This week on my Pivoting Entrepreneur blog series I’m sharing Michelle Reeves story.
Michelle is a wonderful human being (in my opinion) and a certified life and mindset coach, author and speaker.
She believes in the power of living life ‘on purpose’ and adores helping frustrated women in business to overcome self-doubt and overwhelm, rebalance their priorities, live intentionally with purpose and passion and ultimately fast-track their ideal life.
These days Michelle is living her ideal life while she helps other people live theirs!
But it wasn’t always that way.
Michelle has been on a journey to get her business where it is today.
In Michelle’s words…
I’ve had a pretty varied working life. My first career was in PR, working for brands like Fila and the Icelandic Tourist Board. It was fabulous fun but I wanted to embrace marketing more broadly so I qualified with the Institute of Direct Marketing and worked in the embryonic Internet Channels for major UK household names.
That was where my love of the Internet really started – I knew the possibilities really were endless for businesses online!
In 2008, when I was at the height of my career, working on a number of exciting projects at board level, my husband came home from work one day and asked how I felt about moving to China with him for 12 months. I knew it was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up on so we moved our lives to Shanghai and ended up living there for 4 years.
While we were there I started having fertility treatment and in 2009, after a traumatic birth and a premature baby, I hit rock bottom.
On the day I was diagnosed with Post Natal Depression my journey back to success began.
That moment was a tipping point, when I looked in the mirror and literally didn’t recognise the woman looking back at me. It was like I was a shell of my former self, with none of the positivity, motivation and love for life that I’d had before.
Therapy brought me back to functioning again, but I knew inside that it wasn’t enough. I didn’t just want to function, I wanted to flourish and be fabulous!
So I used what I’d learned from my degree in psychology, studied personal development and read book after book until I found a way to recraft my life, one habit at a time. I dropped 40lbs and added yoga and meditation practice to my daily routine along with six other ‘happiness habits’ that boosted my self-esteem and propelled me forwards towards my biggest, most exciting goals.
When we moved back to the UK I decided I didn’t want to go back to corporate life. I knew that I wanted to help other women to stop playing small in their lives. So I trained with some of the top life coaches in the UK and in 2016 I launched my coaching business.
How did you know it was time to pivot?
When I first launched my coaching business I was working with Mums who were struggling just as I had. I loved supporting them and helping them to sparkle again.
My ‘aha’ moment came when I was being coached by Carole Ann Rice. In a tearful session in London, she made me realise that up until that point the decisions I had made in my business were more about trying to fix the broken woman that I had been back there in China than about growing a thriving coaching practice.
I knew then that it was time to pivot and help women in business who were ready to step up into the next version of themselves, overcome self-doubt and overwhelm and fast track their ideal lives as I had.
When it came to rebranding and developing your new message how did you go about it?
First of all, I took a mini-sabbatical for a couple of months, firstly to separate myself from my previous niche and secondly to really figure out where I wanted my business to go.
I felt like I had to go away so that people could see the difference.
It all really flowed from who I wanted to work with and what kind of business I wanted to run.
I knew that I wanted to align my business with my values and put as much of myself into it as possible. The rest fell into line around that.
That said I feel like it’s still a work in progress for me – my messaging isn’t perfect yet!
I fell into the trap of thinking I needed a new logo first, I know it’s not the first thing you should do, but I did it anyway! I created something as a placeholder that has actually stayed with me.
Then I started to redesign my website and began to work on my messaging. At first, I thought I would be able to just rewrite the content, but I soon realised I needed to start from scratch.
I started to realign my social media messaging with my new focus. It’s been a work in progress, it takes time to do it all.
I wrote new articles for my site which I felt would resonate with my new audience and I also launched The Ideal Life Club, my free facebook group for women in business who want to combine networking with personal growth.
What have you found most difficult during the process
Realigning my messaging and relaunching my brand was challenging but honestly, the most difficult part of the process was doing the deep inner work I needed to on my mindset, giving myself the permission to be successful, to step up and be more visible.
What advice would you give to others who want to pivot?
Spend some quality time away from your current business to get clarity on who you want to work with, using that to guide your products, imagery and messaging.
Be consistent and clear in your messaging – I wasn’t clear enough in the beginning and I still feel that’s something that’s evolving for me even now.
But it’s ok. Be aware that your messaging will evolve. As you listen and learn from your clients you get to understand the meaning behind their needs and that feeds into your message.
You eventually want to get to the point where your ideal clients are reading what you’re writing and hearing your message thinking “Michelle is in my head, she knows exactly what I’m thinking!”.
That’s what I want to work on next – making sure that I’m in the heads of my ideal client and that there is enough of me in the messaging – my passion, my punch.
Finally, I’d say don’t be afraid to put yourself in your business – YOU are your brand and people buy from people.
What keeps you going on your journey?
When I’m working with a client and I see the spark of passion and purpose light up in their eyes and can feel their energy shift from ‘I don’t think I can…’ to “Hell yes I can!!” Those moments are my whole reason for doing what I do.
What’s the best thing about what you do?
Being able to inspire, empower and motivate other women in business to live their ideal lives while being able to live my own – working at home in our 17th century barn, running in the countryside and spending quality time with my husband and two children.
Michelle’s new book; The Happiness Habits Transformation, inspired by her own personal journey back to happiness will be published in early 2019. You can find out more about Michelle at michellereevescoaching.com
If you’re looking to pivot or evolve your business and would like help getting clarity and stepping up your messaging – book a call with me here– and I can share details about my “Next level Messaging” programme and my VIP 1 Day Brand Intensive that will make sure your offer, positioning, difference, and message are where you need to be to grow and evolve your business and become the obvious choice for your ideal clients.