Career Safari Blog
#MelsTransformation - Corporate to Crystals
Updated: Jun 22, 2021
Torchbearer: Mels. San Diego, California. Puerto Rican.
“My purpose or mission is being a better version of who I was yesterday,” says Mels, who has over a decade of experience assisting CEOs and executives, but didn’t let her expertise stop there. Her passion and desire to grow has given her the bravery to take on ventures she never imagined.
This is her journey in her own words...
I wasn't really sure what I wanted.
Before I went to a four-year college, I went to community college. I thought I wanted to be early education teacher because when I graduated high school that's what everyone was doing! Somehow I got into Intro to Journalism – started writing for the school paper and helping with public relations for the school’s magazine; helped plan events. That's when I was like, oh I like this a lot! From there I got involved with anything that gave me the opportunity to help coordinate events.
When I graduated, it was a difficult time to find a role in event planning. So I started as a receptionist and a front office coordinator at a tech company. Afterwards I was an executive assistant in different industries like life science, nonprofits and construction management. All were very different, but I enjoyed my time. In every role I was able to learn and grow.
Now that I look back, even though I still love event planning, I think that was my passion at that moment, which is fine because we outgrow things.
After listening to angry and toxic personal and professional stories, my energy was drained.
I remember I worked at this job and the environment was toxic because of the people I was around. The women I worked with were good people, but they spoke negatively! It really drained me to the point that during my 45-minute commute home, I would cry. I knew I needed to change my environment, so I started reading “The Secret.”
I started manifesting this new role. I remember putting a piece of paper together of everything I wanted and gluing or taping it to this little piece of paper, and I would carry it around with me. Then I interviewed for the job at a construction management firm and within a couple of weeks I had the role. The company was seven minutes away from my home. It was just a great overall advancement for me. From there, I really started to work on me and work on my personal development – That's where reading all those self-help books came into place.
You have to be open to communicating, being transparent and setting boundaries.
I was at the construction company for three years and I was managing two vice presidents of the company, which was pretty interesting. They were in two different departments, with two different personalities. I did everything from managing their calendars to planning events and helping out with project management.
One of my bosses was challenging – I just didn't know how to communicate or how to understand why he communicated with me the way he did.
I'll be totally transparent, within the first week or so I was ready to leave the job; just because of how he spoke to me.
At the time, I was leading with my ego and didn’t think that job was for me, but after reading “Emotional Intelligence 2.0”, I learned how to navigate and communicate with that boss.
What helped was setting boundaries, open communication and taking emotions out of the situation. I went from crying saying, “oh my God, I can’t do this” to “what could I have done differently so he wouldn’t react in a certain way.” It’s not that you should walk on eggshells but you are working with different personalities. Even years later I am still working on this.
I needed that independence
I was always taught to work hard. I was also taught to stay at a job if you have a good retirement plan and if they're paying you well. Yes, I had all of that with bonuses, but I wasn’t fulfilled. That life wasn’t fueling my fire.
I wanted to get into marketing because of my background. So, in 2017 I started my own business. I first started off doing virtual assisting on the side. Then I thought about what it is I can do to develop myself personally and professionally. At that time there were a lot of social media managers – that was the thing. I decided to go down that route – I provided social media management to small business owners and entrepreneurs. It was a lot of self-teaching, for example I learned how to use Canva. I took any online course I could, just to brush up on my old skills and learn new ones.
During this time, I also wanted a sense of independence. My parents lived 10 minutes away from me. My dad would cook and bring me food. Although I miss his cooking, I needed that independence. So me, my partner and our dog, Prince (that recently passed away), decided to move across the country.
Rest in Heaven, Prince...
I’m changing cities while I’m changing my career focus.
It was a risk moving out to San Diego without a secured job. I tried looking before I moved, but it took about a month and a half after I arrived to find a new role.
At this point in my career, most of my experience was in administrative work – I’m changing cities while I’m changing my career focus to marketing. I didn't have direct professional experience. All my new marketing experience was more independent. I got lucky because the person who I eventually replaced was an entrepreneur herself. She's now a full-time nutritional coach and she's from the East coast as well.
I felt like the universe was saying, “here's someone who is the same age as you and can really understand what you're going through and sees potential in you.”
She told me that my resume looks great and I have a diverse background and I was hired – in a new city and in a new type of role.
I love crystals and energy healing.
I started a business making crystal necklaces called Universoul Crystals. I started it because it felt natural to me. For me, crystal healing has helped me with whatever situation I'm going through. I look up their properties, energies and how they look. I just think they're just so unique. It was important for me to become a Certified Crystal Healer (CCH) and I recently finished my training.
In April, I had my first Instagram Live Sale. I set up a table. I brought people on that are in the health, wellness and holistic space. I was a little nervous at first but I just love connecting with people from all over the world.
If it resonates with you or you feel called to purchase one, research them. You can also buy a book called the “Crystal Bible” that I always recommend. It will tell you where the crystals are from, where you can find them, the colors, the properties, how to wear them and where to position them on your body.
I know there's some people that don't believe in it and that’s okay! But I believe in the universe and that crystals are very much connected to us.
In my life, I feel most successful when I am working on Universoul Crystals.
I hired a coach to put a business plan together. I waited some time before I finally committed to going through with this. I wanted to make sure that before I invested all this time and money, that it is something that I really want. And I enjoy it – I can talk about crystals for hours! I get excited when someone else pulls crystals from their purse!
For anyone thinking about starting a business, here is my advice: It might cost a lot at that moment. The money you might spend on wine, going out to eat or Starbucks, is money that can possibly go towards driving your passion or project forward.
I'm so happy I invested in the coach because now I have a clear vision on where this business could go.
If it's toxic, get the heck out of there!
Take time to really figure out if whatever career or role you're going into is something that YOU want to do. Don’t do it because someone else is telling you. I know sometimes there’s a lot of pressure around us regarding who we should be and what our titles are. Just remember that doesn't define who you are.
It's also okay to change. If it doesn't make you happy, don't be afraid to change, especially regarding your career. In the Latin or Hispanic culture, things like that can be frowned upon. We’re often told that if you have a job stay there. But, no! Don’t stay if it doesn't serve you. If it's toxic, get the heck out of there!
Enjoyed Mel's journey? Then let us know! Here are other inspiring moments you can enjoy.
Catch: Mel's book recommendation
Read: "Freedom" - You need to have a backup plan. If I give all my energy to my job and I leave out my business, there’s no telling what that job can do to me.