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Nicole Walters Podcast

The Nicole Walters Podcast

Join me each week for a new episode packed with what you need to know to gain clarity, grow your network, and monetize your life using the proven corporate strategies I’ve mastered in 10 years as a Fortune 500 executive.

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I have a chat for you today friend! Successful people don’t wait until the end of the year to evaluate how they’re performing, so we aren’t either. Let’s chat about your goals and what I tell my clients when it comes to re-evaluating and re-focusing. Friend, what are you waiting for?!

This year WILL be and CAN be what you make of it. Stay ready, stay expectant, and thank you for being here each week. Talk soon friend!



Hey friend, we have been having some crazy good chats. This year is off and running. I cannot even believe that we are almost to summertime break with these kids. Y’all pray for us <laugh>, it’s gonna be insane, but oh my gosh, I know we’re gonna blink and we’re gonna be in 2024 and it’s why I just wanted to have a chat with you about progress.

I think that a lot of times we have an inclination to not really evaluate how we’re doing on our goals and our New Year’s resolutions until a year has gone by, a year being like a marking of time. But I wanna let you know that really effective people and high performers evaluate themselves regularly. They’re always looking at how am I progressing on my goals? How am I, you know, hitting my marks? How am I doing the things that I want to do?

And they’re doing it in a 90 day timeframe. So usually quarterly they are looking at where they are, what they’ve done, what have they gained, what haven’t they done, and, um, evaluating how to approach it for the next 90 days. So what I wanted to talk to you about was the fact that one, if you feel like you have fallen off the wagon with your goals, with your accomplishments, with things that you’ve wanted to do, grace, grace, grace, you know I’ll say it all day. Grace, grace, grace. And part of the grace of that is knowing that it is just hard to keep it all up because life is throwing us curve balls.

As much as we can plan and anticipate for our families and for ourselves and for, you know, our general schedules. It is so difficult to plan and anticipate for the rogue things that life is gonna give us, you know, and general life circumstances. So cut yourself some slack. All of us are a little further off from our goals at the top of January. We’re all bright eyed and bushy-tailed, you know, by then, but then we’re all jaded and war torn by March. You know, so I understand and I relate.

But that doesn’t allow us to escape doing the work of uh, looking and seeing what tools have we missed? What could we do differently and um, how are we gonna approach this next season? So that’s what I want you to do. Um, and I just want you to also, and I just gave this advice to, you know, some of my clients in my community, but it’s so easy to look at our goals and say, well, oh my goodness, I didn’t accomplish this goal so I just need to work harder at this goal for these next three months.

And I wanna let you know that’s actually not the most effective way to get your goal done. And if you never heard this before, I hope this changes your life cuz it’s a biggie. What you wanna do if you’re looking back and evaluating having not hit your specific goal for the years, not say, okay, I really wanted to get into the gym. I didn’t go to the gym. This week, I’m going to go to the gym three times a week. And that was my goal in the beginning. So this week I’m gonna start doing it. Look Fran, let’s just tell the truth. If you weren’t doing it before, what has changed besides your awareness of the fact that you didn’t do it? Nothing is going to happen suddenly that’s going to make you achieve this goal effectively. What I want you to do instead, to help you get closer to actually achieving this goal, is look at the past 90 days.

Ask yourself, why didn’t I go to the gym every three weeks? Why didn’t I accomplish this goal? And I want you to do this from a standpoint of being very honest with yourself, being very forgiving, being very grace-filled and just recognizing that we just want to identify what the barriers were.

So if you’re saying to yourself, well the reason why I didn’t hit these goals was because I had to do afterschool pickup every day. That wasn’t originally in the cards. We were going to go ahead and pay for an afterschool program, but we shifted those funds to pay for, you know, an extra tutor and now I’m doing pickup and that was gonna be my gym time. Well friend, that is a very valid reason for why you didn’t go to the gym. So if that is the case now what does that mean? Do you need to shift your gym time to the morning time? Is there someone else that you can support? Do you still need to shift those funds or now that she’s had or your little one has had three months of tutoring, can those funds go back towards the afterschool program?

