Hey, Magic Makers. Happy New Year.

It is so good to be back. We are about to move into season two of the magic maker podcast and I could not be more excited to kick us off. Before we move into season two, I just wanted to bring you this special episode and there’s a couple of reasons for it. The first one is that I am freshly back from Mexico and feeling good, have that healthy tan glow because I was at our annual Magic Maker retreat, which is a luxury planning retreat we do for a small group of entrepreneurs each year and this year I invited my friend Amanda Cook, who is a digital marketer and also this amazing sort of health coach, natural beauty expert who is really, really good at the kind of combination of our wellness and our digital marketing wellness as well. She has a really cool brand.

She was one of our speakers at the event and we wanted to have a public debrief about it because it was really great experience for both of us and we wanted to share it with you.

01:44: The second reason for this podcast is that I am super, super excited about a resource I have built for you. It’s free and it has just launched. So I want you to go check out jnicholesmith.com/workshop

This is a free video workshop taking you through the Five laws of entrepreneurship, the three secrets to actually managing them. And the couple steps you can take right now and all of this stuff is about helping you get growth fast and your business as well as looking at some sustainability as well, so it’s not like just flash in the pan stuff, but stuff that’s going to build on top of itself to help you grow sustainably over time.

This is connected to the stuff that we taught at the retreat. The retreat was five days and each day was one of these laws of entrepreneurship. I don’t want to give too much away now, I’ll wait for my conversation with Amanda to dive in. I think you’re gonna. Love it. You can check her out at Wellpreneur Online or on Instagram at amandacook.me.

Also, don’t forget to go sign up for that workshop, you have to sign up to get access, at: jnicholesmith.com/workshop Okay. So without further ado, let’s make some magic. Shall We?

03:18 Hi Nichole. I’m so glad you could take the time to meet up with me today to have this little chat. I’m so excited, like not too long ago, just a couple of weeks ago, you and I were on a gorgeous beach and a private villa. I’m on the Mayan, the Mayan Riviera in Mexico and now we’re back in freezing cold London where there’s actually snow and I’m literally recording this with a hat on my head.

03:43 Yup. Yeah, I know. It sounds like such a long time ago, doesn’t it? That we were like feet in the sand watching the sunrise outside with very little clothing.

03:55 Uh, it feels like a distant dream. I really wanted to have this conversation with you about it and share it, share it with others because I was teaching at your retreat in Mexico. You invited me along as one of the experts and it was such a powerful experience and um, and I just wanted to share, you know, share a bit of what happened and, and especially about your approach to how you help people pull build businesses, because I thought it was a really. Yeah, it was a really powerful transformational experience.

04:26 Awesome. We were so glad to have you there because I think you added so much to that experience, but I think that kind of idea of, you know, getting out of your regular life and holding the space open to have some of these conversations and to do this work that we just, it’s so hard to do kind of when we’re at home. But um, yeah, I, I, every year I do this retreat, I’m like, why do we do events? And then I’m like, oh, because they’re so special. But the core of what we do there is, yeah, the core of what I teach kind of all day every day.

04:59 Yeah. And I think, you know, there’s something about being surrounded by a community of people that are, that are all learning and thinking in this way. That’s really powerful. Um, which could be in person, but you know, it’s also, it’s also like those communities that you have online, like there’s something about not just doing it on your own to like kind of going through this learning and this experience with other people.

05:24 Oh totally. And what’s really interesting, which I’ve noticed over the years is like so much with my audience and I’m imagining this might be true for you as well, is identifies themselves as introverts and yet I’m that kind of the connection you both sort of in person and in these intimate groups is like, it’s crazy powerful. Um, and, and I’m kind of one of those like kind of skeptical people like, oh, groups, online groups, forums, facebook, you know. Um, but it’s really amazing how, um, how connection builds and how transformational it can be when you’re going through kind of similar stuff and other people get it.

