Michele Parisa-Wacek (she prefers P.W.) is an entrepreneur, best-selling author and copywriter who has proven with her ‘Love Based Business’ strategy and bestselling books that “love sells more than fear”. She’s driven $50M+ for her clients, and shares her ‘aha’ epiphany and practical advice on how to build a business that loves you as much as you love it.
Melinda Wittstock: Michele, it is so good to have you on Wings.
Michele PW: Thank you so much for having me.
Melinda Wittstock: I am so excited to talk to you because I’m very intrigued by the concept of a love-based business. Could you define that for all of our listeners?
Michele PW: Yeah. How I define it is a business that you love and also that loves you back. The way a business loves you back is it provides you with an income to support you, it provides you with the time to pursue other things, like raise a family, have a life, travel, whatever it is, and it provides you with a lifestyle as well, so your business supports you. It doesn’t take over your life.
I know so many entrepreneurs, myself included, where our businesses became our life, and that’s not a business that’s loving you back. A business that loves you back I feel like is supporting you in having a life you love.
I actually also will go one step as well. I mean that’s kind of the easier ones, but then I also believe it’s a business built on a foundation of love. What do I mean by that? All emotions are either on fear-based emotions or love based emotions. All emotions are under one or the other. Fear based emotions include fear, anger, grief, shame, guilt, envy, all of that, and love based obviously is self-explanatory.
The thing is that when something happens and it triggers a fear based emotion, like let’s say you have a very unpleasant encounter with a VA, a virtual assistant you just hired, one of your team members, and you lash out in anger and maybe just the sense from there your VA ended up quitting or maybe you fired your VA and it’s all just a mess.
That to me … Whenever you do things like that, when you actually react to the emotion of anger, that is actually you’re building your business on a foundation of fear. When I say that, I’m not saying that you don’t have a right to be angry, because the VA might … I don’t know, but I’ll get in this hypothetical story. The VA may very well have done something that should have made you angry.
I’m not saying that this is not about you not feeling any emotions. This is absolutely about you feeling your emotions. What this is about is not reacting to your emotions. So rather than immediately, you know, you dashing off a strongly worded email that perhaps shouldn’t be written, or getting on the phone or saying something that you later regret, you just sit and you feel the anger and you let it move through you.
Once you have let it move through you, then and only then do you actually respond, so you’re not reacting to the fear-based emotion. You let it move through you and then you respond appropriately. That VA may very well need to be fired, but if you do it in the heat of the moment when you’re angry and they’re angry, the whole thing can descend into a lot of unpleasantness. If you can do it … If you can respond versus react it changes everything.
So that’s what I’m sort of about and part of my mission and passion to really get out there in the world is to really talk about this so people can see how really every part of your life and business you have a choice. You can choose to react to your fear based emotions, and so build things on fear, or you can choose to let the fear based emotions move through you and respond and build it on a foundation of love.
Melinda Wittstock: That is so beautiful, and there are so many different things and aspects of what you said that I want to be able to pick up on. One of them that I think is really interesting is where we get triggered in our businesses. A lot of that is just unconscious beliefs that we have, that we may have like … Probably they come from childhood. Like we may have witnessed something with our parents. We may have just been watching a TV show. It could be from anywhere.
I find that being an entrepreneur challenges you in so many ways to grow as a person, and what’s fascinating, the more conscious you become is understanding what those trigger points are and using them as opportunities to grow personally. We have joked so many times on this podcast that if you want good therapy be an entrepreneur.
Michele PW: That’s for sure, and a parent. A parent would be the other one.
Melinda Wittstock: Does being a parent make you a better entrepreneur? Does being and entrepreneur make you a better parent? I mean because you are tested all the time, and how you react in those moments … The only thing you can really control, right, is how you react. There are a lot of events as an entrepreneur that you can’t control, a lot of things way beyond, so you can control how you react.
