Building a 7-Figure Business During School Hours with Nicole Culver

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In this episode, Megan and our special guest, Nicole Culver, open up about scaling their businesses while keeping sustainability and growth in check. They talk about the vital lessons they’ve learned, like balancing growth with avoiding burnout, and the importance of staying focused and taking action. They also dive into the hurdles of marketing and selling online in today’s antitrust climate, stressing the need for trust, specificity, and creating a standout brand. On a personal note, they share their journey of balancing work and family life, emphasizing the importance of clear expectations and setting boundaries. Nicole is another one of the amazing people we’ve met in James Wedmore’s BBD Community. You do not want to miss this amazing conversation!

Connect with Nicole: 

Instagram: @nicoleculver

Podcast: https://nicoleculver.co/podcast/

Website: https://nicoleculver.co/

Connect with us:  

Follow us on IG: @becomingzesty

Find us on FB: https://www.facebook.com/BecomingZesty

Visit us at https://becomingzesty.com/ 

Join us for a 2 Day In-Person Transformation Experience & Workshop: https://becomingzesty.com/habit-transformation-accelerator/


Learn the Essential Elements of Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) from the Comfort of Your Own Home!: https://becomingzesty.com/essentials-special/

Transcript:

Megan Blacksmith  

Hello there. Welcome back to the becoming zesty podcast. This is Megan here today, I am excited to bring you this interview with Nicole Culver, and I’m excited for a lot of reasons. So one, I got to meet and hear Nicole speak at BBD live this year, and she was just speaking directly to me. She was talking about how people like to talk about the flashy things of how they got results really fast in business or anywhere, and how she has the turtle approach, slow, steady. It was a panel for seven figure business owners. And I love her advice. I love that. Basically, she is helping people. She’s helping moms, she’s helping people. Build businesses between school hours, right? So what if you could do this in 20 hours a week. What if you could grow this? Grow anything you’re working on, build a business, work from home in 20 hours a week. So it’s pretty cool stuff. I want to make sure that all of you know we have our upcoming two day habit transformation accelerator is going to be in August. August 20 and 21st is our next one in Dallas, Texas. If you are not already signed up, you’re gonna want to jump on that. It’s like the lowest investment possible. We made this low so it’s 197, early bird, or 297, after that. Either way, it is two whole days. This is 1000s of dollars of value. It’s everything we’ve ever learned from functional medicine. NLP, subconscious reprogramming the world of conventional medicine to bring together optimizing habits from the mental, the emotional, the physical, the energetic, all the bodies in a way that most people are not doing. And because of that, we get really cool, really fast results, not to mention it’s a whole room of super cool peeps, people who then join up, help each other, become clients of each other, become a support network. The people you call. I don’t know what I would do without my support network. So if you’ve been interested in learning a little bit more about how the mind works, how we rewire the subconscious mind, and you want to come experience it firsthand, come join us for two days. We can’t wait, and my alarm can’t wait either. It’s super excited. So we are going to get right into the interview with Nicole Culver, so she is transforming the approach to Evergreen sales. She’s a CEO of Elevate, empowers founders with the strategy, tools and mindset needed to have wildly profitable and fun businesses so they can be cycle breakers, using her savvy as a master mindset coach and former teacher, she advocates a revolution in work life, balance making full time income achievable on part time hours committed to her mantra, life gets to be so good. Nicole empowers her clients to make their dreams. Reality away from the hustle. She’s a coffee loving mom of three, cherishing every moment of her journey. Really excited for you to listen to the nuggets here. So let’s get into the interview you Nicole, hello everybody. Welcome back to the becoming zesty podcast. We are so happy to have you here, and I have a special guest with me today. Nicole Culver, welcome Nicole to the podcast.

Nicole Culver  

Thank you for having me.

Megan Blacksmith  

I am excited to do this. I just heard you speak live at BBD Live, which was a really awesome three day event. So many amazing takeaways from me. And I said, Gosh, I’ve been following Nicole for a while, and I want to have you on our podcast. So thank you for accepting the invitation. Yeah,

Nicole Culver  

I’ve been following you guys for a while too. So I was like, you were one of the people I wanted to meet. And when I saw you, I was like, Oh, I have to say hi. And then you ended up, I think you messaged me first on Instagram. So

Megan Blacksmith  

thank you. I love it. So, Nicole, for anyone who doesn’t yet know who you are and what you do, can you just give us a little bit of background and backstory before we get into all my fun questions.

Nicole Culver  

Yeah. So the simplest, I’ll just start really simple, and then we can go wherever you want to go, because I’ve been doing this 12 and a half years. So the story is very long. Um, I like, the simplest way I could put it is I help CEOs make money online. Like that is the simplest. That’s my like thing I will say when I meet people on the street or I have to tell like, you know, a mom, a mom of one of my friend, one of my kids friends. What I do? I make money online. But the more specific way is we help people build evergreen funnels. The way we do this is a little bit different, and evergreen to us just really simply means the ability to sell and deliver all the time. We keep things incredibly simple, so we help build out evergreen funnels that bring in high quality leads, so you can get sales every single week. That really is the simplest, probably way I could put it. Our mission statement is helping founders build wildly profitable and wildly fun businesses with the right mindset, tools and strategy, and we’ve been running this program for just about two and a half years at this point. But like I said, my story’s way longer than that, 12 and a half years. I’m a self proclaimed online turtle. I have grown my business as we have grown our family and our kids. So there’s a lot of different things that I love to talk about,

Megan Blacksmith  

online. Turtle, I love that. So you were a teacher before, right? Yes, I

Nicole Culver  

was a fourth grade Special Ed teacher for five years in New York City in a collaborative classroom. So I co taught with another elementary school teacher, and that’s what I did right out of college for five years. And in year three, started planning my escape, and then just took the leap. August 15, 2011

Megan Blacksmith  

Okay, 2011 so we’ve had a good amount of people who are teachers who come to our NLP training and then end up just jumping ship and becoming a coach, but for that person who is kind of deciding or making that decision, can you you just talk a little bit about what was happening for you, or how you ended up doing what you do now from teaching?

