There are very few people who can honestly say, “I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know my MO.” Emily Melious is one of those rare individuals – a unicorn – who not only grew up in a household where everyone knew their conative strengths, but also created a business around empowering others to thrive. I had the pleasure of sitting down (via Zoom of course) and chatting with Emily about the impact she is having on her clients and her family as a Kolbe Youth Specialist™ and Kolbe Certified™ Consultant.
As a sixth grader, Emily first completed the Kolbe Y™ Index (predecessor to Student Aptitude™ Quiz) at her dad’s behest, having just completed his own Kolbe A™ Index with Strategic Coach. She describes this validation as nothing less than a life changing moment – sharing that she’s even kept the original answer bubble sheet. “[Kathy] will always be such a huge part of my life because she gave me one of the greatest gifts.”
Emily used a Seth Godin philosophy to describe how completing the Kolbe Index at such a young age has impacted her life – making seen that which can never be unseen again. Once you know about conation and its importance, you can’t help but make it a part of your life – “I can’t not see it. It’s always there.” So, it’s no surprise that Emily lives and breathes Kolbe in her personal and professional life!
“It’s a wonderful privilege I get with every single client because they’re walking through life not seeing this massively important part of themselves, and I have the blessing of seeing it all. I see the whole person, I see my whole husband, I see my whole children, I see my whole parents, I see my whole colleagues, I see myself. I really feel like people are only seeing a partial picture, which is why they run into so many problems.”
After college, Emily became a Kolbe Certified Consultant – the youngest at the time. Her business, Launch Consulting, started with career coaching for students. Since then, her company has expanded its reach to include people at all ages and stages. “If you are a person, I can help you – if your 3 or 103!”
Through her own experiences, Emily believes that conative strengths have a great impact on a child’s educational experience. Working with 200+ students per year between educational programs and private clients, she is making a huge impact on their future. Thanks to her efforts, Kolbe assessments are even a required part of the entrepreneurship major at Grove City College.
“I would love to work myself out of a job with adults by having every kid in the world know their MO as early as possible.”
Towards the end of our conversation, Emily shared with me an amazing experience she had just this year with a client, which made both of us tear up.
Sarah, a sophomore in high school at the time, had a massive drop off in 7th grade. Up until that point, she was a stellar student, engaged and considered a good kid. She was diagnosed with every “dis” in the book – ODD, ADD, ADHD, learning disabilities, anxiety – and seemed to be truly internalizing those labels. So Sarah’s mom, desperate for help, reached out to Emily.
After having Sarah and both parents complete Kolbe Indexes, she met with the family. Sarah is a 4393, and both of her parents are Researchers with CounterAct Quick Start.
“To start with, she didn’t make eye contact with me. She wouldn’t talk to me. She was just looking down on her phone. I went into it with her parents about how incredibly capable she is. I spent an hour and a half just speaking to how capable she is, how wonderful she is, how perfect she is. I chose my words really carefully. And after about 20 minutes, she voluntarily got off her phone. She looked up, and she wasn’t very talkative, but was part of the conversation.”
Emily described feeling confident that the meeting went well. It wasn’t until she received an email from Sarah’s mom that she realized what an impact that one meeting had. She had been turning in assignments, working on improving her grades and making a point to clean her room and interact with friends. She was a totally different kid. Sarah finished the semester with straight A’s, has been able to cut back on seeing her therapist and is excited for the start of the year.
“For years she was told everything that was wrong with her – everything was about fixing her. That was her identity. I truly believe I was the first person in several years who told her, and told her parents in front of her, what was perfect about her.”
As an 8571, Emily is continuously delving into new aspects around her work with kids, families, educational organization and businesses. Her latest endeavor is a podcast targeted at parents, called Mothers of Misfits. On the pod she discusses how parents can advocate for their children. As a youngster, Emily told her own parents, “I don’t know what I want to do, but I want to get paid to talk.” Mission accomplished! And better yet, she’s making an enormous impact with those words.
Check out what Emily’s up to as the CEO of Launch Consulting, connect with her on social media and subscribe to her podcast, Mothers of Misfits.