The 3 Key Lessons I Relearned From Writing My Book

Heal Your Inner Good GirlThis time last year, I started the process of writing my first book, Heal Your Inner Good Girl.

I’d wanted to write a book for the longest time. Ever since I was a little girl, I’d dreamed of being an author. I’d even started writing books before, but never got past a few pages.

If you’ve ever begun a creative project, or got a new idea for your business, you’ll know there’s a BIG difference between taking the first, tentative steps and actually getting it finished.

So, what made the difference for me this time? What were the key points that meant I actually completed my book and released it out into the world?

I’m sharing my top 3 lessons here with you.

I say in the title that they’re lessons I ‘relearned’. As with all of the most important lessons in life, we learn them over and over again in different ways. Each time we reach a new level of awareness. And that’s why I wanted to share them in context with you here.

1. Trust your guidance and inner knowing

Can I tell you a secret? The Universe is ALWAYS sending you signs about your right next step. That’s why you get so many ideas coming to you – in the shower, when you’re out for a walk, in the queue at the supermarket.

But very often, although we get excited about that initial idea, pretty soon we can get disheartened and distracted. (Hence my numerous previous attempts to write a book!)

Fortunately this time, I was very strongly guided to write Heal Your Inner Good Girl.

This time last year (September 2015) I was in a pretty low place. Things were very slow in my business and I was completely unsure of the direction I wanted to move in.

Desperate for some insight, I ended up booking an angel reading with the wonderful Isobel Gatherer. During this reading I was very clearly guided that I needed to write a book. And I was told that I already had more than enough content to fill it.

The fact that I’d been wanting to write a book for so long and that the instructions in my reading were so clear meant that I had no doubt that this was the right next step for me.

I just knew that writing my book was what I needed to focus on. And although it took a little longer than I initially imagined, write my book I did.

You don’t have to wait for a low patch to listen to your inner knowing. If you have an idea that keeps coming to you, take action.

There’s some more to say here about trusting your own process.

Before I actually started writing my book, I read a lot about how to write the perfect book for your business. And to be honest, I kinda got stuck here.

I knew that I had an important message I wanted to share. And I knew it related to my business in some way (helping women to create the perfect money-making mindset). BUT I also knew that what I felt called to write about in my book was much broader than simply money mindset.

As I was out for a walk one day, the title of the book – Heal Your Inner Good Girl – just came to me. I loved it. And I knew that I had a lot to share around this idea.

So I decided to trust that even though this maybe wasn’t he perfect book for my business, it was the perfect book for me.

In Heal Your Inner Good Girl, as well as having a chapter on money, I share my personal story and talk about areas such as creativity, goals, relationships, people-pleasing, anger and knowing what you really want in life. So, even though it’s not obviously 100% aligned with the work I focus on in my business, it kinda is!

Although I focus on money mindset and business coaching with my clients, the idea of healing your inner good girl and living in a more unbound way applies to this too. So maybe I’ll write another book which speaks more directly to what I do in my business, but for now I was happy to throw the rule book out and write what was already there in my heart. (And I encourage you to do the same if this frees you up to create).

2. Get an accountability buddy

I’ve written about this before, but it’s SO important. When you’re working on any challenging project, accountability is key.

By the end of last year, I’d pretty much written a first draft of my book and I thought I was nearly there. Little did I know that getting the initial draft done was the easy(ish!) part.

The nitty-gritty of transforming what I had into a final, ready-to-be-published manuscript was set to be super-challenging.

Fortunately for me, I’d been telling people left, right and centre that I was writing my book (so there was no going back!) and one of those people was the gorgeous Jess Baker who was also in the process of writing a book.  Jess contacted me over the Christmas break to ask whether I wanted to team up as accountability buddies to keep us on track during the book-writing process.

Of course, I said yes and I’m SO glad I did. Jess and I checked in with each other over Skype every single week to see how we were doing.

We set goals, shared our challenges and celebrated our successes. I can honestly say that if I hadn’t had Jess as my book buddy, I’d probably still be floundering around trying to finish Heal Your Inner Good Girl.

I can’t overstate the importance of having an accountability partner and checking in regularly (once a week might seem like a lot, but it’s SO easy for time to drift by with no real progress being made).

So, find yourself a friend, a coach, an acquaintance or a mentor who can hold you accountable and harness this super-power to get your shiz done.

3. Feel your fear of criticism (and do it anyway)

In Heal Your Inner Good Girl I share a story of when I was a little girl and a teacher described my work as ‘absolute rubbish’ in front of the whole class.  It was a formative moment for me, one when my inner good girl came to the fore and warned me to be far more careful with what I shared in the future.

That experience (amongst others) basically taught my younger self that it wasn’t safe to be me.

And this is a belief I carried with me for much of my life. So I held back, second-guessed what it was ‘okay’ to share and generally tried to keep my head under the parapet. And maybe you’ve been carrying the same belief?

But of course, when you’re releasing any sort of creative project into the world (or running a business for that matter), sharing yourself and your work is part of the process.

When I came to actually finishing my book and publishing it, I stalled. I kept telling myself and my book buddy that it needed more work, it wasn’t clear enough or that I should write more words.

But when I came to read through the final draft for the upteenth time, deep down I was happy with it. I knew it was okay. I knew it was complete. So why was I stalling?

Mr H actually summed it up perfectly one evening as we were having dinner. I was talking about my resistance to finishing Heal Your Inner Good Girl and speculating that it was my dislike of endings that was getting in the way. But Mr H pointed out that it was actually my fear of being back in the classroom and having that teacher call my work out as ‘absolute rubbish’.

Yes! That was it.

I was terrified of releasing my book out into the world and someone saying, ‘Well Nicola has written this book and it’s abolsule rubbish!’

In that moment, I resolved to acknowledge that old fear and say ‘Fuck it’. I decided that the message I wanted to share in Heal Your Inner Good Girl was far more important than any criticism I might receive. And I was ready to put it out there.

