Ahead of Friday’s Drive I caught up with singer/songwriter and fellow Phoenix FM presenter Michelle Ward. We talked about what it means for her to support new and unsigned musical talent on her show and all about life away from Phoenix FM HQ as a singer. She introduced her terrific debut single Dolly Daydreaming and we also, bizarrely, got to meet the ghost of studio 2.
03 - Broadway Dreams to Business Coach with Michelle Ward
The Intentional Career Podcast
Michelle Ward was an actress who gave up her Broadway dreams to become a business coach. How did that happen? We discuss the many ups and downs, how she created her intentional career as the CEO of the 90 Day Business Launch and how she helps creative women launch businesses.I’m your host, Karen Styles, Career + Life Coach and owner of Flow + Fire Coaching. Ready to create your Intentional Career? Schedule a call with me.My guest is Michelle Ward is CEO of the 90 Day Business Launch. She is a business coach who guides creative, multi-passionate women to become entrepreneurs. Since 2008, she’s helped hundreds of these women launch their dream businesses.Interview Highlights:[3:00] Michelle talks about a few of the 20 jobs she had in 7 years of being an actor in New York City.[7:13] Michelle starts to realize she doesn’t want this kind of work anymore, and that she needs to be an entrepreneur.[14:04] Michelle’s breaking point. An embarrassing moment on a busy subway platform that proved to her she really HAD to make a change in her career. [19:40] The problem with jobs that are good “on paper,” why you shouldn’t talk yourself into those jobs, and how to listen to that little voice that tells you you need something different. We discuss how we’re getting better at listening to intuition.[34:07] The advice Michelle ignored - to her benefit - both as an actor and as a coach, and how she knew she was doing the right thing. Why it’s good to be a gatekeeper in your business.[43:35] Michelle discusses her business-launching clients, how making big shifts is equal parts scary and exciting, and how the emotional shit is holds people back.[45:27] We discuss the mythology that successful people “Leap and the net will appear,” why baby steps actually work, and how to define your own safety net.[48:52] Michelle’s Career Crushes:VP Wright - Website | InstagramTrudi Lebron - Website | InstagramRebekah Boruki - InstagramRowHouse Publishing - Patreon | InstagramAustin Channing Brown - Website | InstagramNicole Cordoza - Website | InstagramAnti-Racism Daily - Website | InstagramResources:Michelle’s 90 Day Business Launch - Website [affiliate link] | InstagramFollow Karen on InstagramWayfinder Life Coach Training - WebsiteKristine Miguel of Caritas Company - Website | Instagram Subscribe Today!Subscribe on Apple PodcastsSubscribe on SpotifyFor more episodes, check out The Intentional Career Podcast websiteSchedule a CallReady to create your Intentional Career? Schedule a call with Karen Styles, Career + Life Coach and owner of Flow + Fire Coaching.FollowFollow Karen on Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn.---Transcription - Broadway Dreams to Business Coach with Michelle Ward[00:00:00] Karen: I'm Karen Styles and this is the Intentional Career Podcast. I talk to all kinds of people who take all kinds of paths to work they love. I'm a career and life coach and owner of Flow and Fire coaching. If you're ready to create your intentional career with the support of a coach, schedule a call with me.There's a link in the show notes, or you can go to intentionalcareer.co and click the blue "Schedule a Call button".Today on the show, my guest is Michelle Ward, CEO of the 90 Day Business Launch. Michelle is a business coach who guides creative multi-passionate women to become entrepreneurs since 2008. She's helped hundreds of women to launch their dream businesses so they can get the freedom, authenticity, and fulfillment they're seeking in their day-to-day lives.Michelle is also my first business coach and she [00:01:00] is one of the biggest, maybe main reasons that I even have a business today. So welcome Michelle. I'm so thrilled to have you here today.Michelle: You know, right before we started, I was , where am I at tissues? I'm going to need them. I'm already gonna need them. Thank you, that was beautiful and I love that. I get the distinction of being your first coach. First business coach.Karen: It's exciting. You're.. Were you my first coach? Probably. Probably my first.coach too. Um, yeah, it's funny to think back. And I'm , could I have done this without you? Maybe? But I don't know, you have the way to just , get it done, get the thing done.Michelle: Yay! Yes, totally, and there's definitely a way... We all have capability of doing this, but it's this blessing and a curse of wanting to be a business owner in 2021 or 2019, when we worked together that , Oh my gosh, there's so many different [00:02:00] ways I could go about this. And there's so many free resources and whatever, and , yay! And also, Oh my God, because where do I start? And what do I do? And it's so overwhelming. What's actually going to get me there.Karen: Right? Yeah, absolutely. And I think, there are all of these paths that we could take to get to our intentional career. And for me, a big part of it was working with you, um, to get to a place where I'm , Oh, I know I'm now in the right place, because for many, many years before that I was questioning things all the time.And so I wanted to talk to you about, you know, how you create it, your intentional career. And then, and then of course, how you help creative women do that as well in the form of creating a business.Michelle: Yes!Karen: So I know that you've mentioned in a number of places that you had a bunch of jobs before a bunch of different jobs before you became a business coach. Can you off the top of your head , what are some of the different things that you've done kind of before you got [00:03:00] to where you are?Michelle: Yeah. I mean, well, I counted Karen, right? I counted at one point. Yeah and because I was pursuing acting as career, I was definitely a stereotypical actor of, let's have a million different day jobs to, you know, pay my New York City rent and, and try to have a life when I was in my early to mid twenties. Um, and so yeah, we could say, I dressed up as a 1-800-FLOWERS gift box during the holidays. And went to stand on the Today Show, Plaza. And Good Morning America...Karen: Wait, you were dressed as a gift box?Michelle: Oh yeah, I was. I'm so glad...Karen: Do you have a picture?Michelle: No, I do not. No one's ever going to see it, amen and hallelujah. There was no YouTube. There was no nothing back then. The Today Show we didn't get on camera, there were so many people there. I was very thankful, but then we went to Good Morning America and there was nobody there. So they saw me and the two, um, and the two people I was with from 1-800-FLOWERS [00:04:00] and immediately came up to us and they were , we're going to put you on after the next segment.And they gave me a bunch of talking points. They were , no, we want to talk to you instead of the people from marketing that were with me from 1-800-FLOWERS so I was definitely on camera, Good Morning America dressed as a 1-800-FLOWERS gift box, spewing talking points for their holiday promotion or whatever that. That's definitely something I did.Karen: And it was kind of a good acting moment also? Almost? Or improv...?Michelle: All those was all those things. Um, and it paid. And I remember this distinctly a paid $50 