By Rebecca Savransky
The Miami Herald.
When Michelle Villalobos, a personal branding expert from Coral Gables, realized last year she wasn’t happy, she decided to make a change.
“I had the aha moment,” she said. “I was helping everyone else and not helping myself.”
So she took her business virtual and now is getting ready to hit the road.
Her new adventure: a yearlong road-trip that starts Friday.
Villalobos, 40, graduated from Dartmouth College and got her MBA from the University of Miami. In her business, MiVista Consulting, she works as a professional speaker and personal brand launcher. She helps businesses with sales, marketing strategies and strategic planning. She also founded the Women’s Success Summit in 2010, a conference for entrepreneurial women.
She said when she decided to go virtual in preparation for her trip, all of her clients got on board.
But the transition took work.
“I changed my entire model of how I worked,” she said.
In the past, she said she’d always done in-person meetings, but that is all going to change over the next year. Villalobos brought on two new full-time employees, and started making use of different computer programs so her clients could easily communicate with her.
“A big piece of it is finding the right team and then creating a really good system for that team to communicate via online tools,” she said.
She said she’s using programs such as Google Docs, Evernote and Skype to do her business. All of these tools have different functions and help to collaborate and keep organized.
During the trip, she’ll work three days a week — Tuesday through Thursday — and will explore and do more creative work during the rest of her time.
“We’ve gotten to this place where we believe we have to have a five-day work week,” she said, “and I say no. … My goal is to balance work and play.”