Michelle L Evans left her 16-year corporate career in business + marketing strategy in 2012 to start her business helping business owners to develop simple, effective marketing strategies and bottom-line results. Combining her proven business-building skill set with a serious desire to help other professionals, Michelle focuses on helping entrepreneurs cut through the cookie-cutter marketing tactics and design results-based strategies that actually work.
When she’s not working on her business, you can usually find her in the car taking one of her three kids to some sort of activity or at home cooking with her handsome and talented photographer/systems engineer/baker husband (his chocolate truffles + lava cakes are a-mazing). Check out her best tips on adventures in online business building and balancing life outside the corporate world while juggling a business and family at MichelleLEvans.com, or tune in to her Breaking Free podcast to learn more about developing an entrepreneurial mindset and busting through the fears most business owners face. www.michellelevans.com
What events led up to you deciding to take back your life?
My dad passed away very suddenly (and unexpectedly) 7 weeks after getting the ‘all clear’ sign from his doctor that his cancer was gone…
Was there a significant event or moment that made you realize you needed to make a change? What was it?
Yes. I realized how important it was to take care of myself and my body. I had been putting myself on the back burner for years putting the kids, my husband, my extended family, friends, the house, to dos, work, etc… as so much more important than ME taking care of MYSELF.
When my dad passed away, I realized that if I didn’t take care of myself I may not get the full life I truly desired AND that by NOT taking care of myself I was actually more selfish than taking an hour here or there.
(I miss my dad terribly and I want to have as much healthy and fully alive time as possible.)
Was there a first step of action when you decided to take back your life? What was it?
I decided to focus on taking care of my body first. I did all of the following in fairly short order:
- Saw a doctor who specializes in weight loss for women. Discovered that my thyroid wasn’t working, among many other contributors to not feeling very good (tired, stressed, not sleeping well).
- Changed my diet to be in alignment with my blood/body type (under my doctor’s supervision).
- Hired a personal trainer and pre-paid for the sessions so I felt like I HAD to go… no excuses.
- Blocked time in my calendar for working out.
- Had a long conversation with my husband about why I needed to significantly change my eating habits and specifically what I needed from him to be successful.
- Set milestones to go shopping and other fun self-pampering time for reaching my goals (# days working out, specific distance I could run, etc…).
Since you took back your life, how have things changed for you?
I feel so much better about myself, how I look, how I feel and what I have to offer everyone around me.
My business has grown and evolved tremendously and I believe it’s because I invested in me first instead of trying to please everyone else around me.
My marriage is super-strong and we have started having family adventures — big and small. We’ve gone to Hawaii and frequently do family bike rides and other small adventures to be more in the moment and create more memories.
What would you say to anyone who finds themselves in the situation you were in?
For 8+ years, I put everyone and everything else ahead of me and I ended up overweight, tired, stressed and feeling trapped.
I never thought I had the time to spend on me – that there was too much I had to do. But then I learned two powerful things.
Thing 1: Just say NO. I do not have to take on everything everyone else is demanding of me. It’s ok to say NO.
Thing 2: I am much more engaged, creative, valuable and fun when I take care of me first… and somehow, magically, everything still gets done.
What does ‘Fully Alive’ mean to you?
Waking up every day and choosing how I will spend it. No ruts, no just trudging along doing task after task. Instead, I’m deciding what I stand for and what my purpose for the day is and doing that.
Favourite Inspirational Quote
“Wherever you’ve been and whatever you’ve done so far, your entire life was building up to this moment. Now is the time to burst forth into your greatness, a greatness you could never have achieved without going through exactly the things you’ve gone through.” Marianne Williamson, A Year Of Miracles
Connect with Michelle
Take Back Your Life Month
Last year, I declared May 16th ‘Take Back Your Life’ Day, because that’s the day that I took back my life from that evil beast, Cancer. It’s so important to me that this year I’m declaring the whole month of May ‘Take Back Your Life’. Every Tuesday and Friday this month, be inspired by stories of everyday people who have transformed their lives. These are people who converted a moment of struggle into a moment of strength and revolution! (Read more here.) Check back here to read their stories & share your own on social media! #TakeBackYourLife