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Episode Info: Mel Bridger became internationally recognized for her success in the Salsa dance industry in her twenties at venues around the world. Her energy and drive commanded a big following. She felt tremendous pressure feeling like she always had to prove herself to people and put on a certain persona. Behind the mask of success, happiness and confidence was Mel’s secret feeling of not being good enough. Years later those feelings worsened as Mel suffered from depression and anxiety that she kept hidden away from everyone around her.    I met Mel in 2017 in London while seated at a table across from her at Chris Ducker’s inaugural Youpreneur Summit among hundreds of entrepreneurs looking to build and grow their businesses. Mel was in the midst of a new journey to become an entrepreneur as the CEO in a fitness business she cofounded with her husband, Steve. Our conversation that day activated Mel’s determination and courage to step out from behind the mask of secrecy about her anxiety and depression.    Mel initiated “her own coming out” experience that started with telling her mom about her decade long struggle with mental health. With this breakthrough, she sparked a personal movement to speak out openly across various social media and professional platforms sharing her story and announced, "it’s ok to not feel ok." Her story quickly circled the globe as people watched and shared her video broadcasts and were inspired to speak about their own stories and struggles.   Mel describes what it was like to let go of her tightly held secret. “It was like I had my hands on a door and I was struggling to keep it closed.”    Within a few months, Mel and husband, Steve, along with the Beatz Fitness team were selected out of thousands of applicants to move forward advancing into the final stages of production with one of the BBC’s most famous TV shows, Dragons' Den. Similar to “Shark Tank” in America, the show receives pitches from new businesses and entrepreneurs seeking to win investment funds. While their appearance before the investor judges (aka “Dragons”) was never aired on the network, the experience was a success in so many ways. Mel stood her ground, pitched the business and claimed huge honors and recognition from five of Britain’s most well-known and influential multimillionaires.    Success is not always about money, especially in the early stages of entrepreneurship. Mel’s journey and personal growth in recent years is a powerful achievement in itself and a great example for us all.   On finally getting closure, Mel offered newfound wisdom, “People think you try to close the door to get closure, but what you need to do is open that sucker wide.” Mel’s personal growth and authenticity landed her on the main stage at Chris Ducker’s second annual Youpreneur Summit in London where she returned from year one and shared her inspirational story in front of 500 fellow entrepreneurs.   To learn more about Mel Bri...
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