Tag Archives: Michelle’s Memoirs

Feb 18 2015

The only thing that matters right now…


The only thing that matters right now...

The only thing that matters right now is that we’re finalizing our daughter’s adoption today.

I thought about the different posts I could write, but none of them were met with any kind of enthusiasm or focus. So, I’m pushing them out a week to tell you the things that’re in my head.

I have to tell you that you can find yourself saying aloud, “I really think that Insert-Dream-Here is never going to happen”, and the next day you could get a phone call that changes your life.

I have to let you know that having a career you love is important, but a life you love filled with people you love is what matters most.

I have to say that the ache you have in your heart right now for whatever is missing in your life can be filled.

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Charge, Creative Career Cheer, Encouragement for Everyone
COMMENTS: 32 Comments


Jan 21 2015

It’s your choice.


On Friday, December 26th, I decided to sign up for my first half-marathon.

I’m not sure what was in the air that made me do it.

I’ve only ever run a 5K, and did it barely and slowly. And that was 8 months ago! Since then I’ve walked tons (for the Avon 2 Day Walk I now do annually), but have only gone on runs super sporadically.

Wish me luck! #1st5K #dontdie #gorgeousday

A photo posted by Michelle Ward (@whenigrowupcoach) on

On the day I signed up, I knew I could only run 2 miles without stopping. I also knew that, without being a member of a gym (or wanting to be), I’d have to train in the cold NYC winters (which I’m a total wimp about).

But I also knew that, without something to train for, my exercising had gone by the wayside – and the best way to hold myself accountable and get my butt moving was to have an external commitment.

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Charge, Creative Career Cheer, Encouragement for Everyone
COMMENTS: 8 Comments


Jan 13 2015

Dear Future Me (2015)


Dear Future Me (the 2015 edition)

New glasses (that I’m planning to wear in public often, which I’ve never really done before – and I’ve had glasses since 1987!) + new haircut + unstraightened hair (which I also haven’t done regularly since ’87 or so!) = the 2015 me!

This is the fifth time I’ve written a Dear Future Me letter. You can read the others here and here and here and here (and why I didn’t write one in 2013 here), and the idea behind the Dear Future Me letter from the amazeballs woman I stole it from (hi Jess Lively!) right here. Like past years, I decided to keep some things private…but this is about 95% of the letter below. 

Dear Future Michelle,

This has been your year.

Everything has really “clicked”, and it’s because – after 5 years of being a Woman of the World (aka full-time entrepreneur), of the things you’ve gone through, the lessons you’ve learned, as well as your successes – you feel really, truly, ready to Play Big and step into the spotlight.

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Charge, Creative Career Cheer, Encouragement for Everyone
COMMENTS: 12 Comments


Jan 06 2015

2014 By The Numbers


It’s my 4th annual By The Numbers post, and I loved doing the infographic so much last year that I spent boatloads of time doing it again. Huzzah!

This year I’m feeling a bit nervous that you guys are gonna think I’m humblebragging about my year, but I also wanna practice what I preach and acknowledge myself for the amazeballsness that was 2014. I exceeded my income goal (while only averaging a 20 hour work week!), slashed expenses by 23%, got some great press, and led a course on CreativeLive that was watched by over 10K people. And of course, the most exciting thing of all was becoming a Mom, although for this exercise I just stuck to the professional stuff.

As always, I hope this inspires and motivates you to set your goals, track your numbers, and acknowledge your amazeballsosity!

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POSTED IN: Creative Career Charge
COMMENTS: 18 Comments


Dec 23 2014

My Word of the Year


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Reinvention.

It’s a word that’s been stuck in my head lately.

It’s a word that I know will apply to my business in 2015.

In my new, big goals.

In my new message and branding.

In my personal role as a new Mom.

In how I see myself and the habits I’m yearning to change.

I met with with my branding consultant last month, and he spoke of evolution and how I wanted my business to evolve.

I told him that it was funny he should bring that up, because the word “reinvention” is what I think my Word of the Year is going to be.

Allowing myself to be open to the changes. Accepting and welcoming the things that are to come and the things that’ll go.

He balked a bit.

“But “evolution” is about your business evolving – taking the next step.

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POSTED IN: Encouragement for Everyone
COMMENTS: 18 Comments


Dec 18 2014

Why I probably won’t run Career Camp again (and a last-chance special deal!)


