This week’s Kajabi Hero Michele Armstrong comes to us all the way from Edinburgh, Scotland. I had such a great time chatting with her and I know her story will inspire you as well!
Her passion is learning and helping others in the community to do the same.
Like so many others who use Kajabi, Michele started her career by meeting with people face-to-face and in real time. For two decades she taught others, met with them, and interacted with them as apart of her daily job.
It wasn’t until only last year that she started toying with the idea of putting something up online in order to share her knowledge and experience with a much wider audience base.
I loved listening to Michele’s story of furthering her education as an adult. Returning to school is a hard choice to make, but through her decision she has been able to touch the lives of many people.
Michele shared her belief that whatever we go through in life, we can use that to help someone else and that there is a purpose behind it. I couldn’t have agreed with her more.
That is one of the foundational principles that makes Kajabi work for so many people. By taking what you know and sharing it with others, you impact their lives and the world around you!
Serving the Community
Michele shared that the community that she grew up in, and so many others that she works in now, was disadvantaged and there was not a high priority placed on education.
With passion in her voice and a big smile on her face, she expressed that education is like having a key to the door, opening it up wide and learning to fly. She discovered that she was good at helping people connect learning and education to realizing their personal potential.
After faithfully working with youth in danger of being expelled from their schools for behavior issues in the CLD, she was given the opportunity to work at a college in the evenings, helping adults who worked in the care system to develop themselves personally.
She wanted to encourage them, help them open themselves up to learning, and to gain a confidence in themselves. She welcomed the change and the challenge with open arms.
Over the 9-month class Michele was able to help many people overcome their fears, their challenges, and help them gain a new perspective on learning as an adult.
Some of the results were that people decided to go back to University or they were applying for higher management jobs in their companies. They were realizing that knowledge can take you farther than you thought you could go.
With it being such a positive experience, she wanted it to become more of her focus. So she took a trip to London where they offered classes on how to coach others, and she has a vivid memory of sitting in class the first day thinking to herself, “I was born to do this. I was born to be a coach.” She made the decision to switch careers 16 years ago, and she still feels the same way today as she did back then.
Acorn Principle Plus
A few years later, Michele made another discovery. She figured that if she could train others to become a coach like herself, then more people could be reached.
So she started her own training company and developed the Acorn Principle Plus.
She took her inspiration from the acorn, which is a very small seed but with the right conditions has the potential to grow and become a massive oak tree. People are much the same.
With nurturing and the right conditions, it is simply amazing what people can grow into.
There is a period of time when the acorn sits under the mud in complete darkness, and it doesn’t yet see how it’s going to grow into a beautiful tree. This is a necessary time, however long or hard it may be, and it is how the seed develops its roots.
It is Michele’s passion to help people find what ‘lights them up.’ Some of her favorite clients have been in the same occupation for decades, but they aren’t working in the field they are passionate about.
Michele aims to help them find that spark and then helps them set goals to work towards making it happen.
When Tragedy Strikes, There is Growth
As with any story, it’s usually the tragedy and the trials that help shape us to be the best versions of ourselves, and Michele’s story is no different.
Three years ago her 33-year old daughter fell ill, went to the hospital, and four days later she passed away. Obviously shocked and grieving, Michele and her husband took in their grandchildren, ages 8 and 3 at the time, and began to raise them.
The year following her daughter’s death was one of survival. Michele stopped going into the office and took a year off of pursuing her master’s degree in mindfulness.
She mentions that the techniques she was learning in school at the time helped both her and her husband through the grieving process.
Her husband had to return to work and she stayed home to care for the kids, all the while wrestling with the fact that this was not her plan or her purpose in life. Michele referred back to her belief that nothing just happens on accident. There has to be a purpose to everything and some good that can come out of every situation.
After the second year of staying home with the kids, Michele and her husband sat down and decided to set some goals to start moving forward in getting Michele back to work and helping people again.
In a gigantic leap of faith, the couple gave themselves 100 days for Michele’s husband to quit his job (which was their only source of income), build a small log cabin on their property in order to have a workspace, and start a brand new company that was run from home.
