Mel Drane

In 2007, Mel embarked on an ambitious journey with Andrew (now her husband) to build from the ground up one of the Hills District most successful real estate agencies. This wasn't the only thing that kept Melinda busy during those 10 years. She also added "mother" to her CV and life was travelling at a frenetic pace. Apart from bringing the children up, Mel remained involved in any way she could in the business, balancing family and work life in a truly inspirational way. In 2009 both of Mel's parents were diagnosed with cancer. Determination, the will to fight and resilience are all characteristics that Mel's parents have passed on to her, and they were able to fight their cancers and are still with us today.

In 2010, Mel's son Matthew was diagnosed with Epilepsy. He was only 5 at the time and had just rode a simulator ride at a fair, when he suffered a seizure. It was an extremely scary and distressing time for both Mel and Andrew. Today, the kids are aged nine to 13, and Melinda is back full-time, involved in every aspect of the business, and assisting in events and marketing. When on holidays in Thailand, one of her friends had a cardiac arrest. Fortunately his wife was a paramedic. This experience stayed with Mel and Andrew and it emphasised to them how important it is to stay fit. Exercise has become a part of her daily ritual and you will see her at the gym most mornings at 5:30am. One of the biggest challenges Mel has faced was a charity bike ride from Sydney to Canberra. Tough hills, weather, pot holes and her body aching and screaming for her to stop. The ride was to raise money and awareness for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), and having 3 healthy kids of her own, Mel used this to motivate herself and push through the pain, completing the 300km ride and doing what many of us would never be able to do It is these many life lessons that have helped Mel to succeed so well in business.

Key Messages

  • Start off with the ground rules.

  • Don't mistake popularity for success:

  • Create balance by creating boundaries:

  • Avoiding workplace politics.

  • Share goals with your spouse and understand them together

  • Have a higher purpose for the business.

Being a woman is a great gift. Never ever doubt yourself, hold your head up high and go after your dreams and always be yourself. Life is filled with good and bad times, learn from everything you can. Be confident and always know your self-worth.

Pauline Smith