I love this, because if you’re reacting in a love based emotion you’re more likely to create the sort of culture where you’re going to attract top talent and great people and then the company is going to be more fun to work for and you’re going to attract a better caliber of person. You’re going to be more likely to attract and keep your clients happy. I mean there are so many really great benefits that come from how you show up as a leader yourself.
So when did you first come in your career, Michele, to really kind of understand this? Is this just something on your journey? Was there an ah-ha moment or did it happen kind of gradually, where you became conscious that you wanted to run a love based business rather than one that was based in fear?
Michele PW: How it happened is … It actually did happen through me being a copywriter. I am a copywriter and I still have … I have a copywriting company and I’ve been a copywriter for years. I learned traditional direct response copy from a lot of traditional … Well, most of them were men at the time.
What they taught, I didn’t call this then … I didn’t even have this language, but it was fear based copy. What I mean by that, it was what they … In order to persuade somebody to take action you need to tap into their emotions. Otherwise they’re just not going to take action. Again, you can tap into fear or love. There’s another choice, choices. We all have choices here. Traditional direct response copy traditionally also taps into fear.
Melinda Wittstock: And scarcity too.
Michele PW: Scarcity is part of fear too. Yeah, that’s exactly it.
Melinda Wittstock: Or fear of being left out, all those sorts of things, and that’s still so true in Internet marketing, isn’t it?
Michele PW: Oh, yeah, it is. It’s changing, because I think there’s just … I think it was so much of it … It’s been going around for a hundred years. One of the things that I want to say is that the direct response marketers and copiers, none of them are bad people. Nobody is … Well, I shouldn’t say nobody, but very few … It would have been very few people, if anybody, but I suspect nobody went out there with the idea that they want to spread more fear. That wasn’t why they did it. They did it because it worked and they’re pragmatic people.
So I learned the tips and I learned all of this stuff. I remember I kind of felt I didn’t really like it either and my friends in the … You know when internet marketing, when sort of the coaching … Transformational development started to become of age, a lot of my friends in that said, “Michele, can you come up with a different way of writing copy because this way just sucks? It feels salesy and inauthentic and sleazy.”
And copy, by the way, just so we’re on the same page … I should say that really fast, is … Those are those long sales letters that you were scrolling down, forever going how much is this and does anybody ever read these things anyway, or those emails that you click somewhere. So all of that stuff that’s having you take action, do something, that’s direct response copy.
My friends said: “Can you come up with a different way of writing copy?” They gave me names. They called it like conscious copywriting or detraction copywriting, but I kept resisting. The first time I heard it I said absolutely not. There are quite a few copywriting books out there. I read a lot of them. I don’t need to recreate the wheel.
But they kept nudging me and talking to me, and then what ended up happening was in 2012 I kind of had a bit of … I mean I call it kind of a breakdown. It wasn’t really like … I wasn’t hospitalized or anything like this, but I just … That was the year that my mother was diagnosed with cancer and some other-
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, I’m sorry.
Michele PW: Thank you, and some other things, some other really challenging personal things happened that year and I just couldn’t handle it anymore. One day I just started to cry and I couldn’t stop. Then I had nightmares for a couple weeks. So that was really the start of my breakthrough of my own personal journey and my own kind of spiritual awakening. That was when I started to understand the difference between love and fear.
It was two years later in 2014 … No, was that … Yes, it was 2014. February 2014, my friend Susan Little came up with this book on love-based marketing. I looked at it and I thought love-based copy. What would be the reversal of love based copy? That would be fear-based copy. Then that’s when the entire philosophy just downloaded into me.
I wrote the first book, which I ended up rewriting and doing an addition to. That’s what’s out right now, and I started to talk about it. I started to go out and teach it, because I really thought there was something here. This is what everyone was telling me about.
Well, as I went … I went on a lot of podcasts and I also spoke about it on stage and I talked about this to people and it was great, because the more I talked about it and the more I talked about the philosophy, the more I realized … That was when I started to realize that it was really everything, every part of our life from even the choice on how we talk to our kids … Not that I have kids. I speak like I have kids, but I don’t have kids.
