We had the good fortune of connecting with Michelle M. Perkins and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Michelle, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
It was a bit of quiet desperation that kickstarted my business. During my 15 year corporate career, I had fantasized about being more creative in my work, helping people more directly and enjoying more flexibility. Early in my career I had been a consultant in an entrepreneurial services division of a large firm. I never forgot the excitement the start-up founders had for their ideas as they discussed their business plans. The difference in energy and attitude those entrepreneurs had vs. those I worked with in corporate really struck me. I had kids later in life, and I decided to raise my kids and start a business. I was so naive about what raising children entailed that I used to bring a book on coaching to the park to study, but never was able to pull it out of the bag. So, I focused on being a mom and eventually started helping my husband with a career transition and buying, selling and building dental practices. A lot transpired during that time, and I found myself having lost my identity (cliche but true) and feeling that any entrepreneurial dream I had was slipping away while I took care of everyone else. It was the sense of loss and discouragement that created the determination to go after one thing that had consistently lit me up inside, which was coaching. I felt uncomfortable at that point calling myself a life coach (I wasn’t doing life all that well) so I looked back at what I had seen as a major problem, one that I found fascinating, and decided to help people solve that challenge – creating work they love – work that is fulfilling, fun and suits their lifestyle goals financially. I felt I had to narrow the scope to something I really resonated with. And, one thing I’d found fascinating was how many people work at jobs they don’t enjoy and how unfortunate and potentially destructive that can be. My thinking was that if I can help people find or create work they enjoy and fully engage in, their lives improve and the ripple effect is a happier and more productive world. This was a business I could do from anywhere, with little overhead initially and I could perpetually expand my knowledge in the field. That was a requirement for me, as I love to learn and I didn’t want to be bored. I also anticipated that this business could scale if and when I wanted that. This was a business that was new in many ways but also drew on past experience I had, so I was confident that I could provide excellent service.
What should our readers know about your business?
My business, Limit Free Life, helps driven men and women to be the best they can be in their career or business on a daily basis. We provide mentorship, training and coaching for career reinvention and business development. Although we have established processes, every client receives a customized program that is designed for their needs and to meet them where they are. Combining spiritual, mindset and practical methods, we help clients achieve their goals holistically. As a former CPA, I was never exposed to the emotional and psychological aspects of money that influence our behavior regularly. I have been fascinated by what I have learned about our relationship with money, as a coach. Consequently, I have extensively studied money mindset and use that knowledge and understanding to help entrepreneurs and career changers to make better decisions, and to earn more money or be more profitable. This is a unique skill set and foundational to success in business and life. What I’m most proud of are the transformations my clients have as we work together. Their perspectives shift and they find successes in many areas. It’s a joy to work with people who are open to new ways of thinking, who gain new awarenesses about themselves and take bold action. I love to learn from them as they move forward and they inspire me with their accomplishments. They often surprise themselves which is the most fun. My business was somewhat slow to start as I was splitting my time between kids, running my husband’s business and my own. One of the biggest obstacles was to prioritize my business. As I learned from my money work, I am a nurturer and I have to set serious boundaries to stay focused on my business and not let other’s needs derail me. Conscious choices about how I spend my time is crucial. I don’t think business is easy. I think coaching is easy because that’s my strength. Everyone has areas in their business that are easier for them than others. I especially love working with business owners who have a expertise, perhaps they are a healthcare provider or a creative, but they don’t necessarily know much about business. Helping them to create a successful business that aligns with who they are and what their vision is really energizes me. When you become an entrepreneur you come face to face with yourself, your limiting beliefs, your time management, your knowledge gaps, your fears and doubts. It’s not something you overcome, as much as you figure out and with each new level in your business, there are new challenges and new problems to solve. I think you learn to handle uncertainty and embrace the opportunity to find solutions to whatever comes your way. I learned early on to invest heavily in expert help and support in the form of coaches, programs and groups. That way, I am not alone in solving every problem. I want to offer that support to my clients so they keep going and growing through the challenges. One of the big lessons I’ve learned is that more minds on a problem reveal completely unique answers. Also, there’s a point where you realize that your time is worth too much to do certain tasks and that others may do them better anyway and that’s great. Technology is wonderful and can also be very overwhelming in business. You have to be selective about what tech you use and how involved in it you get vs. delegating that work. Oftentimes, the old school methods of networking and asking for referrals can lead to the best results, so a mix of marketing methods is effective. When you take time away from your desk, the best creative ideas show up, so problems are often solved or great ideas imagined on a walk or in nature. My brand is both humanitarian and artistic. I believe everyone should be able to find meaning and value in the work they do. My hope is that people treat their career or business like their work of art that they intentionally create and that evolves as they do. There are no “shoulds” when it comes to your career, it’s an individual choice, so we have to become very self aware to make it great. I love that process of helping people find clarity around their strengths, gifts and talents and the possibilities that reveals. The brand is also about having a positive relationship with money to support the dream. Whatever money beliefs might have caused problems for a person in the past, they can be improved. The brand is very much about change, embracing change at any stage of life. It’s about being limit free!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would take a friend to Malibu, to hike up to the overlook at Point Dume to see the expanse of the Pacific and then to eat and have a drink at MalibuFarm at the Pier. I’d show them broad beach and spend some time looking for dolphins and probably have dinner at Sunset restaurant. Maybe a visit to the Strange Tasting room at the Lumberyard and Cornell Winery for wine tasting and a visit to Malibu Fig Ranch. We’d take a day to shop on Montana Street and visit the Brentwood General Store and have the fried Chicken sandwich at R&D kitchen. We might do another shopping day on Melrose and get bagels and cream cheese (vegan) at Crossroads, hit the vintage stores like reformation vintage and go to Gracias Madre for drinks and dinner. I’d take her to Descanso Gardens in La Canada, the Langham for lunch and maybe the Spa. If we didn’t go to that spa, we might get massages at The Now on Main Street in Santa Monica and take a walk on the boardwalk. We’d go out to Pasadena and walk the neighborhoods in South Pasadena, go to the Gamble House and the Norton Simon and go to Parkway Grill or Smittys for dinner. A visit to the Melrose Trading Post, and in normal times the Hollywood Bowl or the Wiltern theater would be on the list.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Wow, there are way too many to list. In the last few years, Allison Maslan and the Pinnacle Global Network has been a huge force in my life and business. My coach Giles Fabris and my mastermind group have been a great source of support, advice and friendship.
Linkedin: Michelle M. Perkins MBA
Facebook: Limit Free Life
Youtube: Limit Free Life Channel
Other: Apple Music – Limit Free life Podcast