018: Michelle Dale – Virtual Assistant and Business Consulting

michelle-dale
Michelle Dale VirtualMissFriday.com

Michelle comes to us from VirtualMissFriday.com
An Online Business Consultancy with Built-In Virtual Assistant Services.

Michelle is also a self proclaimed traveling
digital nomad….

Have a listen to my chat with Michelle Dale

See highlights and links from of our chat below…
Check out the transcript or download it to read later: ENJOY!

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Podcast Highlights:

Very early in her Professional Life realizing there had to be something more!
“Coming from working class family I had you know it’s like: work hard and get your nose down and find a job and stay in forever and then retire and then you might be able to enjoy life. But I was not too happy about waiting until I reached 65 to get to the point where I enjoyed life.”

Packing up and getting out
“At the age of 23 I sort of had this idea that I could sell my house, quit my job, just take a laptop and start traveling and you know just take off and I did it really quickly. From the time I made the decision to the time I left it was three months. So, I just kind of, yes I got my affairs all sorted out, everyone thought I was nuts but you know I thought to myself I have to be quick cuz I don’t want anyone to talk me out of this.”

“This is (not) going to Fill My Cup”
“I mean I had some great jobs, all different kinds of varieties of things in hospitals, in restaurants, in hotels and things and every time I went to a new job I always thought right this is going to be it. This is (not) going to fill my cup. And I would get there and I would be there for six months or you know a year and I would think this just isn’t doing it for me. I don’t wake up in the morning and want to leap out of bed and you get straight to work. It was just a process of earning money you know to live and it just didn’t feel right to me…”

Internet Marketing (The Dark side)
“The internet was very different to what it is now and in 2005 it was you know really working online and sort of making money through the internet was still very new and it was all very hyped up and internet marketee and you know highlighted yellow stuff – really spammy and cheesy … and I didn’t want to go down that road. So, I started looking into alternatives of you know successful people who was sort of real human beings that seem to be making money online, through you know humanity rather than kind of petty sales…”

Working online 14 hours was a breeze
“I had kind of found my calling I suppose in a way because I used to think to myself God, I have just sat here for fourteen hours straight and I have just worked through all of this stuff and I don’t feel tired, I had lots of energy, I was motivated, I felt good about it, I wanted to wake up the next morning and start again and it was at that point when I realized that I had found what I have been looking for I think in many ways…”

Selling Egyptian Rugs
“I just put them on eBay and they did start selling. But, I found it just way too tedious and I didn’t enjoy it so you know it’s like it tied me over, eBay fees were quite expensive and shipping was quite expensive but I did in fact sell quite a few rugs to people all over the world”

Challenges
“There were many… primarily because I was doing it from a foreign country…in the Middle East, it was also a bit of a third world country…there were all sorts challenges with internet, with language barriers , I wouldn’t be able to acquire a sort of client base (Looking for virtual assistance) locally so I made my focus really to do with finding clients online…”

Fast Forward 10 years
“My business now is split into two; I work with clients and I work with virtual assistants as well. So, I do training for virtual assistants on how they can build their business and I also work with clients through a sort of consulting you know providing services, website service and stuff.”

Heart and soul and the magic of that strategic generosity.
“One way to certainly add value to any person I think a lot of people when they think about value they don’t really—everyone has a different concept of it. For me value is being able to charge whatever I need to do the absolute best possible job I can for the client and provide the absolute best possible service. So, the way I add value is I am constantly staying up to date with everything in the online world and I work my ass off for it. And I don’t charge anybody for learning, I don’t charge anybody you know for my expertise and things like that so I mean what you can bring to the table just by staying very current and very up to date and really ahead of your game adds huge amount of value for any client that you’re working with….”

Productivity

Sleeping less with a cat nap
“The first one is that I sleep four to five hours at night and then I have a sleep in the afternoon for about an hour and a half. I start work at five o’clock in the morning every morning and sort of between five and eight I can get a full day’s work done during those hours.”

What do you believe?
“Another that I do is I really control my beliefs. I think that our belief system like you know like that saying if you think you can or if you think you can’t both are right – either way you’re right. That is so true and if you have a belief system where it’s like I can’t do this, I’m not good enough, I don’t think I could ever earn that kind of money you know I mean if you’re in that mindset and you’re in that frame of mind you might as well give up now because you’re just going to keep staying in that same place that you s are. You know if you want to invoke change in your life and you want to invoke success and you want to push forward and get to where you want to be you have to hold the end goal right in your mind all the time…”

Make Money or Create Wealth?
“I think what we have to focus on more than anything in order to be successful is not about making money but about creating wealth. The two are very, very different. You know making money is always it’s about work, it’s about not necessarily doing things that you want to do but anything to just get that money in but creating wealth is so much more inviting and much more interesting because it’s about creativity, it’s about taking the gifts that you have all been given as individuals and then learning what to do with them to create money from them you know so again that was about adding value to other people and wealth creation is really about thinking about the possible ways that you can add value to other people’s lives and then as a natural progression earning money from those things. And that is the absolute best combination if you’re looking to start a business you really desperately want to go with the things that you’re passionate about, and feel positive about and you know you want to make a difference to the world and the more you make that difference the more successful you will become.”

