Category Archives: Creative Career Cheer

Apr 22 2015

Fear of Failure? Remember This One Thing.


Fear of Failure? Remember this one thing.

On Sunday, I ran my first half-marathon: the MORE/FITNESS/SHAPE Women’s Half in Central Park.

Never in my life did I think I could run a half-marathon. My time was a bit longer than I wanted, but I’m so proud of myself for hitting my overall goal of not walking during the race at all (a pee break & water stops excluded). #womenruntheworld #fuckyoucancer

A photo posted by Michelle Ward (@whenigrowupcoach) on

On Thursday night, I had an anxiety dream that involved not starting the race until 3:30pm, going off course multiple times, and pinning a hamburger to my shirt so I could eat it when I was done.

I woke up Friday with a knot in my stomach that wouldn’t go away, and it stayed with me during my very last training run that morning.

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Charge, Creative Career Cheer, Encouragement for Everyone
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Apr 16 2015

Grown Up Gigs: Founder and Live Event Artist Katherine Gressel


Grown Up Gigs: Katherine Gressel, Founder & Live Event Artist of Event Paintings by Katherine

 Katherine’s photo by Hoffer Photography

I’ve bookmarked Event Painting by Katherine ever since I came across it during one of my Internet rabbit hole searches.

She gets hired to paint moments from a big event, like a wedding…LIVE! So while you’re, say, having your first dance, she’s painting on the side. Then, the painting is finished for your guests to admire on their way out. How freakin’ amazeballs is THAT?!

I, of course, shared it on my social media homes, and Katherine herself responded! I’ve had her in mind for a Grown Up Gigs interview ever since, and I’m over the moon that she said YES!

I think the biggest take-away I had from my conversation with Katherine is the myriad of ways you can make a living as an artist, and how she went about learning how to run a business in addition to working on her craft.

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Charge, Creative Career Cheer, Encouragement for Everyone
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Apr 09 2015

Watch Create Your Dream Career for free this weekend!


Screen Shot 2015-04-07 at 10.57.15 AM

I just got a heads-up that Create Your Dream Career will be rebroadcasted on CreativeLive this weekend, from 9am Pacific on Saturday 4/11 through about 8:30am Pacific on 4/12.

I’m super excited for this rebroadcast since those of you with traditional jobs don’t have to worry about sneaking over to the site on company time to watch the class. You can watch from the comfort of your own home, pjs encouraged!

Here are some reviews of the class that I swear I didn’t pay for:

“(…)the class really opened my eyes to the possibilities of having the career of my dreams, and being able to truly love what I do every single day.”

“Michelle’s course put me back on track into guiding me towards my goals. Her course curriculum is actually broken down into a very logical way, but she’s so energetic and fun you don’t feel like you’re in this boring classroom setting.”

“Michelle Ward is truly inspiring, best course I’ve ever taken through Creative Live!”

“(Michelle’s) enthusiastic, kind personality really shines through each of the lessons.

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POSTED IN: Creative Career Cheer, Encouragement for Everyone, Happy Hooplah
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Apr 08 2015

Are you saying one of my trigger words?


Are you saying one of my trigger words?

As a certified life coach who’s been at this for 7 years and change (how did THAT happen?!), I have red flags in my head that shoot straight up when I hear my client say the words listed below.

Now, these words aren’t bad, per se, but they usually do express an internal battle that my client is going through. When I hear these 3 words, I know that my client is trying to mold themselves into something they’re not. They’re holding themselves up to an ideal that, frankly, just isn’t their truth and is not the way they’ll ever thrive.

Here are the words that send up those red flags:

FOCUS. When it comes to being a multi-passionate, creative woman, “focus” is our F-word. I know what my client means when she says she wants to “focus” (not feel disjointed, have an action plan, feel confident in following through, etc.), but usually “focusing” means “I must pick one thing to do at a time until it’s done and I can’t do anything else until then!” and that’s the worst damn thing we can do to ourselves.

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Charge, Creative Career Cheer, Encouragement for Everyone
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Apr 02 2015

Grown Up Gigs: writer, speaker and advocate Esmé Wang


Grown Up Gigs: writer, speaker, and advocate Esme Wang

I love pretty much everything about my former client and dear friend Esmé Wang.

I love her decision to not to follow the norm in being a writer (i.e. “doing something unfulfilling to pay the bills while they were writing”).

I love how her public passion project turned into a job offer that aligned with her strengths and interests.

I love how she woke up at 4am to work on her novel when she had said full-time job.

And I most love how very transparent, honest and vulnerable she is about her mental health challenges, why it prompted her to start her own biz, and how she’s able to make her business work day-to-day.

