Michelle Duval is one of the world’s most sought-after business coaches who works with many of Australia’s fast growth venture success stories. She is also a successful public speaker, author and entrepreneur.
The Sydney born entrepreneur is creating waves in the coaching and entrepreneurial communities with her latest innovation, Fingerprint for Success (F4S).
F4S was developed after Michelle led a world-first study into the attitudes and motivations of Australia’s most successful entrepreneurs and business owners.
It is a sophisticated platform based on a 20-year study to identify unique entrepreneurial talents and highlight blind spots that could pose a possible risk to business success.
From a young age Michelle always had an interest in business; at 12 years old she was already offering advice to her father about his own business. She was always able to find connections and identify networks which has proved useful throughout her career and life.
Her unique gift also helped Michelle survive a life-threatening disease. Michelle was diagnosed with two autoimmune diseases and was given six months before her condition would render her deaf, blind and mute, and just two years left to live. She was determined to fight back and, despite discouragement from others, actively searched for a cure, found one and completely healed herself.
What is the story behind F4S?
This type of resilience and determination has led Michelle to succeed time and time again, throughout her life. As a pioneer of new forms of learning, Michelle founded Equilibrio in 1997, one of the first professional coaching businesses in Australia. In 2002, Michelle co-developed the international Meta-Coach Training System®, training professional coaches in 35 countries in cognitive, developmental, and self-actualising coaching psychology.
“Throughout my career I began to notice patterns emerging between the attitudes of successful business owners and those that failed. I began to take note and came up with a hypothesis that I scientifically tested using 20 years’ worth of data to determine how people’s motivations and attitudes influence their business outcomes.
“This led to the birth of F4S, a development tool for entrepreneurs and business owners. The platform encompasses five tools which includes the Entrepreneurial Assessment tool, Benchmarking tool, Accelerator and Investor Ranking tool, Co-founder and Team Comparison tool and an On Demand Personal Coaching and Advice tool,” says Duval.
“What excites me about F4S, is that sophisticated coaching tools that were previously only available to the already successful and elite are now affordable and accessible to all entrepreneurs, innovators and their teams.
“Despite the hard work and passion of many entrepreneurs, a high number don’t succeed with 60% of businesses failing within the first three years. F4S is having a positive impact on this statistic and ultimately helping businesses succeed and grow.”
How exactly does F4S work?
The F4S platform provides a suite of five critical tools to develop entrepreneurial strengths. It assesses 48 intrinsic strengths and weaknesses in relation to work. Once the assessment is complete, the user is able to see which areas they are naturally motivated to work on and the blind spots that could potentially pose a threat to venture success.
This is demonstrated through easy and visually stimulating graphs that indicate the amount of motivation the user has for that particular area, compared to those of a successful entrepreneur or business builder.
The user’s results are compared to others working in similar local cultures. Once the user is assessed they are able to use the online tools, videos and resources to help them focus on the areas scientifically proven to have the biggest impact on their success.
“A blind spot is an area you can’t see nor are you aware of it until it is pointed out to you. Blind spots in F4S are not a weakness but specific motivations found to have significance in venture success that you have either too much interest in, or not enough.
“Due to the possible blindness they give you, if not managed, these motivations are risk factors to your success. For example, if you have a ‘Depth’ blind spot this means that either your level of motivation for detailed information and specifics is either much higher or lower than successful business owners. Once the blind spot is known to the user, they have control and can take necessary action,” says Michelle.
F4S allows entrepreneurs to compare themselves to successful entrepreneurs and business owners and allows teams to compare results to ascertain potential blind spots and opportunities to work more cohesively in business.
The tool also helps investors and accelerators understand a founder’s strengths and weaknesses, build start-up teams, and help to mentor talent they are investing in. F4S can help with cofounder conflict, business growth and internal and external communication.
F4S’s first round investors share Michelle’s excitement and passion as they are made up of the very business owners who she helped catapult to success in their entrepreneurial journeys. One of these investors is Investible. Its founders Trevor Folsom and Creel Price founded their first business, Blueprint Management Group with $5,000 each and with Michelle’s help ended up selling it 10 years later for $109 million.
“We have been using F4S for a number of years and cannot recommend it enough. No other tool is as powerful or insightful to identify and develop entrepreneurs as F4S, says Creel Price.
F4S is currently available online and costs $99 for a lifetime membership of professional development and learning.