Thanks for taking the time to sit with us to share your Startup Story with our readers. Can you start out by sharing a little bit about yourself and your company?
Sure thing! My name is Nicole Baker, I am a coach for High Achievers and I help them ditch hustle culture, let go of perfection, and instead start enjoying their goals and having more fun along the way. I coach other high achievers in many different areas - whether they are wanting to start or grow their business, cut their work week in half, star on Broadway, have more healthy habits or just have more fun in their lives! Many of us high achievers (because, yes I am absolutely one of them) are constantly running a thousand miles a minute and because of that, we are so rarely present or having fun - I mean, there’s always something to do/achieve! Through my courses, podcast, keynotes and 1:1 in depth coaching programs, I help people (just like you reading this) live that fully wholehearted life that you know is possible for you… all without diminishing that high achiever spirit.
Every business has some sort of catalyst for getting started, or some inspiration. What was your "ah ha" moment?
I was at a Tony Robbins seminar the same weekend that I was starring in a musical in Chicago (this was back when I was a musical theatre performer). As a result of splitting my time between these two huge events, I would spend my days at the seminar only to rush out at the last second to make the show. The second day we were in a visualization around purpose and passion, Tony asked “what does life look like for you 20 years from now?” I thought, well okay I’m an actor, I’m being called into auditions… idk maybe I’m on broadway. What I was seeing was the opposite of passion, I was almost just plugging that vision in because it’s what I “should” want. Then Tony said something that changed the course of my life forever. He said, “don’t shrink it! Let your mind live your truest fantasy as if you are living it right now!” Suddenly the vision changed entirely, I was speaking, coaching, writing books, connecting with others, helping others change their lives. My whole body came alive and I started uncontrollably weeping as if it was just my body giving the biggest exhale. The next day, I started googling how to start a business (and I never performed in a musical again after that).
With a million business ideas out there, what makes your business unique?
Two reasons - one, high achievers are in a league of their own. A lot of personal development/mental health talks about slowing down as a must for being happier. Well, High Achievers would almost rather rip their own arm off than slow down. I don’t think slowing down is the end all be all here, High Achievers have a superpower, my unique way of coaching is to help them achieve their highest potential with inner fulfillment without dimming their superpower. The second reason is because I have an incredibly unique background. Not a lot of people can say they’ve been studying personal development since before they could walk (more on this in a moment) but because this is something I’ve been learning about my entire life and continue studying everyday, I have a deep wealth of knowledge that allows me to personalize exercises to each individual person I work with.
Launching a business is hard. Do you have a team, or a people that have helped you get to this point? And, can you share a little bit about that?
Ha, launching a business is hard, yes. It’s all about refining, refining, and refining and refining some more. My team has always been small but mighty, having a podcast producer and a financial team, and of course, little one off hires along the way. But something that has always been deeply important to me is having a coach or mentor at all times. I am at my best when I have someone pushing me to think bigger, helping me break things down and calling me on my own BS. My first coach I hired after my first year of business and let me tell you, this first year was HORRIBLE. I didn’t know what I was doing, I was wasting my time on all the wrong things and I was on the brink of quitting. I hired my business coach and she helped me revamp my entire structure. We simplified everything and redirected my time to be the most efficient - within 6 months I was full-time in my own business and continued growing every month.
People love an inside scoop. What is something most people might not know about you or your company?
I have always known that I loved the personal development world, having grown up with two parents that worked with Tony Robbins for 30+ years, I’ve always been attending seminars, listening to books/audiotapes (yeah, remember those?) or hearing about my dads work day as a Master Coach. I was entranced by this field… but I didn’t think anyone would take a 24 year old coach who has a high voice like a sassy cinderella seriously. Instead, I went down the path of Musical Theatre performance, attended one of the best schools in the world for it - only to have my high achievers perfectionism at an all time high. It resulted in me getting sat down by my professor and told, “you’re not gonna graduate unless you pull out a miracle.” I called my dad and begged for him to coach me through this time - and boy, did he - no holds barred. Long story short, it was through that experience that I learned how powerful our mind is and how it is the make or break of our success, happiness and fulfillment. After graduating (cum laude might I add), I went on to perform for a few years only to attend the seminar that I mentioned above, the rest is history.
Every business hits that wall, or hurdle. What is a major hurdle your business is facing? And how can our readers help, or get involved?