So, if you have a fear of being criticised (and let’s be honest, who doesn’t?), tune into your bigger vision. What’s the message you’re here to share with the world? What’s the work you’re here to do? Don’t let this old fear hold you back. We need to hear you.

So, that’s the story of Heal Your Inner Good Girl and the lessons I (re)learned along the way. If you’d like to grab your own copy of the book (either in paperback or Kindle), click here to purchase on Amazon.

The 7 things you need to consider before joining a mastermind

Copy of The 7 things to consider if you're thinking of joining a mastermind groupWhen I first started my business 6 years ago, I was under the mistaken impression that being self-employed meant I had to do it all by myself.

And even though I was pretty quick to get help with things like my website, when it came to sharing the challenges I was experiencing in my business, the fears and doubts that came up on a daily basis and the constant questioning about what I should do next, I kept ALL of this to myself.  And it was exhausting.

I was operating in a vacuum, not letting anyone in, using pure will and guesswork to try and move forward in my business. (Sound familiar?)

Sometimes I would make progress, but then I’d hit a wall again and I’d feel like I was back at square one.

It was only when I went to a couple of business events in 2012 that I realised what it was like to be with a group of other people who were all building their own businesses.

  • I heard other women talking about exactly the same challenges I had been experiencing. (Ah, so I wasn’t the only one!)
  • I gleaned golden nuggets of information that I could implement straight away in my business.
  • I listened to inspiring stories of women who were walking the path that I wanted to (and creating gorgeous abundance along the way).
  • And I was able to ask some key questions that got me moving forwards to where I am today.

It was at one of these events that I was inspired to join my first online group mastermind. And I dived in at the deep-end. It was a year-long experience with weekly calls and to tell you the truth, it was probably a bit much for where I was at the time.


As a mastermind ‘virgin’, a whole year felt too long for me. I found myself drifting away from the group towards the end and didn’t make the most of my investment.

I wasn’t clear on my intentions for joining the mastermind. I was really inspired when I heard about the group and jumped in immediately, without thinking about what I really wanted to get out of it. So I wasn’t as focused as I could have been.

I held back from receiving the support I really needed. I was pretty sporadic in showing up for the calls, I didn’t ask for the help I actually needed (I was terrified of feedback!) and I still tried to go it alone much of the time (even though I was paying for my membership).

Saying that, when I look back, I still learned a lot from my first mastermind experience. It was the first time I’d taken my business online (and I made some sales of my first ever online programme – yay!) And I made connections that still continue to this day.

Since then, I’ve been in a number of mastermind groups and I’m a LOT more intentional about how I use them. The coaches I’ve worked with and groups I’ve been part of have been key in transitioning my business from a face-to-face hypnotherapy practice to an online business that enables me to be 100% location-independent (and that’s why Mr H and I have been able to take the opportunity to move to the States over the course of the next year).

So if you’re thinking about joining a mastermind group as your next step, here are some key points to consider:

1. How big is the group?

I’ve been in masterminds that have had thousands of members and others that have been as small as 6 people. Both have their place. In a larger group, you’re able to access a whole treasure trove of collective wisdom, but it can be challenging to make yourself heard and the faster pace of a big group can feel overwhelming. A smaller group gives the opportunity for deeper connections and can feel like a safer space where you can share more openly.

2) Is it paid or free?

Again I’ve been in both types of masterminds here and in my experience, when people invest money in a mastermind, they’re more committed to the process. Unless there’s a very clear intention, free masterminds can end up feeling unfocused.

3) Is there a clear leader?

Masterminds can either be run by one clear leader who brings the group together, or they can be more laissez-faire with the members running it themselves. Both can work well, but personally I prefer to have a leader who can maintain the focus of the group, hold a safe space, offer support, make suggestions and answer questions.

4) Is the group purely for mutual support or is there a teaching element?

Some masterminds will be a place where people working towards a similar outcome are able to share challenges with each other, ask questions and celebrate wins. Whereas others are set up with the aim of offering support and teaching the members about a specific subject – for example, my Unbound Business Mastermind has a strong teaching element where a new module is released each week to help you grow your business (and your income) in the remaining months of 2016. What do you need/want?

5) How long is the mastermind?

Masterminds can range from a short, intensive experience of, for example, four weeks, up to a year or longer. Some may run continually with people dropping in and out along the way. As I mentioned above, for my first mastermind experience a year felt like too long, but at the moment I’m part of a group that’s going to be running for around 9 months and it’s perfect for where I am right now. How about you? You want the group to run for long enough to feel that you can get stuff done and not so long that you lose focus and momentum.

6) What’s the structure of the mastermind?

Some masterminds can simply be a Facebook group where people are free to share challenges and ask questions. Others are more structured and may include all or some of the following:

  • Online forum
  • Group calls
  • Hot-seat coaching
  • Q&A
  • Educational content
  • Accountability

Personally I love to have more structure. I have a natural tendency to ‘go with the flow’, which is fine but but not when it comes to getting stuff done! Think about what works best for your personality and intentions for joining the mastermind.

7) Is the group set at the beginning or can people join at any time?

For most masterminds that are due to run for a set period of time, the group will be selected at outset and no-one can join once it’s started. This helps to build trust and connection within the group and creates a safe space. In other more open-ended masterminds, members may join or leave at any time, so it feels more free-flowing. This means that you have the opportunity to connect with different people at different times. Think about what would work best for you right now.

So there you are – 7 key points to consider when you’re thinking about joining a mastermind.

And if I’ve piqued your interest about the power of masterminding, I’m now taking applications for the next round of The Unbound Business Mastermind which starts in mid-January and runs for 3 months (with pre-work and bonuses in Nov/Dec).
This will be a small group of between 4 and 8 women who want to step up and create their dream businesses in 2017 whilst having the support of both myself and the group. Membership is by application-only, so if you’re interested in joining us, click here to go to my contact page and send me an initial message.

