Play Video

Michelle Kuei

Episode 035

A Life Changing Accident and Reawaking

Michelle Kuei is a professional speaker, confidence coach, and meditation & mindfulness teacher who helps women entrepreneurs who struggle with the confidence and courage to tell their unique stories to get seen, heard, and hired.

Michelle provides her clients with the skills they need to live confidently and with purpose by helping them redirect their fears and channel their energy into living life filled with happiness, authenticity, and personal freedom.

Michelle is the author of the memoir Perfectly Normal, an immigrant’s story of making it in America, and the inspirational illustrated e-book, “Miss Little Musical.”

She is a board member of the United Nations Association of the USA Pasadena Chapter, a Clinical Pharmacist at USC’s Keck Medical Center, and an Associate at the Associated Patient Advocates.

She is also a member of the National Speakers Association and Area Director of Toastmasters International at District 100.

As the founder of Elevate LifeCoaching, a seminar and coaching company, Michelle is also the host of the podcast “Perfectly Normal” and a weekly live Facebook show “Monday Coffee Talk.” She’s an experienced professional speaker and a highly requested guest for international podcast interviews.

Michelle travels the world in her leisure time, most recently to Siem Reap, Cambodia, where she volunteered as an English teacher at a nonprofit elementary school.

She is also an avid hiker, photographer, and painter whose watercolors/oil paintings are exhibited in California galleries.

Michelle was born in Taiwan and grew up in New York, but today, she lives in Los Angeles. If you’re looking for her, the odds are good: you’ll find her at the gym or enjoying a cup of coffee with friends.

Book Blurb: perfectly normal

Michelle Kuei was an 11-year-old student in rural Taiwan when a car running a red light completely altered her life’s trajectory.

Through the long and painful recovery process, Kuei made surprising discoveries about loss, identity, and personal strength–revelations that helped guide her through her journey as an immigrant to the United States.

With radical honesty bolstering her storytelling, Kuei shows us how positive transformation can happen when we let go of self-pity, embrace our flaws, and learn to love ourselves.

Facebook Live: Every Wed at 8 am (

Podcast: Perfectly Normal (


Best way to contact

Michelle Kuei Takeaways

  • Michelle was born in Taiwan and lived there for many years.
  • Michelle was struck by a car and, because of that, developed a disability.
  • Despite her disability, she worked to become physically fit.
  • Michelle got her doctorate in Pharmacy.
  • Michelle worked as a professor in California.
  • Michelle then transferred herself, wrote a book, and started her podcast, Perfectly Normal.
  • Today, Scott and Russell talk to a woman who took control of her life when it seemed to crumble. She is a successful career woman, author, and speaker. Michelle Kuei joins the SGV master key podcast on episode 35
  • Michelle also has her podcast called Perfectly Normal. The show’s name was meant to trigger a response because we all know that “normal” is relative.
  • “There was that voice turned on and said, ‘Michelle, is this the way that you want to live the rest of your life?’”
  • “That was the trip that will never forget; it was the most transformative trip for myself. Spirituality, emotionally, mentally, physically, socially, I was able to connect with a lot of friends and spirituality for sure I that I was starting to find the sense that I am One and One is me.”
  • “What makes us stand out? What makes us different? It’s our own personal story.”

What is your connection to the San Gabriel Valley?

She lives here, and her grandparents lived in the SGV for almost their whole lives. She, as an immigrant, moved to New York first. Michelle was born in Taiwan, and she is a first-generation immigrant because of that. Michelle didn’t speak English until she was 15 when she started school in the United States.

Michelle’s extended family already lived in the United States to work for their graduate degrees, and that’s how she and her family were able to immigrate.

She had a hard time when she first came to America. She had to look up every word she read in her math book. She struggled with English, so she had to convince her teachers to push her into harder classes because she knew she wouldn’t be able to succeed.

When Michelle and her family moved to the SGV, they took the house her grandparents had just left. She had to make her own space from curtains because it was a small house split between 5 people.

What gave you grit?

Michelle walks with a crutch now because her leg is a half-inch shorter than the other. In Taiwan, she was struck by a car walking across the street.

She was thrilled initially because she didn’t have to go to school for the first two weeks, but after that, it sunk in that she couldn’t do anything for two and a half more months. It scared her that this might be it. That she would be stuck as an invalid. She was scared that she would be an invalid forever, but she wasn’t.

Because of what happened, she had anger and resentment built up for her accident. She took her family for granted. They would command others to help her. She took for granted those that she loved for years.

It left her with bad scarring, and she would consistently cover her legs. She had to wear orthopedic shoes that she hates. So she never wore them. So she got her crutches.

On her first interview out of college, she brought her mom. She relied on her physically and emotionally. She, of course, did not get the job. After that, she looked for an easy way to transfer her knowledge to another degree and decided to get her doctorate in Pharmacology because of her mom.

She worked as a Pharmacist in New York until her family moved to California.

What made you want to change?

One day, Michelle woke up and realized she was not happy with her life because of her body. Her body weight was the catalyst for a transformation.

She started to exercise at home and tried to adjust her diet. After she began to plateau, she picked a gym. Not a big chain gym, but she loved the matador gym.

She decided she wanted to start hiking in her second year, so she went big and wanted to start at Manchu Picchu in Peru. She went in 2016 and felt a change in her whole life from this trip.

Michelle realized at her friend’s wedding that she was more than just what people expected of her. She got more than her pharmaceutical degree at the behest of her mother. She was more than someone else’s shadow.

She also learned that she needed to be brave in life. To have the life she wanted, she needed to take chances.

Picture of Michelle Kuei

Michelle Kuei

The first one for Michelle would be the gym. She works out is Matatdor gym.

The second is across from the theology department called Ambrose Coffee.

The last place for Michelle is Old Pasadena.