Telling Prince “I Quit” and Narrowly Missing 9/11, with Nichole Lowe

Nichole Lowe had it all in her 20’s – she had her own production company where she worked on commercials, documentaries, television shows – and even shows and music videos for Prince. Life was pretty amazing – until she realized it wasn’t the life she wanted.

Nichole is now CEO of SoleLife, a tele-coaching and business automation platform to match coaches and clients.

If you’re drinking along with us, that means you have a Guiness Ice Cream Float!

Transcript

Dana: Welcome to Hustle and Gather, a podcast about inspiring the everyday entrepreneur to take the leap. I’m Dana 

Courtney: and I’m Courtney.

Dana: And we are two sisters who love business. On this show we talk about the ups and downs to the hustle and the reward at the end of the journey. 

Courtney: And we know challenges that come with starting a business between operating our buddy venue, doing, speaking, and consulting and starting our luxury wedding planning company. We wake up and hustle every day, 

Dana: But we love what we do. And today we’re talking with Nichole Lowe, CEO and founder of Solelife. Solelife is the first telecoach digital ecosystem to help coaches increase growth and profitability While serving their clients. Nicole builds a thriving coaching business in California with a proven track record over 25 years of experience driving sales growth and leading teams.

Nicole is a decisive leader, strong communicator, confident taking risks, confronting challenges, and building relationships. Nicole, welcome to Hustle and Gather, we’re so excited to have you. 

Nichole: Thank you for having me, ladies. I’m excited to be on here.

Courtney: Sounds like you could have added general bad ass, by the way, for those of you that are listening, we are drinking a Guinness ice cream float. As always, you can find the recipe in our show notes. 

Dana: You shared a little bit about your backstory with us and your journey is just amazing and so inspiring, but we’d love for you to tell our listeners a little bit about how you started your career in the TV and film industry, and really why you wanted to get out of it. Cause it seems like that’s the dream for so many people. 

Courtney: You have so many people are striving towards that.

Nichole: I did it opposite, which if you knew me, if you talk to my family, it’s like pretty much M.O. for Nicole to do everything kind of backwards and opposite. you know, as a, as an entrepreneur and a CEO and founder of a tech company now in my life, and I look back at 24, I mean, our frontal lobes aren’t even developed by then, right. 

Nichole: So, um, which is crazy when I think back and what, what we can do. We have so much energy when we’re that age, but I had a lot of energy and a lot of tenacity, but not a lot of wisdom of 24. So, there was a lot of just excitement building a company, creating a lot of jobs and doing a lot of fun things. But my word, it was a lot of work.  It was a lot of learning on the job, but to answer your question, I was, I was producing at the time and the production company that I owned.

I did everything from working on commercials, documentaries, television shows. I also did a lot of stuff out at Paisley Park with Prince and worked on some music videos and things like that. And I loved it.

You know, I love building jobs and I loved being in charge of the entire production from beginning to end from conception to completion.

Courtney: I wasn’t there. I remember when we were speaking to you, previously you were super good at what you did. You said like you were highly sought after, because you always stayed on your budget, right? 

Nichole: I’m in my twenties, right. And I’ve got, you know, this great reputation that I’m always on budget and, always on budget. So, people are hiring me because it was, ok you know, Nicole’s going to do this and she’s going to always be on budget. Well, when I moved from Minneapolis to California, I got a job working with the BBC as a local producer.

So, they had an executive producer in London and then I was a local producer in California. And one of the reasons why they hired me is because I had this reputation. Okay, great. So, I was working with the BBC, which was super fun, wickedly funny on this crazy show called Bonsai. In fact, you can see it on YouTube.

It’s this crazy wacky show and we’re plugging along, having a great time. And I don’t know, we’re probably like two months into it. And we were scheduled to go to New York and do a scene in New York. And a couple of days before we were supposed to fly out, I get a call from London and London said, you’re over budget.

And I said, no, I’m not, you know. I was full of piss and vinegar, no, I’m not. I’m not over budget. And they said, no, you really are. I remember when that thing happened and we kind of just did it and we’re over budget. And I say, no, I’m not. And he said, yeah, you are. I said, well, okay. So, what do we do? And they said, well, we want to cancel the New York trip.

And I said, no, we can’t. We have to go to New York. It’s absolutely imperative we go to New York, that’s a really important scene. So, I pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed. And finally, the executive producers, like no, I’m canceling the trip. Well, we were supposed to fly out to New York and we had a 5:00 AM call time at 5:00 AM on September 11 on the first twin towers. And so, my crew and I were supposed to be on the first twin tower at 5:00 AM on 9/11. And we weren’t, and it was quite a hard time for everybody in the world. 