5 steps to consistently making $5k per month in your business

5 steps to $5kThere’s a LOT of talk out there in the online world about six-figure businesses and five-figure months. But when I first speak to my money mastery clients and ask them what their income goal is, for many of them the answer is $5k a month.

Sometimes they’re just starting out in their businesses, but for many they’ve been in business for 1-3 years and not yet been able to generate a consistent monthly income.  In both cases it often feels that $5k a month is a good starting point for future growth.

Now as a Money Coach, I’m all in favour of thinking big when it comes to income goals and making quantum leaps, but it can feel easier to make those leaps from a place where you feel comfortably supported.

When you’re consistently generating $5k a month, you know that you have a viable business with clients willing to pay for your products or services, you’ve demonstrated your ability to generate income (yay! You can do it) and you’ll have more than enough money coming in to cover your expenses.

So, if you’re not there yet, how do you get to a place where you’re consistently creating an income of $5k every month?  In this article, I’m giving you my top five tips.

1) Get your pricing right

The first step is to think about exactly what it will take for you to generate $5k of income in your business each month.

How many clients will you need to attract?

What products or services will you offer them?

How many hours will you work?

Get clear on what $5k a month looks like in your business.  Write down exactly how many clients you want to work with during the month and what you will offer them.

When you do this, check in that it feels sustainable and manageable for you.  If you need to attract hundreds of clients and you have no idea how to do this, then your first $5k might feel like too much of a stretch, leaving you feeling stressed-out and anxious.

This is where pricing comes in.  If the idea of making $5k a month feels like it’s going to be really hard work for you, then maybe your pricing is out of wack?

You need to consider whether you’re under-charging for your services right now.   Be honest with yourself.   Do the prices you’re currently charging feel too low?

A good way to do this is to take each service or product you offer and write a list of all the ways your clients benefit from it.  Really go to town and write down every single positive impact you can think of.  (Give yourself at least 10 minutes for each product or service you offer).

Once you’ve done this, think about the price you’re currently charging and check in with how it feels for you.  If the price reflects all the benefits your clients receive, then great.

However, when I take my own clients through this exercise, they often realise that the prices they’ve been charging are too low and it feels right to increase them (recently I worked with a client who was able to double her prices after doing this exercise and immediately created more sales).

The fact is, if you’re charging a price that feels too low, you can actually be repelling potential clients as they perceive your product or service as low value.

In addition to this, you can end up subconsciously sabotaging yourself from attracting clients, as your pricing just doesn’t feel sustainable.  Your subconscious mind is there to protect you and it won’t let you do something if it feels like it’s too much hard work.

So, getting your pricing right is the first step to consistently generating $5k a month.

Want more help with pricing? Click here to download my free pricing guide where I give you a simple process to work through and share the 7 specific questions you need to ask before setting your prices.

2) Get visible!

Fact: You are never going to create the income you desire if potential clients don’t know you exist.

You need to be seen.

Maybe you’ve got a lovely website, a Facebook business page and other social media accounts, but are you proactively building relationships with potential clients?

It’s not enough to put the occasional post on Facebook or publish the odd blog.  To generate consistent income in your business, you need to be truly visible.

Here are some ideas that will help you get known by your ideal clients:

  • Hang out in the same Facebook groups as your ideal clients and build relationships there – be helpful, answer and ask questions, be supportive (do not just jump in occasionally and make an offer!)
  • Go to networking groups and connect with potential clients and collaborators
  • Write a regular content-rich blog (if writing’s not your thing, how about making a video or podcast?) and ALWAYS include a clear call-to-action.
  • Build a list of subscribers and contact them regularly with super-useful content
  • Host a launch (or relaunch) event either online or in-person
  • Give free taster sessions and (most importantly!) ask people to work with you at the end

There are LOTS of ways you can make yourself more visible.  And I’m guessing you already know about how to do this, so what’s stopping you from getting out there?

For many of the women I work with, it’s a fear of being seen.

I get this.  It can feel scary to stand up and say, ‘This is what I do. This is what I have to offer.’

So, first of all acknowledge that it’s completely normal to feel scared when you’re stepping out of your comfort zone.  In fact, it’s a good sign because it means you’re stretching yourself (and you officially ROCK!)

Secondly. there are things you can do to release this fear.  My go-to tool is Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) or Tapping as it’s often known.  EFT is super-simple and versatile and I use it pretty much daily for myself and recommend it to all of my money mastery clients. Click here to see the latest EFT videos on my Youtube channel.

3) Be in receiving mode

This is super-important!  It’s no good setting a goal to create $5k a month of income and not being open to receive.

So, what does being in receiving mode mean?

You need to be contacting, speaking to and making offers to potential clients.

If you already have prospective clients getting in touch with you, fantastic!

Now you just need to make sure you’re getting back to them promptly and letting them know what you can do for them (either by phone, email or in-person depending on your business).

You also need to make sure you’re following up with any enquiries you receive if potential clients haven’t got back to you.  Remember, people have busy lives and may forget to get back in touch with you.  Often they’ll appreciate a follow-up call or email to remind them that you have exactly what they need.

If you haven’t got potential clients contacting you right now, you need to be more proactive.

You can use all of the visibility tips I mentioned above to let people know what you do and how you can help them.  Make sure you include an offer or a way to connect with you further in every interaction (this doesn’t have to be spammy!  Remember, you’re simply allowing your potential clients to receive what they need whilst clearly being in receiving mode yourself).

If you want to know more about the subtle qualities of ‘receive-ability’, click here to check out one of my most popular blog posts where I’m talking about it in more detail.

4) Believe in yourself

This is what underpins everything else I’ve been talking about in this article.  Your beliefs are the thing that make the difference between generating a consistent, growing income in your business and finding it hard to bring money in.

