Thrive Thursday: Mélanie Miriam Villeneuve dishes on putting life before business
Welcome to Thrive Thursday. Each week I will be featuring a conscious & creative woman who has made self care a non-negotiable part of her life, love and business. Self-care is not a perfect practice but it is necessary for a thriving life. This series spotlights women who are dedicated to #fullnessfirst because they know exhaustion & depletion are not the way forward.
I believe there is Genius in every living room across the nation. I believe there are scores of women looking for “another way” to bring their dreams to life. Women who want to live, breathe & create at a natural, elegant pace. A harmonious balance between life and work allows us to live fully, while also freeing up the time and energy so we can come together and co-create a thriving new world for all Beings.
This series illuminates the power of exquisite self care as holistic fuel for elegant & effective productivity. As we return to lifestyle practices that support the unstoppable power behind a well nourished woman, we simultaneously create a more loving & harmonious world.
Meet Mélanie Miriam Villeneuve
A geeky, cheeky & big hearted entrepreneur, I am the co-creator of Petit Pots & Co, offering a healthy menu of gluten free meals, snacks and preserves on a monthly basis. Together with business partner Tina, who is not only my business partner but also my rock, we cater to paleo eaters, vegetarians & vegans. We’re on a REAL FOOD mission. What does that mean? It means we source our produce locally, from organic farms and we encourage farmers we personally know. How awesome is that?
We believe in educating you about making better food choices. Showing you that a wholesome gluten free diet can be yummy, promised! And to solve all of that, we bring you a simple solution to fill your pantry & tummy! Heck yea! Creating an old fashioned life of gratitude in the middle of what seems like chaos. I've discovered in health & wellness a means of finding peace. Wanderer & traveler. Mover & shaker. Paleo health nut & foodie. (read: according to Tina I eat massive amounts of food).”
Are you a Budding or Established entrepreneur?
I’m an established entrepreneur in a budding business.
Are you a Mother? If so, what ages are your children?
I’m still quite young, so I haven’t yet come to the crossing in life where children are the next obvious stage. I will say however, that I am very much looking forward to having a family in the future & having that blessing of being able to nurture a new life.
Do you consider yourself to be a spiritually conscious/awakening woman?
I would definitely say so, yes. I make my way through life by sharing as much gratitude & love as I possibly can. That to me, in a sense is what spirituality is. It’s being conscious of others and giving to them as much light & love as possible & that’s what I try to do on the daily.
Starting my day with a GEBY for example is a way for me to put my light into the universe. (GEBY means: Gratitude. Exercise. Breakfast. You)
As an entrepreneur, when did you realize self-care must be written into your business plan and why?
When Tina and I were initially discussing the business and what we wanted to achieve when entering into our partnership, I believe it is her who brought up “putting life first”.
The long and short of it is that we are both women who love life, love to experience new things & love to give as much of ourselves as possible to “our people”. We are women who believe in taking care of our own and putting a lot of nurturing into our own backyard.
In order to do that, we made the conscious decision early on to take time off, put ourselves first, make time for our loved ones and so on.
Personally I find it makes coming back to our business so much more pleasant. Despite the daily grind of being a start-up, which we all know can be rather trying at times, putting life first allows us to have a great sense of peace within our business.
A woman who creates from fullness honors rhythm & ritual in her life. Can you share how you manage your business with the changing tides of your inner being – with who you are as a woman?
Being a woman, within itself is often difficult. However, when you have that sense of fullness and peace, it really allows you to “ride out the storm” when necessary and enjoy the calms in between.
I find that making a great commotion over the smallest of successes really helps pushing through the rougher times in business and in life. There are sometimes stretches of days where the grind just seems to get the best of me, and then out of nowhere a little message will come through on social media, or a friend will call and say “Hey Mel, what you’re doing is awesome”… or whatever.
Whenever something like that happens I always take the time to soak in the gratitude, truly feel the happiness, make a mental note of the accomplishment and carry that little bit of light with me on to the next obstacle.
What are your non-negotiable self-care practices that put your well-being first in life & business?
Eat. Good. Food. Simply put, I would feel like a total fraud if I ran my body on junk while telling the world to eat well. That being said, cooking and eating to me feels very ritualistic & brings me peace.
I often have some of my best ideas when I cook as it seems to put me into flow. So, it’s totally an added bonus that I get to eat like a queen as the result.
Let’s go deeper – we live in transitional times where many women are building a business & parenting while also in a spiritual awakening journey. There are times when self-care is not enough to alleviate the transitional symptoms of a woman’s soul unfolding so that it’s business “as usual.” What have you learned about yourself and building a business during transitional times, as a conscious heart centered entrepreneur?
Oh wow. That’s a big one.
One of the biggest, most life altering decisions I made in my personal life as a woman starting a business is that I decided I no longer had time for toxic people. So I cleared with them & made space in my life for happier / healthier relationships.
I’ve also learned that I am quite comfortable being by myself and working from the comforts of my living room. I am an introvert after all, no matter how shocking that is to most people who know me.
I’ve learned to recognize that I am who I am & it’s Ok to be who I am. Heck. I’m an awesome chick. There you go I said it.
Let’s be clear, I don’t say it from a place of ego, quite the contrary. Yet, alongside Tina we have a loving team as well as a wonderful support system which allows us to create waves & educate people to lead happier lives. Can anyone deny that being awesome?!
Riding the waves of a dynamic and creative life, our point of balance is constantly adjusting. What aspects of your nature tend to challenge you the most around maintaining balance in life & business, if you are not mindful?
Sleeping is definitely a struggle for me. I’m a bit of an insomniac / night owl but I love to do fitness in the early morn, which in reality doesn’t leave much time for sleep. I try my very best (and Tina totally supports me in this), to set alarms that say things like “Ok lovely, I know you like doing what you’re doing but its COMPUTER OFF time” or “Wake up lazy bum, it’s GEBY time”.
How has your life & business changes as a result of placing self-care a non-negotiable foundation?
I used to work & live a LOT from a place of reaction instead of a place of action & planning. Putting life first has allowed me to slow things down & really take the time to hone in on issues or work my way around a problem to find the perfect solution.
No one wants to lead a business from a place of “this is my umpteenth kneejerk reaction today”. That’s just no fun & it creates a lot of overwhelm.
That being said, it’s permeated into my relationships & even my relationship with myself. Putting my life first before my business and making myself just as important as anything else on the “to do” list has really shifted my life from a place of neglect & scarcity to a place of abundance.
Check out more Melanie deliciousness at www.petitpots.com