Coach Series – Challenge Seeker: Michael Wigge
When I first connected with Michael Wigge a few months ago, I was immediately attracted by his impressive resume and career: motivational speaker, coach, broadcaster, author. And, considering that he’s younger than me, I was even more intrigued by his ability to accomplish so much and so quickly in his life.
When I read Micheal’s biography I realized that this is exactly the type of professional coach I would love to hire if I needed to overcome any challenges in my personal and / or professional life. Michael did it all with outstanding results.
This is what a coach should do: show you the path to success because he / she has been there before you, and he / she found the solutions to his / her problems. It’s all about overcoming fear of trying and be determined in each of your choices.
Below is my interview with Michael.
Sabrina: How does someone work as a successful life and business coach who challenged himself with outrageous stuff like shaking Angelina Jolie’s hand for one minute?
Michael: I worked as a so-called challenge seeker in the international media for 15 years. That contained facing outrages challenge as an MTV host in Germany, like shaking Angelina Jolie’s hand for 60 seconds, traveling the world for free, or traveling Europe blindfolded.
These comfort zone leaving exercises helped me to build my career but also to overcome certain fears: Fear of embarrassment, fear of failure or around the world the fear of loneliness.
I felt like forwarding my personal experiences in starting as a challenge coach when I moved from Germany to the US in 2013.
Sabrina: What was the inspiration to turn from a “TV challenge seeker” into a coach?
Michael: The inspiration was my own personal development result during those 15 years of media career. I had overcome many obstacles myself by having faced all these challenges.
Sabrina: There are many different backgrounds and concepts in coaching. What makes yours successful?
Michael: I got certified as a coach to have credentials in the coaching business but my real life experiences are my biggest plus. I already challenged myself as an eight year-old boy, when I was suffering from a heavy stutter. I started playing a comfort zone leaving game called “ring the bell”, where I challenged myself to ring the door bells in my neighborhood to introduce myself as the “neighbors’ kid”. Ringing the door bells at strangers’ doors was a scary exercise which helped me overcome the stutter.
Sabrina: Your resume is impressive. Besides being a coach like me you have been a broadcaster, comedian, reporter, and a writer. How did you get inspired for each? Was it your traveling experiences, your friends, your clients, daily life, or…?
Michael: I wanted to be in the spotlight when I graduated from high school in Germany in the mid-90s. I guess my upbringing in a small countryside town was the main reason to do something very different. But the challenge aspect pushed me even further into this profession, since “ringing the bell” had been so successful to overcome the stutter in my childhood.
Sabrina: You have traveled all over the world, what country or city has a special place in your heart and why?
Michael: The U.S. with its cultural diversity has always been attractive to me, that’s why I moved here years ago.
I also enjoyed the country of Colombia a lot, since it was so much safer and more positive than I was expecting after having heard clichés as a dangerous country. But my final destination, Antarctica was a one-of-a-lifetime experience. I’ve never seen such untouched nature before. Let’s hope it stays that way!
Sabrina: It’s very important for me as a solopreneur to keep personal and professional life in balance, hence life-work balance which is present in all of my coaching programs. How do you manage this balance in your busy life? Can you share 3 tips to achieve success and keep sanity?
Michael: 1. I find it important as a solopreneur to sharply shift between being my own boss and my own employee. Every morning I switch to the role of the boss planning things out, creating a time schedule and giving the necessary direction. Then I switch to the employee mode doing the work. I avoid handling boss and employee at the same time.
2. I give myself a structure in terms of working hours. Usually I start at 6am (my own boss says “Get up, dude!” My inner employee usually replies “Why did I ever get into this job, sh*t up, boss!” I try to always finish by 2pm to be able to trail run the beautiful Rocky Mountains close to Boulder, CO.
3. I try to only do work that is fun. Though challenge but that keeps up the motivation.
Sabrina: Tell us about a challenging experience with a client and how you solved his / her problem
Michael: I was speaking for a large corporation back in Germany at one stage. Everything seemed to be great except the fact that the meeting planner wanted me to dress up on stage as their company’s mascot. I was really concerned about that since it took away the seriousness of my message on stage. But I decided to make the meeting planner happy and saw it as a comfort zone leaving exercise to overcome fear of embarrassment. The keynote turned out to be a major success in terms of entertainment, but I am not sure if anyone had really listened.
Sabrina: I’m in love with live video and I teach many business owners how to incorporate live streaming into their marketing strategies to increase their exposure and establish a more authentic relationship with prospective clients. You have an extensive experience with broadcasting and you also teach how to face obstacles and overcome fear (as you explained in your TEDx talk). That could be applied to fear of being in front of a camera or fear of not being confident / comfortable enough while broadcasting live. Do you have some advice for my audience?
Michael: Oh yes, to overcome fear of speaking on camera, you have to make this your daily challenge.
Record a three minutes morning announcement with your phone on a daily basis. How have you slept? What did you dream about? How do you feel about this upcoming day?
Do this for thirty days in a row, regardless of the quality of these videos. No one ever needs to see this. Just review your videos every seven days and check how much you have improved in terms of fluent speaking, content / structure and appearance. Write down all the improvements you can spot.
Compare your very first video with the final one at the end of the 30 days. How big is the difference in quality? How much more self-confident do you feel now?
You can find more about Michael Wigge on his website at the links below:
Holistic Precision Life Coach, Brain Wellness Coach, and Life-Work Balance Strategist for busy professionals. I blend well-being principles with epigenetics, neuroscience, positive psychology, and mindfulness techniques to implement effective behavior changes.