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Founder of Melissa Wood Health: How I ‘visualized and manifested’ success as a fitness influencer and entrepreneur

  • Melissa Wood Health founder Melissa Wood-Tepperberg went from waitressing to becoming an online workout pioneer.
  • At first, “I had a $24 tripod from Amazon, I used my phone,” she says.
  • Melissa Wood Health’s success in the creator economy became a case study at Harvard Business School in 2021.

When Melissa Wood-Tepperberg decided to reinvent her career, she felt like she was at rock bottom: “I was in a place in my life where I wasn’t happy with who I was. I didn’t love myself,” she says. Instead of searching for her next gig as a waitress, she “looked inwards,” and decided to study yoga, Pilates and nutrition, she says.

In 2015, Wood-Tepperberg started sharing her personal workout method, called The Melissa Wood Health Method, with others. “The more that I healed myself and started to connect to all of these things that were slowly making me better, I started to connect the dots and share those little things step-by-step so that people who were watching could really feel that this was something that they could do as well.”

Now, Melissa Wood Health has thousands of subscribers who pay $9.99 a month for workouts. The first-time entrepreneur has amassed nearly 1 million followers on Instagram. In 2021, Harvard Business School even published a study on her success titled “Melissa Wood Health: How to Win the Creator Economy.”

“I started in my living room over six years ago,” Wood-Tepperberg says. “I had a $24 tripod from Amazon. I used my phone.” At first, “my office was my living room.” Now she has a spacious, white-and-beige workout studio and office in the posh Noho area of Manhattan.

“Being able to have a space like this that I visualized and literally like manifested for so many years and having it come to life, is an incredible feeling,” she says.

‘Give yourself that space to take care of yourself’

The notion that you need to carve out an hour to self-care isn’t practical, Wood-Tepperberg says. “I had a background of thinking that if you didn’t have an hour to dedicate to a workout, then 20 minutes of a workout? Like what can you get in 20 minutes? That was the mentality that I had.”

Her understanding has evolved. Now, one of the pillars of the Melissa Wood Health method is that it’s key to prioritize your wellbeing through mindfulness and exercise, Wood-Tepperberg says, even if just for five minutes as a time. “Give yourself that space to take care of yourself, whether that’s a walk, a 10-minute flow, a meditation while you’re taking a bath.”

As a parent, she knows that’s not always easy. But it’s important, as she learned through experience: “I’m really good at taking care of myself now, because I know what life feels like when you don’t,” she says.

When Melissa’s son was born, she would take “micro moments when he was napping, or when he was in his bouncy chair,” to move her body. “I had never felt better in my life. I felt this level of peace and ease in my mind,” she says.

Once Wood-Tepperberg started incorporating mediation, mindfulness, and movement into her routine, “I became a very different person,” she says.

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