You might have heard how your thoughts create your reality and beliefs are simply deeply-engrained thought patterns that can either be helpful and supportive or limiting and restrictive.

So, if you have beliefs like, ‘I can do it!’, ‘Money flows to me effortlessly’ or ‘I have SO much value to offer the world’, then you’ll find that you get to your $5k a month and beyond much more easily than if you have beliefs like:

‘I’m not good enough.’

‘It’s really hard to make money.’

‘People in my area won’t pay what I want to charge.’

‘There aren’t enough clients for me.’

‘I’m not sure whether what I’ve got to offer is of value.’

If you have these kind of beliefs running, they’re going to hold you back and make it really hard work to create the income you desire.

Working with beliefs, and particularly money beliefs, lies at the core of what I do with my money mastery clients.  You want your beliefs to lift you up and make you feel like you can take on the world, not shrink you down and make you feel like you want to crawl back under the covers in the morning.

So, if you feel that your beliefs aren’t supporting you right now, what do you do?

Well this could be a whole other blog post and it is!  Recently I wrote about how to shift limiting money beliefs by holding your very own Full Moon Ceremony.  The good news is you don’t have to wait until full moon to do this.  You can simply follow the steps and get the same results.  Click here to read the blog post and learn how to create new, positive beliefs that will support you in reaching $5k per month.

5) Accountability and support

You’re nearly there!  If you work through all of the steps I’ve outlined above and take consistent action, you’ll soon be creating the income you desire.

My final tip is that you don’t have to do all of this on your own.  In fact, it’s SO much easier if you allow yourself to get support.

When I started my hypnotherapy practice six years ago, I didn’t quite realise that as well as seeing clients, I’d have to spend a lot of time on marketing, admin, sales, techy stuff and content-creation.

But I was determined to do it all myself.  It was MY business and I believed that meant I had to do every, single task necessary to make it successful.

The thing is, trying to do it all by yourself is exhausting.  And it can prevent you from becoming more successful.  If you’re working like a mad woman, burning yourself out whilst trying to get everything done, alarm bells start to go off in your protective subconscious mind and it will find subtle ways to prevent your business from becoming any bigger (self-sabotage rearing its head again!)

When I FINALLY made the decision to get help in my business, it created much more space for me to do the things I love – working with clients and creating – and these are also the activities that generate income for me.  So, I felt supported and I was making more money.  How’s that for a win-win?

So, what kind of support do you need in your business?

Initially it might be hiring a Virtual Assistant for a couple of hours, getting some help with social media or your website.  The idea is to put support in place now, so your business can grow.

I’ve also mentioned accountability here as this is key to achieving your goals.  When you publicly commit to making a particular level of income, you are much more likely to take action and do it.

When I say ‘publicly commit’, I don’t mean you have to go out into the street and declare your monthly income goal (although maybe that works for you!?), you simply need to choose someone to be accountable to – this can be a friend, a colleague, a mastermind group or a coach like me.

Accountability is the magic juice that will energise and motivate you.  My clients often value this element of working with me as much as the deep, inner work we do.

Find someone to be accountable to and share you income goal with them.

So, there are my top 5 tips to help you create a consistent income of $5000 per month.  And you can use these steps to continually increase your income from now on.

Your next step. Want to breakthrough to a juicy new income level this month? Click here to download my free Income Breakthrough Action Plan.

The 3 things that helped me have the best month ever in my business in just 18 days

The 3 Things that Helped me to have the Best month ever in my businessIn June I had the best ever financial month in my business. I increased my income by over 40% on my previous best month. And I did this in just 18 days, as I was heading off on a 10-day silent meditation retreat in the third week of June.

I don’t share this to boast. To be honest, although my business had been ticking along okay, during 2015 my income was pretty stagnant.  I made almost exactly the same in 2015 as I did in 2014.

I could have called this consolidation, but it wasn’t a conscious choice to consolidate my business. I had planned to double my income last year and it didn’t happen.

And looking back I can see why.  Very clearly. I’ll share some of the reasons with you here in this blog post, because I don’t want you to spend time floundering around with a flat-lining income in your business. You have wonderful work to share with the world and I want to help you get paid well for doing that work.

So how have I turned things around in 2016 and started to break through to juicy new income levels?

Here’s what I’ve done differently this year (and in particular over the past three months):

(Please note: NONE of this is rocket science and you’ve probably heard a lot of it before. BUT if you’re not making the money you want in your business, then maybe you need to hear it again right now. And hopefully it will inspire you to start doing something differently. 

Most of us learn best through stories and that’s why I’ve chosen to share my personal experiences. If you’re not interested in reading about me and want to cut to the chase, click here to download your own super-simple, step-by-step 21-day action plan to have the best month ever in your business.)

1. I actually owned the fact that I want to make 6-figures in my business.

There’s a LOT of talk online about 5-figure months and 6 or 7-figure incomes. And in truth, I’ve been pretty ambivalent about the idea of making 6 figures in the past. I told myself that as long as I was replacing my old corporate income, that was enough for me.

And yes, $50-$60k is enough, BUT over the past few months I’ve acknowledged that I want to make MORE than enough in my business.  Because, quite frankly, why not?

I know that if I’m making six figures (or more), I’ll be both stretching myself AND helping more people at a deeper level.  It’s a win-win.

So, why would I hold myself back?  (Which I’ve certainly been doing up until now).

That’s why I’ve (finally!) acknowledged to myself and my coaches that, yes, I DO want to make six figures and I want to do it this year.

And as soon as I declared that clear, stretchy financial goal, something got freed up within me.  I felt more focused and inspired and within a couple of months, I’ve increased my monthly income by nearly 50%.  (And I’m on track to continue this).

Now you may be reading this and thinking, ‘Well Nicola I’m really not interested in making six figures’. Maybe you’d be happy with consistent 4-figure months, or making what feels like a good part-time income?

