The world is not enough, exclusive interview with Michelle Raymond
Today we’d like to introduce you to Michelle Raymond.
It’s an honor to speak with you today. Why don’t you give us some details about you and your story. How did you get to where you are today?
Well, that’s a story and a half. But in brief, I started off in HR, Human Resources and worked for a number of companies. I was happy being fully employed. However, my now husband and I went to an event and they asked for anyone to come to the stage and share why they want to start a business. I DIDN’T want to start a new business but my husband pushed my hands up and was I selected in front of almost 500 people to share my story of entrepreneurship. At that time I wasn’t an entrepreneur and never thought of being one. I stood on that stage and spoke about HR – the only thing I knew at the time and I really didn’t want to perjure myself by lying. By the time I had finished, I had people rushing up to me to get my details and secure my services. That night in my sleep, I formed the name, The People’s Partner and that week my HR Consultancy was birthed. Almost 10 years later I now run a successful coaching and training consultancy, I employ 10 staff, I am a TEDx Speaker, Property Investor and NLP Master Practitioner – an interesting journey based on someone who wanted to stay under the radar and now speaks all over the world!
I’m sure your success has not come easily. What challenges have you had to overcome along the way?
I’ve had my fair share of challenges, however, the one that has shaped who I am today came about when I was married to my first husband. I was born and raised in the church and felt that God had blessed me with a great husband and our baby girl but things started to unravel and I soon found out that the person I was married to was not the person I thought he was. It soon transpired that he was living a completely different life. The person I loved and wanted to spend the rest of my life with was accused and found guilty of the most heinous crimes against children. He was sentenced to prison and I was left to pick up the pieces and raise our child. I lost a lot of friends because according to some, I should have seen the signs. I was verbally abused by people, spat on and my house was attacked. I indirectly became a victim of a crime I didn’t commit and I paid a high price for it. Years later I was able to rebuild my life. I have since remarried but that experience has taught me how to be resilient and no longer be an invisible victim of crime. I delivered a Ted Talk about this and called it The Invisible Victims of Crime. I wanted people to see the other side of the effects of crime. The indirect victims who are often overlooked but hurt deeply.
Let’s talk about the work you do. What do you specialize in and why should someone work with you over the competition?
My life has changed completely. During those hard times, I was unable to speak about what I was going through. I didn’t have a voice and became invisible. However, I said to God that when I get over this, I will never be invisible again. This has stuck with me and now most of my work revolves around visibility. I am a professional speaker and get paid for doing what I love. I specialise in personal leadership helping emerging leaders become visible. I also support entrepreneurs to raise their visibility to secure corporate contracts. Can you see the theme? And lastly, my team and I help buyers and those wishing to expand their property portfolio invest in Dubai. My years of experience training senior leaders of FTSE 250 organisations and my background in NLP have been critical to my success. The results speak for themselves. Mentees and clients have secured corporate contracts, have travelled the world for paid speaking engagements, managers have stepped up to be impactful leaders in their organisations and entrepreneurs have brought their first and even second properties in Dubai. Personal handholding and accountability have been an intrinsic part of our customer care journey and has seen clients come back time and time again. For us, building long-term relationships matter more than short-term wins. Our belief is that if we win, you must win too! The law of reciprocity becomes an ecosystem of which everyone that works with me is a part of.
What’s your best piece of advice for readers who desire to find success in their life?
Success occurs when you do a number of things. Not necessarily in this order but I’d started with focus. It’s so easy these days to get distracted. If you find that you are doing things that don’t get you close to the goal you set, it’s likely to be a distraction.
Commit 100% – you cannot get super success levels by doing things half-heartedly. Just look at some of the most successful people in your industry. Now look at the level of commitment they had in order to get where they wanted to be. Commit to the cause and follow through.
Build a network of trusted advisors, people who will encourage you, fight for you and even believe in you more than you do. In that circle you also need someone who is NOT emotionally invested so they can see the bigger picture, we all need that perspective.
Believe that you have the ability to do it. The mindset shifts that is required for long-term and sustainable success is HUGE. Start training your mind now. Read widely, listen to audios, and engage in conversations that will stretch you. Look for clues left by the uber-successful.
I’m a big fan of Vusi Thembekwayo, Rachel Rodgers, David Imonite, TD Jakes and Wayne Malcolm. They all vary in terms of success but they share unique insight on how we can ALL reach our versions of success. Check them out if you don’t know who they are and thank me later!
Speaking of success, what does the word mean to you?
Success to me is defined as doing something I set my mind to do. This way it becomes a daily win for me and it’s incremental. I’m the type of person that needs to have experienced small wins to know that I can master the bigger wins. This may well be a slow pace but success is not a race. It’s a mindset. Many people equate success with wealth and money and although I do own a few properties here and abroad and live well, success is exemplified in my life when I actually follow through on something that I said I would.
Many want the golden crown but are not willing to bear the cross. I’m ready to carry my cross because my crown of success awaits me.
This is critical and a big distinction between what some may see as successful and what success means to me.
What’s next for you?
What’s next? Well, I have a number of super exciting projects that I’m working on which means I’ll be spending more time in the UAE. I’m slowly becoming the go-to person for entrepreneurs who wish to invest in property in Dubai to increase their passive income.
We have just relaunched our main leadership programme for emerging leaders in the UK, UAE and US. We have a number of well-known brands taking full advantage of developing their mid-managers to step up and take the leadership reigns. It is very exciting to see the transformation with our Leaders EDGE framework. The results have been amazing.
And finally, having been an advocate of supplier diversity and ensuring that small business owners and entrepreneurs get a chance to pitch to corporates for a number of years, I’m keen to see how this will manifest based on the number of initiatives I am involved in. This includes leading our inaugural Corporate Visibility event bringing together corporate brands and entrepreneurs as well as working on an educational project to help entrepreneurs prepare themselves for winning bigger and more lucrative contracts.
My job on earth is to make the Invisible Visible. If I do this through property, entrepreneurship or pure motivation, so let it be! It’s time to stop playing small. because we are ALL destined for greatness.
Finally, how can people connect with you if they want to learn more?
My main playground is LinkedIn and I can be found there talking about personal leadership and supplier diversity- the engagement is rich, join in and catch me there under Michelle Raymond. My second playground is Instagram talking about Dubai properties and motivating you to be the best version of yourself. Feel free to follow me there at michelle_raymond1