Meet Melissa Potter Forde: As the CEO of Think Big, Think You!, Forde focuses on personal and career success through bespoke workshops to help her clients understand, and leverage their personal brand. From PR to philanthropy, media training and speaking engagements, MPF is the real MVP who also happens to be my mentor and dear friend.
Define what womanhood means to you:
MPF: Womanhood is an extraordinary journey that over half the population is blessed to experience! Womanhood means passion, power, and possibility. We are the creators, the spirit and the brilliance that shines around the world.
Networking is your bread and butter and the core of your business, Think Big, Think You! What are some ways folks can refresh this "old practice", and what things about networking do you think need to be retired?
MPF: Networking is dead. Now, of course we'll all still use the verbiage to describe the act of meeting others for the benefit of our success but networking in practice works one way. I prefer Connecting! Connectors find value in not only receiving information but by being of value to others. Connectors showcase their intrinsic value through paying it forward to help others, which allows them to see the skills, asset or community they possess. Connecting becomes pleasurable and meaningful for both parties.
- KEEP - The business cards and to that, add a social media presence and personal website.
- DITCH - The coffee ask. Too time consuming, too expected. Research the individual you'd like to connect with. Does their LinkedIn mention that they are a part of NY Road Runners? Ask them to meet for a 30 minute lunchtime walk and chat. Do they have a passion for R&B? Send them a gift card to SOBs with a note to ask for a meeting. People will make time for those who put in the time and effort!
"Don't dim your light. Often we will be told that we are too bold, too outspoken, too loud, too quiet -- any number of judgments placed on our being."
What about your craft has given you the greatest satisfaction or fulfillment?
MPF: My greatest satisfaction has come in the form of watching the success of the more than 40 "Dot Connectors" that I have personally coached. Each of these individuals has gone on to achieve great personal and professional success by redefining relationship building and crafting a strong personal brand.
You're no stranger to side hustles. What words of advice do you have for people who are dedicated to a 9-to-5, but interested in monetizing their passion?
MPF: LOVE what you do. Once you identify your gift, it no longer becomes a job. Your gift will be baked into every fabric of your core and be easily demonstrated and fulfilled each day.
What do you do for self-care?
MPF: I love to travel! Travel is my medicine, meditation and muse. Each time I experience a new environment or return to one I've grown to love, I am re-energized and emerge with new ideas and fervor.
Talk about the role of philanthropy in your life, both personally and professionally.
MPF: I serve as Secretary on the Board of Directors for an incredible New York City nonprofit, "Fostering Change for Children". Our goal is to find alternatives to the child welfare system and to find each child the family they truly deserve. I find that the more I give of myself, the more I continue to be blessed. It is without question of the utmost importance to make philanthropy a priority as you connect the dots to the life you want, need and deserve.
What is a message you'd like to share with women?
MPF: Don't dim your light. Often we will be told that we are too bold, too outspoken, too loud, too quiet -- any number of judgments placed on our being. Know who you are, Love who you are, live who you are!