2019 was a year of change for me.  My very amicable divorce became final, my ex-husband and I sold our house that we bought brand new in 2012 and I moved into a tiny apartment in Seattle.  To top off all the change, let’s also throw in that I left a job I had worked at for just shy of seven years for a new one, I turned 40 and I started dating one of the most incredible guys I had ever met (that is a whole other blog post for another time).

My 40th birthday celebration in Vegas at The Cosmopolitan!

Yes, one change after another, with the big ones all happening within a few months of each other. I definitely embraced the “new year, new me” mantra when 2019 began. With all the change came the mixture of emotions. From sadness to excitement, every day seem to carry a new feeling. I began to wonder when the roller coaster would end and things would feel like my new normal.

Leaving one career for another in the middle of the year turned out to be a much harder adjustment than I thought it would be as well.  I left a career where my colleagues felt like a family. I had a true brotherhood of boys that would protect me and were there for me during my divorce and my move. They were some of my first friends when I moved to the Seattle area in 2012 from DC and they helped me grow into the person I am today. However, leaving that brotherhood was necessary as the work environment from the top down had become very toxic.

My last day at my previous job with some of the best! Miss these faces every day.

My new job, while much more positive, did not start out that way. I had a very hard time adjusting from a Type A brotherhood office to an office where most of my colleagues stayed in their cubes and did not interact much with me. I have been there almost one year at the time of this writing and I still get asked who someone is and where they sit. More often than not, I have to point them three or four cubes down from where they sit and inform them that they are maybe only 40 feet from said person. I am a very social, extroverted creature by nature, and needless to say – I crave human interaction.

I sat for the first few months, missing my previous job and wondering if I had made a mistake. My former colleagues continued to inform me that the work environment had deteriorated further and further and I began to realize that I did indeed make the right choice to leave and I should just get used to my new office. While I finally have, I still felt like something was missing from my life, but I could not figure out what that was.

In September of 2019, I went to Peru with a group of women who were all small business owners and entrepreneurs. You can read more about my trip here. Those ten days in South America changed my life. I realized what I wanted to do with my life – I wanted to be a small business owner. And these women proved to me that it could be done.

The Peru Crew!

Not long after returning from Peru, I shared with my Facebook world that I wanted to leave my stable career for the world of entrepreneurship, living a life I wanted being my own boss. But how on earth would I go about doing this? While almost all of my friends were supportive of my decision, I was too scared to just quit with no plan.

One friend of mine, Cameron, told me to give her a call. We chatted on the phone for about an hour, and she listened to my story and told me about her business coach, Wendy Collier. One call with Wendy and every single part of my soul said, “hire her.” So I did. And my life has never been the same.

Wendy’s SoulFUEL classes and one-on-one sessions have helped shape my future career ambitions. I would love to become a career coach and help others find what type of career would truly fire up their soul each day. I want to help people get excited each morning when they wake up, knowing that they are nothing short of spectacular and that the work they do not only pays them well but lights up their entire being. Wendy has slowly and methodically been helping me craft my new business – but more importantly, change my mindset.

The universe no longer does things “to” me, it does things “for” me.  Over the last few months, I have created opportunities for myself and been open to what the world brings my way. I started listening to a vast array of incredible podcasts to help motivate me, learn leadership skills and open my mind (Wendy has a great Podcast on InFlowRadio.com that you can listen to here). I’m a believer in the Lord and what He has brought into my life since I changed the way I see things has been almost miraculous.

Case in point – you may have noticed the title of this article. But first, I wanted to set up the background for how my 24-hour adventure came about.

Lewis Howes. Lewis has one of the most successful and popular podcasts in the world, The School of Greatness. As he has stated there are anywhere between 700,000 – 800,000 different podcasts anyone can listen to. I came across his podcast randomly on Pandora while searching for a Lifestyle & Health podcast and I am so thankful I did. He has over 900 episodes, having just celebrated year seven, and I listen to at least one per day while I’m getting ready for work. As I want to start a service-based business helping people find their dream career, almost every single one of his podcasts related to inspiration, business, and entrepreneurship have helped me narrow the scope of my future business venture.