an hour, which back in probably, you know, 1999 or you know 2000 was a million dollars an hour to me. So I was , yeah, you want me to get up at 5:00 AM in the, the freezing December cold of New York city and stand outside for six hours with a, you [00:05:00] know, 20 pound fabricated box with flowers in my face? , sure, sign me up, whatever. So I did stuff that. I, ushered at movie premieres, I was a hostess. I was an office manager. I helped a big casting director um, not only be an assistant during the audition, but somehow I got hired to take all of their expenses, from the, from the week and bill them to the correct projects.So I had, uh, I had to take all the receipts and put them together for every show that they needed to put an expense report to, to get reimbursed. And , even though I did the math wrong 47 different times they never fired me, basically.Karen: So you were a bookkeeper, basically.Michelle: It was not bookkeeping. It was , it was , if you spend $2 on a cup of coffee while you're [00:06:00] going to an audition, you could bill that show that you're auditioning for your cup of coffee sort of thing. It was , I had to take the receipt from, from, you know, the big deli that said $2 for coffee and tape it on a piece of paper and then add it with a calculator to the food and drinks tab or the thing I did it wrong all the time.Karen: I'm getting the sense maybe it was a little mind numbing?Michelle: Pretty much. Yeah. Yeah. But it was still , it was great because they let me. They were , we just care that it's done. You could come when you want and leave. When you want however many hours it takes, we don't care. We just need to get it done and submit it.Anyway, I did real estate. I've D I D so many. I had 20 jobs in seven years. From the time I graduated with my BFA in acting to becoming a coach and starting my business.Karen: So then what happened? , because obviously there's the BFA and the dream you're in New York city [00:07:00] and the dream is probably the bright lights of Broadway. And so, and then you became a business coach. So how does that happen?Michelle: So what kind of happened was that once I was in my mid to late twenties, I finally started listening to the voice that started off as very, very, very tiny in the back of my heads. Very quiet said, Michelle, you don't want to do this anymore.You don't want to do this anymore. You're not going to do this anymore. And I was just , shut up, shut voice. What are you talking about? , it was such a huge part of my identity was being a musical theater, performer, pursuing acting. that it just was so ingrained with who I was, that it was , once I started questioning that it wasn't only, well, what do I do if I don't do this anymore?But , who am I? It was that sort of existential felt an existential crisis. And it took me probably a year to take that voice seriously. And it just kept getting louder and louder and [00:08:00] louder. And I finally, you know, looked in the mirror one day and said, You're not going on auditions. You're not doing that.You want these different things acting life would make you have, and in terms of my lifestyle and. Um, how I wanted to spend my time and where I wanted to spend my time. Um, and once I came to terms with that, there was a grieving period as , feeling you've lost your best friend and your right arm kind of at once.Um, and I said, okay, well, I'm not going to be pursuing acting anymore. I want to be a grownup and have grown up things that I didn't have with all these day jobs. I'm , I want a steady salary. That's gonna be direct deposited into my bank account every two weeks and I know how much money is going to be in there.I want insurance, I want a 401k. Um, but also I think because I was pursuing my passion since I was six years old, it was [00:09:00] not acceptable for me to just go find a job that was just , well, it'll give me everything I need on paper. I wanted to feel fulfilled. I wanted to feel on purpose. I wanted to have it be an intentional work. I love the name of this podcast. Um, and so I. Set out to figure out, , what would that be for me? And the very first thing that I realized before I even knew what exactly I wanted to transition to, it was very clear that I needed to be an entrepreneur. So that was the first light bulb moment of , I am not going to be happy unless I'm working for myself because I never had a good working environment.Um, there was always something that ruins, if not multiple somethings and. You know, even though I could place a lot of blame on, um, people that I worked with, there's a common denominator. When you keep going from job to job, to job, to job and things don't feel a good fit and, you know, two thumbs pointing at myself, so...Karen: It's such an annoying [00:10:00] realization.Michelle: Right? Isn't it , Oh, I'm the problem, I guess, problem. And so then it became, well, what, well, what business do I want? What, what's my, what's this role as an entrepreneur and. I knew that I wanted it to focus on my relationship building skills. That's what I knew I was good at. That's what was super important to me.I wanted to help people. Um, I wanted to focus on my communication skills and I considered therapy.. Being a therapist. I considered being , uh, a matchmaker, having a dating, doing that sort of stuff. And what became apparent was life coaching was going to be the best fit for me.I checked out a lot of boxes and I should've known right at the start that I was going to turn it into career coaching. Um, but it took me a little while to go from, okay, well, life coaching. How, , what's my niche within life coaching? [00:11:00] It's getting to be the career coach that I needed at the time that I couldn't find, I could not find someone who worked with creative people and who got it.Um, I bought, "What color is your parachute?" when I was going through all of this along with, one of my best friends at the time who, she did the whole book and found this very, very specific subset of marketing. And she's , there are these three companies in New York City that do this kind of marketing and that, and she got a job within a few months and was on her way.I did three exercises of the book and then I threw it across the room. This does not speak to me. This does not make sense to me. This is not. And so even though I kind of had no experience, no nothing other than being a creative person. And I've gone through this myself. Um, I said, this is what I want to do.I want to be career coach for creative people. Um, I got my certification. I launched my business and probably [00:12:00] within a year or so I realized, I thought it was going to work with the actors, helping them when they realize it's time to leave the profession. What else could they do?You?Me? But I couldn't reach actors at that moment in time, or they're questioning leaving so really hard to do. Um, and I wound up attracting people who are actually stuck in very traditional left brain jobs who wanted to do something more creative. So I kind of wound up coaching, the opposite thing than I thought I would. And I loved it. And then I realized, I think I'm a career coach for women, for creative women, not just creative people, because I had worked with so many at that point in time.Um, and then I realized every woman who comes to me either is a business owner or wants to be one. And so that's kind of the evolution. This is a long story, but it's this sped up evolution of the 13 years that I've been in business and how I became a business [00:13:00] coach for