SEASON 3, EPISODE 56
It was after one of the hardest mornings – you know the ones where you’re asking big life questions like, “Will this even work?” It was one of THOSE mornings when I came home to find my new book at my doorstep! Holding my book for the first time was the answer to something that I had been wrestling with and friend, I know you’re going to get this too. In this chat, we’re talking about success and how to know if you’re on the right path in this season.
We may assume that with clarity comes ease, but what I’ve learned recently is that, that isn’t the case. The clarity that you’re working in God’s will, in the purpose of YOUR life, is everything though.
Read the transcript for this episode!
Season 3, Episode 56
Hey friends, it has been a crazy, busy week. If you have been following over on Instagram, you know that I just released my book and it is now available for purchase anywhere that major books are sold Amazon, Barnes and Noble you name it, nothing is missing by Nicole Walters is available for sale. Now, that is the big news of my life in this moment. However, the thing that you may have seen was that I actually, I can feel the emotion of the moment it was just it’s such a crazy impactful thing. But if you watch I actually captured video of me opening up my book and holding the very first copy for the very first time.
Now, to tell you a little bit of backstory of how this moment occurred. It was totally unexpected and I wish I could say it was naturally an automatically a beautiful moment. Like that’s how social work makes you want to think you know, something happened. There’s a little voiceover who it was beautiful. You know my life that is not it. So I was having one of the worst days I’ve had in a really long time.
I woke up and I just recently started a routine with Alex. Alex wakes up every morning and goes to the gym, he actually has a pretty rock solid morning routine. He wakes up, drops the baby off, goes to the gym and then does a protein shake and comes back and hits the studio. I mean, like he’s pretty structured. I’m the girl who loves to sleep in if it is before 11 o’clock, I am already feeling musty and dusty and not wanting to be bothered. But he is just up and at it.
So one of the things that I started recently was going to the gym with him. And I know so many of us say we want to have a great morning routine, or we want to be the type of person who’s able to like get up and get going. And I want you to know that I’m not one of those people. It’s like, the way to be successful is to have this rock solid morning. I’m sure it’s great for the people were able to do it. Listen, when you’re a mom, even if you have a great routine, things can go haywire unexpectedly. So grace, grace, grace, right?
But the reason I started going to the gym with him in the morning was because I really hadn’t I’ve talked about this in a previous episode, I really just wanted to start spending more time with him and my 11 year old, you know, I just wanted to not miss out on some of those morning chats and, you know, get a couple of extra minutes in the morning before the day starts in the car. And I realized that if I joined him in his morning routine, I’d get almost an extra hour between him and my little one, you know, if I just rode along with them to the gym and rode along with them in the car. And frankly, if I take that ride to the gym, then maybe I’ll do something when I get there.
So I kind of released all expectations. When I get to the gym of doing anything, it’s just get on the treadmill and walk. And so what that has led to self to is now I’m an early riser, who’s waking up and going to the gym, I’m walking between two and a half to five miles every single day. And these walks at the gym are slow. Okay, slow, I don’t care how fast to get there just got to get there, you know, and I’m taking my time. And we’re doing about two hours in the gym every morning. So I say all this to say that this was one of those mornings where not only is that not what I wanted to do, but I also woke up feeling just generally like poop.
I woke up with that type of feeling where you’re not just questioning how you feel? Or is it a bad day, but one of those days where you’re doing the overarching questioning, where you’re like, Am I good at what I do? Like, is my business even worth it? Am I showing up as a mom? Am I effective in this world? And especially if you are a creative or an entrepreneur or someone who does the work of creating and putting beautiful things into the world, you probably can relate to what I’m talking about, you probably know exactly the feeling I’m having. It’s that we work in spurts, right.
So we have seasons where we feel really, really effective, where we feel like we are crushing it, where creatively we are putting out our best content and our best work and we’re making beautiful things. And those seasons often seem to coincide with big wins. Maybe we landed a stage or new retailer or we got more sales or something that feels like it is validating and encouraging the work that we do and I guess felt like I was kind of in a slump. I mean, even though I had finally put out into this world, this book that I had created, you know I was feeling kind of in a slump around other areas of my business.