You’re gonna love this interview, especially since it’s proceeded by a That’s A Career?! segment!

Links for All The Things spoken about in this interview:



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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Charge, Creative Career Cheer, Encouragement for Everyone
COMMENTS: 2 Comments


Mar 31 2015

6 Things My Hobbies Are Teaching Me About My Career


What my hobbies are teaching me about my career

It feels totally abnormal, but since our little sweets came along, I actually have picked up a new hobby and am holding on to an old one. As a new Mom, it feels a bit wrong to take time away from my baby and my business to do things that “aren’t productive” (aka don’t bring in any money or take care of anyone else but me), but I think subconsciously I know it’s more important than ever.

Here’s what I’ve learned from my hobbies that absolutely pertain to my career:

Do what you want. My uke teacher left me with these words at the end of a lesson a couple months ago, and they’ve been sitting with me ever since. Ya see, I’ve been in lessons at least monthly for over a year, and on and off for before that for even longer.

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Charge, Creative Career Cheer, Encouragement for Everyone
COMMENTS: 7 Comments


Mar 26 2015

Waiting for lightning to strike? (1 spot left)


what-you-have-to-offer

Do you know there’s only 1 spot left for It’s Business Time? If you’re feeling ready to get out of your head and into your hands, this program is for you.

Over the course of 6 months with us, you will claim your personalized biz idea and create the platform to authentically offer it to the world.

First: We start where you are and with what you already know and we’ll lay all of your Big Dreams on the table and start to make sense of how they fit into the big picture of your life and what you want for yourself.

Next: You’ll design your personalized Career Compass to serve as a guide in your biz journey and craft your first offer – and get your first guinea pig client!

Simultaneously: While you’re learning All The Things from your guinea pig client, you’ll be developing your mission statement and putting all of the pieces together.

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Charge, Creative Career Cheer, Encouragement for Everyone, Happy Hooplah
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Mar 25 2015

10 Things You’ll Need to Accept to Have a Successful Creative Business


10 things you'll need to accept to have a successful creative biz

This is a long-ass post, and I really don’t think it needs more of an introduction other than

HERE ARE 10 THINGS YOU’LL NEED TO ACCEPT TO HAVE A SUCCESSFUL CREATIVE BIZ.

{And for serious – if you accept this stuff sooner rather than later, you’ll become successful sooner rather than later. So get on it, yo!}

1. You’ll have to want to trade one type of stress for another. When it comes down to my clients deciding whether they wanna be entrepreneurs, there’s usually never a clear-cut answer. On one hand, they have to deal with someone’s else rules and do work that’s not aligned with what’s meaningful for them and feel inauthentic for 40+ hours a week…but then there’s the steady paycheck and the benefits package and a simple answer to The Dreaded Question. On the other hand, there’s creating a business that’s based around the type of work that’s important to them and the people they wanna work with…that is also totally dependent on them bringing in the money and bearing the weight of insurance, retirement plans, etc.

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Charge, Creative Career Cheer, Encouragement for Everyone
COMMENTS: 3 Comments


Mar 19 2015

It’s the debut of Grown Up Gigs – the podcast!


I just couldn’t help myself.

I just had to bring my Grown Up Gigs interview series to the podcast airwaves, and the first two episodes are available to listen to on iTunes right now!

It’s my 5th Entrepreneuriversary today, and it’s such a big way for me to celebrate.

Grown Up Gigs: freelance Creative Director Luke Ward

The first episode features a talk with my husband, who is celebrating his 2nd freelance anniversary (no, he does not wanna say “freelanceiversary”) this month. I wanted to shine a light on what it’s like to be a dual-entrepreneurial household, and how we make it work while, um, paying a mortgage in Brooklyn and making sure our child is fed and clothed.

You’ll also hear some background on me and why this series is so near and dear to my heart. It’ll feature a new segment called, “THAT’S a Career?”, where I showcase some “crazy” business ideas that grown-ups do for work.

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Mar 16 2015

It’s Business Time right.freakin’.now!


If you’ve been wondering when the time for Business Time is – it’s right.freakin.NOW!

I’m happy dancing so hard over here to see the invite page live and oh so pretty, since Tiff, Erin and I have been scheming for months over our 10-person, 6-month program that helps creative women discover their dream businesses, brand said businesses in a truly authentic way, and then have a custom logo and website live on the Interwebs by the time we wrap in September.

You will get focused on which business idea is best suited for your lifestyle goals and personal passions.

You will have an offering based around the work you’ll do with a guinea pig client.

You will have a mission statement and clarity around your ideal client.

You will have a plan that’ll catapult you beyond September.

And you will have a customized logo and website designed and built for you.

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Charge, Creative Career Cheer, Encouragement for Everyone
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