The reason why I’m asking you to do this is because we all have an inclination to just go with inertia, right? My wasband used to say this all the time. Inertia is the strongest force around free will or well something, something to that effect, probably not together cuz I don’t even remember his quotes. Look at us, look at me <laugh>. So, but that said an inertia, right? Like once you start moving, once you start going in motion, it’s really difficult to change course. And so, you know, I wanna let you know that it’s less difficult than you would think, as long as you’re willing to take times regularly to stop and evaluate.

And so instead of trying to tackle hitting that same goal in the exact same fashion, in this exact same way, I would love to see you try to tackle shifting and recognizing what are the things that were impediments, that were barriers that stood in my way and kept me from hitting that goal. 

Because if you take the next 90 days and you say, look, instead of me worrying about getting in the gym to get my dream body or my ultimate health by 40 or whatever it is, I would love to see you say to yourself, look, I am going to make sure that I’m better about my time management. I’m going to ask for more help from, you know, my partner. I’m going to create a tighter schedule for my kids and really stick with it. I’m gonna go ahead and just get those great gym clothes because the reason why I never went to the gym was every time I went to go get dressed, I felt so gross that I ever actually went.

If those are the things that were actually standing in your way, you will actually make more progress if you take the next 90 days to remove those barriers. Cuz if you remove those barriers, and guess what? Now you might actually get six months of the year hitting that goal versus trying to do it again now and then making it to December and saying to yourself, I never actually went to the gym.

Now this is the first part of really getting back on track and making the most of your year because friend, I’m not kidding, we’re gonna blink, it’s gonna be June and the year it’s gonna be half gone. And then you’re gonna start having people throwing journals at you and, and plans and apps and you’re gonna be like, yeah, that’s just what I need. You don’t need all that. You can actually make progress if you just do this. 

Now the other thing is something that I think is really important and when I tell you it never occurred to me how widespread this behavior is. And I am certain that you are doing, have done, or are going to do this. And I wanted to call it out to you because I had a conversation with the Misterfella about it and he’s someone that I admire because he really is a go-getter when it comes to his goals and his aspirations. And you have to be, when you live in Los Angeles and you’re a musician and you’re in the entertainment industry, no opportunity is gonna wait for you, you gotta go get it.

And fortunately he’s grown up and has that personality, but when he told me the other day when we were talking that he always has an inclination to pass up opportunities first. I had to pause for a minute and the reason why I say that is because he’s had a lot of great opportunities. He’s been on Jimmy Fallon, he’s been on NPR Tiny desk, he’s recorded sessions with Megan Trainor, Jill Scott. I mean this is a guy who is not hurting for good work. You know, he does a great job in this space, but I’m not kidding when I say, when I found out he was passing up opportunities, you know, I was like, wait a minute now, not you giving away our money <laugh>, right? Not you passing up on our future. You know? So we had a real talk about it and it turns out he was doing a thing that ultimately I was like, hand raise, I’m guilty for this too.

So he was telling me about how, and I’m sure he doesn’t mind me sharing this story, but if he does, it’s already out there, it’s okay. It’s just my friends. So <laugh>, what he was telling me was that he’d gotten a phone call about a really great tour and I gotta tell you, he’s become one of the go-tos, right? Like people call him whenever they need, um, a certain role he plays trombone and he’s also a producer or they need to like get connected with someone. And I I y’all are like me, where you know how you make it to a certain place in your life where people just kind of always use you as the reference. Like even if it’s just our kids, mom, where’s a catch up? Like just people always know that we kind of have the answers in certain categories or spaces or we have relationships or we, we can point them in the right direction.

And that’s really awesome to be that type of person but it also means that you get first look at a lot of opportunities and you may not even realize it because you’re such a doer. Hear me out, this is, I’m telling you this is gonna change your life. So he told me he got a phone call about a tour that they’re looking to cast and I’m not gonna share all the details of, you know, who the artist and all that, but we’re talking big, right? A big artist was looking to cast someone and they wanted someone who had a very specific set of skills. And I don’t mean like a Liam Neeson Taken sort of skills, <laugh>, I mean like could play certain instruments and could play them well enough to, you know, follow along with what is required from the artist and also had the flexibility and schedule, although this artist is the type of artist where people would change their schedule, <laugh> to be able to go do this.

