The Worst Deal EVER!


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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Friend now that my book, Nothing is Missing, is out for pre-order, we can finally start talking about the journey to where we are now and that starts with THE WORST DEAL EVER!

Yes, in this chat we’re talking about my FIRST and WORST book deal ever. Through this story, I’m sharing how to know your worth, even if you don’t have anything around you (YET) to prove it.

I cannot keep the goodness away because I am determined to make sure it happens and to receive it all. And friend, you are so deeply deserving too.

Thanks for being here. Let’s keep this chat going over on Instagram!



Hey friends. So this chat is actually going to be super fun because if you’ve been keeping up with me on Instagram or on Facebook, honestly anywhere on the internet, or if you get my weekly newsletter, y’all know that I have finally, finally been able to share the details around my upcoming memoir, it’s called Nothing is Missing, which plot twist, surprise, if you’ve been following along here, that is not a shocker to you but it’s called Nothing is Sissing. And it is a memoir about living boldly and transforming your life. And it really does take you on a journey, not just through some of the things that we’ve discussed here, but also a journey through my childhood to explain how I got here and some of the patterns that were repeated and the lessons that I learned from them.

And one of the things that I think is so unique and so special, and so exciting about this book, and the sharing of it all, is that so many memoirs are essentially people just telling you what they’ve done, here’s who I am, here’s where I’m from, here’s what I’ve done, and here’s how it manifested in my life. But you all know who I am, it’s easy enough for me to just tell this story, it’s a lot harder, but way more valuable for me to go into the lessons around what has happened. And that’s part of why this book took me four years to bring to the table because I was living some of those lessons real time.

And I had to get to a place where I was comfortable sharing the stories around them. And for some of the lessons, I had to wait a little bit to see how things manifested and turned out including around this divorce and falling in love again, and building a business and struggling with, you know, my weight and my personal worth and all of these things. And it’s not good enough for me to just tell you what happened, it only becomes valuable if you can take these lessons, pull and extract them from the book and put them into your own life. So I did it. And I say that with a lot of pride. Because one writing a book is so stinking hard, you have to still be able to keep up your daily life. But you also need to be able to look back at your past and not go too deep, right? Because emotional work, you know, you have to be able to look at it and vividly describe some of your most painful moments in ways that can allow people to safely experience them so they don’t have to experience it themselves in their own life.

And I mean, it was truly quite a task but I’m very grateful. And now I’m officially in the season of getting this book out to you. So the book will officially be on shelves in October, I can say the actual date, I have such a habit of just saying the general timeframe! The book will be on shelves October 10, 2023. However, you can pick up your copy right now anywhere major books are sold.

So at Barnes and Noble, you can grab it on Amazon, there is an audio book that will be read by me because who else can do my mom’s accent and all of that is available now in the world. It is called Nothing is Missing by Nicole Walters. And you know, we’re aiming to make it a New York Times bestseller, which means grab a copy for you, grab a copy for a friend, purchase at your local bookstore and small business owners, because that counts for double points in New York Times versus purchasing on Amazon. But anything you do is supportive. Just reach out to me and let me know I’m so grateful. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. And I appreciate your support along this journey.

Now, in sharing the book news, I also thought now it’d be a great time to also tell you a little bit about how this book came to be. Now the reason why I share this story is this isn’t for those of you who solely just want to become authors. I know some of you right now are like well, I’m not interested in writing a book or is this you know about me? I want to talk to you actually about belief. And this is really important because this story is going to make your jaws drop. I quit my job, gosh, it’s been almost 10 years ago now. And when I quit my job it was to start my own consulting firm Inherit Learning Company, still in existence, a multimillion dollar company and doing very well. And we’ve managed to help 10s of 1000s of people through our courses, our books, and private coaching and event experiences. However, what was never on that list for me, was writing a book. I did not want to write a book. I did not fancy myself an author. And it was not something that was high on my list as my means of sharing my story.

Let me tell you why. Some of you guys may relate to this. I know some of you are like no, writing a book is my greatest dream. I get it. The reason why it wasn’t on my list was because it looked too hard. And it is but it’s worthy work, but it looked too hard. I was like, I don’t need to do all this, but I have the gift of gab, you know, I will just go live, I will do content. That way, I’ll have a TV show, these are the things I will do, I do not need to write a book in order to share my story effectively.

