I first discovered Michelle when I watched the documentary, Lemonade , about people in the advertising world who lost their jobs and went on to find work that they loved. I was so inspired by her and what she had built for herself.
Since then I have been following her blog and think you will all not only really enjoy her interview but I definitely recommend checking out her blog/business: Find Your Balance Health .
Here is her story:
Tell me about what you do for work.
People are busy, tired and overworked. As a holistic health coach I help my clients take one step at a time towards better eating habits and more fulfilling lifestyle choices.
What type of work were you doing prior to what you are doing now?
I was a Senior Art Director at New England’s largest ad agency.
What kinds of frustrations did you have with your previous job(s)?
Advertising can be fun. But I didn’t think it was fun to ultimately sell people things they don’t need. I was especially horrified to work on some food and drink brands that were totally unhealthy.
In addition, working in advertising often means long hours, working weekends, and not having time to take care of yourself. It went against everything I was trying to do to achieve my own healthy balance.
How did you come to discover this was what you were meant to do?
Through my own battles with IBS and anxiety I learned that sometimes the traditional medical establishment just does not have the answers. I eventually healed myself through changes in diet and lifestyle. That was my big a-ha moment! I discovered something so simple and so effective. I knew this was going to be the key to a new career.
What fears did you have to overcome to take the leap?
Financial, mainly. I’m so lucky to have a supportive and understanding husband! I also went through a period of “Who am I?” I never before realized how much of my identity was wrapped around what I did for a living. When I was no longer an art director, but not yet successful as a health coach, I often felt like I was no one. That was scary, but I learned an important lesson about who I was outside of my career.
What do you love most about what you do?
I help people. It’s amazing. Sometimes I’m not sure if what I’m doing is working, and then I get yet another email from someone who either read my blog or participated in one of my programs, telling me how much I’ve positively affected their life. It’s so inspiring to watch people change, to witness the world become a happier place and to play a role in that.
If you were to give advice to people thinking about changing careers, what would it be?
Take it one step at a time. I didn’t walk out of my advertising job and say, “Ok, how do I start a new business?” I was actually already enrolled at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and I already had a website being built. I was doing a lot on the side, testing the waters, before I took the leap.