You know what would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people? If we stopped looking to someone else for the answers. How often do we ask our friends for “advice”, only to not listen to them at all, and instead, hope for validation in what we want? We all know what it takes to be rich and to be healthy.
Lisa Michaud is an International Success Coach, Speaker, Entrepreneur and Real Estate Investor. At the age of 32, she’s created a multimillion-dollar net worth, a growing real estate empire, an incredible network, and beautiful family. As a coach and speaker, Lisa inspires, leads and motivates everyone she works with. Her clients include entrepreneurs, executives, parents, and leaders who are committed to creating fun and meaningful lives.
Her marriage includes big dreams, demanding careers and multiple businesses. But as “busy” as life is, they still have an amazing relationship, go on dates, travel (34 countries and counting!) and are super involved parents to their little girl. Lisa is a wife, mother and hopeless romantic who lives in Vancouver, Canada and loves traveling, running, dancing, yoga. Her ultimate pursuits? Joy, happiness, and fulfillment.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
Thank you so much for having me. I’m a girl from a small town that decided to go for her dreams. Honestly, I never felt like I fit in and couldn’t wait to see what was out there in the world for me. After graduating University I created a pretty incredible life. I was happily married, had a thriving 6-figure career, wonderful friends, a beautiful home and traveled all the time. Then, I had a health scare and faced the reality I might only have a year or two left to live. When I asked myself what I would do with that time left, the answer surprised me: I wanted to live in Vancouver, Canada.
I had wanted to live in Vancouver since I was a little girl, but always told myself why I couldn’t. It was too expensive, my husband wouldn’t like it — all the excuses. But, when I realized my time was limited, I had to ask “how is it possible?” I’m lucky — my health scare was just a scare. It was the scare I needed and I decided to go for all my dreams — the extraordinary life I wanted that was even better than what I was settling for. My husband and I quit our jobs, sold our houses, cars, and moved to downtown Vancouver. Since then, I decided to start a business, and became a Coach & Speaker, showing others how to have it all too. We’ve worked on growing our real estate empire, and started a family. It’s incredible how the darkest times can be just what we need to move our life in the direction we’re meant to go.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
The most interesting part in my business is the audiences I speak to and the people I work with. It’s their stories that are inspiring, and interesting. My clients have all kinds of successes I get to be a part of like starting businesses, running marathons, landing dream jobs, and finally taking their first vacation in five years. The fascinating thing is that my work is never “done.” I get messages from people that heard me speak years ago saying “I have a dream job because you inspired me to go for it” or “you asked me the tough question no-one wanted to ask and now I’m abandoning my safe career in accounting and becoming a marketing freelancer.” THAT is what matters. That’s why I do what I do and what motivates me on tough days is knowing that it’s about so much more than just me and my dreams. It’s about being an example for others to show them they too can do it, and at the same time, empower and encourage them to become greater than they ever imagined.
What was your biggest challenge to date either personally or professionally and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge I have had is becoming a mother. Entrepreneurship is hard, for sure. It can be a full-time job. When things go bad, you’re the end game. Sometimes you work holidays, weekends, and vacations. But motherhood is even more demanding. It’s all those things and so much more. Motherhood has stretched every part of me. When I became a mother, it was like an earthquake shook my entire foundation, my core. And then it has showed every crack in my life. It made the cracks in my marriage show. It showed me the cracks in myself, in my business, and in my image of myself.
Motherhood has been a lesson in patience, in compassion, and in presence. I now say it’s the best personal development course I’ve ever taken. I’ve learned to be hyper-efficient, prioritize extremely effectively and have fun even in the every day tasks.
I’ve overcome it by going with it, instead of trying to control it, change it or grit my teeth through it. I decided to use all the challenges as personal growth and learn from the moments. It’s made me stronger, and softer. It’s made me slow down and speed up. It’s made me a better human, wife, friend, entrepreneur and leader.
And I should make sure I say, I don’t think it’s something I’ve “overcome”. It’s an evolution, a journey. Every step of the way, it evolves and I need to show up to match the new challenges of parenthood. For the type-A in me never feeling like I can “overcome” or “achieve” something at the end is strange, but it’s the truth. There’s no end game in parenthood. There’s no end game in my personal growth and development. And I’m learning to enjoy and be ok with that.
What does leadership mean to you and how do you best inspire others to lead?