I offer consulting services through my company, Inherit Learning Company for everyday entrepreneurs and I love it. I get to work with people one to one, but I also have a course product, 1K1Day that helps smaller entrepreneurs get started and I help people there too. But I gotta tell you, so much of my time has not been on the consulting side, it has really been built around working on Nicole Walters, being a mom, recovering from divorce, and just putting my efforts in to building the direction of the life that I know that I’m building for the future and more on that later.
But creatively, that means that the place that really pays the bills, I’m not seeing the same type of traction and wins that I’m used to. Let me explain what that means because I think this will be really enlightening for you. So I am so used to over the past 10 years of building this world class, you know, very popular and well spoken about consulting firm hearing wins there. You know, like, oh, my gosh, Nicole, you were featured in Forbes, who are picked, as you know, one of the top 1000 entrepreneurs in the United States or oh my gosh, Nicole, you were, you know, selected for this partnership with this company.
And I was just so used to being someone who was seeing regular traction validation accolades, you know, and growth around this consulting firm that I frankly, have not had that recently. And you may be saying yourself, well, you know, Nicole, what does that mean? Like, how is the business doing? The business is fine, the business still makes money, it’s just not getting that traction, because frankly, I’m not working at doing the press and putting in my effort there. Because I’m building out the Nicole Walters brand, because that is the brand for a lifetime, more to come on that.
So all that being said, I was feeling icky, as if I wasn’t doing well, because I wasn’t seeing rewards and success. And I wasn’t feeling the progress, I suppose would be the best word in areas that were familiar to me. So lesson number one y’all, that came to me as I was walking on this treadmill, you know, leading up to this moment where I held my book for the first time. I realized in that moment, and I was walking, and I was doing some of my devotionals that a lot of us and I’m not the only one friend will beat ourselves up about not feeling growth in a particular area. Because we’re still operating our bodies and our minds on our old trajectory.
You are not failing if you are pursuing a new path in life. But if you’re continuously checking yourself and saying, Man, I don’t feel like I’m making the progress, man, I don’t feel like I’m seeing the numbers. Well, is it that you’re not making the progress or are you actually headed on the right path towards the thing you’re actually supposed to be doing? And not seeing progress during your old life? So here’s what that meant for me.
I haven’t seen progress towards my old goals. And my old goals before were, you know, how many private jet flights can I take? And are there more buildings that I can buy? Are there more investments? And, you know, did I get that big house? Did I get that big car, you know, what’s my family doing? You know, my body still seems to be hardwired, which makes sense. Look, I’m only a couple years out of my previous life of marriage, and, you know, kids and that formal sort of structure of tradition. And I’m a couple years out, I can tell that my body is still hard wired to move that way. Even though I’ve worked really hard to to recognize and embrace and show gratitude and be thankful and fully immersed and present and my new life, which is one where there’s ease, and there’s joy, and there is a complexity and the things I get to do every day. And it’s fulfilling, and it’s wonderful. And I’m present with my children, and my now fiance, and you know, doing all these incredible things, but it’s just so different.
It’s so different from what my body’s been doing for over a decade, that at times, I find myself getting down and feeling grief and feeling beat up, because I’m still remembering the trajectory I used to be on and measuring myself against it. So I want to let you know that if you have had these days where you feel kind of slumped, recognize that whether it’s the pandemic and where you were, or you know, being a toddler mom, and now you’re dealing with kids who go off to school every day, or being someone who was in college. I mean, this is a really real thing when you’re in college, and you’re saying to yourself, well, I have this class, and I have these essays, and I have this final and now you’re just clocking in at the office. So you don’t really have that measurement of a report card to see how you’re doing. So you’re like, how am I doing? You know, like what is going on with my life? I want to let you know that just make sure you’re not measuring your today on yesterday’s trajectory, because that can completely transform how you feel. And that was something that occurred to me while I was walking on this treadmill.
