“Success means gratification and recognition. I push myself to be the best I can be.”
I first met Michelle Davis at a Multicultural Networking Breakfast Forum for professional and businesswomen in Brisbane. While listening to her speak about several career and personal reinventions, her sparky, self-assured personality caught my eye.
Not only she is a very driven, busy businesswoman, she has been a Rotarian for many years and she is very proud of her achievements as a fundraiser for worthy, humanitarian causes.
At age 69, Michelle is far from slowing down or retiring. She is now the Managing Director of Medical Laser Pty Ltd, an international company which offers a wide range of products for wound healing and pain relief, a venture she undertook two years ago, after six other major career changes.
In the late ’70s, after graduating in Early Childhood Education, Michelle set up the first pilot program in Family Day Care, in Sydney, where she lived for ten years. After that, she completely changed direction.
“One day, I realised I was living someone else’s life and I decided to take a leap,” she tells me, over a cup of coffee. We are in the beautiful house where she lives with her female partner of 30 years, in a hilly inner suburb of Brisbane.
“I have an education background and after doing my post graduate studies, I became an advisor in the government, and later a lecturer at a university. Then one day I realised I was not happy with my life and career. I was offered a job in sales and loved it, and became one of the two top sales people in IT in Queensland.
“Unfortunately, the two companies I worked for went into liquidation so they made the decision to leave for me! I feel for those who are made redundant, like me, as it does knock your self confidence.
“That was the catalyst we needed, so my partner and I set off for two years in our 40s to travel around Australia in our motor home. When we got to Cairns I was looking for a challenge and wanted to work, and we were offered the lease of a very large cafe. We had never done anything like that before but we jumped into it and made it a great success.
“I am not afraid of taking risks. I have always looked for a challenge since I was a teenager, and was expelled from a private college with four other girls.”
Michelle talks with candour and passion about her personal and professional life. Having experienced a tough upbringing at home and at school, she has become a bit obsessed about getting to the top and, indeed, she has succeeded in all areas of endeavour as she possesses a positive attitude, she believes in herself and she is open to change.
“When I put my energy into something and I believe in my capabilities, things start happening.” Michelle’s enthusiasm is refreshing and contagious.
“In my 60s I was, once again, looking for something different, after many years in network marketing, as a distributor of natural health products. The day came that I realised I was not achieving the goals I had set for myself.
“I had been in the periphery of the health industry for 15 years and I am an advocate for natural products. So, when I saw the advanced technology of Medical Laser that would speed the healing process without the use of prescribed drugs, I knew that was a fit for me. I was offered the distributorship of the product in Australia. I read the research and was so impressed!”
Michelle decided that if the technology worked on her partner who had a major issue with her knee, she would become involved. It really worked well, so she did.
“I am driven by the will to succeed. Success to me is not only about financial reward and stability but also about personal gratification and recognition. It is important to feel happy with what I am doing and to know I make a difference in the world.”
Asked what advice she would give to other women who are not happy in their careers but are afraid of change, Michelle replied, “ Speak to everyone. You never know where the next opportunity is coming from. Be open to change.”
“It seems like that is most people’s fear. If you make a move and it doesn’t work out that’s okay too. If you can do it once, you can do it again. Get involved in a charity or volunteer. This will also give you a more positive outlook. I have been in Rotary for 15 years and we have done remarkable things to change people’s lives both locally and internationally.”
There is nothing too small or too big for Michelle to step up and try. She may not have all the answers or resources when she does, but she does make things happen – and her determination and commitment inspires others.
Michelle’s business website is www.medicallaser.com.au.