From Corporate Communications and High school Teaching to Fearless Singer: My Journey to Pursuing My Passion & Building a Soul-led business.

Mar 13, 2023
Fearless Singer Mel Lathouras Confidence Coach

I come from a long line of businesspeople on both sides of my family. 

On my Dad’s side, we were Greeks, a part of the Diaspora from Asia Minor, resettling in regional Queensland to start cafes. 

And on my Mum’s side, I come from entrepreneurial dairy farmers. Our luck came from hard work, power in numbers and a passion for creating and selling our products and services. 

Despite this, I find it funny how I thought I would be different, perhaps because it was an expectation for me to go to university to become a professional employee. 

After starting a performing arts degree at CQU in Rockhampton, I quickly changed course to study journalism here in Brisbane and ended up in a Corporate Communications career in public service, playing gigs in my rock band Warm Guns on the weekends. 

And as much as it was well paying, and I rose the ranks, becoming an AO7 Communications Officer, I still would find myself longingly looking out at sunny George Street, feeling ‘Paul Sheldon, Misery style’ trapped. 

Sunday evenings would always be unbearable until I got through Monday, and the treadmill would begin again. 

Then finally, at the age of 25, I decided to “escape” and go overseas, thinking that this was it; this was my time to explore being a full-time musician. 

But instead, I just took the life I created for myself here in Brisbane and transplanted it over there, complete with the same kind of rock gigs on the weekend. 

A corporate during the week and a Johnny Thunders wannabe from Friday evening to Sunday morning.  

Eventually, I returned to Brisbane and thought, “Okay, this is my time; I can start anew. There was a definite fork in the road where I could have returned to corporate communications, but I decided to go down the university track and study music, which I did for three years. 

And it was a bloody hard slog! Studying at Brisbane’s best and most intensive jazz university – JMI (Jazz Music Institute), juggling gigs and part-time jobs. 

But at the time, I was such a little hustler! Despite having severe confidence issues, I would fight the urge to quit and continue to put myself out there. However, I learned a lot about tenacity and faith, even if it was in retrospect. 

Then I did my Grad Cert in Vocal Pedagogy and a Master’s in music. And it was toward the end that I would start my business as a full-time gigging Singer and coach for other singers. This is when Fearless Singer was born. 

I joined the NEIS program to build the Fearless Singer dream. I had my talented mate Celia design my logo, which I still have, and I learnt the business skills to grow on the go, complete with website design, marketing and branding and business software.

And I was doing great; the Fearless Singer Studio was slowly growing, and I had the beginnings of a community.

However, a culmination of life lessons we must learn in our early 30s knocked my business confidence, and I decided to study for my Graduate Diploma of Education as a “backup plan”. 

I must tell you, one of my proudest achievements is getting through that year alive. It was one of the most arduous feats I’ve ever experienced - running a business and paying my way through an intense year of study, complete with unpaid full-time prac. I still shake my head in disbelief. 

However, once again, I was lured into the safety net of stable, secure employment, getting my first gig at the school where I did my prac AND teaching music with the occasional English class. 

And as you know, the challenges of the education system are real, and it wasn’t easy. However, I was part of an incredible community of teachers and students. 

But then COVID hit, and things got super weird! For everybody (not just me, obviously!)

That sneaking suspicion that you are in a system (talking on a macro level) set up against you became obvious.  

I’m not going to say any more than that. 

It’s a controversial issue, and everybody has their view on “schoolteachers”. And as a culture, we Australians can’t stand “whingers”, but let me tell you, it’s the case that you have to be in a teacher’s shoes to understand. 

It was a system that wasn't supporting me or the people I cared about: my students, fellow staff members and my beautiful school. 

But on top of that, I realised that for the years I was there; I had been trying to fit into the teacher mould and my school’s culture and values, which were all positive. However, they weren’t MY values or culture. 

It was like I was trying to fit a round peg into a square hole. 

So, I made the tough decision (even though it sounded dismal, I LOVED classroom teaching) to return to the Fearless Singer mission and put myself out there for more performing opportunities.

At the end of 2021, I left, transitioning into supply work at another school while rebooting Fearless Singer, which by the way, I had kept going through my high school teaching career – I honestly, don’t know how I managed it! 

And supply work is an excellent gig, but because of the teacher shortage, because, you know, they had clearly had enough or they were sick from short or long COVID, I found myself in contracts, which wasn't really what I signed up for. 

So, I politely side-shuffled out of that. 

They were the reasons, however; ultimately, in the end, it was simply the case that I was fish out of water. I just don't fit into traditional employment systems! 

I LOVE waking up in the morning knowing I don't have to go anywhere. 

I can choose where I want to go throughout the day, and I love knowing very clearly whom I serve and leveraging my strengths for those people. 

And those people are big-hearted dreamy Singers! Fearless Singer is about mentoring and creating safe spaces for singers to thrive. 

At the end of last year, I created the Fearless Singer Membership. I’m taking a group of singers through a year-long mentoring program that includes online classes, community, and performance opportunities. 

From a creative and heart perspective, I’m fulfilled because I attracted my ideal clients in this container. I’m honoured to be their coach and cheerleader in reaching their performing goals. 

And from a financial perspective, I have an actual monthly wage, which frees up the bandwidth to keep creating products and content that will serve our community. 

So that's my story of transitioning from full-time employee to full-time business. 

It was a tough decision to make because it's scary to throw yourself into the deep end. 

I did what most people advise you against, to take the leap. I like to hit the ground running because I can make quick decisions. 

So far, I have landed on my feet and am thriving! 

I’ve made nearly my yearly teacher salary wage in the last six months of full-time business! This is mind-blowing to me! 

I'm telling you this not to brag but to encourage and inspire you if you're stuck in a job or situation that isn’t fulfilling or aligned.

I know that “stuck” feeling but the moment you realise it’s an illusion, you will see the cage dissolve before you.

If you have a burning idea for a creative project, side hustle or a business that you would love to do full-time and need a little help mapping it out, I’d LOVE to help you as a coach.

Just for this week only, I am offering a 90min Map Out Your Dream Biz Session over Zoom.

It's at the ridiculously low price point of $97 because I want to make this as accessible for you as possible to get started!

You have until the end of March 2023 to book your session before the price returns to $497 

I know if this offer were on the table for me all those years ago, it would have made a massive difference to my business and life. So I'm offering it to you.

Also, please feel free to pass this on to a mate who you think may need it. 

Lots of love from your Fearless Singer mate,

Mel X❤️‍🔥🎵