But when you’re telling your kids to go to bed at a certain bedtime you can choose to persuade them using fear based language or you can choose to persuade them with love based language, so even things like that we are always … We are constantly being presented with ways that we can either respond with love or react with fear. When I say fear I don’t mean just like fear. I mean you don’t react in anger, react in grief, react in shame, react in guilt. That’s what I mean. We always have this choice and it affects every single part of our lives, our health, our relationships, as well as our businesses and how we show up in the world.
I’ve written more books. I have a whole series out now. I’ve got the two copywriting books plus Online Marketing, Money and Mindset, and Love Based Goals is the latest, because I really wanted to dive into this and really show people … I didn’t want personal development to be just like something kind of navel gazing. I really wanted to show how what we’ve learned there we can apply to our lives and we can make a difference in the quality of our life.
[tweet_box design=”default” float=”none”]Your business will never outgrow your personal development, because as you grow or as you take on challenges you’re going to be triggered and emotions are going to come up and stuff is going to come up. #WingsPodcast #WomeninBusiness @MichelePW[/tweet_box]
Melinda Wittstock: This is so true. I have like goose bumps on the back of my neck listening to you talk about fear for two reasons. One is that we always often in our lives can be carrying on in a certain way and we have these moments of breakdown if we’re unaligned in some way, or the universe is trying to tell us or whoever … Some … The universe or whoever is trying to tell us something and we’re not listening. We’re just ticking off the tasks. We’re just going as before, as before, as before, and often if we’re not listening or we’re not hearing we literally get smacked down.
I remember I’ve had my moments like that. It was like 2013, my marriage was ending, I had been in a really like … I’ll spare all of you the details, but really quite a bad marriage. My business wasn’t working, like nothing was working, and I felt like I was sitting there in a fetal position. I had a similar epiphany. What got me out of that situation was a very dedicated gratitude practice, where literally every day I sat and thought of at least 10 things that I spent time like honoring each of the 10 things and calling together like whatever it was, and it was amazing, the transformation.
That really began a big awakening for me. The second reason I was going to say, I had the privilege of being in the middle of the Amazon rain forest about a year and a half ago and I remember having this profound, profound experience that fear was at the root of everything that was wrong with our lives, our businesses, our relationships, politics, you name it, and if we could make that transition from fear into love we’d all be great. It’s amazing now to be talking to you about this. I mean it resonates so much with me.
Michele PW: Yes. I agree with you on the fear. The thing is that what I’ve really come to … What I’m moving to believe with the fear based emotions is, and especially fear, fear does exist and there is a reason for it, because it can protect us. If there’s a scary shadow at the back of an alley we should be afraid and we should listen to our fear and not go down that alley, so there is a place for fear.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, but if that fear is like a constant thing where your adrenaline is turned on the whole time-
Michele PW: That’s the problem. Yes. What we’ve done is because we’ve shut down, because we don’t want to feel our fear based emotions so we’ve shut them down. So we actually can’t trust our emotions. Our fear based emotions actually exist to give us information, but now we have so like stuffed them, refused to feel them, numbed them, ran away from them, that now when they bubble up to be felt they’re just out of control, so we can’t trust the messages that they’re giving us because right now they’re just screaming to be felt, because if we can just feel them they move through us and then we can react, or respond I mean. Then they’re not controlling our actions, because that’s the problem that’s happening when we’re running away from them.
Then eventually … I mean I still haven’t got there completely, but eventually we can get back to the point where our emotions can do what they were designed to do, which is assist us with the right messaging and color our lives. Part of being human is feeling emotions.
Melinda Wittstock: This is so true. What is fascinating to me about women in business and female entrepreneurs is that we have all these things going on, but we’re being tested in different ways, right? It’s like entrepreneurship is not for the faint hearted.
Michele PW: No, not at all.
