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Mel, WELL & Playing Large

What’s the gutsiest thing you ever did?

That’s what I’ve been asking my closest pals lately, with the idea that I’ll publish their most inspiring stories here.

It doesn’t have to be work-related. For example, launching my own recruiting business in a recession was terrifying, but so was living in Spain for a year when I was 17, or learning how to swim for triathlon. Had I talked myself out of those things, my life would have taken a completely different path. I’d be getting a bagel in the morning instead of going to the gym… or worse!

So let me hear from you: What brave decision changed your life? Forget about whether it’s well-researched or over-ambitious – “Your playing small does not serve the world.”

Enter Melanie Weinberger. When we last blogged about her in 2012 she had taken first place at Austin Startup Weekend and was launching FitSteady, a site that paired clients with personal trainers. In the two years since, she achieved modest success with this business model. But ultimately she concluded that it would never reach critical mass without a big investment to attract members. As she tells it:

“There was this moment of brutal honesty when I said to myself: Either I have to pivot this business in a new direction or cut it loose.”

The next day, Melanie made some cold calls to local Austin companies to gauge their interest bringing on FitSteady as a corporate wellness partner. Response was tremendous. Fit Steady evolved to become a one stop shop for coprorate wellness activities and relaunched as The team is on a mission to help millions of people live and work well.

To truly embody that mission, Melanie also launched a conference, WELL. Its purpose is to bust down antiquated notions of “corporate wellness” and explore its potential. Check it out, here.

Melanie has recruited an impressive panel of wellness authorities, as well as partners that can provide everything from nutritious meals to yoga classes to chair massage at the office. She’s raised a round of funding – among her investors is Melanie’s former agency, Launchpad Advertising.

So how about you? Have you published a cookbook or memoir, traveled the world, run across the US, learned Chinese? You can read more about Melanie’s story here. We want to hear about your own leap of faith! TellUsTellUs.

“Reckless abandon is sometimes the smartest choice you can make.” — Michael Tallon

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