creative women over on this side of the table.Karen: Yeah. It's cool to hear that the different steps. And I think, um, there's, I don't know. I think a lot of us business owners, we, we are kind of trying to heal something in our own past by helping people. Um and maybe, maybe that's just what maybe partly that's just what coaches do. But you know, a lot of it it's if I only had somebody to tell me this thing, it would have made all the difference.Michelle: Yes! Yes! And I tell my clients all the time, your personal experience counts, and you really only need to be one step ahead of your client in order to be able to help that person. And so we trick ourselves into thinking, oh, I need these degrees. I need this professional experience in it. No, you just need to be passionate about what you're doing and who you're helping, and you need to be at least one step ahead that's [00:14:00] it, the end.Karen: Okay. I want to ask you this question too. Did you have a moment where you kind of looked around? I know I've had these moments. I think they're, they're pretty common when people kind of decide they want to change, but they need to change their path. There's usually something that happens where you kind of look around and go, okay, this isn't working, I have got to do something different and have a moment that?Michelle: Yes. I call it my breaking point moment. Um, when I did. You know, finally make that decision of, I am not pursuing acting anymore. I need to, I want to find a grownup job that I could enjoy. And I found this job that on paper checked out all the boxes.Um, it was utilizing those relationship building skills, my communication skills, um, the money was right. I was getting health insurance for the first time ever. It was, you [00:15:00] know, in, in NoHo, which is this great neighborhood in New York city. Um, it was a lot of young people. It wasn't necessarily a startup, but it had that feel.Some people wore pajamas to work. It was just an, in my, you know, mid to late twenties. That was where I wanted to, to be. Um, and you know, the company was cool and doing, doing cool things and, um, It turned out that the manager - who I really connected with during the interview - turned out to feel very threatened by his subordinates who were doing good jobs and he became verbally abusive. A huge bully and that's the point where I made myself psychosomatic. So much so that about a year into the job, maybe a little less - cause I think I was only there a little bit more than a year or so - I was on the subway coming from my apartment uptown, going downtown to work and I had to run off the subway at Union [00:16:00] Square station, which I since learned is the fourth busiest subway station in all of New York City, to give some kind of context as to how many people were around,I left in the middle of rush hour with thousands of people around me to dry heave, into a garbage can on the subway platform and then there was such a psychological hold that I didn't say, okay, I need to just go home and take a sick day. I said, I need to get to the office. So I went above ground, I walked the 20 ish blocks to the office.I got my laptop. I got my Blackberry because that's how long ago this was. And it said to my colleagues, because my stupid manager wasn't even in the office yet. Um, and I said to my colleagues, "spread the word I'm working from home." I just threw up in Union Square, I gotta get myself home, but I have all my stuff I'll be working from home.And the second I left, I felt absolutely fine. And that was, that was my breaking point of , Oh! So this isn't the job for you. This isn't the [00:17:00] place for you. This is, this job is making you sick to get out of here. Um, and that that's when I knew that things needed to change for sure.Karen: It's funny. I've had those moments too. I'm thinking back to probably within the last five years, even in a job that was a bridge job and good enough. And didn't stress me out, and I still had days where, , I had days where I threw up on the way to work. You know?Michelle: And I think, when you're just not... When you're the type of person who cares about doing a good job and the work that you're doing and how you spend, what do they say? You spend a third of your life at work or something insane that. Right? And you care about that. It's so, it's so hard. When it's not... even if it's not toxic, right? It's, it's not benign. You know what I mean? So I think, and I work with clients who they've been telling themselves and they sometimes still are [00:18:00] telling themselves this while they sign up to work with me that , "No, no, no. I should be really grateful. No, no, no. I should just be really thankful."Karen: I SHOULD be grateful.Michelle: I have it really good. , why am I sick? , just because it's not bad, doesn't mean that it's what you should be doing for the rest of your career.Karen: Yeah. I literally have an Instagram post, half written and the first line of it is," I should be grateful."Michelle: Yes! Especially now. I mean, I. I started my business full time in the middle of the recession back in 2010. And, um, you know, I heard it then, and I hear it even more now, especially, you know, with COVID and, um, it's been awful how many industries have just been decimated and how many people have lost their jobs?And, um, they're, they're, it's hard for them to even go back to the industry that they were working in, never the less the particular job that they had. And so that lends [00:19:00] itself to anyone who has some sort of stability, or they go, "But I my colleagues, but I'm making good money." But, uh, but there's a reason why you're looking at my website or your website, or, you know, filling out an application or jumping on a consultation call.And , you are allowed to have that job that gives you the grownup things that you need. And still know it's not enough for you.Karen: Yeah. Yeah. I think it was really helpful for me to hear that from friends from my partner. Um, when I was, you know, in a position where I felt I'm in, I'm making the best money, I have the best people. This is the best job I've had and it's still not good enough,you know?Michelle: And yet, and yet, that's when you know, you're the common denominator, I think. Um, and that's why it gets so upsetting when, on paper, everything should fit. You [00:20:00] know, it's almost, everyone's had a, really, a romantic relationship this somewhere where you go, this guy or this girl on paper is the everything I'm looking for, but there's just a, not a spark. There's just not a thing. , and you try to make it, you go out on the fifth date and you go and meet and then, you know, the whole time, , you know, this isn't who I want, isn't what I want.Karen: Totally. Okay. I wanted to come back to the little voice you mentioned. The little voice that got louder and louder and louder because it's something that, you know, I had that too, and that just took a long time to listen to that. And I'd wanted to bring this up to you because you had that voice come back to you again more recently and make a big change in your business.And, um, I know, I think, I don't know. Back last year I realized I was , okay, I'm just a turtle and that's okay. Right. Maybe I move slowly because there's a couple of things going on. Right? There's this mythology, I think that says you have to do the big, [00:21:00] bold, brave, huge thing. And I started to realize that,Michelle: [sound] Thumbs down raspberry.Karen: Taking the small steps, doing the little things, following