Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal and business development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Michelle Hurlburt, founder, and CEO of 3DLife Inc., located in Hebron, NS, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
At 3DLife Inc., we believe that leadership starts from within - it starts with you. Whether you are in a supportive, managerial, ownership, or "governing" role as a leader, you are human first and foremost. Too often, we forget that part about being a leader. You are a human being with a great amount of responsibility. In order to take care of others, lead them and your organization or business to success, ensure they are healthy, fulfilled, and purpose-driven - one must let go of the unsustainable belief that showing up on autopilot, incessantly multi-tasking, experiencing high levels of stress and swinging moods or emotions, and demonstrating an "always-on" or "too-busy-to-talk-so-just-do-it" mentality is actually working well for you. That's why I train, coach, and support organizational and business leaders to be more effective, valued, and inspired (and inspiring) at work and in life.
Through interactive and engaging discussions, workshops, and programs, we provide education, practical opportunities, and guidance to leaders to first help them hone their self-leadership skills and gain a solid understanding of who they are, who they want to be as a leader, and human being, and what they can do better to promote their own, and others', overall health and success in life and at work.
3DLife Inc. also works with leaders and their teams together to increase cohesion and unity, enhance performance, and create space for a workplace culture that includes safety, trust, shared vision, feedback, productive conflict skills, and overall wellbeing needs.
Tell us about yourself
All in all, I've been in the education and business world for a combined 25 years. During that time, I lived in cultures different than the one I was raised in. I had the pleasure of screwing up and learning from a wide range of relationships, jobs, roles, and businesses I started. I experienced and worked through depression and burnout. I worked with great leaders and bosses - and with not-so-great ones. I learned to golf. I tried to meet everyone else's expectations and live up to who I thought I needed to be for them - without truly knowing or being aware of my own dreams and expectations for myself.
And while I may have looked like I had it all together from the outside, on the inside, I was a hot mess. I wasn't leading or taking care of myself - and yet I expected myself to show up as a leader for others. It just doesn't work - and I learned that in some hard ways. When I recognized this and started doing the work on myself, I began to have stronger relationships. I reduced my stress levels and managed my emotions in healthier ways. I became a more supportive leader and colleague in my work because I could hold more space for and listen to others' needs and differing ideas. I felt healthier, more engaged, and more focused at work and in my life.
I learned to say No! This is what motivates me every day to do what I do through 3DLife Inc. - helping people in leadership roles to be more effective, valued, and inspired so that they can be and do better for themselves and the people they are responsible for - and at the same time, creating stronger teams and workplace cultures. You know, places where people WANT to work and know they are also valued and respected for their contributions!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My clients' successes are my biggest accomplishment - their expanded understanding of themselves and their mindset, the awareness of the impact they have on the work they do - and the people around them, their ability to trust more in the decisions they make, being able to hand off tasks to their team with confidence, and feel more grounded and focused on what matters at work and in their lives - that's pure gold in my books!
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Remember that I'm not alone in this journey. Sometimes, I can get stuck in an unhelpful stream of self-talk when things may not be going as planned (Yes - I'm human too!), so I need to make sure I reach out to my support network of friends and other businesswomen. Staying connected is key - and so is being vulnerable enough to ask for help when I need it. Talking it out and remembering what and WHO I'm doing this all for is essential. It all comes back to being an effective leader of myself and my business!
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- First, allow yourself time to get super-clear on the vision you have for your business, but also the vision you have for yourself as a business owner. What does your business idea look, sound, and feel like, and what does it do for others in your most successful/ideal version of your vision? And who are you, and what role do you play as the business owner in your vision?
- Secondly, clarity on WHY you want to start, run, and grow a business is vital. Dig deep, reflect on, and ask yourself, "Why is it so important for me (and this business) to be successful?" When you think you have the answer - dig even deeper.
- Finally, save yourself some time and energy doing the first two steps on your own and invest in a business coach or mentor to help you. Find someone in the field or industry in which you're interested in doing business, do your homework and check out their background and the results they've had, and book a call with them to see if they are a good fit for you. Most coaches and mentors have a free consultation or call option available - take advantage of it!
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Being an entrepreneur can be incredibly rewarding and exciting. To wake up every day ready to get out of bed because you're looking forward to what the day will bring me is truly a privilege. But, it's also a lot of hard work wearing all the hats as the creator, developer, manager/leader, sales and marketing person, bookkeeper, communications, and social media person...the list could go on! I wouldn't trade it for anything else because my vision and why are super-clear and too strong to deny.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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