The last part of this series, this one is the most special to me since the women I showcase in this part are the reason I was able to do this series (and a couple of more articles) to begin with. Denise Nickerson and Michelle Guiliano started the Facebook group – “Women Rock Switzerland” less than two years ago and the group has grown not just in numbers, but opportunities, accomplishments and positive energy.
Denise recently touched my life through simple voice notes on WhatsApp; I really needed the reassurance that one minor failure wasn’t so much about me as it was about the circumstances. If you’ve given your best for whatever be the goal, and somehow “failed”, it might as well be cuz something better is coming your way and it was the universe’s plan all along. Trust me, it is not easy to make peace with those words. It is normal to be shattered and lost for a little while, but the point has always been to bounce back. Putting positivity into your life and mindfully doing so goes a long way! Denise’s coaching can remind anyone of this important truth in just a few minutes.
This interview is going to be a little different from Parts 1 and 2, since both these lovely ladies work together, and I gathered these details over voice as opposed to text. (Such a nerd! 😉) I hope you enjoy discovering a little bit more about these two powerhouses.
Michelle and Denise are both originally from the US and are now based near Geneva, Switzerland. Michelle has two gregarious Danish/American boys ages 14 and nearly 16 and Denise is married to a French man and is the mother to 2 talented Franco/American girls ages 11 and 13.
Denise Nickerson is an American/French National, author, business owner, education and learning specialist, vocational psychologist, community leader and an activist who cares deeply about women. Michelle Guiliano is an American national, an award-winning entrepreneur, business owner, recently announced TEDx Lugano 2019 Speaker, endurance sports enthusiast and a business coach.
As an advocate and leader, Denise knows the power of informal women’s networks and is responsible for the creation and curation of the fastest growing women’s network in Switzerland, Women Rock Switzerland! With over 5400 members all working to uplift, elevate and encourage women, women’s headed businesses and women’s economic empowerment, Denise walks the talk of connecting and celebrating women’s achievements and successes. Michelle on the other hand is an activator coach at ease with executives and organizational leadership be it innovative spaces or helping to quell fears, homing in on key messages, and teaming for successful leadership during decision-making, change management, and crisis.
When you combine all this knowledge, experience, talent and an innate entrepreneurial spirit something magical is bound to happen.
What they do:
Denise and Michelle are business partners in Salt Consulting & Communications Ltd. They are a communications consultancy focused on events, coaching and delivering personal and professional development programs. They offer speaker coaching, workshop design, facilitation, emceeing and keynote presentations, they also help event founders with direction & strategic communications.
Their recent flagship product, The Integrity System™ offers cost- effective online coaching. They designed the product so that leaders, entrepreneurs, and creatives can make decisions with the confidence of a system that helps you lead your life and your work with integrity. This product is for everyone and to experience this, I encourage you to try their FREE 2 hour workshop which allows you the path of choosing a coach or those interested in personal/professional development to get more out of all the invested time and energy you’ve already spent working on yourself :-).
How they came together:
When I was speaking to Michelle, midway during my call with her, I asked her if they’d ever had normal day jobs (like me, yea 😉) cuz by this time I was so convinced that they were born with a coaching gene and the entrepreneur blood was running in their veins. To my surprise, yes, they had – before they took the leap of faith. Michelle was a sports coach in the US, a professional rower and also worked as a specialist in an executive search company in North America. Denise had been a teacher, a university professor, an admissions officer for years. She also worked for UNICEF and helped connect project owners in 55 countries to impact educational programs through Ministries of Education. All this before she became a full-time entrepreneur.
Michelle and Denise both ran separate private businesses before they started working together. They knew their networks were synergistic and their desire to feel greater acceleration in partnership and working as a true 50%/50% team propelled them forward fast!
“I had been looking for a business partner for years. I wanted to change directions and support inspiring leaders, but I knew I needed the right person to work with. It had to be someone with integrity and credibility. I attended some of Denise’s talks and was so impressed with her ability to make everyone feel wonderful!” says Michelle. They took the Tony Robbins coaching training program together and decided to “try” working together. Both of them compliment each other beautifully and concur that they’ve never enjoyed their work as much as they do now! (And you thought two women couldn’t be business partners and each other’s support system at the same time!!)
When I was talking to Michelle, one of the things that struck me the most was the story behind The Integrity System (the online coaching program) – Sadly, Michelle’s dad passed away suddenly a year or so ago. He led a communications company in the US for almost 40 years. He coached business leaders and politicians – workshops, seminars, speeches and other valuable content that he created no longer exists! There are no videos available to the public or the near and dears. This is the reason they want to document their learning and vision through videos and coaching columns. “We would like to leave a legacy for our children and we also want to enjoy a good healthy life.”
A Day in Their Lives
Since Michelle and Denise compliment each other so beautifully; they have very clearly divided roles based on their strengths. Denise designs all their curriculum content for their consulting and coaching business for a diverse clientele. Michelle heads the video production for YouTube and manages their online coaching product. On a day to day basis when they are not delivering workshops, seminars or coaching individual clients they are busy managing the large Facebook group (yes even on weekends), creating content and they do manage to take out some time for fitness! They laugh uncontrollably on a regular basis, sing and converse about everything under the sun – all this while they network and create!
Their Advice to other Women Entrepreneurs
Well, both Denise and Michelle are go-getters and have a big belief system when it comes to feminine leadership, realism and the embracing vulnerability. One of the reasons that they built this women’s network in Switzerland was to give women from various professions a platform to engage, grow and learn! Love must be the guiding principle for real success to happen!
“Face fear, risk vulnerability, share your gifts, connect from the heart, own your wisdom and create with passion.”
I hope you enjoyed part 3, if you’re a woman in Switzerland and not already a member of the group – I encourage you to join it, it’s my daily dose of motivation and ideas! I just love that there is a platform that embraces creativity like no other. If you’re a woman of the world (I know we have more of those in our network) – then I encourage you to join Women Rock the World. Sometimes these networks give you more than you could imagine!
A big thanks to all the wonderful ladies who participated in this initiative, I loved reading and sharing their stories.
Our eBook is now on Amazon – 21 Hidden Gems of Switzerland