Michelle Bonn, an International Big Fish.
Owner & president, Expedient Trade.
Michelle has been running Expedient Trade for about 4 years. The main focus of her business is global sourcing and manufacturing. Expedient Trade specifically works with domestic manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors to purchase and manufacture custom products, materials or parts across Asia and Europe.
Big Fish: how did you start your company?
Michelle: Back in 2000, I was working with a consulting company that specialized in Quality Control training for global manufacturers. While I was visiting the factories in Asia, I realized that more USA based companies needed access to such high-tech, well run factories. After some good mentoring, direct exposure to foreign companies, and almost 2 years of market research (Asian & European markets) I realized international doors needed to be opened for small & medium sized companies. I believed in starting a business that allowed smaller companies to take advantage of the international price and tax breaks, much like the “big guys” in the market enjoy today.
Big Fish: What made you turn to Big Fish as a business resource?
Michelle: When my company was incorporated in late 2005, much of the first 2 years were spent setting up foreign infrastructure, building the right team of people globally, and finding my niche in the USA market. What I didn’t’ realize was I was actually holding myself back from real business growth because I was feeling stuck. I knew I had to grow but I wasn’t sure how.
Then, in 2008, I met Lorin at a National NAWBO event. This was the first and “everlasting” exposure I had to the Big Fish Nation. Until that point, I didn’t even know what a business coach was all about, let alone feel the need to hire one. Well, I was hooked after reading her book “From Entrepreneur to Big Fish, the 7 Principles to Wild Success “. It was at that moment, I knew Lorin was somehow going to help me see the world, myself and my business in an entirely different way.
Big Fish: How have you and your company changed by being a part of the Big Fish Nation?
Michelle: Taking part in the year long program did 2 very specific things for me and Expedient Trade.
First, Lorin’s program helped me to gain a deep sense of inner strength, confidence and desire to lead. This “take-charge” attitude toward life has allowed me to lead people in a very different way. I now see the importance of leading people with very “loose reins”. Teach the detail, back away and always leave the “door” open. You will find that people are more willing to work with you (even make a few mistakes) while giving you the absolute best of who they are.
Secondly, my newly developed motto of “live fearless” has allowed me to make more strategic and well focused business decisions. I’m better equipped to lead my growing company; which has proudly increased revenues of over 120% in the past year.
Big Fish: Where do you see your company in the next 3 years?
Michelle: I have BIG passion for “making things”. Manufacturing and international sourcing is an ever changing function that I love to tackle. I plan to see an expansion of my Chinese office operations while continuing to service large scale manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers. Expedient Trade will continue to offer its clients the best of who we are while providing the best possible access to good quality products and manufacturing services across the globe.