Tuesday, August 8, 2023

Melanie Smith Interview - Unfinished Business

Photo Content from Melanie Smith

Melanie Smith has worked in the field of heartbreak, grief, transition, loss, change, reinvention, and all things Unfinished Business for over two decades and has helped thousands of people change their lives profoundly. She started her career as a platinum-selling international songwriter and award-winning actress, starring and co-starring in shows such as: As the World Turns, Melrose Place, Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Deep Space Nine, and The Division, to name a few. As an entrepreneur, her award-winning lifestyle, wellness, and yoga center was considered to be one of the most well-respected in the country by sources such as Vogue, Yoga Journal, Philadelphia Magazine, and others. 

Now a powerful motivational speaker, writer, and leader, Melanie has been a contributing writer for many national health and wellness magazines and holds the distinction of being an PCC-level ICF certified coach and an ICI-master-level coach. She is the proud mother of one grown son, Gideon. Born and raised in Scranton, Pennsylvania, she presently splits her time between New Hope, Pennsylvania, and Naples, Florida.


Greatest thing you learned at school.
To take thinking seriously and how to make friends.

When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill?
At summer camp from the ages 11-14. We had a season-long competition that took place each summer called SING. It consisted of 3 teams and an overarching theme. Each team had to create characters, write songs, design, and built signs and sets, and make costumes, all around the chosen theme. There was a captain and a co-captain assigned to each team by vote and the captains had to lead rehearsals, produce all aspects of the show, and ultimately present the story and lead your team in performing the songs in front of the entire camp. The first year I went to summer camp I was chosen to be the co-captain. I was driven, obsessed even. I wrote all the songs and designed the signs and sets. I even stayed up until all hours of the morning sneaking into the arts and crafts hall to make the costumes I would dream up in my head in the middle of the night. We won! I never felt more in my flow than when I was leading, creating, building, writing, and manifesting my desired outcomes. I knew then that my purpose was aligned with the act of creating stories, guiding people, inspiring success, and producing whatever needed to be manifested to bring those creations, songs, and stories to life. It’s no wonder I became an actress, writer, songwriter, singer, performer, and coach as my ultimate profession. The breadcrumbs I followed on the path to my best life started way back then.

Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of your genre?
That is such a tough question for me to answer. I’m in love with the English language and the use of it, so I read everything. Every genre, every era. It’s very difficult for me to narrow that down. I love Anne Lamott, Zora Neal Hurston, Lori Moore, Toni Morrison, Larry McMurtry, CS Lewis, Oscar Wilde, Somerset Maugham, Orwell, Uris, Fitzgerald, and Kahlil Gibran. I enjoy Malcolm Gladwell, Cal Newport, David Brooks, David Sedaris, and Nora Ephron. It’s endless! Four full walls in my home are lined with custom bookshelves, and in them, hundreds of books! I love them all because they each have a brilliant and profound way of sharing a personal world vision. I learn so much from books! I didn’t even include the writers of science, self-help, history, and philosophy in the list above. We’d be here forever, and I’d need to prepare. Let me put it this way; when I was a kid, I’d come home from school, lay on the floor, and read the Encyclopedia Britannica for hours. I still dream of getting a full set for my birthday one day! LOL

What advice would you give to someone who wanted to have a life in writing?
I’m relatively new to writing so my advice is slim. Writing is hard work and requires a lot of discipline, clarity, and focus. It’s also very difficult to reap financial rewards from it. So, you must love it. More than love it. You must have something to say, and a profound need to say it. That is what takes you to the finish line. The deep desire to share a truth and an even deeper desire to be heard so you can have a valuable and meaningful impact on others.

If you could have written one book in history, what book would that be?
Hmmmm, the Bible I suppose. It’s a goodie. Yes, I’ve read it!

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?
Everything and anything I could find.

What chapter was the most memorable to write and why?
I think the chapter on Charge. It is, for certain the longest chapter and the most critical to understand. It’s dense with valuable information on how to understand your behavior truly. It also made me revisit a lot of traumas from my own life, which felt good because I could see how much clarity and complete healing I have experienced.

Has reading a book ever changed your life? Which one and why, if yes?
Yes. For sure. However, I could not pin the changes on one.

Why is storytelling so important for all of us?
Telling stories is one of the most powerful means that people have to connect, learn, teach, and inspire. Storytelling not only forges connections among people but also webs people to ideas and a deeper understanding of themselves. Stories help us see ourselves in others and vis versa. Stories allow us to convey our history, our heart, and our values. Storytelling is the original craft that united people and our common stories become the ties that bind.

Also, stories and metaphors create a sort of leap in learning. If we can picture something and feel it, we understand it faster. Stories instill trust and open us up to more possibilities and a more powerful sense of learning because stories stick more than straight data does. They’ve studied the value of storytellers in communities and found that they were valued far more than any other members because of their ability to develop a greater sense of cooperation and enthusiasm within said community. Great stories make people feel inspired. They are carriers of hope. And quite frankly, good storytelling abilities make you more popular and more apt to survive. Nobody ever wants the funny, ebullient raconteur to leave the party, right? Great storytellers are always cherished, it’s basically a superpower. Great stories change people’s lives.