It was a hard time for certainly my friends and family in New York. and it was really, for me personally, a time of shock, introspection on what it is that I wanted in life. That was more than just fame and fortune and pride and ego that drove a lot of decision-making. When you’re in the film industry, the film industry is, interesting in that it’s very creative, but very creatives get drawn to this industry who are also very insecure. So, you’ve got a lot of insecurity, a lot of drugs, a lot of chaos, and I just didn’t want to be part of that anymore.

I wanted something different for my life, and at the time I was falling in love with my husband, who is a wickedly funny Brit. And he said, you know what? Everything was canceled. You know, the BBC show was canceled. I was working two other gigs, those were canceled, everything was canceled. And he said, why don’t you come to England with me?

And let’s just go see what happens. I said, sure. You know, I fell in love and by the time I got back and thought, all right, well, I’m going to make the commitment to get out of the film industry, but I have no idea what I’m going to do. 

Nichole: I got out, and so what happened next is really trying to see what kind of skills, I mean, here I am. Here I am with an experience of managing $2 million budgets, hiring a hundred people, managing things, walking around the city with people knowing who I am as this producer for Prince and having all of this pride and all of this, you know, kind of stuff that comes with it.

And now I’m sitting here thinking, how am I going to work in like what I used to say, the normal world? And it was my Michael had said to me, he says, you know, it sounds to me like a producer who does a lot of sales and I’m like, oh my gosh, salespeople, I’m not a salesperson. I’m like, oh my God, I’m a producer.

Are you kidding me? And he says, no, I really seriously think that you’d be amazing in sales. So, I said, okay, fine. I’ll give it a shot. And I, and I knew somebody, a neighbor who said, well, why don’t you come help me out a little bit? And I said, okay, So I helped him out and I sold my first deal and I got my first commission check, which was all of what I would typically make on a whole project in about a day. I thought okay, I can do sales. I don’t want you to run around town saying I’m a film producer anymore. This is good. So that really kicked off my next career in corporate, where a head hunter found me, you know, hired me with this company, and this fortune 500 company. And I started off as a territory manager that a regional manager. And then ultimately, I was in charge of the Western United States. And I took that territory from 20 million to over a hundred million. 

And back then, you know, it’s been interesting, the evolution of kind of, you know, I grew up in the seventies and the eighties and it was a very different time back then for women, there was just this whole movement of women’s liberation and the whole sexual revolution. And then you’ve got Madonna and you’ve got all those types of stuff, but we were still very much considered either. You’re really cute or you’re super smart and a dork, and there’s not much in between. So, this job I had, I was literally for five years, the only female in my position and had to navigate through a lot of kind of crazy stuff that it still exists today, but certainly back then there were things that were still accepted out in public.

And through that experience, I learned a lot about how to come into my own and how to come into my own strength, it was during that time that I also became a believer and really brought God into my life. And, you know, really went on this journey and through that journey, I got back to my roots and realized that I am a born entrepreneur.

I love building businesses and I love building teams and building something out of nothing. And I really wasn’t that good at, I mean, I was good at sales. Obviously. I was like the number one sales person for years, but I just didn’t like corporate and I don’t think corporate liked me too much.

so, I left and, you know, I think when you and I spoke that first time a few weeks ago, I shared a little bit about that experience and, you know, it’s, it’s those moments in our life where we look back and we go, wow, had that experience not happen. Like had I not had that near death experience a 9/11?

I don’t know that I would have gotten out of the film industry, may have stayed in it, you know, and who knows what my life would be like now. And we, in corporate, a year and a half leading up to me, to my departing.  My life was kind of blahzay, I was bored. I was doing the same thing. I was not really interested in my job.

It really wasn’t interested in the people I was working with. The culture was very toxic.  And it was just, was a really difficult position on many levels because I was fighting who I am. I was really trying to; I think I was trying to play small. I was trying to go, well, this is what it’s expected of me, and I am going to be successful in the lot that I’ve been given in this life and just sort of settle. And I, what I’ve realized is that when we settle things happen, health breaks down, you know, joy breaks down, passion breaks down, relationships break down, where we’re not truly living our true passion.

And as, as a result, a lot happened, my husband, you know, lost his job. We were dealing with the recession. We were dealing with a lot of stuff. And then one day I came home, I traveled a lot. I typically left on Sunday and came home on a Friday and I came home and my husband looked very white and I thought, are you okay? And he says, I don’t know. I just, I got this tickle in my throat. 