And then also at a certain, look, not gonna lie to you in this industry, that is a thing, you know, if it is a like cool hip band, they want someone they think looks cool and hip. If it is a younger band, they want someone who’s young. Like if they, if you’ve ever seen Lizzo’s you know, backup band, she chooses uh, women who are curvy because she wants to be a reflection of what she doesn’t see in the world. You know? Um, or what she doesn’t see celebrated in the world. Or if you um, see Taylor Swift’s, you know, backup dancer, she gets a lot of girls cuz she’s all about girl power, you know, like that is really common. And so that was a factor as well. So I love this cuz they called my fellow, they were like, you hit all the marks for what we need y’all, this is where it’s getting real this and closely you hit all the marks for what we need. We were wondering if you were available.

That was what they reached out to him for. But his takeaway was, oh yeah, yeah, I know somebody, let me see who I know. Sir, they didn’t ask you who you know, they said, are you free? Are you hearing me right now friend? When an opportunity comes your way, when you hear about a gig, a performance, a showcase, a sale, a pitch, an onstage, an appearance, an article, a blurb, y’all, I’m going down the list because I want it to trigger something in you. When you hear about an opportunity, how quick are you to say, oh, I know someone who’d be great for that or yeah, I don’t, let me see, let me see what’s available, rather than how can I make this happen for me?

Listen, if you’re not gonna be the biggest advocate for yourself, who is? Every time an opportunity comes across your plate, you better be evaluating it for yourself first. The determining factor of whether or not I’m going to shift an opportunity to someone else is if I evaluate it and it doesn’t make sense for me. Now that is where integrity lies and here’s what has happened. A lot of us for four different reasons have an inclination to pass up an opportunity that serves us.

Those reasons are first, fear, we hear about a great opportunity, something big, something we never could have expected. Whether it is a mentor who wants to work with us, a event that we’ve been invited to, a uh, board, that we could be on a volunteer thing, something that really feels like a manifestation of all of our prayers, all of our dreams, we cannot believe it landed on our plate and out of fear we’ll say, oh my gosh, I can’t do this because the opportunity seems too big or because we just can’t see ourselves in that position.

So we instantly pass the buck. Another reason is readiness. Now when I say readiness, I mean both legitimate readiness and perceived readiness. Legitimate readiness is, I actually don’t have the tools to do this. Like we know right away like hey, you are asking me to be on stage. You want to perform three songs, I don’t have those songs ready. That is legitimate readiness. You just did not stay ready so you didn’t have to get ready. That’s on you. Conversation for another day. Another thing is perceived readiness, which is more applicable to this. It’s this idea that you don’t think you are ready for the opportunity that showed up. You don’t think that you’re prepared.

Another reason is downright insecurity. You might be scared to be in a room with people that you don’t feel you are worthy to be in a room with. And the last reason that we pass up on these opportunities is society valuing, sharing, over keeping. Now I have to let you know since we’re in kindergarten, we’re told the importance of sharing. But society has inundated us that there is so much more pride in helping others and we don’t view our helping ourselves as a means to also help others.

So I want to let you know that for all of you who are saying, I don’t feel like I am as far as I’d like to be this year, part of it may be what I addressed earlier. You just need to reevaluate your goals, remove barriers, and start tackling them properly. But for a lot of you it may be that opportunities have been knocking down your door and you have not been saying yes.

Now if it’s fear, I want you to know that if you’re waiting for fear to not be present, to say yes to opportunities, well guess what friend? You need to learn how to do it afraid because I only want to receive opportunities that scare me. Because if it doesn’t scare me then it means that it’s something I’m already acclimated to do and it means that it’s not new and it’s not gonna take me into new places. I want to go into the unfamiliar. I want to get deeply comfortable with the idea of doing the unexpected.