And if that’s the case, great! I’m not saying that everyone should want to make 6 or 7 figures.

But just check in with yourself to make sure any ambivalence to making a particular level of income isn’t down to an underlying belief that it’s wrong to want that much, or that money is bad in some way. Even though I’m a money coach and teach my clients to uncover and shift their unhelpful beliefs in my Money Mastery Summer School, I can see that my resistance to owning the fact that I wanted to make 6-figures was underpinned by a fear that people would criticise me if I was making that much.

The point here is that you need to be clear about your income goals AND you want to pick a figure that gets you excited and motivated to take inspired action.

In my experience many of us women in business resist setting clear financial goals and I get this completely. (Heck, even as a money coach, you can see that I’ve resisted setting them too in the past!) When we set clear goals, fear of failure can rear its ugly head. And when we set financial goals, then all of our ‘stuff’ about money – limiting beliefs, negative stories and emotion- can bubble to the surface.

So, we tell ourselves that ‘goals’ are just too masculine and we prefer to go with the flow. (And I’ve totally been there too).

But this can simply be a way of holding ourselves back and self-sabotage.  I love the idea of ‘going with the flow’ but if that means that you can’t pay the bills and you’re feeling super-stressed about money, then it’s time to set some clear goals and start taking action. (And if you prefer, you can replace the word goals with intentions or objectives. I don’t care.  I just urge you to get clear on what you really want, own it and start doing what you need to do to get there.)

2. I embraced consistency.

Can I tell you a secret? I’ve had a HUGE problem with the word ‘consistency’ in the past.

Seriously, whenever I heard a coach or mentor say that you needed to be consistent to be successful in business, I would choose to ignore it. I’d tell myself, ‘Yeah I get that, but I’m going to do things my way.’ 

But the thing is that I was too rigid in my thinking about what consistency actually meant. I thought that it had to mean scheduling a year’s blog posts in January or doing the same thing, day in day out. And to be frank that just gave me the heebie jeebies.

I started my own business to have freedom and flexibility. So the idea of being tied into a strict, ‘consistent’ structure did not appeal at all.

But earlier this year I recognised that if I wanted to create the business (and income) I really wanted – not a well-paid hobby – then I needed to step up.  And when I say ‘step-up’ I don’t mean working 24/7 and burning myself out.

What I mean is making a commitment to the following:

  • Consistently serving my community – sharing my message and valuable content whenever I can freely and abundantly.
  • Consistently being visible – stepping up my social media presence, being open, and making regular offers so that people can put their hands up to work with me when they’re ready.
  • Doing consistent inner work – even though this is 80% of the work I do with my clients, I realised that I’d totally let the ball slip with my own inner work. And why on earth wouldn’t I make this mindset work a part of my daily practice if it meant that I could create the income and impact I wanted? So, I committed to consistently looking inwards and clearing my own blocks – through journalling, EFT and meditation.

Making friends with consistency has made the BIGGEST difference in my business.

If you’re not creating a consistent income right now, ask yourself ‘Where am I NOT being consistent in my business?’ and take an honest look at what you’re doing (and what you’re NOT doing).

I still only work 20-25 hours per week, but because I’m consistent both in the action I take and my inner work, I’m using these hours much more effectively.

Click here to download your free, step-by-step, 21-day action plan and see what you need to be doing every single day to break through to a new income level in your business.

3. I got support

For the first part of this year, I didn’t have a coach. I remember when a friend asked me whether I was working with a coach towards the end of last year and I said, ‘No, I don’t think I need anyone to help me with my business right now.’

Seriously?  I don’t know quite what I was thinking at the time.

Well, I do. I had worked with different coaches for the past two or three years and I guess I was suffering from coaching fatigue. So even though I’m a coach myself, I didn’t feel that I needed that support myself.

And maybe it was good to take a break from working with a coach? But as I started to get my fire back earlier this year, and I could feel that excitement bubbling up about how I could begin to serve my community in a big way, I realised that to do that, I needed support.

Because why on earth would I choose to do this alone?

I knew that I wanted to work with a coach who had trodden the path that I wanted to take – building a six-figure, service-based, heart-led business. And as soon as I made that decision, the perfect option appeared.

And it feels SO good to be supported. I’m now part of a wonderful group coaching programme and it’s no coincidence that starting this programme coincided with me with having the best month ever in my business (by over 40%).

Because I not only recognised that I need to be supported as a I expand my business, but I acknowledged that I DESERVE to be supported.

And so do you.

You don’t have to do it all on your own. You really don’t.

So whether you hire a coach, or find yourself a mastermind or business bestie, (or ALL of these), allow yourself to be supported.

Because you’re here to do great work. Your potential clients need you. And to do that great work, you will be called upon to grow and stretch. You WILL be challenged.

And from my experience, it pays to know you have someone in your corner.

So, that’s 3 key areas where I’ve done things differently over the past few months in order to break through to a new income level.  And as I’ve been writing, I know that there’s more to share on this. There are other factors and behind-the-scenes info that I know will help you. But I don’t want to overwhelm you with content right now, so as a simple next step click here to download your free and simple, step-by-step. 21-day action plan.

Life & business learnings from a 10-day silent retreat

Learnings from a 10-day silent retreatA couple of days ago I returned from a 10-day silent meditation retreat. I’m still processing the impact it’s had on me (and I’m sure it won’t become fully clear for some time), but I know many people were curious about what a retreat like this would be like, so I wanted to share some of the experience with you here in this blog.

The practicalities

The retreat I attended was a 10-day vipassana meditation course. It was held at a centre in Herefordshire in the UK and around 150 people were part of it (both men and women).

There was a real mixture of people attending – all ages, lots of different nationalities, some of whom had meditated before and some who had no previous experience of meditation (talk about in at the deep end!).