that voice little by little does actually make a big difference in the end. But one question I'm asking myself now is, do you think we're supposed to get faster at listening to that?Michelle: Ohhh.Karen: Or get better at listening? Because faster is also dives into this hustle culture, capitalist... In a way I kind of think, I don't know. Does it benefit us to get better at listening to our intution?Michelle: Yes. Yes. This is such an interesting question. I have, my intuition has been loud and quick and dead on probably over the last year where I just go, okay, I know what my intuition is telling me. And even if something else pops [00:22:00] up, I know - that's not a thing. That's not a thing , um, but it's, you know, I've been in business for 13 years. It took me six years to become a six figure, you know, business owner.I think that, you know, it still makes me feel I should have done it faster. I should, you know, I still look around and say, Oh, this person came up at the same time I did. And yet, she has a million dollar business, you know, a hundred thousand subscribers in her newsletter and how come I only have this many and it's so easy to do that.So easy to do that. Um, but I think that. If you and this again, it's hard because in 2021, there is so much noise. There are so many sheds, there's so many different ways of doing things. And there are so many people who will tell you, this is the only way to do the thing, which makes me crazy. Um, I think the more you could say, this is what is true for me, but this is what, [00:23:00] um, is grounding me.This is the message I'm receiving from myself. The more it's going to serve you. And, um, I think, you know, really listening to that voice, I always say there's no shortcuts to feeling a confident business owner. Um, the only way it happens is with time and experience. And I think that that is true for listening to your intuition as well.Um, and for me, You know, if I was maybe a little more I'm pretty hippy-dippy right now, but I was not when I started this journey, if I was a little bit more... if I was doing the meditation and stuff that I've been doing for the last few years earlier in my business, I might've heard, I might've heard that, that voice more often and quicker and louder, and I would have trusted that voice and followed that voice the way I do now.But it's just taken me this long. Um, but yeah, the more you could. Tap into that, but I don't think it's about the speed of [00:24:00] it. I think it's just giving it space to , what do I need to know today? What do I need to know right now? What do I need to know about this offer? What do I need to know about this question?And , I to say I'm letting things simmer. I have a real, amazing mastermind group that I go to and I'll say to them, I don't need solutions. I don't need answers. I don't need opinions. I'm just telling you what I had on the stove right now. And , if you want to tell me, you know, anything that comes up for you with what I have on a stove right now, , please...Karen: Put a little seasoning in there.Michelle: Yes. Tell me, well, what you, what you think that maybe will help my simmering. And then my writing simmer, and then usually there's something that I go, okay, that soup. It's done now taking it off the pot and eating it. Did this analogy work?Karen: Totally does. No. And I think you're right. , it's not about the speed, but there was some part of me that just wanted to ask that question, because you mentioned the voice and , you know, I had that too.And I'm , what is, I think it, maybe it's just more about being [00:25:00] more connected to it? And I've had, I've had a similar experience too, where I think in the last year or two, I have a sense of, usually it's saying no to things, saying no to something that I use to say yes to, I had a sense on this one evebt and I was , Hmm, I don't know, I think this year it's just not for me. And that was the beginning of 2020. And then,and it's funny though, cause you don't know logically why. Yeah. And then months later, the logic makes sense and you see some things and you go, Oh! So it's almost a, maybe pre-cognition, that might be a bit of a stretch... There's some knowledge, something in me that knew something.And I was , is this fear? And I was realizing , as I was thinking about it this week, it's different. There's a, , I want to do something I'm scared. That's a certain kind of feeling, but this was a. Um, I'm not sure. I'm just not sure that's right for me. And, um, it's interesting to see how that it's useful to listen to [00:26:00] that, even if I don't know why, because the logical reasons seem to become clear later on.Michelle: Well, thankfully my parents, when I was growing up in the eighties during stranger danger, my parents taught me about what they call the Uh-Oh feeling, which I thought all 80s children grew up with. But I found out as a teenager and a young adult, , no, this was just something that was spoken about in my house, I guess.And they taught me, you know, about the feeling. And they said, when you just have that feeling in your body, that's something's wrong. You might not be able to have your brain tell you what is wrong. You just have that feeling in your body. That's something is wrong. You need to get yourself out of that situation and go find a grownup right away.Karen: So good!Michelle: And it was so instrumental for me because as an adult, you know, it applies in so many situations, but it applies a lot in my business too, of just , this feels a little off. I don't know why [00:27:00] something about it isn't sitting well with me. And the more I listened to that and then say no to that thing. Um, the more it's worked out for me, whenever I try to talk myself into that thing and I tell my clients, this is where, you say, Oh, this potential client came to me and , it'll be good to have a challenge.Never fucking take that client! You know, you're trying to talk yourself into why this is a good thing or, you know, um, You might not know why it's not a good thing you might say. Okay. But I could help this person, but I could, ooh but I should do this thing. But, um, it doesn't matter. And you're right, usually something will be revealed later on saying that's why that didn't feel right. So, the Uh-Oh, feeling,Karen: I love that. And I kind of got chills when you were talking about it. I'm , man, I wish I knew about the, Uh-Oh. Feeling and it's so helpful to know. Yeah, your brain might not know why, but your body does. That's , that was a huge part of my Wayfinder Life Coach Training. It's all about connected to your body and letting your body speak to you because [00:28:00] your body does know before your brain does.Michelle: So true, it's so true. So true.Karen: Um, I wanted to talk about. You know, what are the steps that you, maybe not all the steps, but maybe some of the important steps, whether big or small that you took kind of to get to the career you wanted, what were the important things that stood out that you needed to do?Michelle: Oh my gosh. Um, you know, the things that I mentioned before, , It's about building relationships more than anything for me, this is selfishly why I do the work that I do and how I do the work that I do.You know, there's a reason why you don't see any on demand, passive income, take my thing and do it yourself. Or you don't see, just hire me for a session or two where , that's enough. That could be helpful for others. It's not very fulfilling for me. And I actually don't think it's as helpful.As it is for