Author Archives: michelle

What I Heard in a Dream (+ last photo at my family home)

This was the last photo I took at my family home before my Mom died. About a year or more later, for the first time in my life, I heard something in my sleep (not a dream) and these were those words: It’s only when you show who you really are that more is revealed.

And it feels so true. The more honest, myself and true I continue to be to my values, my stories, where I come from and who I am as a result, the more magic that is served up. 

Show us who you really are. 

What if the “worst” *and* best thing that happens is that purpose and passion (anything and everything filled with meaning and light) all of the sudden shows up? And up? And up?

Make happiness your business by creating your authentic brand…enjoy your business, enjoy your life! 

Life is good,

Michelle Ghilotti
Success Designer, Brand Activator & Social Entrepreneur

On Having Teenagers (I’ve Been Sad)

Where you find meaning, you find yourself. 

Last week, Nolan and I sat on the edge of the soccer field at the high school he’ll be attending in August.

The sun was at our backs and the tone of the conversation was comfortable and friendly…it felt like I was speaking to a dear friend. 

As it has many times, it felt good, and as he was sharing his thoughts with me, I felt so connected to him.

In fact, it was this conversation that made me realize that although everything is changing, more than it ever has in the previous 13-14 years (he speaks and walks like a man now and his physical “need” of us in many ways is way less — the emotional need I know is growing), the relationship life rings we’ve consciously created can or will stay, but it’s going to tug at me, asking me to find new ways to keep connecting with him…

The rings or branches may look or sway and act differently, but the connection is and will always be there. I know this intellectually, but emotionally, gosh, does it feel so different.

For the last year, I have been sharing with Josh that I was nervous…nervous that as Nolan got on in teenagehood (or life) that we might lose the special connection we’ve had for so long, but our conversation sitting here reminded me that though our connection will evolve (as anything does), that which has been found over and over again throughout a delicious relationship, can’t ever truly be lost.

Will it change and act like something new (or ask us as parents [and teen] to)? Yes.

Will it pull at my heartstrings and challenge the muscle memory I have of how things used to be and were for so, so long? Yes (it already has).

What I was also reminded of was that I have found such meaning in this relationship (it has taught me oodles about love and nurturing and about freedom and independence) — and maybe that’s what I’m scared to lose — not Nolan, but the meaning found in what it means to be a nurturer to a 0-14 year-old/pre high schooler (which is different than to a 14-28-year-old, for example).

I’m sitting in this inquiry ~ an interesting time of reflection and of finding new parts of me being stretched. I’m sure many of you can relate. 

In telling Nolan that I wanted to take a photo to remember our chat, in the most subtle way, I also committed to continuing to ‘find myself’ by finding out more about the new him by ~> allowing things to shift and change and grow and go.

I felt for the longest time this distinct connection and pride in being “his mama” (I still feel that), but it’s never been more clear or understood in more of my cells that he’s “my teacher” — mmhmm, that he is! 

Make happiness your business by creating your authentic brand…enjoy your business, enjoy your life! 

Life is good,

Michelle Ghilotti
Success Designer, Brand Activator & Social Entrepreneur 

Your Branding (three quick reminders)

I did a brand accelerator a couple of weeks ago with female startups waiting to close on their funding…

One is changing the way women travel solo and the other disrupting the nail industry and the way technicians are educated — and treated (all in on their missions). 

A few reminders that came out of my mentoring sessions.

  • Experiences, experiences, experiences. Create them and keep creating them for your ideal clientele. 
  • There IS a way to make your business, for-profit or not-for-profit, both sexy and satisfying, for both you and your people (yes to making it modern & cool, but without meaning (?) and yes to meaning, but without understanding how it’s relevant to what’s happening today then (?).
  • Feeling is the attraction field.

If you’d like to schedule a brand discovery call to share your goals or needs and learn how we can help you, feel free to simply reply to this email and we’ll get you scheduled!

