When Make It Happen Doesn’t Work

Make It Happen Video Series

You know I love my Make It Happen mantra…but I also know that sometimes life is just rough.  In this video I share some hope about those down moments.  But how do you do it? I’d love to hear what you do when Make It Happen doesn’t work in your life.

45 Free, Cheap or FUN Date Ideas

One of the keys of High Performance and Happiness is making relationships a priority.  If you’re married or have a significant other in your life, I HIGHLY recommend weekly date night.  Making time for the ones you love helps them to know that they are important to you AND keeps the relationship alive.  Memories and connections keep relationships thriving.

Not sure what to do? Do you ever spend half of your date saying, “What do you want to do?” with the reply, “I don’t know, what do you want to do?”

Make a list!  My friends and I came up with a list of things we could do in our community that were both free or under $5, as a reminder that dates DON’T have to be expensive. They also don’t have to be “dinner and movie”, or our usual, “run errands and go to Costco.”

Your budget may be different, so choose some free things and some things within your budget.  Make the list now, and then you’ll have weeks worth of ideas waiting.  Check out your city’s recreational website for community events, concerts, activities, farmers markets, and more!

While this list is specific to where we live, perhaps it will give you ideas to generate your list!

Things you can do for free in Utah County & Provo, Utah:

  1. Go dream house hunting.
  2. Go for a drive up the canyon. (Provo Canyon, American Fork Canyon and Nebo Canyon are close!)
  3. Go for a drive up to Squaw Peak.
  4. Go to Pioneer Museum on 500 West in Provo.
  5. Go to BYU Art Museum for the free exhibit.
  6. Drive to Sundance and walk around the grounds.
  7. “Rent” movies from friends.
  8. Take a picnic to the park.
  9. Go to the Deseret Industries or Good Will and look around in the back for treasures.
  10. Go visit an elderly or widower in your neighborhood.
  11. Do service somewhere together. (community options available at justserve.org)
  12. Go to one of the free concerts in Provo in the summer.
  13. Go to free movies in the park in Provo in the summer.
  14. Put the kids to bed and have a candlelight dessert in the front room.
  15. Play a game together after kids go to bed.
  16. Go for a walk and talk about what you want to do when you are empty nesters and retired.
  17. Go to a new development and walk through unfinished homes.
  18. Walk on the Provo River Trail.
  19. Go “window shopping” at a mall.
  20. Go dream furniture shopping. Sit on every couch to find the one that’s most comfortable.
  21. Go to the library or bookstore and read magazines or books. Talk about the funny things you find.
  22. Go somewhere crazy and people watch. Don’t you ever wonder what their lives are like?
  23. Go to the Springville Art Museum.
  24. Take a tour of your Youth. Drive around to different places and tell funny stories.
  25. Drive to Bridal Veil Falls and wade around in the water.
  26. Drive up to Vivian Park with a blanket and watch the stars come out. Take bug spray!
  27. Find festivals. Peach Days, strawberry days, art festivals in small towns, Llama Days etc. Often free to get in to watch the concerts and see the booths. Can also be great for people watching.
  28. Go for a hike.
  29. Put the kids to bed and pull out old pictures of your marriage and of each of you as kids. Again, tell funny stories.
  30. Drive somewhere remote. Turn up the music in the car and dance outside. (or make-out inside).
  31. At Christmas time – drive around and look at Christmas lights. Play Christmas music or the radio.


Things you can do for under $10:

  1. Buy of bag of popsicles and go hand them out just outside or at the testing center at BYU.
  2. Go get ice cream.
  3. Go to the grocery store. Each person has $2.50. Split up and come back in 5 minutes with the biggest thing you can find for $2.50. Pick a winner and take your food to the park.
  4. Get a foot long sub sandwich and share. Take it to a park.
  5. Rent a movie from Redbox or Amazon Prime.
  6. Take $10 to the DI and find a treasure you want to take home. Or, each person gets $5 to buy the other a gift.
  7. Go to the Farmers Market and try 3 new fruits or veggies, or buy a loaf of fresh baked bread.
  8. Go Karaoke (available in downtown Provo)

Splurge date ideas:

  1. Go to a trampoline park.
  2. Go see a play
  3. Go to a concert.
  4. Take the tram ride at Sundance.
  5. Walk the Thanksgiving Point Gardens.
  6. Get pedicures.

Celebrating 20 Years In Business

And other August Milestones

Before this month comes to a close, I want to acknowledge how awesome August is in the life of Michelle. I’m celebrating  FOUR major anniversaries.

FIVE years ago, my first book hit number 1 on the Amazon Bestseller list.

TEN years ago, a number of things happened.  I quit my corporate sales training job, built out my speaking business and expanded my marketing consultancy.  AND I started working with Kelly Anderson at Startup Princess (and got my first social media account). I ran my own agency and promotional products company not the side for years, but this year, with a baby in tow, I went on my own and built partnerships that changed my business and life forever.