Inspirations:

Inspiring People
Yaro Starak
Marie Forleo
Gary Vaynerchuk
Seth Godin

Inspiring Reads
Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles,

Listen to my chat with Michelle

Contact:

VirtualMissFriday.com

https://twitter.com/Miss_Friday
https://www.facebook.com/VMFLtd

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BigValueBigBusiness.com

Michelle Dale

VirtualMissFriday.com

Transcript

James: Welcome back my friends to yet another edition of the big day of big business podcast. I’m your host James Lynch. I am really big, big, big time super excited about my very special guest today. Her name is Michelle Dale. Michelle is the founder and CEO of virtualmissfriday.com, a world class online business consultancy specializing in cutting edge online business development solutions. Michelle is also a self-proclaimed traveling digital nomad. Let’s bring up Michelle and take a deep dive into the evolution of virtualmissfriday.com and the digital nomad lifestyle. Michelle, hello, how are you today?

Michelle: Hi James, I’m good. Thank you so much for having me and for such a lovely introduction. Thank you very much.

James: You’re very welcome and it’s very well deserved and I want to thank you for coming on in this show today and I’m really excited like for you to share just you know your journey in building this virtualmissfriday.com. Virtually I don’t know where virtually. You know into a world class business consultancy you know dealing business with people all over the world you know and all the while providing all this big, big, big value for your customers. So, that’s the format. Does that sound like a plan?

Michelle: Yes, absolutely. It sounds fun, cool.

James: Awesome. Okay, let’s get it started. Just a little history, I’m really intrigued about your pack it up and hit the road kind of story. So, tell us a little bit about Michelle Dale. Where you came from and a little bit about your journey that brought you here to where you are today.

Michelle: Okay, well as you can tell by my accent but I’m originally from the UK. So, I’m a British girl and basically I had a very kind of bog standard upbringing, you know I grew up, my parents got divorced when I was eight. But you know again it was just very sad that they both working class parents and I was brought up in very kind of average household and it was just a very average life. And then one day I realized when I was about 23 years old just how average my life actually was and it was you know I kind of worked my way up. I left home and school at sixteen. So, I was little bit of rebel then anyway and I would travel around the country taking different jobs and never really finding that kind of fulfillment that you get you know that you feel that you should have with work you know I mean because of the working class family I had you know it’s like work hard and get your nose down and find a job and stay in forever and then retire and then you might be able to enjoy life. But I was not too happy about waiting until I reached 65 to get to the point where I enjoyed life. So, I kind of at the age of 23 I sort of had this idea that I could sell my house, quit my job, just take a laptop and start traveling and you know just take off and I did it really quickly. From the time I made the decision to the time I left it was three months. So, I just kind of, yes I got my affairs all sorted out, everyone thought I was nuts but you know I thought to myself I have to be quick cuz I don’t want anyone to talk me out of this.

So, I just basically went off seeking an alternative life that you know that nobody had sort of ever presented to me before that I kind of thought to myself well if it doesn’t work out I will come back and I will accept. I will accept the life the way it is. But, fortunately touchwood it did work out because I’m 33 this year. So, that was when I was 23. So, its ten years ago and I haven’t been back to live in the UK ever since I left I had a one way ticket out and I met my husband and I had two kids along the way and now we’re all travelling around the world and we’re running the business and yes it’s just, it’s cool. It worked out.

James: Tell me what went through your mind, did you know what you wanted to do back when you were 23 or you just said there had to be more than this, I’m just going to go travel and just find myself.

Michelle: I had no idea what I was going to do and I had no idea really what I wanted to do but I think the driving force behind it was more because I knew that what I didn’t want to do. You know because I had all these different jobs and none of them, I mean I had some great jobs, all different kinds of varieties of things in hospitals, in restaurants, in hotels and things and every time I went to a new job I always thought right this is going to be it. This is going to fill my cup. And I would get there and I would be there for six months or you know a year and I would think this just isn’t doing it for me. I don’t wake up in the morning and want to leap out of bed and you get straight to work. It was just a process of earning money you know to live and it just didn’t feel right to me and after I had done that for so many years you know I thought to myself that you know something isn’t working and I knew what I didn’t want to do and don’t want to keep going in that cycle of going job to job, not feeling fulfilled, not feeling happy, not feeling like I want to you know leap out of bed every morning. And I thought to myself well I need time you know I need time to discover you know what I should be doing and basically my idea at the time was to start travelling because I felt like I needed to really get out of that kind of environment that was I felt like it was keeping me stuck on this hamster wheel.

