We had the good fortune of connecting with Michelle Stelly and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Michelle, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?

I was unhappy working as an engineer for many years. I even moved around different engineering industries to see if anything ever sparked my interest. I went from water wastewater, to commercial construction, to oil and gas, and finally to transportation. Even though I changed my job many times in the span of 9 years, I was never happy. So that is how I knew I needed a change. I knew that I needed to become my own boss somehow. I dug deep for months and thought about what I loved most in the world, what made me happiest. I finally came up with the answer after talking to my coworker. She suggested that I start a blog on my traveling and hiking, and ever since then, my life has changed for the better.

What should our readers know about your business?
I am Michelle, a Latina blogger from Texas who loves to teach women how to hike, camp, and backpack through my blog. What sets me apart from many people is that I do not come from an outdoorsy family. I started living the outdoor life when I was around 25 after graduating college. But even though I started late in the outdoor world, I put all of my effort into hiking and camping. I struggled a lot initially, but my followers have learned because of all the mistakes I made. I always talk about my mistakes, and I am very open with my tribe. Many women are scared to get outside because they have never done it before, and I am here to let them know that if I can do it, so can they. I am so excited that I have helped women (especially Latina’s) get outside and hike!

I got to where I am today by constantly working on my business. It was so difficult. I was a full-time engineer and had this side business. I had no idea if I would ever make any money. I worked hard for years without making a cent. It took two years before I made any income. I would wake up around 4 am and work on my blog before work, I would work on weekends on the blog, which meant family and friends were usually put on the backburner, and I would feel completely exhausted all the time. But it was so worth it in the end.

One of the biggest lessons I learned was to keep your mind focused on one thing at a time. It is easy to become distracted by every “shiny new object you see”. Putting your time into everything can be counterproductive. For example, I was trying to do it all in the beginning. I was on every social media platform and blogging, and I even contemplated adding Youtube to the mix. I was so overwhelmed and felt like I was getting nowhere, so I decided that I would concentrate on one thing at a time until I got really good at it.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I am obsessed with Sedona! I love to hike, and this is a fantastic place for experiencing the outdoors for the first time. Plus the food is so good, and the views are on another level no matter where you are! I would go to Cathedral Rock hike, my favorite hike there, and then maybe do the Bell Rock Loop trail. Then I would eat at Elote for dinner. I love Mexican food, especially after hiking all day.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I feel like my husband Jameson deserves a lot of credit for the success of my story. He helped me initially by reading over my blogs, taking my pictures, and encouraging me to focus on a niche. I could not have done it without him. I even proposed to move across the country because I felt like it was better for my business, and he did it without hesitation. I am so grateful for his support and love.

Website: https://www.thewanderingqueen.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thewanderingqueen/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wanderingqueeen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wanderingqueen

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.