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299: Betting on Yourself: Leaving Corporate America to Start her Own Business, ft. Michelle Nehlen

On Air with Ella - podcast episode 299

on air with Ella Podcast 299

Listen here (or everywhere you get podcasts):

She bet on herself...

Have you ever felt stuck in a job that doesn't fulfill you? Do you dream of pursuing your passion but fear the unknown? In this episode, Ella interviews Michelle, a member of the On Air with Ella podcast fam, about her journey from working in Accounting to starting her own professional organizing business.

Ella and Michelle emphasize the need for planning and preparation before taking the leap to start a business. Michelle also shares practical tips for those starting their own business.

In this episode:

  • What made Michelle come to the retreat last year in Miami? What did she get out of it?

  • How her side hustle became her new, full-time business: "Life Organized by Michelle"

  • How long did she tinker with the idea of leaving her corporate job? What made her finally take the leap?

  • How can we redefine failure? hint: Failure is guaranteed

Michelle has 4 questions for Ella:

  • What is Ella's greatest fear?

  • What keeps Ella motivated?

  • What's coming up on the pod?

  • What TV does Ella binge watch? (And what show does she despise?!)

If you're feeling stuck in your current job or considering starting your own business, this episode offers practical advice and inspiring insights from someone who has been there.

See episode #299 timestamps here.

If you like this episode, listen in on a conversation with Ella and listener Mandy on her journey from yo-yo dieting to deciding how to live her life with full intention and pursuing health instead.

life organized with Michelle logo

on air with Ella retreat
Michelle doing her Ella impersonation at the 2022 Live Better retreat :-)


Michelle Nehlen is a former Accountant turned Professional Organizer and Certified Home Organizer, located in Wilmington, NC. Michelle offers decluttering and organizing services to clients who are experiencing stress, anxiety and overwhelm in their space and aren’t sure where to begin. "I help clients find peace, functionality, and relief from clutter."

FB: @Life Organized With Michelle

NEAR WILMINGTON, NC? Get 25% off your first 3-hr session when you mention the On Air With Ella podcast.

dc meet up for women


Ella is holding a meet up in the Washington DC area (and NYC if there's interest), but we need to hear from you if you're interested! Drop Ella an email or a DM in instagram!


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I shared why I am loving my new supplement / probiotic for digestion and no-bloating (plus glowing skin?!) in episode 292.

Check out Oxyceutics "Gut to Glow" and use code ELLA15 to save 15% (in addition to the 20% “subscribe and save” discount) here.

By the way, I only take TWO a day and that works for me.



Michelle's Journey [00:01:08]

Michelle shares her journey from leaving her corporate job to pursue her passion of professional organizing. They discuss the challenges and realities of leaving a corporate job to pursue a passion.

Michelle's Hesitation [00:05:08]

Michelle talks about her hesitation to sign up for the Live Better Retreat and how she overcame her nerves to attend.

Starting a Side Hustle [00:09:22]

Michelle talks about starting her own professional organizing business and the actions she took to bet on herself. They discuss the importance of taking action and betting on oneself.

Starting a Professional Organizing Business [00:10:20]

Michelle shares her journey of starting her own professional organizing business, including how she built her portfolio and gained confidence in her abilities.

Leaving a Corporate Job to Pursue a Passion [00:12:38]

Michelle discusses the challenges of leaving a corporate job to pursue her passion, including the sunk cost fallacy and the importance of reframing failure as a learning opportunity.

Making the Leap to Self-Employment [00:17:46]

Michelle shares her experience of making the leap to self-employment, including the importance of creating a plan and a savings account, and the role of fear and confidence in betting on oneself.

Tips for Starting a Business [00:20:56-00:21:41]

Michelle shares tips for starting a business, including using Google for answers, getting insurance, and doing what you're naturally good at.

The Importance of Failure [00:24:11-00:24:45]

Michelle and Ella discuss how failure is a necessary part of success and how reframing failure can be liberating.

What Motivates Ella to Work Hard [00:29:58-00:31:06]

Ella shares that fear of mediocrity and the desire to live a life without regrets motivates her to work hard, as well as the reward of building momentum and challenging herself.

Maximizing Every Day [00:31:56]

Ella and Michelle discuss the importance of making the most of every day and using it to create something positive. They talk about how thinking about life's expiration date can be a useful mental tool to stay motivated.

Future Podcast Topics [00:35:20]

Ella shares her plans for future podcast episodes, including topics such as perimenopause, business, success stories, and radiation exposure. She also encourages listeners to suggest topics they would like to hear about.

Professional Organizing Business [00:39:23]

Michelle talks about her professional organizing business, Life Organized with Michelle, and offers a free consultation and discount to listeners. She shares her website and social media handles for those interested in learning more.

Questions? Contact me

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xxoo Ella


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