those longer term things. So, you know, [00:29:00] even though 90 Day Business Launch is primarily a group program, I will do it one-on-one. But the groups are 20 women. I don't plan on blowing up these groups in the future. The way I'm scaling my business. I'm going to have a group ... NO., cause I want to know that 20 women in here and there will probably be 17, 18 of these women that show up consistently that I really get to know.And that is what gets me up in the morning, what I'm excited about, so there's that relationship building piece. There's the, um, communication skills piece? I just always knew that I was a good communicator. That probably was my acting background. Um, wasn't shy about public speaking. I always felt that I was a good writer.I was just able to, um, have those relationships with people in that way. You know, I think that... I'm a competitive person. Okay. Let's say that. Right. I'm a competitive, so [00:30:00] there's something that entrepreneurship too. You know, I've been in sales before for better or for worse. And that stuff didn't scare me., I'm definitely not a, yay let's go market my business and try it. But, um, especially now, I don't know, maybe I'm maybe I have a selective memory, back then, I was still nervous to approach people and tell them what I was doing, but I was felt okay, writing my blog and going on Twitter and, you know, writing the newsletter and telling people about what I was doing.And I think it was just that helping piece. Um, and it's funny because you know, the other job I could have had was in real estate for sure. If I wanted to do real estate, I would not be talking to you right now. I would be million dollar real estate, real estate. Um, I did New York city rentals for a year in.Oh, I guess it was 2002, 2003. And then, [00:31:00] and I was the number one agent in my office, I think five or six times in my first full year there. And I made more money than I've ever seen in my life, but I worked. All the time. And then I said, I can't keep up this hustle. I want to do, um, I want to do sales instead of rentals and New York city, that was just my death for a lot of reasons that we don't need to get into. But I dug myself in a $20,000 credit card hole. It was , Real bad. Um, but there's something between the real estate. And even me looking at opening up a matchmaker service and the career coaching, their business coaching, where it's , you're matching people with , their homes or their partners or the careers that they want to.There was ...Karen: a thread.Michelle: something, something, there was a thread there. Um, that felt really good for me. And even, even when I was doing real estate, I think what. I hated so much part of what I hated so much [00:32:00] was the stereotype that came along with specifically New York city, real estate agents that , Oh, everyone's going to suck you dry and they're slimy and they're going to lie to youand, um, and I was just , no, I'm, I'm here to be, you know, truthful and honest and help people. And, um, so those were kind of. The important pieces, I think. And then, you know, just the freedom piece that comes with being a business owner that I think is the driving force for the vast majority of my clients.. Especially being women. And mostly I work with women in their thirties and forties. Um, they want freedom over their time and their commitments and who they're working with and when and on what, and, um, the financial freedom, um, whether they're the breadwinners or they're, you know, stay at home moms who want to contribute financially, or they are somewhere in between.It's , They want to make a certain amount of money, [00:33:00] um, in order to support the lifestyle that, that they want. Um, so that, that was all connected to, I just felt I had better, even, even though it felt very risky and scary. And what am I doing? Quitting my "stable job." and I'll put stable in quotes, um, stable job in the middle of the recession to go be, you know, my other business was called the When I Grow Up Coach, to be the When I Grow Up Coach of all , stupid things to do. It just felt so silly, but, you know, I just knew this is how I help people. I already have a foundation, I'm getting good results and, um, I got my, I chose to get my certification. Because I didn't even work with a coach before I decided to be one, but I knew I was a good coach right off the bat because of the communication piece, because of the relationship building piece, because I was a creative person talking to a creative person.Um, so I think that had to be key too, in terms of, you [00:34:00] know, who do I want to work with? Who do I want to help? Who do I want to talk to really key.Karen: Is there any advice you ignored, to your benefit? Other than, uh, what is it, what color is your parachute?Michelle: Yes! I mean, I couldn't even ignore that advice was I couldn't even get to the part where there was any advice to ignore.I couldn't even, but you know what I mean? Um, you know, I ignored, I ignored the advice that I got for a long time as an actor that I feel once I ignored that advice as an actor, my acting career, um, started growing, but it was a little too. It was a little too late, too little, too late.Um, I was taught as an actor. To really blend in and don't wear, don't wear clothes that distract from your face and go in and, you know, sing the song that's just right for the part in the show. And , I was a girl in my [00:35:00] twenties and you go to an audition and there are 400 girls in their twenties.And, um, I was taught these specific marketing things that did not serve me with the type of roles that I was always cast as, and how I sang and performed. And once I made the intentional decision, I'm going to take all of that and throw it in the garbage and what I'm going to do is that I know I'm cast as the comedic sidekick character role.And I am going to take my headshots with a polka dotted dress, which is always a, no-no a bright blue background. Just distract the shit out of them, but show my personality and show up in a, I had a dress that , looked candy dots with a matching headband. And I wore this dress everywhere and I just saw the room change when I walked in., here I fucking am, time to listen to me. And I was getting more [00:36:00] callbacks, I was getting more parts, and I was getting remembered more where , I would get a phone call saying, you want this in for us eight months ago. You weren't right for that, but we're remembering you for this. Could you come in? And I thought I'd be really stupid if I didn't take that advice and bring it into my business when I started my business.So even though it was very tempted to be very professional in business, right. Um, I resisted that I was , I need to show my potential clients who I am before they even necessarily walk in the room. Um, quote unquote, and I want them to know what they're getting into. I want them to know who I am and what it's to work with me.And so I'm not shying away from, you know, wearing similar clothes and having bright blue website and, and all of that stuff. And , saying "Oy Vey" in my copy and, and, you know, not having those stock photos of people in suits, shaking hands, sad.Karen: Arms crossed.Michelle: Yeah. [00:37:00] Conference rooms with this, you know, um, and my own dad who meant, well, told me when I first launched my website, "This does not look professional, I would not hire you." And, um, if it wasn't for the experience I had as an actor, I would have probably said, "Oh my gosh, you're so right. I