So I get off the treadmill and I’m on my ride back with Alex and I’m explaining this to him where I’m saying, gosh, I didn’t realize that so much of my grief has really been measured in in thinking about my past, you know, and not that there isn’t room to hold space for that mourning. But you know, it’s really important that I am measuring myself on today. And so how am I doing today? And, of course, with his sweet self, he looks at me and he says, Well, you’re doing great, you’re doing great. You’re showing up as a mom, you’re showing up as a fiance, you’re showing up as a business owner, you’re supporting your friends, you know, you’re doing great things, you know, you should feel that way, because that’s what you’re doing. And even better, your future is bright.
And when he said, your future is bright, I have to tell you, and I think some of you may feel this, too, when people give you compliments, or tell you’re doing well or that they’re proud of you particularly around new ventures. And I really, when I say this, I really hope you hear me, whenever you’re doing new ventures, and you know where you’re supposed to go, like, you know what your destination looks like, some of us have these things that have been put inside of us that we know, in a way that is undeniable, where we’re going to be. It does not matter if you are currently working in a cube or if you are currently making a sandwich and cutting the crust off. If you know you are supposed to be a singer on the stage or you know, you are supposed to be an author on a shelf. It’s this thing inside of you that you cannot explain and does not align with where you are presently. But you know, is undeniable.
And even if you’re making that incremental progress towards it, in those moments, even when someone tells you you’re doing great at that incremental progress, you want to look at them and say, Actually, no. You don’t understand I am going to have Grammys. So right now I’m over here cutting sandwiches off of a grilled cheese. And it does not feel like great sir. Like that is the realness of it. And I have to tell you, that is how I felt when I was talking to him. I was kind of like, I appreciate that you’re telling me that my future is bright, and that I’m making progress towards being an author. But the truth is, right now I’m just getting a bagel from Hanks to consume my weight and carbohydrates after this gym sesh. And I really don’t feel so great. And he’s like, I’m telling you, you pay attention. You know, God is sending signs, like the work you’re doing is valid. And you may not feel like you’re making that progress towards that new trajectory. One because you have one foot in your old trajectory but you also may not feel like you’re making that progress, because you haven’t seen and held and experienced manifestations of the work you’re doing now.
And so many of us are accustomed to feeling and touching and experiencing the reality of where we want to go before validating that that reality can actually happen. And it’s just humankind, right, you know, like I can describe an orange to you all day but until you have the real world application of touching an orange, it doesn’t feel as real. That’s like the definition of faith, right? And what sucks about life and work is we have to work on faith, we have to show up in those incremental moments as if we’re already touching the thing we want. But you know, we pray for God to send us little signs along the way, something we can touch, feel, experience, something that feels real to us, to keep us going. So that that way we can we can feel like it’s really going to happen. Because as much as we know that the end is only in our brain. So I’m saying this to him, and I’m saying or he’s saying all this stuff to me. And I’m saying like, you know, okay, I get it, I get it. Because believe it or not y’all is as motivating as I can be as easy as it is to see for other people. Like sometimes I need to push myself, that’s why your partner matters and the people around you matters. But we get home. And I tell them like, look, there’s changes I’m going to make, I’m still showing up in a way in my previous company, and I want to adjust that. And I still think I could show up more here. And I’m gonna pass this and he’s like, Yeah, that’s a good idea to lean into this and do a little more of this. And all that planning is making me feel good, right? About pushing myself towards that goal that I know this, Nicole Walters, the author, Nicole Walters, you know, showing up in this capacity in the world. And I was like, Oh, this feels good. But man, can I just get one tangible thing? No, like, this all feels good. But I just need I just want to know that this makes sense. Because it’s scary. It’s really scary to pursue a path that you only know the destination in your mind and in your heart when you get there. And I just want to get one little road sign that says this path makes sense.
If you saw over on Instagram, if you watch this video, if you haven’t, I’ll have it linked below. But I walked up to my door and I saw this shiny package, you know, this metallic purple, you know, envelope purpley blue envelope, and it was leaned up against my door and it was weird because mail doesn’t come at that hour. And you know, I walk over and then I double back. I don’t actually pick up the packet, I double back, to just walk with Alex back from our driveway. And we walk up and we see it. I pick it up and he’s standing right there kind of fumbling with the keys to open the door and I look at this package. And this part’s not in the video, because we just didn’t know what was happening at that moment. And I look at it and then I look in the corner. And I see that it came from New York City. And I’m like, What on earth is it? Now to be clear, I get sent stuff all the time, by brands, by companies, by friends. Like, I’m really fortunate to get mail when I was. Maybe it’s a manifestation of my youth when I was younger, I was like, I never get mail. Now I get lots of it. And I love to get it too.
