Authentic Conversations with Entrepreneurs Episode 9: “Follow the Energy” with Lisa Michaels

In this episode of “Authentic Conversations with Entrepreneurs” I spoke with Intuitive Business Mentor, Lisa Michaels, on how to “Follow the Energy” in business and your endeavors.

Katherine Morales: Hi, everyone. We’re having a little bit of delay there getting on LinkedIn, but better late than never, right? So we’re here with Lisa Michaels. Lisa is an Intuitive Business Mentor specifically for entrepreneurs and leaders. She is the founder of Lisa Michaels Nature Nourished Wisdom for Today’s Leaders. I am so thrilled here to have our ninth episode of Authentic Conversations With Entrepreneurs. And if you are wondering, if this is your first episode, and you’re wondering “What the heck is an authentic conversation?” this is all about talking with entrepreneurs. Today, of course, Lisa.

But the conversations that we don’t typically have. We all want to share the success and the growth and all the good things in business, but the truth is in the journey of entrepreneurship, we’re going to face some hurdles, we’re going to face some growing challenges, but that’s exactly what happens from that growth. And so this is about humanizing that journey, sharing the heart, the fire that burns in your heart for your business. And I’m so thrilled to explore today’s topic with Lisa on Follow the Energy. So you can say hi, Lisa, and we’ll just, I want to start by asking about this topic. What does this mean to you?

Lisa Michaels: Katherine, first of all, is a delight to be here with you. To have any kind of conversation with you is so much fun. I just really love it.

Katherine Morales: Right back atcha.

Lisa Michaels: Yeah, I know. Right? So “Follow the Energy” to me is really about paying attention to your heart and your soul, not just your head. We as entrepreneurs think, “Oh, we need to think everything out and we need to know what we’re doing and we need to be really clear.” And the problem with that is that all of you is not on board. And if all of you is not on board, then you can’t be successful because success comes from your authenticity. You help people with so much with their branding. It really matters that every bit of you is in your entrepreneurial journey, not just your head.

Katherine Morales: Oh, I love that. So I think there’s probably already some, “mm-hmm,” not just from me. Is this something you’ve always known or when did this really speak to you in recent time or past in your business, in your entrepreneurial journey?

Lisa Michaels: Well, honestly, I feel like I’ve been super blessed as an entrepreneur because my very first business was I owned and ran a, I should say my very first successful business was I owned and ran a 500 pupil ballet school, but my heart was so in it. And I was really applying all the principles that I knew and all the things that I’d studied in terms of how energy works to the business and it just thrived.

And I created programs and products for dance teachers and was on the cover of Dance Teacher Now magazine three different times with my products.

Katherine Morales: Nice.

Lisa Michaels: And then I followed the energy. I knew it was time to go do what was next and moved into that. So I felt really guided there, but I have along the way, I’ve coached and mentored tons of other people. And I’ve made a few weird detours myself, where I was thinking I should do something only my whole being wasn’t in it. And it doesn’t go anywhere. It just doesn’t go anywhere.

But when all of you is there and all of you is in what you’re doing and you are following where the energy is flowing, it can really help you. And I mean, like I said, I’ve had two successful businesses. I went into personal development after that and facilitated tons and tons of workshops for the next 20 years. I wrote books. I developed products. I had a lot of success and then it was time to do what was next only this time I had no idea what that was.

Katherine Morales: And that’s so interesting. You came at it with your head initially, even though you knew follow the energy because you’ve lived that. So I mean, how long, or how many times, you mentioned a couple times you started on directions and it was like, “Oh no, no, no, it’s like a dead end,” but I guess, can you take us to how that came about? How were you reminded of this truth for you?

Lisa Michaels: Quite a number of times, actually. So back before I even had my very first ballet school, I tried to go and be a travel agent and it was like, flunk. The energy just goes flunk. It doesn’t go anywhere. And what’s interesting about following the energy is sometimes it takes a while. Between the ballet school and my personal development business it took me a couple of years to navigate that transition. I mean, I knew what I was going to do, but I didn’t know how it was going to out picture and I didn’t know what it was about.

And then in this third iteration, I mean, I’m really basically in the third phase of life and really wanting to do something that contributes to entrepreneurs and leaders in a big way, but having to feel my way through what exactly that was. And honestly, Katherine, and I mean this sincerely, your work, and I did some work with you, it’s very helpful for uncovering and unrooting what is the core of somebody’s gifts if you will. Because you reach a certain place, at least I did, of what kind of shape is this going to take next? How’s it going to unfold? So it’s part about trusting the process and it’s being around people that help you to see yourself, which you’re really good at doing and reflecting back.

Katherine Morales: Thank you, Lisa. I absolutely loved our work together and I just love the way you speak about this, the shape it takes and the unfolding. And I think, I’m wondering in a world where business is all about, I’m speaking society-wise, go fast, grow fast, it can be hard to let things kind of just take a while. So, I mean, what did you do and or what advice would you offer to others if that’s taking some time and there’s impatience for things to take time and you’re seeing around you other businesses growing, but you want to almost mold the shape yourself. You want to go to the mind. Make it happen? What advice would you get there?