Once the course started, the first 9 days were spent in complete silence. Yes, that’s right – complete silence.

If you needed to, you could ask questions of the teachers or course managers, but there was no talking at all with your fellow meditators (not even at mealtimes). In fact, there was no contact whatsoever – no eye contact, no smiles, no physical contact.

The idea was to have no distractions to your meditation practice, so there was no reading or writing allowed either.  And, of course, no phones or other devices.

The schedule ran from 4am in the morning until 9pm at night and included around 10 hours of meditation each day.  (To tell you the truth, I never managed 10 hours per day – I usually did around 6.5 to 7 hours).

The only form of activity apart from meditation was eating, washing or going for a walk in the grounds (within limited boundaries).

The food was vegetarian, with porridge, cereal and fruit for breakfast at 6.30am, a vegetable-based lunch at 11am (yes, 11am!) and ‘dinner’ at 5pm consisted of two pieces of fruit (and no more than two).

In spite of this, I never felt hungry.  The fact that there wasn’t any other food available meant that I didn’t really think of eating outside of mealtimes.  I also think that my blood sugar levels must have been more stable because of the lack of processed, sweet foods.

On the 10th day the silence was broken and we had the opportunity to talk to each other and share our experiences, which was both wonderful and a little overwhelming at the same time.

How I found it

To be honest, this was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done. I’ve attended different retreats before – including silent retreats – but none of them were as strict or intense as this one. Ten days felt like a very long time – with no distractions, no real human interaction and no comfort from outside, apart from being able to walk in nature.

I didn’t mind the silence, but I struggled with the lack of eye contact and being able to share a smile with my fellow meditators. (Although occasionally one of us would slip and instinctively smile at someone else and that felt completely thrilling!)

I also found the sitting in meditation for such lengthy periods very challenging physically. Although you normally had a short break each hour, various parts of my body felt stiff and painful during the ten days. And I had to harness some strong determination to stay settled in one posture.

Before I started I imagined that it would get easier as I moved through the ten days.  It didn’t. If anything the experience became harder as time went on.

Saying that, I found that my mind really slowed down over the course of the retreat. At times I found that I had no thoughts whatsoever in my head (which was a very unusual experience).

My body also felt surprisingly strong after ten days of sitting in meditation and I’m finding that I’m moving more slowly and mindfully as I’ve returned home. I feel more grounded and centred.

My insights

Having virtually no stimulation at all during this ten days made me realise just how much external stimulation we experience in the outside world. We are constantly bombarded with content, experiences, activity and our minds never really get a chance to settle.

I found that having very limited stimulation meant that I appreciated small things SO much more – a smile from another human being, seeing a rabbit as I was out walking, the sun breaking through the clouds after a rainy day. These things that I may not have even noticed in my day-to-day life, brought joy to my heart when I experienced them during the retreat.

I also noticed that although my mind continued to generate ideas – ideas about things I could do in my business and personally – because I didn’t have the opportunity to act on them (or even write then down), many of them fell away quickly.  I know that if I’d been on the outside world, I would have acted on some of these ideas immediately, maybe jumping from one thing to another and feeling distracted. It felt releasing to just notice the ideas and know that I had to delay taking any action.

How powerful it is to sit with discomfort rather than instinctively running away or distracting myself.  Being able to be with uncomfortable feelings – physical, mental and emotional – allowed old habits and patterns to rise to the surface to be released. This wasn’t particularly pleasant, but it was extremely beneficial.

How the thoughts we choose can create suffering. At times I found myself pining for the outside world and thinking about what Mr H, my sister or friends would be doing at that particular time.  I would imagine where they were and how they were enjoying themselves and then think about how many days I had left to go.

I realised that this thinking simply made me feel miserable. Focusing on what I didn’t have at that moment, rather than the experience I was actually having.

And of course, we don’t have to be in a retreat to do this. How often do you find yourself focusing on the lack of something you don’t have, rather than appreciating what you do have?

Being completely out of touch with the world can be deeply refreshing and restorative. During the ten ways I was on retreat LOTS happened both in the UK and the rest of the world (Brexit, the resignation of the British prime minister, various political shenanigans!).  And I was actually quite relieved to have missed it all.

As someone who likes to keep up with current affairs (I know I would have been glued to the news if I’d been outside), it was interesting to notice that I didn’t feel like I’d missed out in any way whatsoever by not being connected during all of this upheaval. In fact, I felt that I’d been very fortunate to have been sheltered from it all.

My business can survive (and thrive) when I take time out.  Mr H was shocked that I was planning to take ten full days completely out of my business and was worried about the impact it would have.  However, as I’d planned for the retreat and let people know that I’d be away, I actually had my best month ever in June 2016 (by 40%), despite only having 21 days available to me.

Because I knew that I was going to have ten days in retreat, I was much more focused for the first three weeks of June and that helped me to have my most successful month.  I also know that feeling so refreshed and centred now that I’ve completed the retreat will stand me in good stead for  the coming months.

Sometimes we’re reluctant to take time out, because we think that our businesses or personal responsibilities will suffer.  I’ve always found the complete opposite to be true. By taking the space that you need, all areas of your life have the opportunity to thrive.

So, that’s some of my initial thoughts on leaving the retreat. I’m sure that more insights will follow. If you have any particular questions or comments, please feel free to post them below.

And if you want to explore and be inspired to find different ways of doing life and business, click here to come and join my free Facebook community – Unbound Living. I’d be delighted to welcome you over there!

Here’s the no.1 question you need to ask if you’re not creating a consistent income in your business right now

The number one question you need to ask if you're NOT creating a consistent income in your business right nowAre you creating the income you TRULY want in your business right now? Or does it sometimes feel like you’re on a rollercoaster when it comes to money (with more lows than highs?).

I get it.  I’ve been stuck in that cycle of feast and famine in the past and it’s NOT a happy place to be.

