Life as an Entrepreneur: How I Got Started- Lisa Nichols

Hi guys and Happy New Year! This year I was inspired to do a guest blog series on entrepreneurship for the month of January. You guys know that I have a unique experience of where I feel like God “dragged” me into this profession, LOL. It was not necessarily one that I chose (since I consider myself “risk-adverse”) but one that chose me. That being said, since you already know my story, I thought it would be interesting for you to hear a few other people’s stories in how they found themselves on this path.

You know I love learning from others in this format so I hope you also find it beneficial! Feel free to reach out to the guest who is being featured, and let them know what a stellar job they did! Their contact info will be listed in their bio. Thanks!

Guest Blog Interview:

Me: Introduce yourself!

Lisa: I’m Lisa Nichols, and I’ve recently moved back to Ohio from Chicago. I grew up near Toledo, but I’m now a proud Cleveland resident. When I’m not working on my business, I’m probably drinking coffee with my husband, baking (or eating!) something delicious, or cheering on the Buckeyes, Browns or Cavs. My husband and I both love watching football and Hallmark movies together.

Me: How long have you been an entrepreneur?

Lisa: For a long time I was in denial about being an entrepreneur, but ever since we started a coffee business in 2015, I’ve realized there’s no escaping that fact about myself. I’m constantly coming up with ideas for new businesses I want to start! I officially launched my coaching business in 2017, after 10 years of helping people in career transitions.

Me: What motivated you to start your own business?

Lisa: I had spent 10 years supporting people as they navigated career transitions, and it became so much a part of who I was that I couldn’t help myself from wanting to share what I’d learned with other people going through the challenges of making a career change. I realized that no matter what level you’re at in your career, or how much success you’ve had, you still need support and guidance when it comes to moving into your next role. Even when I wasn’t trying to, I found myself gravitating toward anyone I encountered who was in this type of transition, and I wanted to be able to use what I’ve learned to impact more people. That led me to launch my business so that I could help more people create a career they don’t want to escape from!

Me: Why do you feel entrepreneurship is best for you? In your opinion, what qualities and skills does one need to possess to be an entrepreneur, and what qualities do you possess that are in line with your views?

Lisa: I’m very self-motivated and excited about the work I do, so entrepreneurship comes naturally to me. I also enjoy finding different ways to approach a problem and creating effective solutions. Embracing risk is the aspect of business ownership that was the biggest challenge for me, especially in the beginning, but it is absolutely essential for an entrepreneur. For me, it helped to have people supporting me and encouraging me to take risks. My husband has been instrumental in helping me grow in that area. While I still don’t always enjoy that part, I’m getting much better at embracing risks, because I’ve seen the growth that it brings.

Me: What support groups do you have in place to assist you in achieving your entrepreneurial goals? What have you found most helpful in keeping you moving forward, especially during tough times?

Lisa: If you’re going to be an entrepreneur, you need a strong team of supporters. I’ve been extremely blessed to have people who believe in me – my husband, several friends who are also very business-minded, and other entrepreneurs I’ve met through networking. One group that I’ve been privileged to be part of is the Career Mastered Women’s Leadership Network. I’ve met so many amazing women through Career Mastered who have encouraged me in life and business. 

Me: What lessons have you learned in your entrepreneurial journey?

Lisa: Flexibility and trust. Business is all about being able to adapt to the new questions and challenges you face each day. The biggest lesson I’m learning is that at the end of the day, I can’t control everything that happens in my business. It’s hard to accept that reality, but for me, that means trusting God for the outcomes. I invest the time in research, strategy, and reaching my business goals, but there are many factors outside of my ability to influence. 

Me: What are some challenges you have faced, or are facing in entrepreneurship? How have you overcome those challenges?

Lisa: In the beginning, it took a long time to build up my business to the place that it was actually sustaining itself. I was afraid to invest because I wasn’t confident my investment would pay off. I had to separate my decisions from the outcomes, meaning that I had to be willing to take a step before I knew it would be successful. 

Me: What keys would you attribute to obtaining sustainability in your business?

Lisa: Building authentic relationships. I believe that relationships are the key to business (and career) success. The more you genuinely connect with people, the more you learn and grow as an individual, and this results in business growth. Relationships also open the door to opportunities, and the more people who know you, the more new people who become aware of you. This leads to new clients and business opportunities.

Me: What tips/advice would you give someone who is thinking about pursuing entrepreneurship?

Lisa: Surround yourself with incredible people who will support you every step of the way! Whether it’s reminding you of your brilliance, offering practical business advice, or encouraging you to keep going when you don’t feel like you have it in you, you need to have a team of supporters that are there to pick you up when you need it.

Adopt a growth mindset. Don’t worry about being perfect or not making mistakes. Look at each “failure” as an opportunity to learn and grow. Remember that the goal is to keep moving forward, not achieving perfection! Always keep learning.

Be authentic to who you are and what your purpose is. Know what’s important to you, and let those values guide you

Me: Free for all! Is there anything you haven’t mentioned already that you want my readers to know about entrepreneurship?

Lisa: Being an entrepreneur is not easy. It takes resilience, motivation, and purpose. But it’s also extremely rewarding when it’s the right fit for you. If you’re thinking about taking the plunge and starting a business, remember that you don’t have to know how things will turn out in the future to understand that it’s the best decision for you today. No matter what your journey looks like, as long as you keep learning, you’ll be successful. 

Lisa is the CEO of LYN, dedicated to supporting people in taking ownership of their careers and finding their authentic voice. She partners with 1:1 clients in knowing and communicating the value they offer and clarifying their career goals and priorities. As a Corporate Consultant, she also offers workshops and executive coaching for leaders who are committed to building empowered teams, supporting their people and expanding equity in the workplace. Learn more about Lisa on lisanicholsconsulting.com, instagram.com/loveyourniche, or linkedin.com/in/lisacnichols.  

By Nicole D. Miller

Nicole D. Miller is an author and heartfelt writer, as expressed on her blog www.betterthanwine.net. Her books are published at nicoledmiller.com and on Amazon. She loves all things “old school” hip-hop and R&B, along with any outfit that involves cute boots and thick scarves. She even manages to run her own bookkeeping business (www.abnbookkeepingllc.com) when she’s not cuddling her cute cat she fondly calls, “Squeaks”.

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