Mel Brooks is helping me transform my life. It is an ongoing process. But I am forever grateful to her. It is rare to find someone who can train an unwavering eye on you, speak the truth about what she sees, including everything you try so hard to hide, and then show you a way forward without prejudice. I would say it’s priceless.
I was in my mid-50’s, working in financial services but not making a go of it. I was sending out resumes and knocking on doors, but not getting any interviews. I had no life outside of work. Things felt bleak, and my life had lost its colors.
One day I decided to reach out to former colleagues who had successfully left financial services, seeking their advice. Only one person was kind enough to respond. I had not spoken or seen him for about six months. During our conversation, he told me that, like me, he had hit rock-bottom but was now working for a very well-known and successful company. He was also engaged, about to be married and expecting a child. I was astounded by the change in his life and asked him what had happened. He said, “You must meet my mentor – the Fixer.’’
The day I met Mel Brooks, she looked directly into my eyes and asked, “Why are you here? Why do you want my help?’ And I told her the truth. “I’m invisible.” And she said, “Of course you are. You are invisible." Later my colleague confirmed that she asked him to show her my picture before meeting me and that the first thing she said when she saw it, was, " She is invisible."
Mel suggested I could begin by throwing away the gray cowl-neck blouse I was wearing, or giving it to Goodwill if I didn’t want to be wasteful. I can’t say, at that moment, I ever thought I would like her. But I knew she wouldn’t bullshit me either. We talked for more than two hours that day. She told me things about myself that I had never told anyone. As they say, she read me like a book. Then she slid me a contract, told me to read it carefully, and said that if I decided to work with her, I must commit to the 15K investment. So, there were no pulling punches either.
Mel is a frighteningly smart woman. I don’t know how smart; probably the smartest person I’ve ever met. It was a key selling point for me. I decided that, if I was going to pay her $15,000 to fix me, I was going to do absolutely everything she told me to do regardless of how ridiculous it sounded. That way, when her advice didn’t work, I could point to her and say “I told you so” and demand my money back. It didn’t work out that way. Every ridiculous thing worked. And believe me, there was a lot of ridiculous stuff.
My priority No. 1 was to get a new job. That meant I had to become visible again. She made me look 10 to 15 years younger. Mel prescribed me a customized skincare regimen of natural oils, gels, and lotions (which all sounds fancy but costs about $30 a year when purchased at the grocery store). Then she changed my hair – she got rid of the highlights, made me a bottle blonde, and cut my hair herself. I rock a sassy look now, which I love.
Next Mel changed my makeup, adding contouring and richer colors, and made my wardrobe stylish and monochromatic to increase the drama. The results were pretty stunning. No one recognized me! Literally. People say. “Oh My God. Denise. Is that YOU!!! I didn’t recognize you. You look fantastic." And this happens every day. Everyday! And it doesn’t get old.
She was not done. She focused on my diet and health. I struggled to get my health insurance to cover many of my prescription medications anymore. Lo and behold, soon after I started her food regimen, I was able to drop or replace almost all my medications! Symptoms were alleviated or disappeared. My doctors approved. I started exercising more, and my energy level increased significantly.
But the most important work Mel did with me was on the inside. We cleared the old traumas and focused on new skills. She emphasized the importance of body language, control of emotions and the significance of facial expressions, posture, and tone of voice. One lesson, in particular, was important for me – learning how to fight back without alienating people. I've always had a problem asserting myself before problems arise. Next, I learned how to be direct and forthcoming in my communications, how to stand up for myself.
Mel sent me out to job fairs and interviews, even for positions or the companies I wasn’t interested in, just to get over the block of putting myself out there. At the interviews, not only was I the best dressed but also the best prepared. My self-esteem increased. I started feeling more and more comfortable in my own skin and learned to say “No, thank you" without feeling guilty.
One day, Mel told me to call a lady about the job. This job was perfect for me, the responsibilities, the work atmosphere, the team, and the benefits package were all exactly what I wanted!
My interview with the CEO did not go well, and I got turned down. Naturally, I was disappointed and a bit despairing. The next day, Mel said to me, “get your phone out and send him a text message. I will tell you what to write." I wrote word for word what she said and sent it. Two days later, he called me, and a week later I was hired!
But even that was not enough for Mel. You are done with her when she says you are done and not a minute before. She made sure that I have four different revenues of income, so I never again find myself in the same predicament.
You work with Mel for four long months, twice a week, each session two hours long. You learn you do and you better do the homework she gives you. But she is always there for you. Any time of the day or night, she is there, and she has the right answer, no matter the question!
Mel is always about working the problem. I try to keep that in mind. The best reason I can think of to work with Mel is that you will remember her lessons for the rest of your days. The money you will invest in working on yourself with Mel, you will get back handsomely. I asked her why she charges so much. She said that when she charged less, her clients didn't commit. Looking back, I agree.
Not only did my work with her pay for itself, every penny time and time again, but if I were to hire the team of specialists needed to do what she did, it would have cost much more and possibly have been neither as effective, nor as productive as working with The Fixer.
You don't "pay Mel." You invest in yourself. Working with the Fixer was by far the best investment I have ever made.