Nicole Culver  

Oh yes, so I’ll say I was one of those people who always wanted to be a teacher, like from a little girl playing school, and just always, always, always, I went to college for to be a teacher. I went to got my master’s degree to be a teacher. It was not on my radar that I would ever stop traditionally teaching like I would ever leave a classroom I never even so much as had dreams about becoming an admin like I thought I would literally be an elementary school teacher for 25 years and retire. And that would be that would be it something and we can talk about, I feel like we all have, like, these life path moments where you just see your life and you’re like, well, things can either go to the right or the left, and I’m going to choose the right. And that’s what happened to me in one in 2008 to make a another very long story short, my husband and I got married in 2008 and a week after we got married, the person who is like closest to me, besides my mother, got diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, and we she was like my second parent, and we went on this very quick healing journey that ended resulted in her passing away exactly three months later. It’ll be 15 years on. 26th of this month, and that was like, she was always she was she was single, like me and my sister were her kids, and she was always so stressed, always so stressed. Like, I didn’t know anything about your nervous system at that point. I just knew that she was always like, gonna like on the brink of snapping for not never to me and my sister, but just like in life. And I fully believed that, besides smoking her entire life, like her stress level got is what got her sick. And I knew that she was like, she was not someone who lived her again. I use all these phrases that I had no idea at that point, but she didn’t live her dharma. She didn’t live her purpose. She worked at a job that stressed her the F out. And it was there that I was like, I can’t I can’t do this anymore. I’m in this environment where teachers are counting down the days and the and the weeks to weekends and vacations. And I was, I could see myself starting to be a part of that environment, too. And I was just like, I don’t know what I’m gonna do, but I gotta get out of here. And that was in year three. By the end of year five, that’s, that’s when I quit. So I had no idea where, where I was gonna go. I had this tiny baby blog that I would put recipes on and talk about health and wellness and nutrition, and I got some, like, sponsorships. And when I say sponsorships, I mean, like, Oh, here’s a $50 pair of sneakers. Here’s $50 not anything I could even pay my mortgage with. But it was the door right there was, there was, or maybe a window. There was a window open into where I saw, okay, could I have a different career? And that really was the start of me saying, I can’t do this anymore. I have to do I have to do something different.

Megan Blacksmith  

So then what was kind of, I think many people so we either have people who are like, wanting to leave a job and start something, or many of them are have already started something, and they’re in the first few years. Or they’re just like, they’ve hit their first milestone, maybe they’ve hit six figures, but they’re like, I really want to go for something bigger. I really want to create, like, for me, and I want to create this whole retreat center. So what do you feel like was the biggest shift, from when you were in, like, the just getting started, to now, where you’re running a company that does very well and has processes and like, what was it was a mindset shift? Or what are like the biggest changes that that have happened for you? Well,

Nicole Culver  

I would love to say, Oh, here’s the one thing. But again, 12 and a half years of this journey, so I don’t think it was ever one thing. So I’ll, I’ll say a few different things. But the first thing is, when you’re at the beginning stage, you just have to go. You just have to do you just have to get started. You cannot get caught up. You could, but I didn’t get caught up in like, oh my gosh, is this going to be the thing I do for the next 1015, 20 years? I was leaving that life behind. I was just like, I got to figure out what I’m going to do right now to sell and make it work. And by the way, I was doing health coaching and selling food products. I was not helping build evergreen funnels when I had no idea about evergreen funnels. But this started then I was building evergreen funnels. I just didn’t know what the heck I was doing then. So that’s the first thing, is like, you just gotta go. You just gotta go. And I think there were so many milestones I just, I was just working on an Instagram post, and it went Instagram, gave me a memory of five years ago, of December 19. Is that what date it is? December 19? 2018 and I was reading the post, and I was like, I say it’s i I’m going to actually republish the caption, because it’s all the same things. It’s stay focused. Figure out the thing you’re doing right now and get out, get out of your head and just get into into action. I think so many people, myself included, want to go from like making 100,000 to a million, and I was not prepared for that type of growth. So I had a different I had a different journey, one that was like the online turtle, but I’m so happy it was because every lesson I learned prepared me for the next up level. So I don’t think it’s about going from 100,000 to a million. It’s about going from 100,000 to 200,000 and then 200,000 maybe to 400,000 because you need to learn. You need to learn like if you we’ve all seen it. You’ve probably seen it. I have seen so many people who have gone from 100 to a million. Do you know where they are right now? I don’t know. I don’t know because they don’t exist, because they had too much fast growth that it wasn’t sustainable and they burned out. Do. So you know what, I’m okay, 12 and a half years of just like, let me build this. $1,000 at a time, $10,000 at a time, because I’m gonna, I’m gonna, I’m gonna be okay. I’m gonna be able to do this. I can go for another 2040, 60 years at this pace.

