Michelle Gordon takes parenting advice to another level
She’s vivacious, to say the least, full of energy and light, and a source of motivation for everyone she encounters in her daily life. Michelle Gordon is a woman of extremes who is emotionally driven – a dream chaser who is uncompromising in her beliefs and very determined in her approach to all areas of her life.
Gordon is the chief executive officer at B3 Parenting, a lifestyle consultant, and parenting motivational speaker. She stands at the helm of a growing publishing business, with B3 enjoying readers in more than 44 countries and physical distribution in Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, New York and Ontario.
She is also the curator of lifestyle events aimed at educating and entertaining parents and children alike, and, most recently, the managing director of the BOLD Model and Talent Management Agency for Children.
“I am a free spirit who gets bored easily. The thought of having a nine-to-five job petrifies me – I have never had one!” Gordon said.
With her love of writing, Gordon created the opportunity to provide more than just retail therapy for mom and dad and subsequently created a resource base of information, support and advice to expecting parents, new parents, experienced parents and parents by association.
In 2012, full-fledged momtrepreneur Gordon, mother of two, launched the Caribbean’s first dedicated parenting magazine – B3 Parenting Magazine – representing ‘Bump, Baby and Beyond’ and aiming to redefine Caribbean parenting with style, class and unquestionable beauty.
“I am driven by my children, knowing that for now, I am their main lighthouse. It is important for me that they understand the principles of hard work, dedication and consequences for actions,” Gordon said.
“When my children say that they are proud of me at the end of a project or event, that means the world to me because they would have seen the grit and grind that it took to get there,” she added.
“They are privy to the ‘can’t-give-up’ moments, the tears, the frustration, and eventually, for the most part, the reward of favour and sometimes failure. Their understanding of the process to achieve success is intrinsic,” she said.
Gordon is motivated by excellence and is disappointed when she observes people who can do better produce mediocrity. “Iron sharpens irons, and motivation comes from knowing that low standards are just not accepted,” Gordon said.
A daughter of Jamaican soil, Gordon migrated to Canada in her early years. Growing up in a typical nuclear family, she credits her parents for instilling in her lifelong and lasting values that she, in turn, has been able to teach her children.
“I never heard or saw my parents argue. I never knew them to have any challenges, whether with financial matters, their relationships, marital or anything. As a matter of fact, I never heard my father say anything unkind about another human being or even raise his voice,” Gordon said.
“My father was the consummate provider and my mother, the perfect stay-at-home mom-cum-teacher, then artist. By virtue of her choices, she was always around. As an adult today who is weathering ‘modern’ parenting, I accept that my parents, while doing their best, sheltered me and my sisters from a lot of reality,” she said.
Gordon is family-oriented and grew up with two biological sisters and one ‘sister friend’ in what she describes as the most beautiful, child-friendly neighbourhood.
“Our street was a cul-de-sac, and every home on our road seemed to have children of roughly the same age. I have memories of playing ‘One, Two, Three, Redlight’, ’Stuck in the Mud’ and ‘Red Rover’ on the road until our parents came to drag us inside,” Gordon said.
“I remember ‘Fudgie’ coming around on a Sunday, the boys breakdancing on cardboard on the sidewalks, and I remember that every ‘Auntie’ was like your mother whenever your own wasn’t around, so we literally ‘lived’ on our Ps and Qs,” she said.
As a single mother, Gordon said she is raising her two children surrounded by a powerful village. “My parents live a stone’s throw away and my sister, just two stones’ throws away. I am blessed beyond measure to have not just my family but a nucleus of girlfriends and a handful of ‘brothers’ who are never more than a phone call away,” she said.
Through her experiences, Gordon has found a way to merge her many talents to create a multifaceted platform to help parents on a journey that they will travel for the rest of their lives.
“Most of the things that I do are parenting-related, and I will be the first to admit that I sometimes struggle with taking my own advice. Especially as my children get older and are defining their own lives, it takes a lot of patience, which I don’t always have, to allow them to grow, and simultaneously trying to steer them in the right direction,” she said.
Gordon said that in a world that demands perfection, it’s important to be reminded that none of us are perfect. “I provide an alternate view to the most common issues in parenting, and where I cannot find the answers, I point parents in the right direction to find the solutions.
“Dreams are great, but they must be supported by reality. Get sound advice. Having a great idea is the pretty part of living our best life. But do your due diligence. Learn about the field you want to enter, and get to know the rules of the game and the regulations and laws that obtain,” she said.
“If you don’t understand money, find someone who does to work with you. Following a dream is beautiful, but if it’s not sustainable and financially viable, the disappointment becomes a heavy burden to bear. Once you set a solid foundation, you can build on the dreams layer by layer,” Gordon said.
Inspiring people, she said, may seem like a cliché, but inspiration is one of the most important resources in society and one of the scarcest commodities. “If you think about it, everything starts from a spark of inspiration. Change can only come from inspiration. I believe my ability to connect with people creates the necessary climate for inspiration. I speak from the heart, and more often than not, that is all you need to inspire someone to change,” Gordon said.