06:04 Yeah, absolutely. So I wanted to, I guess what I really want to get across from learnings from this event is that it’s about so much more like what I really love about your approach and this event and how you teach is that it’s about so much more than just like the mechanics and the how tos. And um, I shared this in my, in my talk and my workshop. I’m in Mexico, but w w when I was starting out with my business and I was trying to get training and I was investing in programs, I remember people would talk a lot about mindset so they talk about mindset and like, you know, personal routines and taking care of yourself and, and um, you know, Blah Blah and all of that. And I literally thought this is just all bs and I thought this is crazy. They’re just literally using this as fluff and time filler so that they don’t have to tell me what really works, what’s really going to grow my blog at the time into something that’s going to make money. And I, oh my gosh, I was so wrong. I was so wrong. Like the mechanics, yeah, it’s important, but like that is such, it’s just one little part of what you need to really grow a successful business.

07:16 I love that you shared that at the retreat and I giggled so much because I have like, basically for like 10 years, I had basically the same approach, which was like, if I just work harder, if I just work smarter, if I just figure out some hacks and tweak things, I’m going to have like majorly different results, right? Like, it’s all about tactics. It’s all about strategy. It’s all about just finding the edge of productivity that I just seem to like be missing. And uh, actually it wasn’t, it was the retreat last year where I had this profound epiphany and um, we do this great, you know, opening ceremony at the retreat which is this beautiful, like Mayan ceremony in Spanish, um, and there’s incense and we connect with the four elements and the four directions. And I had no idea to expect that last year and I basically just sobbed through the whole thing and I did the same this year because I just find it.

08:13 I don’t know, I just find it so moving. But I’m, and I’m not like generally a public crier. But um, but what happened, what came up for me last year is this, we were asked to kind of put this intention into this sort of burning beautiful burning incense. And I was like in my brain, like you need an intention, get an intention, like you can’t be the boss of this whole thing and not have a real intention like, you know, like way up in my head. And then I just like pause for a second and this feeling came up in me that was just like love, love, love, love, love, love. And I was like, this is weird. But I guess my intention is about love and what I, what I sort of left the retreat with, like I didn’t expect the retreat to work for me.

08:57 You know, like I’m kind of organizing the thing and teaching, but it, it profoundly changed me last year. And what came up for me was this idea of being this sort of vessel of love and this idea of holding space and letting some of this stuff kind of flow through me. And what came out of that is I realized, I talk me know my brand statement is that I help entrepreneurs find freedom and fulfilment by building brands instead of just businesses. So my why is basically helping people have the life they want by being an entrepreneur, not necessarily just having a successful business because it’s easy to make a lot of money and be super miserable, which is not what I want for people because I’ve done that and it sucks. So what was interesting is I was like, I talk about this freedom and fulfilment, but a am I letting myself experience that like I have freedom and I have fulfilment, but I like don’t let myself enjoy it.

09:51 So there’s this element of like not walking my talk. And the other thing was this idea of love. And I got very focused on doing all this research after the retreat last year of what makes humans happy and what, what sort of defines fulfilment for most human beings and what defines freedom for most people. So I started doing all this research and annoyingly like in the first couple months as I’m reading all of these books and like listening to all these podcasts and all these experts is this overwhelming message came back of self love, right? Which is the last thing you want to hear, the last thing you want to think about as an entrepreneur. And I’ve been resistant to this whole concept for well over a decade, which is how long I’ve been doing this work. And something kind of clicked in me and I was like, oh, I need to look at this like I can’t ignore this anymore.

10:44 And what was really interesting is the only thing in my entire career that has been a quote unquote productivity hack for me was doing this self love work and trying to move from a position of punishment and discipline because I’m procrastinating or not getting enough done and I’m guilting myself and talking shit to my cell phone. You know, too. I’m going to be gentle and I’m going to give myself space and I’m going to reward myself for the behavior that I want to see myself repeat. And I saw a crazy change in my behavior by doing this and I swear in 10 years I’ve tried everything else. I’ve tried every other app hack, like like time blocking, like everything that everyone tells you for productivity, I’ve tried it and this is the only thing that worked to actually change my behavior. So that was a really interesting supplement to this stuff I was already teaching.

