That Makes Total Sense!
That Makes Total Sense!
Episode 004 - Michelle McKinney Part 2 of 2

In the second half of my conversation with Michelle McKinney she offers us her expertise in empowering women to live their God-given dreams! She shares about her experiences of taking high-level executives from “here to there” and how we can do the same with the help of some simple steps she’ll teach us. Her passion is contagious! Connect with Michelle for coaching and more at Dreams Unleashed.

Episode Transcript:


00:44 Hi, I’m Alexis and welcome to That Makes Total Sense! So I’m so excited today to bring you this second part of a two part episode series with my good friend Michelle McKinney of Dreams Uleashed. If you missed the previous episode, you are going to want to get your hands on that one. Go back and listen to this because it is a powerful testimony of God moving in Michelle’s life and a powerful testimony of her choices of faith and perseverance through her life. To get her to where she is now and to allow her to have a glimpse into her future of where she is going to be. So on this second episode, Michelle is going to give us a treat. She is going to give us a basically a free mini coaching session. She’s going to take us through some of the exercises that she goes through with her clients to help them identify where they are, where they want to be, how to get there, and how to live out their God given dreams and goals.
Alexis: So I’m so excited for this. Here is my second interview with my good friend Michelle. All right, we are back with Michelle McKinney on. That makes total sense. Hey Michelle.

Michelle: Hey, Hey.

Alexis: Hey, I am so glad to have you back. Listen everybody, if you did not catch the last episode with Michelle, go, go listen to it like listen to it. You are going to love it. You are going to love to hear a lot about her background, her story, her faith, her perseverance, and really so much of what leads her into not only who she is now but what she does, um, for a living now, which is coach women. You are the dream architect being an owner of your company dreams unleashed. So Michelle, if you don’t mind, tell us a little bit about what you do at dreams unleashed, but I would also love it if you could follow that up with how you got there because you were not always the dream architect in a technical sense. You had kind of a quote nine to five before that you had a desk job. Yeah. Uh, before that. So tell us kind of what happened and where, where you are with dreams, unleash now and then how you got there from where you were. Okay.
Michelle: Got it. So wonderful. OK, so Dreams Unleashed. Um, basically the work that, that ideally is I help living to discover, define and competently live out their God given dreams. And I often say that competently living out your God given dreams doesn’t mean that there is no fear. It means you feel the fear and you do it anyway. So dreams and leash, um, wow. Rather young in terms of me doing it exclusively, it’s the combination of work that I’ve done over probably 10 plus plus years, probably just as long, probably about 20 years actually. Um, where I started out inviting women to my home, to a local coffee shop or library, wherever I could find a venue, a place, um, where we could talk about books, talk about what’s happening in their life and all those kinds of things. I really just always enjoy gathering women together.
Not that I don’t love the guys because I have a whole household full of guys, but there’s just a passion that lives in me, um, when it comes to women. And so I was at the space where I had been working at a church that I deeply love, still love, um, for about five years and there was a space of transition. And so as I was transitioning off of staff, I was just kinda like, okay, so what am I going to do? And I’m a person that asks the time and I still just, this is just my own wiring and how I am is that I’m that person that if I leave a job on Friday, I have one on Monday, I’m not leaving the Friday one unless I got a Monday one. Right? That’s just my own worry. Right? That’s the thing. And so when I, my last day of the job, I had already been working with a coach prior to that.
Speaker 1 04:43 Um, just because I had met this guy named Ben Arment. He has this book called Dream Year. I loved it. And he was having some, um, cohorts. And so I was like, Oh my gosh, I want to be a part of that. So it was perfect timing. And so we were just talking through what was it, you know, if I ended up deciding to transition off of staff, um, what would I want to do? Right. And so one of the thoughts that he had initially was that I would have a staffing agency because I was really high capacity when it came to that executive assistant space and really, really great at that work. Right? And so that was one of the thoughts that he had. And I was like, Hmm, I don’t want to do that. As much as I love being an executive assistant, that’s really about, uh, that would be an agency that manages people, human capital.
I don’t want to spend my day just managing people. I don’t mind teaching them the skillsets and you know, working with them. But I just can’t see myself just managing people in a staffing capacity. That’s just not my strength and what God’s given me. And so I started thinking about that executive assistant space and me having been an EA for over 20 years. And it was like, what is that work that you do? Well, basically for me is helping executives get from here to there. Meaning, where are you and what’s the vision of where you want to be, whether it is or even sometimes personally, um, and helping them to be able to seal that gap to get there in terms of my administrative skill sets. So use a strategy of things that I have or whatever the, the, the stop gap that actually to be able to support them in, um, getting to that vision.
