Friday, 2 August 2019

MIKAELA JACKSON - PERSONAL PERFROMANCE COACH & FOUNDER OF SHE ALMIGHTY



Mikaela Jackson is a personal performance coach and the founder of She Almighty which provides career, business, life coaching services and events for women. Mikaela is a dedicated champion of women who aspire to be the best version of themselves, create success on their own terms and live a life they love with positive impact. In this interview, Mikaela talks candidly about not knowing what she wanted to do early on in her career to creating She Almighty. Mikaela's story is truly inspiring and it reminds us all that we do not have to have it all figured out at once.



RM: Lets jump straight in – Did you always know what you wanted to do?

MJ: She Almighty was actually born out of me not knowing what I wanted to do when I grew up! I kind of always went with the narrative: do well at school to get into uni then do well at uni to get a good job – that was the mentality and that’s what I did! I studied Media, Culture and Society including sociology and politics at uni - I absolutely loved my course and when I graduated I thought the world was my oyster, which it was. But in reality, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I felt completely lost and I’m sure that there are lots of people out there that can relate to that. After uni I ended up moving back home and I’m just a small-town girl from Aberystwyth, Wales which is literally at the end of the train line and through the mountains. It’s a beautiful place and was wonderful to grow up there but there wasn’t loads of opportunity job wise unless you wanted to do something more traditional. I really wanted to get a job in London but it felt so impenetrable and far away at the time, I didn’t have connections that could help me and online applications felt so disenchanting.

RM: So what did you do?

MJ: I did a couple of admin jobs in Aberystwyth – one was with a property development company and then I worked for Aberystwyth University as departmental secretary; I suppose they were okay jobs for someone that had just left uni but I knew that wasn’t what I wanted to do long-term. I was super ambitious but I didn’t know where to drive it and after a year of being back home and in my indecision and frustration on the job front I thought right, sod it, – I’m going to go travelling – and I packed my bags and went by myself around Southeast Asia and Australia, much to my parents dismay! I ended up staying in Melbourne for 3 years.

RM: Wow. That must’ve been such an experience. What made you stay in Melbourne?

MJ: Well I’d bought a one way ticket to Australia and when I arrived in Melbourne I needed a job as I’d run out of money! So I did some bar work and door to door sales before I got a job for a luxury real estate company which I really enjoyed but you could only work for a company for 6 months on a working holiday visa. And then I got a job with a sales and marketing company and was able to stay. Within a relatively short space of time I became owner partner. It was kind of like a pyramid scheme, 100% commission but in an environment like that you’re not being held back – if you can sell and you can build teams, you can work your way up and that’s what I did. I earnt more money that I’d ever earned and I was only in my early twenties so it really gave me the opportunity to grow professionally, build confidence, travel, have some cool experiences and be rewarded for my efforts - progression wise and financially. I will always value what I learned there! However, it was relentless and within 2 years I’d decided that it wasn’t my forever job; I was burnt out and I wanted to come back to the UK. I decided to move back and this time I was going to make it to London, even though I still didn’t know what I wanted to do.

RM: That must’ve been very stressful – how did you manage that?

MJ: A friend of mine suggested working in recruitment – it was sales, commission so that’s what I focused on and within a couple of weeks I had landed myself a job as a business consultant within the IT Leadership Practice of a technology recruitment firm in the city. My best friend also wanted to move to London at the time so it all kind of fell into place. It did take me quite some time to settle into London life after Oz though.

RM: Did you enjoy working in recruitment?

MJ: Elements but not really and 6 months or so in I hit a low point; I was in a job I wasn’t enjoying, I’d moved from a beautiful apartment in Melbourne on the beach to a slightly rough around the edges flat in London and I was in a relationship I wasn’t happy in. I thought to myself – right – I need to make some positive changes and it’s totally up to me to do so. That’s actually when I discovered coaching, I can’t quite remember how but the stars obviously aligned for me!

RM: When did you discover coaching?

MJ: It’s been about 6 years since I discovered coaching. I went to a free taster session with the Coaching Academy, totally bought into the process and went on to do my coaching diploma with them. But it still took me 3 more job changes to get to the point where I would pluck up the courage to hand in my notice and set up my own coaching business which was just over 2.5 years ago now. So that’s my story and it was really not knowing what I wanted to do that got me here and why I now help my clients figure out their careers, businesses and how they can live a more fulfilling, happier and purposeful life – their best life.

 RM: What advice would you give to those of us who are still early on in our career?

MJ: Get work experience as early as you can. Because of my professional background and experience as a coach I do think everyone should do a stint in sales because whether you need to confidently sell yourself, an idea or influence someone; or if you go on to start your own business, sales skills are invaluable plus it helps remove the fear of rejection – it’s all part of the process! But work experience in general will give you insight into a company, different roles and should build your confidence on a number of levels. Plus, it will look great on your CV. Pay attention to what you enjoy and try to get experience with a company that aligns with your values and that you might like to work for and be doing long-term. And don’t worry if you don’t have all the answers, focus on what you do know and what you’re learning along the way!
Something I’m really passionate about is helping young people with aspiration and figuring out what they want to do. So many young people are socially conscious and want to have that positive impact but they don’t necessarily have the know-how or vehicle to do so. I’d really like to have more influence in that area and I feel it’s a part of my story and journey too.

RM: So following on from that, what does success mean to you?

MJ:  Success for me is having this freedom and lifestyle business that I’m super passionate about and working on my own terms and time. It’s incredibly empowering to be able to open up my laptop in any location and that everything I do is completely up to me. I also get to work with so many incredible aspirational and inspirational women which is awesome! Of course, I still have to drive it and work hard but I love the opportunity and that I have positive impact through what I’m doing.
But success can mean something different to everyone and we shouldn’t be afraid to have or live by our own definition which might not fit with the traditional view of wealth, fame or status.

RM: And who inspires you?

MJ: Lots of people! But particularly people that have universal values, that are striving to be the best that they can be and have a positive impact in the world through what they do – no matter how big or small.
One of my favourite Oprah quotes is… “If you want the best that the world has to offer, then offer the world your best”. I think that’s one to live by J

Interested in working with Mikaela? Visit www.shealmighty.com to learn more about her programmes, workshops and events. Connect with Mikaela… Twitter: @_shealmighty / Facebook: @shealmighty / Instagram: @_shealmighty

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