Jennifer Hamley meets Michelle Reeves - Q&A Monday
I first met Michelle last year via Twitter, her name had popped up a couple of times, I'd loved features from her blog (especially this and this) and I was following her as I liked what she had to say about supporting women. One day she tweeted about needing a new work bag, and our friendship was formed.
To briefly introduce you to this inspirational lady, Michelle went from successful career, to living abroad and not able to work (due to visa restrictions); then suffering some unexpected twists and turns that turned her life upside down. Instead of letting life pass her by, Michelle fought to heal herself. Her experiences, both good and bad, have given her the wealth of knowledge and skills that she now uses to help others. She specialises in helping Busy Mamas and Busy Bloggers and on Friday we chatted business, life challenges and about tips and tricks to succeed! Here's what happened;
Hello Michelle, it’s fabulous to talk to you, I've loved getting to know you over the past few months, how are you? Hi Jen, it’s great to be here! I’m feeling very productive today with three live broadcasts across my social media channels, prepping for a session with one of my fabulous coaching clients and invoicing a new client for live broadcasting training. I’ll be switching gears soon to pick up my two kids from nursery and school then, as it’s Friday, getting ready for the weekend and our regular family dinner date (and a glass of wine too!)
It's so important to have balance and an ability to switch gears don't you think, and one that we do develop with running a business! How different is your business now from what you envisioned when you first started out? I have to be honest, I ‘fell’ back into business! After years working in the Internet and PR industries in London for major brands like Lloyds Bank and The Royal Mail, I gave up my career when my husband was offered an amazing job opportunity in China. Four years later - via fertility treatment, a traumatic birth and therapy for post-natal depression - we returned to the UK with our daughter and I shared my experiences of moving away from the habit of negativity through my blog. Over time I monetised my website, was blessed to win a national award and started working as a brand ambassador for the MIND mental health charity, but it wasn’t until I rediscovered my love for 121 coaching that my current business started forming. Seeing the amazing transformation as women step away from negativity and into their passions to create goals for the life of their dreams is just incredible! Last year I consolidated all of my products and services under one brand, Michelle Reeves Coaching, and I haven’t looked back since!
You really found your true passion and calling through the negativity, it's inspiring. What’s next for you, any exciting challenges ahead? I’m super excited to be relaunching the Happiness Habits Routine™this quarter - it’s my 8-week ecourse for busy mamas who want to consciously create time in their lives for THEM. I’m also busy planning a free 30-day ‘me-time’ challenge and some brand new mini-courses this year too. The challenge for me is, as I’m sure it is for a lot of your readers, striking a balance between my work and family life plus making sure I’m scheduling in some down-time that’s just for me too.
Exactly right, 'me time' is so important so that we don't burn out. I love that you offer free courses and challenges alongside your fabulous paid courses. It offers a way in for those who haven't experienced the power of coaching/guidance before. I was totally hooked when I tried my first mini course as it taught me the importance of looking after myself.
What is your favourite way to get some 'me time' and relax? We’re blessed to live in a rural area and I love to take myself off for a run around the country lanes. Over time, I’ve built my distance up to 8 miles but I don't run the whole way. I run a bit and walk a bit and just enjoy being out in the fresh air - it’s a great time to listen to podcasts or just daydream!
I'm with you on the Podcasts whilst running, or inspirational audio books - I always want to hear the next bit of the book so it gets me out for a run too. Exercise, learning and the great outdoors what's not to love?!
What is your most important business tool that you just couldn’t give up? My goodness, there are so many - so I’m going to cheat and pick 3! I started using Trello recently and it’s quickly become my go-to app for being organised in my business and home life with boards for everything from quarterly goals to planning birthday parties for my kids.
Live broadcasting has to be my second choice as I’ve more than tripled my reach online using Facebook Live, Periscope and now Instagram Live. The growth in live streaming has been incredible over the last year and I now have 100+ members in my Live Broadcasting Support Group on Facebook. Thirdly, I use the ‘timeboxing‘ system to organise my time and make me more productive and successful. It works whether you use a planner, a diary, your phone or just if you make notes and allows me to create traction on a number of projects at the same time. I’ve written a post about it (with a free handout) here:
I can personally say that your Live Broadcasting Support Group is fabulous (as I'm a very happy member!) and I've not heard of 'time boxing' before, i'll be checking that out your link right away - productivity tips are always welcome.
What is the one piece of advice you would give to yourself if you could go back in time to the beginning of your business/career? Don’t be afraid to follow your passions and discover your true purpose in work and in life. Perfect.
And because I can't help myself, what is your dream handbag? My husband would laugh at this question! When we first met I would buy a new handbag almost every month… mostly fairly cheap ones that just took my fancy. He persuaded me to buy just one or two quality leather bags that will last for years. So I’m lucky enough that my dream handbag - a large Mulberry Bayswater Tote in sumptuous tan leather - has now been a firm friend for over 12 years. While I LOVE my Mulberry I've been searching for ever for my ideal work bag which, for me, has to combine practicality with those luxury touches that make me smile. We're worth it right? So when I discovered the Model KT I was literally dancing round the kitchen as it ticked all my boxes and then some!
I love it! See, spending a little more does work out cheaper in the long run! As well as less waste to landfill - and I think that everyone needs a husband that sends us out to buy expensive handbags! Haha!
Thank you for chatting to us Michelle, it's been fantastic getting to know you better. I hope we can tempt you back for our 'What's in Your Handbag?' feature on Thursday.
Michelle is offering her 5-day mini-course for FREE - How to Overcome Overwhelm with tips and handouts to help you create an action plan to get back on top fast, all delivered straight to your inbox. If you fancy it (I'm signing up because I love extra tips and tricks for when things get on top of me - 5 days to a calmer me, yes please!) you can sign up here.
Until next time, keep on being fabulous.
You can find our more about Michelle across the internet with these links - an absolute must see for Busy Mamas and Busy Bloggers!