Megan Blacksmith  

So that’s why I wanted to have you on because I you were on the panel on the stage at BB live for the, you know, seven figure business owners. And you said it took me 12 and a half years to be sitting up there, up here, there’s just often this like, and then it happened, and then it was magic. And I think that was just really awesome for me to hear. And also, I know I’ve heard, you know, you’re a mom of three, right? Three, three girls, and the fact that you’re like, I and I did build a business during school hours. So

Nicole Culver  

sometimes those school hours, like were an hour a day, like, you know, mommy and me, or sometimes it was like, Okay, I have a babysitter for five hours a week, not a day a week. This is our first year that I have a kindergartner. So that means all my kids are in school, you know, from nine to three. This is the first year I’ve been doing this, 12 and a half years. So I think that was like, I, I kind of interrupted you, but that was our, my biggest gift in blessing, because I didn’t start out with this 40 hour work week or 60 hour or 80 hours. It was always like, very tiny. So I was like, Alright, we gotta get stuff done. And

Megan Blacksmith  

it probably caused you to choose what to focus on? Was there an obvious Do you have, like, this is the priority when there’s limited time?

Nicole Culver  

Yeah, money. Money, I mean, and that’s what it comes money and service. So I say all of this, everything I say, whenever I say money, I’m our core value is service for our company. So I’m not ever doing anything in the face of, let me make more money to sacrifice client results and the service. So I just like, let me say that as like, a caveat, but if you my husband, I both work in our business. Dan came in in 2018 so it took him a while to come in full time. But like, there’s no one, there’s no there’s no steady paycheck. There’s no like, Hey, someone, I’m going to work so this money’s coming in. So that, honestly, was the fire that made me, made us be like, well, we got to make money, so I don’t have time to wait four months, six months to do a launch to make money, because I gotta, I gotta make money today. I got, I got bills to pay.

Megan Blacksmith  

And is that the sticking point for most people is that they just really don’t want to ask for money?

Nicole Culver  

Do you think? Yeah, I do think that that is a huge hold up for people is that they’re they’re so nervous to either how what people are, how people are going to perceive them, or they’re so unsure of the value that they have. And it just causes all this procrastination and overthinking when it’s like, you just gotta help someone today. Like, when I say, Make money that selling a service. So really, what I’m saying is, who can you help today? That’s the simplest way to put it,

Megan Blacksmith  

somebody on the panel. Maybe it was you said something around like, just continually getting in, being in that place where you’re really good, like, if you’re if you’re a great coach, and you don’t have clients, like, maybe you do reach out and coach people for free, or offer something to remind you of, like, that gift and that passion, so that you can propel that.

Nicole Culver  

I think all of us, every person on that specific panel, just has a I’m gonna make it happen. Type of energy, none of us. I forget how many of us were up there, but we’re not sit back and wait. And that’s like one of the biggest problems I have with the online industry is that I might, I might grow slower than you, but I am. I probably take so much more action than most people or I have, I have, especially while I was building and growing, and there’s so much sit back and wait, because I think people are one, modeling too closely the people they look up to and seeing like where they are now, like, oh, you can’t copy Marie Forleo. What Marie Forleo is doing right now. She’s Marie Forleo. Jenna Kutcher, Amy Porterfield, they’ve been doing this. Like, go look at what they were doing 15 years ago. Don’t look at what they’re doing now. They can do that now, right? People like, try to model it so closely, and that gets people into a lot of. Trouble where they’re like, Oh, well, you know, I I’m going to do a launch in four months, so I’m basically going to, like, start making graphics for two months, and then a week before, I’ll start planning. And then it doesn’t work out because they’re copying someone else’s launch strategy, process, business model, and it doesn’t pan out because you’re not them,

Megan Blacksmith  

right? They don’t have the whole team behind them, or the

Nicole Culver  

brand, the branding built. Yeah,

Megan Blacksmith  

it does seem like every single connection I make over time, it’s just that’s all it is to me. It’s just all these connections I get on these zoom connection calls. Now, I used to not do that, and I’m like, I don’t know where this will go, yeah. And sometimes I’m like, Oh, you have a perfect thing for my husband, or, Oh, I have a retreat space for you. It. I never quite know where it will end up. And those have been some of the best connections for then business, too. Yeah. Yeah. So you, I had a recent podcast about the anti trust era of just how, how do you feel, like the and I just listened to someone, my voice coach, was talking about how, since 2020, there’s just, like the old stuff is just online, is not working anymore, like, no, like trust. So what does that mean to you? Or what do you feel like is going on now, in general, the online world,

