Um, do you know that I’ve coached hundreds of women since I started offering dream career guidance in 2008? And that these women are freakin’ rock stars, leaving soul-sucking jobs and traveling the world and launching creative, grown-up businesses and simply doing work that fits their lifestyle goals? Well ya do now – and you’ll hear their stories firsthand in my Client Case Studies series! Stephanie and I just wrapped up a 6-session package this summer, and man oh man is she continuing to #slayallday. Not only did she get All The Clarity and took a ton of action while we worked together (not to mention leaving her most draining gig and expanding her contract with her best client), but she’s continuing to evolve her business based on her values, skillset and mission. Role model much?
Why did you decide to work with me, a creative career coach?
I originally discovered you via Tiffany Han’s podcast, Raise Your Hand Say Yes, while I was still in my corporate PR office job. I’d been deep, deep in the side hustle/start your own business internet rabbit hole for months because I knew my current “real job” was not the right fit for me. After our initial chat in 2016, I hesitated on signing up because of the financial investment (um, hello scarcity mindset) and tried to get started on my own.
Fast forward to May of 2017: I decided to take the plunge and work with you because I just knew you would be able to help me break past my blocks, figure out the business side of things and–major bonus–how to work my creative writing projects into the mix.
What were you doing work-wise when we started our sessions?
I was working with my long term client (and first!) client while also working a part time bridge job doing social media, events and events for some bars in town. I was making ends meet, but only just barely and I realized it was time to get serious about my own work.
What was your biggest takeaway from our time together?
Besides that you’re the best ever?… That I took the risk to work for myself to have the freedom to live the life I want to live. Working with you reminded me that I’m in charge of my own life and how to own my story, skills and dreams in a way I hadn’t allowed myself to in the 6 months since leaving my office job.
Was there anything else you tried to do as a career between the time we stopped our sessions and what you do for work now? If so, how did it inform your current business?
When I started working with you, I was grinding at a bridge job that was costing me more in emotional + mental energy than it was worth and operating from a weak point with my client. I was still working for other people, while avoiding working for myself.
Now I’m really working for myself–doing work that lights me up, building my business and pursuing my creative projects with joy and confidence I didn’t even know I still had.
What would you tell someone now that was in your shoes when we first started working together? What’s your best “tip” to allow them to make a grown-up living doing what they love?
Prioritize yourself and let people help you. Those two things are really counterintuitive to most of our internal programming. You and I talked about it as boundaries and consequences. Just like you have to set boundaries and consequences with your clients, you have to set them with yourself (and your friends/family.) That can all seem pretty scary if you’ve been in the employee or helper mindset for too long.
You’re worth it and–more than that–your business/work depends on you doing both of those things. You can’t do everything alone and you will have to make yourself your own top priority if you’re going to make your dreams work for you. It’s definitely a bigger undertaking than just starting a website and finding clients.
What’s on the horizon for your business? We’d love to hear about any upcoming offerings or goals!
Since we wrapped up our sessions, I have really embraced the identity of a creative serving other creatives, so I’ve been redesigning my offerings to reflect that and I am SO STOKED. I’m rolling out a brand new offer: my Content Coffee Dates, which are storytelling intensives for creatives. (You can put “Michelle sent me!” in the “How did you hear about me?” section of the contact form for VIP rate reduction, hint hint.) I’m also working with content development clients on an ongoing basis.