So my thought was how do I take those gifts that God’s given me and this incredible work that I’ve done working with senior executives at a high capacity and use it for group of people who I’m really passionate about women. And so my thought was, you know what? I can help women get from here to there. So what’s the here and what’s the there? There are so many women who, in my opinion, and I really believe this to be FAC, who just by nature nurture everybody else’s dreams and put theirs on the back burner. Right? And so sometimes by the time they are ready to be able to say, okay, well what about me? What about my dream? They often feel like they don’t have the time, the energy, the money, the team to make it happen. And oftentimes even the knowhow. So my thought was, okay, here are there, I’ve helped executives use using my strategy gifts to get from here to there.
I can help her be able to define where she is now and figure out where does she want to be and how do we eat the elephant one bite at a time to get to where you aspire. So that was the birth of dreams on leash. It was really in that sort of space. And so I had been doing it since I left the church, but I gave myself a time frame of how long I was going to do it. I had taken a package, um, as I decided to make the exit. And in that I said, okay, well I’ll give myself a number of months to be able to really lean into dreams and leash. And then after this specific date that I had given myself, if I’m not making as much money that my family needs to be able to take care of our expenses, I’ll go back into the corporate space.
And so I went back into the corporate space and God open an unbelievable door, one that I had whispered in a, um, in a desire to a friend of mine and Christian Sutherland, like, Oh my gosh, it’d be so amazing to work at Starbucks. Like one of those, I know you love your coffee girl. It was one of those sort of, Oh, it’d be so cool, that sort of deal. But the thing is, we gotta be mindful of the power of our words is that while I had said it and I just kind of left it up in the air, God does not forget the things that we say. He just doesn’t. And so I think that when I said it aloud, um, he remembered it. And so when it was time for me to transition back, this opportunity showed up and I applied and it was not an easy, it’s not like a, you know, okay, I applied and they brought me in.
No, they took me through. They’re very rigorous. Starbucks has a very rigorous, um, onboarding and interviewing process because they want to make sure chemistry wise, they get the right people to be able to be a part of the team because that’s really important to them. And so I got the job and it was incredible. Um, I worked with a woman by the name of Camille Himes who was the regional vice president of, of that space. And she is brilliant and is great as strategy. But one of the things that she’s really, really good at that I am not, is forecasting and numbers. That has been the thing that for years I used to say, I mean, you know me, you my numbers girl, you know, when I need help. Um, you know, I had said for years that I’m just not great at numbers, period. Right. And so had I known that that was what the job was when required to me be it for me to be a numbers every single day in forecasting and all that stuff, I would’ve never applied because I would have disqualified myself. So I’m grateful that God knew and I’m glad that it did not end in, um, it did not end up in that way that they put that in description. So anyway,
Alexis: well you would have disqualified yourself. You just said you would have disqualified yourself. But isn’t that maybe, and I’m, I’m sure this is, this may be part of what’s coming up, but that is you would have disqualified yourself, but God probably saw that as a perfect training ground. There you go. It’s heading with somebody who was really good at his mate.
Yep. He needed me to stop using that as a crutch because I had said that for so many years that I’m not good at numbers. I’m not good at numbers. But then at the same time, out of left side of my mouth, I was saying I could do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Right. She wasn’t asking me to be a mathematician or an economist, he was just, you know, for the the road that I have for you, Michelle, there are some things that are gonna need. And for the path that he was pulling me towards, that was a skillset that he needed me to develop, you know, and there was some relational things that I needed to do, um, support into other people and then for people to pour into me also right for that period of time. So did that work, learned hope much from Camille and the staff and the leadership there.
That has made me so much better as a professional and as a personal human being. And so it got to a place where I could kind of feel that it was getting ready to be time. I can always send some, I think we all can sense when our time is winding up in the assignment that we’re in, but sometimes we just dig our heels in or sometimes we’ll, we start to feel that it’s time to go. We think that the, the Nam was supposed to happen like right now, right now. Right now guys, like I’m just preparing you that we’re getting ready to transplant. And so I could feel that it was time. And so I had talked to my boss and so it wasn’t a surprise to her when I gave my resignation. Um, and I was deciding to go into dreams and lease full time because my thought was, you know, I’ve been doing this for awhile.
Um, and I had a really like a really heavy commute in the mornings. It was really, really tough. Um, sometimes going from one place to the other, it would be like, um, two hours as the traffic was really bad and that, that’s just not the quality of life that I want it necessarily and what the organization desire, you know, deserved rather in terms of me showing up. Well and so decided to make that turn. And so I have been doing dreams on leash exclusively for the year and a half. This is my thought process about these. I like to consider them the pivots in our life. Right? I don’t know this path that guy has outlined for me, nor do you know the one that he has outlined for you. Right. I think a lot of times we try to figure out that, you know, one plus one equals two and the path that God and I are walking and I’m assuming that others go say the same is that there are so many different turns and dips and Wayman you want me to do like wait, but I thought we would do it.