Nicole Culver  

for most, and obviously this is going, there’s always going to be the unicorns that this doesn’t apply to, but there is any business can work, any strategy can work. So I, like, I do need to preface and saying, like, if you have a launch strategy that works, if you have a webinar that works, if you have an automated evergreen funnel that works, then don’t, don’t. If you have something that works, do not listen. Like, fast forward. You don’t need to be here. This is for the people who are feeling frustrated at their efforts not resulting in the fruits. So if it’s not, then there, there are a lot of reasons why there’s market sophistication. For most like health and wellness and love, for the big industries, for money, market sophistication, which means the audience has gotten smarter, so they’re not giving they’re not trusting generic words. If your marketing could literally be slapped on anyone’s website with anyone’s face, then you’re going to suffer from the result of the antitrust era, because people are getting smarter, and I actually think that’s a really good thing. Our audience is getting smarter. They have tried things before that haven’t worked. They have tried things before that they feel like failures with like, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked to people who are like, I bought this course and I didn’t finish it, and I’m like, Okay, did you get value from it? Yes, okay, then it’s not a failure. You don’t you don’t need to start and finish something for it to be successful. But people have so much, so much baggage right now, and if you can’t cut through all of that that they are coming with, like the backpack of baggage that’s sitting on their shoulders, then you’re going to be struggling with sales right now. So generic marketing does not work. If you’re saying lose 15 pounds, there’s there’s literally a million other people who are saying that. If you’re saying have a better life and make more money again, there’s a lot of other people that are saying that, like, the specificity that’s required right now for you to have a successful business, if you’re coming up in the ranks, it’s just it’s kind of unprecedented. But again, it is a good thing. And then if you say yeah, but okay, Tony Robbins, exactly Tony Robbins has been around a million years. His name means something to people who like him. I’m not saying I like him or don’t like him, but there’s people who are in the industry, in your industry, in your niche, that you say their name and there is built in trust. There they have a built in trust factor when you are newer. Even for me, like I have a very successful seven figure business, I still have to do these things. I still have to be specific, I still have to be very clear in the results I get. I still have to build trust with my people, because I don’t have the brand identity that Amy Porterfield has. So I think a lot of people are trying to market like it is like 2016 2017 2018 and we need to come into 2024

Megan Blacksmith  

so we have a lot of amazing healers, practitioners, coaches in arc. Community, and that’s why I want to bring these topics to the podcast, because nobody wants to talk about money, and nobody wants to talk about this and business and behind the scenes. And I want, I want all those amazing people out there to be getting their services out there. Well,

Nicole Culver  

I’ll say there is an exception to this, and this is something I talked about a lot in 2017 and 2018 locally, like you have people that probably have in person businesses, if you have an in person business, and you can make a name for yourself locally, you can still get away with with being more abroad and not having to i i think we always it always would benefit to niche down. And if you can be like we used to call like a local celebrity, like a local celebrity in what you do, then you can basically take everything I’m saying and throw it out the window. Because if you can be known in your town for being the number one healer for people with skin rashes. I’m just making stuff up. Then you again, that still does have a little bit of a niche. So you can see, I’m I’m partial to the niche you, you will spread like wildfire if you can make a name in your local community. So I will say that’s an exception. It just happens that when people have local businesses and they want to come online, they try to do the same things that they do locally, and it doesn’t work, because all of a sudden you go from like being maybe one out of five or 10 acupuncturists or massage therapists in your area to being online, which is countless and

Megan Blacksmith  

so, okay, so I heard it’s getting specific on who you help and how you help them. And then, as you got to hear, and you know from being at BBD live, I’m on this honesty journey. So is that something you’re finding of people want your actual story and your actual truth to build that

Nicole Culver  

like me personally,

Megan Blacksmith  

yeah, or the people you work with. So is, is that a part of that in this antitrust era where they want to hear like that, what’s coming out of your mouth feels true? Yes.

Nicole Culver  

And I’m kind of hesitating, because, honestly, this has been the This has been so surprising to me recently, like even as recent as three weeks ago at BBD live, because I didn’t It’s one of those things where it’s so close to you that I honestly did not realize how big of an impact it made for people, for me to continually share my story of Having three kids and working with my husband and growing my business as my kids grew. So yes, I do think it’s a it’s a huge part of it, and I also don’t think that I fully realized how important it was until I had the gift of being faced with hundreds of people in a room because the impact of hearing getting like, I don’t have a huge audience, like, just comparatively, I just don’t I have about 10,000 followers on Instagram, which, if you’re like, oh my gosh, that’s huge to me, I totally get it. But I just published my 5000 5000 Instagram posts, and I have 10,000 followers, most people. I was actually looking at this the other day because I was like, how post do most people have? Like, some one of my friends who started her Instagram a year ago has 30,000 and she has like, 200 posts. So just in comparison, I’ve been doing this a lot longer. And when you have like one DM with someone telling you, like, oh, this was really impactful for me, like one every few days, versus getting like 10s of people telling you at one time, like lining up to talk to you, just the impact of that was so much bigger on me that I was Like, okay, this is really, this is really important right now. So I say yes, and this is something I’m still in the process of learning. Well, I

Megan Blacksmith  

when I heard you say that that helping moms build businesses between school hours, that’s such a specific topic, and it makes people feel like it’s possible. I mean, you know, my I’ve got little ones, so there was always most of the big our first big program was birthed while she was in my belly, right? So I had that lit a fire under my butt, because there was a deadline, like, I know, four months worth of stuff ready for so the babies for me, really, they kept me going, Yeah, I feel like just that. Moms are people who have limited time knowing that you can still, you can still build something, yeah, yeah. Maybe another job, right? Maybe it’s a side thing going on for now and that when. That you’re focusing on the things that move the needle versus all this random stuff that me included, liked to do for so many years. Yeah, that didn’t matter. Then we can, we can build something. Yeah, it’s

Nicole Culver  

easy to get caught up in the pretty or the fun things that don’t matter, and it’s hard. It’s like, it’s hard for a lot of people to just stay focused, because also it, it requires a level of boringness that you are willing to withstand. It’s not like, and this is, this is actually why I have struggled, you know, I’ll loosely say struggled with sharing my life so much and sharing, you know, more behind the scenes. Is because it is monotonous and it is, it is most days are, are boring. You You definitely may see people who are like out and traveling the world, and that’s amazing, but that’s not what my that’s not what my life looks like. My life looks like. Let’s take two kids to school. Let’s, let’s get my my youngest, my oldest, ready for the bus. Let’s take two kids to school. I’m gonna sit down, I’m gonna write an email like that’s boring. And then you know what I’m going to clean the kitchen before I write the email. So that, to me, was just like, This is not glamor. Like, this is not like. The most glamorous part of my day is like, deciding what to wear. I think that’s really fun. I love clothes. I love things like that. But that’s like, also 30 seconds of my day,

Megan Blacksmith  

right? So, and everyone appreciates to see that that’s the actual, real behind the scenes. Yeah, they do, because the majority of us, that is what is right. And those trips, those beautiful pictures, of those trips we want, and aren’t necessarily on them very often,

Nicole Culver  

yes, yes. So I’m still, I’m learning. I’m learning too.

