What does it mean to be financially free? Ask ten people, and you’re likely to get ten different answers. For some, it might mean never having to worry about money again. For others, it might mean supporting themselves and their loved ones without needing a day job. Regardless of how you define it, financial freedom is a dream for many people.
And many people work hard each and every day to achieve that dream. Still, more often than not, turning that dream into reality is anything but easy – something that Amy Mikhaiel knows the best. Today, Amy Mikhaiel is a self-made millionaire, entrepreneur, and business coach who has dedicated her life to empowering and inspiring women to achieve financial freedom. However, 14 years ago, her story was wildly different.
In 2008, Amy Mikhaiel was a fresh-off-the-boat immigrant who came to the United States from Algeria to pursue a better life. Even though she grew up in a relatively well-off family back in Algeria and graduated from the University of Badji Mokhtar in Annaba, she always felt there was more to life than following in her parent’s footsteps.
“I was raised in a country built on the education system and respecting your elders. My mom was a teacher, and my dad was the school principal. I was taught my whole life that if I went to school and got good grades, I would find a nice job and be happy,” says Mikhaiel. “Still, I had greater dreams than that, so I decided to move to the United States in 2008 and build a more perspective future for myself.”
Fueled with enthusiasm and her dream, Mikhaiel moved to the US only to be welcomed by one of the most significant economic crashes in the country’s history. She couldn’t find a job she wanted and was schooled for (bachelor’s degree in journalism). Still, instead of crying over spilled milk, she rolled up her sleeves and took the first job she found – cleaning other people’s houses.
Fourteen years later, Amy Mikhaiel has succeeded in building several successful businesses from the ground up. She founded her first company, Amy’s Angels™ Cleaning Inc., while still working as a housekeeper in the US, and has since grown it into one of the top cleaning services in the country. She is also the creator of Mops To Millions™, a coaching program that helps women gain the confidence and skills they need to grow their successful 7-figure businesses.
“I would love to say that it was easy, but it wasn’t. I had to sit down and silence a thousand voices inside my head – You’re not from here. You’re an immigrant. You’re a woman. You’re too young to succeed! – and I did,” says Mikhaiel. “I overcame that first challenge, the self-doubt that started creeping in because I cleaned rich people’s homes. Do you know why? Because they were immigrants, too, at one point. And if it was possible for them, I could also succeed.”
The second part was a bit trickier to overcome. Mikhaiel had to learn all the business skills she needed to run a company – finance, accounting, bookkeeping, marketing, etc. – and did it herself. Nobody was there to show her all the tips and tricks to get off the ground sooner. She regrets not having a mentor in her early days. With that in mind, she made it her mission to share her knowledge and spread her expertise with other aspiring businesswomen who want to build their own cleaning companies.
As Mikhaiel explains, there are two types of business owners in the cleaning industry. In the first group are people who are just investors and don’t bother with the industry’s details. On the other side are housekeepers who don’t know anything about running a business. “She’s a housekeeper. She still cleans with her hands; nothing ever grows because she’s the customer service and mopping,” she says. “And after three or four years, she throws in the towel and gives up on her business because she doesn’t know how to run it properly.”
“After I figured it out for myself, I started thinking, ‘How can I go and do it for other women?’ so they can go to the next level as well,” Mikhaiel adds. “So, I created a coaching program where I share and mentor other women on how to start and grow a company to seven figures.”
Over the years, Amy Mikhaiel has helped countless women achieve their financial goals and overcome the challenges they face as female entrepreneurs through her work. Her passion and dedication to empowering women have earned her a reputation as one of the leading voices in women’s empowerment. She is widely regarded as a role model for aspiring businesswomen everywhere.
“I know the struggle of being a poor immigrant with only a few dollars and a dream in your pocket,” she explains. “I know that success doesn’t come easy. You still have to work hard to get there, but it’s easier if you have someone to show you the way. That’s why I want to be there for people going through the same things because I know how much it would’ve meant to me if I had someone to lean on.”
Article written in Partnership with Luke Lintz