Well, you can say what you want to say about what you think and how you will show up in this world, but God will make sure that you will do exactly what he wants to do. And so that being said, it became very clear to me after I really was diving into motherhood, and you know, after experiencing… I visited my parents in Ghana, West Africa, and I realized, you know, something that for some reason, I guess I’d forgotten or it had missed me but books are really special, because they can do something that your phone can’t do. They can go places where there isn’t electricity, they can be read and handed and passed on. They can be loved and nurtured and you can review things over and over again, you can read them with a flashlight in the dark, you can carry them into quiet corners, they are so unique in their ability to transcend your circumstances, and level the playing field around knowledge.

And knowing this and seeing and realizing that there are people and children and women and girls who may never get to watch my TV shows or never get to, you know, subscribe to following me on the internet, but a book, a book can meet them where they are. And there is a humility that comes with recognizing that if you’re truly called to do certain work, that it is really important to recognize that you’ve got to have the humility to to meet people where they are, wherever that may be, even if that’s someplace that you typically wouldn’t go or typically didn’t see yourself going.

And, you know, I could go on all day about this and Christianity and how, you know, so many people say, Oh, well, we aren’t supposed to go there, that space is not for us. But the truth is, how can you serve and shine God’s light if you’re not willing to go certain places? I know some of y’all nodding right now, like, Nicole, we’re not ready for that conversation. But it’s the truth, right? So all that being said, you know, when the call and the feeling of oh my gosh, I have to write this book, just to make sure I have something legacy-wise, that lasts longer than me. And that goes places I cannot go. Then I was like, aw man, how am I going to do this. And this was very early on, I’m telling you 8-10 years ago, and so I’m out there, I’m putting my story out there and social, I have not wavered in that, and I’m getting some great traction. But what’s also happening is that I’m starting to have people reach out to me, production teams, and I’m having publishers and agents and you know, lots of people saying, hey, what exactly is it that you’re doing? And you know, have you thought about this? Or how can we support you in this way?

And so within a short order, I had a publisher say, Hey, we’re based in Washington, DC, this is where the story is gonna get hairy. So if you’re leaning in, and there’s no spicy language, or anything like that, but you know, just pay attention to this one. So a publisher in Washington, DC reaches out to me and says, Hey, Nicole, we would love to talk to you about publishing a book. And this is probably the most serious and honest of all of the reach outs I’ve had, I mean, I had a couple of people reach out about, I’ll support you in self publishing, or I had some people say, I could be like a book coach and help you write a book and all these things. And you know, all of them, I was kind of like, I don’t really know, if I have time for that, or, you know, I’m kind of looking for something a little bit more formal. You know, and I didn’t really give it much stock, but this, this was a publisher who was based in a major, they had a major office presence in Washington, DC, and I was familiar with them, not terribly so, but you know, familiar with them. And they wanted me to come into an office and you know, me coming from corporate anytime you can be clean and present clean. I’m here for it. So I remember and some of you may faintly remember this, because I think I talked about it on social, but it didn’t, it may not have stood out as a big deal. But boy, full circle, 10 years later, is it. I went into this meeting, I remember getting dressed and getting pressed and doing all the things I needed to do.

And I remember sitting down in this meeting, and I’d done some research on the company, and I knew that they’d publish a lot of books from some pretty big names. But I also was a little bit shaken by some of the names that they’d published more on this later. So I go into this meeting, and they’re all very, very kind. You know, Nicole, we love that you’re here. And, you know, we think you’re great. We’ve been following some of your messaging online. And we were wondering whether or not you were thinking about publishing a book and what would that be about and you know, just kind of this sort of conversation. Let us tell you a little bit more about the company and what we do and the type of authors and all that.

So the walls are lined with books that are written by authors who are all well educated, some have a background in academia, media, you know, and are respected in their fields by those that watch and pursue their content. However, I would say that their lifestyles, some of their value systems, some of their morals, are not in alignment with what I would like to advance in this world, or what I would like to see my children grow up with in this world.

And it’s not uniformly I mean, obviously, no two people are exactly alike. But there was definitely a leaning here that I did not feel was in alignment with, you know, who I am. Now it made me examine a couple of things, because the first thing being Hmm, what on earth made them think that I’d be a person that shows like, who did they think I was? And so I started asking some questions related to that. And I realized that they actually hadn’t really consumed too much of my content, but they had an idea of who I was, or who they thought I was. And that was what they were seeking to develop around content related to this book.

So in so many words, they were seeking to have me write a book that they could use and leverage for their own personal value purposes. And basically use and leverage my face, my brand, my, my gifting, frankly, in order to fit in a gap that was currently within the fold of their brand. And now, that’s the thing, I’m not even knocking the hustle, that is a total thing, it’s a total category. And for some people who are seeking fame at any cost, and people who are seeking popularity and the support of an engine and a machine behind them at any cost, it makes a lot of sense. It is a good move. And it makes a lot of sense for them, if they are willing to do it. 