Megan Blacksmith  

So, and you work with your husband, so will you talk to that a little bit about how it is to work with somebody that you know, somebody that you live with and are married to, and how that process is,

Nicole Culver  

yeah. So I don’t think it’s for I don’t think it’s for everyone. It works. It has worked so well for us because, number one, there’s a lot of just the level of trust that we have for each other. And we have been together. We’ve been married 15 years. We’ve been together since 2003 we’ve been together over 20 years at this point, like we know each other very well. So the things that I don’t even need to communicate to him, that I would have to, like, explain to someone else, is just like, crazy. So it has. It has worked really well because the level of trust was there. I He has a high skill. Obviously, he’s very skilled at what he does. Now in our company, neither one of us had any marketing skills when we when we started. But I think the things that have remained true, and the things that we’ve learned the most, which we just recorded, like two hours of podcasts on this because we got so many questions on it. It hasn’t come out yet, but is, like number one. It’s always family first. So if there’s any, if there was ever any reason that our working relationship compromised our family, it would have been clear that, like he, he would have, like, exited the company. It never even remotely came to that. Of course we have, we’ve had hard conversations. We he’s been fired from roles like we have. I don’t know how, how granular and specific you want to get, but it always benefited us, and I think that’s the most important thing. We’ve grown a lot in doing this full time since 2018 I think the most important thing again, was putting family first, learning how to communicate, as in a work relationship, separate from our marriage, and just having very clear expectations.

Megan Blacksmith  

And overall is that? Does that feel like you have your roles kind of locked in now 100%

Nicole Culver  

there is no I think the worst thing you can do for any team member, not just your spouse, is have one role owned by more than one person. It just it’s messy. It never works. It’s like when I ask all of my kids to clean the playroom, and then they start arguing around like, who did more, who did less? Who’s sitting, who’s sitting and playing. It just does not it doesn’t work. So you have to understand your roles and your expectations and what the roles entail, and over communicate like, that’s the biggest. And you have to over communicate.

Megan Blacksmith  

And this applies to teams. So are you Nicole? What’s your stance on kind of should people be thinking about hiring teams or expanding there? Or do you feel like you could do this whole, whole online business solo? How do you feel about teams and building teams, and when to really think about that. Okay, well, I

Nicole Culver  

have come a long way in the team thing. Because, I mean, really largely, we, Dan and I grew it on our own two seven figures, like we had, yes, we had assistants, Assistant so, I mean, one person. We had a few different people in the course of 12 and a half years, but we didn’t start there. And this is the first thing, if you need more help. The first place I always tell people to hire is in their home. Like, get help cleaning your house. Get help doing your laundry. Get help start ordering grocery delivery like find that get back your time in your home first, because training a person is 10 times harder than you think it would be. And I don’t say that to scare anyone, because the team we have now is amazing, and they’re all a players, but it literally took us to getting to seven figures to start to build out those roles even more, because I see a lot of people hiring for deficits, like things that they’re not good at, and that leads to a lot of complications. I This is my belief. This is my belief that as a business owner and as a CEO, with the nature of the business we’re in, you need to learn to sell first before you can ever hire anyone to sell for you. Because you need to if you hire someone to sell for you, if you hire someone to do copywriting for you, if you hire someone to do sales page for you. How do you know it’s good? You’re gonna spend all this money, and then you have to test it anyway. So I always, I prefer to learn first and to create a skill and then to hire it out. Now if you are a multi seven figure business owner, or if you have funding and you have millions of dollars in the bank, and you can afford to hire someone who is at the skill level that you need go for it. But if you are like me, and you are like grassrootsing, and you’re trying to make the most of your time and your money, it’s going to pay you off to learn first and then hire, if you have funding, then hire first. But I think this is a mistake that a lot of people make, is they spend a lot of money in a lot of different areas, thinking that they can sink their sink money into their problems, and most of the time you can’t.

Megan Blacksmith  

I love the idea of starting in the home, right, taking other things off your plate, like all the cleaning and that kind

Nicole Culver  

of, yeah, I mean, though that’s the stuff that I never wanted to do. You know what I mean? But it’s like, and I’ll say, of course, do I still? I have three kids, so I’m still cleaning my kitchen two to three times a day. So it’s not like, I don’t do any of those things now, but like, my house gets cleaned once a week. My laundry gets done. Like, those are two things that gave us back a lot, a lot of time. And then, you know, we hired for, like, okay, emails. Like, help me with emails. Help me schedule the Zoom calls, help me manage my calendar. And that’s an assistant role. And then it was like, Okay, well, now I’m starting to have more clients, so I need a client success person. And that client success person just was the liaison between me and Dan and the clients to make sure they’re taken care of. And then we got, when we got to the seven figure mark, we hired someone who has an amazing skill level she has, she’s worked at like a multi, multi million dollar a month company, and she came in and she helped us manage our internal marketing and our systems. But it wasn’t I couldn’t have afforded her before 2023

