Work Happier Live Happier Spotlight: Michelle Barry Franco

I am so excited to announce a new feature on my blog–The Work Happier Live Happier Spotlight.  In the Spotlight, I will be interviewing individuals who are on their Work Happier Journey and have found a career that makes their heart sing!!

Today I am interviewing, Michelle Barry Franco, she is a Business Coach who helps entrepreuners make their Wild Business Dreams Real.  Please check out her fantastic website–complete with her own artistic drawings at:

As a Business Coach, you help enterpreneurs, Make Their Wild Business Dreams Real. What is it you love about your coaching role?
On a broad scale, I love that I am making this whole world a better place by helping my clients make a more powerful Contribution in the world. I am absolutely certain that our world needs the specific and unique gifts that each of us is fancily wired/trained to bring. I get to be a part of bringing those gifts – and solving the problems that those gifts solve – by helping my clients be bigger, bolder versions of their authentic selves.
On an individual basis, I love the process of revealing the true message that each of my clients is trying to share. It is immensely satisfying to get their unique gifts articulated in a way that feels really exciting and exactly right to them. Then we get to translate those gifts into invitations to their potential clients for their work together and magnetic speeches, articles and books. Their businesses grow (!) and they feel like they are showing up exactly as they want to be in the world. It’s awesome.
I absolutely love this quote from Howard Thurman:  Don’t ask what the world needs, Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it!  Because what the worlds needs is people who come alive!!!’ What are the activities you engage in when you feel most alive?
Well, I love to dance – and a dance party in my living room with my husband and three baby girls is an amazingly “alive” feeling for me!
In my business, I feel the most alive when I am in conversation with a roomful of people (workshop or speaking event) and I can feel the moment in our exchange when our thinking aligns on the topic. Even more exciting is when I see the note-scribbling and the eye-shifting that indicates to me that new ideas are flowing for those in the room in an unexpected way. It’s so brilliant to be a part of that process with people.
This same kind of brilliantly “alive” effect occurs in client sessions when we have worked hard at taking new angles and explorations and things are feeling a bit lost and mixed up (this is always a rough moment, no matter how many times I go through it.) Somehow, and there is a bit of unexplainable magic to it, it all comes together in a moment and the right message or offer or strategy shows up that feels like the perfect culmination of it all. I love the excitement I feel and see in my client – and the giddy feeling I experience at the same time.
Many people believe once they find the work that makes their heart sing the journey is over. It seems you have found the work that makes your heart sing. What have you found to be the joys and challenges of that realization?
Ahhh… the joys and challenges…
Let’s start with challenges because I always choose the hard stuff first so I can let the good stuff linger indefinitely… My greatest challenge in my work is recognizing my own barriers when they are in the way of my big Contribution in the world. It took me a really long time to step into my own Wild Business Dream – though I always knew it was in there, I thought it had to be smaller for some reason. I still don’t exactly know why I thought that – but it was definitely there and it absolutely got in my way. In my case, it made it difficult for me to speak to the right clients who would actually benefit from my own Contribution in the world. Not surprisingly, many of my clients have the same kinds of “stealth barriers” that can be difficult to recognize in our work together. I work with really smart people who have learned to build stories around their decisions (just as I have) and those stories can sound so right on that it can take a bit of time to see that they are simply not useful and totally shiftable stories. Then, even if we see the barrier, it can be a challenge to move through it to create the big leap we know is possible.
Which is where the joy comes in! When we break through those barriers, I get to see the coolest evolution of a person’s greatest Contribution in the world. Seriously, what an honor to get to help a person be more brilliant, more successful and make this whole world a better place just by being more themselves! Also, see the “alive” question above for more about the joys.
As for the journey being over – oh my! I can’t imagine! Every single client, speaking audience, workshop group is so different and the journey just shows up new each time. It’s only just begun…
I would assume in your work, one of the main things you do is help people overcome the negative voices that seem to take place and hold on for dear life.  What tips do you have for overcoming the voices of should and dealing with the insecurities and messages “to stay small” that inevitably pop up?
My number one tip – ignore them! And if only that worked the majority of the time – argh! So, when that doesn’t work, I like to give them voice. I encourage clients to share the thoughts that they are experiencing so we can do a “check” on them. Is the thought absolutely true? How do we know it’s true? What other truths exist that might even contradict that one? What, of the truth options, serves us the best in our Wild Business Dream?
We can’t create big dreams when we are playing in small territory. It can help to regularly check in on the ways we really want to make a powerful impact in the world and then remind ourselves that this isn’t about a big ego ride – it’s about making the whole world a better place. No one is optimally served when we don’t step into our greatest power to make that kind of difference.

Make sure you check out my new website/blog.  You can sign up for a FREE 20 minute ‘Get to Know You Session” with yours truly AND then sign up for my FREE 25+ page Work Happier Tool Kit.  It is a self study guide to help you get clear on what makes your heart sing!!!