Michelle Ward: July 2010 Innerpreneur Spotlight

Michelle Ward - Creative Career Coach

Michelle Ward
Creative Career Coach
When I Grow Up
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I am:

the When I Grow Up Coach! With my BFA from NYU/Tisch in musical theater & my life coaching certification from the International Coach Academy, I use a dose of empathy, a shot of butt-kickin’, a wagon full of enthusiasm, & a crapload of inspiration to help solve the puzzle & turn my client’s grown-up skills & values into a passionate (& possibly out-of-the-box) career. I’m also a married lady, an old soul, a Jew with a WASPy name, half of Team Awesome, a Judge Judy fan, a quoter of Adam Sandler movies & a pretty terrible cook (but I’m learning!).

My passion is for:

helping creative people devise the career they think they can’t have – or discovering it to begin with! Also, belting out show tunes, making people laugh, telling people about Renaissance Souls, building relationships, finding alliterations & creating my own words.

My business helps you:

figure out what you wanna be when you grow up, & how to get there. Part of the reason I named my business When I Grow Up is because I was constantly telling people that I didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up (at the age of 26!), but because I had to take my “grown-up” values, responsibilities, & priorities into account when embarking on the answer to that question. The challenge – & the beauty of it for me, as a career coach – is to find your own unique path. I’ve coached about 70 people at this point, & no two have ever taken the same exact road. I suspect that no matter how long I do this & no matter how many hundreds (or thousands!) of people I eventually coach, I’ll never see two different people travel the exact same road. That’s so amazeballs!

My biggest challenge is:

being a one-woman band! Now that I’m coaching full-time (I left my cubicle job in March!) & my business has grown three-fold, I have very long days & lots lots lots on my plate. I hate using the word “balance” (I just don’t believe in it), but I am still finding my groove so that I still have ample Me Time & don’t let Overwhelm (yes, capital O) take the best of me.

I make things different each day by:

allowing people to discover, claim & live their dreams on their own terms! I’m still amazed by that. I had a client just send me a Thank You package complete with a mixed media print that she recently put in her brand new Etsy shop. When we started working together in January, she knew she wanted an artistic, non-corporate life but had no idea what it would consist of. By July, she had a new Etsy shop complete with a dozen paintings, prints, & cards to sell that are her own unique, beautiful brand. She hadn’t even picked up a brush prior to February! It’s just amazing what happens when you’re motivated, driven, passionate, clear on what you wanna be doing, committed, supported, and putting one foot in front of the other. I give my clients all of that, although they’re the ones that make it happen. As I like to say, they’re driving the car & I’m in the passenger seat, helping them get from Point A to Point B.

I have lots of ideas about:

how I want When I Grow Up to develop. From e-books to e-courses to workshops to book deals to retreats to journal-prompting notecards to a TV show, there are so many big & small ideas in my head! Sometimes I wanna do them all & I wanna do them now, but I know that baby steps will get me where I need to go when I need to get there, & will allow me to enjoy the ride in the process.

My advice is:

Find, and follow, your bliss. Even if you think it’s ridiculous, even if you think it can never be a grown-up career (because those only come with a cubicle & a ladder to climb & office politics & a check written from someone else, right?), even if you think you’ll be judged or thought of as a fool, cast it aside & ask, “How?” How can you make this work, even if it takes years (it took me two years & 7 months to quit my day job from the time I started my life coaching classes)? How can you build the biggest safety net possible? How can you take a little step each day towards it? Let go of immediate gratification, because what you’ll feel when you’ve taken the time & done the work to make the right, “safe” decisions for you is the most gratifying, satisfying feeling there is.

“Shoot for the moon, because even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”– Brian Littrell

If you would you like to be considered for an upcoming “Innerpreneur Spotlight”, email me.

Michelle Ward: July 2010 Innerpreneur Spotlight

By Tara Joyce Time to Read: 3 min