However, I am very okay with receiving what I should have in God’s time and not man’s time. And I’m definitely not willing to compromise myself or lead my name to platforms, where at least especially not knowingly, where I feel like the cost is my legacy. You know, it’s just not worth it to me. There’s no amount of money on this planet, I’d rather be broke. And people reveal themselves in those meetings. So you know, if you listen closely, you know, you will pick up whether or not something is truly for you. So I sat down in that meeting and, you know, I said to them, and I always say this, in almost all of my meetings, I’d be happy to look at a contract. 

Now, I know that considering all the things I just said right now, why would you even want to see a contract from these people in a call, you’re looking around in these walls, what’s going on? Well, tiny business lesson, you always want to see contracts, because it helps, you know, kind of what are they offering people? What is the structure of the contract? What are the deals that they tend to have? I got it for information. It’s really important to me that if you let me into that boardroom, I’m going to gather whatever information I can get, not just for myself, but for my clients.

Also, it’s very beneficial to understand what people think your going rate is. I’ve been underestimated my whole life. People are regularly shocked by the way that I show up and what I accomplish, because they never saw me coming. And that’s perfectly fine because I don’t need people to estimate me correctly in order for me to get where I need to go. But it’s always very helpful to know, okay, based on the impression of what they knew of my brand, what is it that they thought they were working with, because then it allows me to kind of position myself accordingly.

So that said, that contract does arrive after we leave the meeting, and I get all the questions answered. I’m like, Oh, thank you so much for having me and I appreciate you. I’m still gracious because good manners are good manners. And I get back and I get this contract, maybe about a week or two later, and I read it and gosh, I haven’t looked at it in years. I should look at it again, just to see for comparison purposes. This contract is, gosh, I don’t want to say laughable, you know, but because I understand how they positioned it at the time, based on what they saw, and here’s the lesson, not based on where I was going.

When I tell you right now, where you are in your life, it is very possible that you are receiving things that are beneath the calling that you have in your life. You may be in a position right now where when you show up at work, where you are getting the check you’re getting, when you drive the car you have, where you have the opportunities that are showing up, it is almost irritating to your spirit, because you know that that work is beneath the calling that you have over your life.

And I have to tell you that doing that work is not beneath you because sometimes that is the place you are in. But understand that it should not make you question the calling over your life. And you should still act in that same fashion. Act for where you’re going and not for where you are. And that was something that I had on my spirit right away, when I got that contract that contract. I will never forget to this day, my very first book deal contract that I ever received, 10 years ago was for $10,000. It was for $10,000.

Now, let me explain what that means in context. So $10,000 is not a little bit of money to sneeze at. It is you know, I mean, it was a lot more money back in the day, and it was even more money 10 years ago, but $10,000 is, you know, in the book world offensive, is the best way I can describe it. Essentially, what they were saying was, we don’t believe or we’re not sure, if you will sell $10,000 worth of books.

So this is a contract, we’re going to give you as your advance, right, this is what we’re going to give you to write this book. And then whatever you sell above and beyond that $10,000, when we essentially make our money back, you’ll get a percentage of it, we’ll go halfys on it. Now for some authors, there, they love those sorts of deals where they’re able to say, sure, you know, I’ll take a little bit lower advanced, because then we’ll go splitsies because I think I can sell a lot of books and you know, I’ll make more money on the back end. That can make a lot of sense but even then $10,000 is just like, tell me that you think I can’t sell $10,000 when like I can make $10,000 in 10 minutes, is offensive, at the time I was, you know.

And also, you’re telling me that a book that I would write about my life or my business or my story or what have you that my time to in order to write and produce and to market and to promote this book was worth $10,000. Because I would have to do all of those things before I would start getting paid on the back end. And it was not lost on me, based on the value systems and the morals and the work and the type of people that publish there and the people that my book would have been next to and the way those people have shown up in the world, it did not surprise me that that was what they thought of the young black African woman who walked in that room on that day. That did not surprise me.

What surprised me was that they actually thought that I would take it, or that I maybe thought that up myself or that I would be impressed or that I didn’t know better. And it’s part of why it’s such a mission and such an important thing in the work that I do with the clients that I work with. And the people that show up in my fold to be very transparent about money. Sometimes people are offended, or they feel weird about it, you know, when I talk about money and they’re surprised at how confident I am in it. And I’ll say it and I’ve said it often, you know money is an earthly tool to do heavenly good. And you’ll hear me say quite passionately that I talk about these things transparently, because you’re not going to play me or the people behind me and our gifts. Like that’s all I care about. Like you must be paid accordingly so that that way you’re able to advance what you do. Promoting a book is expensive, marketing a book is expensive, and people and creatives around you should be paid properly.