Melinda Wittstock: So it’s a rollercoaster ride, so if we’re being triggered and we’re out of alignment, if we’re living some life of should’s that’s not really, you wonder with statistics that 90% of business fail, I mean is that generally because people are being tested personally and not growing in the way that the business needs? I’m fascinated by this correlation between our kind of personal growth and our business growth.
Michele PW: Yeah, your business will never outgrow your personal development, because as you grow or as you take on challenges you’re going to be triggered and emotions are going to come up and stuff is going to come up. And if you decide not to move through it, if you shrink back down and just don’t deal with it, like you cancel things, you don’t move forward on stuff, that’s what’s going to cause you to not grow. So again you allow the emotions to tell you a story that isn’t true.
You allow your emotions to say oh, my God, this feels so badly, it must be a sign from the universe I’m not supposed to do that, when that is to the case. Your emotions are just wreaking havoc on you.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. It’s funny, it’s reminding me of a conversation. J.J. Virgin was on our podcast. She was just saying when she’s feeling comfortable she knows she’s not playing big enough.
Michele PW: Yeah. That’s great. J.J. is a friend of mine. Yeah, that’s a great thing to think about. If you’re too comfortable that’s a problem too.
Melinda Wittstock: Exactly. So we were talking about what it takes for women to step up and to play a bigger game, because all too often we limit ourselves consciously or unconsciously, like we launch a small business or we start in business with a nonprofit, or we do all these things that are very limiting. It was wonderful to hear her say, “Look, go for the moon shot. There’s less competition up there.”
Michele PW: Yeah. You know, and this quote … It’s kind of an annoying quote in a way, but if you shoot for the moon you’ll still end up in the stars. I mean the point of that is if you shoot big, even if you don’t get … Like if you shoot for a $10 million company maybe you don’t make a $10 million company but you make a $5 million company, or even go bigger than that. If you have a $100 million company maybe you end up with a $10 million company, so shooting big.
The bigger issue, if you do things differently you’re going to force your brain, you’re going to ask different questions of your brain and you’re going to get different answers, which give you … And if that starts to happen you’re going to be able to grow something that’s different than what you’re looking at right now.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s true. So much of business is relationship, right?
Michele PW: Yes.
Melinda Wittstock: Any entrepreneurs starting a company, especially if it’s a bootstrapped company like most of them are, you’ve got to persuade people to work for free, or at least defer their paychecks for a while, especially if you do technology like me, right? You’ve got to be able to persuade investors to really believe in you. You have to persuade customers to buy your product, and it might be completely new to the market or something disruptive, where they have to believe in something that they never needed before, right?
Michele PW: That’s true.
Melinda Wittstock: There’s so many things that you have to be able to do and all these things have to line up at the same time, so that’s like really, really hard to do. So if you’re coming at it in a fearful way, my goodness, you really stack the odds against yourself… that fear manifesting in all kinds of different ways. I mean I can think of a couple. I don’t want you to add to them, but I think it often manifests in procrastination, because we’re either afraid of failure or afraid of success because we think we don’t deserve it or something, right?
Or we are perfectionists. It has to be so perfect that we don’t launch fast enough and let the market teach us. We’re afraid of that feedback rather than embracing the feedback. The feedback is awesome.
Michele PW: Exactly. Yeah, you need that message from the market. That’s what I tell a lot of people. We need to test copy. We need to test messages. We need to see what they’ll say back so then we can craft better marketing to talk to the clients, so absolutely.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. That dance with the customer is interesting. I’ve seen so many women, particularly in technology, well actually in all areas, just keep working on it until it’s perfect. But you can’t … That’s isolation. You can’t know what’s perfect. You have a hypothesis, but you can’t really prove your hypothesis unless people are paying you.
Michele PW: Yeah, and I see the perfectionism in books too, because I’m an author and I used to write fiction and non-fiction, so I mean I can’t tell you how many people out there are sitting on a mostly finished book, but they’ve got to edit it one more time or do one more thing to make it perfect, and they’ve been doing that for about 10 years now.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. I mean that’s fear. What are some of the other ways that fear shows up really in the relationships you need to really grow and scale a business?
