Michele Mattia is a life and business strategist who specializes in social media development.  But most of all, she is a creative, open, funny, evolving human being who will immediately put you at ease and make you feel like you can do ANYTHING!!!  Because she thinks you can!  She’s definitely a member of the Love and Water community because she has helped to shape our social media practice.  Her company, Designing Your Dash, allows her to work with people who want to create better lives and businesses for themselves.  I sat down to talk with her about how she came up with the idea for her trailblazing company.

Love and Water- What is the concept behind Life Design?

Michele Mattia- the concept came over two years ago.  I have a friend who has a little girl named Layla who was diagnosed with leukemia when she was two.  When I met her she was five and had had three surgeries and numerous radiation treatments.  I expected to see this little sickly, tiny thing.  When she showed up I , to this day, have never met anyone with her level of energy.  The door slammed, I heard giggles and she came running around the corner.  We were at a friend’s house who had a tire swing, and she wanted to get in it.  I was the first person who she asked to push her, and I said I couldn’t do it.  She asked why and I started listing all the reasons: what if the rope breaks, what if you fall, what if it’s too much for you.  And she looked at me and said, “how come you’re afraid of something you don’t know is going to happen?”  I knew I was supposed to hear that on that day.  I was running my technology consulting firm, and had a feeling I was supposed to be doing something bigger.  So I went on a silent retreat where I wasn’t allowed to talk for a week.  I did a lot of meditative walking whole there.  It was February and there was snow on the ground and one day I was walking and came upon this red barn that had a ‘do not enter’ sign.  So I of course went around the back to se ewhat was there.  And I found one huge tree among a ton of dead trees that still had its leaves.  All of a sudden I knew I needed to be doing what I loved.  I went back to my room, and by the end of that weekend I had my mission statement for Life Design.  I wanted to listen to and inspire and motivate Life Dashes.

L&W- And what is a Life Dash?

MM- It’s what we choose to do with the valuable time we have between when we’re born and when we leave this earth.

L&W- So when you left the retreat you started Life’s Dash?

MM- I sold my share of the technology consulting firm and became educated as a life coach, but I don’t refer to myself as a coach.  I think of myself as a strategist.  When I work with people, we’re in it together, we are strategizing together and coming up with ideas that work best for them.  When I combine that with my experience in company branding and social media I’m able to help people, and quite frankly they help me.  The last two years of my life have been effortless.

L&W- How so?

MM- Everybody I work with is concerned with how they can use their talents to help others.  And we go on a journey together to creatively figure out how to maximize their work to fulfill them.  I can’t tell you what I get out of that.  There are no words to describe it, really.

L&W- Talk about your blog, which is so inspiring.

MM- I’ve always been a writer.  My blogs are about what’s going on in my world.  My “Aha” and “Tada” moments.  I have to remind myself what I tell my clients all the time- to think big, to go after my dream.  That’s what I write about.  I want to share this with as many people as I can, so I send my blog through my daily newsletter.  I have a daily quote and daily topics, and I incorporate topics that move me.

L&W- I know that many many people love your Daily Dash, including myself.

MM- I get letters and emails from people all over.  One woman wrote me today saying that she saw my Daily Dash on Twitter, and said it inspired her to open her own yoga studio, which she had been afraid to do.

L&W- What about your radio appearances?

MM- They’ve been SO good!  90.3 FM called me and said they wanted me to talk about how people can utilize social media to help their businesses.  And I thought ok, I hope I have enough to say.  I was supposed to be on the air fr fifteen minutes, and I ended up being on for 45 minutes.  And the best part was that we didn’t even get to talking about social media!  We talked about daring to start your own business.

L&W- How great is that?

MM- Well, it made me realize that I do have something to say- the same thing I tell every person I work with.

L&W- You’ve taught me so much about utilizing social media.  What is the one thing you would tell people about how to use social media as a positive tool to connect with others?

MM- The main thing to remember is that social media is about having a conversation.  It’s about connecting with others in order to hone relationships through conversing and listening.  If you can have that kind of conversation, you can’t go wrong.

Visit Designing Your Dash here: www.designingyourdash.com
Join Designing Your Dash’s Ning social network here: http://lifedesignllc.ning.com/
Become a Facebook Fan here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/New-York-NY/Life-Design/84207166497
Follow Designing Your Dash on Twitter: @Lifes_Dash