Megan Blacksmith  

Yeah, we, I, we really, I’ll say I really thought growing building team, and that’s something that James Wedmore talks about a lot, the module, the missing module that most people don’t watch is the team building. Until I went to their leadership, the ILA, the indispensable Leadership Academy, and really helped me see it was all more of fear of managing people or letting people down than anything else. So

Nicole Culver  

I had a very I remember a conversation I had with James in july 2020 that I was like, I don’t think I can do that. I don’t think I don’t think I’m the type of person who has a team. I was scared to. Let people in. So I kind of give you all, like the warnings, but now I will say, like, we meet with our team three times a week, and it is the most fun I have every single week, and it has been the most rewarding thing I’ve done in 2023 like, out of almost anything, because the level of a players we have on our team and how they serve our clients and how they have our back, that I’m able to go to BBD live, or I’m able to go to my mastermind, and they just got it now, like that has been so surprising. And I had a lot of I was so scared to let people in and be like, I don’t know. I don’t know. As business, this is something I’ve been working on, is like, you never think you’re doing as good as you are. So I was always very nervous. I thought if people saw the back end, they’d be like, this girl, like she’s a mess, and like, What is even happening here? And I had to get over myself and see that like it’s okay to let people in,

Megan Blacksmith  

but you’re a numbers. You’re a numbers. Gal, right? Nicole, you like, you like to track, know the numbers and business and

Nicole Culver  

so that has been an evolution, okay, numbers. I’m a num. I are now. I am now. But previous, when we were doing I had this messy middle period of time. I mean, what isn’t the messy middle but this period of time where we were doing a lot of launching, and it was really stressful for me, and it just, it was just so much work, and never felt like it paid off in the way that I had wanted it to so I was way less a numbers person as I am, as I am now,

Megan Blacksmith  

okay, so talk me through that transition, because this is still, this is still a battle for me. I’d love to just hear from when you are not necessarily wanting to know them or knowing them or paying attention to to now, how have you made that a priority? Uh, I

Nicole Culver  

had to heal my relationship with money. I had to really, like, I was, like, neglecting it. I always, I now what I teach is, like, if money was a person, what is the relationship you have with money? And I was hiding from it, I was, like, a bad girlfriend, the way that I was treating money I didn’t know, like my bank account logins, like I it was it was bad. I it was just bad, like it was just a bad relationship. So I had to really clean it up. And that has been a multi a multi year journey for me, and I’m, like, so proud of my relationship with money now, I feel like I’m really a supportive spouse and part to money now, but I think that was really, I had a lot of shame around money, and I was good at making money, I wasn’t so good at keeping money, I wasn’t so good at, like, being in service to money. I was really good at spending money. So, yeah, I had to, I had to, like, I had to, I really had to work on that and heal that.

Megan Blacksmith  

Okay, so it was mostly about your relationship to overall money. Mm, hmm. So I know what one thing for people who are kind of and when I say, know the numbers, it’s like knowing how things you do work too, right? Just like, if you do a post like this, how does it go? What? Maybe it got a lot of likes, but did it actually get you interaction? Or did it lead to people joining? Or was it just, you know, they wanted and

Nicole Culver  

beyond that, like, well, how many leads are you getting? How many sales are you getting? How profitable Are you? How much are you spending? What are your expenses? What are you spending on team like it? It’s very No, it’s, it’s like, the the things like your financial planner would want

Megan Blacksmith  

to know. But the reason it’s been so helpful, I’m gonna make an argument for for people who are, like, resisting this, the thing that make has made it really helpful for us is that there has been plenty of things where we say, oh, that didn’t work, right, some launch, or some idea, and then really, when you look at the numbers of what happened, then You’re like, oh, actually, that did work. It’s better than industry standards, or better than and it just didn’t work in my head. Because in my head I said, I want 1000 people there, yes, oh

Nicole Culver  

my gosh, yes. And that’s something we really, really look at. Because, like, you just said, what? First of all, we always believe everything is working, so maybe it didn’t work now, and maybe it’s going to work in the future, and we have to, like, I’m always a both person, let’s Yes, energetically, everything’s always working. But also there’s always your biggest constraint. And when you say nothing is working, or when you say it didn’t work, that does not give you any data, that doesn’t give me anything. To work with the next time. But when I know my numbers and I know okay, I had this many people come to the page, I had this many people opt in. I had this many people show up. I had this many people stay on. I had this many people buy now I have data. Now I can say, oh, oh my gosh. The out of the people who came had an insane conversion rate. I had 50% of people buy who came. I just got to get more people to show up. That’s my that’s my biggest constraint. Or comparatively, maybe you had an insane conversion rate, but you only had 100 people opt in, and you thought you would have had 500 people, cop, opt in. Now your biggest constraint is your opt in. So now you can work on getting more people there. So instead of saying these broad generalizations of it worked, it didn’t work. It’s like, know your numbers, and that’s going to give you the data to show you what you can what you can work on, yeah,

Megan Blacksmith  

or like, what I love. It’s kind of like what part of the chain might be breaking down. So maybe you’re really good on the phone with them, but I know we found one thing. We got a lot of people to sign up for a training, and then the breakdown was from the sign up to the training, and we realized, like our it was kind of clunky, and like that, they had to go to a Facebook group, and people didn’t, you know there was, there was a step. So we were able to learn from that, versus just be like, well, not enough sale. So many people signed up. Not enough sales, therefore the thing we’re selling isn’t good, yes,

Nicole Culver  

yeah. And that’s where we tend to go. Is like, and I’ve been here before, is like, oh my gosh, I suck so bad. Instead of being like, Oh, this was a little, this was a little confusing to people. I can fix that next time. Like, what feels better? What’s more empowering?

