An Example of Empowerment: Michelle Austell

Michelle Austell embodies empowerment to me.

Michelle Austell embodies empowerment to me.

Meet one of my heroes and a client, Michelle Austell. She embodies the empowerment I’ve been writing about in the past few blogs.

When I met Michelle, she was ready for a change but didn’t know what that looked like. In fact, she reached out to me to develop a new website for her. When I started asking her a few more questions, I learned she was a CPA and did taxes, but wanted something else. We worked together to create a plan for her future.

How does Michelle bestow the attributes of an empowered woman?


Michelle woke up and realized taxes just weren’t for her any more. Despite having been in the tax world for a lot of years, having a profitable book of business and being in a partnership, she decided to make a shift because she needed it.

Trust in Herself

It took a leap of faith for Michelle to let her find another accountant and let clients know she was moving on. Not only was she letting go of some wonderful clients, but she was also letting go of her major source of income for 20 or so years. Michelle had to rely on a deep faith (trust) in herself that she was doing the right thing and that she would be able to support herself in her next endeavor.

Don’t Take Anything Personally

Michelle works hard to be the best person she can be, to have loving relationships and remain peaceful in her day-to-day life. She’s learned not to take anything personally, even when she’s having difficult conversations.

Working it Through

Michelle went through a process that culminated in the decision to leave her tax practice. She had to figure out what else she wanted to do. Along the way, she faced the enemies of fear, doubt, hope, distraction and ultimately a commitment to follow through on her dreams. I was lucky to be a part of some of that process. We held several strategy sessions to explore her new endeavor, walking through what kind of work she loves, the type of people she wants to work with and where she feels she could provide the most benefit.

She said this after one of the sessions:

“I was able to openly share my roadblocks and be honest about what I truly want. The ability to talk and let you take the notes, organize my thoughts, was incredibly freeing.”

What Empowerment Looks Like for Michelle

Today, Michelle operates outsourced accounting and CFO services. Still in her wheelhouse, she uses her financial prowess and tax background to free her clients from the stress of managing the finances while offering valuable insight into their business growth and opportunities.

Whether she realizes it or now, Michelle is empowered. She has learned to lift herself up. to trust herself, to do things without fear of judgement (or at least not as much judgement as she would have felt before being empowered). While each day is not perfect, she’s chosen a new path and is making it work.

Kudos to Michelle for her hard work and commitment.