Then you’re turning this way. Right? And so the thing is I like to stay with what Bob Goff talks about is having open hands, palms up, open hands ready to receive, right? So I like to stay in this space we’ve gotten, I think it’s important for those who are listening also to consider are you living a life that is palms up that says God, whatever path that you would have for me, I am willing to pivot even when it doesn’t make sense and I’m willing to pivot when it doesn’t make sense to me. And I feel like, I don’t know if this is the right move because what will the people think? Being able to make those pivots in spite of that knowing thought, sometimes everybody doesn’t always them, but I’ve had them, you know, what will the people think to be more along? What will God think in terms of my obedience and or my disobedience.
So for me, I think that not because I do it perfectly, but because I really try my best to be quick to act when God says, okay, now it’s time to do it. Go now. Right? Because I’ve tried to live my life in that way. Even in spite of the fear sometimes and the uncertainty, I think God has allowed me to live this life that is full of a lot of turns and I don’t ever know when he’s going to say, you know, Hey man, now with time for the next assignment. And so I live that life in this space. And so what I do know about my purpose is to help people, as I said before, it helped people get from here to there in one span of time. It was senior executives in this manner time. It has been specifically women in another span of time. I don’t know what desk want to be and how God will shift that. But I’m willing to make the pivots along this path of this lifetime that he’s given me for as long as I’m going to be here. Well
Alexis: This is so good and, and I want to pause for a minute and highlight a couple of things that you’ve said because, um, because we then the times that we have talked and the times that I have heard you speak, I love the way that you used the word assignment and you just used it a couple of times and I really want to highlight that for our listeners because I love how you, you talk about, you know, these different pivots. These in between the pivots are like assignments and it, it’s, it’s a couple of things for me when, when I was growing up and I think that I had, it really probably wasn’t that way when I was growing up, but I had this kind of, this ideal in my head of what, um, I don’t know what stability looks like and what careers look like. And it was when you were breaking ice at a party and someone asked what you do?
I’m a doctor, I’m a lawyer, I’m a janitor, I am a teacher, I am fill in the blank, you know, and, and my, my dad used to tell me, you, what you do doesn’t define you. You can say I do this or I do that, which is good, but I like these assignments where you say, yeah, maybe I spent some time as a senior executive. That was my assignment that God had me on for that time. But I am living, like you said, living with open hands, saying he made you a different assignment. The other thing I thought of was I was reading one of Brene Brown’s books. Um, I think this one was called The Gifts of Imperfection, where she like read all of a male, all of it. And she was talking about these kind of slash careers. You know, like when you do the, and somebody asks you that question, what do you do or blah, blah, blah, and, and she says, it’s okay to have a slash you can be coach slash speaker slash author slash jewelry maker slash dog groomers.
I should know whatever it is. And those things, you know, don’t define, you know, who we are. And I like how you, even in your language with dreams and leash, your, you’re not talking about becoming a a thing necessarily. You’re talking about a journey. Getting someone from here to there, living out these dreams, moving to the assignment that they’re as that God’s asking them to do. Um, and I just think that that’s really cool. I think that’s really cool language because I think it’s freeing language. You know, I mean, look at people like David in the Bible. Like was he a shepherd boy or was he a warrior or where was he a King? Yes, he was all of those things, you know, talented. He was also a man after God’s own heart, which is I think how God probably defined him. Right. And so I think that’s really cool. So anyway, I just pause there and kind of highlight that because I love hearing you talk about and using the language of assignment.
Michelle: Yeah. And you know, this is what I’ll say is for me, using the word of assignment, it frees me up to feel like I own this life.
Alexis: Oh, say that. Yeah.
Michelle: The space of, you know, there’ll be opportunity right there. Like right now, um, you know, like I said last, um, podcast that the last episode is that I’m the, this is honest, you guys as I can,
Alexis: That’s why you’re here.
Michelle: is that I have opportunities that are right in front of me right now, right. That the final decisions haven’t been made on them. Right. And I think know what I want, but the thing is, as the doors close and things don’t line up the right way, the thing is taken away from me honestly. Because what I know to be sure about God and this thing with assignments is that he’s going to land me where I need to be and it’s not just where I need to be. It’s where he wants me to be. Right. Because when I think about these assignments, you know, I’ve said before that I think that they have dual purposes. I think that they have the, you know, just like I talked about the Starbucks, you know why while I was there is that I am there to pour into other people, of course, to do the work.
That’s the core. You gotta do the work, right? But also I’m there to pour into other people and make the organization better. There’s a book that is one of my favorite titles, I’m by the Nordstrom brothers is called leave it better than you found it. And my job when God sends me somewhere is to leave it better than I found it. Whatever that means. Right? The other job that I think, or part of the assignment is that there are people there that will pour into my life and will make me better than where I was when I first started. And so I have this trust with God that even though you might be disappointed that it didn’t work out the exact way that you want it. His deck on track record with me is so great that the things that I thought I wanted in life, when he presents something else and I start to live it out, I’m like, well day, this is better.
