This week we’re thrilled to be sharing the Life Lessons of Michelle Jones. Michelle is the Founder of Kind Currency CIC and Owner of Michelle Jones Weddings. A Mum of two, a homemaker and community volunteer and charity worker, Michelle is proud of her resilience as a chronic illness warrior. She is also a bit of a party girl who says ‘what is life without hope and giggles‘. She’s shared some great advice in her Life Lessons this week, and we chatted to her in more depth about dealing with rejection, what we can learn from mum-guilt, and the importance of having passion for your work.
On the podcast, Michelle spoke of her process for dealing with rejection. Part of Michelle’s positive process is down to the expectations she sets before putting herself forward for these opportunities. As Michelle explained, “it’s having that underlying understanding that, it might be amazing what you’re offering, but they might just like somebody else”. By setting these measured expectations, she is able to have a more balanced approach to rejection. Instead of forcing herself out of a slump, she allows the time to feel the negative feelings that arise, before moving on to analyse and learn from her mistakes. “Don’t beat yourself up about being disappointed. Let yourself feel it, but then use that energy and put it into the next opportunity that comes along and ask for that feedback, ask why it was a no. The only way we can progress is to learn”.
As a multifaceted entrepreneur, who has founded both a wedding planning business and a community fund, Michelle promotes having authentic passion for the work that you do. She said, “I’m a firm believer that no matter how old you are, you can change your career path and you can do something that you absolutely love to do”. In the podcast episode, she mentioned her disbelief in the attitude that your working life is something you have to struggle through and not enjoy. “You’re in work for the majority of your life, so enjoying it whilst you’re doing it is essential to living an enrich life”, she said. Michelle believes this negative attitude towards working life develops in school, where children are only encouraged to pursue careers in a select number of sectors. She spoke of how “nurturing their talent, and then providing them with a career path in line with their passion and skill is much better than focusing children on limited subjects and presenting limited work options”.
Another question Michelle answered in her Life Lessons was about coping with the guilt factor as a working parent. In our discussion, she spoke of how this guilt can often present an added barrier against not doing what you love, instead giving into the fear of how that decision could impact your child. As Michelle described, “You worry about your children so much that you might stop yourself from doing something because you worry it may have a negative impact have on them when the truth is, it doesn’t”. Instead of suggesting tactics to eradicate these feelings of guilt that rise up, as with her process for tackling rejection, Michelle instead chooses to embrace these feelings, seeing them as reminders of just how much she cares for her children. “You’re going to feel that guilt, but that’s because you’re a mum, it comes with the territory, fighting a natural feeling is a waste of energy and if I didn’t feel it then I wouldn’t be the mum or person I want to be”.
Michelle has also recently been appointed as an ambassador for our brand new platform, Be Heard. It will serve as a directory of speakers from all experiences and backgrounds that speaker agencies and event planners can use to bring diversity to their panels or discussions. Potential speakers can fill out their own personal profiles, adding their professions, experiences and areas of interest, making it easier than ever for broadcasters to find the right voice for their event. Michelle is thrilled to be working to promote the Be Heard platform, as she is a firm believer in championing authentic and relatable experiences. “I’m a big fan of the small voice”, she said, “and I think the small voice has a lot more to offer than the same people who are given the platform time after time […] I like to hear from real people and hear real people’s stories. What helps me deal with my everyday life of managing chronic illnesses is listening to other people who are facing adversity and how they’ve overcome it”.