Michelle George is a psychologist who is helping entrepreneurs in building their full potential by helping them unterstand themselves and a Founder of RubixPotential. RubixPotential’s mission is to support everyone in finding meaning and fulfillment in their lives.
They offer everyone the opportunity to live their professional potential independently of their experience and skills, by supporting people they help them unlock their potential and define their meaning in life so that they can lead a self-determined life.
Michelle has a very versatile approach in helping others. She describes herself as Serial founder, a Psychologist & Coach and a Happiness Catalyst. She believes that happiness is the key to success for a positive social change.
Michelles company’s values and action principles are:
1. Finding the meaning of one’s life is a source of fulfillment.
2. Everyone should enjoy their work and do it with joy!
3. Cooperation and partnerships enable us to move forward together.
4. Open-mindedness is an important element for progress.
5. The well-being of the team and that of our customers is a priority.
The vision of the founder of RubixPotential, Michelle George is to create a place where you are supported in finding your way to a happy and effective life.
Can you briefly introduce yourself and describe your journey as an entrepreneur? What made you take the plunge into entrepreneurship and what were some of the key milestones along the way?
I am a social entrepreneur and the founder of RubixPotential. RubixPotential empowers individuals and startups to solve the puzzle of their human potential to create positive impact. I was born in South Korea, adopted and raised in Luxembourg since I was 3 months old. I am a psychologist with certifications as an emotional, neuromindfulness and polyvagal coach. I am an expert on how to build your resources and shape your environment to live a life that is in alignment with your values and where you can realize your potential.
After studying psychology and coaching, I worked with young people in the field of potential development.
In 2018, I met Saida (Ibrahimava), an amazing woman, through a misunderstanding in a project description. For a week, I was thrown into topics related to social business (instead of project management). Her passion and energy led me through a summer of travel, networking, new opportunities and new perspectives. From a misunderstood project to a youth summit, to a summer school on social entrepreneurship, and back home to start my own organization – all in 6 months.
Looking back on your entrepreneurial career, what are the three most important lessons you have learned that you think every aspiring entrepreneur should know?
1) Make sure you have the right self-care strategies in place – and keep developing yourself, both in terms of personal development and technical knowledge.
2) Stop waiting for others, start yourself and have your idea clearly defined before seeking collaborations. Otherwise, you will end up with a project/business that is not yours.
3) Learn how to build authentic relationships that matter. They will stand by you in challenging times and can be a catalyst for your business.
Starting a business often means taking risks. How do you assess the risks in your ventures and how do you deal with them?
Find out what kind of risk taker you are. That will show you what opportunities make sense without destroying your mental health. Then be on the lookout for opportunities and seize them. And when you take them, do your best while prioritizing your self-care.
Find out what kind of risk taker you are.
It really helped me understand who I am, how I function and operate. What resources I have as an individual (mindset, knowledge, experiences, creativity…) and from outside. Where my energy limits are and what I need to recharge. If you have this certainty, you have a good chance to master most challenging situations that arise on your entrepreneurial journey.
What advice do you have for entrepreneurs on how to deal with uncertainties?
If you are someone who needs financial security: Get your financial projections right, i.e., your costs relative to your capital. Take your actual costs, add 15% and calculate how much you need to run a viable business.
Get your financial projections right.
Building a strong network is critical for entrepreneurs. What strategies have you used throughout your career to build meaningful connections and partnerships?
I have always disliked superficial networking, where you hand over a business card and that’s it. Meeting over coffee, connecting on a personal level and authentic relationships have gotten me to where I am today.
If you plan to stay in business for the long haul, your relationships should also be sustainable and genuine.
How has networking contributed to your success?
Finding the one person at each event that I feel a real connection with usually results in opportunities for both of us, often through mutual referrals. It’s the “give, give, ask” mentality (from PIRATE Summit) that creates these moments.
Focus on the real value you can offer others – and they will return the favor.
One of the challenges many entrepreneurs face is finding the right balance between innovation and market demand. How do you handle this balance and what steps do you take to ensure that your products/services meet market needs?
