Where did your personal inspiration, entrepreneurial/leadership purpose come from – what shaped your views?
It wasn’t from the people around me! Dad was in a job for 49 years, there were no real entrepreneurial role models, although I had an uncle who ran his own small company. The inspiration came from my own heart rather than role models. I grew up with a protestant work ethic. Work was about suffering and pain, that was seen as good work and what we deserved. At this stage in my life I thought that work had to be endured.
Into the workplace….
“Running my own business gave me the best opportunity to express myself and the freedom to do what I love and that I’m here to do”
After 9yrs of a conventional career I craved freedom, to be in charge of my own life. Not in a rebellious way, more about a sense of doing what I was on this planet to do, a sense of destiny a calling. But I had three years of fear and soul searching before I eventually plucked up the courage to quit. So for me, running my own business gave me the best opportunity to express myself and the freedom to do what I love and that I’m here to do. I looked around and noticed there weren’t any corporations that offer me the opportunity to do what I do and so my entrepreneurial journey began.
For me, business isn’t a motivator in its own right it’s a great canvas to make a difference in the world. Even though I’ve been running my own successful business for a long time now, one of the challenging things is to simply allow myself to feel good doing it.
Business is a great canvas to look at my own consciousness, I constantly see myself reflected back – my inadequacies, the bad, good, loving and generous parts of me all get mirrored back to me through my business. My business is a mirror I constantly listen to the feedback and use the pain for learning and self-knowledge.
The unfolding journey of inspired entrepreneur
“Once I became self-employed I wasn’t going to kill my soul to go back into a job. I was increasingly aware of people pioneering in their own lives and doing it in splendid isolation and so I had a call for community”
I found that I had an inner desire to bring people together, to learn, grow, build friendships and have fun. In my experience, many people don’t have many people celebrating them and as a result they have given in to the negativity of the fears of people around them.
We are creating a new community of inspiration, a new emerging way of life. I see this as the way I am going, doing it in London, UK and globally. We are training people in how to create space and community for people to grow, have fun and transform the world together.
The unfolding path
“I think there are at least 2 ways that entrepreneurs evolve. One group follow the market and want to make money, nothing wrong with it, but I don’t find it inspiring, business opportunities don’t have any energy for me”
I’m in the second group I am interested in what is within my heart that wants to be manifested, following a sense of inspiration if you like. I feel myself to be more an artist than a business person. I have been doing this for 25 years and have learnt that inspiration is an evolutionary force that makes you shed skins and grow into greater possibilities.
Inspired entrepreneurs have a flash of inspirational that calls their heart they are like the dodgems hooked up to a greater force that is guiding them. Once you are hooked to the inspiration you are on a life long journey and always waiting for further instructions, which is why entrepreneurs often love to start things rather than running things, they can get bored easily, it’s a strength that needs to be nurtured and accounted for.
As an inspired entrepreneur you need people who can implement and put the detail into the idea, inspired entrepreneurs have to be great collaborators as they can’t do it all.
Fears, failure and learning
I tyrannised myself always wanting guarantees that it’s going to work out, I think that I spent several years stopping my ideas and playing it safe rather than following my inspiration and this has been my biggest failure, following the overriding fears and to chase the money rather than the inspiration.
For a long time I chased being liked, security and these things have caused my greatest failures and unhappiness. I have found that success usually follows when I don’t edit the inspiration that I receive.
“One of my bits of advice is get a bit of failure under your belt. Failure no longer holds to much fear, shame and humiliation”
I’ve fallen on my face a few times with things not working out, as these have happened my fear of failure has shrunk tremendously and as a result I feel free to explore and experiment. Failure no longer holds to much fear, shame and humiliation.
Equally, I’m not promoting people to set out to be a failure but don’t berate yourself when you do. When you are doing something creative, inspiring and entrepreneurial you will fail, it is part of the price for being in the ring, rather than being on the side-lines watching. Celebrate and put yourself in the position to fail, learn, grow and then continue.
What’s the purpose of Inspired Entrepreneurs?
“To help shift the world from fear to love, on a deeper level it is to realise that we are already love, human beings are created by a creator out of love”
We are in a world that is based on fear, it’s not about fighting fearful thinking but about listening to and finding what is deeply within us, what I do is help people to remember love.
It’s about people…..as a child I always had a sense of the person that I could become, I knew there was a different person within me. We are so bound by personality and delusion that we don’t allow that inspiration and love, I help people to become who they have to become, I am about supporting people to be the person they sense within their heart that they are to become.
