Is entrepreneurship something you learn or something you’re born with? For Michelle Alford, she was an entrepreneur since childhood. Now the founder of multiple businesses and a pageant participant, Alford’s dreams of making an impact are unwinding. Full of aspirations, we were able to chat with her on the making of her businesses and how she hopes to inspire women and others. We’re definitely empowered by Michelle Alford this week and her story is one worth reading!
1.) What inspired you to start your business?
I believe I was born to be an entrepreneur. I started my very first business at 10 years old on the eastside of Detroit because I wanted raise money to get a new bike. Making my own money was the only solution to making that happen. I was a 10-year-old girl that started a girls club that consisted of my sister, a neighborhood friend and myself. We had a booming lemonade stand, where we sold ice-cold lemonade, cookies and cupcakes. In our minds, we were booming because people in the neighborhood looked for us each spring and summer to bring out the stand. We always sold out. I must admit we had a bit of a bad run; on occasion, we burnt the bottom of the cookies but the customers respected us so much they still bought them to support us.
Now fast-forwarding to adulthood, I have started multiple businesses. Some of the businesses were successful and some not so much. However, that didn’t stop me. I was inspired to start multiple businesses simply because I wanted the creative freedom to effect positive change without being limited by another person’s rules. I also wanted the ability to inspire others and assist them in reaching their goals; not to mention, I wanted to determine my own net worth.
2.) Any big projects coming in the future?
I have multiple big projects in the works. Many of the projects are things that, sort of, fell into my path and other things are a rebirthing of things I laid down for a season to revamp the concept.
I am currently competing in a business pageant in Orlando, Florida as Ms. Meaks Property Management WBLEP 2019 an effort to promote my business; Meaks Property Preservation and Management. I have been in the housing industry for over 23 years, license in real estate, I currently serve as a Certified Housing Commissioners in my town.
Some of the other projects I have in the works are the rebirthing of my Award show. As a poet, I founded an award show for those in the arts; the show had a five year successful run the (Spoken Word Billboard Awards) it started in Michigan and I took it all the way to Washington DC and so many people have been begging me to bring the show back and they will get their wish this year.
Additionally, I was scouted by an organization Miss Grand US to become one of their Executive State Directors for the State of Michigan to host a pageant with their organization. I discovered that this organization’s brand is likening to the Miss America Pageant. After researching the organization, I learned that it also had an International Platform and I realized that this was a wonderful opportunity that fell into my path.
It also was timely because I have been privately developing my own business pageant like no other and it’s structured in a way to help other women in business.
I was also selected to be a troop leader for the Girl Scouts and I presented to them about adding pageantry as a empowerment experience for little girls and it was well received and I will be hosting empowerment pageants for little girls in my troop and area. It will not be like traditional beauty pageants; it will be all about inspiring, motivating and empowering young girls; preparing them for the world professionally.
I also will be hosting a few women conference and events that will be a platform that will assist women in enhancing or starting a business.
3.) When did you start your first business?
I was 10 years old and as an adult I started my first business in 1998, I was doing real estate consulting and life-coaching.
4.) Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
In under the next 10 years, I will be a multimillionaire; running several successful businesses, along with traveling the world speaking to other women about it both locally and internationally.
5.) Do you have any tips for women in business?
I would tell every woman that whatever you are passionate about turn that into your business and it doesn’t matter if someone else has done it before; because visions and ideas are recycled all the time but each one of us; receive the vision differently.
6.) On juggling your own businesses, how do you find balance in life?
I find balance by allowing myself to take time off, I meditate, and I try to stay away from negative speaking and environments. Also, I intentionally listen to meditation music daily, I pray and I am currently working on a total life style change on becoming disciplined to exercise daily to shed some of these extra pounds.
7.) How do you hope to empower women in business or with an imprint you’d like to leave?
I will empower women in business by simply being a tool used only to inspire, motivate and empower. I will use those tools through my many platforms and encourage women to support one another because in doing so we all “shall win.”