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How I Stopped Stress-Eating M&M's (And Got Serious About My Business)

Jul 13, 2021

Almost 15 years ago, I was sitting at my desk in a black suit, stress-eating peanut M&Ms. I desperately wanted to start my own business and move away from the corporate job I was in but I couldn’t seem to figure out how to make it happen.  

I knew I needed help. So I literally started googling for coaches. I wouldn’t recommend that as a really effective method for finding a coach but somehow, against all odds, I found someone to work with. I remember our first sessions so clearly because I could feel my world and work shifting. I could feel that I was at a turning point, that my future was on its way, and that the coach on the other end of the phone was helping make that real.

That coach was Melissa Shanahan. And we’ve worked together on and off for the last 15 years, through an almost unbelievable number of personal and professional ups and downs and twists and turns. Melissa never taught me anything about managing my business. She only has ever coached me on one thing: managing myself. She has taught me some of the most powerful, foundational skills and practices around managing my mindset, my time, my boundaries, and my days. She’s not a guru or a magician -- she just helps people find the honesty, discipline, and smart practices to do the things they want to do in their life. 

Over the past few months, I’ve been having a really fun “full circle moment” because I’m now bringing Melissa to One Mill School to teach our members these same methods in a Quarterly Course called Find More Time. I am SO EXCITED for each of you to take this course and experience the sense of momentum and transformation I had on that first coaching call 15 years ago. 

It’s a tricky course to title because it could also be titled Don’t Waste Your Life or Make Your Dreams Real or Simple Ways to Be Dramatically Happier. (Can you tell I’m pretty passionate about this stuff?) But really: the methods she teaches are SO SIMPLE. This is not a system that takes decades to learn or requires going to an expensive seminar or buying a fancy planner. It’s so simple and you can start this week. 

The course helps you get organized and make the most of limited time. If you feel like you’re always busy, always behind, but also not making as much progress as you want to — this is for you. You’ll get simple formats for planning your year, quarter, month, week, and days so you feel calm and productive, even with limited work hours. If you already have a planner or productivity system, this can complement it; if you’re new to this kind of planning, you can start small or take on the whole method.

I do want to leave you with one tidbit from the course. We talk about a lot of methods in depth. But Melissa said that ultimately, these methods boil down to three steps: 

  • Aim. Get clear on what you want. This is not about reaching for a brass ring or someone else’s goal. This is about honestly and boldly claiming what you want for your life (or project or day.)
  • Plan. This is the boring step where all the magic happens. Melissa is masterful at helping you get very, very specific about all of the micro-steps that lead up to your “aim”, regardless of how grandiose (or how simple) that aim is. 
  • Honor. Then it’s a matter of honoring your plan. This practice of keeping your own promises to yourself is challenging, yes, but it gets easier. And the power of honoring your own plans and boundaries before almost anything else -- that alone is life-changing. 

Of course, we delve deep into the practical details and challenges of practicing these methods -- but I have been finding that 3-part framework to be very powerful as a touchstone for me throughout my week. 

I’m so glad to be working on these methods with our One Mill School members -- definitely take this course as one of your Quarterly Courses and I can’t wait to dive in with you. Not a member yet? You can apply here.


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