Well, after several weeks of going into the doctors, urgent cares, hospitals, cardiologists, everybody telling him he’s fine. Go home, you’re fine. And then finally he thought, well, maybe I should go see a pulmonary specialist. So, he went and saw a pulmonary specialist and the pulmonary specialist said, you know what, Michael, something is going on, but it’s not your lungs.

I’m going to give you the name of Dr. Michael Moran. Who’s a phenomenal cardiologist and I want you to go see him. Great. So, Michael goes to see him and somehow, we find ourselves in a very urgent. And, what do you call it? Angiogram. So, he goes back in the hospital. And so, they’re doing the angiogram and I’m sitting in the waiting room still thinking that everything’s fine. Cause my husband was very like, he’s got to be fine. And I saw the nurse coming my way and I knew immediately something was wrong.

And he said to me, here’s the deal? Your husband is 99% blocked in three main arteries to his heart. And he’s about to have a heart attack. And I’m like, okay, can I see him? And he said, no, they’re going to do stents. And I’m sitting there going, I have no idea about stents or what that means. Well, the cardiologist came out and said that he did fine. And he said, I’m going to send him home with a total prescription to manage your stress. You guys have got to figure this is stress related and also have some, you know, something to do with diet as well, being insulin resistant and kind of pre-diabetes.

Well, I went home that night and I was, he was in ICU and I was sitting at my computer and just crying, going, how am I going to do this? I’m traveling all the time. I’m in a job I hate, he’s recently lost his job. Now we’ve got the health situation.  By five o’clock in the morning, as I’m bawling my eyes out all night long, I found Institute for integrative nutrition and I thought, this looks amazing. I am going to become a certified health coach so I can save my husband and my family. And that was kind of the beginning of me transitioning out of corporate into coaching.

Dana: Yeah, that’s kind of like an amazing story. 

Courtney: I know. And I have so many, just so many thoughts, cause I feel like you led multiple lives. Like it’s not like you just had one path and changed, but I think for me, I change is really hard for me. And I think that for people who are goal-driven and you have an entrepreneur, entrepreneurial spirit, it is hard for it to change.

I’m curious, so every time you, because you kind of had this, like rollercoaster, right? Like you’re like rising to the top, you’re doing great, and then you’re realizing it’s not really going to be kind of like deeply go down from it to then rebuild back up. That was there in between those times did you have, like could you mourn that life.

And did you look back at it and say, I made a mistake or like really struggle with the mental health of things, so for me, like I get into bouts of depression, honestly. Like when things, when I’m in those really low places, even though I know it’s better for my life, like in the end, I can see it’s going to be better, but in the middle of it, I’m like, oh, I don’t

Nichole: Yeah, it’s so true. It’s like, you know, we rehash or we’re playing forward or rehashing. You know, life is just a series of decisions that we make, right. And some people, if you believe that there’s a purpose for everything, which I do, I believe everything has a purpose. And I see that very clearly now in my older years.

Right, and I’m not that old. I have gained some, you know, I’ve gotten kind of beat me up a little bit and I’ve gotten to where I am now.  I look back and think, why did I stress out over those times?    I, when I look back on my life, life, I don’t have any regrets, but I have to say leaving the film industry took, took a beating on me. I look back at that, and I know I made that decision, and I made the right decision and I am so grateful I made that decision, but in my low moments when things were not going my way, oh gosh, I remember nights crying.

 Asking myself, why the hell did I leave Prince? Like here I was Prince’s producer, living a pretty cool life. I was at Paisley Park every day, experiencing who I think was one of the greatest artists that ever lived, you know, he was, he was an extraordinary human being and I was very privileged and honored to have had that time with him. And, you know, I’ll share something with you, which I don’t think anybody knows this, but it’s a lesson in pride.

 I left Minneapolis because Prince and I had a big fight and Prince was the guy that you were either, you were honored to be out there, and he expected that everyone who was there knew that they were privileged to be in his presence. Well, okay.

Courtney: That’s how Dana is. I understand it. We’ve had many fights. 

Nichole: So, you get what I’m talking about Courtney. All right, so we got into a fight. So, I’m out there at Paisley Park and, and we were going, he was in, like, you always knew with him that he was like the really fun Prince when he showed up in all his colors. Like if you showed up in his, all his colors and his white and all that, you knew, you were like, oh my God, we’re going to have a great weekend.

