what success means to a certain person. That women in positions of power, like that’s not a finite definition, because a woman in a position of power can mean how, however she feels empowered and she has achieved what she has wanted to achieve, that you don’t, if you want to continue to achieve more, you can.

And also, you are just as ambitious if you land in a certain spot and you’re like, this is fantastic, that we’re change, that we’re just rewriting the definitions of what these things even mean and we’re removing the judgment of ourselves and of one another.

Melanie: I was talking to a friend the other day who runs a 20 million business, and she was saying you have to define what success looks like for you because thinking that this is better than where you are right. Is a fallacy. It’s just bullshit. It’s just different. And there are, we need to be celebrating 100k business earners, the 50k business earners. And if that is where they want to land, amazing. That is enough, because once you scale, that’s a whole different proposition.

You are not just the person delivering your stuff now you’re running a company. You stepped outside that and maybe everybody initial role and maybe not exactly. Maybe not everybody wants that. And that’s okay too. Like you get to land wherever the hell you want to be, whether it’s multiple six figures … 100k a year, 50k a year, 10 million a year. It doesn’t matter. You get to decide what that looks like and you get to decide the kind of business and the kind of company that you want to run. And if you decide, actually, I don’t really want to go that big. I’m cool. Exactly where I am halle-fucking-luiah, praise to you. That is amazing.

Amy: Is it possible you’re still a woman in power, in a position of power?

Melanie: It’s possible. You’re still successful.

Amy: Is it possible you’re still successful. One of the prime goals of the My Mastermind is creating an income that elevates your life right now and how powerful that is.

If you want to move on, if you want to scale, amazing. And also, what enriches your life right now. And I think those things are so overlooked. Because I do believe it’s tied to that idea of the most important person is the person that’s at the top who’s earned the most.

Melanie: Yeah. That’s the only person who’s successful. Like that’s the belief is the person with the most money is the most successful and it’s just, yeah. It’s just not true. You get to decide exactly what kind of business you want to run, exactly how much money you want to make, and you can stop anywhere you want and still consider it a success. You get to decide.

That to me is so fucking empowering. I could stay exactly where I am and be very happy, but I actually am a really ambitious bitch. So …

Amy: Shocker.

Melanie: Who knew? If you had asked me 10 years ago if I was ambitious, I’d be like, hell no. Just leave me alone. And now I’m like, oh, actually that was just the worn out, exhausted, I had some fucked-up thoughts about what that meant about me. I know. I’m an ambitious bitch. I want a million-dollar business. I want a $2 million company. Not for the money, but for the people whose lives I’m going to change. I feel like I have so many humans who I haven’t even met yet, whose lives I’m meant to change.

And so, I’m like, I’m not just going to stay here because it’s comfortable, it’s great. I could, but then what I’m leaving on the table is the impact and the ripple effect of helping those other entrepreneurs grow and have the business that they want and have the impact that they want. And it’s not about me at the end of the day.

Amy: And also, if you are creating an income that elevates your life right now, the people you are impacting is enough. In other words, never use any of these stories around ambition, competition, success, and power against yourself from the point of, I’m actually okay here and I like this here.

I always joke, they don’t give awards for the person who’s making 5,000 extra dollars a month that makes their life and their family life just so much easier right now. And those aren’t awards that are being given out, but that business is still just as important if that’s what you want.

Melanie: They’re still worthy and it’s our job to celebrate those things. Whether it’s for yourself or for your clients. It’s your job to celebrate those things.

Amy: So good.

Melanie: This has been such an awesome conversation. I hope that everybody listening has gotten a couple of gold nuggets out of it because it’s been a good one.

Amy: It is. And I don’t know if anybody noticed, we’re very passionate about this topic.

But I think it’s just so important, to remember. Of course, we think this way. We don’t have to be shameful about it. It makes sense. It’s been written into our culture for forever and we can see it in real life. We can see it in our media. It’s ingrained in us and us sometimes, we’re not even sure where, and if we want to make the shift, we just want to start looking for those thoughts that we’re having, those feelings that we’re having, and introduce the possibility that something else could be true and something else could be different.

Melanie: I love that you said that because to me, this is an incredible opportunity. Like we’re at a place in our culture where we have coaching, we have tools that we can use intentionally to rewire our brains, to change our thoughts. And just change who we are so that we can deprogram this cultural programming for ourselves and help other people. Like what a fucking time to be alive. What a gift.

Amy: I have this conversation with so many people. That I feel like one of the reasons we feel so much strife in our world in 2023, which is when this podcast is being recorded, is because we are fucking up the systems. We’re fucking up the symptoms.

Symptoms, the system one person at a time, every time, and we know this on an individual level, right before the big shift is when all the drama happens. I really do believe we have a collective up-leveling right here. And conversations like this are part of that. If I start changing my thoughts around this and it expands off of my circle of people and the ripple effect that comes out of just me, Amy, and you’re doing it, Melanie, and all of our listeners in both of these podcasts do it and those ripple effects go off.

And the other people who are out there right now having this conversation, and Melanie and I don’t even know who the hell they are, but they’re having these conversations. We should put a panel together. Let’s go tell the world. There is an energetic shift happening right now.

What a time to be alive. I think this is a very exciting time to be alive because we are witnessing this shift and it starts with our belief that we can shift inside of us.

Melanie: A hundred percent. Oh, thank you so much. I know for being here, for having me.

Amy: We both just got really gushy with each other on camera.

Melanie: Like full body chills. Thank you for being here. This has been such a powerful conversation. Tell us where to find you so that my audience knows out on the wild internet streets.

Amy: This is being broadcast on The Confident Coaches Podcast and I am on social media at @iamamylatta.

You can find me on Instagram, TikTok. All of my podcast is also just started a YouTube channel. So, if you’re a YouTube kind of person, you can find all my podcast episodes there. But probably Instagram, TikTok are probably the best places to find me at @iamamylatta and Miss Melanie, where can my people find you?

Melanie: So, this is airing also on The Bad Bitch Entrepreneur Podcast. Go follow me over there if you don’t already. And you can find me out in the wild internet www.melaniechilders.com I am on Instagram @melaniechilderscoaching, but I’m having way more fun over on TikTok @themelaniechilders, so come hang out with me. Come play. I would love to meet you.

Amy: All right, my friends and I always say until next week, I can’t wait to see what everybody is creating in this world. And Melanie, I can’t wait till we decide what we’re going to talk about on the next collaboration podcast.

Melanie: I know it’s going to be a good one. Y’all stay tuned. Have a good week y’all.

Amy: Bye.

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Thanks so much for listening to The Confident Coaches Podcast. I invite you to learn more. Come visit me at amylatta.com and until next week, let’s go do epic stuff.

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