Lisa Michaels: It’s so tempting. And I just kept saying, “This must come from inside of me. Not from outside of me.” I was not willing to make money the only driver. I just wasn’t because I knew from past experiences that does not work for me. And I say this because I’ve also helped a lot of other entrepreneurs. If you connect to the natural world, you will see that plants take different amounts of time to actually get to harvest.

An apple tree takes tons longer than a tomato. Many more seasons that apple tree has to go through before we actually pick the fruit. So the more you can also continue doing something while you’re allowing it to unfold, I mean, I’ve been coaching and mentoring all the time through and continuing to be a leader in the way that showed up for me during that time. But continuing to do that while I was like, “All right, how’s it going to shape? And which way is it going to move right now?” And really feeling into my truth.

Katherine Morales: I love that. And I know we’ve… There’s green in my brand. I think yeah, it makes sense. Why should we be any different than the nature and living things around us? So I do agree that there’s a lot we can see in nature and that we are different flowers and plants at our own pace, so thank you for highlighting that.

Katherine Morales: I mean, nonetheless, what I hear from you is continue to show up. There’s value even if it doesn’t have the shape you want it to have. There’s value in your very presence and your gift. And I hundred percent feel that because I know we’ve had lunch and we’ve connected here or there through this journey until, as you’ve been figuring out the next direction, which is taking off now. But I think I would a hundred percent agree with that.

I absolutely find so much value in our connection, but how does it feel or whether you feel it yourself or you’re guiding some of your clients through this now, it can be hard to, I guess, those moments when you are lacking that direction, whether the direction or the motivation, how do you energetically refill your tank if you will? Keep that the word drive, but you don’t know where you’re going?

Lisa Michaels: Well, honestly, there are different levels of drive. There’s a fiery kind of more masculine drive that I feel like, and I use masculine as just like a general principle, more than I’m using it in terms of men, but a more, and I’m just going to use fire, this energy that kind of propels you forward that I think we have more of, at least I did earlier in my life. The drive would take hold of me and move me forward.

Katherine Morales: Right.

Lisa Michaels: This came from a different place in this phase of life. It came from a more, I’m going to use earthy watery place of, what is it that my heart and soul are really calling to give in this next phase of life? So, I mean, just those different elements. I mean you can feel the difference and fire is hurry up and go and go and go and go in action and earth and water are much more like we’re going with the flow, we’re going- to well

Katherine Morales: Rooted, grounded and-

Lisa Michaels: Yeah, yeah.

Katherine Morales: … flowing.

Lisa Michaels: Yeah. It feels really different.

Katherine Morales: Interesting.

Lisa Michaels: So it’s really, you have to give yourself permission to allow the energy to guide you as opposed to you just getting fired up and heading off in some direction that just doesn’t make any sense. And I tried that a few times actually in this window-

Katherine Morales: Getting caught in the race.

Lisa Michaels: You’re doing it on your own.

Katherine Morales: Yeah.

Lisa Michaels: Certain things I thought I wanted to do, but I mean, as I tried to do them, nothing, nothing, nothing flowed. Just nothing flowed so- So I had to surrender.

Katherine Morales: I love this too because it’s interesting. In my own brand, I have a fire, right? Inflection Point has a fire. And I think so on the one hand, how you speak of fiery, it’s really interesting because I love how you said when you’re younger in life because it’s a hundred percent relatable. I think it’s the gung ho go-getter, but I think even true, you tell me, that in our society, there’s still a lot of that masculine energy in that fiery kind of nature. When I look at a fire and I’m going to grab it, this is what I see.

Lisa Michaels: Mm-hmm.

Katherine Morales: I think this is the challenge of entrepreneurship. I think it’s… What I mean with the fire is we all want the warmth and the comfort and the marshmallows and tell stories and all the good parts, but we don’t want the risk. Innately in a fire you can get burned, but-

Lisa Michaels: Or burned out.

Katherine Morales: Or burned out right? And we try to pretend that a fire can’t do that, but the truth is both coexist.

Lisa Michaels: Yep, absolutely.

Katherine Morales: And so it’s about being calm in the fire and I think that’s, like you’ve mentioned, connecting with your authenticity. You’ve talked about in your words, feeling it in your whole body that alignment of head and heart, I think that is how you kind of master that, in my opinion, master that calm in the fiery environment of business that we have.

Lisa Michaels: And everybody’s different too. Everybody has their own inner elemental makeup if you will. Some people are innately more fiery. Some people are innately more watery or more earthy or more airy. And when you also get aligned with who you are in terms of your own internal makeup, that helps a lot too, as does paying attention to the phase of life that you’re in.

Katherine Morales: Yeah because it sounds like it can shift. You can be fiery-

Lisa Michaels: Absolutely, absolutely.