This is going to be so fun. And he showed up in black with his black eye makeup. You knew that it was going to be a really intense, hard couple of days because he was, he’s a Gemini knew what he expected. He was wearing his black and he was in that mood and it was, it was late and my crew were hungry and they were tired and we’re going into overtime.

So, I, I think I called to Kumi has his manager and it was like, hey, we’re going to go into overtime. And prince said, no, not paying over time. And I said, well you have to, no, it’s not in. And I said, that’s not the point. These guys are here all day. So anyways, so Prince took me in this room and I’ll never forget this.

As long as I live, he takes me in this room and he just starts yelling at me. He’s just screaming at me and I’m just kind of taking it and taking it and taking it. And for those who know me, if I fight for myself, I kind of fight. But if I’m going to fight for my team and my family, man, that mama bear comes out and I will fight to the death.

And he was, I was so mad at him for wanting to cheat my crew, that I just, I lost it. So, I started yelling back. And then this is what hit me. He said to me, he goes just a producer. You’re just a money person. You will always be behind the screen and your life will be nothing because you do not contribute any more than just basically doing as I tell you to do.

And I said, right, okay, fine. That’s how you feel. I quit. So, I got up and I left now, am I proud of myself for having the courage to do that? Heck yeah, he was treating me terribly. He treated my crew terribly, but I made a serious decision. Not only to leave Prince at that moment, but I made a decision to leave Minneapolis. I made a decision to sell everything and I made a decision to move to California. That was like a decision based on a lot of, you know, pride and pride. 

Dana: Pride and emotion.  But that’s like so real and relatable, I think, especially when you’re talking about defending your team, I mean, you want to make me angry, come at me about something about my girls. And even if I may agree with you on some level, like it is, I’m still so protective over them, you know, but that’s, I mean, that is, that is super intense.

I think I’ve definitely said things in anger and that I should not have, even though I’m proud that I stood up for myself at the same time. And like, maybe I should have handled that a little bit. Probably like 90% of the time if I was Courtney. 

Courtney: But that definitely sounds like one of those like, so we call oh shit moments. Yeah. Like definitely when I was like, oh shit, what do I do now? Yeah, right. 

Nichole: Exactly, what opened up to me after that was extraordinary. I mean, basically I sold everything. I threw my dog in a Jeep. And I had traveled cross country for 35 days on my own tenting it, I went through the continental side and went up and the Canada kind of came down through Utah. And just, I got to tell you the most incredible time of my entire life, mind you the whole time, Prince is calling me the whole time asking me to come back and I’m like, no.

Courtney: that’s amazing. Like I love, I love that kind of explains a lot of your like tenacity and ability to. You know, build it up, break it down, build it up, break it down and build it up again to where you are today. And I loved how in our previous conversation, one of the comments that you made to us that really stuck was just because we’re good at something doesn’t mean it’s for you.

And I think there’s lots of instances in your life and your story where you were really good at something, but it wasn’t for you. So, I feel like people can really relate with that, and what advice would you give to somebody who feels stuck in torn and they really want to quit their job, but they might be really good at it, or it might be really stable? This sounds like you have quite a lot of staple things walked through some instability; you know? 

Nichole:  I think the most important thing is to really understand that everything builds on itself. Right? Like even though my life looks pretty curvy and how I did the twist and the turns, and I want the ups and the downs, but really, we all experienced that.

Mine just might be a little bit more obvious in some of the pivots that I’ve done. And, you know, I think a lot of us have natural born talents. Right? We do, well every one of us has natural born talents. And sometimes we fall into careers because it’s expected from our family, sometimes we fall into careers because we just weren’t given other options or other opportunities.

And sometimes we fall into, you know, careers because we just don’t know what else is out there. You know, maybe we just don’t know, or we lack the confidence or, the skills or we get into the blip. I think a lot of my especially when I was coaching women, I think we just have this, men do it too, so I don’t want to say it’s just women. I think a lot of people get into a blip where they go around the mountain around and around and around and around in their mind. Well, I’m good at this, so I should stay, but I don’t want to stay I’m uncomfortable, but yet I’m good at this.

I should stay. And you just, just like going through the whole thing. And if you entertain in your mind, the possibility of going beyond that, then all of a sudden, our brains go, whoa, well, I, I don’t have a bachelor’s degree or, oh, I don’t know anybody, or I don’t have the skills or I might have to take a cut in pay or I’m not quite sure nobody knows what the future is.

And the whole point of taking risks. Is to just move with fear. Just take a risk with fear because you’re never going to get over fear, you just have to learn to like move and push through it. So, for somebody who is good at something but miserable in the job, then you know what, you’re actually not that great at it because I’ll tell you why it’s not coming from the heart.