By keeping up to date with market trends and thinking outside the box. It’s a question of what the future might look like. Often, you develop a solution that can be spun in different directions so you can quickly pivot if needed.
Working on human potential issues makes it possible to place products in different scenarios.
Scaling a business requires effective leadership and team management. What leadership skills do you think are essential to managing a successful team, and how do you foster a positive work culture in your company?
In order to build a long-term, sustainable business with minimal turnover and a highly motivated team, a leader needs qualities such as:
active listening, self-regulation, quick decision-making, strong communication and coaching skills, and self-awareness.
It is helpful to connect your team in terms of what works for each individual, how to support each other, and understanding each other’s strengths. You simply facilitate the phases of the group process by going through forming, storming, and norming to get to faster performance.
This includes communicating clear values and establishing principles of behaviour for a positive work culture.
In your experience, what are the most effective marketing and branding strategies for early-stage startups? How can entrepreneurs make the most of their limited resources to raise their profile and attract customers?
Check your network, have a clear message, adapt your strategy to your target audience, go to the right events. You do not have to use all channels, just find the one that really works for you and your target audience.
Financial management is critical to the sustainability and growth of a business. What financial practices or strategies have you found most useful in managing cash flow, securing funding, and making sound financial decisions?
It took me a while to find an accountant I could fully trust. And believe me, it’s worth the cost for the peace of mind you get. If you have no prior knowledge of financial management, find an accountant who is willing to give you a basic introduction and/or at least take a crash course.
Find an accountant who is willing to give you a basic introduction and/or at least take a crash course.
Clearly define between a must-have and a nice-to-have. What will really serve your business and move it forward? If you outsource services (marketing, accounting, technical development…), make sure the person has the right skills and look at their past work. I always believe that everyone deserves a chance – the question is, do you have the time and financial resources to support them? Or do you need a quality result quickly. This is often a question of time and money.
Many entrepreneurs experience setbacks and failures along the way. Can you give us a specific example where you experienced a major challenge or failure and how you overcame it? What lessons did you learn from this experience?
In the first year of my journey, I met people who wanted to support my mission and work with me. We put on a big self-development event. I actually wanted to postpone it for a year, but they convinced me to do it that same year. I was working to the brink of burnout – when they decided to leave the project. I was left with 9 months of work that vanished into thin air and seriously compromised mental health.
You have to be clear about your own idea before you start a collaboration.
What I learned is that you have to be clear about your own idea before you start a collaboration. How important it is to work with the right people and manage expectations from the start. And that it’s never worth risking your (mental) health over a project.
As an experienced entrepreneur, what advice would you give to someone just starting their entrepreneurial journey? What are the key factors or habits that contribute to long-term success in the business world?
Enjoy the ride! There will be ups and downs, make sure to prioritize your health and well-being. Entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint. Get clear on which path you want to take – rapid growth, building a sustainable business, working with investors, bootstrapping?
Entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint.
Again, it’s all about the people: Work with the right people, not just in terms of their skills, but most importantly, those you feel comfortable with and who share the same values. They will get you through tough times, even if you have different perspectives.
Technology and digital transformation have revolutionized several industries. How have you used technology in your business and what new trends do you think entrepreneurs should keep an eye on in the coming years?
Definitely AI and Web3. If you understand how to use them, it can revolutionize your entire business. Now you can even scale a coaching business if you understand the limitations and opportunities. In July 2023, we will start developing two apps that improve the quality of life for young people (16-30) and autistic people.
Finally, could you tell us some recommended resources such as books, websites, or communities that have been valuable to you as an entrepreneur? How do you keep up with industry trends and continue to learn and grow?
I have always read a lot, the old-fashioned way. Since becoming an entrepreneur, I have turned more to audiobooks because they give me the flexibility to listen while driving or wandering around.
One book I would recommend to anyone is Dare to Lead by Brené Brown. You can learn so much from it for your leadership role, but also for your personal life.