"We're up to $14 million in revenue."
From sleeping in her car to owning a multi-million dollar business, Melanie Ann Layer can only be described as an inspiration.
The 33-year-old entrepreneur and founder of Alpha Femme, a luxury boutique coaching firm, spoke to Narcity Québec about the highs and lows of her career journey, which includes recently buying an almost $5 million mansion in Quebec.
What events led her down the path to becoming a career coach?
Layer told Narcity about how, at age 25, she found herself jobless after a breakup with her boyfriend, who was the manager at the company she was working for at the time. She then moved to Sherbrooke, but couldn't seem to find success.
"I couldn't sell anymore. Everything I had always been able to do effortlessly, all of a sudden, there was nothing that worked at all," she said to Narcity. "I went from being the best salesperson in the whole company to not being able to sell a thing.
"I remember it was at a time with my family that it was really not going well. I was mad at everyone, I felt like everyone had contributed to the fact that it wasn't working out so well in my life." She said she went broke as a result, eventually becoming unable to afford a place to sleep.
"I'll never forget the first night I couldn't pay for my room in the motel I was staying at, and I had to sleep in my Civic," she said. "It was like the culmination of the worst time of my life."
How did Alpha Femme start?
After focusing on personal development, Layer said that a conversation with a friend put her on the course of coaching.
"I have a friend who randomly called me to talk to me. She was struggling and what I had started to do for myself, I kind of introduced her to that."
From that experience, others started reaching out to her for advice, and she began charging $100 an hour. "I started my business and my name was 'the invisible coach.' It was really just word of mouth, that was the only way to find me."
When she took her business to social media in 2017, things started to really take off.
"I started a Facebook group and an Instagram page. Instead of being a life coach who was making maybe $100,000 to $200,000 a year, all of a sudden it started to grow. And what I was teaching was very cutting edge, the way I talk, the way I see things. It got a lot of attention."
Now in 2021, Alpha Femme and Layer are continuing to see their success and revenue increase.
"What's special is that it started in 2017, and we made a million, before taxes, before all that. The other year we did $2.5 million, the other year we did $8.5 million and now we're up to $14 million in revenue."
What is Layer's advice for success?
"What's hard is to have a drastic life change in the middle of your life and really be okay with it and say you deserve to be here."
Layer said that she still suffers with feeling like an imposter.
"I didn't have a normal trajectory. I'm 33 years old, and I've lived and created a lot in those 33 years. It's trying to ground myself in the right to live this life right now and have what I have, to feel deeply that it's right and that I deserve it. That, I think, is the hardest part."
Her advice to those who will listen: "Don't listen to anyone. Don't listen to anyone if you know inside you that it's right."
Layer plans to move into her $5 million home in April 2022.
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.