Happy Auntie’s Day! Yes, it’s an official national holiday, and you have entrepreneur, author and expert Melanie Notkin to thank for it!
Aunts, whether by relation or by choice, are the unsung heroes of many children. Unsung that is, until Melanie gave them a new – and national – voice. Let’s face it, moms and dads have endless options online in terms of websites for advice, ideas and support, but until this this powerhouse came along, the same couldn’t be said for the ever-present aunties. An aunt herself, Melanie is the founder of Savvy Auntie, a multi-platform lifestyle brand celebrating aunts and giving insight and and understanding to a part of the population who aren’t just making a significant impact on the lives of their nieces and nephews lives, but on the economy as well.
Though I’ve known Melanie and her brand for years, it wasn’t until I became an aunt myself that I truly “got” the importance of the Savvy Auntie platform. That said, I was never unsure about how much I admired her work ethic and how she manages to create continuously (and from a very personal place) as an entrepreneur. Let’s face it, that’s not easy. First she propelled her passion and expertise into a major national brand, then she created a holiday, but she didn’t stop there. She’s also the author of Savvy Auntie: The Ultimate Guide for Cool Aunts, Great-Aunts, Godmothers, and All Women Who Love Kids, the book, and the must-read book Otherhood, which is an intimate and educational look into the lives of single, childless women who truly are the “new normal” in this country yet remain largely overlooked and underappreciated.
Among her many accomplishments, the thing I admire most about Melanie is that she puts herself out there so authentically – in her work, in her books, in her speaking – and lets her story (and not just the shiny, happy parts) serve as a voice for so many others who share her experiences.
So today, as we celebrate National Auntie’s Day, it’s my honor to share another side of Melanie Notkin with all of you, through our 10 Questions with series.
The morning routine that most prepares me for a successful day includes…
Meditating for 20 minutes, and then reading the Wall Street Journal while drinking a hot cup of coffee (splash of half & half, no sugar).
If I could do anything else in my wildest dreams for a living it would be…
I’d be a successful, working comedic actress.
As a child I thought I’d be this when I grew up…
A psychologist. True story: It’s 1977. I’m 8 years old, in pigtails. My neighbor, a 50-something year old man, asks me what I want to be when I grew up. I say a psychologist. He says that’s very interesting. And then he dismisses me and says, “But then you’ll get married and stop working anyway so it doesn’t really matter.” To which I reply (hands on hips, pigtails flying), “And then what happens when my husband runs off with his secretary? What will I do? I need to work!” Interestingly, my mom didn’t work when she had kids. But I was a daughter of feminism and oh the times were changing….
The books that have inspired me most are…
“…the stockings like dead snakes on the floor…”
I read that line on the first page of Herman Wouk’s Marjorie Morningstar, my first “grown up” book as a young teenager, and never forgot it. I probably read that first page many times over. I hadn’t realized until then how descriptive writing could create a scene in one’s mind.
As an adult, I have focused my reading list on non-fiction. I read marketing books, business books, entrepreneurial books, biographies and autobiographies of business people… and I read spiritual books, books that inspire growth… and I read the books my friends write, and books I wish I could write… I read anthologies of short stories and essays. I read, I read, I read.
And when I write, I read even more.
My favorite self-care rituals are…
A $45 one-hour Chinese massage, a long, long walk by the river, and meditation.
A behavior that wasn’t serving me that I have since changed…
I’m still working on it: feeling guilty or unproductive when I’m not working on the weekend.
When I’m about to do something that makes me nervous or challenges me, I do this to get clear headed and focused…
I’m mentioned this meditation thing, right? I do Transcendental Meditation. I took the course 2.5 years ago and haven’t looked back. Sometimes, I use the OMG I Can Meditate app when I need a little Mindfulness meditation, or Getting Into the Vortex app by “vortex of attraction” duo Esther and Jerry Hicks for those days when I feel I want to attract a little more of anything into my life.
If you were to look at my desk or workspace you’ll almost always find…
Notebooks, lists, books I should read, and when I need a little lift or inspiration, a vase of flowers.
If I had one week during which no work was allowed, I would choose to spend my time…
With my nephew and nieces…. And the man I love (I don’t know who that is, but since this is a fantasy question and I just mentioned the laws of attraction, I thought I’d invite “him” along.)
What do you wish you’d known when you first began doing what you love for a living…
That the only way to realize one’s true potential is to step into it. I.E., I would have started my business sooner had I known that I’d discover talents and skills I hadn’t been aware of earlier.
“…the only way to realize one’s true potential is to step into it.” - @SavvyAuntie Click To Tweet
Be sure you connect with Melanie and the Savvy Auntie community online, on social media and definitely through her books. Find links to all below:
Otherhood: Modern Women Finding a New Kind of Happiness
Savvy Auntie: The Ultimate Guide for Cool Aunts, Great-Aunts, Godmothers, and All Women Who Love Kids
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