Mel Stanley

Founder and Chief Evangelist

My own company FirstWoman which I started in 2019

I coach other ambitious women in the art of Personal Branding, which is essentially how to make others aware of their all round brilliance.

Helping women to advance their careers, be more joyful in their jobs, find meaning and purpose in what they do and become more confident in who they are and what they stand for makes it all worthwhile.

I don't have a typical day, I gave up the 9-7. I work Monday - Thursday between 11 and 6. During the day, I spend time building the business on LinkedIn, hosting training sessions, and private coaching. There is plenty of variety, especially as I'm building an online course which is taking up quite a lot of time and headspace.

I always wanted to be in PR or Journalism, as Engish was my favourite subject and, as is often the case when you enjoy something, I was good at it. I did my degree in Business Studies and Marketing and took an internship in PR. My first grown-up job was at Which? magazine. After that, I switched to advertising Agencies and stayed in that environment for 20 plus years. Over the duration of my career, I've been freelance, part-time, full time, all in pursuit of freedom and flexibility. My final role culminated at the end of a 10 year plan to walk away from full-time employment and do something more meaningful. FirstWoman allows me to combine my passion and fervour for equality with my core professional expertise, so it's a good balance.

My ambition for FirstWoman is to create a model similar to Google #Iamremarkable. I want to give as many women as possible access to the content because that means more women have the opportunity to lead, which is what is needed to shift the gender balance. It's a way off but the online course is the door-opener for democratising the training.

I ride horses. Horses are my grand passion and have been since I was a child. I owned, bred and competed horses for many years. Nowadays, Freddie and I mooch about the forest and play at dressage.

"Face the fear and do it anyway." It's the title of a book written by Susan Jeffries, with a twist. She talks about feeling the fear I find 'facing' it is much more active. Fear can stop us from doing so many things, but it is also 99% in our heads. Believe you can do anything because you can!