Megan Blacksmith  

Yes, and okay, Nicole, one of the biggest thing that I do, and I see a lot of other people do, is, like, the comparing now to how it used to work, like the good old Instagram days, or the right like the and so with things always shifting, how do you get people to just constantly be looking at that of, you know, doing them something different or right, like being able to shift?

Nicole Culver  

I it’s so it’s kind of like expecting your kids to fit in their clothes from when they were a baby. It just doesn’t work. What like am I gonna try to put my 11 year old into pants that she was in when she was eight and then be mad and frustrated that, like, I have have to buy new pants for her? Like it’s this, it’s literally the same thing. What good is that doing? Trying to, like, force my 11 year old into eight year old pants. It’s literally the same thing. It doesn’t matter what, who we could we could talk all day about why something works or didn’t work. Or you could put your energy into figuring out what the hell you could do right now to get things working again, like it, that’s just the simplest way I could put it,

Megan Blacksmith  

yeah, it’s almost, I think, like admitting that you have an older kid,

Nicole Culver  

yeah, and then all of a sudden you’re crying because Santa’s coming around on a fire truck tomorrow, and she’ll be at a birthday party. And you’re like, Why? Why won’t you be here? Like, it’s life. It’s life. Your your kids grow up and they change, and they evolve. And I could, I will cry, and that’ll be okay, and then I’ll be like, but you know what? We have this other really great part of life, and our family’s different now than it was when we have babies, but there’s so much good. So like, I’ll cry and like, reminisce, but I need to stay present so I don’t miss this too. Mm,

Megan Blacksmith  

hmm, that’s good. I’ve heard you talk about people trying to get everything from a business, just like we try to get everything from a partner. Can you speak to that?

Nicole Culver  

Yeah. I mean, that’s the best way to put it, is like, if you’re whatever area of life you’re talking about, if you are trying to get everything from any one entity, whether it’s a human or a business, you’re gonna, it’s you’re gonna struggle. It’s not, it’s not going to work. And the best thing that I have done for myself is treat my business like a separate entity, like and find that almost like separation, just like I had the separation when I was a teacher, I would go to work, and I would work, and I would like, I would I loved those kids, and I would be a good teacher. I would do whatever I had to do to, you know, serve the school and the admins, and then, you know what happened? At 326, I walked out that door and I didn’t think about work. That’s probably why I wasn’t a teacher anymore, because I did not think about work the minute I walked out of the. Door. It was something I did while I was there, and that was it. And that like, ability to, like, turn on and off work and find that separation, just like I did when I had a job, has been the biggest that, honestly, I think that if you want to talk about one, you know the one, the one shift. That is the shift is finding separateness from my business and realize this is a role I play. I do so have many roles in the business, but like, this is a role I play. This is not an identity for me. This is not all of me. And when you can find that of just like, Okay, I go to work like, literally, like, if you, if you struggle with this, go to work, and then, even if you work from home, leave work and leave work at the door and find a way to do that. Because that is how, again, I think I don’t burn out. Can

Megan Blacksmith  

you do that? You can, do you really just like, I wake up and I immediately have a million ideas I’m imagining you. You do something like, do you feel like you really can put it in a well,

Nicole Culver  

I think I’m I think it depends, because I think it’s all about the energy behind it. Like, it’s not an exhaustive thing, but I honestly don’t wake up and think of work. And on the weekends, we don’t talk about work. And it’s not like a don’t talk about work. It’s not like a thing. It’s just like, we don’t talk about work

Megan Blacksmith  

like it’s just, that’s just how you that’s just how that you, yeah,

Nicole Culver  

that’s how. And probably when I was in more of, like, a heightened state around work, which I had for many years, where it was just like the frazzleness and like the like my nervous system wasn’t regulated around work. I would definitely think about work more, but now I’m in a safe you know, it’s kind of like, it’s kind of like with your kids, and I use them because I feel like that’s that probably will be more safe. I don’t wake up in the morning and go, do my kids love me? Do they still love me? Are they loving me? I’m just like, it’s there. So I’m it’s not a thing that’s on my mind. And I’m at that place with business where if something pops into my head that’s really fun, I’ll write it down, but it’s not taking up so much brain space. That

Megan Blacksmith  

makes sense? Yeah, no, I’m just my wheels are turning. I’m I’m not there. I love this. So do you have rules around weekend, or is just what you said? It’s just like,

Nicole Culver  

yeah. I mean, do

Megan Blacksmith  

you work on the weekend? No, never, no, not at all. And, well, okay, let’s define work. Do you consider listening to a podcast or something like that?

Nicole Culver  

Um, I wouldn’t consider that. But I also don’t do that. Um, I don’t post on the weekends, if, again, if something came up and I was like, doing it from a place of pleasure, where I was super excited, and I was like, Oh my gosh, I can’t wait. I gotta get this out. Would do it. So I don’t believe in, you know, it’s like, restrictive eating. I just it’s not good for me. I’m not I, like, I don’t track my steps, because then I’ll be obsessed with track. I know what my tendencies are. So, like, it doesn’t really help me to know if I’ve done 2000 or 20,000 steps in a day, because it is what it is. And like then I can’t get 20,000 steps every single day. So why am I going to track my steps? I try to be in that like in between stage of no extremes. But yeah, if, if we wanted to listen to a podcast, I would, but I would do it from a place of pleasure, not pressure. And I would say 99.9% of the time I don’t listen to work podcasts.