Well, let’s just say there have been many “wall” moments but I think the biggest one was right after the first year of business. I was working 2 side jobs (waitressing until 2am then going to work at a tech company by day), and I was beyond burned out. The frustrating thing was I wasn’t getting any traction in my business, no clients, nada. I finally broke down one night and sobbed to my fiancé saying how I was going to quit, it was never going to work out for me, I’m not meant to be an entrepreneur - all those horrible things we say to ourselves when we’re in the middle of a pit. I was convinced I was no longer going to do it, I was going to close up shop and continue being a waitress for the rest of my life. The very next day a coach I looked up to and trusted put out an email saying she was taking new clients. I signed on the spot with her (this is the coach who restructured my business and helped me go full time 6 months later). There were two major lessons I learned from this. One - Ask for help, that high and mighty ego almost cost me my dream, I didn’t have the answers so I found someone who could teach me. Two - I was working on all the things that DIDN’T F-ING MATTER! I redirected my time to the big scary tasks that would actually move the needle forward for me - and it worked like clockwork.
Starting and running a business is a major learning experience. Up until this point, what is the biggest lesson you have learned, personally, about running your business and the field you are in?
For the love of god, stop wasting your time trying to be “the busiest” just so you can have the “I’m the busiest person in the room” medal. For most of my life (until the last 3 years where I’ve devoted much of my time to learning about productivity), I always responded to the question “how are you” with a *huge sigh* and a “I’m SO busy”. And to be fair I was, but it wasn’t making me happy, it was making me not feel as passionate about what I was working on. And the part that just guts me to this day is I was busy working on all the things that were just “fluff” in the business. AKA these things weren’t moving the business forward, they weren’t changing lives, and they weren’t making money. It was all just busy-work so I could feel important. I started learning more and more about healthy productivity (mainly pareto's principle) and in less than 3 months, my work week went down to 25-30 hours, I was achieving goals faster than I ever could have imagined and I was enjoying my freaking life! I now live by a quote from Tim Ferriss “if I’m ever busy, I know I’m doing something wrong”.
For our readers first learning about your business, could you share three key take away's that you believe our readers should know about you, your business or your product/solution?
These are three things I want High Achievers to know:
#1 High achieving is your superpower but achieving the next goal isn’t going to make you happy (I mean beyond the 6 minutes that you actually let yourself celebrate before moving onto the next goal). Stop waiting until you hit a goal to be happy/proud of yourself - practice enjoying what you currently have. (And no, that won’t make you complacent or dim your high achiever-ness - it actually speeds you up).
#2 Stop making things so dang hard for yourself. As high achievers we’re used to having things be hard - we overload our schedules, take on too much, complain about (but secretly love) being busy! Ask yourself every single day (and sometimes multiple times a day) “how can this be easy?” and actually act on it!
#3 Practice feeling proud of yourself without attaching it to your achievements. Your amazingness is so much deeper than you just achieving that awesome thing. Practice actually loving YOURSELF just as you are (achievement aside) and your accomplishments become the world's greatest icing on the cake.
For that person learning about your business, why would they sign up for, or use your company or solution?
As I mentioned earlier, high achieving is your freaking superpower, but you demanding 100% output from yourself day in and day out, insisting on perfection, needing to have a huge achievement every day or else you’re falling behind, or taking a day off and suddenly feeling like you’re never going to amount to anything… yeah, all of that isn’t helping you live a life of your highest potential. In my type of coaching, I help you drop the intense stress that you put on yourself, I help you achieve goals and actually enjoy the journey of them (not just the destination), I help you learn how to work smarter which can cut your work week in HALF allowing you more time and space to do the things you love and (this is my favorite part) I help you actually begin to love and appreciate the person you are (with and without your achievements). My style of coaching is very unique because I do this all without diminishing that high achiever mindset.
Are you currently seeking funding, co-founders or building out your team? If so, how can our readers help out?
Love this question. I’m always seeking mentors - I believe in having as many as possible because I never want to stop learning. If anyone is a master in the areas of speaking, productivity, goal setting, building a community or podcasting - reach out (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Well, it has been wonderful sitting with you today to learn more about you and your company. How can people find out more about what you guys are up to?
You can check out my website www.lifecoachbaker.com or find me anywhere (Youtube, TikTok, Instagram) @lifecoachbaker
I also have a weekly podcast called the Life Coach Baker Podcast where we discuss all things high achieving, perfectionism, productivity and goal setting.
Also if there is anything that I've mentioned above that has resonated with you, take 2 minutes, go to www.lifecoachbaker.com/discoverycall and book a free 30 minute 1:1 call with me. I promise you on this call we do 30 minutes of actual coaching and you leave with tactical action steps to help you. 100% free and no strings attached - promise
Thank you for taking the time today to sit with us and share your Startup Story.
Thank you! It's been fun!