Welcome to May and to a new feature at the Skinny that we’re so excited to be sharing today. We’ve been working behinds the scenes on this series for a few months so we’re elated to be sharing with you the first post of many…
With the launch of the women’s line we wanted to celebrate women! The moms, the business owners, the girls who are still figuring things out, those women who seem to have it all together and everyone in between. With the launch of our women’s collection came an item – the Babe sweater, that inspired it all. To us, a Babe isn’t just a foxy lady – to be honest, looks have nothing to do with it at all! A Babe is kind, smart and strong. She gives back to her community and sets an example by supporting those around her. We think that these women we’re going to be highlighting are all of that and more and we want you to know it!
With the recent launch of her Kind Is Strong initiative, hoping to inspire and educate teenage girls about the importance of kindness, Nicole from Bot Communications was the obvious choice for our first feature. She’s incredibly kind, open and honest, she helps small businesses get their start and she’s an absolute ray of sunshine who keeps it real out there on social media; which isn’t easy to do these days. Today we want to highlight Nicole, and give you all a chance to get to know her a bit better and see why she’s our Babe of the Month for May!
- So let’s talk about your “first baby”, ‘Finding Your Sparkle’. What’s the most rewarding part about helping entrepreneurs “Find Their Sparkle” and achieve success with their businesses?
Being a teeny tiny part of someone’s dream, when it is just a pure, passionate idea, is hands down the most rewarding part of my business. If I’m being honest, the information at my workshops can certainly be found scouring the internet, but people come because they feel my passion for entrepreneurs and people in general. They know they’ll leave the workshop feeling supported, excited, less scared (don’t worry, starting a business or new project will never not be at least a little scary!) and with a group of new friends. I spend my days inspired by dreamers, doers, hard workers and passionate individuals, most of whom are women which is even more exciting for me, making me feel like the luckiest gal alive!
- And now onto your newest project, “Kind Is Strong”. We ADORE that you are working so hard on a program that is going to empower young girls and teach them the importance and necessity of kindness. This is a new venture for you so what do you hope to achieve in your first year?
Fill Madison Square Garden with a girls empowerment conference in a style similar to WeDay. Kidding. That’s the 10 year plan. 😉 I have a lofty goal of teaching 15 full day workshops to teenage girls, create brand awareness in Canada and hopefully the United States, build a strong website with tons of videos, worksheets and content as free resources. I would also love to partner with a brand or investors to help make some of this happen faster (right now, it’s all coming from my pennies) so if you are reading this and looking to support an initiative contact me! I also want to make sure I can get access to at risk girls as well – they need these skills and tools as much as anybody. I would also love to hit 10 000 followers on instagram. Even though I’m not huge about numbers, I think it would be awesome if it was an engaged community and might help to show investors how interested people are in getting this up and running.
- You’re such a big supporter of others and you’re so open and honest on social media – it’s refreshing. How do you get past the voices that can start to creep up as we scroll through Instagram about “competition” or “not being good enough”? I think we all experience those feelings sometimes, do you have any tips for helping to get over that?
Ha! I’ve fooled all of you! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect. I’ve had anonymous lengthy emails sent to me on more than one occasion saying some pretty hurtful things, which has taught me not to take social media too seriously. There are a few things I have learned and constantly remind myself of, the first being that while social media can be an honest glimpse into someone’s life it isn’t the whole picture. Secondly, in many cases (not all) those who seem the most boastful or proud on social media are often the ones struggling the most. It isn’t even that they are trying to convince the world that “everything’s okay,” but rather trying to convince themselves. Mostly though, I focus on creating meaningful real life relationships so that I don’t rely any validation from social media. Plus, I know that if social media went poof and disappeared tomorrow I want to make sure that I have a strong foundation of love and support in real life. Thankfully, my closest friends aren’t big social media users and I know that even if I were to ever get “insta-famous” they wouldn’t really care, so it’s a good reminder to stay humble. 🙂
- Fast forward one year, and let’s say we’re looking back on the year that was. What would you like to say you’ve achieved in 2017?
Last year, after going through the most difficult thing I’ve ever gone through my main life goal is just to be a good and kind person. My kindness kept me (mostly) sane and is what got me through 2016. Life is hard, which sounds like a cliche, but it really is hard. If we focus on being kind to ourselves, and especially to others even when it isn’t easy I think we’ve really succeeded. And I’m not talking grand gestures and acts of service (though those are good too) – I’m referring to the day-to-day living. Smiling at a stranger, not getting angry at the server for being slow, waving when another car lets you in; giving people the benefit of the doubt. I’ve started to live my life assuming that everyone is doing the best they can. When people fail me or disappoint me, I remind myself that while it’s unfortunate and might suck, if I trust that they did the best they could in that moment, it suddenly makes it better. Being angry at someone is only harbouring negative energy on myself and I deserve better than that. And all I can control is how I respond, and continue to do my best. At the end of the day, while it’s great to focus on our careers, instagram success, financial goals and more, I really just want to know that whatever I’m doing I’m being a good person. And if I can make a difference in people’s lives then I know I’ve really made it!
- What would be your #1 piece of advice to anyone looking to start their own business?
Oh man, I get asked this one a lot and I feel like my advice is always the same. The first thing would be to start. You’ll never feel 100% ready, and your style, language and design will evolve and change anyway so just get started. Secondly, “done is better than perfect.” I can’t remember where I heard that, but as a recovering perfectionist that was huge for me! I probably wouldn’t have started anything or even pressed post on one blog post if I was waiting for it to be perfect. Besides, don’t our imperfections make us more human? And lastly, my all time favourite advice that I still tell myself on the daily: Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle. We are all at different parts in our journey, and someone will always be ahead and someone will always be behind (though we tend to notice the people ahead), so just enjoy your own experience and appreciate whatever stage you’re in!
Is there anything else you’d like to share or like us to know? This post is all about YOU and how awesome you are so feel free to let us know if there’s anything else you’d like to highlight or mention or talk about!
I try not to be too in your face about a lot of things I’m working because I want to make sure I’m providing value to my audience. But, my online personal development program, Find Your Sparkle in Seven, is a really fun and informative course that I open every month or so. There are 7 different topics (vulnerability, letting go, authenticity, core values, mission statements, failure, finding your ‘why’, and more) and 7 videos I’ve created. There’s a worksheet each day, a song to go with the theme and a bunch of additional materials (TED talks, articles, etc). Plus, you get to be part of the Facebook community and I do a special instagram stories for it as well. The program is $125 and all the money is going toward my newest initiative: Kind is Strong, a movement to create a future of empowered, educated and kind women by offering workshops and tools to teenage girls on personal development, consent and body image. More information can be found at www.kindisstrong.com.
If you weren’t doing what you are now, what would your dream job be?
If any of you follow me on Instagram you’ll know my love for Instagram stories. Every morning I dance and bring people into my outrageous mind. And somehow the same 500 or so people keep coming back. It’s always a conversation starter when I meet new people – I get a lot of “oh my gosh I am in with your Instagram stories” and somehow, despite my lack of shame and makeup, I have had some interesting fellas slide into the DMs. All this to say: I’m manifesting a new dream to become some sort of TV or web host. If I wasn’t doing what I was doing I’d probably be Ellen, you know, dancing, giving away cars and having cute viral kids on my show. If you know a guy who knows a guy who wants a new host, send them my way!
A HUGE thanks to Nicole for being our first “Babe” of the month, stay tuned as we share so many more incredible women doing great things! (And if you know someone who’s a Babe – let us know! Shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know why she’s a babe!)