Michelle Moore is a former athlete, educator and now a performance consultant, helping organisations and individuals to become high-performing and more inclusive in their practice. Her consultancy company, Moore Development helps to create solutions for people and organisations, providing a number of services including coaching and mentoring, event management, inspirational speaking and specialist consultancy. Her expertise includes sport, diversity and inclusion, education and corporate social responsibility. Merging her passions for sport, equality and education Michelle works with national and global governing bodies of sport, corporate and equality organisations to achieve sustainable social change.
What drove you to start your own business?
I decided to start my own consultancy, as I wanted to create a job that really excited me and to be able to fully utilize all of my skills. What underpins my consultancy is my passion to create a positive change in society whilst promoting equality.
What was your career path prior to starting your business?
I have a degree and masters in education. My first job was a primary school teacher in Brixton, south London. I then worked for Charlton Athletic Race Equality Partnership. I found the role very inspiring as the work focused on developing anti-racism initiatives through the sport. I was then headhunted and worked in a sports college initially as a Community Development Manager and after two years I was promoted to Assistant headteacher. I then worked for local government as a senior executive in education where I still work part-time. I have a portfolio career managing my consultancy company Moore Development alongside my local government role.
Tell us about the business planning stage?
My consultancy developed from my passions. I didn’t initially write a business plan but have since produced a strategic plan.
How far ahead do you plan and what keeps you on track and motivated?
I set myself regular annual and monthly goals and work towards them. My work is governed by social injustice so my motivation is rooted in challenging the status quo and helping to create opportunities for minority groups in sport. Seeing the impact of some of my work in helping an organisation transform their practice to be more inclusive or seeing an individual from a minority group fulfil their potential motivates me.
Can you describe a typical working day?
There is no typical day or week. One week I can be hosting an international sport conference, delivering an inspirational speech to young people, delivering training and development to a football board and providing specialist consultancy to sports organisation focused on inclusive leadership
What has been the most amazing day in your entrepreneurial life so far?
There have been lots of positive moments in my entrepreneurial journey. Seeing people who I have supported achieve and start to fulfil their potential is particularly rewarding. Winning a PRECIOUS award is great, as often my work is behind the scenes and to be recognised for my contribution is very special. As a woman and a woman of colour, issues of visibility are front and centre of my entrepreneurial journey. Women of colour who are a part of my network are also a part of this victory.
What has been your scariest moment?
In the early part of my career when I worked in premier league football one of my roles was to ensure the fans attending football matches came from diverse backgrounds. I remember escorting a group of ethnic minorities into a football match and being in charge of their care – it was a scary experience.
How do you work on making your business grow?
To continue to learn and develop my thinking in my areas of expertise. Also to expand my client network and develop a greater international portfolio building on my work in the United States and expanding to Africa and the Caribbean.
What is the best thing about being your own boss?
I represent myself and enjoy the freedom of using my voice as an activist consultant to promote positive change. I also have power and control over who and how I work,as I decide on the clients I want to work with who are most aligned to my values.
What are the challenges of working for yourself and how do you tackle them?
Continually having to think creatively as my resources are limited. Another challenge is grappling with complex issues on my own. I am fortunate to have an extraordinary network of associates and colleagues who I call upon for support, guidance and their expertise.
Who do you admire or look to for inspiration?
People who are brave, take action and make things happen inspire me!
My grandparents inspired me as they gave me a powerful sense of self belief and a desire to achieve no matter what the obstacles. Young people inspire me all of the time with their courage and flexibility dealing with an ever changing and demanding society. Meeting sporting greats inspires me hugely; from American sprinters and athlete activists John Carlos, Tommie Smith, to Paralympian swimmer Ellie Simmonds, boxing champion Nicola Adams to heptathlete Jessica Ennis Hill. I’ve yet to meet my sheroes Serena and Venus Williams!
What piece of advice has had the most impact on your business? And who was it from?
A friend once advised me to ‘Get out of your own way and just go for it! Keep it real – and be you – it’s more than enough’
What are the three books, websites or resources (professional or personal) that you would recommend to other business owners?
I like Marie Forleo www.marieforleo.com
Ted Talks – on intersectionality Kimbele Crenswhaw is what I’m listening to right now
What other passions do you have away from your business? How do you relax?
I was a 400m runner when I was younger and athletics has always been big part of my life. I had many amazing experiences as an athlete and track and field has always been one of my passions. I now play netball competitively. I love to travel and attend international sports events.
Michelle won The Outstanding Woman in Sport Award at the 2016 PRECIOUS Awards
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