(Photo Credit: Lewis Howes)

He also recently released a documentary, Chasing Greatness. The documentary captures Lewis’s mission to “inspire humanity to achieve greatness by overcoming fear, self-doubt, and adversity.” He interviews a cadre of world class leaders who share their own journey on the path to greatness. At the time of this writing, the documentary was only available for a limited release, and not only did I watch it three times, I shared it with some of my friends to watch as well. I was also inspired to join Lewis’s Inner Circle to help me master my social media game.

(Photo Credit: Greatness.com)

One of the featured speakers on Chasing Greatness, is the incredible Mel Robbins of The Mel Robbins Show. Mel has spent over a decade coaching, teaching, and motivating millions of people around the world with her practical, no-nonsense advice and life strategies that provide tangible results. I knew her from her international best-selling book, The 5 Second Rule. 5-4-3-2-1 – get out and change your life!

(Photo Credit: Mel Robbins)

A couple weeks ago, I commented on one of Lewis’s Instagram posts related to the documentary. That same day, I had a message from a gal who works for The Mel Robbins Show to check my messages on Instagram. She said that they were looking for a fan of Lewis Howes who would like to share their story of how his work has helped them to achieve greatness. If my story was selected, I would have the chance to share it on Mel’s show when Lewis himself would be the guest. I thought to myself, why not, and I practically sent a novel to the email address she gave me and waited.

(Photo Credit: Mel Robbins Show)

I just so happened to be in Tiburon, California for the She’s Unstoppable Live event, held by my wonderful business coach, Wendy, when I received an email from The Mel Robbins Show. While they did book someone to share their story on TV with Mel and Lewis, I was asked if I was going to be in New York City the following Wednesday as they would love to have me on the show to ask Mel and Lewis a question (which they asked me to send in so it could be pre-approved). I happen to be sitting at lunch with one of my best friends and two women who are also in Wendy’s coaching program and I may have squealed very loudly when I got the email. I could NOT believe it. I would have to ask my boss for two days off of work the following week (and I was already on three days of annual leave for the She’s Unstoppable event), buy a plane ticket to New York practically last minute and find a hotel. I immediately felt overwhelmed and told myself there was just no way I could do all of that in just a couple of days. I went back and forth in my head. Even with all of the supportive women around me saying to go for it, I just couldn’t help but think how it just wouldn’t work out. Right?

We are Unstoppable! (Photo Credit: Lacey Michelle Photography)

I texted my boyfriend about the situation and he said, “if it’s just about money, you’ll get it back. And I’ll get your hotel room with points.” He travels all the time for work, so he has a lot of hotel points to say the least. That was settled then. I then texted my boss, who was on vacation in Hawaii and told her what had just been presented to me. She said to go for it! So, I had a hotel, I had the leave approved, now it was time to buy a plane ticket. My brain still resisted but my heart and my soul said YOU WILL GO! I bought a plane ticket. I was going to get home from Tiburon on Sunday, work a full day at my normal job on Monday, leave for New York on Tuesday, come back from New York on Wednesday and facilitate a pre-planned meeting for my actual job on Thursday. Could I successfully do all of the things??

I returned home from She’s Unstoppable more excited than ever for my future career and for this opportunity that came out of nowhere. Lewis has 1.5 million Instagram followers, how the heck was my comment even found? I fully believe that me being open to all the good in the world was one of the reasons that led to this opportunity.

All the thoughts in Tiburon.

Tuesday morning came very quickly, I got to SeaTac Airport early in the morning and was very bummed that my flight didn’t have Wi-Fi. But then I read one of the books I had brought on Servant Leadership and I managed to journal quite a bit on the flight, which helped it go by quickly. I landed in Newark, got on the New Jersey Transit to Penn Station and proceeded to walk the few blocks to my hotel, the Four Points Sheraton Manhattan Midtown West. I did not know my boyfriend had titanium status with this particular hotel chain, so I had quite the room upgrade. Happy girlfriend dance! I threw my backpack in the room and went downstairs to grab a quick bite to eat and a glass of wine. The glass of wine turned into four as I made some new friends at the bar (who had been in NYC for the Toy Fair), and the bartender even started playing my favorite band, Pennywise. Instead of going to bed at 9 p.m., I ended up going to bed at 11 p.m. Thankfully I would be okay the next morning.

