Mondays and Fridays are all the same for Michael Haynes, the 281st person I’ve met on my quest to have lunch with 500 strangers.

That’s because Michael has built a thriving consulting business, which means he gets to choose his projects and control his schedule. So work is a pleasure rather than a chore.

Michael had a successful corporate career that included studying an MBA in his home country of Canada and then working for prominent companies like Telstra, Commonwealth Bank and Accenture in Australia. Along the way, he developed expertise in B2B marketing, research and strategy.

Michael is smart, confident and compelling. He also enjoyed a lot of internal success. So I’m sure he could’ve risen to executive level at a large company. But he wanted to have more control over his life, which is why, in 2011, he started his own business, Listen Innovate Grow.

Now, Michael specialises in helping service-based SMEs that operate in a B2B context to grow their business, by helping them identify their target market, market to those customers and acquire new customers, among other things. He also does one-on-one coaching, runs workshops and speaks at events. And he’s even found time to co-write a book, Listen Innovate Grow.

As the two of us were chatting about how Michael helps his clients, it was impossible not to be impressed. He’s very knowledgeable and really cares about their results.

At the same time, Michael finds the work very stimulating – which is why his Mondays are just as enjoyable as his Fridays. That’s what happens when you take control of your life.