Where would you be if you listened to … them?

I know it may be hard to believe, because obviously, I am the coolest and most delightful human being ever to grace the surface of the earth (ha … snarf!) but I went through youth known as a loser, a geek and a weirdo. In high school? I was tormented by slut-shaming. In fact, I was called a “slut” so often over those miserable 4 years that I couldn’t imagine following any other path than “professional slut.” If people say it enough, it must be true … right? But I didn’t follow that path. Instead, I went to college hoping to start over with a brand-new identity — only to have my “highly respected” PR professor condemn me as an idiot and tell me to “shut my stupid mouth” in front of my entire senior seminar class. High school name-calling, all over again. Then, during my first internship, I was … Read more …

Do you REALLY want a 7-figure business? (Here’s why I don’t…)

When I started my business, I fantasized (as so many of us do) about the mystique … the allure … the promise of a “7-figure business.” And by “7-figure business,” I mean – bringing in 7-figures per year. It was written on my vision board in pink sparkly pen with little bubbles that talked about all the ways I would get to my precious 7-figures. “Have you met Melissa Cassera? She’s a MILLIONAIRE.” I could hear the introductions + see the business cards, already. Soon, I got hired to do PR work for a 7-figure/year business owner … and quickly saw that the reality of running that kind of business does NOT match the fantasy. Long, boring spreadsheets fill with jargon like “target growth revenues.” Action plan documents uploaded into complicated file sharing systems. Living in constant “launch mode.” Customer service with furious people — people who don’t know you, … Read more …

Business Plan? Snore. What’s your Happy Plan?

I recently journeyed to Sweden with a friend to visit my homeland — I’m ½ Swedish and ½ Italian: a real-life Swedish meatball! — and savor a much-needed internet-detox. As Alex and I sat down to enjoy a flight of Swedish craft beers and a cheese plate that could feed the Targaryen army, we started talking about our dreams + ambitions for 2015. When it was my turn to share, I shrugged and popped a piece of crisp-on-the-edges, perfectly-melty baked goat cheese into my mouth. “I don’t know. I’ve been going through a rough time and I’m feeling a little blah. Like I can’t even see the future right now.” Later that night, refreshed from our beautiful meal, blissed out from a gorgeous walk on the cobblestone streets, and buzzing from the 11pm cappuccino and sugar cookie that I scarfed just before bedtime, I blurted out: “You know what? I … Read more …

Ideas are bullshit. Finishing is sexy.

“I have a confession,” my friend half-whispered. “There’s something I’ve been hearing from lots of clients, lately, and it’s driving me crazy.” My friend is a successful consultant, like me. She almost never complains about anything, ever, so I was immediately intrigued. Hot entrepreneur gossip, coming down the pipe! “OMG. WHAT?! Tell me!” I said, nearly spilling my iced latte down my shirt with excitement. “Well…” she said. “It’s when people say things like, ‘I’m an idea generator! That’s what I do best. I’m amazing at generating ideas. But I’m just not an ‘implementer.’ I only get fired up about the beginning of a project. That’s my true ‘zone of genius’…” I almost snorted through my icy straw. “Dude … I am literally writing a blog post about THAT EXACT THING, right now.” “Thank god,” she said. “Someone needs to say it.” Here’s a big, fat reality check: EVERYBODY is … Read more …