Kelly Pietrangeli is the creator of myprojectme.com – a hub of tools, strategies and inspiration to help busy women find a happier balance.
Her book, Project Me for Busy Mothers: A Practical Guide to Finding a Happier Balance is out now and takes you step by step through her proven framework; with accompanying printable worksheets to help you get it out of your head, onto paper, and into your life.
Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role
After working in a string of ridiculously fun jobs in the entertainment industry, from music video production to being Johnny Depp’s press assistant, I set up at home as a freelance graphic designer in 1999 when I became pregnant with my first child. Nothing prepared me for my complete loss of identity or the chaos that ensued whilst trying to juggle home and work life. I never felt like I was doing anything ‘good enough’. This prompted me to begin my own ‘Project Me’, breaking my life down into separate areas so I could see what needed my focus each month and creating written action plans to get my act together. And it worked! I now teach women all over the world the strategies that helped me get to the happy place I am today.
Did you ever sit down and plan your career?
Rather than drafting a long, drawn out business plan, I’m a big fan of visualising the end goal – and then taking small intuitive steps to get there. The Universe has a way of bringing us the people and opportunities we need if we are paying attention to the signs. For example, in 2012 I knew I wanted to write a book about Project Me, but I had no idea how to get a publishing deal with no platform or social media channels. I created a Vision Board with a mock-up book cover on it, along with a photo of Marie Forleo who I’d only just discovered on You Tube. After that I learned Marie was running an online B-School to learn how to set up a website and build a profile. I learned everything I needed to know to successfully launch myprojectme.com. Once I’d built my community and following, I was approached about writing a book! See how this works?
Have you faced any challenges along the way?
Halfway through writing my book my husband got a job transfer to London which meant moving country, finding schools for our teenagers and a place to live. This set me behind with my publishing deadline, but I was determined to walk my talk and not fall out of balance. Something had to give, so I gave up client work and running my online programmes. By the time the book was finished, my business bank account was running dry. I invested the last of it with a UK business coach, believing her promise of helping me to build my signature online course. It ended up being a waste of money and I spent the rest of the year trying to get her to honour her ‘no quibbles money-back-guarantee’. I was unsuccessful, but decided to drop it and get back into a high vibration state. Once I did that, financial abundance flowed into my life without any effort. We just need to know when to let it go and move on.
How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?
When I was 24 I won the Clairol Mentor Award and got to fly to NYC to pick up my award. (Which was presented by Linda Evans of Dynasty and Ivanna Trump, who was married to Donald at the time…) I met my mentor and she decided what I needed most was some fashion advice! I’d turned up in NYC in a canary yellow short-sleeved suit in February.
I am now a mentor to many women on a paid basis, and I suppose I’m an informal mentor to many others as I am always sharing my advice openly and freely to whoever wants it.
If you could change one thing for women in the workplace, what would it be?
I’d love to see more workshops and events put on for women to help them learn how to balance work life with everything else that needs their attention. We are far more productive and happy with work when we have a firm foundation beneath us for the other seven areas of our lives.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
Right now I’m riding off the high of my book launch plus running a super successful event, Project Me Live. I’d never organised a live event like this before (even my wedding was only 40 guests), so I feel proud that women called it ‘life changing’.
What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?
I’m about to launch Project WE- a private membership for women from all over the world to work on their Project Me together. I’ve been asked to create this as not everyone has supportive friends or colleagues with a growth-mindset to plan their goals and find accountability and camaraderie. We can achieve so much by joining forces and I’m excited to bring this idea to life. My vision for the future is to be a guest workshop facilitator at retreats in exotic, far-flung destinations around the world. Thanks for asking. I’m sticking that on my Vision Board right now.