Michelle Phillips is a beauty expert and one of the most influential makeup artists in the entertainment industry.
With over 25 years’ experience, Michelle works with national television networks, on movie sets, with top photographers, and magazines.
She is a well-known self-confidence coach, best selling author, beauty expert, and TV and motivational speaker. Read on to see how Michelle's journey began.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your entrepreneurial journey.
I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit and in the process never really had a “job”. My dream from as far back as I can remember was to be a makeup artist working in the entertainment industry. When I was young it wasn’t really a viable career choice and there definitely wasn’t a training path to bring that dream to life.
I got my start and was taught a huge lesson when my Mother marched me up to a department store makeup counter and said, “My daughter wants to work in makeup.” It was a case study in Business 101; going for your dreams is like getting in the pool … you have to dive in.
Eventually, I moved in front of the camera where my product and business became me and that’s where the real challenge started. It’s not that I don’t love the product I’m selling but when business is down it can seem personal. It’s not like no one wants the cars I’m selling, it can seem like it’s me. I have to know now though that the product under my brand is so beneficial to those who receive it that I absolutely must promote it; which brings me to my next point.
I've recently discovered another invaluable lesson about business, if your heart isn’t in it the success won’t be either. This was a lesson I learned while chasing money over passion. In the midst of a big opportunity that wasn’t “me,” I decided that nothing mattered more than being in alignment with your purpose.
Over the last two years, I've transformed everything I do to match up with the purpose of inspiring others to do the same. My TV and radio segments, speaking, and books, are all meant to help people bring more beauty, and success, into their lives.
How did you fund your business?
I've been fortunate to have people value my work. Of course, each level and transformational business “make-over” has had me working from the ground floor back up, but in that regard, my businesses have always been self-funded.
What I've done though is carefully reinvest my time and money into promotions. I’m constantly using extra capital to tune-up my promotional materials to put the best foot forward and give the best first impression to people who are thinking about hiring me.
How many hours do you work a week and how much is spent in your home office?
I just finished reading the 4-Hour Workweek and I’m using it to hold my to-do list steady. When I'm not traveling to speak or give workshops, I spend at least 6-8 hours per day up to 6 days a week at my desk. The great thing is that I feel like my work is having a positive impact so even though the workload continues to build so do the rewards.
How would you rate your success?
I know this has been a difficult time for a lot of people, especially women in business, but the last two years have been a period of huge growth for me. I attribute a lot of that growth to working my business and ventures to be more in alignment with my values.
I've found that while people take the time to create a mission statement for their business, I've benefited most from creating a personal mission statement. By structuring the values and purpose of my business dealings I've been able to focus my energy on opportunities that my heart can get behind more than just my head.
If you don’t believe in manifesting, or creating your opportunities by stating them clearly and putting energy into them than it is just a great way to streamline your thought processes every day. If you do believe, as I do, then in addition to streamlining thoughts, you are actually attracting the opportunities that work for you in every way.
What has been your biggest business struggle as an entrepreneur?
Of course, the biggest struggle for a working mom is managing the delicate balance between my growing business and my growing family. I find this is particularly hard for women who work at home. It’s hard for the kids to see you at home and not understand that you are actually “at work”.
Outside of that, the biggest challenge has been working outside of the norm, not having a mainstream career or working a “9 to 5”. When you decide to take your own way there often isn’t a path through the forest. I’ve been dealing with this every step of the way.
As I said, my first dream was to be a makeup artist for celebrities and at the time that wasn’t what was considered a “real job”. There was no trade school or avenues to do that. When I transitioned into TV and radio hosting and eventually speaking and writing, again there is no set path to guaranteed success.
It’s not like becoming a lawyer; undergrad, law school, pass the bar, and ta-da, you’re an attorney. It has taken a significant amount of networking, learning, and constantly putting myself in the right place to get the job and advance.
What advice would you give to a new entrepreneur?
Be specific about what you want to do and why. Think of every aspect of what will make that business successful and why doing that business is important to you.
- Does being in that business work for you spiritually, emotionally, and physically?
- Do you have a plan?
Once you figure those things out, think about the people in your life both personally and professionally who would be great resources to help your business succeed.
Last, constantly be searching for sources of inspiration. It doesn’t matter if you have a personal mentor or not, there is someone somewhere who has persevered before you from which you can draw motivation. As well, read books, and listen to things that inspire you to success every day.
How do you manage all of your personal and business activities?
I believe that success in life and business starts by remembering to take time out for me. That time could be for yoga, watching a movie with my family, or just taking a few moments to read.
If I don’t take the time to clear the emotional and mental clutter I can’t focus personally or professionally. As I tell my clients and audiences, if you are a schedule person, put yourself on your to-do list. If you have to pull something else off of your list to make time, do it!
It’s harder when you are first starting out but making sure you are feeling good personally will help you succeed!
The most exciting breakthrough for me is putting all of the information I’ve mentioned above in my book, The Beauty Blueprint- 8 Steps to Building the Life and Look of Your Dreams. This book, the message in it, the publisher of my dreams, and the speaking opportunities to share the message have been things I have specifically detailed in my intentions yet having them come to reality has been beyond amazing.
Thanks to Michelle Phillips for sharing her story!
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