North Shore Mums loves to support local businesses, and women in business. Our regular Business Spotlight brings you the story behind a local business success, from how it began to how modern mums are handling family and a career. Today, we’re introducing you to award-winning Michelle Stone from Feel Good Financial Planning, her beautiful daughters, and revealing her favourite spots on the North Shore.
Michelle, tell us a little bit about yourself: I have lived and worked in Hornsby in the beautiful Bushland Shire for the last 20 years. I have two girls, aged 4 and 8.
Our Business is Feel Good Financial Planning. We started in 2013 after a buyout from my mentor, who owned part of my business. We assist our clients in discovering what their financial goals might be, by finding out what their highest values are and aligning them to help achieve success. We offer comprehensive and personal support though this process….because not everyone is a fan of finances!
What did you do before you launched your business? I worked at a pizza shop! Since leaving school (22 years ago) I have been in the Financial Planning industry. I started when I was 17 in admin and did any course required to keep my license to provide advice (I’ve had my license since age 19).
What makes your business different? The level of personalisation and care. Our goal is to live up to our ‘Feel Good’ name and provide people with the peace of mind and assurance that only a comprehensive financial plan can bring. We offer a completely non-judgemental space to unpack all of your hopes, dreams and worries and craft that into a plan that is unique to you.
What’s your best advice to any mums looking to start their own business?
- Get a mentor, someone that has done what you are trying to do before, or similar, to act as a muse and support.
- Don’t be afraid to take a risk on yourself, even if you have to work in a different business to put money on the table and start yours up as a ‘side gig’ at first. Believe in yourself!!
- Lastly, depending on the potential size of your business, seek advice from your professionals, accountant (legal structure prior to set up/ potential tax consequences), General Insurance broker (PL & PI), Lawyer (Patents, employee agreements, partnership agreement), and your financial Planner (income planning, business plan, personal insurance, cash flow advice).
Parenting and family life….
How do you balance running a business with family life? At Feel Good we run according to the 4-day week Scandinavian model workplace. Our office is closed Friday! This enables me to have the time to hang out with my 4 year old, drop and pick my 8 year old up from school, spend time at my child’s school teaching children about the ‘farm to plate’ process and cooking in our Hornsby Heights Public School Eco Garden once per month, and sometimes any study I may be attempting. I do take on a lot, but I really enjoy my life and I certainly have work life balance.
What advice would you give to a new mum? Use your intuition, you will learn to understand what is best for you and your child. It’s OK to feel imperfect, we all do!
What’s the one thing you never thought you’d do as a parent, but have ended up doing? Co-Sleeping!
What’s your go-to quick meal to make after a busy day at work? Is KFC an acceptable answer?! Ha! If I cook, I don’t really make quick meals except for perhaps Bolognaise. I love food and I find cooking relaxing.
What are you watching on TV at the moment? You mean apart from ABC Kids!? Any Docuseries on Netflix. I love a good doco, from wildlife to human nature and psychology. I have just finished watching some ‘reality Netflix’ that was funny – “Back with the Ex”.
What are you favourite podcasts? I listen to lectures given in my personal and spiritual development classes, I love to listen and contemplate how grand, simple and complex things are.
What’s your favourite outdoor space on the North Shore? Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, and Crosslands. We are so lucky to be surrounded by some of the best national and recreational parks in NSW in the upper north shore.
How do you spend your weekends? Exploring our great city with my children, and every second weekend when they’re at their Dad’s, with my partner.
Michelle is an Authorised Representative of Financial Services Partners (FSP) and the business owner of Feel Good Financial Planning. She has received the 2019 FSP ‘Adviser of the Year’ award for her superior approach to running a financial advice business; and was a Finalist in the 2019 ‘Woman in Finance Awards for Financial Planner/Adviser of the Year’.
Feel Good Financial Planning: Financial advice and planning to help you create a brighter future. Appropriate and quality financial advice can help you to make the most of your financial resources to protect against life’s ups and downs and help you to reach your personal and business goals. Find Michelle on our directory here.