You’re just going through the motions, and that tells me that that person who’s feeling that way has a greater purpose and a greater opportunity in their life that they’re not seeing because they’re not open to it because they’re staying stuck in what feels comfortable for them. So, my first advice would be to, to pause, to reflect, to be open, to try to quiet your mind and listen, and look for signs of dreams and passion and joy and follow the grace in your thoughts, not the fears, not the anxiety. It’s not the negative thinking, but follow the grace.

Dana: Oh, my gosh, so many things. I absolutely love it. I feel like I’m, kind of like when you were talking about how they’re like, oh, you need to reduce your stress. And you’re like, oh, okay, great. You just loaded this thing on me. I feel the same way about sometimes with people, and they’re just like, just do it, just do it.

And I agree with that motto when you’re talking about being an entrepreneur, like, yes, you do this and you go in, but there’s this, this expectation that you’re supposed to be so confident about it. And you’re supposed to feel so good about it. That you’re, that you’re just doing it with and you don’t have that fear.

You don’t have that, that wiggling in the back of your mind, like, am I doing the right thing? I mean, there’s so many times in our journey when I look to my husband and I was like, I’m so sorry we’re here. Like I am so sorry I put our family through this and he’s just like, why are you apologizing? Like, cause I can, I feel that I’ve made a mistake, you know, even though I didn’t, but at the time I felt that emotion of like, what am I doing?

Like, this is all going to fail and crumble and we’re going to have no more 401k and you know, all the worst possible scenarios that are going to happen in my mind. But it’s so real that you have to take the fear with you. Like it’s not going to go away you’ve just got to of pack it up and bring it along like a buddy. yeah. I love that. 

Courtney: Come along, I like to put mine in a little rolly cart.

Nichole: Yeah, exactly.  That is really beautiful. And I think the two worst words in the English dictionary are, what if, you know, we can what if ourselves into the grave literally 

 Nichole: like, no, babe, that’s not my reality. You’re fine. You know what you’re doing? but in our minds, you know, I think we build things up and we build up stories in our mind, based insecurity, wanting to please, you know, all that other stuff. And

Courtney: Expectation, based on other people’s expectations, like what you think your life should look like, it is. But I love, I love your journey. Like I I’ve been thinking about it a little bit lately because I’ve been reading a couple of blog posts on like, what are the four things that people at the end of their life regret, or like, what if you were 90 and you’re giving someone else advice?

Like what advice would you give? And it’s really interesting what people value at the end of their life. Like not fearing so much, not playing that what if game, jumping into those big decisions, like taking the leap, starting the business, doing something big, you know, don’t let don’t want the what ifs control you, spending more time with family. Like they talk about this life that they, they wished they would’ve crafted all these years ago. And just kind of thinking back on it. I think it’s a beautiful thing to be able to look at your life and to see all the past lives within this lifetime without actually having to die, to experience it.

And I feel like I’m talking to you and it’s like that, like what a wonderful thing to be able to have past lives within this life. And you’re on your third life now or fourth life. I don’t know how many, how many you’ve shared with us, but getting to your Solelife journey. So, you’re kind of like a problem solver in that way, too.

Like you got back to becoming a health coach to help your husband get through this kind of health crisis, which kind of snowballed into coaching other people as a health coach. And then you realized it was really actually hard to get clients, correct? as the health coach. So that’s where, so life Solelife came from right and so tell us a little bit about Solelife and how you got journey.

Nichole: No, I love that.  You know, it kind of just all happened, right. And this is a cool moment when you look back in your life and go, oh, why did all those decisions? Well, I’m so glad that I made all those decisions because every one of those decisions I made in every one of those lifetimes, as you say that I experienced putting into soul lights.

In, in every way, it’s all coming together, which is amazing. But I started health coaching, I started helping, some other clients just, I think I’ve kind of started off with people who were dealing with diabetes and weight issues, kind of working with people that way.  Quickly started working with my cardiologist, or Michael’s cardiologists and started working with his patients.

Then I started working with a dentist who is sending me clients and, and a couple other doctors as well. And then during that time, you know, I am just full of business experience and marketing and advertising and sales. And so, I just constantly started finding myself, talking to my clients about, you know, starting a new business and helping them start a new business.

And I found out that I’m really good at coaching that, so I started coaching other coaches and it was through that process, just hearing their stories, the same story over and over again, I went to the certification school. I dropped $20,000 or however much they dropped and the school was amazing and they got this incredible certification.