need to change everything" I need to, you know, and I said to him, "thank you so much, but I don't want to work with businessmen in their sixties." And I think that by representing myself in this way, I'm going to appeal to, you know, at the time my, my ideal audience was creative people in their twenties, thirties, forties, whoneed help working with someone me on some, some, something this. And I think I'm going to attract my right people. So , I kind of told my dad, thank you but no thank you and he gave one of those dad grumbles of just , well, you can do what you want, but yeah, you'll see. And probably the best phone, but one of the best phone calls I ever received in my life was him calling me [00:38:00] about a year later, maybe, maybe a little less, but I was still at my day job and I got a phone call from a writer at Newsweek and he was , I'm doing a video article, life coaching. And can I interview you? You could be part of this article? And I was , yes, of course. And I called in sick to work. It was the next day I called in sick to work and he spent almost the whole day with me. And when the article came out, It was an article. It was an article about life coaching, but it was only me, he didn't talk to anyone else. And my dad said to me, forget it, just do what you're doing. I obviously don't know what I'm talking about. And it was the best phone call of my life, of my life.Karen: Yeah. And so interesting how those, , you know, quote unquote failures, um, of , you know, Failure to follow your own instinct in acting. And then when you did it made you stand out, got where you wanted and then, and then you use that, could see how you could connect with your real [00:39:00] audience. And then that's a message, obviously that you, speak to the people that the women that you're working with too. And it's , this is not about making you look everybody else. This is about what the heck is that maybe that weird, quirky thing about you that everyone needs to know so that your people can just, you know, be magnetized to you.Right, totally.Michelle: And I think that along with that, and maybe this is a little bit, I don't know, going against that in a, in a way, but , You don't have to say, I'm going to take this quirk and I'm going to magnify this... I'm going to find my people because I love animal crossing so I'm going to put animal crossing out.It doesn't have to be that literal. It's just, who are, who are you? How are you going to show up? Just show, you know, if you're someone who wears bright colors and whatever, pictures and wear bright colors, if you're some, I mean, I'm someone who, bring on the exclamation points, right? , and I'm, I'm giving you exclamation [00:40:00] points and.I tell my clients all the time and I, and I see this for myself too. You want to be a gatekeeper and by being a gatekeeper, that's actually, sometimes I think we feel it's selfish, but that's actually a very selfless thing to do, because I know there are people that come to my website and look at my stuff and go, Oh my gosh, this woman is too energetic for me.What is up with all of her exclamation points? It's does not look professional. And I want those people to go away right from the start. So they could find the person that they resonate with, go and I don't want to talk to them because they're not right for, for my work. We won't be in a good relationship together.So let's not waste everyone's time. And let's , keep that gate closed for those people. Um, and that's how you wind up with clients who are just dream clients from the heavens that you go. I don't even, I mean, there were years in my business where I had no application. I had no consultation calls. It was just , Hey, this is how I work with you.Buy now! And I would have people [00:41:00] give me $2,000, never having spoken to me, never me not knowing anything about them. And I was nervous about it every single time. And I would get in the first session and I'd be , Oh, this is my person. And it was a million percent because I showed up just as myself in my marketing online, whatever, and they knew what they were getting themselves into.Karen: It's interesting because being yourself as such a practice, I think yourself, I don't know, out loud in public, whether that is it doesn't have to be on Instagram. I guess that's one of the ways I think about it, but, um, When I've started creating content, it sounds so, but when you start writing and then realize, Oh, there's this thing I think.And uh, I thought everybody thought it. I thought everybody knew this and I just say it out loud. And then, you know, people respond to it and then, Oh, I have actually more to say about that. And then going with that, you start to even discover what you think too and go, Oh, this is what I think, Oh, this is who I am.Oh. And, [00:42:00] and this process is really helping me. That's the weirdest thing. I've, I've heard. Um, a, one of the courses I took recently Bookkeeping Bootcamp with my friend, Kristine from Caritas company. Um, the, one of the guest speakers said that entrepreneurship is the fastest vehicle to personal growth.Michelle: Yes, a million percent.Karen: It's so true. And sometimes it feels so annoying because the thing that you're learning, it feels it's so vulnerable and tender. You kind of have to put it out to the world. Where, you know, usually nobody's really paying attention anyway, so it doesn't matter, but you're , ooh I gotta put that on my website.Michelle: I know. Well, and the whole thing too, you know, the women that come to me and want to work with me, never say, Michelle, I'm just looking to start the business.It's gonna make me the most amount of money. I don't care about it emotionally. I'm totally detached. I just want to make money. Those are not. And those, I would imagine are not the people listening to The Intentional Career Podcasts and lik, amen and hallelujah for those [00:43:00] people.Karen: There are many podcasts for those people. That's fine.Michelle: A million percent. Um, but when you care about your work and it is. In a space that leads to you being fulfilled and feeling on purpose in your own life. There is so much emotional stuff attached to that. And so that's where I think even the bigger self-development self knowledge, um, comes from. And I, I totally agree with everything you said.Um, you know, I'm reminding. My launchers especially right, right now in this moment that we're recording, they're two or three weeks away from their, um, from their launch day.Karen: Oh, it's scary!Michelle: It's so scary!Karen: And exciting.Michelle: And exciting. My favorite: equal-ish amounts of fear and excitement. Um, and I just keep telling them, you have to remind yourself you're going through an identity shift., this is [00:44:00] big. This is hard. You're going from whatever you've identified yourself with for however many years, whatever roles you've had in your life. You are now shifting it to say. I'm a business owner. I'm an entrepreneur. I have this other thing. And that is you. So try and, you know, we have to take care of ourselves.We can't minimize our stuff. We can't there are, I say, people come to 90 Day Business Launch because of the logistics and the plan and the clear steps, and they stay for all the emotional shit. That's what keeps me in business. Is that, so much?Emotional shit. I hope I could curse that comes up with this and that could really be what, what pulls you under, um, and what prevents you from getting to launch day?Karen: Yeah, I think it's, it's, uh, learning