Success Unfiltered Podcast

Turn a No into a Yes: How 20 Years of Real Life Experience Changed Me

There are things in life that seem scary and take you out of your comfort zone, but these are often the things that help take the shape of our lives and give us the real life experience we crave.

Over the past 20 years I’ve had so many different experiences that have in turn changed my life, and I want to share them with you.

My ultimate goal is to make an immense impact on people all over the world, to help them close any deal that comes their way, sell more products and services. Overcome any obstacle and turn a NO into a YES. I want to serve more people and ultimately make a larger impact on the world.

I know this can be done by sharing unfiltered stories from extraordinary people who have overcome some incredible obstacles and have still found their version of success. My goal is to break through barriers and provide you more tools for your toolbox to help you achieve all your goals and dreams.

I’ve been fortunate enough to meet and interview some of the most successful people on the planet, who are willing to share their insights on how it really is in business and in life. And, of course, how they overcame obstacles to create extraordinary success.

In my business career I’ve sold everything from enchiladas to clothes at Nordstorms, to mortgages and houses. I’ve had an incredible journey and I’m really excited to share everything I know with you.

Michelle’s History & Real Life Experience

Before I dive into everything I have to share, I’d like to take you through and introduce you to the Michelle you may not know. I believe this is important because it gives credibility to my knowledge from all of my experiences over the last 20 years.

You may not believe this, but I started out as a financial analyst out of college. I had a job in a cubicle and I hated it. I absolutely could not do it, so I quit and got a part-time job at Nordstrom, a part-time job as a personal trainer, I started a bootcamp, and I was a spin instructor.

While I was transitioning from my financial analyst job, I kept thinking about what I could do that involved numbers, but where I wasn’t sitting in a cubicle all the time. I realized that working in a mortgage company would fit perfectly. I did some research, found a company that I wanted to work for and was pretty fortunate, I was hired immediately, after just one interview.

Those were the glory days of mortgage companies. Anyone with a pulse could come in and start making 6 figures almost immediately, I was no exception.

The difference for me was, that instead of spending all of the money that I earned on fancy cars, or extravagant vacations, I saved my money. Saving and being financially smart has always been a part of my life.

My parents taught me how to be financially smart right off the bat. My father believed that you should have a year’s worth of savings in the bank at all times. My mother taught me how to use a credit card without going into debt. I knew from the beginning that having money saved was more important than buying a Bentley, I just didn’t understand that life.

I did end up splurging and bought myself was a Michele watch. I had to have it because, obviously my name is Michelle, but I was so freaked out when I thought about spending $1,000 on a watch. I did it and treated myself, but the rest of my money was saved.

It was so good that I saved most of my money because when I started my next company, that is pretty much what I survived on for quite awhile. It supplemented the peanuts I was making at my last company. Lesson learned, save up! Because you may need it later.

Success With Mortgages Comes With a Price

I experienced a lot of success when I sold mortgages. You may be wondering how?  

Well, I really cared about people and what they had to say! That was the key ingredient,  Because I cared, they kept talking, which is what led them to choose me over the competition time and time again.

It was the mortgage industry that brought me to San Diego. The company I was working for offered me a management position, there. I’d always wanted to live by a beach, so I happily packed up my stuff, and moved.

However, after just a short time of selling mortgages for about two years, I saw the writing on the wall. I knew it couldn’t last for very long. This wave of dollars was about to come to a screeching halt.

Subprime loans were the undoing. These loans were being written without income statements or tax returns. Sure, the people were saving $400 to $500 a month, but your typical person isn’t going to put that money in the bank, they’re going to use it for something else, maybe a new car.

Sadly, we were just getting people into more and more debt. They didn’t have the financial education that my parents gave me.

Since I did have the financial knowledge that I had I knew this couldn’t last. And, within 18 months almost every single mortgage company went bankrupt.

That was about the time real estate started to lose its allure. I knew it was time to take on the next big challenge in my life.

The Next Chapter

On a personal level I started looking for prepared meals that I could buy and have shipped to me. I was about 10 lbs heavier than I am today due to eating one too many burritos since living in San Diego.

I did end up finding a company in LA, but they wouldn’t ship to me in San Diego– I saw this as a huge opportunity. I knew if I was looking for a service like this, there were likely other people like me looking for a service like this. And there were, plenty of people!

That’s how some of the greats have started their businesses. And, like my friend John Lee Dumas has said, every master, was at one point a disaster. But, if you stick with it make mistakes, pivot and adjust, you can make things happen!

I went to my friends and family and they supported me, but I had no clue what I was getting into. I had no culinary background, but I did have a lot of business and finance experience and I knew I could sell things really really really well, but I was not prepared for what it took to begin manufacturing food. There was so much involved, but nonetheless, FITzee was born.

I had a lot of early wins. I had very little competition, so people would try the food and love it and the convenience. We were able to connect with Scripps Hospital and create a 3 year deal where we created a self-service vending option, NOTHING like this had existed before.

Then, in 2014, I was 1 of 146 people who was given the opportunity to pitch on Shark Tank for Season 4. This was the BEST experience I ever had. I didn’t receive any offers, but I made connections. This was like going to the Olympic Games for any Entrepreneur!

Those were some of my early wins, and it was a great experience. But, food is difficult and because I didn’t have a culinary background, I was unsure what I was jumping into.

My advice?

Know your space before you dive 2 feet in, or find people who do know it. I had a lot of challenges to find someone in the culinary space that could help me to understand how to manufacture food at scale.

One thing to remember is that money is the heartbeat of every business, and while FITzee had some really good times, we also had some really bad times. It is inevitably why FITzee is no longer around. That’s why 90% of businesses that launch in this world are not around any more, because there’s a massive failure rate in this country.

This shouldn’t scare people, it’s just the reality. People either run out of money or time, or both.

We had all of these really awesome opportunities with FITzee but none of them stuck around for the long haul. In the end, FITzee closed on March 27th, 2017. It was literally one of the worse and best things that ever happened to me at the same time.

I was able to walk away in the best possible way. I sold all of my equipment, was able to get others into my leases, which allowed me to walk away with my integrity. I also know that I did everything in my power and gave it my all.

After we closed, I took a two week vacation and used the time to clear my head and plan out my next chapter of my life.

Sharing 20 Years of Experience

My next chapter is all about taking everything I’ve learned over the last 20 years as it relates to thinking outside the box when it comes to sales. I want to teach people how to sell without really selling, or being sleazy. It’s about being passionate, loving what you do and then remaining resilient.

This is going to allow me to help people on a broader level all over the world. And make an impact. I’ve learned so many things that you’ll never learn in an MBA program, or a book. It’s my version of an expensive MBA program.

Everything I’ve learned, has come from life experiences.

Having a Facebook live show, a podcast, and a blog isn’t easy, but I am ready to step outside my comfort zone and really share my knowledge with the world.

As, my friend, John Lee Dumas says, “We’re all standing on the shoulders of giants.”

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This