About Me

I’m Michelle Ward, PCC and I have 1 question for you: What do you want to be when you grow up?

I’ve answered that question for myself, and I’ve been offering dream career guidance for creative women since 2008. You may have seen or heard me in New York Magazine, The Huffington Post, Etsy, Newsweek, Freelancers Union, the Forbes Top 100 Websites for your Career List and/or on the book shelves as the co-author of The Declaration of You. A boob cancer survivor, a Judge Judy contest winner, a pink ukulele player, and an NYU alum with my BFA in theater, I live in Brooklyn with my husband and baby girl.

Michelle Ward


The Video Story

The Longish (But Worthwhile to Read!) Story

Since I was a little girl of 6 years old, I always wanted to be an actress. Being on stage is where I belonged, and it took me places. It took me to New York City, where I majored in musical theater at NYU, Tisch School of the Arts. It took me on a cruise ship around North America where I sang my heart out for a year. It took me to Studio 8A in Rockefeller Plaza, where I got to be on “Saturday Night Live”. It even took me to The-Closest-Movie-Theater-Is-An-Hour-Away, PA and The-Town-With-A-Gas-Station,-a-Consignment-Shop,-a-Pizzeria,-and-a-Gun-Store, New Hampshire.

And all of a sudden, the life I was pursuing for 20 years wasn’t what I wanted anymore. I didn’t want to leave my home in New York City, where I built an incredible life for myself. I didn’t want to spend my “days off” sitting at auditions to sing 8 bars of a song and wonder where the day went. I didn’t want to get a job and have to pick up my life with one day’s (or one week’s) notice. I didn’t want to be a 35 year old waitress/ hostess/ temp/office manager. I wanted my days to mean something, to be valuable, to matter.

So I got a real job. And another one. And another. I went through seven jobs in four years, constantly trying to find “the perfect fit”. I’d get restless easily and fairly despondent, thinking that there was nothing else out there for me that I could devote myself to passionately and enthusiastically. One day I declared, “Enough! I refuse to accept that there is nothing else out there that I’m going to love doing!” I decided to put some chutzpah into my search. I was going to find My Perfect Career.

I enrolled in a Career Change Workshop at NYU, and through a series of personality tests, exercises, and conversations with my classmates, I realized that I wanted to help others find their own path, especially “creative types” that thought they wanted one thing their whole life and now have to rewrite their plans. I wanted to help them figure out what they wanted to be When They Grow Up.

But I didn’t want to limit myself to Career Coaching. I wanted to help people along with all their life challenges, but not in a Hippy-Dippy or a Tell-Me-What-Your-Parents-Did-When-You-Were-Five way. I wanted to be their springboard, their partner, their confidante, their cheerleader.


I wanted to start my passionate, grown-up career right away, but I knew that was the fastest route to FallingOnMyFaceLand. Instead of enrolling in my life coach certification right away, I decided to get out of my current job – the one with expected 24/7 BlackBerry access, pointless travel, and the verbally abusive boss who made me so psychosomatic I actually dry heaved into a trash can at the Union Square stop one morning (of course, I felt fine as soon as I turned around. Gross, but true) – and find one without, well, all of that. Within a month or two I landed a cushy gig as an Executive Assistant at a financial consulting company. I know it might seem counterintuitive, but having that consistent paycheck, no Blackberry/overtime/travel, and a boss who didn’t make me dry heave into anything allowed me to keep my nights/weekends to myself, get certified, and build my business.

I started that job in August of 2007, which was the very same month I enrolled at the International Coach Academy. It took almost two years (I got engaged and married in that time on top of my full-time corporate gig!) but I graduated in June of 2009 with high marks for my 60 coaching hours, 120 classroom hours, & term paper! With that under my belt, I set my sights on building my business with a kick-ass website (it didn’t always look like this!), a few months of severance in the bank (yes, I was planning to pay myself my full-time salary until I knew Plan B had to kick in), and enough consultation calls coming in that made me think people out there knew that I existed.

March 19, 2010 was my last day in Corporate America, and I have been a Woman of the World (my phrase for “full-time entrepreneur”) ever since. I’ve served as an expert source and contributor for such outlets as The Huffington Post, Etsy, AOL Jobs, Newsweek, Freelancers Union, Psychology Today & 100+ others – this site even got named as one of the Top 100 Websites for Your Career list by Forbes. I’ve led workshops and seminars at SXSW, the Macauley Honors College at City University of New York, the sold-out Etsy Success Symposium, Freelancers Union, Craftcation and HOLSTEE. I co-created the kick-ass e-course/workbook/workshop The Declaration of You, which was published by North Light Books in June 2013. My 3 day workshop on CreativeLive, Create Your Dream Career was the 2nd highest-viewed course on the Craft & Makers channel, attracting 10K people overall when it aired live in September 2014. I made the same base salary in my first full year as a Woman of the World that I made in corporate America (which continues to grow), received my PCC (Professional Certified Coach) status from the International Coach Academy, and have personally coached over 250 creative types to help them discover – and achieve! – their passionate, grown-up career.

I’ve been training my whole life to be a coach. My communication skills, my enthusiasm and sense of humor, my desire to help people find their passion, and my people-loving-personality makes this the role that I was born to play, and my certification and ~800 hours of coaching time makes this a role I can take center stage!



VOCAL VIDEOS (from Newsweek, Etsy, Pepsi, & more)

Put Me In, Life Coach on Newsweek.com

Ascertaining Your Awesomeness & Articulating It Without Sounding Like an Ass at the sold-out Etsy Success Symposium (~100 people live with 1,500 streaming online)

Solopreneur Workshop with The When I Grow Up Coach for Etsy Seller Education

Pepsi and Momversations present Women, The 5G Network

Attendee Stories Forum at The World Domination Summit 2012 (1,000 people in attendance)

Right This Minute presents I Got Boob Cancer – a Ditty


You can also find me chattin’ it up on:

ILLUSTRIOUS INTERVIEWS AND/OR FUN FEATURES (from Forbes, PsychologyToday.com, CRAVE, & more)

COOL CONTRIBUTIONS (articles from New York Magazine, amNY, AOL Jobs, Forbes & more)


GREAT GUEST POSTS (from Etsy, Forbes.com, Yahoo!, & more)

PEPPY PODCASTS and ROCKIN’ RADIO APPEARANCES (from 107.1, Blogcast FM, The Hopkinson Report and more!)