Michele PW: Well, when you are stuck in fear and scarcity, that can also manifest itself as desperation, so when you are talking to a client or a potential client and let’s say they say yes, or they say no, or they say yes and then they say no, you can start to chase them. That is pursuing fear-based energy. You can also … Fear of visibility is huge among women. That ties directly into marketing. That ties into everything, because women … We’re taught good girls are seen and not heard.
Some of it is safety too, because obviously if you are … The more visible you are, the more you can be attacked, maybe not physically, but certainly criticized, and that can play into it. Or there are just completely other fears of visibility that don’t even make any sense. Most of the time, by the way, your fears don’t really make any sense, like the fear of success.
They don’t make any sense. Like a fear of visibility could be like let’s say you had to speak as a child and you totally screwed up and everybody laughed at you, so your subconscious decided it wasn’t safe to speak. Well, that’s a mask of visibility.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, my God, I had that issue, because my voice, for whatever reason, like, I don’t know, stood out in the classroom as a kid. I was always getting in trouble all the time for talking in class, but everybody else was talking in class too, but my voice stood out.
Michele PW: So you’re the one that got yelled at?
Melinda Wittstock: So like I always got … I remember I had a tremendous … It was interesting how it made me think … You know, these people would say your voice carries, and I thought that was a bad thing. Then I’ve come to realize now, these years later, I’m a podcaster, so of course my voice carries. I have something to say.
So you can take any message like that and take a negative from it or a positive, but I find it so funny though that women in particular … I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of this thing called the Tall Poppy Syndrome, but-
Michele PW: Oh, yes. Yes.
Melinda Wittstock: Right? Where we’re kind of afraid if we really stand out we think that we won’t be liked.
Michele PW: Yes.
Melinda Wittstock: I want to change that. I think that’s crazy, because when men stand out everyone applauds them. When they really do stand out and they’re really like the best at something or they’re … And everybody likes them and wants to be their friend. But when women stand out it doesn’t feel like that sometimes, and wouldn’t it be awesome if that were different?
Michele PW: Oh, I agree. Yeah. And I don’t know if it’s a cultural thing, because women were burned at the stake. I don’t know. I mean it’s interesting, because you’re right. That does seem to be very much a man/woman thing. But men don’t nearly have the sphere of visibility the way women do.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah. Exactly. I had a guest on who does personal branding work, Jen Dalton from Brand Mirror, and she talked about how women often confuse personal branding with personal bragging.
Michele PW: That’s interesting. Yeah.
Melinda Wittstock: And that we often refuse to really stand up and get our message out, and like how do we do that better? It was fascinating. One of our sponsors, Springboard Enterprises, which is kind of like an accelerator for women of emerging growth technology companies either in life sciences or in media tech. There’s a boot camp that they do every year and it helps women figure out how to raise money from venture capitalists, which is notoriously hard. I mean only get about qualified companies, that is scalable companies that stand a chance of being a $100 million company or more … We only get 3% of the capital even now.
[tweet_box design=”default” float=”none”]You can’t argue with emotions. They’re emotions. They’re going to be felt. They’re not logical. They’re not rational. They don’t want to have a discussion. They just want to be felt and then move on. #WingsPodcast #WomeninBusiness @MichelePW[/tweet_box]
Michele PW: Wow.
Melinda Wittstock: I know. It’s crazy. Like even now. But we went to this boot camp to get better at pitching our businesses and all of that. What was fascinating is that really accomplished women would sometimes forget to mention some of their accomplishments or they’d be very much focused on the team, like I was part of a team that did … And a guy will never do that.
Michele PW: Right. That’s true. You’re right.