But when they graduate, what? What happens then?  So, 82% of coaches actually go out of business within the first two years because of two things. One is they don’t have the experience in business, in sales and marketing, or a lot of them don’t and two, it’s really hard to find the right clients.

And what I mean by the right clients. I mean, sure, you can go to networking groups, search. Sure. You can do referrals, but there’s got to be a match, right? There’s got to be a match in our life cycle as a client of coaching that matches with the coach and the experience that that coach can impart on you and could walk that journey with you.

 So, for example, if I’m a health coach and I’m working, you know, that, that my natural skills are to work with people on health and wellness, but I’m over here with no marketing experience and I’m trying to be a marketing coach.

That’s not going to work, okay.  So, as I was helping these coaches, their story was this. I graduated; I don’t know how to start a business. I don’t know how to find clients in. I don’t know how to be efficient. I’m dealing with disparate technologies, trying to use schedulers, trying to use email, text messaging, G drive, forms, DocuSign, all of this stuff.

None of it really works together very well. And I’m finding that I’m spending 60, 70% of my time just trying to run my back office. I can’t turn a profit. So, I thought to myself, well, that’s a problem and there’s got to be a better way as they say that Jack’s Day. So, I said to my husband, I went to my husband who mind you knows my past and knows me very well. And I said, Hey. And he says, what? And I say, I’m going to start a tech company. He literally looked at me and he says, of course you are.

Courtney: The only logical thing. 

Nichole: Mind you, I can’t run a remote control with the TV to say my life. That means like, you know, let’s do this. I said, okay. I said, well, we got to get out of Southern California. Cause it would just be not the best area for us to build the company and my head, my husband’s British. So, we, we kind of wanted to get back on the east coast.

So, it’d be an easier flight and all that kind of stuff. So long story short, I ended up in, in Raleigh Durham, and this is where I started Solelife. And it’s been an amazing, you know, it’s been an amazing run so far.

Dana: I feel like that’s a true entrepreneur too, when you see a need and you’re like, I can do this better. And then I think it’s also one of those things where it’s not just, I can just better because I know how to do it. Therefore, I’m going to, my coaching business is going to Excel, but It’s also like recognizing the industry and saying, hey, like this could benefit so many people. If I do this, I love that. 

Courtney: What’s been the most rewarding part of that journey, vessel and life journey. 

Nichole: I just love just being an entrepreneur, just waking up every day and having something new and different and a challenge and stretching my brain and building teams, seeing the results of creating prototypes and getting it in front of customers hands and hearing, oh my gosh. I’ve had so many people literally well up in tears when they’ve seen the prototype and I kid you not.

And the word that I hear over and over again about what we’re serving up to humanity is we’re bringing relief. We’re bringing a tremendous amount of relief, not only for the coaches to run their business, but truly, honestly, I, we’re not meant to do life alone. We are not, you’re just not meant to do life alone. And especially here in America, we are taught from a very young age that suck it up, figure it out, go think your way to riches. And don’t ask for help because if you do, that’s a sign of weakness, we’re not meant to do it alone. We’re just not. 

And so, the greatest reward for me is just seeing how Solelife is going to be part of, I think, normalizing that we’re not meant to do alone, and do life alone and normalizing to do life with somebody who can help, a companion, a trusted coach that can help you throughout your whole life cycle. You know, somebody who can help you get into college, somebody who can help you with that first marriage, that first newborn, you know, maybe a divorce or a job loss or dealing with aging parents and trying to figure out how to navigate all that.

A coach can help you with every single aspect of your entire life and throughout your whole life, life cycle. And my greatest passion is that we will be known as the company that is a trusted companion that’s going to be with you throughout your whole life. And that is what fills me up every day.

Dana: I love that. And so do you, you mentioned this before that you felt like, you know, all these different phases that you hadn’t quite, you were trying to figure out how to come into your own and you weren’t doing what you can maybe consider your heart’s work, like what you were supposed to do, and meant to do. Do you feel like you have found that here? 

Nichole: A hundred percent. And you know what’s really fun is we were actually going to launch a podcast. And so, guess I get to tap into my film days and my production days and we need to do marketing videos. So, it’s really cool. I get to bring all that in, but yes, I feel like everything that I’ve done in my past is leading up to this moment in this time.

Courtney: I love that. I like, I love the mission statement. Like let’s not glamorize, you know, a tough chin as like the attributes that we’re all searching for, like, this feels like life be glamorized. Being able to like, you know, take a punch and still stand and take another punch and still stand.