Right? And it’s not always financial gain better. It is often the development of who he is growing me to be. It’s always better. And so this idea of assignments frees me up to know that he is going to open doors when it’s an assignment from him. Right? Even if people don’t want me to have, it doesn’t matter when it’s an assignment from him. God will open doors that people have tried to nail shut. He will create opportunities that did not exist for anybody else because he’s like, I got you on assignment. And there is a specific time that that assignment is to take place with an assignment. I believe that they are living. I believe that they have a start and an end period. And the thing is if we are not obedient, so when he’s like, it’s your turn, I need you to go right now you can’t assume people say this thing that drives me bananas that would God has what God has for me, will not pass me by.
I will tell you too, the hills come home, but that’s a lie. I do believe that the blessings that God has for me, he will deliver them to me. Right? Also believe for those who take that thought process a different way, that what God has asked me will not pass me by. If you don’t act when God says go, it will pass you by. And how do we know that in Esther 4:14 where it talks about where she is trying to figure out should I go do this cause I’m so scared and Mordecai I think it’s more to or her. Listen, if you don’t go, you know, God will send relief for the Jews from another place. Meaning he don’t send somebody else.
Alexis You’re gonna send somebody.
Michelle: It is, we think that it is all about us and how God’s gonna use us. Yes, he wants to use you. He’s choosing you first. But if it is that you are not obedient to go do it because it’s not about you and the arrogance of you think it is about you. I’m talking back to myself too, is that because he cares about the people who was going to impact and that’s who he’s focused on. So in that space he was focused on the Jews. He was like, if you don’t relief and delivers won’t come from somebody else. And on top of that, you and your family, you and your father’s family will perish. Now granted we may not perish, but certainly something that is going to die, something that we were hoping for is not going to come to fruition because we’re I just obedience. So that’s why I love the context of those who are listening. When you’re thinking about where you are, it is with such great intention. If God has you right now at McDonald’s flipping fries, you gotta be the best dag on flat fry flipper you ever have been because there’s something in that space that you are supposed to pour out to the people that come in there where they’re their customers or coworkers or your leadership and there’s something there for you to receive also.
Alexis: So let’s take it, let’s say you get a woman because you, you’ve got 20 years of experience and you’ve been doing dreams and leashed for a while now. Just just you and God making this thing happen and let’s say the fry flipper, the fry basket lady comes to you and she says, this is where I am here. This is my here and you work with women who, who think they know where there there is some women do know what they’re there is, but some women come to you and they don’t have a clue. They just say, I know there’s something in me. God has put something in me that’s different than where I am now. And you are one of the best people I’ve ever met at drawing that out of people. So let’s say some of our listeners are sitting here going and they’re going, that’s me. I know God has an assignment for me. I know he has something big on the horizon for me. I know he has something for me to do and I don’t want to, I don’t want to miss any opportunities. I want to learn from him. I want to be trained kind of like, I don’t want to disqualify myself like you had said and, and she comes and she has an appointment with you. Take us through just a snapshot. you might help her start to understand where her there might be. Does that make sense?
Michelle: Oh, perfectly. Because that is actually the scenario. What happens with a good portion of my clients. Not all, everybody’s different. Um, but there’s a good person that comes for that reason. So the deal is that when you are trying to figure out what your there is, right, let’s, let’s, I like to eat. I really like the, I’m not going to say I like to bake. I like to eat pork with baking, right? So let’s say that, let’s pretend that I do like baking and I say, okay, let’s, I want to make a chocolate cake or I want to make a cake, you know, and I want to figure out, um, what kind of cake I should make. We might start because we’re at home and we just grow up and we just kicking it and I’m like, okay, well what’s you that already in the, in the pantry, what’d you already got?
Right? And so we’re going to look to figure out what is that you already have and then based on what you already have, we want to determine what kind of cake is going to be. Because chocolate cake comes with so many varieties. If we got coconut, we might be able make a German chocolate cake, right? If we have, you know, some food coloring, we might be able to make a red velvet cake, right? And so it just depends on what you already have in your ingredients basket. So the way that equates is that I want to look at with you, what are the gifts that you have? Not the things that you’re good at, but the things that you’re great at. There’s a book that I talk about often called good to great, which I love it because it makes a distinction that there are really good companies out there that are doing work, but then there are great companies that are out there killing it. So I’m not asking you what is it that you just are right? And I’m like, what is it that you kill it in that people are constantly asking you for that?
