This week’s Ambassador Feature is with Michelle Worthington, Share Your Story
2018 The Women’s Business School Excellence Gold winner
Why you love what you do and why you’re so passionate about sharing your message?
At the core of it all, I really wanted to help people. I love people seeing their dreams come true. I love when people discover that they were so much more than what they ever thought they could or would be. I’m passionate about sharing my love of words with the next generation of readers and storytellers. I love talking about engaging special needs kids through sensory storytelling, writing and publishing picture books that all children can see their reflections in and encouraging new voices in children’s writing. My vision for the world is for all children to have access to books that they can see their own lives mirrored in and introduce them to the endless possibilities that are theirs for the taking.
Tell us about a challenging time you faced, how you overcame it and what lesson/lessons/wisdom this experience has taught you about life and business.
When I discovered the business side of publishing, marketing and promotion weren’t my strong point. I had no idea where to start, thinking I couldn’t sell my books the same way I sold services at the bank or party plan make up, it must involve a much more refined process being that it was an illustrious career. It had taken me ten years to get my first book published without any help, or even any idea of where to go for help. I had done the hard yards and been published through unsolicited submissions, like the majority of aspiring authors. I had so much to give and wanted to help aspiring authors not make the same mistakes I did. I wasn’t getting asked to speak at writer’s festivals or workshops, but I knew I had something to say. I had information that could help the people in the audience. I wanted to help, so I decided to start my own business called Share Your Story with the hope of helping as many aspiring authors as I could get their book published.
What are 3 pieces of advice you would give someone starting out in business?
- You must think of yourself as you are now, not how you were in the past and more importantly, who you want to be in times to come. You cannot measure the future with today’s ruler, or let yourself be held back by the past. Sharing your passion is a leap of faith, but it is also a rite of passage.
- Strategy beats discipline and motivation. Another way to look at it is to think that discipline and motivation are only short-term strategies. Even resilience is a short-term strategy. Practice relentless execution of a scheduled, specific business and marketing plan that takes you in the direction of your goals. But, be aware that plans, structure and reason can only take you so far.
- As a mentor and a business woman, I want to limit the amount of effort between my clients and success and I do that by giving them a strategy. As a friend, I help them learn, as well as unlearn and relearn. I never want to miss an opportunity to transform the lives of others and the most effective way to do this is through my strategic author business framework. If you don’t try, you will never know, and regret is an awful burden to bear, especially when talent is going wasted. The most common thing I find myself telling aspiring authors at our workshops is “try.” As a mother of three boys, wife of a tradie, a fierce lover of literacy, a loyal family member and friend, a knowledgeable mentor, an entertaining presenter, a book fairy and a pocket rocket, if I can do it, you can do it, too. Don’t give up, ever.
What is your proudest business achievement? Why does this mean so much to you?
Winning the AusMumpreneur Award is my proudest business moment. When I was growing up, I wanted to be a teacher. Being mercilessly bullied at school as a child for being pint-sized and smart, you would hardly think that coming back to school to work for the rest of my life would be a goal. In fact, after the bullying continued in high school, it did become the furthest thing from my mind and I gave up on my dream. When I was at school, I learnt to hide how smart I was, so I didn’t get beaten up on the way home or lose my friends who thought I was showing off. I just couldn’t figure out the purpose of being smart if it didn’t help me or anyone else. Winning this award has shown me that what I do matters, and I can be myself in a supportive group of women that celebrate success.
Image credit: Alex Anderson, Jam on your Collar
Finally, what do you believe is the secret to success?
When the excitement which belongs at the beginning of this kind of new adventure has passed away and given place to the dead level matter of fact and habit or when the novelty which gives the MumPreneur life all its charm had worn off, then comes your true reaction and your true success. You come to realise the feeling of success is one you have felt before and might come disguised as a restless craving, a feeling of emptiness, an unsatisfied longing and a feeling of utter disappointment. Often the expectation of what it means to be a MumPreneur does not match the reality, but the success is in realising the little wins everyday and having a purpose bigger than yourself that will help you get up again tomorrow and do it all over again. Success means never giving up.
About 2018 AusMumpreneur Ambassador
Michelle Worthington is an award-winning author of empowering books for children. Two-time winner of the International Book Award for Children’s Hardcover Fiction and finalist in the USA Best Book Awards, Michelle also received a Gellett Burgess Award for Children’s Literature and a Silver Moonbeam Award for her contribution to celebrating diversity in Picture Books. Two of her picture books were listed on the 2018 CBCA Picture Book of the Year award Notables list. The World’s Worst Pirate was shortlisted for the 2018 Speech Pathology Awards and NSW Society of Women’s Writers Award. She is a real life book fairy. To learn more, please visit Website, Facebook and Instagram