How mentoring helped Michelle to triple her client base
After a late ADHD diagnosis, Michelle set out on a mission to ensure no one else had to navigate this diagnosis alone. That’s how her business, Find Your Spark was born. She spent over a decade building her incredible business whilst juggling freelance roles to sustain the business. It wasn’t until she stumbled upon Digital Boost’s free business mentoring in 2022 that everything changed.
In just 12 months, Michelle had unlocked clarity, gained accountability and tripled her client base! She now regularly features in press publications, is recognised as a leading expert in her industry, and is helping more people than ever thanks to the support of her mentors.
A personal diagnosis sparked Michelle’s business mission
At the age of 37, Michelle received a late diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Prior to this diagnosis, she had no idea she had ADHD as the condition has historically been misunderstood, particularly in women. Growing up in the 90s, Michelle’s condition went under the radar in school as ADHD wasn’t recognised by the NHS until 2000. And when it came to Michelle’s late diagnosis, ADHD services weren’t available to adults so she had to navigate her diagnosis privately.
After going through this experience, Michelle was inspired to start her business in 2011. Initially focusing on young people at risk, Michelle wanted to help young people figure out what unique talents and skills they had and help them find their spark.
Having held down many full-time roles, Michelle realised she was more suited to the self-employed life where she could tap into her creativity, and give herself variety and flexibility and so Find Your Spark was born ✨
Taking the brave leap to self-employed life
Everyone’s entrepreneurial journey is different and Michelle’s is as unique as her! In 2011, she took the brave leap of faith to start Find Your Spark. She was also able to sustain a part-time freelance role that allowed her to build up her business. She admits that the first 9 months of building Find Your Spark were really tricky, but having that freelance income was a massive help. It gave her the breathing room she needed to build up her client base and increase her income.
By 2022, the business had grown so much that Michelle was able to go all-in on Find Your Spark, give it her full attention, and embark on making her business mission a reality 💪
Those ten years didn’t come without doubts and Michelle admits that at times she did think about returning to full-time employment, but her determination saw her through and she kept at it and she’s so glad that she did! She now has a thriving business that’s helping people around the world and she’s where she’s meant to be ✨
Joining the #SheMeansBusiness programme and finding Digital Boost
Back in 2022, Michelle took a chance on a free programme run through Meta, the #SheMeansBusiness Bootcamp. Digital Boost partnered with Meta to support the winners and runners-up of their competition, providing a Bootcamp for the winners that featured 1:1 mentoring, exclusive Masterclasses and peer roundtables to help them develop as female founders. Despite not knowing what she’d signed up for, Michelle threw herself into the opportunity headfirst. She attended all of the live sessions and signed up for our free business mentoring.
Before Michelle found Digital Boost, she was being pulled in lots of different directions. She was trying to build her business alongside multiple freelance roles and felt like she wasn’t clear about her ‘why’ or where her business was headed.
She was taking every opportunity open to her to find that clarity, and that’s when she met Bethan, her Digital Boost mentor and long-term advisor!
Finding a mentor
When Michelle completed the #SheMeansBusiness Bootcamp, she decided to check out Digital Boost. She was able to immediately request free 1:1 mentoring sessions with experts from BT, NatWest and many other amazing corporations who encourage their employees to share their skills through Digital Boost’s volunteering initiative.
Michelle is a big believer in fate and it was absolutely fate on the day that Bethan, a volunteer from Lloyds Banking Group, accepted Michelle’s mentoring request! After that initial mentoring session, Bethan agreed to meet Michelle regularly to help support her on her business journey! They have consistently met every fortnight for the last 12 months 💪
The power of ongoing mentoring
When they first began working together, Michelle would come to the sessions with a rough list of what was going well with her business and what was not going so well. When they first started meeting in 2022, the ‘not going well list’ was quite a bit longer than the ‘going well list’. As they’ve continued to work together, the ‘not so good’ list has all but disappeared! They have now begun working together on more strategy-focused sessions. Bethan is helping Michelle to figure out her offering, developing her programmes and pricing so that everything is strategic and not pulling Michelle in too many directions, whilst still maintaining the growth and momentum that Michelle is striving for.
Before Michelle met Bethan, she says herself that she had so many ideas that normally, she’d just do them all. Everything would be scattered and there’d be no thought process behind them, just action and reaction. But now she has Bethan’s guidance, Michelle is carefully considering her ideas and thinking before she acts. She is moulding them to her ideal clients and marketing them in the right way. This clarity and structure have made Michelle’s life so much easier! As well as freeing up her time, she is ensuring everything she puts out aligns with her brand and her audience’s needs, which is a huge win!
A free 6-week programme unlocked the final piece of the jigsaw
Whilst receiving this ongoing mentoring, Michelle once again by chance saw an opportunity for more support. In collaboration with BT, we launched a brand new 6-week Jumpstart programme. The programme offered in-depth support designed to get small businesses back on track.
Michelle stumbled across the application on Instagram and thought, why not go for it? The programme took Michelle on a journey where she was able to get back to basics. She reconsidered her business mission, her ideal clients, and her marketing and finance options.
For Michelle, the structure of the programme was key to unlocking new success for her business. As a solopreneur, the weekly homework tasks kept Michelle on track, adding much-needed accountability to help her achieve her goals. She received invaluable feedback from the programme team, as well as support from BT’s mentors. They helped her go deeper into the content and answer some longstanding questions she’d had about her business.
Rethinking Michelle’s ideal client
One of these longstanding questions was, who is my ideal client? When she first started out, Michelle wanted to support young people at risk and help them unlock confidence. But as her business evolved and as she dug deeper into her own experience with ADHD, she felt called to add more of that into her offering. She realised she was in danger of becoming a jack of all trades, master of none.
That was until Michelle was able to reflect on her ideal client in the Jumpstart programme. She was guided to consider niching down in her business. When she considered who she truly wanted to support, she discovered that was parents of children diagnosed with ADHD. This would allow her to still support young people but in a way that she was never supported. She wanted to educate others earlier on! This was a lightbulb moment for Michelle, and once she honed in on this niche, her client base tripled!
She realised that having this niche didn’t mean having fewer clients, it meant having more of the right clients. And once she’d made that mindset shift, she unlocked a new level of her business.
Leaning into Michelle’s niche
When leaning into her niche, Michelle experienced some naysayers who questioned whether it was the right decision for her business. When you’re a solo founder, it can be really hard to drown out the noise and not take on the opinions of others. But luckily, Michelle had Bethan’s encouragement to tune into her intuition and do what’s right for her and her business! With Bethan’s encouragement, Michelle has stayed the course and is now turning clients away because she’s so busy! She features regularly in the press having established herself as a leading voice in the ADHD support and coaching space.
The future of Find Your Spark
Michelle is now clear that her mission is to support as many people as possible with their ADHD diagnosis, and she’s ready to continue growing Find Your Spark to make this dream a reality. Michelle regularly delivers ADHD support workshops and offers coaching and resources to her community, you can follow her journey here.
We’re so proud to have been a part of Michelle’s journey! We’re delighted that our mentors and free programmes have been able to support Michelle at every stage of her journey. She’s an absolute powerhouse of an entrepreneur and we look forward to continue supporting and cheering her on on her journey!
If you resonate with Michelle’s story and want to unlock this clarity and growth, you can join our community and access free mentoring here.