Michelle always wanted to have her own business but she, like many others, didn’t know exactly how to go about that. After going to business school and learning how to get a job, not how to start a business, she worked in banking for about 4 years. Michelle knew this was not how she wanted to spend her life and just became really burnt out. At the age of 30 she just couldn’t do it anymore and took a sabbatical to Europe really seeking what she wanted in life. She came back to the states and quit her job. She began working at a dot com and really enjoyed the entrepreneur environment and then moved to Microsoft. With her first coach and the idea of figuring out her purpose and how she wanted to make a difference in the world her 180 began.

So you have this urge to look into this coaching thing and then where did you go next? During this time she was really wanting to hold onto my corporate job and really didn’t see herself as an entrepreneur but she started going through the coaching training and working on my certification. Around this time, she read Seth Godin’s book, ‘Linchpin’, and got so mad at this book because it talked about how you can’t lean on a corporation and how you need to make yourself indispensable, stand out and be a linchpin. It was scary to her. It sat on her nightstand for two months and then she finally read it again and realized that she had to go out on her own.  She was not happy with her days, didn’t love what she was doing, and the only thing she enjoyed was her paycheck every couple of weeks but that is not something to build your life around.

What was the moment when you changed it all? The last straw, she had her son on June 11, 2011 and shortly after that on June 30, 2011 she won this huge award as the most valuable person in the central marketing group at Microsoft.  So she went in, even while still on my maternity leave, to have lunch with the corporate vice president of marketing and then met with her boss for her yearly review. Her boss said that she did great this year and was at the top, but next year all she could expect was middle of the road because she was out on maternity leave and she was not as valuable anymore. That night she told her husband she was opening her business and by 9pm it was up.  She then left her job that January.

Where did you start with finding clients and bringing them in?  She didn’t struggle with getting clients as much as she struggled with charging. When you don’t charge enough you sometimes get clients that aren’t invested enough. Within 3 months she doubled her prices and then within another 3 months, she doubled them again. She had a full roster of clients and was completely overwhelmed by all she had signed herself up for. She had to stop and ask herself how does she want to live for herself?  It took awhile to get to where she wanted to be but when she got to her third business it just felt right.

Michelle talks about asking yourself three questions in order to find the right business:  What are my strengths? What can I get paid for?  And what do I love? The third question is what keeps it from just being a job. You probably won’t get it right the first time, but keep moving, you can always change it.

So your business model is a based a lot around coaching, but how else are you generating income?  She has something called the breaking free tribe that is more of a group aspect, it is a subscription model that people pay each month to be apart of and she provides two video trainings, a group call, and a Facebook mastermind. Having a community to ask questions is extremely important.

What has been one thing that you did marketing wise that was a huge win for you? You have to choose what fits for you in terms of interest and personality and for the people who you are trying to reach. What works for me right now is Facebook. It is a great place to interact with people and to offer value before asking for a sale. In just the last 7 weeks she has grown her fan base by over 2000 by just doing ads for free training.

What has been a moment for you that you knew this is exactly why you did this? When she was doing a free training webinar, she opened it up for Q&A, and had so many solid questions, she just loved having people interact and asking and interested. It was one of those moments when she realized she’s touching people’s lives, helping them realize, “Yes! You can be an entrepreneur! You can do it!”

What is one thing that you cannot live with out with your business? That would probably be Lead Pages. Lead Pages makes it easy to put up a landing page to opt into whatever you are offering. People can go there and sign up and they are automatically added to her webinar and my email. It is super easy and they really empower you. 

More About Michelle:   Michelle’s is owner of Michelle L. Evans.com, and her primary focus is helping others find their true calling in life and break out of the corporate cycle.  She also is host of the Breaking Free Podcast, which tells stories of entrepreneurs who have broken free of the corporate world to create a life that they love.