Announcement, Entrepreneurship

The Year She Played It Big + An Announcement!

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“There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom” – Anais Nin

This is the year that I am giving myself permission to think big, to take up space, and to live my truth boldly and publicly.

This is the year that I will no longer confine the size of my dreams to what is socially acceptable.

This is the first step on a journey to creating a life of my own design, focused on helping others reach their full potential.

This is the year of playing it big.

Not all who wander are lost

As I look back on 2013, I can say without a doubt that the theme of that year was wandering.

I tried out different industries, different jobs, different health habits, and different volunteer routines.

Each was interesting and enjoyable in its own way, but nothing felt 100% right. I felt as though I spent the whole of 2013 searching for something that I couldn’t yet name.

During that year of confusion, I also wrestled with entrepreneurship in a big way — something inside me just knew that I was meant to explore that path, but I wasn’t sure why, how, or what it should look like.

So I kept trying to force a ‘start’. An idea. A spark. A moment of passion.

Unsurprisingly, that didn’t quite work.

It wasn’t until I stopped trying so damn hard and went “back to my roots”, so to speak, with my writing — one of my oldest passions — that I had my lightbulb moment:

Start with what you know and love, and the rest will flow from there.

Drumroll, Please…

In my case, what I know and love is writing — I find myself constantly overwhelmed by the power of the written word to transform lives.

For most of 2013, I felt stagnant, stuck, and confused about how to take the first step towards living my purpose. Little did I realize that all I had to do was what came naturally to me.

I feel as though I’ve finally gotten to a place where I’m no longer trying to force myself down a particular path. Instead, as Oprah said, I am harnessing my power to my passion and letting things flow from the wonderful place where the two meet.

So this week, I will start with what I know and I will be taking the first step on a long journey towards building the life and business of my dreams with the launch of my new website.

[Gif party break]

Going live this Friday (Valentine’s Day!), the new site will have all of the content that you find here, plus so much more. It will be a place filled with advice, resources, and stories to inspire you to live an intentional life both personally and professionally, and to get comfortable defining success on your own terms.

I’ve known for a long time that my purpose in life is to support others on their journey to reach their highest potential, and that is exactly what I hope to do with my writing.

This is the first piece of a bigger puzzle, but it’s one that means a great deal to me.

It’s been an incredible journey getting back to writing, and I want to thank everyone who has supported and encouraged me so far, I can’t count the number of times that your support has moved me to tears at my desk.

I chose Valentine’s Day as my launch date because this really is a labour of love in the truest sense.

The business is still still evolving and developing, but I just got to the point where if I didn’t find a place to start, I’d just explode.

If you want to be updated when the new site launches on Friday, just enter your email address below, and I’ll be sure to send you an invitation to come tour my new home online!

Thank you, and see you on Friday! (PS – here’s a sneak peak)

Nicole xo

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Reflections, Self Care

A Small Town Trip with Big Time Gratitude

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As many of you know, I believe that gratitude is essential to our emotional, mental, and physical wellness.

Like anyone, I’ve experienced my fair share of ups and downs, and I’ve found that a consistent gratitude practice has helped me to become a stronger, happier, and more resilient person.

When I am actively practicing gratitude, I am more productive, my relationships are stronger, I take better care of my body and I feel as though I experience life on a whole new level — it’s as if gratitude opens my eyes a little wider to the incredible journey that is life.

While I’ve got a pretty consistent gratitude routine going, I’m always on the lookout for new activities and ideas to incorporate into my gratitude practice.

So I was absolutely thrilled (and very grateful!) when the one-and-only Kate Durie invited me to attend her {the GRATITUDE kit} workshop at Hello Yellow this past week in beautiful Almonte.

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Career Advice, Inspiration, Reflections

How to Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

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I love surrounding myself with intelligent, accomplished, hard-working people — I want to be inspired and energized by my circle.

I also seek out inspiration online, in books, and in my community. In my bid to be constantly learning, I am continually exposing myself to some pretty brilliant individuals.

Sounds great, right?

99% of the time it is!

But surrounding yourself with powerful, accomplished people can be a double-edged sword:

On the one hand, motivation is never in short supply, but ocasionally motivation can morph into something darker:

Comparison.

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Reflections

What Being a Sidekick Taught Me About Ego

Let me start by saying that I’m not particularly proud of the story that I’m about to tell you. I’m not proud of the fact that my ego sometimes rears its ugly head from time to time.

But I believe it’s something that we all experience, and I hope that can inspire an open and honest conversation about how the ego can motivate us — in all the wrong ways.

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When you’re managing an event, it’s your job to make sure that your work is unseen.

Done right, it should appear seamless — as though you aren’t even there. It’s your job to be the unpopular time keeper, to swallow your pride and cater to the whims of those around you, to clear the overflowing garbage can and to make sure that cabs are called on time.

Your place is behind the scenes, working to make others shine.

In short, it’s your job to be Robin, not Batman.

Learning to play second fiddle

So when I spent the better part of last week playing Robin to my dear friend and colleague’s Batman, my ego was put to the test in a way that I didn’t anticipate.

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Entrepreneurship, Reflections

5 Money Mindset Makeovers for 2014

OldCarNewCarLike any dramatic love affair, my relationship with money is long and complicated.

We’ve been through thick and thin (literally) and have been in each other’s lives for many, many years.

I grew up with a lot of privilege — I lived in a very comfortable home with frugal parents who always gave us what we needed (and then some) and who taught us the importance of money management early on.

What I also learned is that like many people, my relationship with money is deeply, deeply emotional.

Money can make me feel like I’m on top of the world, and like I’m a complete and utter failure — sometimes in the same week. I’ve shed tears over money, panicked about money, and jumped for joy about money.

I’ve gone through phases where I’ve tracked and monitored my funds down to the last cent in elaborate spreadsheets, and I’ve had times where I’ve spent money without a care in the world (that’s really only happened twice and doesn’t last much longer than a month).

But the one thing that had stayed consistent in my relationship with money is that it feels as though money always has the upper hand.

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Career Advice

The Danger of Being Good At a Job You Don’t Like

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Normally it’s a great feeling to be really, really good at something. You feel accomplished, empowered, and valuable.

But today I want to talk about what it’s like to be good at something, but be unhappy doing it.

Let’s talk about the danger of being good at something you hate.

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Reflections, Self Care

5 Happiness Experiments for 2014

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At the beginning of the year I wrote a post about five productivity experiments that I was planning to undertake in 2014, and it ended up being a pretty popular post.

They ranged from a new way to organize my to-do lists, to making time for reading daily. You can read the full post here, and I’ll posting an update on my progress soon.

To continue on with this year’s theme of openness and experimentation, here are five happiness experiments that I’ll be running in 2014:

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