And I’ve found that when you’re not creating a consistent stream of income, you need to ask yourself ONE question to find out why.

Want to know what it is?

The number one question you need to ask yourself is:

‘Where am I NOT being consistent in my business right now?’

Everything in your life and your business is a mirror for you, including your income, so if you have an inconsistent income at the moment, then you are being inconsistent somewhere.

Now I know this might be pretty hard to hear.

And you might feel like slipping into defence mode. ‘Nicola, I’m working really hard at my business and you’re accusing me of being inconsistent?’

I understand.

But I’m asking you to take an honest, unwavering look at yourself and how you are in your life and business.

Because the truth is, there are no quick fixes.  (Well there aren’t any quick fixes that are truly sustainable).

So take a deep breath and reflect on any areas where are you not being consistent in your business right now. I’m pretty sure that you’re amazing at what you do – the way you serve your clients, the product you create, the content you share.

But where is there inconsistency?

Maybe it’s in your marketing, or reaching out to potential clients, or finishing projects, or your pricing, or your self-care, or your inner work – your personal development.

All of these areas have an impact on your income.  And the hard fact is that if you’re being inconsistent with any one of them, then you’re likely to experience an up-and-down income.

And yes, self-care and personal development are JUST as important as the more practical elements of your business.

I was speaking with a client the other day and she mentioned that she feels guilty for taking time for personal development – to do courses or watch videos.

And I encouraged her to carve out time each week specifically for personal development – to see this as a key part of her business, not something extra.

The only time it becomes an issue is if you’re spending ALL of your time on self development and inner work and not taking action.

There are 3 pillars in your business – action, self-care and growth and personal development and they each need to be consistently consistent.

To be completely honest, I’ve certainly been inconsistent in all of these areas at times in the past.

The key reason why I started my own business was to create more freedom and flexibility in my life.  So I’ve totally resisted consistency in the past.

I’ve told myself I like to go with the flow – at times I’ve either got wrapped up in action and neglected my self-care and inner work or gone totally the other way.

But in recent months, I’ve come to see the huge value in consistency.  And that when we create consistency in our business, it allows us to experience even more freedom and flexibility (rather than panic and uncertainty!)

Side note: When I talk about action here, I mean income-generating activities.

Speaking with potential clients, following up with enquiries, making new connections, creating compelling content that draws people to you.

Not fiddling with your website for months on end, or hiding behind your laptop. (Not that you would ever do that, eh?)

So, where are you NOT being consistent right now?

I know it takes guts to have a long, hard look at yourself and admit what you’re not doing at the moment.

But I guarantee, once you identify what you’re missing out on and start incorporating it consistently – and by consistently I mean every single day – you will see a difference in your income.

And the same question can apply to abundance or thriving.  If you’re not seeing an abundant or thriving income, where are you not being abundant or thriving in your life and business right now?

This is a real power question.

So, take some time to reflect on it.  And if you want to discover how to smash that frustrating cycle of feast and famine for good, and breakthrough to a brand new income level in your business, click here to download my free Income Breakthrough Action Plan.

A tapping routine to help you create a consistent income

A tapping routine to create a consistent incomeWhat’s your biggest challenge when it comes to making money in your business?

Recently I did a survey in my online community asking this very question and 31% of the women who answered said that their biggest money challenge was creating a consistent income.

So, if you feel like you’re on a rollercoaster with your income right now (and there are more lows than highs!), I’ve put together a special tapping routine using EFT to help you start creating a consistent, thriving income.

Here it is:

And to make sure that you have everything you need to start creating a truly consistent, abundant income right away, download my free masterclass – 7 Steps to a Consistent, Thriving Income.
Click here to get immediate access.

3 steps to move out of desperation and into abundance

3 steps to move from desperation to abundanceI’m sure we’ve all been there.  It’s coming up to the end of the month.  You’ve got bills to pay and commitments to meet, but your income is WAY below what you had hoped it would be.

At times like this, you can feel the desperation creeping in.  You start to feel panicky and anxious about your financial situation.

And, as I’m sure you know, if you’re feeling desperate it can be challenging to attract clients and new sources of income.  It can also be difficult to take the action you need to take when you’re stuck in a place of fear and anxiety.

I dislike the word ‘Desperate’, but sometimes it’s the best description of how you’re feeling.  And the first step to creating change is always to acknowledge where you are right now.

So, if you’re feeling stuck in desperation at the moment, take a deep breath and follow these three steps to move into a new place of possibility.

1) Tap yourself into a more resourceful state

As you’ll know if you’re a regular reader of my blog (and if you’re not, hey! It’s great to have you here), Emotional Freedom Technique (aka EFT or tapping) is my go-to tool for creating a shift and releasing limiting emotions.

Just a few rounds of tapping will help you to feel calmer and more resourceful.

And because I’m such a helpful gal, I’ve created a short tapping routine to help you move out of desperation right away.  Just click below and tap along.

 Don’t be tempted to skip this step.  EFT will help to reduce the stress hormones that are buzzing around your body right now and then you’ll find it MUCH easier to move onto the next two steps.  I promise.

How are you feeling now?  Better?

Good. Let’s move on to Step 2.

2) Gratitude and Appreciation

I know you’ve heard this before, but gratitude really is SUCH a powerful way to shift your energy.

Now that you’ve begun to tap away any feelings of desperation, panic or anxiety, I want you to make a list of at least ten things you’re grateful for right now.  If they’re related to your business and money, great! But these ten things can be anything at all – from the sun that’s shining outside, to your beautiful home or one of your loved ones.

Notice how you feel as you choose to acknowledge what you are grateful for.  You can’t help but feel better, eh?

Once you’ve made your list of ten things, I want you to spend at least five minutes writing about how far you’ve come in your business.   Reflect on what you’ve created already – any income you’ve received, clients you’ve worked with, products or services you offer.