Alexis: Okay, wait a minute, pause for a second. Because now this may not be you, and this may not be your clients, but this has been me and I guarantee you it’s going to be some of my listeners who they’re going to say, girl, my pantry is empty. They’re going to say, I don’t know. I don’t think I’m great at anything. I mean, I’m a, I’m okay at a couple of things, but those are just run of the mill ordinary. Nobody’s gonna pay me to do this. Nobody’s going to ask me to do this. Nobody cares that I do this. Do you ever meet somebody who says, Michelle, I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m not, I’m not great at anything. I’m not good at anything. How do you even talk to them about that?
Michelle: Is that part of that work before the very first session? Most just about every client gets that work, this work. Because when we talk about what is it, you know, what are your ingredients? What are you amazing at? What do you kill it? I’m very aware that as women we often don’t give ourselves credit for what we kill it at because we often deflect on what other people are amazing at. Right? So we don’t know how to stand in the truth of what God has gifted us to do in excellence. So because I know that after having worked with women for some years, the thing that they get before session one is pre-work. And in that pre-work you are asked and if their clients who are listening right now, you could be, you could shake your head cause you know you probably got this word that is called the ass 10 people. So what I asked you to do is to ask 10 people what is it that I kill it at? What is it that I’m amazing at, right? And so you are also though as to share, do a self assessment to share what are you great at? What are you amazing that right cause I want you to get comfortable. Even if uncomfortable with that
Alexis: Can I take that back to the pantry for a second? Because I’m imagining my pantry right now and I’m imagining if you were to come over, there would be things in the back that you’re like what do you mean you don’t have anything? You’ve got X, Y, Z. And I’m like looking at it. I’m so used to seeing it or it’s way in the back. I know that it’s there and you’re like are you kidding me? This is the best coconut there is. And you have, you have this in your fridge. You had this, Oh that my mom gave that to me last time. I said I don’t even know what it was. So there’s, I’m thinking about that pantry now cause that’s such a good visual to think that’s why you got to ask your people. That’s why you’ve got to ask people because they see stuff in you that you don’t always see in yourself. Right. Michelle: All day long. You feel that. You nailed that right there.
Alexis: Just say, you know, go 10 but 10 things for me. Michelle, can I just share this real quick? Yeah, I didn’t, I didn’t get that in my pre-work. The first time I met with Michelle and we did that together. We did them together in the room and she had member and she, she had me text 10 people. And you, you wrote it maybe or you, I mean like put out the text and I had to put that to 10 people and the stuff that came back to me, that was when I started crying because I thought in me that I did not know was even there or I maybe I knew it was there, but I didn’t realize it was a thing. You know? I didn’t realize it’s an ingredient. I just thought it was of the personality. So I think I wanted to share that real quick and be a little vulnerable I guess. Because I think we have people, they think, Oh, that’s just my personality. That’s just who I am. This is what I do. And they don’t realize how valuable that is for other people who really in them. So yeah. Okay. I’m not going to do it. You’re going to. Yes. Did they get them? No. You’re good.
Michelle: They do. So you get this feedback from people. Right. And it’s always so encouraging. One because it’s that thing of give me my flowers while I’m alive. Because a lot of times we feel so because I tell people that when you ask these 10 people for the feedback and there’s no magic in the number 10, I asked for the number 10 because it gives us a breadth of people just in case some people are very short or some people don’t respond, different things happen. So I asked for the number 10 and then also for your own self assessment, right? And so in doing that, it’s always so incredible because it feels weird asking people tell me how amazing I am. Right? And so you get permission. And so sometimes I tell people to say I’m working with a coach so that you don’t feel as awkward, right?
So they get this feedback, they come back to the session and we did this work together, um, later in terms of categorizing your gift. So they get all this feedback and in the feedback it’s usually like a lot of words. And so we start writing the feedback together, we write it, I write all the different things out, right? But then what we then do is we begin to categorize them. So there are all these different words and what God ended up showing me during one of a coaching session some years ago is that Michelle, if you were to take all these words that this person has, you’ll see that there’s some themes here, right? Do you mind if I share yours?
Alexis: Oh, Oh my goodness. Sure. Go ahead.
Michelle: When I have yours up right now. So when Alexis got all of her feedback and also did her summer herself assessment also, right? And we have all these different words. We had words like for example, for your gifts, people said that your commitment to people that you’re affirming that you give great advice, that you’re compassionate, that you are prayer, that you’re praying, your intercession is amazing, that you feel deeply for people. They also said things like, you are a person that gets things done. You’re very organized. You meet or exceed deadlines. They also said things like, you’re great at arithmetic. The teaching time management that you understand patterns in it. You explain. So things are understandable, right? So we were writing all these different things out. And so I had her give them to me one by one. And this is where the gifts, this is where God’s grace comes in.