Cause life’s going to hand you punches, right. We all know that we’ve all been through hard times in life, but it’s like, there’s this glamorization of being able to contain it all and still be a self-made person and walk through it on your own. And I love that, where like that stigma is going, you know, it’s leaving. Let’s move on from that. 

Dana: I mean, I just felt like personally, I think there’s been multiple times in my life have been hard, but I, the one that I felt like so out of my element really was becoming a mother.  It rocked my marriage so hard. and I remember there was a point in it. I looked at my husband and I was like; this is too hard.

Like this is too hard. And, and I, you know what my husband like, he is like my person. And to say that statement, to recognize we’ve gotten to that point. And I didn’t know how, and I didn’t know why, and I didn’t know what was causing it. I can only imagine how much more joyful being a first-time mom would have been or how much, just how much easier it would have been to walk through life with somebody who is helping me understand the hormone changes, the emotions, the role changes.

I mean, like I’m no longer just Sam’s wife, I am Aida’s mother and I wasn’t teaching and I was launching this business. So, I was like, the hell am I, like I don’t even know who I am. Like, I’m just this person that’s birth to human, and that’s all the world looks to me now. Like, that’s it, that’s my value.

Like, and losing that identity was really hard, but I really love that. And I never even thought of coaching cause I think I always think of therapy. So, can you tell a little bit about people who are listening, and cause I think there is a misconception too, like what’s the difference between having a coach and having what you would think like a therapist? 

Nichole: Great question. First of all, just to go back just a few steps, thank you so much for sharing that beautiful story and the courage, and the authenticity, and just, it really resonated with me when you were talking about going through that. And I think it’s, it’s more people need to hear that because that’s, you know, I’m not a mother, but I have a lot of friends who’ve gone through it and there are some massive changes that go through that experience.

And, I don’t think we talk about it enough. You know, my girlfriend and I are on a different, different level. We were talking about menopause, right? And we’re saying that, you know, everybody thinks that menopause is, you know, hot flashes and night sweats and things like that. But there are a hundred other things that go on and people don’t talk about the loss, you know, the loss of the feeling of going through the change, the loss of being a woman and, you know, all that type of stuff and the depression and the sadness.

And we just don’t talk about it enough., in the movies, the movies tell you that when you become pregnant and have a child, it is going to be the most magical, perfect time of your entire life, because somehow a magic wand is going to be waived and everything is perfect. And here you go, Cinderella is a lot messier than that. 

Courtney: I think too, like in fertility, so prevalent and on the surface, like it’s hard to even complain about what so many people are fighting for, you know, and even though it’s not the same thing, it’s still can be very hard, you know, even though it’s a blessing, it can also be a great thing and a bad Anika, really hard thing at the same time, you know?

And I think just acknowledging that it’s going to be life changing and it’s going to be hard even though it’s going to be super delightful. 

Nichole: I think it’s about expectations, right? Like great expectations and how we should be and how we should act and what it should be like during these times. But life is messy. It’s not, there is no perfect playbook. And there certainly is not a rule book for parenting. I mean, you have a thousand books out there, right.  

So, to ask. So, to answer your question and   thank you for the question, because it’s a great distinction. Therapy. Coaching. Consulting. Okay, so if you’ve got therapy on one end of the spectrum, you have consulting on the other end of the spectrum.

Coaching lies somewhere in between, right. Touches a little bit at the, at that ending point of, therapy and into, like some coaches do have consulting businesses as well. The thing about therapy is that it’s a very distinct profession. And, and it’s great. I mean, there’s many different forms of therapy from working with alcoholics anonymous, to drug addiction, to PTSD, to psychological issues, mental health issues, all sorts of things.

And therapy is very traditional. You go to see a therapist; you sit down and you talk with a therapist and you can talk through those deep issues.  And that’s good. Right? Well, how coaching is different is that coaching is actually, where therapy ends coaching picks up. Because in fact coaching can be part of your everyday life.

So, coaching can say to somebody who maybe has been in therapy and say, okay, great, well, so we need to create better habits. We need to create more confidence. We need to, build a better support group around you. We need to you know, find that better job. A coach will come with you like a guide and walks up that mountain with you.

Hand-in-hand, let’s do it together because you know what we’re going to do this journey together. And so, coaching really can be part of your everyday life to help you with those habits, coach you along the way, help you find your blind spots in certain areas. And just really be that accountability partner, also a cheerleader and just a really positive guide that helps you walk through what you’re walking through at that moment.

Courtney: So, like as a serial entrepreneur, I totally understand, how entrepreneurship doesn’t end and I, and I love how you can be an entrepreneur or you’ve talked about being an entrepreneur and loving it in multiple professions, right. It can just be about loving entrepreneurship.

