People often ask me how I ended up a writer, speaker and consultant. Good question. Simple answer: By accident.
I started out a missions major at a small Christian college at 18. Somewhere in the first three semesters, I knew I needed some kind of professional skill to serve overseas. So I transferred to a state university where I got my Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree.
But then life happened (like it always does, yes?). I ended up a divorced mom of a toddler. How was I to navigate single motherhood while working twelve-hour nursing shifts?
So I changed careers, started working in sales for a mega data-networking company. I configured switches and routers and put together multi-million dollar deals for massive telecommunications partners in the pre-September 11th technology boom. I enjoyed my job, was thankful for it. But in between the 7 am to 5 pm work day and all the rigors of single motherhood, I dreamed of doing something that was more than a job, more than a means to paying my mortgage and buying my little guy pants without knee-holes and shoes that fit.
Fast forward a couple years. I remarried, acquired two more boys, quit my corporate job, and started a home studio business teaching private piano lessons to as many as 24 students at one time. This was my first entrepreneurial venture. It was my hope to build a business that used my unique gifts and still allowed me to be a fully invested wife and mom.
Then, to add a splash of spiritual sanity, I thought it would be fun to lead a women’s Bible study at our church. I loved it, and I loved those women. Soon that Tuesday night small group grew from 8 people to somewhere around 80.
As a result, I starting sending regular emails in an effort to stay engaged with the many women I couldn’t connect with on Tuesday nights. Those emails eventually turned into blog posts, and then magazine articles, and finally, years later, the writing of all those words turned into books.
Thus my career as a writer, speaker and consultant became a reality.
That’s the birds-eye, broad-stroke view of the last two decades. Now let me give you the close-up reality:
It was work. No, really. As in countless hours of of blind, painstaking, tear-causing, finance-sucking, self-esteem crushing, rejection-multiplying, seemingly fruitless HARD WORK. Most of the time, I had no idea what I was doing. For years, I invested in countless books, products, conferences, trainings, and webinars. I walked into writing retreats hoping to stumble upon the “one person” who would finally believe I had what it takes. I attended speaking conferences with the dream of being “discovered.” I wanted to be a word-weaver, and I tried all the well-worn paths to give those words the best chance of being able to fly.
But rather than success, here’s what happened: I wore out. And I got discouraged. And I doubted and second-guessed and almost quit (at least a thousand times).
If that’s you right here and right now, I get it. Boy, do I get it. Which is why, in 2017, I’m launching and leading The Inspired Life Mastermind.
Simply, the Inspired Life Mastermind is a faith-based mastermind for women in business who want to enjoy life and expand their influence—at home, at work, and in relationships—to the best of their ability and to the glory of God.
You can find out all the specifics here. But in this post I simply want you to know the 3 REASONS WHY the Inspired Life Mastermind will be one of my chief priorities in 2017:
- YOU. So many of you have written emails, asked to meet for coffee, or have pulled me aside at speaking events. You deeply want to honor the gift of your one life by using it well. You want to use your gifts, respect your responsibilities, and give away as much of yourself as you can. But it’s anything but easy to discern how to make those things happen. The Inspired Life Mastermind is my answer to your struggle. I truly believe coaching in a collaborative environment will help you know how to steward what you’ve been given and soar.
- ME. After years of angst fighting for life and wrestling with my purpose, I feel a burning desire to invest more intentionally in a small group of women. I want to connect more tangibly, love more intimately than I can through a blog post or on a platform. I can’t do this for everyone, but I can do it for twelve women.
- THE YOUNG ONES. For four years I’ve been working with Hope House of Colorado, a residential program for teen moms with the goal of helping them to become self-sufficient. I believe in their heart, their mission, and I want to be a part of creating opportunities for these young women to thrive, personally, professionally and financially. The Inspired Life Mastermind will help to further those efforts.
I’ll leave it at that, but there’s so much more. Interested? You can get more information and complete the application here.
For now, know this: I’m excited. And apprehensive. Only God knows the women he will bring together to share this one-year slice of life together. But with all my heart, I believe whatever He has in mind will be exceed any and all of my wildest dreams.
Yours too, by the way. Yours, too.
[reminder]What is your greatest need in business and life? What could being a part of a mastermind make possible for you? [/reminder]
I’m so thrilled to know you were once a piano teacher! I run a full-time piano studio outside of my home in Indiana. I would call myself an entrepreneur, thinker, and passionate learner. More importantly, I hope that in all my personal goals and endeavours I remember to keep the focus where it should be in outpouring myself continuously, that in all I do I shine the light of the Lord. Love the idea of your mastermind!
Yay! Love sharing this connection with you, Amy. Press on!
What is your greatest need in business and in life? Direction. We (my husband and I) own an investment firm. Life took a big turn last year and in the midst of it I discovered that I enjoy writing, learning and encouraging others. I am just now jumping back in to help at the office, I feel kind of like a fish out of water as I navigate my way back into the land of the living.
A Mastermind Group. A group of women who are learning, growing and becoming more of what God intends them to be? Well, I think that sounds fabulous.
Have a great evening,
Direction. Isn’t that the truth? We deeply want to follow the right course, do the right thing. But knowing exactly what that is and which way to go is TOUGH.
You have been so strong, so brave, Tiffany. Love doing this life with you. xo
I love this Michelle – There is something powerful about doing life with others that can inspire, challenge and helps us grow so much more than we can on our own.
As I look at my business and life I think the greatest need is fostering the kind of connections that help me see and believe for more of what God wants to do in and through my life. Often when the weight of work and life press in, it’s easy to get discouraged and feel like your all alone. Being a part of a Mastermind allows others to speak into your life, to challenge you and to believe with you. In the same way, it allows you to give back in the same way to those relationships. There is something deeply life-giving about that.
I’ve so been there, Victoria. Isolation and aloneness can not only rob our joy in the process, but it can alter the actual course. We need each other!
Michele, this is so awesome. I listened to you and Michael’s podcast this morning, and I wish you and all the women well!
I talked with Wendy about this, and she’ll listen to the podcast today. She’s considering applying. Two immediate questions:
1) Do you have a pricing page? (I couldn’t find one)
2) Where are the quarterly meetings? (Colorado, perhaps?)
Blessings to you, friend.
Chris, I believe my team already connected with you on the details. If not, let me know and I’ll connect with you today!
Thank you Michele for having the faith, vision, and compassion to create this wonderful Inspired Life Mastermind. My biggest need is: Learning to “Let Go and Trust Someone Else” to help expand our business, products and services.
I’m truly blessed to serve our Lord through my gift and talent of music to connect with others to achieve non-musical outcomes (such as a deeper spiritual connection, vision, empowerment, and emotional expression). I’m honored to be submitting an application to be considered for this wonderful group of faith intentional women.
With extreme Gratitude … “Blessed” Becky Watson, MBA, MT-BC, Owner, Music for Wellness, LLC (www.music4wellness.net)
It’s wonderful to meet you, Becky!
I was just asking Stu McLaren about a good Mastermind class, and within the hour I saw your newsletter in my email! I am so excited about this Michele!
YES! So happy to hear this, Beth. And? Stu is the best. 🙂