Michelle Kane is a gardener, a Gemini, an autism mom, Director of SDCEO (South Dakota Center for Enterprise Opportunity), Owner of Black Hills PR, and tries to approach everything she does with enthusiasm and gratitude. She began her career as a “company person” in corporate America. “It’s just what you did.” Michelle climbed the corporate ladder, eventually landing a gig as Marketing Director in the Sacramento area.
In 1999, Michelle and her husband, Mike, had their son, Jack, who was diagnosed with autism at 22 months old. “Life’s irony: here Mike and I, two very extroverted, talkative, outgoing people have a child who is completely nonverbal.” This started them on a whole different path.
A few years later in 2005, Michelle and Mike took a quiz on “findyourspot.com” (a site designed to match you with locations that fit your lifestyle and personality), and Spearfish, South Dakota appeared on their list of locations. They’d traveled through Spearfish in 1996 and liked it, so they started to daydream what life would be like in a small town. They traveled to South Dakota, bought a house in Spearfish, and decided they were going to “do this little adventure.”
Initially, Michelle did consulting work for her medical company in Sacramento, then transitioned to the Marketing Director for a law firm in Rapid City. In 2010, Beth Hottle, Executive Director of Downtown Rapid City at the time, asked Michelle to do a presentation on social media, and this began to set her apart as the local social media expert. Kyla Wright asked her to do another social media presentation, and this led Michelle to an epiphany. “Those two women inspired me to say, ‘oh my god, what if I did this as my job?'” Michelle started her business, Black Hills PR, at the age of 43.
Michelle’s journey is inspiring, and there is so much wisdom in what she’s learned along the way. “Our lives, how we get to these seats, there’s a lot to unpack.” She is currently pursuing her purpose as the Director of SD CEO, helping women take action and accomplish their dreams. “We have to keep encouraging each other, and being there for each other, and being supportive.”
If you’ve ever struggled with following your intuition, this episode is for you! Michelle has made big leaps, overcome obstacles, and is living out the advice she gives in our conversation. Can’t wait for you to hear the full episode — listen below!
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