And I got to that point too, with C&D and like, oh, don’t you love weddings? I’m like, I love weddings, but I love business more. I love my venue, but I love to build my team more, you know, and I just realized at some point in the last several years that it’s not about what I do. It’s the spirit, the entrepreneurship spirit and me is what I identify as you know.

Nichole: Can I ask you two, a question? So, I would love to hear from, from you too. And you talking about that entrepreneurial spirit, which you two clearly have and done such a great job with, with the businesses that you felt. I love hearing you talk about finding your own way in the company too, and how you divided and conquered. How was that for you? Just kind of figuring out who’s going to do what and developing your own skills. I’d love to hear what that was like for you.

Dana:  I think what’s really hard is we are very different people. 

Courtney: I would say we very different people, but what’s hard is we didn’t think that we were, right, until we started a company where like, nothing like me like that we were all lined up. Right. So, I found it was like getting into business with someone who is like the same mind and functioned the same.

Dana: But Courtney’s right. It was a lot of tears. We did therapy as well together because it was necessary for our relationship. But I think re recognizing one how we process information was really important.

I am somebody, Courtney will tell you, like, I moved, like I have a fire under my ass all the time. Everything’s urgent, everything needs to get done now. and that’s just how I am and Courtney does not function that way. And so, recognizing my expectation, so like when I needed something, I will always follow it up with, I need this done by this time. And in my mind, it’s not going to get done that day. And I can’t be upset that it’s not done in three hours. I can be upset if it’s not done by the timeframe that I said I needed it to get done. So, it was just a tempering my expectations was a lot of it and,

And really figuring out what our, what our strengths were like. I do not like dealing with money, it stresses me out. I don’t sleep. I just don’t sleep. Like I like I’m a pretty forgetful person actually. 

Courtney: that’s true. There’s a very brief moment that she did the finances, it was very stressful. And then she looked at me a day and was like, I hate doing it. And I was like, I really hate you doing it. So. Let’s come up with something different. 

And I think too, it allows me. A lot of ways I feel very protective over Dana.  And it is where my very older sisterness comes in is I feel protective over like what the girls bring to her or what I know she can’t say no to because Dana is a yes, yes, yes, yes. Person. And I’ll tell the girls at certain points, like do not ask Dana anything. Cause she will tell you yes. And she will mean no. And people will pay hell for it. Mostly Dana, right. 

And that’s what made her, you’re a great planner and made her a really terrible planner too, cause she has no boundaries when it comes to people and saying yes, and when she means no. So being able to recognize that just because we can do something or just because Dana can do something doesn’t mean that she should, and doesn’t mean it’s going to be what’s best for the company long-term and taking something off of her plate that she might be super able to do, because she’s very able, like, she’s way more like able than I am to like read something and do something and be functional with it.

But that doesn’t mean it has to be her all the time. Do you know what I mean? 

Nichole: You two are so fortunate to have your amazing sister energy and love and a relationship, and then to be able to be open to therapy and working through it and kind of finding the yin and yang in your relationship. I think that’s cool. 

When you two were talking, I was thinking about a really good mentor of mine who gave me some really good advice the other day. And he said, you know, it’s not about managing your schedule. Everybody’s talks about managing your schedule. It’s not about that. It’s about managing your energy. So, there was a beautiful moment where you’re like, you know what, I need 20 and 30 minutes for everybody to get out of my space and let me just be in my own space to work it out.

And then I can come back to the world to the limit. That’s managing the energy. Right. It’s like identifying the fact. Cause I, I relate to that. I’m the same way. I’m my husband knows, oh, is this like, you have to go for a walk time. Yeah, I have figure it out, and I’ll be back.

Dana: Well, we are honored to have you. And we, I think the minute we got off the phone and we were like, this is going to be a good one. 

Courtney: We’re going to push her up the list.

Dana: Yeah, no, we just love your story, but like you have great energy and we love your insight and we’re just so, so, so grateful that you spent the afternoon with us today. So, thank you. 

Nichole: It was great to be here, have a wonderful day.

Dana: Thanks everyone for gathering with us today to talk about the hustle. To learn more about Nichole Lowe and her business visit solelife.com or follow them on Instagram at solelife.inc

Full Episode Transcript

Hustle and Gather is hosted by Courtney Hopper and Dana Kadwell, and is produced by Earfluence.  Courtney and Dana’s hustles include C&D Events, Hustle and Gather, and The Bradford Wedding Venue.

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