I love getting cool new things to try and fun products. And I love working with companies because, you know, as an investor, as someone who is a mom, I just love touching and feeling and finding my favorite things to share with people. And you guys know that here, I only share my favorite. So I wasn’t knew that I had a package leading up on this door. But I look at it. And I see it’s from New York. And something overwhelmed me. You know, as a Christian, I’ll call it the Holy Spirit, you know, but whatever you believe you will understand this feeling. I imagine as someone who hasn’t given birth before, that it’s a lot like looking at your baby for the first time, this thing that you’ve cooked for years and years and years. Or at least that’s what it feels like in, you know, childbirth, and pregnancy.
But this thing that I’d written for years, I was holding physically, for the first time through this package, I can feel it. Y’all, I burst into tears right there on my doorstep. And I say, oh my god, I was like, and Alex looks at me. And he’s like, searching my face to see if I was okay. Like, you know, that thing where people you can see them her scanning the corners of your face. And he’s looking at me, and I’m looking back at him. And all I could eke out are the words. It’s my book. It’s my book. And he looks at me and he’s like, Oh, my God, baby. We gotta get inside.
So like, he opens the door we go in. And I’m like, disoriented, y’all like I’m like, like fumbling over the kitchen island. And he’s like, looking in there to try to find like, some scissors, I could open this thing. And I like go over and grab them. And he’s like, Oh, my God, oh, my God. And all I know is the next thing is he has the phone in my face. You know, I don’t even notice because I’m just like, I gotta get this thing off. And I have to touch it. Like, I have to hold it, you know? And I open it up. And I take it out. And y’all know, even our chats here. I don’t record, they’re not scripted. You know what I mean? Like, this is major. I don’t ever lack the words, right? Like, you could ask my mom, I tell you Daughter, you can talk you can talk and talk and talk your whole life. And I will I hope you they pay you for talking someday. Because if so, you will be millionaire. Well, Mom, it worked out, right? Like I can talk.
When I tell you I was at a loss for words, when you watch this video, choked up, wracked with emotion, completely and utterly at loss. And it was because I was holding the very manifestation of years of work. And beyond that, it was that very tiny little verification that maybe I was headed in the right direction. And I hope that when you watch this video when you see it, that one of the things that occurs to you one of the things that you see when you watch this is that in those incremental moments, when you know it’s coming, and you are struggling to believe it, it may not feel easy when you have clarity.
And I say this because a lot of people are asking me after watching this video, they’ll say how good did that feel Nicole, like how, like I’m so proud of you how amazing is it because they know like if you’ve been following along or if you’ve been listening here, you know, what I’ve been through over this past couple seasons. And a lot of you relate to what I’m talking about, because you know what it is to start over. And you know what it is to build from scratch and you know what it is to struggle in balance and fall out of balance and try to fall in love and manage. It’s a lot. And writing a book sharing the stories is so difficult. In the moment being a mom is full time, dealing with a child in recovery is full time, managing a divorce is full time, having a business and being an author. All these things are full time jobs and to juggle them all has been a task. And to actually feel like I’ve done one thing right to completion is like, unbelievable. But what I can tell you is that everyone says to me, Nicole, it must feel so good to know that this all like came together.
And that’s the thing I want to let you know about the finish line. Because so many of us get so frustrated when pursuing our purpose in the interim, that we think when we get to the finish line, it’s going to feel like all of the things people are asking me and here’s the truth about it. In that moment, what I actually felt was total and complete clarity that what I am doing is the right work that I am headed in the right direction that I am doing work that matters, that, especially as a Christian, right, because I talked about my faith here, and my belief system that I was operating in God’s will, that I was doing what was aligned with the calling of utilizing my gift on this earth towards His purpose.