Leadership is about two things: 1) Continually working to be the best version of yourself and 2) Creating the biggest, most positive impact in the world you can have. When you do these two things you immediately become a leader, not because of any title, but because of who you are.
I inspire others to lead best because I get people excited about their lives. When people are excited about life, they are positive and willing to work on personal development — everything from time management to conflict, to dreaming big and getting over fears. And from there, any goals and impact people want to achieve is easy — it’s the vehicle for the incredible leadership they have.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
I’d love to call myself “self-made” because our culture loves that and eats it up, but I can’t say that with any ounce of truth. Yes, I work hard. I’m smart, I am consistent and consciously striving to create, achieve and improve. But there are many, many people out there who have helped me and I am eternally grateful to them. My husband is incredibly supportive and my parents have always attended my events and come to watch me speak whenever they can.
I’m also especially grateful to one of the first mentors I ever had in my corporate career because he truly changed the trajectory of my life. A few years into my career, I was forced, due to a relocation, to find a new role within my existing company. At the time, I thought I wanted to be the SVP of HR at the company, so having to move out of HR was unfathomable.
My mentor encouraged me to look outside of HR. He taught me to think about the type of work I liked to do, rather than the subject area or the title. He taught me that careers aren’t linear, and that what matters more is what work you enjoy — and doing more of that. I figured out that I loved presenting and teaching, and I hated analyzing spreadsheets. I loved working on projects, and when I facilitated it made me forget to eat, drink or pee (which is a fantastic sign, by the way!).
Suddenly a world of job opportunities and possibilities opened up. I moved around the company quickly and was then able to take all those lessons and create a business that’s aligned with my strengths, interests and how I add value to others best. I am eternally grateful for that advice and his support.
Was it difficult to fit your life into your business/career and how did you do that?
In my younger years I was a workaholic. As a high school student, I worked two or three jobs, and was in dance, piano, three different bands, and sports. In University, I worked two jobs, started a national Leadership Conference, made the Dean’s list, was the President of the Business Club and sat on the University Board of Governors. I’ve always been busy.
But after I had a car accident I was forced to take it easy. I was forced to slow down. I started traveling more because I loved it. I only worked one job (tough!). I asked for help and made changes.
When I went back into the corporate world I made a conscious decision not to buy into the culture of always working. I remember a conversation with my husband when we decided to build a life, not just a career. From that moment it was no longer difficult to fit life into our careers — in fact, my career would have to fit into my life.
I think this is a huge mistake a lot of people make. They think about the career with no regard for the lifestyle. I’ve met people who worked to make a lot of money and now have it and literally have no idea what to do with it because they have no time to spend it and no real “why” for the money. They end up being unhappy, unfulfilled and bewildered about how they ended up there.
When I started my business — and to this day — I think about and envision my dream lifestyle and build my business around that. I don’t want to be working all year for two weeks of vacation. I want to be able to travel frequently. I don’t want to work all week for a weekend. I don’t want to miss out on my baby growing up, or time with my husband. I love the flexibility that comes from simple things like being able to go to a happy hour, or avoid rush-hour traffic. I want to be there when friends come to town, and I appreciate being able to catch the yoga class I want, instead of only the ones outside of the 9–5 hours.
Those things are what make it worth it for me. For me, I want my business to be flexible so I limit the number of clients I take on. I focus on group programs and am working on scaling right now. With our real estate business, we only invest in properties that create passive income so our time isn’t being eaten up.
Integrating work and personal life has been key to my success (and sanity)! My baby comes to meetings, she charms the tenants in our properties, and sometimes forces me to drop everything to be a mom and take a break.
From investing in properties that allow us to spend time with family, to choosing speaking engagements in fantastic travel locations, I’m all about making everything multi-purpose. I maximize to make the most of my time and energy.
I invest AND connect with family. I work AND travel. I co-work AND my daughter has a play date. I take my daughter to baby classes AND network with other parents. We go on dates AND strategize.
To me, business needs to fit into life and that’s a non-negotiable. Because if all I have is a business, I don’t have a life.
Did you find that as your success grew it became more difficult to focus on the other areas of your life?
Initially, yes. But then, I learned that if I focus on more than just work, I’m more successful overall. We are integrated beings so I believe it’s impossible to only focus on work and still be a fulfilled human.
Now, that’s great in theory but here’s what it actually looks like. I decided to train for a half marathon and started a running club. Through that, I made amazing new friends, and eventually got a job — and new clients out of it. Other clients and connections have come from trips I’ve done that started out entirely “personal” and yet led to business and success. I never would have had any of this if I was “too busy working” for exercise, or a vacation.