Why I won't be running Career Camp again - & a last day special!

Deciding to run Career Camp again – to start this January – was a bit of a last-minute decision.

I sent an email to my Tech Titan on Nov 7th with the subject line: “12/1 Career Camp Launch – am I nuts?”

I was nuts (still am, and proud of it!), but I knew that I could pull it off.

It felt important to me to offer this in the new year. I was excited about thinking of working with a new group of Campers who wanted to discover their passionate, grown-up career but couldn’t afford my one-on-one sessions and/or liked the aspect of being part of a group. I couldn’t wait to meet them!

So I did what I was “supposed” to:

  • I created an editorial schedule for my blog and newsletter that I felt was valuable content that related to the benefits of Career Camp. 


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POSTED IN: Creative Career Cheer
COMMENTS: 14 Comments


Dec 17 2014

What happens when you live for your retirement?


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My Dad is in his mid-60s. He and his wife recently moved out of their condo and into a retirement community an hour or two away from where they were living.

They made the move earlier than they planned, but are enjoying the “semi-retired” life that’s spent doing a bit of work and a lot of leisure.

In late October, my Dad came to visit from Florida. He was here for a family celebration, and was in my apartment with his wife, my mother-in-law, myself and the baby.

I walked into a conversation that my Dad was having with my mother-in-law, and it’s stuck with me since.

He was explaining to her how much they love their new home and lifestyle, and how devastated they were to hear that a close friend of theirs was newly diagnosed with terminal cancer.

A man in his 60s, he was given just months to live.

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POSTED IN: Creative Career Cheer
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Dec 03 2014

Why I’ve pared down my offerings – and my business mission!


Why I pared down my offerings AND my business mission

Within the past couple months, I’ve made some BIG decisions.

The decision to no longer offer Running Over Writing Roadblocks – a workbook I made 3 years ago – as a download on my site.

The decision to transition my Grown Up Gigs interview series from video to a podcast.

The decision to close The When I Grow Up Clubhouse – my community site that’s been open for almost 2 years – this past Monday.

The decision to take less one-on-one clients and, instead, offer smaller coaching packages to my upcoming Career Campers.

These decisions, as you can imagine, were not made lightly. Some of them were truly nerve-wracking and filled with tons of resistance.

But behind it all, there was just one thing.

It’s the thing that’s behind my business evolution.

It’s the thing that’s been clear for quite a few years, honestly, but I was too scared to pinpoint.

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Charge, Creative Career Cheer, Encouragement for Everyone
COMMENTS: 24 Comments


Nov 19 2014

I’m yearning for _____ but am _____ instead.


What I'm yearning for

Thanks to all the amazeballs feedback I got on my last super personal post (seriously, THANK YOU!), I’ve promised myself to share more journal-like entries here in hopes it continues to help comfort, inspire, and ignite you. 

I’m yearning for structure, but am winging it instead.

I’m yearning to read and/or journal right before bed, but am scrolling through my phone instead.

I’m yearning for exercise, but am telling myself I’m “too busy” and it “costs too much” instead.

I’m yearning for my morning meditation + yoga routine, but am telling myself I don’t have time instead.

I’m yearning to organize All The Things, but am living amongst the chaos instead.

I’m yearning to have a more normal work schedule, but have yet to come to terms with getting childcare instead.

I’m yearning for reinvention and expansion, but am staying safe instead.

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Charge, Creative Career Cheer, Encouragement for Everyone
COMMENTS: 23 Comments


Nov 05 2014

Confession: I’m stuck.


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Inspirational Card from Nightly Doodles

I wrote this on October 15th and have been keeping it in draft form. Now that I’m on the other side – and have decided & communicated what to do with my Clubhouse with the existing members- I thought I’d post it even though it scares me. It’s always scary to be vulnerable and expose that you don’t always have your shit together, but so is my way. It’s why I have this blog. It’s why I do this work. It’s what I want to encourage and bring to the surface. Things are NOT always shiny on the other side of your laptop, and the business owners you follow do NOT come to their business decisions quickly or easily very often. Here’s how I got through my latest hurdle.

I’m stuck.

It feels weird.

It’s so unlike me.

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POSTED IN: Creative Career Charge
COMMENTS: 34 Comments