Melinda Wittstock: So it was interesting being taught to really say it and be very specific, like I led the team and came up with the strategy that resulted … And then results, right, that allowed this to happen, that to happen, that to happen, and as a result this is now happening, that kind of thing. There were very few women that spoke like that.
Michele PW: Yeah. You know, it’s interesting, because that just happened to me too, because for a long time I didn’t go on my own results for the love-based copywriting, and it’s only been the last few months where … It was actually at the New Media Summit my roommate, Emerald Greenforest, she was working with … She says Michele, why aren’t you saying to everybody like in the last eight years love based copywriting is what sold $50 million worth of products and services for your clients?
Melinda Wittstock: Okay. So, Michele, you’re just going to say that slower and just a little bit louder. Say that again.
Michele PW: So in the last eight years I sold over $50 million, or nearly $50 million-
Melinda Wittstock: Five zero?
Michele PW: Five zero of products and services in using love based copy.
Melinda Wittstock: Okay.
Michele PW: When she said that to me … Actually nearly, not over … Nearly $50 million. And when she said that to me I said, “I can’t say that.” She said, “Why can’t you say that?” I know, so I’ve been around the block how many times, and yeah, I can totally see these women walking in there saying, “Oh, I was part of the team.” Yeah, because I’m always big on that whole thing too. It’s like giving credit. So yeah, I totally get it. So if you’re wondering of love based copy works, it does work.
Melinda Wittstock: It does work? Well, clearly it works, right? I think on that note it really does work, because I think Millenials have changed our culture so much, just in only buying products from companies that are very authentic and transparent in their marketing, that have a social purpose or a social impact for good for the planet, and I think that’s marvelous.
Even in my software and my company, Verifeed, we analyze millions of social media conversations and we can see who’s crushing it and who’s not, and increasingly they are the folks that do actually what you described. It kind of not only love based copy, but they do actually have a social mission where they are doing good for the world and the copy is consistent with that message.
There can’t really be a dissidence or a disconnect. It doesn’t work. But those folks … And we can see it in the data, like they do so much better than everybody else, so I know that love based copy works. By the way, do you need another client?
Michele PW: Of course.
Melinda Wittstock: Seriously, I am actually looking for a copywriter. That’s very funny. But it’s true. It really resonates, I think, with the market and the way the market’s changing, so it’s very much on point. Anything that … I don’t know, anything that really helps people get out of their fear … I have on my personal Facebook page like, “Be the change that you want to see in the world,” so if you want to see that type of change, just be it.
Michele PW: I agree. I think that’s … You know, there’s another quote too that I just saw too that is like for whatever think … I think I’m butchering it, but the essence of it is like whatever you think the world is holding back on you, how are you holding back on the world? I think that’s part of it as well, it’s not only be the change, but rather getting caught up on where things aren’t happening fast enough, where can we show up and be even bigger?
Melinda Wittstock: That’s true. I learned something really interesting, that whenever I am triggered by someone for whatever reason, I’ve become so much better at just in that moment saying, “Oh, that’s interesting. I wonder what it is about me?” Like what lesson, or what do I need to clear here? What is this showing me about me?
You can take a little breath and be mindful and not make assumptions about the other person. It’s hard. I mean it’s a real discipline. You have to get conscious of it, but the more you practice that, the more I get through every day without really having anything really bother me. I mean it’s amazing, and then you don’t have any of that stuff kind of tracking into your business.
Michele PW: That’s exactly it. That’s exactly what I’m talking about, is where can we just sit and pause and let the emotions move through us, because this isn’t about … I don’t want anybody to not feel their emotions. This is not about not feeling anger or grief or worry or guilt or shame, because that’s giving yourself a spiritual lobotomy. That’s not what this is about either. This is about just not letting them control you, just feeling them, letting them move through you, don’t argue with them.
You can’t argue with emotions. They’re emotions. They’re going to be felt. They’re not logical. They’re not rational. They don’t want to have a discussion. They just want to be felt and then move on. Then you can choose to respond, because your actions are not … You’re not feeling like you have to react based on the emotions. The emotions are no longer controlling you and you can actually just think about what would be the best way to respond to this.