So, I wanted to get out of that environment which is why I kind of booked you know the way ticket out of there and you know I came to a very cheap to live sort of country where I knew that it would give me the time and the sort of breathing space That I would need and I took my laptop and as soon as I got to where I was going, I opened up my laptop and I just started constantly researching about online business and how to make money online and how to make money while travelling and I mean I came up with all sort of ideas and then basically I shortlisted them and then I went through them and then I thought you know really I don’t want to do that or I can’t do that or something like that and then I came across virtual assistants. And I thought to myself that could really work because you know I have got this sort of semi the skills offline that I could start creating services with and then all I have to try and do is translate that into online and then find clients online and then I have got a business.

So, it was just one of those ideas that I thought I would start trying or I would focus on and then literally for two years it just consumed me. I was just learning everything about online business, I was learning how to build websites you know all self-development just through finding things online and tutorials and I learned how to use you know all these adobe products like Photoshop and Dreamweaver and I was always up to date you know with systems and ways of working that were coming out and also a lot of online marketing because although I wasn’t doing because back then you know the internet was very different to what it is now and in 2005 it was you know really working online and sort of making money through the internet was still very new and it was all very hyped up and internet marketee and you know highlighted yellow stuff.

James: Spammy.

Michelle: Yes, really spammy and cheesy and you know…

James: You’re not only though the first person to say that of the successful people that I have interviewed, they got their start and they just felt kind of dirty.

Michelle: Yes, it really, really did and I didn’t want to go down that road. So, I started looking into alternatives of you know successful people who was sort of real human beings that seem to be making money online through you know humanity rather than kind of petty sales like tactics that get you to click when you don’t want to click type thing. So, I started just following these people and really learning all I could and coming up with ideas and things that I could you know I would find business tools and I would think you know well that could be used for this instead of what is meant to be used for and you know I would just you know basically constantly do that and I would sit there for hours and hours and hours every single day and I think it was at that point I realized that I had kind of found my calling I suppose in a way because I used to think to myself God, I have just sat here for fourteen hours straight and I have just worked through all of this stuff and I don’t feel tired, I had lots of energy, I was motivated, I felt good about it, I wanted to wake up the next morning and start again and it was at that point when I realized that I had found what I have been looking for I think in many ways. Because I had all this energy to do it whereas I definitely wouldn’t have before when I was working.

James: So many, so many nuggets there. I just loved and I loved how you wrapped that particular segment up with you know you went from oh God, I got to get up and do this again you know go to a dreaded job and then turn around and say I have just worked fourteen hours and I didn’t feel it and I can’t wait to just catch up with quick napping and start it again. That’s fantastic and I love and I’m going to use this as a quote because you said it just didn’t fill your cup.

Michelle: No.

James: I love that, I totally love that and I could only imagine just at 23 I mean I recall when I was that age you know wild and crazy kind of thing and really not giving much thought to what I will be doing for the rest of my life nor did I feel you know it was day to day. But, so remarkable that you had the mindset to you know there was something more I just got to get up and get out there and see just walking in handing in your notice and I can not only imagine you know what that felt like and can just say you know no turning back.

Michelle: Yes. I was I mean I have really chipped myself actually you know doing it and you know because everyone just thought it was an insane thing to do but if I hadn’t had done it, if I didn’t try it I think that I would have been more insane.

James: Sure, sure, what if.

Michelle: Yes, so I just figured I am just going to get up and do it and I am not going to go back down and yes I mean a lot of entrepreneurs as well will probably say the same thing you know once you get that thing in your head and you make that decision the only way if there’s one way you know and it’s forward. And you just keep doing it and you keep doing it until you get to where you want to be. So, that’s was the kind of mindset I was in at the time when I went ahead and did that and I was really young but because I have been working since I was sixteen it didn’t feel that way and you know I bought and sold five properties by the time I was 23, I had my dream home, I had my dream car. I mean in a way I was very successful because I had you know managed to work my way up the ladder when lot of my friends were coming out of the university and going to work in coffee shops and things. So, I felt like my time was very well spent and I think because I had so many jobs and I did so many things at such a young age I mean that’s how it all ended up happening when I was so young because I wasn’t you know kind of out there you know at college or having fun or you now messing around with my friends, I was working and I was paying my way and earning a living and I think it just didn’t feel right to me that work you know you should work and it should not be enjoyable. You know it didn’t feel that that was the way life was meant to be so I went looking for something else.

James: It totally resonates with me and I know it resonates with a lot of my listeners being you know of the entrepreneur’s spirit. That is great. You’re so lucky to have that insight and just to be working while everyone was off partying at school and getting your hard knocks then and then saying if this is all there is I’m not going to do another 30,40, 50 years doing this. So, fantastic and kudos to you, that was great. So, tell me I read briefly your bio and you goshmoved to a different country with a language barrier and I did see that you sold, did you sell rugs, Persian rugs on eBay or Egyptian rugs, did I see that?

Michelle: Yes, well when I got here you know I kind of did need a way to earn money.

James: You got to make money yes. So what other things you listed.