As much as I can train myself to do that, then I can be limitless in where I’m able to go. I don’t want to just do what is status quo. I want to make sure that I am doing things that align themselves with innovation. And what that means is if an opportunity comes my way to the point where I’m like, holy cow, can I do this? I really need to evaluate how I’m going to do this.

The next thing is readiness. If you already heard me say it, stay ready so you don’t have to get ready. If the one thing you need to do this year is start putting things into places in preparation for that opportunity, do it. I live in a state of perpetual expectancy. What does that mean? It means that I expect that I will be wildly successful. I anticipate that I have nothing but huge opportunities coming to me. I treat myself like someone who is the best thing that people just haven’t heard of.

Now I recognize that for a lot of people that is uh, difficult because we have our own self-worth issues, we have confidence issues. And I want you to know I have all those too. I absolutely have my awkward hot mess, I can’t handle this pit stains crying in a target parking lot moments. I have those too. But when it comes down to knowing my truth, I always try to return to the place of awareness that look, God has very specific things that he has spoken over my life and that have been revealed time and time again. And I refuse to stray from believing in him. I want what he wants for me and not what I want from me because what he wants is greater.

And I can’t tell you how many times over when I make decisions from the standpoint of where I want to be and not where I am today, that’s where I actually move forward. So as an example, and this is, I mean people in my life have become acclimated to my ridiculousness around that mindset. But it’s true. In college, one of the things that was a running joke all the time was you couldn’t find pictures of me with solo cups in my hand. It’s not that I never went to a party, although I’m neither confirming nor denying I drank any substances <laugh>, but it was a running joke that they just could not snap pictures of me doing anything that seemed even the slightest bit off.

And the reason why was because at the time I wasn’t sure if I wanted to run for office. So I was like, the last thing you’re gonna do is have any photos of me in college doing anything weird or compromising that could be an issue, right? Now, doesn’t mean that I was perfect about that, no, I mean thanks to the Facebook, I’m sure we could probably dig up a funny picture here or there. But you know, I really did try my best to make sure that I was living with an expectancy. I wanted to be the person who was in their twenties thinking about what I was going to do and accomplish and live a legacy in my forties.

Even now, my assistant laughed the other day because uh, she was packing up some items from my headquarters in Atlanta, uh, to ship over to my Los Angeles offices that I’m opening. And as she was packing things up, she was like, well, do we need this or do we need this personal effect or what do you think of this item? And I would tell her, I would say, well no, that can get donated or that can get sold. Actually we should pack that up in a box for a Smithsonian and that one should go over here. And she stopped me and she said, I’m sorry, what Nicole? And I said, yeah. I was like, well those items need to get packed up for the Smithsonian.

And she is like, what, what are you saying right now? And I explained to her that I keep a Smithsonian box. Because once I have an exhibit in the National Museum of African American history, I wanna make sure they have good items for that exhibit. You’re not just going to put into the exhibit my toothbrush because I didn’t carefully curate, you know, the flyer for my first live event. You know, I wanna make sure they have all the items to be able to tell an appropriate story. You know, like that is really like, so I have certain dresses where I’m like, oh, this could get donated but I should keep this one because it might be a good artifact for the exhibit. I’m thinking about my legacy on today. Okay?

And I know that that sounds bananas to people who don’t think that way, but I wanna let you know that if I am thinking with that level of big, then that means that wherever I fall short is still gonna be bigger than the person next to me. And I want you to know that that is the same attitude I carry to accepting opportunities that show up on my plate. And the next one is insecurity. I have to let you know that I feel that too. I pray that I am invited into rooms and tables and I only sit at tables with people who have accomplished more than I have. That is a prayer that I genuinely have for my heart. It is also a prayer that terrifies me.

The idea that I only sit and I’m only invited to banquets of people who’ve accomplished so much more than I have and what I aspire to do is overwhelming, but it means that I’m being invited into rooms that I am worthy of being in. And I need you to want that for yourself as well.