So you’re telling me that I should tell everyone else that they should accept a fraction of what they’re worth to be attached to my project, simply because I wasn’t insistent on being paid properly? Absolutely not. It’s offensive. Furthermore, I know who I am and the quality of what I put out. And this applies to you too, friend. You know, by nature of the fact that we’re even in the same circle, you know, that we hang out here together, I know your character. If someone books you or asks you to show up, whether it is helping plan a baby shower or cook a meal for a potluck, or showing up and doing you know a project or work or an assignment. We don’t do it halfway. We have one level: excellence, we’re going to do our best and if for some reason we fall short and someone says something to us, we’re going to work until it’s right.

So if we already know that we’re going to show up in our complete itself then why should I get a whole complete paycheck for that? Y’all know how I am detour to the on the money part. But that said, I got that contract and I was like, I know. I know good and well that they did not think that this was acceptable, you’ve got to be kidding me. But here’s the thing that I did that I hope that you can learn from too. I didn’t argue with them. I didn’t argue with them. I didn’t negotiate. And I’m a big negotiator, it was so low, that negotiation wasn’t appropriate, because the sheer amount of money that I anticipated would have still been beneath what I deserved, if I worked my way up. So I told them, thank you so much for the opportunity, but I think just isn’t the right time. I’d like to wait. And maybe I’ll circle back to you.

That was 10 years ago.

So much happened in the next six years, five-six years after that time, when I decided to really get back into the book world again. A lot of life happened. A lot of business things happen, a lot of breakthroughs, a lot of success, a lot of hardships. And during that time frame, you know, I started really taking notes. And I said to myself, you know what, I’m going to work so, so hard, so so hard to make sure that when I write this book that I’m ready, that I’m ready to share completely, and that I know what I’m going to write.

And so I got an agent, did the TV show, did the whole process, and we took my book back out, we said hey, Nicole’s got a book, you know, and, and this one, this one’s even better. There’s so much more. It’s such a richer story and you want to talk about transparency, you’ve never seen anything like this. My agent and my team, when they read the proposal for this book, Nothing is Missing, they were floored because they said they have never seen anyone be so vulnerable and open and detailed, particularly with the many layers of trauma that I’ve been through, in addition to being so candid about the redemption and the restoration and the lessons from it.

I’m okay with blowing up my whole life. There are things you’re going to read in that book that you never would have guessed that I’ve been through. And that will be absolutely, just you will be floored, you will be not just awestruck that I’m still here. But you will never believe that I was carrying those things with me to get to this state. And I share it all because I think it’s required in order for us to continue this journey. And needless to say, I sent that proposal out and 26 publishers showed up. All of them saying yes, we’re interested. And one particular publisher, the largest publisher in the world said, we would like to offer you an incredibly large deal. Over 10 times the first deal I ever received, in order for you to take this off the table. Meaning we don’t want everyone else to bid. We don’t want to fight for this anymore. We want it.

I tell you this to say, it’s so easy sometimes for us to become dejected and to put our dream on the table because it didn’t pan out the way we wanted it to. It’s so easy for us to have that knowing within us that we are destined and worthy of the seven figure plus deal that never happens in the market. There’s only a handful of those that happen every single year. And I think the one that was very close to what I received was given to a Supreme Court justice. 

When you know what you are worth, even when you aren’t in that season where other people can see it, it can be so frustrating to continue doing the work. It can be so frustrating to continue showing up, particularly if you’re receiving disrespect while you’re doing it. Because people are disrespecting what they see, not what they know. And I have to tell you, friend, I am so grateful that I waited, that I paid attention intuitively to the many signs that were there. One, that people who are gonna give me what they think I’m worth and they look up here and make decisions behind a lifestyle that is not in alignment with mine, are people that I shouldn’t take very seriously to begin with. That offer had no good written all over it and that was evident when I looked at the shelves in that boardroom where we were discussing the offer to begin with.

What I’ve learned, now that I’m on this end of the book process, where it’s out of my spirit into the world, deals have been written and we are starting a really incredible chapter where we get to now finally talk about what’s needed to be said, and dive into how to apply what’s here, is that sometimes, in certain seasons, you’ve got to say no to what’s in front of you, so you can get and receive and apply and utilize and leverage what you actually deserve. And we often get caught up in saying, oh, say no, the power of No, not everything is for you. But we don’t realize that knowing what to say no to is also important. And it isn’t just about the check or the number. Sometimes it’s about walking into that room and seeing that, look, I know what my name is worth. I don’t care what you say my bank account says, I know what my name is worth. And I am not going to lend it to this organization to use as they will. I refuse.