Michelle: Yes, one of the things I listed was when I was doing my research was you know just sell things on eBay and I thought well I sold all of my stuff when I was in the UK I have got nothing to sell all I had was a suitcase and laptop. So, I walked into, there’s loads of bazaars in Egypt and I walked into a bazaar and you know they were selling rugs and I thought to myself okay well what if I could sell these authentic you know Egyptian rugs in places like England and America. So, I just kind of went into the post office and you know I got all the prices for the weights of shipping and things like that and I just went into the shop and I told this guy that I wanted to sell his rugs and he was obviously very welcoming of the fact. And you know I made sure I got my prices all sorted with him and I just took loads of photos of these rugs and I just put them on eBay and they did start selling. But, I found it just way too tedious and I didn’t enjoy it so you know it’s like it tied me over, eBay fees were quite expensive and shipping was quite expensive but I did in fact sell quite a few rugs to people all over the world.

James: Well, it speaks to just being where you were probably with a minimal savings and worried about that running out you needed to make ends meet until you really got to your feet.

Michelle: Yes totally and I was doing anything and everything for that.

James: Good for you, good for you.

Michelle: I mean selling rugs is just one thing you know I got a job in the hotel as well and I started working there for a little while and you know this was all while I was you know sort of working on the business and trying to build that up so yes I just did what I could to kind of pay my way until things took off really.

James: And then you got the idea to virtual assistant type services. So, you started leaning into that and hopefully that would take you to you know a full time living, a full time business. Tell me some of the challenges that you faced while trying to put that all together.

Michelle: There were many… primarily because I was doing it from a foreign country, sort of unknown country as well and you know obviously I was in the Middle East, it was also a bit of a third world country. So, there were allsorts challenges with internet, with language barriers and stuff like that. So, I mean I knew that I wouldn’t be able to acquire a sort of client base locally so I made my focus really to do with finding clients online and at the time I read a lot of stuff about how to find customers online you know if you’re selling in Ebook or something like that but to actually work in an office style environment where your supporting other business it was quite a challenge to try and find different ways to be able to connect with people and then also you know you had that massive trust element like you know everyone was sort of quite backwards then of coming forward and nobody really understood the internet and everyone thought it was just you know for chatting to people on you know AOL and answering emails.

James: Hooking up.

Michelle: Yes, you know it wasn’t used for business and so that was really challenging for me at that time. It’s totally a numbers game I mean it was back then. Now, it’s totally different because you have got things like blogging and social media and you know all those good stuff which you know didn’t necessarily exist back then I mean Facebook is only ten years old. So, I mean I was starting out around the time that Facebook was just you know coming on the scene before it was what it was today you know so there was no social media back then, there was nothing, so it was a challenge. But you know I’m very lucky because I have seen the changes that have been happening you know in the internet over the last sort of decade. And it’s been phenomenal and now I mean I’m more excited about it today than I was ten years ago about it. And just seeing how it’s changed I can’t wait for the next ten years.

James: It’s the skies the limit now with the way we engage and communicate and network.

Michelle: Yes so, I mean all the challenges I faced before like working from a foreign country, not being in the same location as my clients, not being able to find you know English speaking clients online, that’s the whole playing field has just changed.

James: Yes that’s history.

Michelle: Yes, definitely.

James: So, what was the turning point? What was your big break through? So, you know just listening to what you’re saying about there was no social media, there was no real means of engagement so you really had to reach out to people and get them to know like and trust you and unlike now where a lot of folks like you and me look to outsource our stuff to places unknown all over the world. How did you reach people? Did you email them, did you engage with them on their blogs, comments, there was no social media so how did you network?

Michelle: Yes, well I just basically used the resources that were available back then. Most of them were like online business directories, things like I don’t know whether you have it in the states but Yell you know like phonebooks. So, there was some sort of digital business directories that I would go and list my name and my website in, and there was a couple of virtual assistant forums and other sort of style type business forums and things, I would you know join and put my name on and you know chat and interact and see if I could solicit some business. I mean it was a huge challenge back then because everyone was like oh sort of a virtual assistant so I had to do a lot of educating with people and I think it was really interesting because although there was a lot of people doing it back then there was lot of people doing virtual assistance because there was sort of people who were work at home mums and they were giving up their jobs to sort of stay at home and look after their kids and then they sort of had local people, local clients that they would work with and they would maybe go and visit once a week but I didn’t have that luxury. So, I had to just get really, really creative with what was available to me online and with connecting with people as much as I could and it was very difficult because there was no social media. So, I would go to peoples blogs and peoples websites and just you know contact them and offer my services and you know try and explain the concept of a virtual assistant and just see what came back really and that my very first client was a guy, he wanted some customer support for his internet marketing business. So, that’s how it sort of started really and then I realized you now that I should probably just be rather than try and target all these people offline, I should probably be trying to target to just people who have websites and already working online and maybe have online businesses already.

