Being A Leading Woman

By Melissa Rufus

I’m here to share with you an inside peek into one of the most giddy days of my life – and by giddy, I mean both impossibly awesome and awesomely impossible.

I’m going to try my hardest to avoid using cliches like ‘inspirational’, ‘life-changing’ or ‘transformational’ in order to give this day the stand-out recognition it deserves. For a writer, it’s already proving to be quite the challenge because in complete honesty, my day with Christina Guidotti at the Leading Women event this week was all of those things (and so much more).

The first thing you should know about me is that I certainly don’t consider myself to be a leading woman. At all. I’m a working-from-home mother of ‘Miss Four-Nado’ and ‘Mr Terrible-Two’ and while I don’t consider myself a leader, I am exceptionally proud of the work I do as an Intrapreneur. I work with an amazing (and hilarious) team who energise me daily, and I get to engage closely with a tight-knit community of dance studio owners who are dedicated to helping one another while growing their business. I adore people, so this role is heaven!

To be gifted by my CEO an aeroplane ticket and seat at the Leading Women’s Event was humbling to say the least, and of course I jumped at the chance to fly to Australia’s most luxurious hotel to spend my day with a tribe of leading women. Out of my comfort zone? Yup – but one of the best ‘yes’s I’ve ever committed to.

Once our crew of studio owners caught up in the foyer – many of us for the first time in person, but longtime online comrades – we hit the red carpet in style to the day’s soundtrack ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’ which perfectly set the tone for our day with these remarkable women.

Fun, loving life, and utterly unstoppable.


When Christina Guidotti entered the room to our soundtrack, the energy changed immediately. She was energised, humble, excited, generous and 110% present to give us all of her and beyond. It took less than 30 minutes for me to reach my first ‘aha’ moment…and to be brutally honest, it wasn’t a great one.

Together, the 250+ leading women were invited to complete a fulfilment audit of our lives. I went into this feeling pretty awesome – I’m a smart capable and confident woman who loves her work, has a pretty rad family and is slowly but steadily making a dent into her mountain of mortgage and credit card debt. Now this fulfilment audit would be a year’s worth of analysis for most of us, but Christina has it down to a fine and accurate art. Christina’s audit? 15 mins. My result? 2/10. WOW.

From here, Christina and her rockstar panel of speakers delivered to me and our members the biggest take-aways. These were not just your normal golden tickets, but the ones that take your breath away and hit you at the core.

1/ Connection is leading to disconnection

We get it – a lot of our business is online and on ‘the socials’ these days, so it’s easy to justify spending endless hours scrolling, clicking, liking and commenting in the name of growing your business. But the fact is, this is an easy excuse for a little bit of work and a BIG bit of procrastination. Schedule social media time for business and leisure. Outside of those times simply switch off – it’s not doing you any favours.

2/ Align your achievement with your fulfilment

Put simply: finances versus fun. You don’t want to spend all of your time making money but having no fun, or on the flipside of the coin, having so much fun that you’re not making enough money. The key here is BALANCE. Fun fact: achievement and fulfilment are not mutually exclusive. If you’re not actively filling or working on filling more of your cups, you need to say goodbye to some of them.

3/ Deliver on the promises you make yourself

This was a HUGE one for me. As a self-confessed people pleaser, I am all about fulfilling my commitments to others no matter how late I need to stay up or how early I need to rise. I frequently disregard the promises I make to myself to be a better and more productive woman, wife, mother, friend and human. For me, It’s time to make time for it – and I know many of you will be just like me.

4/ Dollars up, hours down!

Our mantra for the day! It came complete with it’s own interpretive dance moves and all. This is the ultimate goal, and what we all had a focus on when we ventured into business before losing  sight the first moment things got real. This isn’t a lost cause – with the right mindset and business systems in place you can get back on track to achieving your goal, and Christina’s tribe are walking, talking examples of just that.

5/ Educate yourself  

While I could listen to Christina speak for days on end, a huge element of her success and the impact of the event are the experts she engages with on a daily basis and generously shares with her tribe. We were beyond fortunate to spend our day with Dan Gregory and Kieran Flanagan from “The Impossible Institute’ who were MIND BLOWING. Seriously, this pair opened up parts of my brain that I didn’t even know existed with fresh ways of thinking about:

– What makes us buy?
– Developing a culture of willing and enthusiastic workers to combat disengagement in the workplace
– Expectations and the fact that ‘good’ is no longer ‘good enough’
– Making strategies indentity-centric (this was a HUGE one) including who we are helping our clients and staff to BE, and aligning our values with our customers’ behaviour.

Our biggest ‘aha’ here was Dan and Keiran’s message that all influence in business begins with empathy for your customer base.









We then loved, laughed and cried with Lisa Barker, Tracey Mathers and Christine Rudolph who were the realest of the real when it came to an open, honest and raw sharing of their own experience and growth as Leading Women.

In a nutshell? I can’t sum this up in a nutshell.

This was a day that gave me perspective and opportunity to implement changes in my life and business that will benefit those far beyond my team and my household. It’s sustainable and possible. It’s happening right now.

I am a leading woman.