Melissa Machat: 5 Things You Should Know Before Leading a Company

Melissa Machat

Melissa Machat is the founder of Re-Align Coaching and Consulting. She has over 10 years of experience in sales.

As an entrepreneur, Melissa Machat empowers and teaches other entrepreneurs “how to elevate their mindset, accelerate sales, and make the perfect hire in their business so they can scale with ease.”

Besides entrepreneurship, Melissa Machat is also a “certified Neuro-Linguistic Programming Master Practitioner and Emotional Release Specialist.”

Her numerous specialties have endowed Melissa Machat with a “deep understanding of what’s truly preventing someone from reaching their goals.”

Likewise, Melissa Machat truly “understands how to build and grow a business in any market, and how your mindset can control your outcome and results.”

This comes from Melissa Machat’s vast sales experience, her sales success in residential real estate worth over $100 million, and her over eight years of education from “multiple coaching organizations and mentors.”

From a very young age, Melissa Machat was already on the path to becoming an entrepreneur. She says she was “always selling something whether it was real or imaginary.”

After earning a degree in Theatre from the University of Southern California, Melissa Machat worked as a professional stage manager in LA. Then she went to Las Vegas to audition for shows.

Melissa Machat worked at a casino dealing cards while auditioning. It was around this time that she got the idea of getting a real estate license.

In 2009, Melissa Machat became a real estate agent, and eventually followed her childhood path.

Check out more interviews with successful entrepreneurs here.

My tenacity and work ethic were the perfect combination for real estate… Melissa Machat, Re-Align Coaching and Consulting

Jerome Knyszewski: Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

Melissa Machat: I am from the Los Angeles, CA area and never realized I was an entrepreneur at heart, even from a young age.

I was always selling something whether it was real or imaginary, and I also loved performing and grew up in dance and musical theatre.

I graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in Theatre and after working as a professional stage manager in LA, I had an idea to move to Las Vegas, NV so I could audition for shows and benefit from a lower cost of living.

I got a job dealing cards in a casino while I auditioned for shows, and it was someone at my blackjack table that told me I had the perfect personality for sales!

This led me to another great idea of getting my real estate license since I was ready for a “real job” and I started my career in 2009 in the bottom of the market which gave me a huge opportunity.

Most agents were quitting the business since they didn’t want to work 2–3 times as hard to make half of what they were used to, and I was so used to making nothing that even a $300 rental was a lot of money to me so I started taking on all of the clients other agents didn’t want.

My tenacity and work ethic were the perfect combination for real estate and I built my business very quickly without any experience or knowledge of running a business so I learned everything the hard way and through experience.

Almost 12 years later, I now have first hand knowledge and skills of sales, entrepreneurship, leadership, hiring, recruiting, and mindset which are all crucial to running a successful business.

Jerome Knyszewski: What was the “Aha Moment” that led to the idea for your current company? Can you share that story with us?

Melissa Machat: I knew selling real estate was not what I wanted to do long term yet I felt like I wasn’t successful enough to start other businesses.

This led me down a path of personal growth and development because I was constantly feeling like I was failing and hitting my head against a wall because I was stuck.

I went to a Neuro-Linguistic Programming training and learned more in those 4 days than I had the past 6 years and I realized exactly what was keeping me stuck and why things weren’t working.

I was inspired and empowered to start my coaching business and get out of my own way and I had my first paying client within 30 days of that event!

It became my mission to help other entrepreneurs get out of their own way and I am sharing what I learned every chance I get!

Jerome Knyszewski: Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?

Melissa Machat: I thought when I hired my first assistant that my business would double easily and when that didn’t happen, it sent me on a downward spiral of doubt, insecurity, and feeling like maybe I don’t know what I’m doing and I’m not good enough to run a business. I started growing my team thinking that would solve my problems, and it only amplified them.

I didn’t understand that leadership is a skill that you learn and I thought about quitting, moving away, and shutting it all down because I was miserable and didn’t understand why.

I looked for answers in all of the wrong places and it took years for me to understand why things weren’t working.

I was in the wrong role and had zero standards, expectations or boundaries.

I joke that I love learning the hard way and if there is a will there’s a way, so as much as I wanted to quit and start over I had other people depending on me and I didn’t want to give up on them.

I also started doing the inner work to figure out why I was so unhappy and anxious and had some external events that forced me to slow down which gave me the space to get clear about what I really wanted in the first place.

When you are clear about what you want, the answers and people will show up who can help you make it happen which kept me moving towards that vision.

Grit and resilience are everything because there is no failure, only feedback.

Jerome Knyszewski: So, how are things going today? How did your grit and resilience lead to your eventual success?

Melissa Machat: I can see now that all of the struggles and hardships prepared me for where I am today and I wouldn’t be where I am without them.

I am so grateful for everything happening in my life right now and I am a perfect example of what happens when you remember who you truly are and live a life in alignment.

Grit and resilience are everything because there is no failure, only feedback.

Everything in life is a lesson and if you aren’t learning from your experiences, things will continue to happen until you learn from them.

I’ve always been adaptable and I really will do whatever it takes to make things happen so even when I felt stuck and was hitting my head against a wall I was still searching for help and answers to see what changes I needed to make.