11:35 So I’ve amped that up a lot. They see or this mindset stuff that you’re talking about has become an even bigger and more profound. Part of what I believe makes entrepreneurs successful because in my own journey, just like you ignored that conversation for so long because I’m like, let’s talk about results, right? We all want more clients, we all want more money. Let’s have a plan and let’s use tactical. Like let’s be practical. But the reality is you just can’t. You just can’t get the results that you’re looking for with by ignoring this other stuff.

12:09 I often see that with clients that come to me is that there’s a little bit of like desperation or this wild hope that like maybe I’ll know the secret marketing, like the one way to write an email that suddenly everyone’s gonna buy your stuff. And I’m like, it doesn’t like it does. I don’t have the supermarket. I’ve got great marketing stuff, but not the, you know, there’s not a secret button that just make sales unfortunately and it, and what it is, it’s all this other stuff. Um, and I love that about how you teach. So you actually have something called the five laws of entrepreneurship where you look at these and they’re not all marketing. That’s part of it, but there’s so much more. Um, I was wondering if you could kind of share a bit because those are the, as we went through the retreat, there was one day focused on each of those, starting with mindset, but I think is really interesting for people to get an idea of like what, what are these things?

13:03 Yeah. That work has really developed over. Like I said, you know, a decade plus of doing this work with entrepreneurs and basically what I’ve been trying to build or create some sort of formula to entrepreneur, right? Like we learn about how to do facebook and how to do our bookkeeping and how to make and sell products, but the actual, the bit that I’ve seen time and time again and getting in everyone’s way, including my own is how do you show up and be an entrepreneur every day. That’s the hard part. Like you can know all the things and still fail massively. Um, and so I am a branding expert. My genius is in helping people find their why and helping people. I talk a lot about helping people make more money by being more themselves because I feel like the more in touch you can get with what your unique skills and resources are, the more you can really, really benefit from that both personally and professionally because, you know, marketplaces crowded, we need to stand out, blah, blah, et cetera.

14:02 Let me start because I love that expression, like that statement that I help people make more money by being more themselves because to me that has a really clear link to self love, like how often do we berate ourselves and we’re like, oh, I’m not good enough. Or like everybody that’s making money is like doing this thing, they’re doing yoga on the beach and drinking green smoothies. So I need to be like that and I need to be more polished and I need to be. It’s like all this not enoughness and what you’re saying is like, embrace the good things that are weird and unique about you. That’s where the goodness is going to come from. That’s where your success is going to come from that so freeing. And it is self love.

14:41 Oh my God, it is so freeing. Well, at first it feels terrifying. Eventually it’s freeing. Um, and we could definitely talk for hours about this topic because I love it so much and I love watching people make this journey of that sort of like buttoned up, repressed. Like trying to fit in and be like everybody else because that’s what we’re taught to do. Kind of like energy to exploring and finding what their unique stuff is because so many people when I talked to, they’re like, I didn’t, I’m not special, I don’t have anything unique. And that’s fundamentally not true. Like all of us are so different. Um, and I’m really good at helping people both identify what that is and then communicate it. So that’s, for me, that’s a huge part of what branding is. But what I think is really special about that is that, like you say, it taps into that self love and the journey of having to explore that and then communicate it and then be brave enough to take it into the world and say, this is me.

15:36 Like whoa, that’s a crazy journey. But what I realized when I like, I love doing this work with people, but it’s deep, difficult time consuming work. Like most people I know who go on this, like finding their why sort of journey, brand building, staying where they are, building a business around something that I’m deeply passionate about and they’re really unique skills and resources. It takes like a year or more to kind of figure all that stuff out because it doesn’t. You don’t just like sit down for the weekend and brainstorm it. And then the other thing I realized is that that’s great, but if you want to actually achieve this freedom and fulfillment dream where you’re actually making money and able to afford the lifestyle that you imagine in this dream of your version of being happy and free, you know you have to have a successful business. You know, if this, if this conversation is with someone who wants to be an entrepreneur and run their business and that’s how they want to fund this lifestyle.