Can you tell us when you started UNFINISHED BUSINESS, how that came about?
It started as a workbook that I used for webinars beginning in 2017 but didn’t start on the book until about September or October of 2020. Then it took approximately two and a half to three years to complete. However, I started developing this IP nearly 30 years ago to deal with my own trauma and loss issues. It has evolved greatly over the years through many channels of study, practicum, and thousands of hours of one-on-one and group work that have supported its success.

What were your feelings when your first novel was accepted/when you first saw the cover of the finished product?
It felt wonderful. It’s quite an achievement to write and publish a book. No matter what the outcome. It takes a lot of courage, tenacity, and commitment. So, when you finally get it in hand, it’s like, WOW! I did this. My cover is beautiful, and SWP really worked hard with me to get it right. I’m very proud of it all, and I hope it has a true impact on the readers who can benefit from my work.

What is the first job you have had?
I was a Playboy bunny. Isn’t that funny? I was also the choreographer of several national cabaret shows for Playboy Corporation.

Best date you’ ve ever had?
The first date I ever went on with my now fiancé. It was so natural and fun. It was love at first laugh.

What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning?

What is your most memorable travel experience?
Ok, this is an amazing story. Well, to me, anyway. In 2006 I took a trip to Italy to stay at Sting (yes, that Sting) and Trudy’s (yes, that Trudy) home in Figline Valdarno. I could stop there, and that would kind of be enough, right, lol. But I’ll go on. If waking up each day and eating breakfast to the sound of Sting playing his guitar (which I think may have been his famous Ditson by Martin) in the stone stairwell of the main villa or drinking coffee with him in the treehouse on the property isn’t enough, it gets better. Sting knew that Shape of My Heart was my absolute favorite song so one evening during dinner as I sat beside Trudy chatting, I felt a foot move onto my chair and as I looked up it was Sting, guitar in hand. He proceeded to Sing my favorite song less than a foot from my face as Trudy squeezed my hand smiling. Tears poured down my cheeks. I think that takes the cake for my memorable travel experiences go. Oh, and once I rode a donkey down a mountain in Greece. You pick the winner.

What’s your most missed memory?
My memory.

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today?
My first yoga class and everyone thereafter.

Have you ever stood up for someone you hardly knew?
Yes, In a car dealership. They were clearly ripping her off, and I’m a very good car negotiator. They call me “The Hammer!” and I’m proud of it!

Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a heart break or have never loved before?
True love, for certain. And it always comes with a guarantee of heartbreak.

When you looked in the mirror first thing this morning, what was the first thing you thought?

What do you usually think about right before falling asleep?

If you had to go back in time and change one thing, if you HAD to, even if you had “no regrets” what would it be?
I would have played the role of Curley’s wife in Of Mice and Men at the Roundabout when it was offered to me, and I would have started studying and singing jazz earlier.

If you could go back in time to one point in your life, where would you go?
I’ve lost a lot of my family, so probably a family Thanksgiving where everyone was still alive, well, and joyous.

What was your favorite subject when you were in school?
Creative writing and art.

First Love?

First Heartbreak?
When I accidently killed my goldfish, Goldie. It’s in the book.

At a movie theater which arm rest is yours?

When was the last time you told someone, you loved them?
This morning.

What were you doing the last time you really had a good laugh?
Sitting on my bed with my son and fiancĂ©. They are two of the funniest people I know. That’s why I let them stick around.

If you could be born into history as any famous person, who would it be and why?
Queen Margaret or Marie Antoinette. It would have been fun to say things like “Off with his head!” or “Let them eat cake!”. Actually, I would have to say Dorothy Parker. I absolutely adore her wit and who wouldn’t want to be a member of the Algonquin Round Table? Plus, she drank martinis with aplomb.

Melanie Smith knows from experience how grief and trauma can feel complex and immovable. She used that experience to fuel her research into the issues of trauma, loss, and finding happiness, which led to the creation of Unfinished Business—an eight-step, actionable, step-by-step process that will help you uncover the story of your life from the perspective of heartbreaks, limiting beliefs, old patterns, and unconscious habits.

As you work through this process, you will examine who your models and influencers were and are, as well as the relationships in your life that remain unresolved and incomplete; and you will learn to heal the past, forgive, and overcome long-held beliefs, patterns of behavior, negative self-talk, self-judgment, overwhelm, and misalignment that have held you back from succeeding in love, relationships, business, finance, and health. Through this work, you will come to know yourself at the deepest level, experience clarity of vision, and find complete self-awareness. Grounded in a scientifically supported and solution-based methodology, Melanie’s Unfinished Business system has already transformed many people’s lives through her one-on-one and small group coaching sessions; now everyone can access it—and change their lives once and for all.

You can purchase Unfinished Business at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you MELANIE SMITH for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Unfinished Business by Melanie Smith.

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