Megan Blacksmith  

Was this always a boundary for you, or did you put this in place at some point, like, was the weekend thing? Did you ever have a

Nicole Culver  

I just I, I’ve always dedicated the weekend to just like, chilling out and being with the kids. And I don’t know about you, but if I even tried to put on a podcast in the house with the kids, they would just be like, Oh, what is this? Get it off. So it’s like, Why? Why would I try? Why would I try?

Megan Blacksmith  

Okay, this is great. I’m really thinking about this. I like, I clearly am not doing this, so

Nicole Culver  

yeah, and I don’t know, I’m like, this is one of the things that I’m like, How do I do this? So if you have more specific questions, I’m so I’m so happy to answer this is just how we have always operated. Is like, I don’t want to work on the weekend. Events. And we even tell our team, like, last weekend, one of our team members does like to work on the weekends occasionally. And I was like, please do not email, please do not email the clients on Saturday. And she was like, oh, like, I caught her, like, mid because I don’t want, I don’t want anyone to receive a client email on the weekend either. I want them to, like, be in their their home space, you know?

Megan Blacksmith  

Yeah, I love that. I’m trying to think, what is, do you have separate time for, like, your learning or creativity? Because I think that’s what’s I’m trying to think what this is. So I love to listen and research, learn more things, and I think the weekend is actually when I have space to do that, because I’m on calls and podcasts and things during the week. So I’m wondering if, is that something at this point in your business, you’re doing a lot of are you really, like, I’m just running it because we know what we’re doing.

Nicole Culver  

So I would say it ebbs and flows. First of all, like, I don’t know everything. I have a lot to learn in a lot of areas, obviously, like even growing a team and being a CEO. In the way I’m a CEO, I have a lot to learn there. So, but what I’ll say, and like social media, I have a lot to learn about social media, but what I’ll say is, I don’t consume all of the time, and I don’t have set periods I really listen to my intuition of just like, Does this feel expansive, or does this feel constrictive right now? Because if I’m listening to something, trying to learn something while it’s feeling constrictive in my body, then that feels like pressure. And I’m not in a place where I can do that. So if I’m in a creative place where I need to be creative, either for our program, for our clients, for the podcast, for Instagram, I’m not consuming a lot because I just for me, the balance of consuming and creating doesn’t work very well for me. So do I listen to things? Yes, absolutely. But I really tune in to say, like, How does this feel for me right now and again? It’s not, it’s not a set thing, like pod. I actually don’t listen to podcasts that much. Yeah, I don’t listen to podcasts that much, but recently, like I would say, in the past month, I’ve started listening to things a little bit, and I just fit it in during my day.

Megan Blacksmith  

Yeah, okay, cool. I what I’m the reason I’m so curious is I’m pulling out like I do feel like there’s differences in success, levels in business, and it’s usually these small things, right? It’s usually these things that you don’t even realize you’re doing, yeah,

Nicole Culver  

and the other thing I’m saying, I’ll say, is, like, I don’t need to be at the and again, I’m saying this at the level that we are at right now. I don’t need to be better at everything right now, and hopefully never again. Unless I start, I, like, burn everything down and start a new company, which I don’t think is going to happen anytime soon. But like Dan, if he needs, if Dan needs to get better at sales calls or managing the sales team, he needs to listen to that. Not not me. I need to manage him and the other people. But it’s not my job anymore to improve in the areas that I’m not responsible in, so I don’t need to, like, be listening and improving everything. Does that mean?

Megan Blacksmith  

Yeah, I’m curious if just more shutting down for me and people listening would create more amazingness or flow during the times that I am working, yeah,

Nicole Culver  

I mean, I like you think about the ocean, right? The ocean can’t do come in or go out, just it’s the flow. It’s both so like, you can over consume, and that also is over stimulating. So most of my day is in silence like I don’t I’m not a I’m not a background person. I I, I can’t receive like that. You can’t give and receive at the same at the same time. And if you’re receiving, if you need to receive in I don’t know, however you want to call it, I don’t know even your intuition. If you’re, if I’m creating something for my clients, I need to have an open channel so i can’t be listening to something at that same time. It, it won’t come through. Then

Megan Blacksmith  

I love this awesome,

Nicole Culver  

interesting, I don’t think I’ve ever talked about that. Yeah,

Megan Blacksmith  

that’s good. I like this. I feel like it’s something it’s important to me. Hopefully everybody else is interested as well. It just feels important. Okay, Nicole, thank you so much for your time. I’ve I’m realizing how long it has been, and I could keep talking to you. So tell us. Where to find you, what’s the most important thing going on for you? What you want to share, any anything before we go, um,

Nicole Culver  

just Instagram. Honestly, I love, I would love to hear, if you listen to this, and any takeaway or anything that stood out to you. Like I said, I am always learning about what is important to people and what people want to hear about. So my Instagram’s Nicole Culver, if you have anything you would like to share, like my DM my DMs are open. I would love to hear from you,

Megan Blacksmith  

beautiful. Thank you so much for being here. Super appreciate you. This is fabulous. Thank you.