What’s amazing, because everything starts … It’s exactly what you said, like I meditate, and one the reasons why I meditate is that’s kind of like a safe little container every day where I can just kind of feel whatever comes up and kind of stay connected to groundedness and presence.
You stop making assumptions too. I mean I’m not perfect at it, but I’m finding more and more that I don’t take things as personally, I don’t need to be liked. A lot of these old triggers that I had before are slowly melting away because I’m doing all this.
Melinda Wittstock: That’s wonderful. Yeah, it’s interesting. Meditation, yoga, mindfulness…all of these things have become very much a part of my practice. I found that as I started to do all of this I started to attract into my life more people like that, so consequently like all my entrepreneurial network groups, most of the female entrepreneurs that I know, women who somehow are attracted to being on this podcast and listening to it, are really interested not only in being really amazing businesswomen and entrepreneurs, really showing up the best they can be in all aspects of their lives, but are very interested in this personal growth and business growth. The conversations are fascinating to me. I love this. I could talk about it forever.
Michele PW: I’m really fascinated by this too. I never expected to go down this route, so it’s really fascinating to me that here I am.
Melinda Wittstock: Yeah, so what were you like as a kid? Were you always entrepreneurial when you were younger? Did you have the lemonade stand and all that or know that you were going to be an entrepreneur?
Michele PW: No. No. I taught myself to read when I was three years old because I wanted to write stories so badly, so I was always … I was driven by my wanting to write and create. When I was in high school I was casting around for something else to do in writing while I worked on my novels and everybody said be a journalist. I was like, “Oh, my God, I’m not going to be a journalist.” It was college where I kind of just fell into this whole wacky world of copywriting.
I’m old, so back when I … But I mean even back then … There was no internet back then, but there was still an awful lot of things that businesses needed written. It was kind of like this little cottage industry of freelance copywriters, because these all these things that businesses need written. A lot of times it’s not enough for them to justify a full-time writer or they just have overflow work, so there’s like this little cottage industry.
I went back and forth between being a freelance and having jobs, until 1998 I decided I was going to become a freelance copywriter and do it seriously.
Melinda Wittstock: I have a lot of entrepreneur friends who as kids really wanted to be writers like you and then someone told them writers don’t make money.
Michele PW: Yeah, I think I had some of that too, because I had this whole idea … Remember, I was so proud of myself for being responsible and for pursuing a different way to make money while I worked on my books. I knew I could make money on my books…just you need time to write them.
It was interesting, because that whole responsibility kind of led me in this direction and I’m glad that I went down the route and owned the copywriting and marketing company and became an entrepreneur, because I don’t think I would have gone down this personal development road without it.
I think this is all very needed, but it’s really interesting, the whole departure of where I … My desire to be responsible and see myself as this responsible person kind of got in the way of my dreams. Now it’s all circling back, because I’m writing my fiction too, and my non-fiction. I’m doing it all, but it’s funny how I’m at this place now where I can do it all. I’ve worked through enough of my triggers and everything and I’m finding I can hold a lot more, so I can actually get a lot more done.
Melinda Wittstock: I want to circle back to something you said at the very beginning of this interview, where we were talking about building businesses around us rather than us fitting in around our business. I think it’s a lovely way to start to wrap up, because all too often we may start with that intention, but it’s very, very easy to lose ourselves and our businesses…
I guess how do you know if you’re doing that, because it’s something that you love so you do a lot of it, but it really can and often does take over, and women sometimes end up at the, I guess metaphorically served all the drinks, and then there’s nothing left. How can we avoid that or just be conscious of it or create … Make sure that we’re modeling our businesses in a way that actually support what we need as individuals?
