Vashti Whitfield may actually be superwoman. After the loss of her husband to cancer in 2011, Whitfield decided to harness her 13 years of professional experience as a life coach and create a website in homage to her late husband.
Having coached hundreds of clients, ranging from large organisations and senior level executives to excitable entrepreneurs, larger-than-life types of the entertainment industry and countless individuals and business owners wanting more from their lives, Whitfield had a lifetime of experience to draw upon.
Maybe McQueen was born in 2012, and Whitfield describes the site as an exciting hub for anyone wanting more from life: “It’s a place where you can drop by and soak up a bit of the Live Love Learn philosophy that Maybe McQueen embodies, enroll in a master class, work though an e-book or just simply follow the Cool Stuff section to get inspired on a daily basis.”
Whitfield shares her story with Dynamic Business:
What inspired you to create Maybe McQueen?
Shortly after my husband passed away in 2011, I felt very strongly that I needed to find an alternative way of communicating all that I was learning and that to really honour the loss of such a young, inspiring man, it was essential that I create something that inspired other individuals to really seize life by the short and curlies. Being a professional life coach and facilitator gave me incredible insight into the fact that grief and loss are, if supported and harnessed in the appropriate way, the most extraordinary opportunity to support, empower and inspire new beginnings, when usually the situation is only ever viewed as a very sad ending.
My husband and I shared the basic give and get theory, that if you authentically give something of yourself, you will always receive so much more back. By me sharing very candidly what I was experiencing, it gave thousands of people around the world the chance to not only validate their own feelings, but to also feel like they had someone in their corner championing what is actually possible.
Was it helping or healing to create a memorial to your late husband?
Creating Maybe McQueen and such an intense relationship with the enormous community that it has grown from all around the world, has been the most inspiring, supportive and motivating thing I have ever done in my life. It consistently challenges me to grow, learn and fearlessly step up, just as my gorgeous husband once did. So in a sense everything I do towards, in and on Maybe McQueen ensures that he still feels a part of my life.
When did you decide to make the blog/ website into a business?
I realised pretty quickly that to maintain the consistency of the blog and its very emotionally demanding content whilst simultaneously managing my coaching practice, being a single parent, and trying to find time to jump on my motorbike for five minutes of quiet, was almost impossible. So the obvious and natural thing to do was to marry the two. This not only enabled me to diversify the offerings of Maybe McQueen, but also created a series of learning tracks through e-books, courses and workshops, that will allow the site’s passionate and very enthusiastic community to personally and professionally grow.
What is your ultimate goal for the site?
Maybe McQueen over the next year will become a learning hub for anyone wanting to get more from their life, from daily inspiring stories and interviews, to step-by-step how to books. It will, as will I, continue to ‘bare and share’ all, with the intention to inspire anyone to step up live life to the fullest. The first Maybe McQueen e-book will be available from the blog at the end of this month, so keep an eye out for it!
What’s your business background?
I have worked as a professional executive, business and personal life coach for over a decade and have therefore had the opportunity to study, observe and consult across a diverse range of businesses and organisations. I have also been self-employed for my entire working life, which has taught me the ups and downs of how to run a successful and profitable life and business.
How did you fund the website?
The site was self-funded and viewed as part of my start up costs in re-launching and re-branding my business.
How has the site resonated with Andy’s fans?
It has been extraordinarily well received with my husband’s fans. It would seem that in following my progression, many have migrated from being straight Andy fans into becoming part of the wider Maybe McQueen community. I think they are often inspired that through Maybe McQueen they are able to learn and grow from all that the site offers and shares, whilst still somehow being connected to Andy through me, which is a gorgeous notion for all of us!
What’s the biggest challenge you face as a new business?
The most consistent challenge I face is that everything is created and usually delivered by me. The material is usually very personal and requires 100 per cent ‘me essence’, so it is very physically and emotionally demanding. The challenge is being completely diligent in planning, scheduling and role out, so that there is the time to design, deliver and explore future opportunities and strategies that will allow me and the business to grow, versus staying in the same place.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt so far?
Get it done today, so there is more space to create new opportunities tomorrow, and that the more balanced you are in the rest of your life, the more likely you are to end up healthy, wealthy and wise!
What one piece of advice would you offer to someone starting a website?
Knowing your audience is key and understanding what their wants and needs are is absolutely critical. Its like a great relationship, it needs trust and honestly from the outset to build, maintain and grow into something with longevity.
What’s next for you?
I am about to release Maybe McQueen’s first set of e-books and looking at running our first live workshop in Sydney later this year. I am also working on a regular life-coaching column with the Sunday Telegraph’s Sunday Style magazine and another online column is on the very near horizon. There are a few other very juicy larger projects in the making but they are a little hush hush right now. Watch this space!