Visibility Vixen Michelle LewisMichelle Lewis worked in the film and TV industry for over a decade. But a chronic pain diagnosis and a desire to help people on a larger scale forced her to take a step back and re-evaluate her career. The Burbank, California entrepreneur decided she could use her knowledge of Hollywood to help entrepreneurial clients become more visible, and thus her Marketing & PR firm Visibility Vixen was born.

Lewis’ story, as told to The Story Exchange 1,000+ Stories Project:

I grew up following my Dad around the world on film sets. It’s what I thought I was meant to do with my life! I worked in film and tv for ten years steadily. Even though I love nothing more than being on a movie set, I wasn’t making the impact I wanted to. I got to see 150 people per day, but I had no effect on the story, I wasn’t sharing my message, I ultimately wasn’t helping people on the global scale I had always envisioned. I knew I had to show others what it was like to overcome fear and visibility blockages that had held me back for decades. I also wanted more freedom and financial independence – instead of working fourteen hours a day just to get by! It was terrifying, but I finally pushed myself to create Visibility Vixen.

I believe success is synonymous with abundance. So when all aspects of life are joyful and abundant {personal, financial, health, etc}, that is true success and something I am striving for. It’s a work in process, that’s for sure! And with the constant inundation of others measuring success simply by income, it can get frustrating. But then I remember my mission. I find that when I focus on how I want the world to change with the income I make – how I can forward my money to support those causes – everything else melts away.

I would have to say hitting amazon bestseller status in 3 categories with the recent book I co-authored. That was an incredible feeling to know so many entrepreneurs were picking up our book, enabling them to put their publicity strategy into their own hands! It wasn’t an easy road – my co-author and I faced some major hurdles! But we kept pushing forward and I’m happy to say we not only hit number one, but we encouraged so many other entrepreneurs to pursue their author dreams!

I think my top challenge overall has been chronic pain. I was diagnosed with chronic headaches at age 12, so it was quite the sentence to receive so young. It’s not so serious an illness that I can’t function, of course, but it is enough to have been a major roadblock in my life. A reason to wait until the pain was gone for my life to “finally start.” It was another reason why I had to start working from home – to make my health a priority. But, to be honest, it’s the best decision I ever made. Yes, I can have hard days, but I can also step away from the computer and take care of myself. I’ve also found that it’s pushed me to build as much as I can in my business with my own two hands…to prove I can do it, to prove that I am not a diagnosis and to show people all over the world with health struggles that they can still be successful.

My most important role models are my father and mother. My father and I have had very similar ups and downs in our careers. The man refuses to give up! We’re very similar personalities, so I always find myself waiting to hear from him that its okay when a disappointment or failure surfaces. He pushes me every day and doesn’t see lack of action as an option. He also has more creative ideas than I do! My Mother is a rock. Still avidly pursuing degrees every year. She encourages me to prioritize my health – many of my daily decisions come from our conversations! She’s the first one to be my cheerleader. She’s the one that fought for me every single day dealing with chronic pain. She has built so much strength and hope into my spirit.

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