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Connecting our Community: Meet Michaela

Michaela has taken the leap from corporate life into running her own executive coach and image consultancy to have more control over her time. She is a massive advocate for flexible working and hence why she is an active member of our community.

What industry do you work in?

My career spans 20 years in talent acquisition, talent management and leadership development across the financial and professional services sectors. I’m now an executive coach and image consultant.

What is your current personal situation?

I’m a mid-40’s single women who has recently taken the gargantuan step of leaving the safety and security of corporate life after 20 years to build my own business and make her passion her pay cheque.

What is your current working arrangement?

I work 7 days a week! But here’s the thing….Firstly, it doesn’t feel like work, because I love what I do. It fuels me. I facilitate professional and personal change in others and I get to experience transformation on a daily basis. It’s wonderful! Secondly, I work when I want, not when someone tells me I should. I’m not confined to anyone’s rules but my own.

Why does this work so well for you?

I’m a committed and regular volunteer and managing my own business gives me the freedom to give back the community, something I not only feel very passionate about but something that fills my life with so much joy. Also, I’ve never been a morning person. I’m really not my best until around midday – running my own business means that I’m now able to schedule my day so that my clients get the very best of me, which in turn drives more success.

What surprised you when you started your own business?

My brain is having to re-wire itself! My entire routine has changed which means the brain patterns also have to change. That in itself has been a real surprise to me. I’ve subsequently read quite a bit about the brain to help understand that better and give myself a break when I’m feeling exhausted! But the best thing? The generosity, encouragement and mentoring support from the entrepreneurial community has been outstanding. Entrepreneurs want other entrepreneurs to succeed. When others believe in you, it’s incredible what you can achieve…. Magic happens!

What is your biggest challenge running your own business?

The beauty of running your own business is also your greatest challenge. It sounds trite but, what you put in is exactly what you get out. There’s no one to do it for you. The learning curve is fast and deep. And of course there’s no IT department to call when technology fails you…! (Hang on, that might actually be a gift…)

What’s your best piece of advice for entrepreneurs?

Invest time up front discovering what and who you really are. Society can strip you of your authenticity – I was becoming someone others wanted me to be rather then who I really was and wondering why I was surrounded by people I didn’t much care for. Finding your strong and authentic voice is your most powerful asset in business – if it’s not real, or true to you, people will see straight through it. It won’t feel good and it won’t sell. I had to reconnect with myself before taking that leap and now I am 100% Michaela Betchley again. It is liberating and exhilarating. I’ve never been happier.

If you could have changed one thing about working for someone else, what would it be?

I would have invested in, or asked my employer for, a coach much sooner. Juggling increasing work demands with a healthy and happy life can be incredibly challenging – a coach would have assisted me with that and given objective, impartial perspective. But in actual fact the catalyst for my new life has been a gift and so in that sense, I wouldn’t have changed a thing.

About Michaela

Michaela has taken the leap from corporate life into running her own executive coach and image consultancy. The flexibility of running her own business, now means she is also running her life by her rules. The flexibility she now has in her work life allows her to give back to her community and work when she wants. Michaela shares some of the challenges and joys of going out on your own.


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