And so that’s why I don’t fear sharing this online because the thing, what I’m able to do, yes it is taking the years of experience that I’ve had doing strategy work in the gift God’s given me. I also know that this work, God has anointed me to do it. So while we were in coaching sessions, and I’m asking in this case, for example, with Alexis, read back to me, everything that we recorded that people said about you, I am literally paying it and asking God, show me where to put these things together in columns so that they are becoming the manic. Right? And he does the route fail. So when we put all of Alexis’s together, hers came out to be that at the end of the day, all God was saying is that list. Listen, when I created Alexis for all the things that I need her to do, yes, she has the details of all those things that I just shared with you guys.
But at the end of the day, all I’m saying is that she has to be amazing for this work. And these are things I’m gonna have her do. She has to be amazing at valuing people. She has to be a unbelievable problem solver. And she has to be a person that really understands patterns and those things in people’s lives. Right? And so those are at the end of the day, yes, there are a lot of different things that come into play. But in terms of you talking about where Alexis Booth said he kills it, she kills it, like demolishes it in those three areas. And the thing is, once you have the understanding of where it is that you kill it at, and now it’s like back to your ingredients, it’s like, Oh shoot, let’s start dreaming about what we can do with that. So before we even go into the space of dreaming about, so that’s the gift space, you know.
So Alexis knows, and we talked about this offline, that there is a Venn diagram that I use. And for those who are on for those who Venn diagram, basically all it is, if you could imagine three circles and those three circles touching. But there being one unique space where they all congruent. We touch together. That’s the sweet spot, right? So in this week by this Venn diagram, there are three circles. One is gifts, which is what we just talked about. And then the second is, um, that we about is passion. What is it that you are just so passionate about? And people overuse the word passion the same way as they use the word love. And so when I talk about more passionate is similar to the passion of the price. It is about a suffering and a very deep affection and kind of love. So it’s the, the polar opposites of each other, right?
So there’s this deep sort of feel good love about, about being able to serve or do work for a group of people or cause. But then there’s the other side of it that I’m willing to suffer for this people group or cause meaning suffer giving up my time, my sleep, my money, my resources. For some people it can be exchanging my compensation that I am willing to go from making $100,000 a year in the work that I do to making $45,000 a year, you know? So that is a suffering of force of, of giving up a sacrifice. So we talk about all the different people groups or causes that you would be willing that you are passionate about. Right. And I do something where we began to evaluate and get very, very specific because somebody might say, Oh I love serving others. Okay, who are the others?
There are 7.6 billion people in the world. People, my clients is sick of me saying 7.6 billion. But that’s the number that we use. There are 7.6 billion people in the world. Who are the others that you’re talking about? And so sometimes is also giving people permission to say what the others are without feeling that you are ostracizing any other groups. Right? So there are times where I might have a person that may talk about a particular faith, a group of people of faith, right? Or there are times where, you know, I might have women that say, you know, initially it’s all women, but then when I really challenged them, it comes down to it’s actually really black women in a very specific area and their, and the reason why I know that you have to get your permission to say this is because we live in a world that is very inclusive.
And that’s the talk, right? And then especially for people who are believers, it’s like, no, I really do love all people. And I’m like, yeah, I know you love all people. And I love all people too. But if we go back to that example of Esther, you know, for what she was called to, she was specifically called to a specific group of people. It wasn’t that suffering wasn’t happening all around the world, you know, in different capacities. But she was called for that season two, the Jews in this particular scenario. And so I challenged people to give yourself permission to get as specific as you need to. Sometimes you don’t need to. Sometimes it can stay general for what it is, right? So we weed all that out. We began to prioritize and then we come up with who is the people group or cause that you really want to spend your time with right now?
Then we merge right on over to best started circle, which is problems. What are the problems in the world that you want to solve? And so we look at, you know, what are the things that are exist in the world right now that you’re just like, Ooh God, yes, please let me put my hand in my time to these specific things to solve those problems. I want to see the needle move in this particular area. And so that’s the work that we to look at the gifts, the, the passion. And the problem from that, I work with clients too. So once we have your gifts and we understand those calves, those three or four sometimes thematic themes in your life that you are amazing where you’re killing it at. And then we understand what people group or cause are you just so passionate about that you need to give it your time and your attention this season of life. And then what is the problem that you’re looking to solve. What we then create is a life purpose statement. And so again, it’s using all three of those things, the best of the best in all of those spaces. So at the time Alexis had hers, do you mind me sharing what yours was at the time? I think you may have shifted a tiny, tiny bit. I’m not sure.