So, I started going in that direction which was a little bit easier because they’d already had an online business but still the education part was quite difficult but you just make the best of what you have got and you scratch around until you get a break or you know a door open and then you kind of cling to it. I also told you know all my friends about what I was doing and I just said to them you know tell everyone about me you know if you see anybody with a business or anything like that just tell them about me and just get into contact me because I might be able to help them. So and then I also started doing projects free for people just so I could start getting some testimonials in and from feedback from people because that’s another thing it’s like when you got no feedback from anybody about what you do, you can tell people until your blue in the face but then they are like well what have you done for people you know can you give me a resume or a CV or things like that which is like again archaic because it’s like land of the dinosaurs you know asking for a resume when you’re a business owner but I just started at that point I realized I got to do some stuff for free for people just so I can build up a bank of testimonials just proving that I can do this stuff online and that’s basically what I did. And as soon as I started getting the testimonials then you know things started to change a little bit for me. It was much easier contacting people so I could show them what I have done for other people. Yes so it was easier.

James: That flies right in the face of what I talk about when I talk about big value and giving value upfront. Yes you can’t it’s the old adage I need a job but you don’t have any experience and how can I get experience if you don’t give me the job kind of thing. So you do, you have to put yourself out there, you have to volunteer, you have to prove your worth until you build that base and be able to be referred. Yes I love it. You know I want to say one more thing I think we should put on your current resume is you’re a virtual assistant pioneer. You pioneered the industry back when there was virtually no virtual assistant. You started and you built it up until now over the last ten years and I can definitely say that you started back then and everything that you did is just a testimonial to the building of that industry online and I salute you because you definitely are a pioneer.

Michelle: Thank you so much. It’s very kind of you.

James: No but think about it I mean I speak the truth and you know everyone listening I’m sure will agree just listening to that story. Yes I want to talk about the magic of strategic generosity in business when we’re talking about giving our best stuff upfront sometimes. What is your current obviously it’s a differentiating value proposition and tell us a little bit about you know what you put into it, heart and soul and the magic of that strategic generosity.

Michelle: Well, it’s done in a variety of ways really but I mean my business now is split into two. So, I work with clients and I work with virtual assistants as well. So, I do training for virtual assistants on how they can build their business and I also work with clients through a sort of consulting you know providing services, website service and stuff. So, I mean one way to certainly add value to any person I think a lot of people when they think about value they don’t really—everyone has a different concept of it. For me value is being able to charge whatever I need to do the absolute best possible job I can for the client and provide the absolute best possible service. So, the way I add value is I am constantly staying up to date with everything in the online world and I work my ass off for it. And I don’t charge anybody for learning, I don’t charge anybody you know for my expertise and things like that so I mean what you can bring to the table just by staying very current and very up to date and really ahead of your game adds huge amount of value for any client that you’re working with. I also look for ways that I can add values through providing excellent customer service online, through making my own time more efficient when working with clients and also through you know bartering which is you know a lot of people you know tend to kind of shun really but it is like for example I had a client once from my clients perspective I had a client once who had a membership site and he had loads and loads of members. And I started working with him just kind of working on managing and maintaining his membership site and I could see that there was so much potential in there from his members so basically I said to him I will if you advertise me with inside your membership area you know for every member that comes back to me and does some business with me I will give you money off your invoice. And he said okay. Well that sounds okay. So he started advertising me and putting me in his newsletter and things like that. And it was a slow build up but for several months all consistent in a row I worked for him for free.

James: Wow.

Michelle: Yes, and I actually owed him money.

James: Can we renegotiate this contract because I’m upside down in this thing.

Michelle: Yes because I was like I will give you 10% of whatever you know comes back and I will take them off your invoice and basically it worked out for him and it worked out for me. And you know I basically ended up working free for him. A lot of people I think would say well that’s ridiculous, you shouldn’t be working free for somebody and stuff but you got so much more out of it than you know in exchange for what you put in its quite incredible. And then there is also another case where I you know sometimes I pay for people like for example the magic of strategic generosity was a blog post I wrote because back in January I did a workshop and what I did in this workshop was I invited people to come and see me. It was a day workshop and you know I would teach this workshop and then people could you know provide testimonials and things at the end. And there was one particular woman who I knew that if she came, she would just take whatever I taught her and she would run with it, and she would being fantastic and incredible and I thought to myself well what kind of value would that add not for people who would not only for you know for myself as a testimonial but for the motivation to get other people motivated to do the same thing that she did and everything. So I invited her and I paid for her to come. And you know she was the absolute best person on the course you know and okay it’s cost me a few hundred dollars to get her there and you know to sort of set her up and you know get her in the workshop but at the end of it she absolutely flied and she made like an extra three thousand pounds income which is probably about I don’t know what it is in dollars maybe four and a half or five thousand dollars that month. Just from coming to that workshop so I have got a fantastic testimonial from her and off the back of that then I get loads more sales because I’m proving that what I teach and what I you know my methodology and my ethics, my techniques they work.

So, I’m all for investing in people to receive a return of not necessarily money but something else which will help me also add further value to my clients but also help you know further establish my business I guess.