Growth of Nick
I stand for authenticity, for me this means embracing our greatness, the spirit, essence, gifts and talents that are given to us through creation. Whilst at the same time, we can be stupid, vulnerable, afraid, trying to find a way to get a handle on this, whilst still showing up. If you like to support people to show up in our messy glory, in our authentic self, the good and the messy, being an arsehole occasionally doesn't invalidate the brilliance that we are.
“So I guess I am an advocate for unmasking people and stopping them playing a role by removing the invulnerable professional mask”
I find for many people there is a real terror under this, to show our humaneness, a lot of energy goes into keeping the mask on. I’ve done this and I burnt out, what I am learning and standing for is the more open you are the less there is to defend. If you tell them the truth there is nothing to defend and I have more energy as a result, as I am not attempting to defend myself. Part of my work is to get them to show up in their lives, I love seeing people engage with theirs and other humanness.
What have been your critical lessons learnt along your entrepreneurial journey?
“I’ve learnt that true success comes from collaboration. I think that competition is a myth that is dying. Success comes from service, contribution and working together towards a higher goal for the greater good”
- Trust my own heart, when I was beginning the journey I was afraid of my calling, now I feel that it is my friend and ally, it’s a loving not threatening voice.
- Learning to understand and navigate the resistance, inspiration and our heart has an evil twin, this is our resistance. I’ve learnt that resistance is just part of being human, you won’t get rid of it, learn it, recognise it and get beyond it.
- I’m a lot more significant than I tell myself. I grew up believing that I was insignificant. I’ve learnt how significant and a source of inspiration the things I am and how what I say, think and feel can positively impact myself and others, it blows me away but it’s true.
- I’ve learnt that true success comes from collaboration. I think that competition is a myth that is dying. Success comes from service, contribution and working together towards a higher goal for the greater good.
- Success is so much more that status and money, it’s about how much love have I given and received? How have I used my talents for the greater good? How many people have I helped and encouraged? How many people have I let in to touch me?
- There is no end to our creative potential. I thought it would be a miracle to write one book and I’ve now written 7. There is no end to ideas and creativity, our heart is a well spring of possibility.
- I think one of the biggest mistakes is the old adage where you have an idea and then go and find customers and flog em stuff, I think that is a big mistake. When you are following a sense of inspiration or calling you are building and serving a tribe of people. I am in touch with about 30,000 people and my business runs from receiving money from 500. I think the old model of business is mass market, it’s about reversing this, it’s about finding people that we have a resonance with and serve them in some way.
- Another mistake I see is people trying to be professional but missing out their human and authentic side. One of the areas I am exploring is about building a business around an emotional territory we are familiar with. We learn to be honest about our struggles that we have overcome and then realising that I can help people on a similar journey. We become experts in the emotional terrain.
- Don’t try and get it right before you start, just get going and adjust as you go!
- Don’t try and figure out the how in advance, I’ve learnt as I’ve experienced and done it.
- Doing your own thing doesn't mean doing it on your own. If you are running your business, be a collaborator, learn, grow and share experiences with others.
- I’ve learnt its ok to earn money doing what you love, it’s not sinful I haven’t been struck down by lighting. The money doesn't have to be a compensation for doing something you hate.
What are the characteristics that in your experience entrepreneurs require now and in the future?
“It’s about wanting to serve your fellow human beings”
- My belief is that if all the gifts and talents of people on this planet were unleashed we would solve all problems. Young people coming out of school at 18 and being told they can’t get a job is a waste. We have to get people to think and feel about what they love, what difference they want to make. Be inspired and motivated by love, there is an emerging market for love and people inspired by love.
- Authenticity is a growing market.
- I think that one of the biggest scarcities is meaning one of the things a great entrepreneur can do is to create meaning. Ask yourself WHY are you DOING this……..I think the market for meaning is infinite.
- I think the most successful are going to be the most generous, they don’t hoard they put their best on show.
- Listen within as well as externally.
What would be your 5 top tips for aspiring purposeful inspired entrepreneurs?
“I think that one of the biggest scarcities is meaning one of the things a great entrepreneur can do is to create meaning”
- Don’t try and do it all.
- Look inside first rather than the market.
- Make friends and connections. I recently hear that advertising is the price a business plays for not making enough friends.
- Think tribe not mass market.
- Seek to serve rather than exploit.
- Get really good at understanding business strategies use these in service of your passion, rather than distorting yourself to fit into a business model or strategy. I see people distorting themselves to a business strategy as they think this is how they need to do business.
- Bottom-line don’t be afraid to show your love.
Nick: nick "@" inspired-entrepreneur.com