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Build a bigger business

Lively founder on finding (and filling) the gaps in a $13B industry

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In late 2017, eight winners of Shopify’s Build a Bigger Business competition were flown to Tony’s Fiji resort Namale for both group and one-on-one coaching sessions. One of the winners was an entrepreneur that Tony personally selected from the pool – Michelle Cordeiro Grant: the founder of Lively, a clothing brand she worked to build that is fusing athleisure and lingerie to bring comfort and style to women’s intimate wear.

Now, less than two years later, Lively has been acquired by Wacoal Industries for $85 million – a highly successful exit for a company that is just three years old! Michelle will stay on as CEO and will continue to run Lively as an independent brand inside Wacoal.

Michelle began her career with Federated Merchandising Group, creating brands and product for one of the world’s largest retailers. Grant instantly fell in love with the entire process from concept to customer, and realized that her passion was in supporting, creating and developing amazing brands and products.

Grant spent the tenure of her career with the industry leaders— Federated, VF Corporation and Limited Brands/ Victoria’s Secret. Her work at Federated focused on the development of private label brands and at VFC, Grant was responsible for launching global brands like Nautica Women’s Sportswear. Seeing the shift in the market towards e-commerce, Grant moved to Victoria’s Secret where she focused on merchandising and strategy for VS’s digital arm. Once Grant realized she wanted to create her own brand, she spent a number of years at a thriving startup, Thrillist Media Group, overseeing their commerce division. By working for top retailers, traveling the globe to meet world class manufacturers and spending a couple years with an incredible startup, Grant learned the importance of creating a strong brand affinity, crafting a quality product and building a dynamic team.

While working with Victoria’s Secret, she learned that this $13B lingerie category, in the US alone, was dominated by this one brand, with one point of view. Grant was inspired to create a completely new experience for the category, — one she coined Leisurée — and so Lively was born.

During Michelle’s personal coaching session in Fiji, Tony could clearly see the massive amount of passion she has for her vision and for her customer. But learning how to create a sustainable business that allows her to step back and enjoy what she is doing poses a much larger challenge that she must address before burnout and exhaustion prevail.

In this episode of the Tony Robbins Podcast, Michelle sits down with our host Ana to reveal the key insights and tools she took from her one-on-one mentoring sessions, and how she is using them to create balance and focus when growing her business. Ana and Michelle also dive into what it’s been like to build the Lively brand and how she has strategically leveraged social media, curated an extraordinary customer experience, and created company ethos that helps spread a message of body positivity and community.


[00:58] Episode introduction
[01:30] A look at Michelle’s one-on-one session with Tony
[06:00] Welcome Michelle
[06:25] The Shopify Contest
[07:55] Starting Lively
[09:35] Understand your blind spots
[09:50] Leveraging connections
[10:40] The visual articulation of the brand
[11:25] Growing up in retail
[13:20] Developing an ethos
[15:00] Stop participating and start leading
[16:00] Identifying the right customers
[17:00] Building a brand with a community
[18:05] Moving to Instagram
[19:10] Learning more about the customer
[19:40] Meaning, emotion and life
[20:40] Diversity in income
[22:00] The supply chain advantage
[24:40] Keeping affordable pricing
[26:55] Don’t undervalue your product
[28:35] Managing an exceptional customer experience
[31:25] Pain points going into the Shopify experience
[32:30] Moving from an operator to an owner
[34:40] There’s no such thing as a work-life balance
[35:40] Michelle’s experience with Tony
[36:50] How that experience changed Michelle
[37:40] Doing a couple things really well
[38:50] Michelle’s experience at Business Mastery
[39:10] You can’t win if you don’t know the score
[40:10] Giving each customer a score card
[41:20] What’s next for Lively (including the Lively Tour)
[42:10] The future of physical retail


How do you celebrate your success? – When you make it a point to celebrate the wins, even the smallest victories, you raise your standards for what is possible and you develop the habits required to constantly strive for success.

The midnight workout – We live in a culture of appearances, but what really matters is what you do when no one is looking.

Why is growth addictive? – By finding new strategies and tools to consistently improve your life, you’re making a habit of investing in yourself, constantly improving and finding new ways to be better.

Team Tony

Team Tony cultivates, curates and shares Tony Robbins’ stories and core principles, to help others achieve an extraordinary life.

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