Alexis: We have shifted in. Yeah, we have shifted a little bit, but I think, I think it’s good though to shift because I feel like for me at the beginning, and I’ll just share this with, cause it was kind of where my mind was going anyway, is that, um, you know, again, I was trying to, to make things so, so specific. Um, partially because of my fears, partially because of my fears, cause I just, I, you know, part of me when we first met was, okay, Michelle, I just want you to tell me what I’m supposed to do. You know? And I think that with those things, when you have a, when you have a life purpose statement, that can shift and it can evolve, but it should, right? It should and it will. But it allows you to understand which assignments to take, which assignments to decline, right?
And what projects to start, what projects to decline. I love Essentialism. We’ve probably talked about that book before, but he basically says, unless it’s a heck yes, it’s a no. Um, if it’s not a 90%, then it’s a no, but you, but the work that Michelle does helps us figure out what is your, how do you know if it’s 90%? Well, it does it line up with all three of those areas and you know, and that doesn’t necessarily mean, okay, well I’m a doctor for the rest of my life. Well, you’ve got all of these things. Maybe you can do that. Maybe you can be an administration, maybe you can do medical missions, maybe you can be a scientist, maybe you can do research. Maybe you can do all of this things, whatever lines up with that one space. A doctor might be your assignment for a period of time, but that doesn’t mean that you are hued in and keyed into to do or be that one thing for the rest of your life. Right? Yeah,
Michelle: but, and that goes back to what we were talking about, you know, in the importance of when God says, go, go, go do it now.
Alexis: Right, right, right. Yeah.
Michelle: And that your passion and this life purpose statement that we’re talking about while we say that it will, more than likely it will shift, right. Is because the things that you are passionate about today may not be the things that you’re passionate about. 10 years or even five years from now. The thing that I had been passionate about, let’s say even in terms of adoption and foster care, if you would’ve asked me that 15 years ago, it wouldn’t have probably hit the top of my peak. But as we go through life and we see different and we experience things like there, there are some things that God is like stirring up in my heart that I am so super passionate about. I know it’s not time to execute yet because he hasn’t shown me the way to do it yet, but he is stirring this fire in me about this particular issue that’s in the world and I don’t know how he wants to do it, but I’m aware that it’s happening, right?
So that when it is time it’s like go, you know, I’ve given you all the information, you know, I’ve prepared you for it. Now it’s time to go and for you to put your hands and my passion for this into this body of work. And so it will shift over time. So that’s why doing this, you know, working through this sweet spot and understanding your gifts and your passion, your problem. I believe that the guests will, for the most part, stay the same throughout the course of your life. But passion and problem, those things are going to shift based on your experience in the world. What you see and where your heart continues to stir. And then just time, you know, time helps to bring clarity to, Oh I thought it was exactly this, but it’s kind of over here. So my job as a dream architect and a coach is to help get you started. It’s not to give you the silver bullet to say this is it. It’s to give you a place to start from so that you are along some sort of path to be able to get to where you need to be,
Alexis: Which is, which is so good. And I love that you’re giving us permission for those things to change because I completely agree with you. I think our gifts for the most part are going to be, they’re going to stay the same. I think we might end up discovering some things we didn’t know were there. Um, and we’re going to be good to hone those. And I think that that can happen. But for the most part, that’s probably the most stable of those three circles. And just to have permission for those things to evolve, to have permission for those things to change. But you know, something I also thought of, um, as we’re, as we’re getting close and we’re, we’re, we’re going to be wrapping up here, but is, is that we are whole people. And so sometimes I remember it, you know, it surprises me when I used to surprise me more when I would see, okay, this is somebody, this is his thing, this is what he does.
This is what is about, you know, I looked up an author today, I had heard her on an interview with Focus on the Family and she was talking about, um, confrontation within a biblical, um, mindset and, and how to be a Christian who does confrontation well and unity and all this stuff. She was amazing. Her name is Deborah Pegues and she was fabulous. But then when I looked her up on her, um, social media, she also had a lot of stuff about money and getting out of debt and you know, all of these things. And I’m like, she has full permission, as we all do to be a whole person. And it’s like, she doesn’t have to just be good at this one thing. You don’t have to be, you know, just the expert at parenting or just the expert at many or just the expert at conflict.
Like, you know, God can gift you and you can have passion like you’re saying for all of these different problem areas and God damn in that too. Um, to do that. And, and they may be, like you had said, they may end up coming. I think timing wise they may end up coming back to back as different assignments, but I think sometimes God may give them to us sometimes at the same time and we’re like, Whoa, where did that come from? But, um, but to have a place that you can, I feel like the work that you do so well is to give your clients a feeling and to come from a place of confidence to say, yes, that ingredient exists in me. Yes, I own that. Yes, that is in my pantry. I did not borrow or steal that from somebody else. It’s mine.