I woke up Wednesday morning with just a slight headache. Why did I drink all that wine? Oh well, I had fun meeting new people. I spent most of the morning drinking my hotel room coffee and carefully applying my makeup and curling my hair. I was going to be on camera after all, right? As I had to be at CBS Studios by 8:30 a.m., I checked out of my room and left my backpack with the concierge. They helped me hail a taxi and it was off to CBS I went!

When the taxi pulled up, the line to get into the studio was already long and it was sprinkling – I can’t seem to get away from the rain, thanks Seattle! As I walked up to stand in line, a nice gentleman with a clipboard came up to me and asked for my name. I was at the top of his list and he told me, “You don’t stand in this line, follow me!” He took me through the hallways and the CBS pages showed me the room I needed to go into. I filled out a waiver and proceeded to wait, as I didn’t know what would happen next! The room began to fill with the “audience team” and soon a young woman asked, “Is there a Lesley in here?” I raised my hand and she happen to be the gal who originally messaged me on Instagram! She prepped me with all I should expect and she showed me a copy of the show’s transcript and my slightly reworded question. I wouldn’t be allowed to have my phone with me on set, so I had to take a picture of what the transcript said and memorize my question for the most part.  She also took my picture, which would be sent to the show’s crew, so they would know what I looked like for seating purposes, and where to put the cameras when I would ask my question.

Hair and makeup touch-up! Felt like a mini-celebrity!

Everyone on the “audience team” went into the studio together and we were seated by the staff. I was seated in the front row of my section and just took it all in. I still could not believe I was sitting in New York, at CBS Studios and that I had traveled there on a whim.

This was during one of the commercial breaks when we could use our phones – I promise!

The show began, Mel herself came out on stage and soon introduced Lewis. I’ll update this post once the show is aired and include a link so you can watch it yourself – so I won’t give away too much right now of what all was discussed. The guest who had been booked for the show, Paula Chavez, had her own inspiring story (and now we are Instagram friends too – you should follow her!). When it was time for me to ask my question, I stumbled slightly but regained my composure.

“Even with the success of your business and your documentary, do you still ever battle with internal fear and resistance? If so, how does someone who is successful and living their dream deal with that?”

I will update this whole section with the link to the show once it’s live. But for now, you will have to wait for the show to air!

Asking my question. (Photo Credit: Lauren Riccio)

After the taping was over, I had the chance to chat with Lewis  for a bit and take a few photos. I was a little tongue-tied actually meeting him in person and couldn’t get any words out that I wanted to say except that I had flown from Seattle to be there. He was very kind and gracious and I was pinching myself that I was there at that moment.

Thank you Lewis for being who you are!

I walked the 22 blocks back to my hotel all smiles, ate some lunch and walked back to Penn Station to get on the train to go back to the airport and go home. What a whirlwind 24 hours it had been. I am so thankful that I followed my heart and made this opportunity happen for myself.  There is that saying that you miss 100% of the chances you don’t take, and this really felt like one of them. I don’t know why this experience fell into my lap, I don’t know why my comment was picked out of thousands, I don’t know why my heart and soul told me to go. All I know is that I can make something happen and I can make it happen quickly (apparently). I know that if I am real, authentic and vulnerable, people will listen. I know there is good in this world and there are so many people who were placed here to help others. I also know that life is freaking crazy!

I cannot wait for my new business to begin and for all the people I get to help find out what they are passionate about and find the perfect career for them. If you would like to be one of my first clients, let’s chat! 🙂

 

 

 

About Lesley Michelle

Lesley is the founder and editor of What's Up NW. Lesley does love her beer and writes about that A LOT, but she also loves to shine the light on local events, people and businesses that call the Pacific Northwest home!

View all posts by Lesley Michelle

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