Michelle Taylor Willis is a force to be reckoned with and wears many hats. She’s an author, media personality, media executive, and master strategist. Michelle has been creating a name for herself in Atlanta, and with her influence, she has been recognized as one of the Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Atlanta and made it to the Top 25 Most Extraordinary Atlantans.
We caught up to Michelle Taylor Willis to talk about her success leading up to today, her book, and motherhood.
Can you tell us about your journey leading up to your success today?
My journey has been quite a ride, but a good one! I started in sales after college, working for industry giants like Johnson and Johnson. I got so much fantastic experience in the corporate space that I was able to transcend those skills into entrepreneurship. I’ve had entrepreneurial endeavors since my early 20s, everything from a resume-writing business, online bakery, and medical consulting company, each providing its unique offerings that have given me what I need to be significant. One of the biggest pieces is being around people who can understand my vision, assist me in execution, and offer me direction. I’ve been very fortunate to have these types of people around me. It’s crazy; people invariably notice what I’m building and want to partner with or help. I’ve been extremely blessed and fortunate.
What made you want to work in media? Was that a childhood dream?
I’ve secretly always wanted to be in front of the camera. So much so that I used to be the host, talent, and audience of my talk show in 6th grade. My bedroom was the tv studio! I dreamed of just walking down the street one day and someone saying, “You’re the person for my next project!” And you know what? Both things happened! It’s insane. I didn’t plan my media career; I just fell into this space. The man upstairs was brewing something. My journey into media started almost eight years ago when I bought SoFu Lifestyle Magazine, formerly South Fulton Lifestyle. Once I bought the magazine, the media doors began opening. Shortly after acquiring SoFu Lifestyle, I got into radio, billboards, and tv.
So, talk to us about your book, Raising Significance: A Guide to Well-Rounded, Independent, and Confident Kids.
During COVID-19, I had to adjust to make sure school was still a priority for our children while ensuring that my husband and I could still get work done. As an enterprising mom of 4 boys, I knew we had to have a plan so the family could have a great life. One of the ways that I balanced the days was to bring the kids into my world after they did their work. Filing and shredding are just a couple of ways the boys can stay busy while we work. Making them a part of my work life helped me complete some business tasks and allowed me to spend meaningful, quality time with my sons.
Through this experience, I created some tenets I could use with my boys— the oldest is 23. Many of my methods and ideas had positive outcomes, so I wrote a book to share these successes with other parents. One of my favorite mantras is that kids should Obey Immediately And Happily. I believe that kids must understand from an early age that they must listen to and obey what their parents are telling them.
Check out the Full Interview with Michelle Taylor Willis in our JAN|FEB Black Love Issue!