Katherine Morales: … and then you can shift to being more earthy and watery.

Lisa Michaels: Yep. Absolutely.

Katherine Morales: I love this. I love this. Well, let’s tell people where they can find you and I think that’s going to help. Here’s your website, Don’t forget the dash there. Is this tool, I know you wanted to share the Nature Nourished Leadership Intuition Guide, which is downloadable on the homepage, right?

Lisa Michaels: Yep, absolutely.

Katherine Morales: Is this something that you help your clients with? Will this tool help people start to unlock what element type they are?

Lisa Michaels: Well, it will really help them to start understanding how the elements impact them and how different ones impact their intuition. And you really kind of have to have somebody go over your personal archetypes with you in terms of elementally, because you might have a different element that you think things through in a different way, your inner feminine is or what you’ve come here to do. There’s a lot of different aspects to looking at what is your core elemental makeup and how all those archetypes are working together. It’s highly individualized and it can make a huge difference in understanding how you go about creating and manifesting as an entrepreneur.

Katherine Morales: All of that, yeah. I love it. I love it. So obviously this is what is natural to you, what flows from you. Is this website a great place to start? Would you be a great person to talk to you if someone’s interested in exploring those archetypes?

Lisa Michaels: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Katherine Morales: Beautiful. Beautiful. I love this and I want to make sure they know where to find you too, because you share wonderful content on social, so you’re most active on Facebook, right?

Lisa Michaels: Yes, generally.

Katherine Morales: Okay. Yeah. So you are an author. Can you share more about that? You have one, two books. What should we be reading?

Lisa Michaels: Well, my very first book is called Nature’s Creation Alchemy, and it really does talk about the elements, it talks about the archetypes, and it talks about timing things in relation to the natural world and how that matters to how you actually manifest, so great, great resource. It’s helpful to read it. So much out of it.

Then I have actually a couple more books and writing another one. All of them are in the process of being refreshed. I also have an elemental Oracle that just got back in print. It’s called the Elemental Forces of Creation Oracle. It’s digital and it’s physical right now, so lots of tools on there and I’m going to continue. And any private client that I work with of course is entrepreneurs.

I start with, what is your genius and what are your elemental archetypes that make up that genius? Because we can’t go any further until we know who you are and we know how you function. And we have a sense of, and you have a sense of how those parts work together. I’m working with somebody right now who’s got two fiery, fiery energies at her core and she’s got this really slow earth part that is her thinking part. And she’s been all the time in this frustration of-

Katherine Morales: Internal conflict.

Lisa Michaels: … when to go fast, going slow, going fast. So we are working on that right now. Before we can even work on our business we need to know how to do this. She needs to understand how to work with these energies or she’s just going to continue to be frustrated.

Katherine Morales: I love this, Lisa, thank you so much for, I mean I’ve known you do this work, but I think it’s exciting and maybe very new and fresh to our viewers to hear and even think about business in terms of our elements and energy. Energy is one thing, but connection to nature. You know we’ve talked about it. I think it’s what business needs a little bit more of.

Lisa Michaels: For sure.

Katherine Morales: So I truly want to thank you for being here for doing this, Lisa. I think courageously sharing your vision, your philosophy, your authenticity, and your story is bold and it’s empowering and it’s exciting. So I hope others will tune in, visit your site and they can of course catch the replay of this on LinkedIn or hear on my website. Any parting words that you want to share?

Lisa Michaels: Well, first of all, I want to say thank you, Katherine. And thank you for the work that you do with branding and authenticity because it does make a really huge difference in the world. And the more that anybody can connect with nature as really this deep understanding that they too are part of nature and to just go out and really even as an entrepreneur spend time in the natural world because it’ll inform you and you’ll start to understand the ways that the principles really also work in your life and in your business.

Katherine Morales: I love that, Lisa. I think one thing you’ll see following Lisa on social too, is her absolutely gorgeous garden and she’s going to be opening her own farm stand soon. I’m joking.

Lisa Michaels: No. Not after this year. The deer have really been wreaking havoc.

Katherine Morales: Oh goodness. Well, I live vicariously through you because I do not have that green thumb. I just wear the green clip. But well, such a thrill, Lisa, I know our next episode is actually going to be on October 13th, 1:30 ET. And I’ll be talking to one of our friends that you introduced me to Nathan Stuck, and we’re going to be talking about “Taking the Leap” which he has recently done to be a full-time entrepreneur.

So I think that leap, we often only think it happens at the beginning of entrepreneurship, but there are all kinds of leaps that we have to take in business even once we’ve started the journey.

Lisa Michaels: Absolutely. Absolutely.

Katherine Morales: So I’m looking forward to that. I hope you can tune into it as well.

Lisa Michaels: All right. Sounds great.

Katherine Morales: But thank you so much for being here and thank you all for watching.

Lisa Michaels: Thanks a lot. Yep. All right. Take care, everybody.

Katherine Morales: Bye.

Lisa Michaels: Thanks, Katherine.