Inspiring Entrepreneurs – Michelle Elman
This week I am delighted to introduce Michelle Elman who has turned great adversity into her inspiration for starting her own business and helping others. A great lesson in not giving up and not letting challenges beat you…
Tell us a little bit about yourself in a few sentences…
Hi I am Michelle, and I am passionate about helping people and am quite a bubbly and chatty person! In my spare time, I love baking and playing Netball and Squash!
When did you start your business and what was your inspiration for doing so?
I started my business at the end of 2014 and my inspiration was my own personal experience with therapy.When I was born, I was diagnosed with hydrocephalus. By the age of 11, I had had 7 surgeries from my brain to my abdomen. It was when I was 11, that I was hospitalised again after a series of complications led me to having an additional 5 surgeries as they punctured my intestines and had to insert a metal valve in my brain. It was only after 3 months of hospitalisation did they find my brain tumour!
Despite all this, I completed high school with 8 A*s and 1 A at GCSE and 3 As at A Level. I went on to study Psychology at University as it had been my dream since I was 11 to become a psychologist, in my 2nd year of university, i was hospitalised this time for a obstructed bowel. I rushed back to uni as soon as I was allowed to leave the hospital bed and the following year graduated with a 2.1 from Bristol University.
Throughout my life, I had never dealt with the psychological consequences of medical trauma, and it was only in my third year at university that a psychology lecture triggered all these emotions, resulting in the diagnosis of PTSD. I went to see a psychologist and although it was beneficial in understanding the causes of my problems, I struggled to know how to progress and ‘move on’ – this is where I believe NLP comes in! I went to see an NLP Practitioner and within 2 hours, the symptoms of the PTSD had been relieved and I was converted!
I stopped pursuing the route of psychology and trained in NLP, Time Line Therapy, Hypnotherapy and Coaching and work with clients to overcome the limitations I faced. I started Mindset For Life with the core belief that therapy need not be painful. I personally discovered how torturous therapy can be and believe that this isn’t necessary for change to occur. Living through negative emotional events once is bad enough, having to relive it and talk about it in length is just cruel. We pride ourselves in offering therapy which is pain-free and enjoyable, going against the reputation of classic therapy.
I also believe that it is necessary for therapists to work with flexibility and that reciting pre-rehearsed scripts are not going to result in permanent change as we believe every client is unique and every problem is different, that is why our therapists work with flexibility. Having been trained in NLP, Hypnotherapy, Time Line Therapy™ and NLP Coaching allows our therapists to use the most appropriate therapy for your individual problem. We believe it is this combination that is crucial in achieving the most change as these techniques work best in unison.
What is your happy song… you know, the one that you can’t help but smile to when you hear it?
Here comes the Sun by The Beatles.
Best piece of advice you have been given and by whom?
KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid!) by my Dad.
What is your ideal way to spend a Sunday?
Relaxing with friends playing cards and sitting in the sun!
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Graduating University despite going into hospital in second year and being diagnosed with PTSD in the last three months of my final year and right in the middle of completing my dissertation!
What has been your biggest challenge in business?
My hardest lesson was realising that you can’t trust everyone in business and the realisation that ‘it’s just business’ is seen as an acceptable excuse to most for behaving immorally and not sticking to your word. Overcoming this trusting side of my self was the largest battle and meant I was disappointed often at the start!
What advice would you give to someone starting out in business?
You will have days that you want to give up and quit, the most important thing is though that you don’t quit!
What was the last trip / vacation you took?
After university, I went back-packing across Australia for a month and that was life-changing, it really put life into perspective as it showed me that there are more important things in life. Also, seeing such naturally beautiful landmarks and travelling with one of my best friends meant I created memories that are going to last a lifetime!
Who inspires you / who would your dream mentors be?
Although a cliché answer, I am inspired by my parents. My mother showed me what it means to be unapologetic about how you are and who you are. She has an incredible energy about her despite a hard upbringing and was my source of strength when I went through medical trauma. She showed me how someone can overcome the odds and showed me the power of adversity! My father is the heart of the family, he exudes warmth and compassion whilst always telling it like it is! He showed me the importance of ignoring the limitations that others place on you and to truly go after what you want and pursue your passion regardless of anyone else’s opinions. He taught me the definition of success and provides me the constant support I need to thrive!
Tell us a little about your business and why people should use it?
Mindset For Life are a London based therapy centre that focuses on helping individuals improve their lives by providing rapid, effective therapy that has long-lasting change. We help our clients overcome self-esteem and confidence issues by removing negative emotions and limiting beliefs that are standing in the way of them reaching their dreams.I help alter clients perspective on events to help them realise that they are capable of more that they realise and that their negative self-talk is not only harmful, but inaccurate. My inspiration is my own adversity, I believe that people shouldn’t have to go through what I went through to realise the strength and ability that every BODY has and that in turn, they should love their body and stop this negative self-talk.
Want to learn more about Mindset For Life or reach out and connect with Michelle?