Mike Iamele radiates honestly, truth, and transparency in all things.
Mike has experienced the highs of early success and all the financial and social rewards that come with it. But he has also experienced the deep depths that come from frightening diagnosis at a young age and having to change your entire life to navigate your way to healing. Mike has taken his heartache, challenge and transformation and turned it into a powerful platform to help inspire and heal others.
I am a huge fan of Mike’s work and message and it is an honor to welcome him here to the Shift Series. I know you will enjoy his insights, brilliance and his message – but most of all I know you will feel his heart and the love & alchemy of healing he radiates in all that he does.
Lindsay and Mike talk about how your illness can lead you to your life’s purpose – and how FEAR is your friend.
Tell us a little about yourself
I’m Mike, an author, business coach, and clinical herbalist. I help healing entrepreneurs who are feeling stuck turn their life purpose into a sustainable business so that they can make money for just being themselves. In a former career, I was the epitome of young, ambitious, perfectionists. I started a successful PR agency at age 22, where I was an expert on healthcare reform and worked on anything from billionaire charity benefits to a presidential campaign. About three years later, my hard-partying, stressful workaholic lifestyle came to a head when I woke up vomiting blood. And it didn’t stop for 2 months. So I entered a healing journey that brought me to nutrition school, herbal school, and spirituality. Now I help other entrepreneurs do things their way, not someone else’s way, so they can be successful on their own terms, as themselves. And I wrote a book on these topics called Enough Already: Create Success on Your Own Terms. It’s due out April 1.
Tell us about your path to creating your business and your vision
Coming from the fast-paced, 24/7 news cycle world of PR, I wanted two things from my new company: freedom and expression. I wanted to be free to spend my days however I wanted to, and also to be able to really find and cultivate my own voice—being good enough for just being myself. So I only worked 4-6 hours for 5 days a week. The work I did had to be from a place of nourishment, and I just didn’t feel I could give full days yet. I had been overworked for so many years, that I become my first priority.
I started a blog back when I was originally sick in PR about what happens when the healthcare guy becomes a patient. It caught on, and so I realized that blogging was an avenue for me. When I started my new business, I turned that blog into a blog for healing entrepreneurs who want to make a difference in the world. I used it for myself first and foremost, but also to help people. Within three months, I was offered a book deal to turn my blog into a book, which was exciting.
I was also working with one-on-one clients as a clinical herbalist and wellness coach, but something just felt off. I wasn’t as excited as I’d thought I’d be. So I went back to the drawing board. And I realized that my entire intention was about expression, but I was so afraid to teach people expression because I still had PTSD from PR. When I finally allowed myself to be myself, I realized that I could teach branding, finding your voice, and business-building without doing it for people. I could have the freedom and expression just by being myself. So I created a blogging course to teach people that freedom and started offering a new kind of one-on-one session that combined business coaching, PR, branding, and herbalism. And it started selling like crazy. It’s amazing what can happen when you give yourself permission to embrace all of you and be yourself.
Tell us a little about yourself and your philosophy on wellness:
I believe that wellness is our default setting. It’s our natural state. So the more that we give ourselves permission to just be ourselves, we’ll naturally be well. And that speaks to everything—from allowing ourselves to eat the foods that make us feel good, to allowing ourselves to hang out with the people who inspire us, to allowing ourselves to do the work that we feel called to do.
There’s a natural flow of energy that each person has. And the only way to keep the flow going is to stay true to yourself and your path. When you jump onto someone else’s path, you really disrupt that flow.
I think that acknowledging what nourishes you (hint: it’s more than just food, sleep, and exercise) is vitally important to staying healthy. Yes, those things matter immensely. But, to me, it’s big picture. It’s about really staying true to what nourishes you in every aspect. If we’re being honest, this is about self-love. But we don’t need to go there today. 😉
What was the catalyst in your life to fuel your commitment to wellness?
As I mentioned a bit earlier, getting really sick was a huge catalyst for me. I was fine one day—eating junk food, drinking six days a week, working my ass off, always being stressed, hardly sleeping. And then I woke up after a big party and started vomiting blood. After a few days, I was hospitalized. I was diagnosed with severe pancreatitis and infections in four major organs. But, truth be told, no one was entirely sure what was wrong. I was sent to get an MRI two weeks out to look further. So I knew I had two weeks to clean up my act. And so it began—the wellness blitz. I spent every day meditating, reflexology, Reiki, acupuncture, writing letters forgiving people, reading studies, changing my diet, drinking smoothies, you name it. My roommate took care of me since I had first gotten sick, and—even though I had been friends with him for 7 or 8 years prior and never been attracted to a man—I thought I was falling in love with him. So I told him. And we decided to try to make it work. And I decided to leave my job in the next year and a half. Somewhere in the midst of all of this, I went in for my MRI. And the results revealed I was 100% better. There was nothing wrong with me.
But it only happened after I let myself totally be myself—with a relationship that didn’t make sense, with quitting a job that I loved and made me lots of money, and with changing my spiritual and health routines. That’s when I started healing.
How do you stay healthy, resilient and vibrant?
I try to listen to my body as much as possible. I’m gluten-free and mostly dairy-free and grain-free too. I start every morning with a green smoothie, and I journal religiously (and blog even more religiously). I use to be strict about morning yoga, but I’ll admit that’s fallen away this winter! But, more than any of that, I just check in with myself. If I’m feeling overwhelmed or burnt out, I get up and dance. If I can’t write anymore, I shut down the computer and go for a walk. I’m just learned to really let myself be who I am and give myself what I need in the moment. Instead of judging my low energy, I just honor it. And that’s helped a lot to keep my vibrant. Oh, and herbs. Lots and lots of herbs—especially during the stressful times.
If there was only one thing a person could find the energy and resources to make a priority what would it be?
If I had to give someone advice on what to make a priority to do, it would just be clarity. I know that sounds simple, but it’s amazing what clarity can provide. Just clarity around who you are and what nourishes you. If I had the clarity to know what I really wanted when I started my business, I would have saved so much time. If I had clarity around what foods made me feel good, I wouldn’t have gotten sick. Clarity provides the blueprint for success, and then you can just follow that roadmap to build it.
I intentionally start every client with branding and clarity because it’s really important to know what we’re trying to accomplish before we jump right in. So many of us are running around with our heads chopped off trying different tactics—in business, in love, in life. But, if we just had a clear vision of what we wanted to get, we could tailor those tactics.
What is your favorite inspirational quote for wellness / awesomeness / thrival?
“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” – Walt Disney
Mike Iamele is author of the upcoming book Enough Already: Create Success on Your Own Terms (Conari Press 2015). He specializes in helping entrepreneurs redefine and create success on their own terms to turn their passions into thriving businesses. After recovering from a debilitating illness, Mike gave up his high-powered public relations career to find his own version of love, success, and happiness. As a regular contributor to national publications, as well as through his popular weekday success blog, Mike has encouraged millions of people to reject society’s blanket definition and create success for themselves.
Book site: mikeiamele.com
Book Pre-order: http://www.amazon.com/Enough-Already-Create-Success-Terms/dp/1573246476