FIFTEEN years ago, I married my husband. Good Stuff.

TWENTY years ago, I started my first business, Doodads Promotional Products.  It was 20 years ago this month when I started my entrepreneurial story.  This business isn’t my life’s mission, but it’s run “in the black” every year since it’s inception and it has funded EVERY other of my business ventures.  When I needed to produce and record my first speaking event, I sold more pens, mugs and t-shirts to pay for the production company.  When I needed a new website for a new venture, I sold some folders and CD cases to a long time client.

I don’t promote this business anymore, but I do try to keep existing customers happy and 100% of my business comes from repeat customers or referral each year.  I’m still grateful for this company that practically raised me.  I was 19 when I started it.  Doodads taught me about business to business marketing.  It taught me about tangible marketing and campaigns.  It taught me about systems and hiring help so that I could focus on revenue generating activities.  It taught me about competition and differentiation and that people weren’t just buying a pen, they were buying me.  It taught me about customer service and it taught me about myself. I have said many times, owning a business is the best personal development tool EVER.

So, in these final hours before it’s September, I acknowledge the Augusts of my life.  Without which I would be monumentally different.  Too bad I didn’t do anything incredibly awesome this year so that I could add to this list in five more years for the 5, 10, 15, 20, 25.  LOL

Here’s to August!

The 3 Questions Exercise – Goal Setting

Here’s a powerful activity that I did at the beginning of the year. My goals were feeling a little flat this week and needed to be ignited so I pulled this out and looked at it again and made some adjustments.
Whether your goals are rock solid or they could use a refresh, try this activity and see if you feel a new life in your purpose.
Join me? I love the 3 questions:
What worked?
What didn’t work?
What needs to change?
Here’s a simple way to do this for yourself. What’s on your KEEP list?
What’s on your LET GO list?
What’s on your MAKE IT HAPPEN list?
Let’s finish 2016 strong!
If you love tools like this, you’ll LOVE the Make It Happen Toolkit! Get it here (FREE): www.speakmichelle.com
The 3 Questions Exercise - Goal Setting

4 Steps to Becoming A Professional Power Napper

With Arianna Huffington’s book The Sleep Revolution taking over the world (including JetBlue terminals, cards in Marriott Hotels, and countless appearances), I’ve been thinking a lot about my sleep routines, but I’ve also been thinking about Huffington’s hustle (perhaps that could be the title of her next book: Huffington’s Hustle).  This gal knows how to sell a book.  All the hard work paid off, of course, Huffington rightfully found her place on the New York Times Bestseller list (again).

This card was on my bed in a recent trip. Three quarters of me thinks this is a brilliant cross promotion tactic between Marriott Hotels & Arianna Huffington with her book The Sleep Revolution.  One quarter of me is jealous that it's not my book on the bed of every Marriott Hotel. ;)

This card was on my bed in a recent trip. Three quarters of me thinks this is a brilliant cross promotion tactic between Marriott Hotels & Arianna Huffington with her book The Sleep Revolution. One quarter of me is jealous that it’s not my book on the bed of every Marriott Hotel. 😉

For many years I have shared sleep to be one of my favorite success tips. My body is the vehicle to my dreams, and I need to fuel it and care for it. Many years I got by on 6 hours of sleep a night – I can’t do that anymore.  I crave 7-8, but my secret really isn’t a good night’s sleep.  My secret is power naps.

This all started back in 2005 when I was working for then Novell (now MicroFocus) in Provo, Utah.  It was my first big corporate job, I had only worked for small businesses up to this point.  It was also the first time there were beds in “quiet rooms”.  Surprised that my company welcomed the occasional nap (during breaks and lunches, of course), I decided to give it whirl. It took a bit to find comfort on disposable pillow cases, but I soon found my ideal power nap formula.

Michelle McCullough on Sleep

  1. 1. Hair Prep – To avoid flat hair, lift your hair up one inch below the crown. (This also works on airplanes, and taking a power nap in a chair or recliner.) I love being able to go back to my desk and my hair doesn’t share where I’ve been for 33 minutes.  (Gentlemen, count your lucky hairs that you can skip to number 2.)
  2. Set The Alarm – The magic number for a nap really is 30 minutes, so I would give myself 33 minutes.  3 minutes to fall asleep and 30 minutes to actually sleep.
  3. Dark – Sleep in a dark room.  If there is light pollution, find something to put on your eyes.  I don’t put eye masks over my hair (see number one), but a small washcloth or piece of fabric will do.  If you’re blessed to have a health room in your building, keep one in your desk.  At home, I use an old infant bib and it’s perfect!
  4. Listen To Your Body – Consider that if you need frequent naps, you may need to find out what else your body needs.  Do you need better nutrition?  Is your body trying to sleep off fast food or too much sugar?  Do you need more exercise? Even a 30 minute walk can be just as rejuvenating as a nap, and it helps brain function and energy. Don’t get me wrong, sleep for the win, but there are other things that you can and should do for optimal body health and vitality.