That journey of looking for answers gave me the insight and experience I use today to help others and I now see that our biggest hardships and adversity we face can actually be preparing us for our purpose.

Jerome Knyszewski: Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?

Melissa Machat: Where do I start?

I didn’t know real estate was commission only or that you run your own business as an independent contractor so I just showed up and was like what do I do now?

I thought I had to wear a suit and straighten my hair to be taken seriously and be successful, and I basically dove head first into the deep end without realizing I didn’t know how to swim.

With my consulting business I’d say the biggest mistake was thinking I had to have all of the answers or certifications before I could be taken seriously (common theme here), and the lesson in all of this is when I just went for it and showed up authentically, business came to me without having it all perfect.

As far as funny stories go, I’ve tried getting into a home that wasn’t actually my listing (it was the house next door), recorded amazing videos realizing there was no sound, and pretended I didn’t have a full time job (the casino) so I told clients I was only available at 7am or 7pm on days I was working and they thought I was just really successful and busy!

When you’re starting a new business it’s easy to get caught up in saying yes to everything.

Jerome Knyszewski: Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Began Leading My Company”? Please share a story or an example for each.

Melissa Machat:

1 . Make sure you have mentors and coaches who can help you build your business in a way that’s in alignment with you.

When I started my real estate business I joined a coaching organization that I believed was the way to become successful.

While they do have a great system and foundation and I learned so much from it, it wasn’t actually helping me grow my business and in fact I became stuck and didn’t understand why.

I wasn’t fitting into the box and their mold of how it “should” be done, and I lost my own way of what I wanted in the first place.

I learned that I need to be clear on what I want and make sure I am following mentors and hiring coaches who can help me build it in a way that’s in alignment with my vision.

  1. Boundaries, Standards, and Expectations are a priority when building a business

When you’re starting a new business it’s easy to get caught up in saying yes to everything.

You might feel like you can’t turn away business, you need to make money, and say yes to any opportunity that comes your way.

I wish I learned the lessons I know now because the reason I burned out so intensely was because these three things didn’t exist in my life.

I didn’t understand why I was so miserable and working 24/7 and I “had” to make money so I did whatever I needed to get business and get more clients.

My life changed completely when I started creating boundaries around what I wanted my life to look like and working 7 days a week was not it.

When it comes to leading a team it’s really easy to get caught up in emotions and opinions instead of setting clear standards and expectations and holding them to it.

  1. Leadership is a skill and have a plan in place to spend time becoming a great leader

I thought you were either a natural great leader or not and had no idea it’s a skill you need to learn.

When I made my first hire and started my team, I did it the wrong way and didn’t understand why the business wasn’t growing or why results weren’t doubling.

I thought the answer was I had to train more and stop what I was doing to help build the business and that’s a huge mistake.

I learned a valuable lesson that the best leaders have a “I do it, We do it, They do it” mentality and you do not stop what you’re doing to teach, you have them shadow or follow you to learn until they can start doing it themselves.

And if you are teaching something, record it so you can create your own training library to save time for anyone else who joins.

When the results weren’t happening the way I had expected I blamed myself and didn’t understand why it wasn’t working.

I thought I was a terrible leader and looking back I can see it was classic leadership mistakes I had no idea I was making. (see number 2!)

  1. Understand how to manage your money and pay attention to your profit margins

I don’t know about you but when I became an entrepreneur I had zero money management skills and didn’t know what a profit and loss was! (true story).

It was years before I learned to manage my money and get off the rollercoaster of debt and actually pay attention to what I was spending.

It was a painful lesson to learn and this is what I now teach other entrepreneurs so they don’t make the same mistakes.

The money that comes into your business is revenue or gross commission or whatever terminology your industry uses. That is not YOUR income to spend!

Make sure you are setting money aside to pay yourself, to pay taxes, and to save and build reserves and the money you have left is not as much as you think it is to reinvest in your business.

I also never learned how to expect a return from my money and expenses so I wasn’t tracking if the expenses or investments were actually working or not.

I was spending way more than I realized and didn’t understand where the profit was at the end of the year.

Again, a painful lesson to learn. I now visit my P&L monthly and any new expense or investment is tracked on whether we are getting the return we expect or if we need to make a cut.

  1. Instead of trying to improve weaknesses, help your team find their strengths

I wish I learned about strengths based leadership when I was building my team.

We waste so much time trying to improve our weaknesses, when in reality someone else is out there whose strength IS your weakness.

When you keep everyone in their strength zone you can increase profit and results with ease.

Instead of wasting time and energy trying to train someone or help someone overcome things they aren’t naturally as strong at, help them discover what they are strong at so they can stay in their zone of genius.

I had a revolving door for a few years and never felt confident if I had the right people or not. This lesson taught me that sometimes you do have the right people, they are just in the wrong role.

There could be another position within your company that features their strengths and they can shine instead of beating themselves up because they are struggling or you think you need to go find someone else.

This also leads to really knowing your people and taking the time to help them self discover what their true gifts are.

When you keep everyone in their strength zone you can increase profit and results with ease. Melissa Machat

Jerome Knyszewski: How can our readers further follow you online?

Melissa Machat:  Instagram is where I spend the most time and would love to hear how this helped you! @melissamachat

Jerome Knyszewski: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!



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