16:32 Then you have to know how to grow a business first before or during and after you figure out all this branding stuff. And so that’s kind of the other side of my skill set is to help people grow businesses. And what I found is it’s so much easier to do that deep why branding work when you’ve got your head on straight. And what I mean by that is you’re stable, like you’re not steeped in scarcity, whether that’s time or money or like worthiness of self, not enoughness stuff. It’s, you can’t really do that work from that position. So for most of the people who work with me, they’re already an entrepreneur and many of them are in that space of scarcity. Like I just can’t do anything or invest in anything or have anything or be anything good because not enough, not enough, not enough. And so one of the things that I’ve learned is that one of the best ways I can help people achieve this big pinnacle dream of this brand that’s totally themselves and showing up every day, you know, being totally themselves and loving their lifestyle is that they first have to learn how to grow a business. And um, so I’ve kind of spent a lot of time crafting, you know, these five laws, which I am coming back to. I promise you, I kind of derailed you on that one!

17:50 The Five Laws have developed because the freedom and fulfilment thing. It happens in four stages, so the first stage is you grow a business, which we’re going to talk about the five laws in a second, which is I believe how you do that. The second is then you craft a brand and then once you have a brand, you’re growing a brand instead of just a business and I’m not going to get into that and the differences of that, but they are different and then eventually you figure out how you’re going to fund your freedom, which usually means separating time for money and being able to have things like passive income or bigger teams or whatever that frees you up. So that first stage growing your business is fundamentally about understanding. The way I think of them are sort of like the natural forces that are working for or against you as you’re trying to grow your business.

18:42 And what’s funny to me is that, like the analogy I often will use is this idea of like riding a bike into the windows, like you can do it that way, but there are probably easier ways that you’re not looking at are exploring to get, you know, to get to the same destination that’s not as not as hard. And so what happens with these five laws is these are kind of like the forces of nature that are, that are determining your success, whether or not you acknowledge them or decide to engage with them or work on understanding and mastering them.

So my role at the moment, as the way I see it, is to help people understand that these laws exist and you can choose to ignore them, but that’s going to probably make your life harder if you don’t choose to ignore them. You can look at them, understand them. And then I help people start to both manage and then master them so that they can be working. You know, the wind can be at your back instead of in your face while you’re trying to like, write up a hill. Um, which is what I think entrepreneurship feels like most days riding up the hill on a bike. Um, I’m sure you probably want to know what they are, right?

19:59 The first of the five laws is mindset and I was really resistant to this one. I really wanted the first one to be money. But the reality is the first one is mindset because without, like I said, getting your head on straight, getting stable, nothing else works. And we know that because we have those days in our business where we just can’t show up because of our head. Um, so the first law is mindset, the second law is money, the third law is marketing, the fourth law is mechanics and the fifth law is momentum. And the idea with these laws is that they’re kind of in priority order of how you need to address them and the roles that they have in your business.

And what’s really interesting, I think as entrepreneurs is we kind of have a tendency to jump, like we were talking about, straight to mechanics, straight to like, I’m going to make the thing, I’m going to sell the thing, I’m going to get the thing out the door, I’m going to talk the thing, I’m going to give you information about the thing like this, like very mechanical approach to being a business owner.

20:55 And in my universe, that’s actually the fourth law. That’s like the fourth stage that you actually need to get to if you want to be successful. Um, so that’s a real eyeopener for a lot of people is looking at this other stuff first. Not as like a blocker. Like I’m just going to spend all this time in my head and not doing anything and not starting a business or not improving, but understanding that if you, if you address the mindset stuff and some of the money stuff and then embrace the marketing. Um, which is like, one of the things I really help people do is not be scared of marketing. Then the mechanic stuff is just basic, is easy. It’s not as hard as it seems when you’re trying to put it first.