As an entrepreneur with a home office (and when I travel to speak, my office is an airplane, or a hotel room or a conference room…) naps are easier than even my corporate days. You can see some pictures snapped of me sleeping on planes, and even in the middle of an event.  In March of this year, I was part of the World Hopecast.  We broadcasted LIVE for 60 hours straight.  I has shifts in the middle of the night and during the day, and MULTIPLE power naps were needed during the day to keep me going.

This is how I survived the World Hopecast. Naps in my business clothes!

This is how I survived the World Hopecast. Naps in my business clothes!

If nothing else, I’m glad that Huffington has started a conversation that I think every successful peak performer needs to remember: it’s not about who can go the longest on the least amount of sleep, and what you can get done before you crash into bed. It matters that you get the sleep that you need for your body and your brain to operate at it’s prime.

Whether you need a full Sleep Revolution or simply a sleep adjustment I hope that you’ll consider how new sleep habits and patterns will help you fuel your amazing body as a way to accomplish your goals and dreams.

Naps work on airplane's too!

Naps work on airplane’s too!

If you like this tip, I’m full of more! Check out the Make It Happen Toolkit here. www.speakmichelle.com

If you’d like to learn about booking me to speak at your next event go here: http://michelleontheair.com/book-michelle-to-speak/



Don't Look Back, You're Not Going That Way

Some days it’s easy to sit and catalogue all of my faults and all of my mistakes. If I allow my brain to go down the path, I can get myself in a dither. It happened last week. A rough day led to a pity party and a my weaknesses having a dance off in my head. It was so bad I couldn’t sleep.

Here’s what I believe. I believe we’re all human and making mistakes and having weaknesses is part of this human experience. They can teach us amazing things. And while I know they are a part of life, part of the journey is putting them in their place and not letting them hold you back. Learn and grow. Don’t dwell.

The very next day, after my long sleepless night I received this in the mail from my friend Melanie. One of the brilliant minds behind Hip to Home. How timely.

Our past can teach us, but we can’t move forward if we dwell there.

To the future.

Don't look back Hip To Home

Mr. Wonderful – That Time I Was ALMOST on Oprah

Before Ryan Gosling “Hey Girl” memes, there was the Mr. Wonderful doll.  Today, I remembered the time I was almost on Oprah.

Written: 1/27/2004

Dear Oprah,

A few weeks ago, I was sitting in church & the teacher brought
a toy to illustrate one of her points. She brought a Mr. Wonderful doll.
It’s a good looking stuffed fellow and when you touch his hand, he says things like,
“Honey, you’ve had a long day, let me rub your feet.”

“Why don’t we lie down and just cuddle.”

“Let me do the dishes for you.” (The one that received the biggest laugh)

“I don’t know where I am, I’m going to stop & ask for directions.”

Other wives laughed & commented that their husbands
had never said things like that. I sat there & smiled – I have heard my
husband say EACH of them and more. He is the most loving husband
I have ever met. He sends me flowers & frequently leaves me the perfect
little gift on my pillow, but he’s not what I call a “seasonal romantic”.
I’ve dated & heard of men that gush over their wives on anniversaries &
Valentine’s day, or I hear women share the “one cute story”, but then the
rest of the year they show very little affection. My husband makes
me feel like EVERY day is Valentines Day. He sends me cute text messages,
like the one that he sent me yesterday that said, “I love you. You are a
wonderful wife.” Last night he came up to me while I was doing the dishes &
he  actually said, “You’ve had a long day, I’ll take care of this.” My husband leaves
me notes on the fridge, sends me emails while I’m at work. More than that,
his actions every day, let me know that the cares about me & our marriage.
He takes a genuine interest in my day & listens as I talk about work. He
shares the responsibilities in our home. He empties the dishwasher every
day, WITHOUT being asked. He vacuums twice a week because he likes it. He
takes me on a date at least once a week. He opens doors & carries things
for me. He’s a full time student, & we don’t have lots of money, but
romance is more than gifts, it’s action, & every day, I know that my
husband loves me. I know he’s not perfect, but he’s perfect for me.

He’s my, Mr. Wonderful.

After I submitted this online, I got a response:

can you please email a couple pictures of the two of you back to me at this
address ASAP?   We’ll let you know if we are able to include you.  Thank

Awesome, right? I DID respond, but I never heard back.

Wasn’t meant to be.  But it was fun to revisit today…

– Michelle