Roots of Success: An Interview with Internetpreneur Nicola Bird
Business coach, Nicola Bird’s website says she is “the owner of one outrageously successful business, one crazy puppy, two cats, nine goldfish, three children and a husband” with a goal to wipe 90% off her to-do list.
And after making seven figures in her business, feeling burned out from operating in too high a gear, and having to re-think her way of living and working, that’s exactly what she’s doing these days and teaching others to do. Bird now coaches others on dumping all of the extraneous junk that clutters their lives and getting back to their core—building joy, balance, heart and soul into their work. Or as she puts it: “Chuck out all the crap stuff, inject a dose of simplicity and play full out and fearless.”
With a masters degree in occupational psychology, a mix of business experience, and wanting to start a family, Bird had craved the ultimate paradox: A way to have financial stability and freedom—so she could stop fearing becoming a bag lady—while being there full-on for her family.
She came up with the idea for a technology for coaches, to help them reach more clients at once, and turned herself into a productivity machine to make it happen. Six years ago, JigsawBox, an online coaching platform, was born. Using the program, she launched her own business bootcamps, which were so successful that in the fourth year, her revenue hit the million dollar mark.
Here she shares her secrets to success:
W&M: Looking back, what do you feel has been the most significant catalyst to your success?
NB: I used to think it was doing the hard work, doing the things that scared other people, and that people weren’t prepared to. I worked harder, faster and longer than anybody else. And that’s when my business was a success. But what I’ve started to see more recently is that the secret of my success was actually getting an idea totally out of the blue when I wasn’t looking for one that was perfect for me right where I was in that stage of my business. And it didn’t come from anyone else’s formula for success or a book I was reading. It just came to me when I was sitting on the sofa minding my own business. It popped into my head and I thought ‘I can do this.’ And that idea was Jigsaw Box, my online coaching program. And a few years later I was sitting at my desk minding my own business and I got another idea out of the blue, that I could run a virtual bootcamp. And I began running pretty intense online group programs teaching other people how to do the same. Those two things were responsible for the revenues that have come to me in my business. So the biggest catalysts are that I got a couple of insights—new thoughts I never had before, and I acted on them because they were perfect for me.
W&M: What’s the best money lesson you’ve ever learned? Who taught it to you, what was the scenario?
NB: I learned a lot of stuff about money from Kendall Summerhawk (who teaches through books and seminars how to make more money). But one of the best lessons I ever learned was from my NLP coach. I sat with him and he turned up my money thermostat. I didn’t even realize I had one at that point. What would happen is my money would go up to a certain level and then I would do things to self-sabotage, like spend the money that came in. It just always kind of sat around in a certain amount in my bank account. And I went through a visualization exercise with him and just turned it up and as a result, money started to come into my life and into my business. And what I recently realized was that our money thermostat is just a made-up number (that we come up with based on our beliefs), so that has allowed me to remove the number altogether. The sky is the limit.
W&M: What’s the best business lesson that you’ve ever learned? What was the scenario and how did you apply it in your own life?
NB: The same thing I mentioned about the catalyst to success. That I have access to this deeper wisdom that can give me insight. Learning that was incredible. It confirms for me where my best ideas come from. I always thought they came from studying and learning and books and mentors, when actually my best business ideas come from that place of deeper intelligence that hits you out of the blue. It gives me way better ideas than I could ever come up with (if I try to actively think them up)! So now I know where I’m looking for ideas going forward.
W&M: What one thing did you invest in—in terms of time or money—that gave you the biggest return on investment for your business and your life?
NB: I invested a lot in mentoring. I invest in a high end of mentoring. I find a mentor who I think has something to teach me and someone I can learn from and I feel that’s always paid back to me in huge amounts. I worked with a fantastic marketing coach, Bernadette Doyle, and definitely got a fantastic return on investment there, and now I’m apprenticing with Michael Neill and it’s been a phenomenal year. From that I’m getting a deeper understanding of how we create the world around us and that’s giving me much more insight in my business and life.
W&M: What one habit (or habits) do you feel really helped you achieve what you have?
NB: I used to have lots of success habits and in the last year, I’ve let them all go because I realized how useless they all are. I’ve removed the high performance rituals of exercise and sleep and reading and meditation. I used to put them all into practice. Now I am much more guided by what makes sense to me in the moment, what I know to do in that moment.
W&M: What book or books were life-changing for you and how/why?
NB: Michael Neill, The Inside Out Revolution, and Jack Pransky, Somebody Should Have Told Us! Both made me do a complete 180 in the last 18 months about how we work as human beings, where to look for great ideas, and how to be more grounded in how I work I with clients. They pointed me to something 180 degrees from anything I’ve ever learned in my 20 years studying psychology and personal development. They’ve been transformative for me in my life and my business.
What are your secrets to success? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
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