T. 01642 989806    E. ms@michellesheekey.co.uk

Michelle’s Story

About Michelle

My route into business coaching may not be an obvious one, but nurturing and supporting people has always been at the heart of what I do.

Leaving school in Middlesbrough at 16, my first foray into employment was ‘Head of Refreshments’ (tea and coffee maker) in a local law firm. I was soon promoted to secretary where, sat in the typing pool, I had a sudden urge to go to America. So I did. Spotting a vacancy in the Los Angeles Times, I was soon working as a nanny in Beverley Hills for just over a year. Eager for a reality check, I returned to the north east to resume my work in law. The pull of the city proved irresistible, and without a job or the right accent (according to my London recruitment agency) within a week I began a 17-year stint at a top environmental law firm, first as a PA to a junior solicitor, rising to PA for a managing partner. I managed the rapidly expanding company’s recruitment, gaining a Human Resources qualification on the way.

Cut to 2001. Married with a child and new priorities, I was lured to a national media company in London to continue my career in HR. This was a challenging period but one which shaped my outlook and provided the spark that would lead me into the coaching business. Tasked with making 200 people redundant, I concentrated on helping each employee maintain a positive mindset and focus on their next steps. I helped them to recognise for themselves what their strengths and transferable skills were and how they could put them to good use.

This was my lightbulb moment. I realised that with the right support and encouragement – together with a positive mindset – we can achieve whatever we put our minds to. It was a lifechanging moment of clarity which had a lasting impact on my own outlook.

It’s all about that gut feeling for me. I felt uncomfortable and increasingly distressed at what I was witnessing. The provision was so poor I pulled my daughter out having decided I could do a better job myself. In 2007, together with a business partner, I opened my own childcare nursery in Darlington. After four invaluable years of experience, I embarked upon a fresh challenge on my own terms.

Expecting my third child, I returned to my north east roots determined to build upon my experiences and passion for helping people understand the potential in the power of their thoughts. During maternity leave, I studied for a life coaching qualification at Newcastle University. With childcare an issue, I visited a handful of nurseries to make sure what they offered was what I was looking for.

“This was my lightbulb moment.

I realised that with the right support and encouragement – together with a positive mindset – we can achieve whatever we put our minds to.

It was a lifechanging moment of clarity which had a lasting impact on my own outlook.”

It’s all about that gut feeling for me.

I felt uncomfortable and increasingly distressed at what I was witnessing.

The provision was so poor I pulled my daughter out having decided I could do a better job myself.

In 2007, together with a business partner, I opened my own childcare nursery in Darlington.

After four invaluable years of experience, I embarked upon a fresh challenge on my own terms.”

Fast forward to 2024, and The Montessori People is a thriving nursery school in the heart of Thornaby, Stockton-on-Tees. It employs a team of over 20 staff and cares for over 120 children.

I never set out to open my own nursery, but just as I’d recognised the power of a positive mindset and the importance of transferable skills in others during my career in HR, I realised I had all the tools I needed to change career and run my own business.

I still own the nursery but it is now managed by a childcare expert and a qualified and committed support team, enabling me to flip the script once again and pursue a new career in business coaching.

Michelle Sheekey Elite Coaching

Drawing on my experience of business ownership, leadership and education, I have launched Michelle Sheekey Elite Coaching, a high-end coaching business for successful businesspeople and high achievers who – like me – have reached their goals and want to pursue a fresh direction but need a firm, helping hand to get them where they want to be.

“I use an outstanding coach myself, so I know first-hand how powerful coaching and mentoring can be. Accountability matters. To be honest, the weirdness of the pandemic pushed the realisation that I could re-invent myself again. Over the years I’ve coached my own staff, albeit informally, and I’ve witnessed their growth and success. Blowing my own trumpet, I’m really good at it.

So much of this is about confidence and self-belief. Harnessing the power of the mind and focusing on positive thinking is transformative and I want to share that with others. “What better way than to create a new business from something I love and I’m doing already?

I have a knack for seeing things and people for what they are. I joke that it’s my superpower. I also care. Deeply. Being able to nurture people gives me a huge sense of pride and satisfaction. There’s nothing better than seeing the penny drop in others.”

Business coaching services

Get in touch for a free coaching taster session and see how I can help you to flip the script.