I felt that without any unwavering question, that I am absolutely using my gift well, and right. Now, here’s something no one knows. And that I’ve never said anywhere before, but I think is really important that I share honestly, because it’s only come to me over the past couple, this is hard couple of days. But this is the first time I felt that. And that feeling, that awareness is embarrassing if you will, and maybe a little scary. Because I have built a business over the past 12 years, thinking I was operating in my purpose. Now I want to be clear, I don’t feel like I was doing anything wrong. But there was a difficulty and a weight that came along with what I’ve built over the past many years to this point. And I talk about it in the book and it’ll make sense when you read the book. Because I go through each of those steps, the behind the scenes stuff you never saw. But there was a serious difficulty during that time. It felt like force, it felt like work. And it was still rewarding work, right? Because I was still working towards something that was getting me the house, the car, the family, the health, the goals, and it still accomplished clearly what God needed it to do in my life.
But I can tell you there is a difference in working with the intentionality of God’s Will versus your own. It’s still hard but it’s right. And it’s still unclear. But you know, you’ll get there, it’s still going to be something that at times you may question, but you will still find a way to do what you need to do when you arrive. And when you arrive. It’s clear. In that moment, when I arrived, it was clear. I don’t know what is going to happen with this book. I’ve spoken to you about it online. If you are part of my email list of my community, I have the link below for that. You know, I have separate conversations with you there. But we talk about this, I talk about how I pray that this will get into as many hands as possible, because the behind the scenes stories, coupled with what you’ve seen in the front of this is going to be transformative, because you will realize that there are intentional steps and an intentional call over your life. But I don’t know how that’s going to happen. I mean, I am talking to anyone who I will talk to. I have been blown away by the support from you and from the community. I mean, some of y’all have literally purchased five books and sent the link to like 20 friends, you know, like I’ve been getting people reaching out saying, come be part of my book club, come to my church, we’ll buy 20 copies. I mean, just incredible things. I’m doing them all, you know, because this is the most important work that I’m supposed to do in this season.
God did not deliver me from some of the suffering I’ve experienced, for me to take that story with me, it’s to help deliver people who are still standing in that suffering. But what I can tell you is this work still feels hard, but it feels clear. And a lot of times we think that if we have clarity, we’re going to have ease and that is not the case. And a lot of times we think that even if we’re doing work that is meaningful, sometimes it’s too hard. I gotta tell you, I was in a marriage that looked very good but it was a lot of work. And it was a lot of work because it wasn’t the right marriage. And it doesn’t mean that you know, people say marriage isn’t easy. That’s true, but it shouldn’t be that hard. And that’s what this season feels like. That’s what that moment felt like when I held this book. I knew without a single moment’s doubt that I was doing the right work in the right place, and that everything I was doing was honoring my gift in the best way.
But do I know how it’s all going to come together? Nope. Do I know what’s going to happen in October when this book is on every single shelf? Nope. Do I feel zero fear or concern or worry? Nope. When I get on this mic or get on stage or do interviews or when I act in my gift or discuss this? Do I suddenly feel completely at ease? Absolutely not. And I say that so that you can understand that if that is any aspect of what you’re feeling, Will I actually see my gift come to fruition? Will I actually get where I’m supposed to be? I want you to know that the fact that you still feel fear about the outcome or about the process or during the process that is normal. But what you should feel is clear.
You should feel clear that what you’re doing is honoring your gift in the best ways and I want to tell you friend, I am clear and I want to let you know that if that is what you feel, then friend, that is enough and that is worth showing up every single day because whatever the destination is, you will get there.
Listen on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google, or iHeartRadio
In this episode, we chat about:
- How to validate where you’re at and where you’re going,
- Why we feel like we’re failing when we’re really just pursuing a new path,
- How I caught myself measuring my today based on yesterday’s trajectory,
- Why it’s so dang hard to pursue a path that you only know the destination in your mind, and
- The difference in working with the intentionality of God’s Will versus your own.
Resources and links mentioned in this episode:
- Pre-order my memoir, Nothing is Missing, HERE!
- Watch me hold the book for the FIRST TIME 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 the recent episode when I talked about why I’m getting up EARLY right now. 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 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.