Hi! I’m Melanie Yost and I have been in the people empowering business for over twenty five years. Growing up, I was the “counselor” for all my friends and knew I wanted to make a difference by helping people , but I didn’t understand what that would look like. At one point I decided I wanted to be president of the United States . . . thankfully I came to my senses and chose another career path.
In 1991 I graduated from “THE” Ohio State University with my Masters in Social Work (MSW), specializing in children and family services and completing extensive training in family therapy and systems theory. While in graduate school, I worked the 4pm – midnight shift as an investigator for child protective services and I interned in an innovative program to help rehabilitate juvenile felons. Looking back I can’t believe that I, a young, white female who grew up in suburbia, regularly went by myself into housing projects and neighborhoods where police officers would only go in with back up. But that experience taught me how to quickly build rapport with people who are very different from me and to see things from multiple perspectives.
While in graduate school, my dad died and I felt a calling to be nearer to my family. My husband and I settled back in Virginia in the quaint little town of Fredericksburg, where I went to college. I began my career at the local community services board providing intensive in-home therapy to families whose children were at high risk of being removed from the home and placed in juvenile detention, foster care, a residential facility or a psychiatric hospital. My job was to use every ounce of my family therapy experience and systems theory training to work with families and other service agencies to provide the training, tools, resources and support to keep the children in their home. I loved it!! I loved listening to what was really going on, seeing the patterns and how all the facts and people contributed to the problems (and possible solutions), problem solving, figuring out how to effectively communicate with a wide variety of people and witnessing the change that is possible when people begin to feel empowered, especially those who have felt marginalized and disempowered for most of their life. After two years I began supervising the program and realized some things . . . the most important- I am a truth teller and made an excellent decision to abandon my political aspirations!
After I obtained my license as a Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), I decided to take a risk and make the leap from the safety of a state job with benefits and a steady pay check to the uncertainty of the “only get paid when you have a client in front of you” world of private practice with a well-respected group of practitioners. Talk about a crash course in trusting your value and owning your expertise. I stayed with the group practice for eight years, honing my skills, working with individuals and learning powerful tools to help people get out of their own way. I also served on the board of directors for the practice for 6 years (which taught me a lot about business and how not to run one) and when it became clear that the practice no longer resonated with my values, I made the decision to once again leave the safety of the known and venture into my own solo practice.
In 2002 I went into business for myself and within four months (with no advertising) I had a full practice of referral clients. I found myself working with business owners and leaders (doctors, lawyers, professors) in the community. These people had success in their professional lives but were struggling in their personal lives with feeling fulfilled, having healthy relationships or being happy and able to enjoy their life. I found that as they felt better and became happier they found even more success in their careers . . . financially as well as emotionally. While I loved my clients, I was longing for more freedom and a different business model. I took some foundational coaching courses from Mentor Coach (a program that specializes in assisting mental health providers to transform into professional life coaches) and in 2007 I began to shift my business from therapy towards coaching. In 2010 I closed my therapy practice to begin coaching full time.
Coaching allows me to live my core values: Family, Fun and Freedom.
My family is very important to me. I have been happily married to my high school sweet heart for almost thirty years and we have a fabulous daughter who is smart, creative, kind, hard-working and passionate about horses. I created a business model that allows me the flexibility and freedom to be the kind of partner and parent that I want to be.
I love my life and am blessed to be able to do meaningful and empowering work with AWESOME clients in a way that supports my lifestyle priorities and expresses my core values. I have even found a way to integrate my love of horses into my business through workshops and intensive coaching days. I couldn’t have asked for a more rewarding spiritual, enriching, powerful profession and I know that this is where I am intended to help the most people in my life, doing what I love to do!
I have valued Melanie’s support and advice over and over again throughout the development of my business. She is smart, creative and holds a vision for my success. She is insightful and direct and is not afraid to tell you what she sees but does so in a way that is compassionate and leaves you empowered. I have seen Melanie ask the exact question or make the exact comment that has moved people out of places in which they didn’t even realize they were stuck. This is a rare gift, not only to have it, but to be able to use it effectively to help others get past what is holding them back, so they can grow and achieve greater things.