Even if you’re a brand new entrepreneur, acknowledge the courageous leap you’ve made in starting your own business.  Go you!

Choose to appreciate how far you’ve come.

Once you’ve tuned into an energy of gratitude and appreciation, you will have raised your vibration and can move onto Step 3…

3) Take inspired action

You will now be feeling FAR more resourceful (and if you haven’t noticed a significant shift in your energy, go back and do the tapping routine one more time).

Any feelings of anxiety and desperation will be melting away and it’s time to move into momentum.

From this new place of possibility, take some time and write down at least three actions you can take to create income right away.

  • Follow up with potential client enquiries.
  • Contact previous clients to see how they’re doing and whether they need more help.
  • Hold a flash sale.
  • Have a clear-out and sell anything you don’t need or want any more.
  • Offer a one-off Pick My Brains/Strategy/Kickstarter Session to your list or on social media.

Once you have your ideas, go to it!  Start stirring the Universal energy by taking action.  It will be much easier now that you’ve shifted yourself into a more resourceful, expansive state.

If at any time you start to feel desperation creeping in again, go back and work through the first two steps.  This is a process you can come back to, time and time again if you need to.

Notice how you feel to be in momentum and be ready for the money to start flowing to you. Kapow!

I’d love you to comment below and let me know what shifts you noticed during those three steps.

And if you want to create EVEN more abundance in your life, click here to join my free 7-Day Money Mastery Kickstarter Challenge and get going right away.

Here’s to creating the income (and impact) you TRULY desire!

How to feel better when you believe that good things can’t last

How to feel better when you believe that good things can't lastI’ve been speaking to a lot of clients recently who have an underlying belief that ‘Good things don’t last’.

Whenever things are going well in their lives or businesses, rather than enjoying the good times, they have this niggling fear that it’s all going to slip away at any moment.

I wonder if you can identify with this?

Do you find it challenging to relax and enjoy the times when things are going well for you, because you’re expecting something bad to happen?

Here are some examples of how this belief – Good things don’t last – can show up in your life:

You have a great month financially in your business, but rather than celebrating you immediately start worrying that next month won’t be so good.

You sign-up an ideal new client and fear that they’ll back out before you start working together.

You meet the perfect partner, but instead of enjoying your first few weeks together you’re on the constant look-out for what’s wrong with them (because there must be something, right?)

Not only is it draining to have this underlying fear and doubt, BUT when you’re constantly expecting bad things to happen, you’re likely to manifest the very thing that you fear.

You get more of what you focus on.

So, if you’re worrying that something is going to go wrong, it probably will.

This can lead to a rollercoaster income (with more lows than highs), unreliable clients and friction in your personal relationships.

So, how can you begin to shift this limiting belief and let go of the fear that good things can’t last?

My go-to tool is tapping (Emotional Freedom Technique).  I’ve created a short tapping routine to help you let for of any fears or doubts and expand your capacity to enjoy the good stuff (and attract more of it into your life).

How did you get on?  What kind of shifts or insights did you notice as you were tapping around?

I’d love you to comment below and let me know.

And if you want to create EVEN more abundance in your life (and maintain it!), click here to join my free 7-day Money Mastery Kickstarter Challenge and get started right away.

How to become an energetic match for your ideal clients

How to become an energetic match for your ideal clients.I’m sure you’ve often thought about the kind of clients you want to attract to your business – it’s key to get clear on your ideal clients.

But have you given much thought to what YOU’re like as a client?

This week I got told that I’m the perfect client by a coach that I’m working with at the moment.

And it’s not the first time.  (I don’t say this to brag.)  But I go out of my way to be an ideal client to anyone I choose to work with.


Because I know how important it is to be an energetic match for exactly the kind of clients you want to attract into your business.

My aim is to attract clients who are committed, engaged, willing to invest in themselves and ready to take action. I’m sure you feel the same?

And, to be honest, in the past there have been many times when I haven’t been that myself.

I’ve bought courses, started off enthusiastically and then tailed off quickly without implementing what I’ve learned.

I’ve invested in group coaching programmes and not turned up for the calls.

I’ve been a lurker in the paid Facebook groups that come as part of programmes I’ve invested in.

And I’ve told myself that I couldn’t afford to invest at a high level, whilst trying to attract high-level clients myself.

And of course, when I’ve done this, not only did I not get the results I wanted from the programmes I invested in, but I also found I was attracting clients who were as unengaged, unwilling to invest and as lacking in action-taking as I was.

This is NOT a happy place to be in your business, I can tell you.

So, a couple of years ago I made a decision to show up as exactly the kind of client I wanted to attract.

  • I took action and implemented what I had learned.
  • I became an active and supportive member of the Facebook communities I had access to.
  • I showed up for coaching calls, even when I didn’t feel like it. And actually, the times I wasn’t feeling like it were the calls that I tended to get most benefit from because they shifted me out of the funk I was in.
  • I invested in myself at a high level and got the specific help I needed.
  • I gave constructive feedback to the people I chose to work with and provided testimonials without prompting.

And in doing this, my business has been transformed.

Not only have I accessed the knowledge and support that I needed to move my business forwards, but I’ve also been able to attract far more of my ideal clients.

By being an ideal client, I also create fantastic connections with the coaches and experts I work with.  This has led to speaking opportunities, referrals, joint ventures and collaborations.

So, if you’re struggling to attract your ideal clients at the moment, if you are getting people who say they can’t afford to work with you or don’t engage in the process, then take some time to look at what kind of client YOU are?

I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, ‘You get back what you put out’ and this is exactly what I mean by making sure you are an energetic match for the kind of clients you want to attract.

Take some now to reflect on what kind of client you are (or have been in the past) and think about ways you can become an energetic match for your ideal clients from now on.

And if you want to discover how to set prices that feel good for you and attract more of your ideal clients, then click here to download my free pricing guide now.