Note from Jenn: This week’s spotlight is simply “amazeballs” because we’re featuring the uber-fantabulous Michelle Ward the When I Grow Up Coach. Michelle’s energy, enthusiasm, and wacky sense of humor always bring a smile to my face. And this talented coach, performer, and creative entrepreneur generously shares a wealth of wisdom through her blog, her e-Course The Declaration of You with Jessica Swift, and her inspiring collaborative project Spring. I know you will get a kick out of Michelle’s rockin’ interview below. Enjoy! All images courtesy of Michelle Ward.
What is your business and what makes your business unique?
I’m the When I Grow Up Coach, and I work with creative types on helping them devise the career that they think they can’t have – or discovering it to begin with! It’s amazeballs.
How has the Right-Brain Business Plan helped you? What is different for you and your business after approaching planning in a creative, visual way?
I used to start shaking when I heard the word “business plan.” While I’m an organized person who’s all about the planning, the “numbers” piece of a traditional business plan scared the bejeezus outta me. While I felt it was important to make goals for myself and have some projections, the thought of writing a document the size of War & Peace that delved into every aspect of my business….(shiver) (See?). I put it off and put it off ’til I realized that, since I wasn’t planning on gunning for a bank loan anytime soon, I didn’t really need a business plan in the traditional sense. Amen & hallelujah! The angels sang, the clouds parted, the sun came out, and I found the Right-Brain Business Plan™. After buying the e-book and going through the visualizations and exercises, I know my long-term goals, I know my short-term goals, I know myself, I know who my ideal clients are….I just know.
What goals (big or small) on your business plan have you already accomplished or have made progress on?
Leaving my day job to work as a full-time coach, “perfecting” my elevator speech (which is always evolving), discovering how/when/where I work best, offering a free downloadable workbook for everyone that subscribes to my newsletter, growing my social media network, co-creating and launching an e-course, incorporating my business as an LLC, getting more & more people learning about me through the press/blogosphere, building my client roster to 90 people, and landing a literary agent.
How do you use your creative intuition in your work?
As a creative type who works with creative types, I always encourage fun, out-of-the-box, artistic-like homework for my clients. Instead of writing a list or a journaling about what you want your life to be like in a year, I have my clients write a letter to their future selves, dated one year from today’s date, describing all the awesomeness that happened over the past year. Instead of asking, “What would you do if you were coming at this from a place of empowerment instead of defeat?”, I’ll have ’em draw their Alter Ego Superhero. It’s all about using the right side of that brain to gain a new perspective, to move forward, to have those a-ha moments.
Is there anything you’d like to share about your Right-Brain Business Plan in terms of what it’s made out of or how you made it?
I hafta say, this hung me up for quite a while! I’m not sure how much time passed before I set eyes on 6×6 cardstock that I had buried in a closet. While I still have no idea why it was there or what I bought it for, I thought having mini inspiration boards would be amazeballs! I could put each collage on it’s own card, and then add to ’em with project ideas, time management structures, yada yada yada. I ended up cutting a cereal box to use as a holder, and covering it with a bunch of Jess Swift stickers! I’ve been adding to it ever since, and I love how I can put certain cards front and center when needed, and file ’em away when I concentrate on something else. My Right-Brain Business Plan™ really ended up being my fundamental foundation and continued structure for business building.
What’s your vision for your business?
This is such a bigger, scarier question than it seems! Well, I have an agent and am working on a book proposal now, so I hope to be a published author. I’d also love to work mostly through group sessions, have a smattering of private clients, co-run The Declaration of You a few times a year, and speak/lead workshops. Maybe host my own retreat with the Spring gals? That would be beyond beyond.
What advice do you have for other creative entrepreneurs?
You are not unfocused. You are not broken. You do not have ADD. You don’t “have” to do anything that the conventional world is doing/telling you to do. The only things you have to do is stay true to your uniquity, listen to what your gut/heart says, and actively do at least one thing every day to move forward. I promise promise promise that’ll get you not only where you want to go, but where you need to go, where you long to go, where you’re supposed to go.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Come hang with me on whenigrowupcoach.com, as it’s a one-stop shop for my coachin’, bloggin’, linkin’ to SocialMediaLand, and givin’ away free stuff. Also, Jennifer Lee is amazeballs!
Click here for more information about Michelle Ward.
Registration is now open for Michelle Ward and Jessica Swift’s fantabulous e-Course The Declaration of You (affiliate adoration link!) in Feb/Mar 2011.