And you know, and, and God has given it to me to use it. Um, lastly, something that made me think of you that I think was so great that we were doing our interview today is I was, I did the, the hundredth day of my, um, a hundred days to brave by any downs today. And he had this portion in the back that, that made me think of. You actually made me think of one of my new favorite worship leaders, Rick Pino. He has this song talking about Isaiah 53 and he says, there’s a line in the song that was so, it’s so good, but I just have been meditating on it and says, may the lamb who was slain received the reward for his suffering. And I thought, I don’t even know what it means, but I like it. And then today in Annie F. Down’s devotional.
She had this line where she said something like, I don’t have it right in front of me. She had said something like, the Jesus’ reward for his suffering is your life of courage. It’s your joy. It’s your competence to do the things that he’s asked you to do. And I thought that’s one of the things you do and one of the things you talk about so well is you say, I don’t want to take it from you and misquote you, but you talk about what we do as being answered prayers potentially for someone else. Then you tell us about that as we wrap up because I think it’s one of the most beautiful things that you talk about in your, in your company and the work you do with women.
Michelle: No, no. And I think, you know, so in that space, I believe that we, the work that God has asked us to do, those assignments, they are answered for years for somebody else. Right. And the problem is when we hesitate, when we procrastinate, when we allow fear to take over, you know, and not walk in in obedience and timing what we’re supposed to do. There is somebody else who you may not even know their name or even know where they’re located. That I believe is praying and asking for relief. And back to Esther again, I believe people, the the Jews that you know, we’re in that space and time somebody was on their knees asking, God, listen, can you please send relief? You know, this is crazy that this is running a muck and treating us like this, right? And so in my imaginative head, I believe that God is, you know, as that person is praying as I guy, are you going to send relief soon when you go on do it.
I mean, are you even listening to my prayers? You even hear me and God is in heaven in my creative mind. Like I’ve heard you and she just won’t move. I’ve been talking to her, I’ve given her, I’ve equipped her, I’ve told her what she needs to do, but she’s so distracted by all the things, right? Just like the rich young ruler, he had many things and so he would not let go of what he had to pursue, what he said he wanted. And so I think that that can, that is often so true of us is that we are somebody answer prayer. And when we drag our feet and when we don’t move it stifle somebody else. When you are in a job, for example, and God has been speaking to you about either going off on your own or applying to that other position and you allow fear to set in, you’re not just holding yourself up, but there is somebody praying for your job.
There is somebody that your job is there, stretch your job is their dream, but they can’t even move into that space and it is their time because you won’t move and get up. And so when we understand that our disobedience of not moving is stifling the answering of other people’s prayers. I don’t know about you guys, but it puts a fire under me to say, let me get my butt up. Because the truth is if I do make it about myself in this space is that I don’t want anybody holding my prayers up because they won’t move. You know, there are things that I’m asking God for it even right now today. And I don’t want it to be, you know, a delay because somebody else is not obedient to picking up the phone, processing a piece of paper or whatever it is. You are somebody and the prayer. And that was something that a woman gave to me when I worked at the church some years ago. Um, we were on a phone call and she just said this, we were just, it was a personal call that we were all, we were, you know, talking to each other and she said this, and this had to be at least 10 years ago. And when she said that just in passing, I was like, Ooh, that hit me. And so I’ve been holding onto it ever since.
Alexis: Yeah, I love that we are, somebody answered prayer because God is a God of redemption, like you said last time. But he’s also a God of relationship and he didn’t design for all of us to do this on our own. We need each others. So that’s so good. Thank you so, so much Michelle, for spending both of these episodes with us. Again, if you missed Michelle on the first episode that she was with us, go back, listen to it now because you will just be so encouraged by her story, by her faith, by um, her perseverance and yeah, Michelle, tell us if, if someone is there and they’re going, I’m here but I want to get there, tell our listeners how they can reach out to you, how they can get that pre-work for what you can do.
Michelle: Yeah. Yup. So the best thing to do, so there’s two ways you could find me. One is on Instagram, which is where I’m most active is @Michelle.McKinney And on my website is And I will tell you there are some new things happening in the fall. And so some things that you switching up just a little bit, but definitely go onto the website, go through GoTo Instagram and reach out to me and we can have a conversation from there.
Alexis: Oh, I love it so much and I will also put all of her information that she just gave you in the notes of this show so that you can have every possible chance to contact Michelle because she is amazing in the work and you will not regret your time with her. Um, it’s so, so good. So thanks Michelle again for being on. I appreciate it. Thank you. Talk to you soon. Bye.

So thank you again so much for listening. Don’t forget to subscribe, see what missed an episode. Share the link with your friends. You can visit us at And until next time, this is Alexis Busetti, remembering to do well for ourselves so we can do good for others.

Mentioned in this episode:

Dream Year: Make the Leap from a Job You Hate to a Life You Love by Ben Arment

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

Deborah Pegues on Focus on the Family

100 Days to Brave: Devotions for Unlocking Your Most Courageous Self by Annie F. Downs

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