that I can be terrified and still do [00:45:00] something or, I can be imperfect. Maybe that's one of the biggest, move forward to know that I'm going to work hard and make this as good as I can. And there's a point where you go, I gotta put this out publicly and move forward and see what happens because I'm going to learn so much from doing that and seeing what you know, potential clients come my way and all of that stuff rather than trying to be perfect before I show anybody anything.Michelle: Thank you. And going back to what you said earlier about baby steps. I mean, I think that the advice that we've all heard is "Leap and the net will appear." And so where, you know, we have that thing. And, no, no. , no, especially when you're an adult who says it's not acceptable for me to live in my parents' basement or live with 10 roommates or eat ramen every day or whatever.This is not, you do not need to fly off the cliff and hope you don't crash and die at the bottom. I to say to my clients, what we're doing here is we [00:46:00] are taking step-by-step. We're on a safety net that is resting on the ground and you're walking right on top of the safety net until eventually you, you look down and you say, Oh, there's no safety net anymore.I'm walking on my own. The safety that's behind me, safety net is not. A million feet off the ground. You were not on the high wire. You are not. No, no. And I think the people who see it that way, I know former clients that I've worked with, you know, I've been in business now for 13 years, the ones who are wanting to get there quickly, the ones who were , I'm going to blow up my life to do this and not the ones who are still in business now that's for sure. And I don't think that's a coincidence.Karen: Yeah. And I think that was, I think one of the things that helped me trust you. Just to say , because there is still this mythology that the successful people take the leap. Right? And so even as I was working with you and going, Oh, I'm still, I still have a day job, I have my business, you know, pushing.Oh, I'm not doing it fast enough. I'm [00:47:00] not doing it right. There's somebody else who quit their day job before me. All of these comparison things, but also to go, okay, I am on my path, I'm taking the steps and it's okay. And I guess I'm, I'm trying to share that message too, right? You don't have to quit the job and storm out to find the right thing.Maybe, maybe you're going to listen to yourself a little bit more. Maybe , who knows what those things are gonna be. Those little steps can get you to where you want to be.Michelle: And what's in your safety net? What's in your saftey net can be different. It's going to be the same. It's funny. I used to when I used to teach, , I had a workshop called an effective escape that any 90 Day Business Launcher registering gets for free.I this for years and different formats. And I used to teach it as , Your a safety net might consistent these things. And now I go, here's what you're going to need. There's always going to be a certain amount of money in the [00:48:00] bank, but that's what differs is everyone's comfort level is different and there will be the day. if you want to be a full-time entrepreneur, there will be the day that you do have to go into your manager's office or boss' office and say, I want to give my two weeks notice. You're going to have to leap at that point. But that to me is not leaping and hoping the net will appear that is the leaping and saying , I'm going to take the stairs down, down this canyon.And then , there's a safety net that I'm going to walk across. I've created a bridge to get, and I'm going to walk across it because I have X amount of money in the bank because my website's up because I've already worked with clients because I have an email list, , okay, I've laid the foundation now I'm ready to take the leap. But the leap is smaller. and yes, all of those things.Karen: Love it. Okay. I want to ask you, who's your career crush, who is, or was your career crush? Do you have any ready that you're , Oh [00:49:00] my gosh, that you kind of fawn over, or are you so high up there that you're ...Michelle: Oh my god! You're hilarious, you're so hilarious. Thank you that is very kind that You even said that to me. No, I have so many career crushes. I mean, I have business crushes, but it's funny because I'm so disenchanted, especially lately with the social justice movements and stuff that , I, you know, if you asked me four months ago, I would have a different answer than I have today after having some behind the scenes knowledge of someone who I really admired and wanted to work with about I'm going to do the thing that..And then I'm , Oh, I don't the way. So I think I need to send a shout out right now to VP Wright. I am taking her Inclusive Entrepreneur program. And that's been a 12 week journey that is ending this week that we're recording. Um, and what she has done with a business that is [00:50:00] rooted for creatives, but in ethics and in her own zone of genius, and her knowledge, the way she works with clients, is just. so , yes. Yes. And, um, I brought her on to lead monthly group coaching, private monthly group coaching calls with my Black, Indigenous Women of Color Launchers while they're in the program. And I'm not there, so I don't know what they're talking about and we don't record it. I know I'm not there, but I've gotten such amazing feedback.And I think that, you know, her and Trudi LeBron, and, um, According to Weeze and Anti-Racism Daily, Nicole Cordoza, Austin Channing Brown. These women are just lighting me up right now and I'm learning so much from them. And, um, Ooh, Ooh, who is it? It's Rowhouse Press? [00:51:00] I think her Instagram handle is Bexlife?Karen: Bexlife, yeah. Rebekah Boruki?Yeah.Michelle: And she's starting this whole new publishing company where, I heard her on Trudi LeBron's podcast, just going through, , here's how we're disrupting this industry that is not working. And we're partnering with. Authors of color and they're, they're becoming partners, and this is, this is what they're getting.And they're getting these livable advances and they're getting that. It was so amazing. So I think those sorts of, um, women and people in businesses are just super, super, super inspiring. So those are my, those are my crushes.Karen: That's awesome. I remember watching, I can't remember when it was maybe end of last year, there was a live that Rebecca BexLife did and she was talking about, / um, [00:52:00] How white supremacy is keeping you from abundance.And I watched this thing and she was talking about how, , you know, Black and Brown Indigenous people of color, they have communities and in white supremacy, we lack that because it's all about competition. And I was listening to her going...Michelle: I need to find this.Karen: I don't get this. I don't, I couldn't, my brain wasn't computing it.And I was , this is why she's right. Because they know there's something inside me going , yeah but you're not actually a success if you don't do it alone. And I was , Oh my goodness. Um, and so yeah, I'm with you on that. I think it's really. Important to learn from, you know, Black, Indigenous, Women of color to... because I know I have something to learn from them that I'm not going to learn from the, I don't know, the six figure seven figure, you [00:53:00] know, white life coaches.Michelle: Yeah. We all know, insert this name here. Right?Karen: And we've been watching it fall apart and it's really interesting as I'm new in my