21:34 I love that it’s such a holistic system. Like it’s really looking at all parts of you being an entrepreneur and, and I think, you know, sometimes we can. It’s almost like we use this work as punishment or like we’re denying ourselves. It’s like this approach, what you were saying about the mechanics were like, okay, I’m just gonna make the thing and we do like this huge push to like make this product and then we’re going to get it out there. We’re going to promote like crazy and it’s like we won’t allow ourselves to look at any of these other areas until we like jump over these hurdles and make x amount of money. And like it’s, it’s crazy if you’re trying to build a business that actually like funds your freedom, like you said, that gives you the lifestyle that you want. Like you’re not just trying to build an empire, you’re also trying to enjoy yourself. So why did we do this?

22:23 It’s insane! You know, when I work with people on finding their why and like I know like Martha Beck Calls Northstar work and in the Japanese culture, it’s this icky guy, you know, this idea of you’re sort of greater purpose. Um, when I engage in that work with people, what often ends up happening is we end up, I almost all the time, it seems like a lot of what motivates us comes from trauma that we had in our childhood. And I know that sounds like dark and depressing, but what ends up most, I’d say nine times out of 10, the thing that for the, for my students and clients that ends up being the thing that motivates us most in the entire universe is to save other people from some sort of pain that we’ve experienced. And so when I’m trying to, like, you know, when I get interviewed on podcasts like this one on and they’re like, how do we find our why?

23:17 And I’m like, well, here’s the work in progress, you know, 15 minute version of work that takes, like two years. That’s what I’ll always say is like, look for, you know, why you care and what drives you and oftentimes that will be based on something you experienced as a kid. And what’s true for me, I’ve realized is that what drives me is I had an extremely painful, difficult journey as an entrepreneur for the first several years and then beyond. Um, it was like not only was it painful because of just some crazy circumstances, but also because I made it painful. Like I kept it, you know, these stories we have about work having to be hard and these money stories we have about how we need to not have money or whatever. I was continuing to put myself in a place that was absolutely horrifically miserable.

24:06 Even when I had a successful business, I couldn’t enjoy it or I was like working to like, like crazy. Um, and so I think for me, what motivates me is to help other people avoid all of that. That is so motivating to me, which is why I give away so much of what I teach because I just want people to not make the same mistakes. I did, and for most people, that’s really motivating in the work that we do, whether you’re a yoga professional or you know, some sort of coach like we, we generally are motivated by, um, some awareness that we’ve achieved and helping other people get there faster. And that’s what the five laws are really about is, look, I have a masters in marketing, have tested the theory. I’ve worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs. I’ve tested it, I’ve done it myself like I’ve worked with billion dollar corporations and I’ve seen how they do it. Like this is how entrepreneurship actually gets done, um, in a way that works and works faster and works while allowing you to also be happy and build a life, um, where you know, the business isn’t eating you alive.

25:20 It’s good stuff. Um, I was really, I really loved your approach is we’re going through it and I thought it was really deep and you know, I was, I also had a similar thought to you last year. Like I was in Mexico. I was like, well, I’m going to teach them and to help everybody else. And that was my expectation and I didn’t realize that I’d get so much out of it personally because I think whatever level you’re at in business, I mean, these, the laws don’t go away. You just start to approach them at a deeper level, you know, you look again at your money and more ear mindset and more your marketing, like it just keeps totally they grow with you. Um, so I really found that a really powerful experience. So if people want to learn more about this, you’ve got a video workshop going on right now. Tell us about it.

26:00 Oh my God, I’m so excited about this. So behind the scenes a little bit to take you behind the curtain a little bit. Um, you know, as you go through the stages of your business, you go through these, like you go through these different plateaus, right? And one of the things for those of you guys who are listening who are interested in building an online brand is when you’ve built a business or a brand and like person or a local service based business and then you go to build an online brand or business, it’s totally different learning, right? So a lot of what we’ve learned, you and I as we’ve built our businesses and a lot of what we teach is about how to make that transition really into this online world that seems so daunting for people. Right? So one of the things that I’ve wanted to do for a long time is take a lot of this stuff that we’ve just talked about and a lot of what I know and a lot of the sort of tips and secrets and tools and in wanting to create a resource for people that was totally free, where they could learn all of this stuff and if they implemented it, you know, absolutely totally transform their life in business.