Your shelves do not deserve to have my name on them. I get sick to my stomach to think that if I had said yes, my name would be next to some of the authors they have. And now I have so much pride in knowing that I had a publishing experience that was not like, some people have very difficult ones. My publisher has been incredible. My editing team has been incredible. My agent, incredible. My manager, incredible when I tell you that the world, God, everything is conspiring to make sure that this story was delivered, told, received and paid for, the way it should be.

And all because I waited.

It is so difficult in the seasons of waiting. When you are the only person who knows what’s to come, and you’ve got nothing to prove it. Nothing in front of you nothing that shows like, look, I swear I’m that person. You know, there’s a story of Jim Carrey, the famous comedian, writing a check to himself for a million dollars when he didn’t have $1 to his name, and telling people he was going to cash that one day and people thought it was just another joke. Well, he cashed that check and then some. Sometimes it’s really hard when you’re the only person who sees all that you’re going to be but God sees you too. And it doesn’t excuse you from acting and behaving and deciding within that belief system. And that includes with, you know, right now I’m doing the book tour, and I’m working on, you know, tightening up my health. Part of tightening up my health is because, you know, I’m doing this book tour, but I’m also planning on growing my family.

So because I’m planning on growing my family, it also means that I have to be, I want to be the healthiest self I can be. And I want to make sure I’m very fit. And I want to make sure my numbers are all right. And thankfully, I had a doctor’s appointment yesterday, everything’s looking great. And, you know, but I’m getting ready, because I’m living in a state of expectancy. 

And when I tell you, it’s crazy, if you were to ask me, you know, my assistant, she talks about this all the time, she’ll ask me things like, Hey, we’re packing up your office, you know, what do we do with these things? And I’m like, we’ll save them in the box for stuff of the Smithsonian. And she’s like, Oh, that’s crazy what is with your weirdly inflated sense of self? And you know, and it’s not that I have, like, I am insecure, I am awkward. I have all the feels. I am nerdy and strange and all that. But what I also believe is how my god is set up, right? There is a calling of my life, and it is undeniable.

I know for a fact that I’m going to leave a legacy. Why? Y’all because my life is hard. It is weird. It is strange. It makes no sense. The stuff that happens to me is unlike any other I am living a movie. So there are times where I look at my own life and I’m like, I would like off this ride. It is crazy, right? There are things you’re like Book Two, okay, I’m telling you get book one, just so that you can understand Book Two, it is that crazy. But what I can tell you is that part of my manifesting and creating some of the crazy, is in therapy you know, the choices I make, right? I gotta you know, stop repeating certain patterns, but also, because I live in a state of expectancy.

I know where I am going because I am determined, without fail to act and believe and behave behind it. And so, friend, this is what I want to tell you today. Where, where have you been denying your calling? Where have you been saying to yourself that you are making decisions for where you are right now and not where you want to go? Where have you been positioning yourself to prevent God from giving you what you need because you aren’t being a good steward of the blessings that you have? What No’s do you need to issue today because frankly, if you say yes to it, it’s actually beneath where you’re supposed to be. I really want you to examine your choices today, not just for the hardship, not just for the difficulty, not just for the stress of the moment that you’re in, but also saying to yourself, where will this position me to receive everything that I know I am going to receive so I can show up the way I’m supposed to show up.

And I want you to do this. And I’m not kidding, don’t just take it as some Oh, Nicole’s just having this casual conversation with me and it’s not that important. I want you to do this because I am telling you, our kids are watching. I am telling you, your legacy is waiting. I am telling you that none of these things are going to happen if you don’t actively step into your life and make it so. I also want to let you know that the thing that I am learning more than ever before, is that the minute that I started to show up, the blessings abound. I cannot keep the goodness away, because I am determined to make sure it happens and to receive it all. And friend, you are so deeply deserving too. So go out and get it.

In this episode, we chat about:
  • Why aloneness is something I am so well versed in,
  • The role aloneness plays in our individual growth, even while in partnership,
  • How to determine if you need to tap into aloneness to grow, and
  • The role a great partnership can play in personal growth

Resources and links mentioned in this episode:
  • Pre-order my memoir, Nothing is Missing, HERE!
  • Send me a DM on Instagram and Facebook!
  • Book a 20 min call to see if working together is the right next step for you!
  • Don’t miss last week’s episode on finding aloneness within a relationship. Listen HERE.
  • I love reading your reviews of the show! You can share your thoughts on Apple here!

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 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.