One year ago today my website went live and I officially hung my digital shingle. Two years ago this week, the effusive and amazing-career-coach-extraordinaire Michelle Ward did the same. We’re biz-a-versary buddies. But that’s not why she’s a Well-Fed Woman. It takes a bit more than that to make it into this prestigious club.
Michelle is all about women (and men too) feeding their truest hungers – no matter how big, unique or when in life they show up. She is, in my book, a high-priestess of hunger-satisfaction. *bowing down*
I love how many ways she shares her mojo and wisdom, from workbooks to workshops and group coaching to a clubhouse(!), Michelle really dishes up a smorgasbord of service. And as someone who knows first hand what it feels like to work in a soul-killing job, for abusive bosses, and wondered just if my dream job (what I do now) was more fantasy than reality…I know just how much we need the goods Michelle is dishing out.
Michelle, what are you TRULY hungry for?
Relationships and connection. To me, that goes hand-in-hand. I’ve always said that I’m nothing if not a relationship-builder, and I think that’s why I’m so fulfilled by being a coach and community-builder. I seek out ways to connect, and to matchmake (I am a Jew from Long Island, after all!), and that makes me ridiculously happy.
And I can’t not add that I’m hungry to prove that you can have a fulfilling, successful, lucrative career with something you’re passionate about, even if it’s a crap economy and the career you want is un-grown-up-like (like owning a pizza fire truck!).
What’s a craving that you previously denied that you now happily satisfy? How has this impacted you?
Being the boss of me! Even when I was a musical theater actor pounding the pavement, I lived my life by The Shoulds: sing the “pretty” song (instead of the one that showed off my belt-y, comedic chops), wear muted clothes so you don’t distract from your audition, blend in with all the other thousands of twenty-something girls, insert other-BS-I-didn’t-know-to-ignore here…It wasn’t until years later that I realized I got cast as loud, funny, sketch-like characters, and I turned things on its head by wearing a dress (& matching headband!) that looked like candy DOTS to every audition, as well as getting headshots with a bright blue background and starting every audition by waking them up with my loud mix/belt.
That’s when I started getting remembered (often!) and that’s when I started getting tons of callbacks. I’ve brought this into When I Grow Up since I founded it in 2007, always feeling confident that if I remained vulnerable, authentic, and quirkily me, I’d attract the type of people I wanted to work with. Amen and hallelujah – it worked, even with the insane amount of “amazeballs” I’ve thrown around!
What are you a conduit for? What comes through with ease, meaning, and spark?
Enthusiasm. Optimism. Singing. I’ve heard over and over without fail that my clients leave our sessions with more energy than they started, feeling like they can actually do this, and I know I’m to blame. I also never realized how much I sing-talk with my clients, but I had it pointed out to me and now I notice it all the time. I can’t help it!
Favorite bite in recent memory?
The lamb stew at Putnam’s. Perfect for winter. I dream of it.
I’m co-leading an incredible Well-Fed Woman retreat in June at Tassajara with Dana Velden. If you’re interested but on the fence, please join me on April 4th at 7pm PST for a free information call where you’ll hear all about what the experience will be like (pretty magical) and we’ll answer any questions you’ve got.