James: Yes I love that. I wanted to ask you, I usually ask for a gold nugget and I was going to say you know somebody looking to start a business and you know just being able to take that leap but I want you to just kind of refocus on what you just told me if you could. How would you have someone—how would you advise looking for those opportunities and presenting those opportunities or you’re just giving or you’re always just looking to be able to give of yourself and these opportunities present themselves or tell what’s the chemistry there, what is the recipe to be in that kind of position?

Michelle: I look, I’m very inquisitive but I have to say that I’m more inclined towards people who really try you know try to who show initiative, who show that you know that they actually do have what it takes because when you get to a certain degree of success in any business you start to attract a lot of attention from people and you start to get a lot of enquiries from various different people and to start with you especially you know a couple of years back when I was sort of quite naïve I would look at other people contacting me, asking me for advice, internships, can I help them in some way and I would just be like you know I wouldn’t understand or I wouldn’t really know the difference between somebody who is absolutely serious and somebody who wasn’t. Everybody wants to be successful. No one says I have absolutely no interest in being successful. Everybody wants to be successful, everybody wants to earn a decent you know amount of money where they can live and take care of their family but there is only probably about one percent of the population who are willing to actually work for it.

And this is the real difference and you have to learn to be able to spot the people who are talking about it and spot the people who are actually committed to it. You know there is some people love the idea of it but some people actually love you know the idea of making it a reality and I tend to be a very good spotter of these people who are really desperately trying and you can look at someone these days and you can say okay that person is going to make it. Just through even online you don’t have to meet them in person but the way they talk, the way they blog, the way they are so consistent in everything, the way you know just their positive outlook and the positive attitude you know it’s just I’m not going to fail ever attitude and once I spot that in someone yes I’m more than happy to give them my energy, invest my energy and my time if I think that the outcome is going to be favorable and if it’s favorable for them then it’s usually favorable for me. And I have done that many times.

People particularly in third world countries you know people trying to get on their feet and that type of thing because they are the kind of people that sort of really need the break. So I have worked with people out in the Philippines and given them free training and mentorship and just you know trying to get them off the ground and it really works out. One of the people that I trained in the Philippines has just got a free place on Marie Forleo’s B-School. So she is in there right now you know going I really you know I’m so happy to be here and Michelle Dale is great and anyone looking to be a virtual assistant you got to go and speak to her and things like that. You know Marie Forleo’s B-School is huge so you know I have got somebody in there right now because of my time and energy that I gave them and this was like in 2011. You know it’s like the gift that keeps on giving.

James: Sure.

Michelle: So you know she’s kind of talking about me and I’m getting people contact me from that so you just never know when and how things are going to work out but the world is a very mysterious place James.

James: Michelle, I just can’t you hit the value, that is the value, that is big value, that is what I talk about and it’s not just in you know I started this blog, this podcast for you know valuable advertising and messaging and just start pushing and getting in people’s faces but people like you have just opened up a whole another world to me and just that investing and recognizing and helping and just providing value. These people they need it and I just can’t tell you how enlightening and wonderful this conversation is for me to hear right now.

Michelle: A lot of people are looking for instant gratification and when you add value to people’s lives it’s a long term investment. You might not see it overnight, you might not see it in the next six months but you will see it.

James: Right, right, I love it. And with my blog, my podcasts there is no advertisements eventually I’m going to have to monetize it if I’m going to make it my true vocation as well as my advocation but I just want to bring your message and people like you that your message out there to people and what a strong message. I’m so appreciative of everything that you have told me so far.

Michelle: You’re welcome. And you know something else as well I mean you touched on advertising there which is really interesting because I actually think that you know lot of people think that if I advertise in their blogs you know that they are trying to solicit money from people who are just there to learn and in many ways you know that can be true when you’re just advertising things that you don’t believe in or you know something that is earning the highest amount of money on ClickBank or you know whatever but if you actually I mean and I do this myself, if I actually go out and I try a service and I use it and it adds a value to my business, it saves me time or it saves me money then I will tell people about it and if they have an affiliate program I will put my affiliate link in there.

James: Absolutely.

Michelle: I just think it’s one of those things, I think when you go about advertising in the right way you know it can be very beneficial for all the people involved but when you go about it in the wrong way like this cheesy internet marketing thing that we were talking about before you know it can just go pop, it can go really wrong. So yes, I mean I also think I’m a big believer in karma and having faith in the universe and everything it provides. So the biggest thing that you can do is always just follow your instinct you know your true instinct about you know if something feels good and it feels right to do it then you go ahead and do it. And just see where it takes you.

James: Absolutely. I love that and I’m glad you brought that up because and again a lot of the folks that I have on they would get flak from people that were used to giving all the free stuff and why you’re trying to monetize now you’re after our money and you really have to see beyond those people and just know that yes this is stuff I wouldn’t show you anything that I wouldn’t use myself, haven’t used myself and I wouldn’t endorse and you know why shouldn’t I get compensated something if I’m providing a service. Absolutely.

