Life Lessons:
Melanie Young


*Are you happy at the moment?


*If you could go back and say anything to your 16-year-old self now – what would it be?

Believe in yourself. If you have a dream, go for it. Don’t let anyone say “It can’t be done. And never under estimate the value you bring to anything you do or say.”

*What’s the most important thing you’ve learned this year?

I’ve learned to be more patient and realized that I need to reset priorities. I have also learned to disconnect from the computer and be “in the moment.”

*What do you most want to achieve in the next 12 months?

I’d like to monetize all the work that I seem to be doing for free And I want to learn to make the perfect omelet, plant a garden and write my memoir.

*What’s your secret to happiness?

Feeling healthy, balanced, loved and with inner peace. No doubts. No regrets,

*What one ritual or practice keeps you grounded?

I like to work out every single morning. I feel it is important to give youself a little TIME every day.

*What’s your biggest regret?

Listening to bad investment advice and not buying New York real estate (or any real estate!) when I had plenty of money in the bank in the 1980s. It would be worth a lot more now!

*What’s the most important lesson you’ve taught your kid(s)?

I don’t have children. But I have taught my staff over the years to learn the value of hard work, loyalty, honest, believing in yourself and embracing new ideas. If I had children, this is what they would be taught.

*What bad habit would you most like to change about yourself?

I put too many demands on myself.

*Aside from motherhood/fatherhood and marriage what are you most proud of in your life?

I started and ran a successful public relations and special event business on my own and with my own money. During that time I helped create and launch The James Beard Foundation Awards, considered the “Oscars of the culinary world” and helped launch Windows of Hope Family Relief Fund which raised over a million dollars to support families of foodservice workers killed in the September 11th attacks of 2001. We created and produced some pretty amazing food and beverage programs all around the nation.

*When were you happiest?

When I was traveling with my mind free to roam and experience new things. I am a free spirit at heart. When I am traveling I am living in the moment ingesting everything around me with curiosity.

*What ten words best describe you?

1. Independent

2. Creative

3. Witty

4. Fun loving

5. Adventurous

6. Curious

7. Determined

8. Loyal

9. Honest

10. Spirited


Melanie Young reinvented her life from hard driven culinary marketing and events impresario to author, healthy living advocate and communications coach focusing to help women reframe and reclaim life on their terms. Her blog, Getting Things Off My Chest, encourages women to face life with grit, grace and guts.

After undergoing treatment for breast cancer in 2010 she wrote her first book, a practical management, lifestyle and beauty guide for newly diagnosed women entitled Getting Things Off My Chest: A Survivor’s Guide to Staying Fearless & Fabulous in the Face of Breast Cancer (2013). Her second book Fearless Fabulous YOU! will be published later this year. Melanie also shared her Survivor Story right here on Good Enough Mother in our 2013 Survivor Stories feature.

Her consulting company, The Connected Table, focuses on creating brand and image building programs and networking events.

Melanie lives in New York’s Hudson Valley with her husband, David, and her Maltese, Sazerac. You can follow Melanie on Twitter @mightymelanie.