Following your curiosity, with Mel Wiggins

“What you believe isn’t what you say you believe. What you believe is what you do. That to me is this perfect example of integrity.”

Mel Wiggins runs a business in Northern Ireland called Assembly, a community for women who are interested in personal development, fostering courage, and being more true to themselves. She writes, teaches, and hosts in-person and online events in that community. She’s also the co-founder of Freedom Acts, an anti human-trafficking non-profit that she and a friend started while still in their 20s; she’s a blogger; and she’s a mum to a little boy and a little girl. Mel and I had a wonderful conversation about how all of those roles formed, intersected and evolved… and the three pillars of ‘true influence’.

Things We Talk About In This Episode:

  • Multi-layered, multi-hyphenated careers and what to call yourself if you’re asked at a party
  • Being led by curiosity, the value of deep-dive research, and the joy of starting something new
  • Mel’s early career in the not-for-profit charity sector, and the turning point she reached that led her to galvanise a group of volunteers and ultimately, to co-create Freedom Acts, a not-for-profit group aimed at ending modern slavery
  • How pregnancy can be an impetus for both creativity and personal rebellion
  • Doing something new, how to “be a learner at every stage,” and how to get things done despite feeling totally unqualified
  • Pivoting careers, self-doubt and self-worth wobbles when it comes to moving from charitable work to for-profit work, the desire to “do good,” and the realisation that roles, and work, can be “both-and” rather than “either-or”
  • Finding your ‘ideal community’ on Instagram, and building space to make that community part of your offline life
  • Starting an “accidental business”
  • Allowing your values to drive your business, or the work you do in the world
  • The inner work that goes into making peace with charging for your services, skills and time
  • That women need to have more stakes and autonomy in economics, finance and making money… and that we are to be trusted
  • Navigating the world of online influence
  • The concept of being influential as an improvement (what it means to be “improvingly influential”)
  • Mel’s research into what people consistently find “influential” in both social and personal contexts (three core pillars of intuition, integrity, and impact)
  • The value of finding and maintaining our own personal boundaries when sharing online
  • The very human desire to “be seen” – and giving ourselves permission to admit this and pursue it

Links mentioned in this episode: