Hi! I’m Nikki!

It’s been a wild year and I wanted to take a moment re-introduce myself!

I went from a full-time employee desperately wanting to create a side hustle so I could leave work to a full-fledged entrepreneur with no idea what to do, to a podcast host, a consultant, a public speaker and a coach all in 12 months!!!

Not only has my day-to-day life changed completely, but who I am has shifted from lost and confused with no direction to living completely intentionally.

I meditate regularly. I journal. I listen to inspiring podcasts and I read motivational books daily.

I love to talk to other women entrepreneurs who decided to live a life they desired not the one they were told they were supposed to live.

I love to coach aspiring women entrepreneurs to live a life with joy and fulfillment.

I love working with non-profits to help them with fundraising, events, and marketing so that they can grow their mission.

I believe working moms are a powerful force to be reckoned with and our voice is getting louder and louder.

One year ago my desire was to be able to pick my kids up from school at 3pm, volunteer in their school, travel here and there for work, and do work that brings me joy!

Today I can say I am doing all of that!!!!

I have 2 boys, ages 6 & 3.

My husband and I celebrated 10 years of marriage in 2018.

Typically you can find me working at home in my yoga pants, at my local Barre3 studio or chilling at home watching Netflix!

I offer free 1:1 strategy calls for aspiring women entrepreneurs.

I offer free 30 minute consult calls for non-profits looking for help with fundraising, events and marketing.

Just want to learn more listen to the podcast, Stepping Up: Become who you are meant to be on iTunes, Spotify and pretty much anywhere podcasts can be found!

Did you know that things that happened in our past can shape who we are?

Did you also know that you change how those situations affected you?

You either are completely lost or think I’m absolutely crazy, so let me explain.

When I was in junior high I ran track, and I qualified for the championship race. What this means is that I ran a certain time that allowed me to compete in the championship.

Well, I ran that time once, and my fear of not being able to do it again kept from competing.

I told my parents how scared I was of running the race, and they gave me permission to not go to the race.

In hindsight, I can see now that they gave me permission to not push myself and to be ok with mediocrity.

This theme of being ok with things just as they are runs rampant throughout my life.

In school I could’ve applied myself more and received better grades, but I was satisfied with the grades I was getting.

In sports I was ok with how I was performing and didn’t see a need to push myself.

In my career I took the jobs that came to me, did what I was told and quietly would complain about the work.

As much as I was ok with this mediocre life, deep down I had a lot of questions. I wasn’t fully satisfied with a satisfactory life.

Yet, I had suppressed this urge for me for so long that I didn’t even know how to access it as an adult.

Fast forward to becoming a mom, and my drive just went through the roof.

My frustration with the way working moms are treated, and how being a mom isn’t accepted in the world just added fuel to the fire.

My actions started small with fighting for myself by proposing to work from home on both maternity leaves. Then to realizing that as a working mom I wasn’t respected in my office. It was looked down upon when I needed to leave early and pick up a sick kid, or I turned down a work trip to attend an event with my son.

My mind was whirling with questions!

I was beyond frustrated!!

So what did I do?

I started to looking for a new way to live my life.

To live life on my terms.

I learned that I’m not ok with mediocrity and it was time to change my story!

It was time to stand up for myself!

It was time to bring a voice to working moms everywhere!

I started to recognize that there is a better way to live life.

By listening to podcasts and reading books by people who were doing what I wanted, I started to see the possibilities.

These people gave me hope and permission to go after my dreams.

With this confidence and new voice I was able to take back all the years I thought mediocrity was the way of the world.

To see that it’s ok to be in the spotlight.

It’s ok to give a voice to the voiceless!

It’s ok to be who I want to be even if it means upsetting other people, especially those closest to me.

It’s ok to change who I was for the first 3 decades of my life, and become someone else.

This change did not happen overnight, but over the last few years I’ve been given permission time and time again to stand my ground.

I’ve learned valuable lessons along the way, that I take with me on this journey of life.

I no longer live in a world that if something is scary to back away.

I no longer live in a way that says avoiding frustration is ok.

Is there a story you are telling yourself?

Is there a fear that is holding you back?

What it is?

Recognize it. Write it down.

How would you prefer to live life?

Then start following people who are doing what you want.

Listen to their stories, read their books, and listen to their podcasts.

Fill your head with what you want out of life, rather than what you can’t have.

Just because you have lived one way for years, doesn’t mean you can’t shift or pivot. Because I’m living proof to say that you can!!!

Create the life you want, and step up to become who you are meant to be!!!

Two years ago I asked a dear friend of mine, who is a photographer, to capture my family on a typical weeknight. We were two working parents with an 18 month old and a 3 year old who spent 50 hours a week at daycare.

In my opinion we were the typical middle class American family.

We got home at 5/5:30pm while it was still dark. Let the dog out. Made a quick dinner, then got the kids ready for bed.

Maybe my husband and I would get a minute to say hi to each other or even ask “How was your day”, but there was never enough time for a response.

I wanted to capture these moments because I knew they wouldn’t last forever. I knew that I’d forget what life was like when everything was so hectic and crazy. The nights when I’d go to bed praying to get a full night’s sleep for once.

In the moment it doesn’t seem possible that you’d ever forget, but those pictures just popped up on my memories the other day.

Guess what?

Yup, I’d forgotten so much of what that time in our life was like. As I rewatched the video she created for us, tears were streaming down my face and I was so grateful to have those pictures.

The days are long and the years are short.

This isn’t just a simple little saying. It’s a truth.

This was our life and the lives of the other parents I’d see at daycare.

We’d pass each other in the hallway while our child was being held by someone else screaming for us to come back and just share a look of “I get you.”

We’d wonder if our paychecks would cover daycare costs, groceries, and the mortgage this month.

We may not have spoken any words, but we understood each other.

This was real life and it was not the life I wanted anymore.

I was tired of picking my kids up from extended care in the dark. I wanted a different life, but this was the life I was living at the time and I wanted to remember.

So now I work from home, and I get to be pick my kids up from school at 3pm. Our life is still chaotic and messy, but I feel so much better about it because it’s on my time.

I discovered what I valued in life, and that was picking my kids up at 3pm.

This may not be the value for you, and that’s ok too. This life is not about comparing your life with someone else’s. It’s about living life the way that feels best for you, and knowing that what feels right now might change in the future.

So if you had all the time in the world what would do?

Would you work longer hours?

Would you spend more time watching TV?

If given the opportunity really think about what you would do with your time.

Would you cook more?

Would you take more vacations?

Would you sleep more?

Maybe read more books?

Go to the movies?

Whatever you would do, the first thing that comes to your mind is your priority. It shows you what you value.

We demonstrate our true values (whether we went to admit it or not) by what we do with our time and what we spend our money on.

How are you spending your time now? Are these your true priorities?

How does it make feel when you look at how you are spending your time? Do you feel good? Or does it give you an icky sinking feeling in your stomach?

If you get the icky feeling, it’s time to start shifting. To start really looking at how you are spending your time and how you can pivot and spend time doing the things you want to do. Those things that make you feel good.

Time doesn’t stop for us, it keeps moving forward.

Just like those pictures I had taken two years ago. I’ll never get that time back, but I’m so glad I have those memories!!

What is it you wish you would spend more time on.

More importantly what is keeping you from that thing you desire?

Here is a snap shot of just a few of the photos from that documentary photo shoot. 

I remember after having my first son in 2012, that I was back at my pre-pregnancy weight by 6 months. I wasn’t really doing anything special, my body just seemed to bounce back! Because of the amazing first experience I was banking on this happening again with my second kid.

Nope, not even close. My youngest is 3 and I’m still hanging onto about 15lbs (which was 20lbs just about 2 months ago – slow moving progress, but progress nonetheless).

This post isn’t about weight loss though.

What I want to share with you is the fact that I believe…no I know that the reason I bounced back so quickly the first time was because I under much less stress the first time around. When my son was 6 months old I was leaving my full-time job to work part-time. I was stressed while home on my maternity, but I only worked for about 6 weeks before I got this part-time gig. I didn’t spend a significant amount of time working full-time.

This post isn’t also to say that you need to work part-time in order to lose weight either.

But I promise I’ll get to why I’m sharing this story with you.

I returned to full-time employment when my first son was 18 months old and I was newly pregnant with my second son (great timing, huh? LOL). Don’t worry they knew I was planning to have another kid pretty quickly when they hired me, although I don’t believe they anticipated that quickly.

This time around I was in a job I enjoyed so after my second son was born I went right back into full-time work and was excited to go back. Yet this time my body did not bounce back as I hoped. I didn’t worry about it until he was about 9 months old and I was ready to do something about it.

I did a nutritional reset challenge which got me bloated and constipated from all the raw veggies. Got over that and tried some new workouts. T25 was huge for me a few years ago so I gave it another go, but just wasn’t feeling the intensity of it. Then I tried cutting back on the cardio and lifting more heavy weights. With this I definitely got stronger, but still no movement in weight or my figure (*ahem* I was waiting for the fat loss that never came).

After about a year and a half I was pissed and frustrated. I hired a hormonal nutritionist that gave me some great advice, but still no change. Then I started to notice that I was constipated and when I was constipated I looked like I was 6 months pregnant.

Finally the light bulb went off!

This wasn’t a weight issue, it was a digestion issue.

I got on a daily probiotic and saw minor improvement. I became obsessed with digestion essential oils, using them multiple times a day with only minor improvement. I turned to prunes and prune juice, then to detox teas. If there was a solution for constipation I tried it. They all helped in a minor way but nothing was solving the issue and it just kept returning.

My frustration only grew as each solution proved to work only temporarily. I began to realize that this is beyond what I’m eating or drinking or how I’m moving, it’s because I’m stressed.

I had been keeping an eye on a natural healthcare practitioner in my area, and decided it was time to make an appointment.

There I was desperate to make this go away, and here was my solution.

Let’s go!!

It was not an immediate resolution, but as I continued to go I began to notice minor changes in myself, not just physically but mentally as well. I was able to handle stress easier, I was breathing more deeply throughout my day and not just during meditation in the morning.

Then I decided to leave my full-time job and start my business. I continued going to the doctor and I continued to see improvement. Little by little I was getting better. My constipation was occurring less often and when it did occur, it didn’t linger for days like before.

I’m eating more cheese and gluten foods now, and am rarely constipated and bloated. I actually went for a lactose test today, even though I figured it was going to be negative. I made the appointment about 2 months ago so I figured I’d go through with it anyway.

Since August I have lost about 5lbs, but even more than that I feel better. I no longer look 6 months pregnant constantly. My clothes fit better and I can feel a waistline returning.

I’m still stressed, because trust me being an entrepreneur and giving up my income stability was not an easy decision. Living off of one-income for a family of 4 is tough, but yet that stress isn’t bothering my digestion.

My digestion is better because I am living in alignment.

My work/life balance is as it should be, as it was 5 years ago when I working part-time and felt amazing!

Our physical body reacts to our mental health. When we are in an unhealthy place mentally, our physical body will show us signs. For me that sign was in my digestion, and trust me when it creeps in I can tell it’s at a time when there is high-stress in my life. Luckily for me I continue to see my natural health care doctor, but I also have the tools on my own to recognize what is happening and correct it.

You would be amazed at how the mind and body are connected. If you are feeling ill, or not well, it might not be that sushi you ate (I mean it might be), but even a minor cold as I had this weekend can be a sure sign that your body is telling you to sit down and relax. It is your body’s way of forcing you to do what it needs done in that moment. If you listen for the signs early on, than you can avoid the much larger ones that will scream at you instead.

Yes, I quit my job, but I did not quit my job to be home with my kids.

When I decided to leave my full-time job and enter the world of entrepreneurship I knew that my kids would still continue to be in daycare over the summer. I was not quitting my job so that I could be with them 24/7. Does this mean I don’t love them? Absolutely not! It’s means I know myself well enough to recognize that to be a better parent I need my village.

Ever since my oldest was 10 weeks old he was in daycare. Yes, I cried my eyes out leaving him, but it was more about the fact that I didn’t want to return to the job I had than having someone else take care of him. I worked an hour away from home which mean I was leaving at 6:30am and coming home at 6:30pm. Squeezing in just an hour here and there of time with him wasn’t good for me, and then he was up all night so I would be resentful when I was exhausted the next day driving to work. It was terrible and I was miserable!

I did end up leaving that job to work closer to home and only 3 days a week. It was exactly what I was looking for at the time. I wanted to continue working, to stay relevant in my field and also be home just a little bit more. To alleviate the stress of driving to work every day and the stress of work itself. I took a lower position, but that’s what I was looking for at the time.

For an entire year I got to be home with him, and it wasn’t until he was 18 months old that I opted to return to work. An opportunity was presented to me and with a lot of thought I decided to accept the position. I said it multiple times and still do that if it were any other position in the office I wouldn’t have taken it. If I was going to work full-time it was going to be something I enjoyed, not something I dreaded.

So for 4 years I worked full-time, and in those 4 years had another son. Now I was a working mom with two young boys at home. I loved having this position, I loved having work to go to everyday, and serving a purpose in my life. Yes paying daycare was tough some months, and work would take me away on road trips here and there, but I still loved it. I love being the working mom.

That was until the work I was doing stopped serving me and no longer fulfilled me. I began to find myself resentful to be at work. I dreaded going to the office, my youngest started clinging to me at daycare and I caved to lingering a few extra minutes to make sure he was comfortable because I too was avoiding going to the office. I started looking for ways to get out of working late because I wanted to be home.

My priorities were shifting and I was once again searching for purpose. I still didn’t have the desire to stay home full-time, but I started missing t-ball games and kung fu practices. As a mom, I wanted to be present at these events, I no longer wanted to be the mom traveling everywhere and showing up to practices in my high heels because I was running late from a meeting.

When I graduated college I knew whatever job I did I had to love the work, I had to serve a purpose. Over the years I have clung to that and even though my resume looks like I can’t hold a job for more than 5 years, it’s because I’m constantly on the search for what will fulfill me in life.

A few years I started to work to build a side hustle, then network marketing, then search for a new full-time job, all without success. Then finally entrepreneurship entered my world. My time had come to leave work and take a huge leap of faith (you can read more about that in this blog post).

Still I did not quit my job and enter entrepreneurship to be home with my kids full-time. This summer they were in daycare 2 days a week because I needed time to work. My youngest started pre-school this year and even though I know people may judge me for this decision, I choose to have him in school 5 full days a week. I need my time to work.

For me work is important, it provides me with a sense of purpose. I love being a mother, and I would give my life for my boys. In order to be the best mom I can be they need to be out of the house in school and I need to work to fulfill my needs, to fill my cup.

This is how I choose to live my life and how I choose to raise my children. The teachers and friends they have met over the years through daycare and school are an extension of my village and why do it alone and strung out when I have a village of people willing to help me.

Listening to my intuition has served me well, even in the face of fear.

You know those butterflies you get in your stomach when something is about to happen, like a first kiss or going on an interview. Those little flutters deep inside your belly are intuition, it’s your gut telling you something.

Do you ever get those flutters looking at pictures, or thinking about an upcoming event? Even just the thought of doing something can bring them on.

Our gut is the place where we make the best decisions, it’s our body’s way of saying what you are doing is right. It’s like the cheering section at a stadium doing the wave. They are doing it just for you!!

Most times, and most people tend to ignore this feeling as if it’s nothing to be concerned with, it’s just nerves. I want to challenge that thinking and tell you that’s it’s something to listen to and really explore.

My intuition told me I was going to leave my job months before it happened. My intuition told me things were going to go awry and drastically changing my life would be the best decision I ever made. What’s interesting is that I could have chosen to ignore this gut feeling, to ignore my intuition. By doing so I would have stayed where I was, continued to be miserable and unhappy.

I could have easily come up with every excuse in the book to not make the decision I made, and trust me I’ve heard it from plenty of people. Not in a negative way, but in a way “wow I can’t believe you did that” and “that is so risky”. I could’ve told myself that it wasn’t possible, questioned what I would do, or say that I’d wait until my business was making enough money than I would leave work.

You know what, in my gut I knew that wasn’t going to work. If I was going to do this I had to make a big move. If you watch Survivor you’ll understand that in order to have a chance at winning the game you eventually have to make a big move. If you are the person that just skirts into the final three by tagging along someone else you don’t get any credit for the decisions made. You didn’t make a big move. Leaving my job with a steady paycheck was my million dollar move.

I don’t for a second regret the decision I made, and I don’t have a plan B. This is it and it’s going to work. It’s going to work because my intuition, my gut, my heart are all telling me it is.

Our intuition is an incredible thing, and if we just stop and listen to it we will make the best decisions possible to stay on the path we are meant to be on in this life. Unfortunately most people don’t take the time to listen to their intuition, they don’t take the time to sit and be still.

I urge to take just a few minutes every day to just sit still, to write, to take a quiet walk. Put your phone on airplane mode and just be still. At first it will be hard, but if you continue to do this every day and create a consistent habit you will tap into your intuition. Then once you’ve tapped in just start listening and then start taking action.

The more you sit in silence, the easier will become to listen to your intuition. It will also become easier to realize when you are swaying in the wrong direction, and course correct.

No longer ignore those gut feelings, because that is you being guided in the direction you were meant to go. Lean in, listen and act!!!

Network marketing gets a bad rap. One that for a long time I believed in as well. That is until I joined a company with a product I believed in and wanted to share to people.

The big lesson I’m learning is that it’s not for everyone!

Network marketing, multi-level marketing, direct sales, whatever you call it has a place in our world and for many people, the ones willing to do the work, it provides them with a sustainable and profitable career. It allows you to work from home, create your own schedule, provide a passive residual income and your success is based on your effort.

All sounds great right? Then why do so many people have such a negative reaction to this model of business?

Most likely because they’ve had a poor experience. Either they are bombarded by friends asking them to buy their products or host a party, or they signed up with difference expectations and realized it wasn’t as easy as they thought. Or, you feel like everyone you know is part of a MLM and all you see on Facebook is posts about their products. I may have blocked a few people because I was annoyed by their endless posting of the same thing over and over again. I was also asked repeatedly to join a certain business from one person and each time I said no she would reach out again anyway. This same person also reached out to a friend of mine that she doesn’t even know and sent her a message asking her to join her mom’s challenge. That’s not the worst of it…my friend isn’t a mom!!! I was infuriated when I found that out! At least do some research before just contacting people you don’t know!!!

Because of this negative experience I avoided any idea presented to me about joining any network marketing business. Yes, I supported my friends in their endeavors for various businesses but that’s as far as I went.

My Introduction to Network Marketing

I was eventually introduced to a product that me and my family were in need of. This wasn’t a bag or nail wraps or make-up (all of which I purchased and still use some of these products), it is whole food nutrition. My kids and I just got over being sick for pretty much an entire month and I would have done anything to keep us healthy. When I heard a pediatrician talk about balancing the immune system my ears perked up immediately. I had a problem and this product was my solution.

I got the products, but once again I avoided the business. Then once we started seeing our own results and I continued to learn more about the products and the company, I shared it with a friend of mine. It was scary to do that because I knew it was network marketing and I wasn’t even a part of the business yet. I immediately referred my friend to the person who shared it with me. Yet, again avoiding the business. I was happy to give referrals but didn’t want to get involved.

I don’t recall how it all happened next but I did eventually sign up for the business with no intentions of really “working” it. I saw that I could get commission on our products and if I have a few friends order than there’s a little extra cash for me.

During all of this time my desire to have my own business and be an entrepreneur kept pulling at me. I had been working with a business coach to build a fitness/running coaching business, but it wasn’t sitting right with me. I eventually dropped the business and the coach but still wanted something more.

I then turned to my network marketing company and explained to those above me my concerns. Out of options I decided to jump into it and a few months later attended my first conference.

That conference opened my eyes wide to all the possibilities this business can offer. Over 7,000 people in one room all coming together for the same mission and supporting each other along the way blew my mind!

Then came the connections with the others on my team. People I never met in person but had been talking to and seen on video chats became immediate friends. It was as though we’ve always known each other.

At that conference I decided to stick with it and at the time I was going all in. I saw women and men changing their lives and their family’s lives through financial freedom and time freedom. Wives working hard to reach the top level and earn health benefits so their husbands could retire early. Husbands and wives working together in this business showing their children the possibilities! I saw recent college grads create a stable income right out of the gate avoiding the corporate world all together.

So many stories of inspiration and hope!!! I drank the kool-aid and I mean all of it….chugged it down!!!! LOL

What’s next for me in network marketing

Finally the New Year comes and I really start diving into personal development and begin seeing myself walking away from my full-time job. What I was doing was still unclear to me, and because of that I leaned into the network marketing business but for some reason it wasn’t fully resonating with me.

I was being pulled in another direction, yet I still didn’t want to let go of network marketing.

Skipping a few months ahead and lots of drama, I did eventually quit my job and started my own consulting business. Long story here but a feeling in my gut is telling me to start my own business, something that’s just mine. So I did!

Now the big question has been what to do with my network marketing business?

I don’t want to let it go, and I know having more than one source of income is a smart decision. Can I do both???

For sometime I didn’t think I could and I was struggling with what to do. As I write this I’m on the train leaving a conference for this company. A conference I debated not going to because I’m not sure where this business is going for me.

But I paid and there was still a pull for me to go. Through the hesitation I went and boy am I glad I did!!! I got inspired again!!

I realized that over the last few weeks I’ve been over complicating things. I’ve been thinking too much of the to-do list and how I’ll never get it done. Instead I need to change my mindset to figure out what I can do with the time I have available. It doesn’t have to take me hours to work on my network marketing business while also growing my consulting business. I can do both!!

It’s about working smarter not harder!!!

I am going to be kind to myself, and celebratig the small wins.

I will take inspired action.

I will share authentically and with passion.

I will not compare myself to others. This is my journey no one else’s.

I will be a leader who leads with passion and purpose.

This is my story and everyone’s story is different.

I started my consulting business for a reason and I continue to stay with my network marketing business for a reason. Wherever they both lead me is unforseen right now, but I am living in the present and doing what feels good right now.

Traveling for work is something I did a handful of times throughout the year. Typically lasting no more than 24 hours but requiring an overnight stay. Today as I sit in my hotel room after my final trip for work it feels funny. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but something in me feels different.

In about 3 weeks I’ll be leaving my full-time job to pursue entrepreneurship. I couldn’t be more excited to take on this next adventure, but there is a definite sadness with this final trip. As I did the 3 hour drive here I started to get flutters in my stomach thinking about how I won’t do this again. I’m trying to put into words how I feel, but it’s truly really difficult to do right now.

I’m leaving a job I overall enjoyed, one that gave me meaning and purpose. Years ago as a new college graduate I knew deep down that I would be back at my alma mater. So to be able to serve the alumni for past 4 years has been not only an honor and a privilege, but a dream come true.

Then when I think about the time I’ll be getting back in my life, I know I’m making the right decision. Even though this change feels so right it doesn’t come without a lot of emotion. I want to lean into this emotion, to feel all the feelings and really enjoy the last few weeks in this position.

When I gave my notice a few weeks it was surreal to think about taking on entrepreneurship. I thought a lot about the future, and what’s coming up next. Now that the end is coming up and the last time for things is happening, I’m reflecting back on the last 4 years. I want to reflect, I want to remember and yes I want to cry. It’s going to be sad walking out the door of my building, and driving off campus for the last time as an employee.

Twelve years ago I drove off campus with tears in my eyes because my time as an undergrad was ending and it was the end of a chapter in my life. Soon I’ll drive off campus with tears in my eyes because another chapter here is ending, and new adventure is beginning.

I know what lies ahead is incredible and I’m so blessed for this opportunity. That doesn’t make this move any easier. For the next few weeks I’m going to really be present in my work. To enjoy the mundane and everyday things, the conversations with co-workers, the lunch breaks, the laughs, the phone calls and the emails.