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Megan Wendholt, Chief of Staff for a marketing firm in Grand Rapids and owner of Essere Coaching knows just how much a loss can shake your world. Growing up in West Lafayette, Megan was immersed in all things Boilermaker – so much so she vowed to never attend the university. Her dad worked for Purdue and they were regulars at all sorts of collegiate sport games. However, after tragically losing her father to suicide in 2006, Megan decided to stay to be close to her brother and mom.
Little did she know, the decision to attend Purdue wouldn’t just keep her close to her father’s memory and her family, but it would introduce her to her husband and a beautiful community of close friends. While Megan spent many years after that in Grand Rapids, she and her husband moved back to Indy in 2020. Megan started working remotely overseeing human resources, culture and team wellness and just last month, she launched Essere Coaching, offering coaching services to individuals that want a thought and accountability partner to navigate life’s challenges and goals. Tell us more, Megan!
My Maven Superpower is … Listening. I’ve always been one to sit back and watch and listen, process my thoughts and the environment around me, and then speak. These days, we are inundated with others’ thoughts, opinions, and voices in general-via the news, social media, and many other platforms. People like to hear themselves talk. I like to listen and provide a thoughtful space for others to process their thoughts, opinions, and emotions, and work as a partner to help those people succeed and find fulfillment in life. Listening, without a motivation to talk over someone, interrupt, or push my agenda, has been my way of providing service to others for years.
Self-care habits I swear by … STRETCHING. I like to run, do yoga, and ride the Peloton. But at a minimum, I lay on the floor and stretch for 5-10 minutes right when I wake up and right before bed. My 2 year old often joins in!
My first job was … A catering server. My tenure there ended shortly after spilling champagne on the mother of the bride at a wedding reception.
The best career advice I can offer is … Listen to your gut & speak up. If something doesn’t feel right, talk to someone about it. The experience I can share is that I worked for the marketing firm where I currently work from 2012-2016. I was feeling overwhelmed and like I wasn’t on the right track. Instead of speaking to a coworker or my manager about this, I internalized it, assumed I was the problem, and gave 2 weeks notice. I don’t regret this because I worked for 2 other businesses where I learned a lot and met a lot of great humans. But when I came back to work at the marketing firm, I made one huge change – I spoke up when I was feeling stressed/overwhelmed, when expectations weren’t clear, when I didn’t feel that my manager and I were on the same page.
I feel most confident when … I finish a 3-4 mile run where I listened to ’90s & ’00s jams. I have a Spotify playlist that I’ve been adding to for years. The songs from my junior high and high school days never get old! Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, and Rihanna keep it young! After experiencing that music and the strength of my body carrying me for miles, I feel like I can take on the world.
Best book I’ve read lately … “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone” by Lori Gottlieb
A purchase I’ve been loving lately … The Luvly app. I purchased an annual subscription and a gua sha tool & I have prioritized this meditative face yoga as part of my daily routine. The app walks you through stretches and gua sha exercises which feel restorative and like I am taking care of myself. It forces me to be with myself for 5-10 minutes every day and focus on me.
The thing I’ve been binging lately is … The Last of Us & Shrinking. I’m now caught up on both shows though, so I have to wait for new episodes to come out on a weekly basis. What a tragedy!!
The skill I most want to learn is… Italian. I took Italian for years in college, but I have not prioritized practicing it or learning new words or phrases. I would love to visit Italy and be able to engage in conversation with locals.
A Maven you should know is… I know (I hope!) everyone knows Leslie. I heard Leslie speak at a virtual Linking Indy Women session in the middle of the pandemic & felt immediately drawn to her. She had just had a baby and her baby had kept her up all night and she expressed her exhaustion during her talk. I SO appreciated her honesty and vulnerability, as well as her perseverance. It was so inspiring & she gave me the motivation I needed to be a badass working new mom in the middle of a pandemic in a new city. I attribute a lot of my success in my new life in Indianapolis to hearing Leslie speak. Thank you Leslie!
What’s next for me is… I hope to continue my full-time position as Chief of Staff for Deksia, a marketing firm based out of Grand Rapids, MI and continue to build up Essere. At Deksia, I get to use my skills and superpowers to build a positive & healthy culture for our team of 40, as well as focus on team wellness. In building up Essere, I hope to bring on clients that want to work with me as a thought & accountability partner and positively impact the lives of those that I get to work with.
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Chrissy Bruns is the Executive Assistant for Indy Maven.
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