27:05 And because of all the things that come up for us as entrepreneurs, I just haven’t, haven’t done it until now. So actually to, I’m not sure when this podcast will air, but um, the, the, I expect that the course will be live now and it’s a totally free workshop taking you into some really critical areas first, each of the five laws and they’re sort of light and shadow sides and, and really being able to look at them and understand them and then the next step is to be able to manage them. So the second thing we look at is what are the three secrets that I’ve learned that actually help you get that wind at your back instead of in your face to entrepreneur, like to show up every day and to get shit done.

And then from there we go into kind of like, okay, but let’s break all this down into a couple of places to start because it’s a lot and you’re not going to do it all at once. So then we go into some starting points and I’m so proud of it because it’s epic. It’s really valuable. A lot of it I’ve never given away for free before. It’s stuff I’ve done like one on one with my premium consulting clients. Um, and so yeah, I’m just really excited about this workshop and I’m really proud of it and I’m really excited to get it out there so that people can use it. And, and you know, like I said, my whole thing is about helping people avoid the pain. The years and years of pain.

28:26 I’m really looking forward to it, to you and I’m, I’m like, I really, I believe in this work so much after coming to the Mexico retreat that I’m going to be going through the, the finding I’m going to be sharing it within our wellpreneur community group on facebook and kind of going through everyday like, oh, like what have I learned and what am I doing with this learning? And so we can all, we can all kind of share our experiences. We’re applying what we learned in the workshop. So I can’t wait. I’m very excited.

28:52 Cool. I’m so excited you’re doing that. I think I, I go through the work every time I teach it, I go through it myself too, because you just can’t do it enough. Basically.

29:01 It’s just like peeling back the layers really. Totally.

29:03 And you learned something new every time. Yep.

29:06 Yeah. So good. Um, so I’ll have the links to that, in the show notes. I’ll put it in our wellpreneur community group on Facebook and I’ll say it as, you know, the little exit thing I do right after this, so you’ll get the way to access that workshop. Nichole. It’s awesome. I just thank you so much for involving me in this experience and yeah, I can’t wait to, I can’t wait to do the workshop and kind of see where this work goes. It’s awesome.

29:31 Thank you for being. Thank you so much for having this conversation. I definitely can talk to you about this for hours and hours and hours and I’m super excited that your audience is going to get a chance to experience it!

29:47 Oh, I can just talk to that lady all day. I love her and it’s so much fun for me to talk about the five laws and about finding your why and building brands and being more weird in order to stand out online because this is the stuff I’m truly, truly passionate about and like I said in my conversation with Amanda, I am a super, super committed to helping you avoid a lot of the time and mistakes that I made as an entrepreneur and also to help build up your confidence because I see over and over again with my clients and students that we just don’t know how amazing we are. You know, when I ask people like, well, what are your unique skills and resources? So often they tell me they don’t have any and that’s not true because I can see them. So this work to me is deeply, deeply meaningful.

30:38 I’m really, really excited about it and I am really excited to share it with you for the first time ever in a way where you can just go grab a resource that will help you work through all of the nitty gritty stuff and action it. Turn all of the stuff that I believe and I teach into some real growth quickly, fast because not all growth has to be slow. Some of the branding stuff, some of the why, finding stuff that is slow work, but sometimes running a promotion or just making some small tweaks to your website, the stuff that can really make a difference in terms of whether people are giving you money or not can be done fast so that can lead to growth quickly. So this resource is available at: https://www.jnicholesmith.com/workshop

31:35 That is where you will find this epic free video to take you through the five laws of entrepreneurship, the three secrets to manage them and to get some critical next steps that you can implement right now in order to get started. That’s it from me. As always, we would love it if you could take a moment to head to iTunes or stitcher or I heart radio wherever you’re listening to this podcast and leave us a review so that other people see it. And we’re able to help them find their magic too.

I cannot wait for season two, which will be out very soon, but in the meantime, if you want to hang out, do head over to our free private facebook group over at facebook.com/groups/magic makers HQ. And there we are having conversations about the five laws and about branding and but all this other good stuff all the time.

So we would love to see you over there!