As we talked about, none of us do it alone. Especially as a parent, it takes a village. My husband works away a lot so I’m on my own with a baby trying to run my businesses. That makes family and friendships critical. Because of those relationships, I have childcare support, I have people to co-work with, and an extra set of hands to help me be successful. My success has absolutely catapulted because of the support of others. This especially extends to my marriage. When my marriage is in a good place and we are communicating and understanding of each other, everything is better. Support gets easier. My husband is happier to cook dinner so I can launch a new product. I’m happy to take the baby for a few hours so he can work on a rental property. We work together to achieve our goals and support each other during the busy times that could otherwise crush us.
Can you share five pieces of advice to other leaders about how to achieve the best balance between work and personal life?
- It’s a marathon, not a sprint. You won’t achieve all your goals by the time you’re 30. It will take time. You also can’t do everything all at once.
- Make everything multi-purpose. Squeeze in fun on a business trip. Find a networking event or personal development course on vacation. I cook with friends so we have fun, bring my baby to meetings, and create content on patios.
- Know your priorities. You won’t be able to make every networking event, or business trip. You won’t be able to attend every friend’s birthday, or be there for every school pick-up/drop-off. Pick which ones really matter.
- Schedule, schedule, schedule. Take 30 minutes at the beginning of the week to plan the next. Talk it over with your family so everyone is on the same page. Block off the time to get what you need to get done — fun included! — and leave some space in the calendar for the inevitable surprises and spontaneity.
- Balance isn’t about balance in every day or maybe even every week. There are seasons of life where we prioritize work over personal life during a particular project or start-up. And there are times when personal life comes first like the trip around the world you’ve dreamed of, or playing with your kids in the summers. The question you have to ask yourself is if each week, each month, you feel like you’re balanced. And if a few weeks and months in a row, that answer is no, then you make a change.
What gives you the greatest sense of accomplishment and pride?
My greatest sense of accomplishment and pride comes from knowing I’m living life on MY terms.
I did all the traditional things: went to college, got a job with good benefits, got married, bought a house… and then realized there was more out there for me. It’s been hard and scary challenging the status quo of our culture but I’m so proud that I’ve released it.
I don’t dream of owning a huge home — been there, done that. We love our downtown penthouse and the condo lifestyle.
I don’t miss the corporate rat race. I love being able to create what makes me happy. And when I work — be it weekdays, weekends or vacations sometimes — I know I’m working for me. That feels SO good.
People always told me that I wouldn’t be able to do this… or that… and I love proving them wrong. When I was told I wouldn’t be able to travel after I got a “real job”, I ramped up the travel. I’ve been to 34 countries and frequently travel for fun, to visit family and friends and for business. Whoever said just because you “grow up”, you can’t have fun?!
The best part is that I know I’m just getting started!
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
You know what would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people? If we stopped looking to someone else for the answers. How often do we google something when we already know the article/research we’re hoping to find? How often do we ask our friends for “advice”, only to not listen to them at all, and instead, hope for validation in what we want?
We all know what it takes to be rich and to be healthy. To be rich, you make money, save it, invest it, and wait. To be healthy, you eat good quality, whole foods in small portions, and get a mix of cardio, weights and stretches in. Neither of these are rocket science. But for some reason, so many people still struggle with these — and more.
I believe it’s because knowledge on its own is not power, and yet we are constantly asking others what to do, how we should do it and when we should do it.
If we stopped asking others, stopped googling, stopped assuming that just from knowing the right info we’d be successful, we’d have a chance at actually being successful!
See, each of us has an innate knowing. And we all work differently. I know entrepreneurs who have started multimillion dollar businesses out of passion and been successful. I know others who have started businesses out of passion and they are now out of business. I know entrepreneurs who set out to crate a million dollar brand, regardless of the product and succeeded. And I know others who set out to create a particular product in hopes of creating a million dollar brand and failed.
There is no one path. There’s no one secret, one trick, one way. It’s about knowing yourself. Knowing what works for you, what it’s going to take for you to be successful (whatever your definition of that is).
What is the best way for people to connect with you on social media?
Instagram — @Li_Michaud — https://www.instagram.com/li_michaud/
Facebook — Lisa Michaud Coach — https://www.facebook.com/lisamichaudcoach/