Our Chat with Melissa Camilleri of Stand for the AND

EMPOWERING ENTREPRENEURS: Our Chat with Melissa Camilleri of Stand for the AND

I'd argue that making friends in the business world is the key to longevity in entrepreneurship. They just "get it" on the days when social media has you frustrated, when the sales aren't coming in, when you feel like you want to throw in the towel.

I met one of those friends 10 years ago - she was not only a fellow jewelry maker, but was also just launching her 21-Day Instagram course (she's also a teacher). I signed up to be in her very first class and it's still one of my favorite business classes. Our paths crossed again in a jewelry Mastermind group where Melissa was a coach. Little did I realize that a one-hour coaching session with her would change the whole trajectory of Charliemadison Originals. I still remember her saying, "you've got to go all in with your focus on military families." She helped me get very clear on my business purpose and mission and for that I am forever grateful.

I am so honored to shine a light on Melissa's story, her business, and her entrepreneurship journey. She is compassionate, dedicated to helping others, and has a heart of gold. She is a shining example of how a little determination, perseverance, and willingness to pivot and grow can keep you in the world of entrepreneurship even on the toughest of days.

Say hello to my friend and fellow entrepreneur, Melissa Camilleri!

Give us the scoop on your business - what do you do and how did you come up with the idea for your business?

I'm the co-founder of a company called Stand for the And Education Co. We help established business owners incorporate an educational component as a new revenue stream, including product-based business owners, those who serve their clients primarily on a 1-to-1 basis, and emerging thought leaders who may be speaking or have a book published, and want to maximize their impact and income.

The idea for the business came after listening deeply to what friends and colleagues needed. My first career is as a teacher and teacher trainer. I left that and ran a very successful e-commerce gift brand for ten years where I learned digital marketing. After selling my e-commerce business, I saw a massive gap in the digital space where slick marketers were making all the money teaching one-size-fits- all approaches to how to develop an online course, membership, or program. So I took my expertise in instructional design and adult learning, combined it with my decade of experience in digital marketing and co-founded this company in 2021!

What has surprised you most about running your own business?

I'm surprised at how well I can pivot and how resilient I am. I've been at entrepreneurship for nearly 13 years, and I'm just now getting to the space where I know I can make money no matter what the economy is doing, no matter what industry I move into, no matter what's happening in my personal life. It's not magic beans, but a huge inner trust and knowing that I can figure it out.

Maybe it's not that it's surprising, but that it's a lesson I've had to learn again and again that I didn't anticipate-- that self-trust is a very worthy, very important skill to cultivate. And entrepreneurship can do that for you, or it can break you-- but I didn't know that at the time! Ignorance on fire! Gratefully and humbly, I'm still around and getting to live a very intentional life with the freedom of choosing how I want to spend my time and energy.


By far, my biggest challenge I've overcome was choosing to shut down my beloved first business. It was my first baby. I am still so deeply proud of what I created and how it grew and how we served and everyone we met along the way. The decision to liquidate part of the assets, and sell off that business was personally gut-wrenching. My ego took a big hit. I pulled the plug while we were experiencing great success financially, but also in our mission, and the opportunities we had on the horizon.

When I had my boys, just 13 months apart, my priorities dramatically shifted. I didn't want to spend all my time and energy keeping that engine going. And so in November 2019, just a few months shy of the world shutting down, I closed up shop and took on odd jobs until I could figure out what was next. And in that quiet space, some substantial seeds were planted for Stand for the And to emerge.

Overcoming the fear of pivoting into something new required me to get quiet. I stopped posting on social media. I read a lot of books. I listened to a lot of podcasts. I listened to what people in my networks were talking about. I journaled a lot. And what emerged was a new venture where I'm working about 1/3 of the time and making 4x more than I ever made before. A true blessing.

What is your best advice for someone who dreams of starting their own business?

Get out of your head and start doing. Take imperfect action. Talk to everyone. Network like crazy even before your idea is fully formed. Even if you're not sure about all the details. Even if the thing you start ends up leading you down a whole different path and you end up pivoting.

Just start. And the clarity and courage will come as you are in motion.

How do you tackle those days when being an entrepreneur feels extra hard and you just want to quit?

I eat protein, drink a huge glass of water, take a walk, and take a nap. If I were to have read this response 10 years ago I would have rolled my eyes so hard because how stupid and trivial. But I have found that everything becomes exponentially easier to deal with when I'm nourished, hydrated, I've moved my body, and I've gotten adequate rest.

Sometimes I even lock myself in the bathroom and read my kindle in the tub-- fiction, not personal development. Just totally checked out. The feelings often pass, and when I am courageous enough to disengage for a second and take care of my physical being, I'll get an idea or a solution will come to me and it's enough to get me back in the game.

Melissa's 5 Quick favorites for fellow entrepreneurs

Fave Empowering Gal to Follow on Social

Natalie Bullen on Facebook (@Ladylyricist06)

Fave App, Program, or Tool

Voxer and Otter.ai

Fave Free Resource or Learning Tool

The Libby App & The Library

Fave Business Book

Spiritual Selling by Joe Nunziata

Fave Quote

"When you realize how perfect everything is, you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky."

- Buddha






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