Where Kajabi Comes In
This is where Kajabi comes in.
They decided to take Michele’s skills and knowledge base in coaching and training others and put it online.
On the final day of their 100-day personal challenge, they launched their first course on Kajabi called Life Is 28 Days to Personal Growth. She didn’t think at the time that she could train professional coaches online, but she knew she could coach groups of people on their journeys of personal growth because she had success doing so in the past.
Her course Life Is has run three times since launching. The first time was free, the second was at a very reduced cost, and the third was a little more expensive but still very low cost, and each time the group has grown in size.
It wasn’t until she had a conversation with one of her clients who suggested the idea that she realized that she could bring the training of professional coaches online as well.
She then received two phone calls, one from a university and one from the Scottish government, asking her to come do face to face training with their managers.
She knew she couldn’t meet with both groups at the same time, so she had the idea to combine them together and do a hybrid course: some content would be online and sometimes she would meet with them in person.
Through her online courses, Michele and her husband are making more monthly income than both of their previous salaries combined, and she has already been asked to run her courses again in the upcoming winter.
She is doing what she was made to do and hundreds of people are being helped in the process.
Secret to Success
The secret to Michele’s success isn’t really a secret.
I know that what has made her successful is her ability to never give up, look for the positive in every situation, and a mindfulness in setting a target and figuring out how to hit it.
The motto for her coaching is Learn, Connect, and Grow, and while it’s all important, it’s really the connecting part that Michele focuses on.
Michele was also kind enough to take us through a little bit of her Acorn model.
- A- Assessment (of yourself or your client)
- C- Contract (contract to go forward and take the next steps)
- O- Outcomes (visualizing and setting in motion the outcomes you want to see come to life)
- R- Route map (setting the steps that will take them to their desired outcome)
- N- Navigating (navigating the actual steps to move forward)
A really important point that I wanted to touch on here is how well Michele has named her principles. When you give names to what you are teaching, it helps the people who are learning from you to remember the information and it gives you a lot of credibility as a teacher.
So think about the things you are teaching. How can you turn them into acronyms or terms that make them your own?
Overcoming Fear Of Even Starting
Switching topics a little bit, I asked Michele if there was anything along the way that she almost got stuck on or that tripped her up when she started using Kajabi.
In her honesty, she admitted to almost giving in to the destructive inner voice that told her she was incapable and under qualified to use this new technology.
She quickly silenced that negative voice and signed up for a course to help teach her how to become better at what she was unfamiliar with. Armed with her new knowledge and confident that she could do it on her own, she still decided to get someone else to help her with the technical side of the business as she realized it was not her strength.
Michele shared with me that as a little girl she used to think she had been born into the wrong family, because her outlook on life was so different from that of the people around her.
She knew deep down inside that she was born for a purpose and that she was meant to do something great.
While she never imagined that it all turned out the way that it has, she was always hopeful that there was something more for her. That is an encouragement for all of us.
Don’t be that person that gets the job that pays the bills and settles for it. There is more for you.
You are destined to do greater things than sit in a job you hate and stay there just because it’s how you make ends meet.
Never give up and don’t stop moving forward toward what you really want. There’s greatness inside of each one of us.
Ask yourself some challenging questions.
What was it that you dreamed about being when you were a kid?
Is the self you present to the world truly your authentic self? It’s easy to put on a face or a persona to meet the expectations that other people have for you.
I hate that saying, “It is what it is.” The minute you accept life or a situation for what it is then it will never change. I like to say, “It is what you make of it,” because then you realize that you do have the power to change your life.
Pain is often the precursor to peace. We spend so much time and effort avoiding pain, but really it is a necessary part of the journey and it leads to life! Don’t fear the pain. Just like the acorn that sits in the dark for awhile before growing into a momentous tree, it’s the pain in our lives that brings about incredible growth and fulfillment.
Make sure you check out what Michele is doing at www.theacornprinciple.com.
Life is what you make it. So what do you want to make it? Kajabi can help you hit the target, reach the goal, and live the life that you dream of living.
Do something great today and try Kajabi for free.
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