Michelle: But I also do the same you know if somebody wants to recommend my services, I have an affiliate link if you know and I’m quite happy for them to use it. You know I want to give people money to in exchange for you know advocating what I do and it’s not like I do it in a sort of shady kind of way like it’s up to you. If you want to do it that’s fine. If you take my program and you like it and you want to recommend it I want to give you something for that you know it’s, I don’t know.

James: We’re in business.

Michelle: Exactly, we got to make a living you know.

James: We’re in the business to help people but we’re still in business.

Michelle: Yes, you got to eat.

James: If I have to go dig ditches just to put food on the table and support my two kids in college then you know that’s less time I get to be here in with you guys.

Michelle: Yes totally. So yes I think it’s all swings and roundabouts really but I truly believe that if it feels right to you, if you have to question anything that you do in business it’s probably a good idea not to do it. But if it feels right and you think, no this is a good thing because the audience benefits and you know all the client benefits and I benefit so it’s just a kind of an all-round good thing.

James: Agreed, agreed and you’re so wise, so, so wise. I’m serious.

Michelle: Thank You.

James: Let me just switch gears here and we will just start to wind down a little bit but just like on a personal level we will take it from the business perspective and kind of seque into like what gets you going, you said you had it really together, your high energy, what do you do to keep up with you know do you have any rituals for productivity, accountability? How do you stay consistent in moving towards you know Michelle’s goals?

Michelle: Rituals, that’s pretty interesting. I have one thing that I do that ever since I started doing it is actually there are couple of things I will tell you about two, since I started doing them they have completely changed in course of my business. The first one is that I sleep four to five hours at night and then I have a sleep in the afternoon for about an hour and a half. I start work at five o’clock in the morning every morning and sort of between five and eight I can get a full day’s work done during those hours. So you know to change my sleep pattern was really phenomenal life changing thing and another that I do is I really control my beliefs. I think that our belief system like you know like that saying if you think you can or if you think you can’t both are right.

James: You’re right.

Michelle: Either way you’re right. That is so true and if you have a belief system where it’s like I can’t do this, I’m not good enough, I don’t think I could ever earn that kind of money you know I mean if you’re in that mindset and you’re in that frame of mind you might as well give up now because you’re just going to keep staying in that same place that you will always are. You know if you want to invoke change in your life and you want to invoke success and you want to push forward and get to where you want to be you have to hold the end goal right in your mind all the time. Not how you’re going to get there and not you know working on the details and then realizing that it’s not going to work and just chucking it all in you have to hold it and you have to trust that the ideas will come, that the people will come, that the opportunities will come and they will come at the exact moment that you need them not when you think you need to control when you need them. So don’t give up just keep holding true and I really work on my belief system. If I have a sort of negative belief which I think is counterproductive to my vision or my goal that I want to achieve at the end I try to get rid of it. You know I do affirmations about what I want, I keep my mind totally focused on the end results at all times and it’s powerful and it works.

I don’t dwell on worrying about things which haven’t happened or may not ever happen. And I think that as people we’re brought up in the society particularly in the western world where we have to have backup plans and we have to have contingency plans in case anything goes wrong. But all that does is basically keeps affirming to you that things will go wrong and if you don’t believe that anything will go wrong then okay there will be bumps along the road you know you’re going to experience things that you may not necessarily consider good but most of the time they are good because you’re learning from them and you’re progressing whether it’s good or bad or indifferent. So just keep your mind focused on the end goal and keep reaching for it until you get there and providing that you don’t give up and you don’t start thinking that you can’t you will get there. It’s inevitable, it’s almost a guarantee.

James: That is so powerful and when you said as a society we are kind of it’s engrained in us to have a contingency plan, it’s if the what if to fall back on. Are you familiar with the term burn the boats?

Michelle: No.

James: It’s now I have opened this up and I don’t know the exact reference to it but it has to do with explorers and I will have to look into it a little deeper and will probably will have to cut this out. But explorers went to the new world and instead of you know having the they burnt the boats so maybe it was a Spanish war or I have to look it up. But I mean there is no going back. We go to this new land, we go to serve this purpose and we burn the boats.

Michelle: Yes totally and I think I discovered that when I you know I discovered that kind of lesson when I left you know ten years ago when I left the UK because I did it, I just remained focused on what I was going to do and when I got here and that stage was over and then I focused on the next goal and the next goal and it’s just been progressively escalating from there and I continuously set myself new goals and I keep working towards them until they occur. And the only time they don’t occur is if I give up or I start thinking to myself you know kind of negative thoughts about them like that will never work or you know so we are very powerful people. Every single one of us is very, very powerful and you know when you think about you know quantum physics and the way your brain works and you know our brains are the most powerful computers on earth and they probably always will be. And if you learn how to work with that and work with the tools that you have got, that you were given from the day you were born you can really create quite remarkable things and you can create a quite remarkable existence and I think what we have to focus on more than anything in order to be successful is not about making money but about creating wealth.