And what that means is that we don’t let our anxiety and our insecurity make decisions for us around opportunities. We let the self that is sitting at that table make the call around the opportunity that’s in front of us. Cuz you’ll never make it to that table if you’re saying no with the mindset of the person who hasn’t arrived there yet.

And then of course, society valuing sharing over keeping. I’m gonna have a very, very real conversation with you here. If you are a woman, if you are a minority, if you are an immigrant, if you are first generation, if you grew up in poverty, if any of those things apply to you, I want you to know that it is a lie that has been perpetrated and told to us year after year after year and passed down through generations that there is some sort of admiration or respect over having humility around not accepting what you deserve.

That it is cute to turn down a paycheck, that it is admirable to do certain things for free, that it is respectable to say no and stay humble in certain places. Listen, the only person I am required to have humility in front of is God. Outside of that, it is my job to take the opportunities that are presented to me, to elevate myself, to elevate my community, to elevate my friends, to elevate my children, to elevate my family.

How will you get to the next level if your humility is keeping you where you are? Humility does not serve you when it comes to growing in your opportunities. No one is going to brag for you. No one is going to elevate for you. No one is going to want your dream more than you do. And I can tell you that the powers that be absolutely are terrified about the women, the minorities, the immigrants, the first generation, the poor people, ever believing that they have enough talent, that they deserve the opportunities that come in front of them.

Pausing on that, I want that to marinate. People who are already in places of power do not want the threat of the people who are not in places of power or historically have been told that they need to be humble and that is their greatest attribute. People in power do not want you knowing your own power. Which means they need you saying no. Even if an opportunity shows up that you earned, that you worked for, that you deserve. They need you feeling like there is pride in saying no to that. It’s a lie. Do not do it.

I want you to understand that it is important for you as you go through this year, as you remove those barriers that have kept you away from your goals, that you also recognize that God is constantly, constantly moving mountains to send you what you deserve and what you need. Friend, nothing is missing. If you open your eyes right now, you know somebody, you have something in your inbox you are sitting on and just are too scared to respond to. You have a friend who has a contact or an opportunity. You have a relationship that just came back into your life. You have networking. You are following someone that you admire on the internet that you have yet to reach out to. There are opportunities out there that you are not capitalizing on and you’re not capitalizing on them for one of these four reasons that does not serve you.

This year will be and can be what you make of it. You 100% can believe that right now I am living a life so that when Oprah finally gets up out her room and decides to finally call me because I know she’s talking about me, understand that any opportunity before it arrives to you is already being discussed somewhere else. So you are already being discussed about in rooms that you have yet to enter.

So what that means is you need to get yourself ready and then when the invite comes, you need to say yes. Friend, if there’s anything that I can tell you to make the most of 2023 when all of these other influencers and gurus and everyone else, they’re not gonna start talking to you about this stuff until fall. Your real friend, Nicole, is talking to you about it. Now what I need you to do going forward as we close out this quarter, get ready for summer and try to make the most of the rest of the year that we have friend, is say yes to yourself.

In this episode, we chat about:
  • Evaluating your goals PLUS determining what’s in the way of you succeeding,
  • How to actually acommplish your goals this year,
  • What I’ve learned from my success and others when it comes to evaluating progress, and
  • Why you should consider every opportunity that ends up in your lap

Resources and links mentioned in this episode:

More about The Nicole Walters Podcast:

If you’re looking for the strategies and encouragement to pursue a life of purpose, this is the podcast for you! Week after week Nicole Walters will have you laughing hysterically while frantically taking notes as she shares her own personal stories and answers your DMs about life, business, and everything in between.

As a self-made multimillionaire and founder of the digital education firm, Inherit Learning Company, Nicole Walters is the “tell-it-like-it-is” best friend that you can’t wait to hang out with next.

When Nicole shows up, she shows OUT, so tune in each week for a laugh, a best friend chat, plus the strategies and encouragement you need to confidently live a life of purpose.

Follow Nicole on IG @NicoleWalters and visit inheritlearningcompany.com today and click the button to join our betterment community. Your membership gives you access to a world of people and tools focused on helping you build the life you want.