Make happiness your business by creating your authentic brand…enjoy your business, enjoy your life! 

Life is good,

Michelle Ghilotti
Success Designer, Brand Activator & Social Entrepreneur 

SOS (MGI retreat planning in the works!)


I went off the grid and did my first short solo journeys deep in nature last Friday and Saturday in NorCal (I’m getting on a plane right now after completing another half day today).

And, after more training, I’ll learn how to enjoy and survive on my own in the wilderness for three nights and four days, with only an emotional type of food.

There are many reasons why I decided to take on this latest chosen (exciting as hell) adventure, challenge and quest and official training (I’m anxious to take women on similar journeys), but the most important part coming to light is remembering that if we are not able to truly journey solo in all the ways that are possible (and more comfortably so), we won’t be as able to sit, really sit (and more still) and commune or truly be present with or for others.

For those of us in lines of work that focus on helping others transform what they wish was different in their lives, creatively, in a relationship, professionally or beyond, this is paramount (as is creating uniquely meaningful experiences for that very transformation to happen).

When I created the Creative Heroine Experience a year ago, it was all about highlighting the woman who moves from problem to solution to express to the world who she really is (when we look at branding and identity work from this place, it becomes way more interesting, moving and engaging because you, yourself, are more interested, moved and engaged with ~> your own story).

As of late and as my emotional/spiritual bodies and body of work evolve, I’m continuing to challenge myself, as well as the women I work with to choose physical and emotional “problems” they’d like to work with, so they don’t suffer at the hands of those that come unplanned so much (the whole ‘pain is human, suffering is optional’ bit).  

In part, I answer the “…but how does this help a businesswoman or woman who wants to be of deeper support to the world or express herself unabashedly?” question with another one ~ “how can it not?”

All business women need training that is NOT traditional training (this is akin to the concerted effort we make to learn from distinct industries) — because life isn’t traditional, it’s always changing…progressing…and we need lots of different input. 

As business owners, creators and devotees to social change, there will always be moments that challenge us. So —  creating a challenge for ourselves is potent and useful.

In a way, it’s a request for energetic balance and for taking responsibility for our life so it feels like that ~ OURS.

The impact we have on the world through our family, community or through our work (which pay us in physical or emotional currency), is directly related to the impact we have made on ourselves by getting to know that self through the stuff we actively *choose* to do that is NOT comfortable. 

We can get all the business training we feel we need, listen to all the podcasts, take all the notes, read or listen to all the books or supposed gurus we want, but if we haven’t exercised or sweat a bit (or a lot) in devotion to an inner understanding or resilience, we don’t gain as much of the muscle we need to lift others as we climb.

It’s the person who comes out of the tougher experiences/ adventures/challenges that they, themselves, create or say yes to who is finally able to make sense of what has eluded her. (Once you’ve chosen to do something challenging, the stuff you’ve wanted to do inside regular life then feels easy, like the guidebook, map and confidence now magically lives inside the palm of your hand). 

It’s AMAZING to be committing in a new way to taking creator women who often feel restless between adventures through the stages of a rite of passage and to help them understand their core wound and, therefore, their core gift or higher calling and do it all under the umbrella of expression which I’ve been working with as a specialty for 18 years.

The SOS many of us are sending out these days speaks to more ~> to a desire for deep(er) fulfillment and to bringing and expressing ALL of ourselves in our chosen work.

To do that, we need to be more full and filled with understanding of the self you won’t run from.

In other words, it happens more easily, even playfully, when we find out 

My retreat creation and planning is in the works! 

Make happiness your business by creating your authentic brand…enjoy your business, enjoy your life! 

[Photo: This is the whistle I was supposed to blow during the solo journeys this weekend if I needed help. I didn’t end up needing it, but did hold it close to my mouth a few times, sensing the mountain lions in and outside my head.]

Life is good,

Michelle Ghilotti
Success Designer, Brand Activator & Social Entrepreneur