The two are very, very different. You know making money is always it’s about work, it’s about not necessarily doing things that you want to do but anything to just get that money in but creating wealth is so much more inviting and much more interesting because it’s about creativity, it’s about taking the gifts that you have all been given as individuals and then learning what to do with them to create money from them you know so again that was about adding value to other people and wealth creation is really about thinking about the possible ways that you can add value to other people’s lives and then as a natural progression earning money from those things. And that is the absolute best combination if you’re looking to start a business you really desperately want to go with the things that you’re passionate about, and feel positive about and you know you want to make a difference to the world and the more you make that difference the more successful you will become.

James: Wow. I totally agree, totally, totally agree. That is such, such good stuff and I so appreciate it.

You got us really thinking here Michelle. Tell me do you belong to any mastermind groups or subscribe to any particular blogs? Where do you get your inspiration from? You have to keep that great mind of yours fueled in some kind of way.

Michelle: I actually gosh you know I haven’t. I have got a group I mean I host a group myself, I have got a membership site and I do mentorship and coaching but in terms of inspiration from the people I haven’t actually ever been a part of mastermind group or anything like that but I do I mean one of the first people that I ever started following like this was ten years ago was (Yaros Darovich) and I know that he’s been going through a lot of ups and downs at that moment but I still feel that he is a very genuine person who will always provide very good advice and very good value to anybody who reads his blog so I definitely recommend reading his blog. I also really like Marie Forleo, I mentioned her earlier on as well. I think she has got a fantastic energy, she is a little bit more sort of down the commercial road than I would have gone but her advice is sound and she is really an excellent entrepreneur to follow. I also follow Gary Vaynerchuk, I also follow Seth Godin. Seth Godin is like

James: I love Seth Godin.

Michelle: I know, I absolutely love him, I read his blog, I religiously and his books are fantastic. I read all his books because they are just full of such valuable information that you know you should really live your life by. And there is one book which I call it’s like my little bible for you know business which is The Science of Getting Rich which is a book which is like a hundred years old now but the information that’s contained within those pages is really powerful and it changed a lot of my mindset about business and work. So I think yes Wallace D. Wattles, The Science of Getting Rich, hundred year old book but that is fantastic. So yes Gary Yaro, Marie, Seth, my big names.

James: Love, love it. Thank you so much for that. Very inspiring and we have a lot of the same books on our shelves. I’m in the middle of Lynchpin actually.

Michelle: Awesome, awesome but I think entrepreneurs tend to gravitate towards you know this information in these books because I think you know so many entrepreneurs mention them you know in interviews and you know what was your inspiration and things like that and the same names come up over and over again.

James: Well What is that tell you?

Michelle: Exactly. You got to be listening to these people.

James: Alright. Listen, you have been such a wonderful guest and friend. Tell us about anything you have going on right now you want us to be aware of or basically you know what we can find, where we can find and how we can find you?

Michelle: Okay well there is my website which is virtualmissfriday.com and if you go to virtualmissfriday.com/subscribe there is a free membership area where I have sort of free downloads about I have just released a new one called a Decade on the Road which is my top 10 experiences and real kind of biggest takeaways from being ten years living on the road as an entrepreneur. So they can get that for free and I’m also starting a weekly podcast as of the 2nd of May when I’m back in Greece. It’s so time for me to do one of those, I do a weekly newsletter called eTravel Weekly and I have decided to sort of elaborate on that bit more and make that into a weekly podcast. That starts on 2nd of May and so that’s all inside my free members area but I also if anybody is interested in training or learning from me or learning you know I have basically given away all my secrets and my business model and everything inside virtualmissfriday.com/roadmap which is kind of all my training products and how to start a business and you know how to make online through providing services. So you know there’s my blog as well, I blog every week and there’s a free post on that every week. So my website is just a hive of information and it’s kind of like my centerpiece of where I live online most of the time so and I’m more than happy to hear from people through social media, through Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn and all those links are on my website too at the bottom in the footer.

James: Absolutely and yes I’m signing up right now.

Michelle: Alright cool.

James: I just love it. You haven’t heard the last of me Michelle Dale.

Michelle: Do you know. That was music to my ears because I just love people like you James. You’re so innovative and you’re really getting yourself out there and you know providing value to people and that’s what it’s all about it’s like that ripple effect you know that snowball effect. The more people like you there are in the world the better world is.

James: Absolutely and thank you so much for that too. And with that Michelle I’m going to wrap it up and I just so appreciate it and I want to see can I let it out that in three more months you’re going to have a new family member.

Michelle: Yes, I’m pregnant currently, I’m six months pregnant so I mean my baby is due in July and yes its baby number three. I have my first baby from Egypt, and then second baby from France and this baby is going to be born in Greece. So you got one from every country.

James: Nice, multicultural family.

Michelle: Yes

James: Love it, I love it and I want to touch base with you between now and then and especially when you do have your baby I want to hear about it. I’m sure if I keep tabs on you I will know when the blessed event occurs.

Michelle: Absolutely yes, I will tell people about it in my newsletter and on my blog and everything.

James: Sounds good. Listen let’s keep in touch and thank you so much for your time today. You take care okay.

Michelle: You too James. Bye.

James: Bye now.

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