business going okay, how do I want my business to be different and not be based in white supremacy.Yes. And I loveMichelle: this stuff is toppling that, you know, things that I was taught back in 2008 and things that are still being taught and just these, you know, very unethical, marketing tactics that, you know, it's crumbling. And I think it's going to be really interesting seeing what rises up and who rises up and, , it's all gonna be for the better, all of it. All of it.Karen: Yeah. Yeah.And I think we're creating new economies too, because I'm kind of looking at the people that are, I'm , they're already rich enough. Um, you know, if I'm going to hire [00:54:00] somebody. You know, who, what other businesses can I support? What other communities can I support? How can I send my money into different directions versus, up a pyramid where the person at the top gets the most and the other people don't, you know? Done with that.Yep.Michelle: It's exactly. Right. Exactly right.Karen: Well, thank you so much for being on the podcast. You're my first recorded, my first interview. I don't know if you'll be the first one released, but the first one to record. I'm so excited that I got to do this with youMichelle: So honored. Thank you for asking me. I could just, Oh my gosh have we really been talking that long? I can just sit with you all afternoon.Karen: I could too. So people can find you. Where can people find you . On Instagram?Michelle: Yes, Instagram @90daybizlaunch B-I-Z just to shorten it up a bit. And then 90daybusinesslaunch.com. If you want to check out the program, you can go right to 90daybusinesslaunch.com/program, [00:55:00] um, where enrollment, when this goes up, I think we're going to be enrolling our summer session. Um, so that will be, Oh, no, wait, we'll be enrolling our fall session. We'll be, yeah, you'll be early for the fall session, but , I have lots of goodies if you're early, even more than I show on my website.Cause sometimes they don't have the time to get my crap together to put my goodies on my website. So just if you're interested in that fall session, go check out the program, go apply. Tell me where you came from and say, "Michelle, I want some goodies," and I will get back to you with my personalized thoughts on your application.That has no obligation to it and the goodies.Karen: Yeah. Yes. Awesome. Thank you so much. I'm so grateful to have you here.Thank you so much for listening. It means so much that you chose to spend part of your day with me. If you enjoyed this episode, go to Apple podcasts and leave a five [00:56:00] star review. It helps other people find the podcast. And my hope is that if more people find the Intentional Career Podcast, then more people can create their own intentional careers.If you're ready to create your intentional career with the support of a coach, schedule a call with me. There's a link in the show notes, or you can go to intentional career.co and click the blue "Schedule a Call" button in the top right corner. Episodes of the podcast are released every second Wednesday.So I'll see you in two weeks for more of the Intentional Career Podcast.
Bruises, Breaks, and Burns: Child & Youth Maltreatment with Dr. Michelle Ward
Is it an accident or is it abuse? Tune in with Dr. Michelle Ward, Division Head of Child and Youth Protection at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, as we discuss what paramedics need to know about child & youth maltreatment
Mum of one and devout Catholic, Michelle Ward joins us who hails from Portarlington. Michelle grew up with a strong faith and belief in God which has only strengthened over the years. She has touched the lives of many people due to her open, kind, loving heart and her ability to share her spirituality in an accessible, non-preachery way.Michelle has lived abroad in Spain, LA and New York where she has experienced many synchronicities centered around her faith and leading her closer to God even at times when the distance seemed far. Michelle has witnessed many miracles throughout the years and has experienced first hand evidence of the power of prayer. We are happy to catch up with Michelle and talk all the things of the spiritual nature.Enjoy
Michelle Ward, CEO of 90 Day Business Launch, is a business coach who guides creative, multi-passionate women to become entrepreneurs. Since 2008, she’s helped hundreds of these women launch their dream businesses so they can get the freedom, authenticity and fulfillment they’re seeking in their day-to-day lives. You may have seen or heard her in New York Magazine, The Huffington Post, Etsy, Newsweek, Freelancers Union, USA Today, the Forbes Top 100 Websites for your Career list, EO Fire, Real Talk Radio, The Unmistakable Creative or hundreds of other media outlets. She’s the teacher of Create Your Dream Career and Ditch Your Day Job, which were watched by tens of thousands of people on CreativeLive. When she’s not coaching, teaching or speaking, she can be found building a fort for her little girl, sitcom-binging with her husband, strumming her ukulele or belting out show tunes. Show notes: http://tamihackbarth.com/episode-75/
S2E8. The 90 Day Business Launch with Michelle Ward
Your Circle of Influence
Michelle Ward, CEO of 90 Day Business Launch, is a business coach who guides creative, multi-passionate women to become entrepreneurs. Since 2008, she’s helped hundreds of these women launch their dream businesses so they can get the freedom, authenticity and fulfilment they’re seeking in their day-to-day lives. You may have seen or heard her in New York Magazine, The Huffington Post, Etsy, Newsweek, Freelancers Union, USA Today, the Forbes Top 100 Websites for your Career List, EO Fire, Real Talk Radio, The Unmistakable Creative or 150+ other media outlets. She’s the teacher of Create Your Dream Career and Ditch Your Day Job, which were watched by tens of thousands of people on CreativeLive. When she’s not coaching, teaching or speaking, she can be found building a fort for her little girl, sitcom-binging with her husband, strumming her ukulele or belting out show tunes. Make a grown-up living with a business you love at 90DayBusinessLaunch.com. Check her website at www.90daybusinesslaunch.com
Why would a successful coach choose to burn down her empire after 12 years?If you want the privilege of hearing a high-level coach talk through the long-game perspective of being in business, Michelle is generously sharing with us how she problem solves in her business and through her own mind drama, the difficult decisions she’s making, and what committing to a life of entrepreneurship really entails. Get full show notes and more information here: https://www.simonegraceseol.com/113
130. Should You Start a Business During Times of Crisis with Michelle Ward
As the current situation extends and the economic issues deepen, more and more of us are going to consider alternate sources of income. This raises that question, is it a good time to start a business? When we hear of small businesses closing shop and the economy’s collapse, how sane is it to consider going into business? These are the questions at the heart of this episode. And to dig into this question, I’m joined by business coach, Michelle Ward. Since 2008, Michelle has been guiding creative women to bridge the gap between an unfulfilling career and their dream business. Her programs include helping women clarify their business goals, launch their idea, and grow their business.For the show notes, highlights, and links, visit https://secondbreaks.com/podcast