The Holistic Leaders

The Holistic Leaders

my Story

Dear Leader,

You’re so busy, you don’t really have time to read this page. 

Bear with me for just a minute… 

‘They’ (Your family, friends, team, the lady down the road) often tell you you have it all, you’re at the top of your game, you’re The Boss, lucky you.

Sometimes this feels true.

For brief moments, you feel like the Business Leader and general human that you want to be. 

You are aligned with your vision, your mission and your purpose. You remember why you chased the leadership dream to begin with.

Right now though, things are hard.

You have an overwhelming to do list, team members needing strategic and emotional support (which you are not always sure how to give), urgent client calls and a gym class that you have cancelled for the third day running which makes you feel even worse. 


You are building a business with purpose in a time of huge global shifts, that also needs to be profitable. You are trying to do right by everyone.

It’s not just a lot. Its a bit too much. Yet, you still get up every day and do it all again. Now you are asking: how long more can I carry on like this?”

You have worked so hard to be in the position to run your own business (or be paid very well to lead someone else’s.).

But you are tired. Nearly-all-of-the-time. Frustrated that there aren’t more hours in the day and you would love a safe space to air this, understand this and work through this. 

Ultimately you want those words to feel true: that you “really do have it all.”

The All: leading a thriving business that you love, good physical, mental, emotional health, strong relationships and this elusive balance and wellbeing that everyone seems to be talking about right now.


So, whats my story? Why do I care so much? Who am I to be helping you with this?


My name is Michelle (Shell) and I am the Founder of The Holistic Leaders.

In 2006,  I flew to London on a one-way €7 Ryanair flight from Ireland. No job, no money and grateful for a couch to sleep on. Naive but hopeful.

4 weeks in, I joined a small business of 3 as their most junior member. A start-up with no website, a run down office and zero systems in place (apart from a strict tea-making rota). But you know when you just get that gut feeling? The one where something exciting is happening? With not a clue of what I was getting into, my intuition was my only guide, I followed it and I am still grateful that I did.

Fast forward to over 13 years later. I said my parting words to a team of 30 from 2 offices having become their company Director 6 years earlier. This incredible group of individuals had helped to create an award winning business which became the largest and most successful in our niche in the UK through working with global business leaders, from boutique agencies to FTSE 250 businesses.

However, despite these highlights, I have definitely felt at times that being a leader might not be for me and I found myself physically, energetically and mentally drained as I pursued personal and business goals.

MY moment of change came in 2016.

I was working hard, earning really well but it had all become a bit joyless for me.

The years of working and leading in such a competitive industry had also toughened me. 

I was: 

  • Sacrificing myself for business goals and compromising my work-life balance.
  • Unaware of the importance of self-care for my mind, body or soul and how this actually would help me to be a better leader.
  • A champion in not communicating my needs, never asking for help and believing vulnerability in leadership was taboo.
  • Now disconnected from my intuition and lacked trust in my own decision making.
  • Dealing with any stress or overwhelm through the good old “work-hard, play-hard” model which was quite typical of our industry at the time.
  • There had to be a better way to do Leadership.
            To hit the targets. To hire and keep the best people. To enjoy the role. To be a sound but boundaried leader. To grow the business. To have fun in the process. 

At this point, I chose to evolve, to invest in myself. I got a Business Coach
and everything changed. Mind, body, energy and I fell back in love with the business and life I was leading.  

The coaching process left such an impact on me that I then trained as a Certified Transformational Coach in 2017 and began using coaching in-house with my growing team and my last 4 years in the business were our most successful, most profitable and most enjoyable by far. 


I knew immediately there was something special about the integration of well-being and business and how it impacts our leadership performance.


Since 2016, I have trained, studied and qualified in a number of areas across business coaching, mindfulness, positive psychology, yoga, breath-work and energy methods. I left the “big city job” because I want to share this work.

Leadership can be challenging, exhausting and just ‘too much” at times but with support and with the right awareness around your holistic wellbeing and that of your business it can be the most incredible journey that leads to financial freedom, geographical freedom for some, sense of community, impact and purpose. 

This is where I hope to help you.

The Professional History

  • 4 years experience as a Certified Transformational Coach (ACCP Accredited).
  • Conscious Leadership Training (Jim Dethmer and Diana Chapman, USA).
  • Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Teacher (Yoga Alliance Certified 200 Hours).
  • Over 16 years experience in business development, executive  account management, leadership, team coaching and career development, mentorship.
  • Almost a decade as a Business Director in London, helping our company transform into an award-winning, 7 figure business and the largest and most successful in our niche across the UK and Ireland.
  • Coach to 6-figure entrepreneurs and global business leaders. 
  • Honours Law and French Degree.
  • Continuous personal and professional development in breath-work, meditation, energy alignment methods, positive psychology (RCSI).

The Personal History

Some random bits so it isn’t all just business…

  • Travel is my biggest passion and I have been lucky to travel to 6/7 continents and 50+ countries…but i’ve still never managed to get a tan.
  • I have sky dived twice, done the highest bungee jump in the world, am an advanced scuba diver…but I only learned to drive a car at the age of 37. (My poor defence is that we had the Tube in London…).
  • I left a 14 year career and walked straight into a Global Pandemic.
  • I was once so keen to get into a great house-share in London that I somehow agreed to be a guest lecturer at Greenwich University. One terrible Powerpoint presentation later and the room was mine.
  • I accidentally fronted a ski holiday campaign for 2 years. All the gear, no idea would be an accurate description.
  • Death Road in Bolivia very nearly became death road for me.
  • My best good luck story (apart from surviving Death Road) is that I once  asked for tickets to Burning Man on my Facebook wall. 47 minutes later, a legend of a cousin who I had never met, sent me two. For free. Lesson: ask for sh*t as you may just get it.
  • My personal and business values are human connection, energy, purpose and freedom. I am currently doing my best to live by these by living a kind of free-range life where I can work with clients anywhere in the world, from anywhere in the world.