[tweet_box design=”default” float=”none”]If you become the person that your soul is nudging you to become, then these love based goals will sort of naturally come true. #WingsPodcast #WomeninBusiness @MichelePW[/tweet_box]
Michele PW: I think in a lot of cases our health will start to break down, and I also think in a lot of cases, even though we may love what we do, it’s … When I’ve talked to women who have had their business turn into their life, they no longer love what they do. They did at one point, but they don’t anymore.
I think they feel overwhelmed, they feel stressed, they feel exhausted. Maybe some more serious things are happening, so that to me is a big sign. I think once you’ve gone down that road, I think stopping … Obviously there are times where you might have to work harder at your business, and that’s okay, and then there are times that you need to ease off.
One of the things that I talk about in my love-based goals book is really being able to kind of dance with the seasons, like look at … like planning your year, your months, your days on sort of a feminine calendar. What I mean by that is when you look at the flow of nature and the flow of seasons, there’s a time to go inward and pause and reflect and then there’s a time to be out there and moving and getting things done.
Now, winter solstice is upon us. If you look at nature, what is nature doing? Nature is pausing. Nature is sleeping. The leaves have fallen off the trees. The grass is brown. We’re resting. Then what happens in June? Well, things are growing and moving and happening, so that’s more of a blossoming outward.
If you don’t pause … It’s even the microcosm of the day. I mean think of the day. The day, you start off slowly. In the middle of the day the sun’s out, you’re doing all you can, and then it starts to wind down. Then it’s night and it’s time to sleep. If we don’t build pauses into our days where we can pause and contract … that’s what I was looking for, we can contract, then our businesses will do it for us. Either we will lose clients because our businesses need to contract. We can’t just expand. There’s nowhere in nature that just expands, expands, expands. It doesn’t happen. Everything is a contraction and an expansion.
If you don’t plan for the contractions, if you don’t pause, if you don’t rest, then they will happen for you. Either you will get sick, either you will get sick emotionally, either you’ll get sick physically, or your business will have a breakdown, because you need to contract. I think that’s something to think about as well when you’re planning this, is that follow nature, follow what naturally happens.
Melinda Wittstock: What are your thoughts about how you tackle and plan for an awesome 2018 and what are your intentions for 2018?
Michele PW: I’m very excited about 2018 because I feel like I can take a lot of the lessons that I learned in terms of balancing all my different writing and bring it with me, because that was something that I really struggled with. That’s one of the reasons why I didn’t write fiction for so long, because I couldn’t figure out how to balance it with the copy, but now it’s come clear to me, so I’ve seen that now how it’s all working together.
One of the things though that I think that is really important, and I talk about this in my love based goals, is part of what I believe love based goals are are whispers from your soul. I believe that if there are goals on your list that have been on your list forever and you are not doing them, and it doesn’t have to be business goals by the way. It could be losing 20 pounds. It could be stopping smoking. It could be anything like that, so any goal that is constantly showing up on your list and you never make any headway on is probably a love based goal.
What I mean by that is you are not the person yet that can actually have that goal come true. You don’t see yourself … Your identity is not the person that can finally write those books or lose the 20 pounds. It’s probably not losing the 20 pounds, it’s probably exercising or eating right or some other health habit, or it’s smoking. So you’re not that person yet.
The goal is almost like a carrot. It’s your reward, so if you become the person that your soul is nudging you to become, then these love based goals will sort of naturally come true. That’s what I’m really excited about, really stepping into more deeply in getting the word out there for other people, to help them really become the person that their love based goals are calling them to be.
Melinda Wittstock: Oh, how beautiful. What a wonderful way and inspiring way to end the interview; and so it should be, given that we’re on Wings of Inspired Business. Thank you Michele.
Michele PW: Thank you.
Michele Parisa-Wacek (she prefers P.W.) is an entrepreneur, best-selling author and copywriter who has proven with her ‘Love Based Business’ strategy and bestselling books that “love sells more than fear”. She’s driven $50M+ for her clients, and shares her ‘aha’ epiphany and practical advice on how to build a business that loves you as much as you love it.