Nicola Cairncross on Show #11: Slack, Infusionsoft, Books and Podcasts Galore and Living in the Moment

nicola cairncross

Slack, Infusionsoft, Books and Podcasts Galore and Living in the Moment with Nicola Cairncross of ClicksAndLeads.com

What We Recommended:

Tools & Apps

  • Sleep Cycle “I have an app on my phone called ‘Sleep Cycle’ where you set an alarm to say, wake me up in the hour before this time when I’m at my lightest part of sleep, so it doesn’t actually feel like an alarm clock goes off at all, and I have it set to play Kanye West and Jay Z’s ‘Otis’, which is not what you’d expect but it makes me smile every morning, a little bit of hip hop. Yeah, you know, it wakes me up when I’m coming up to my lightest part of my sleep cycle and I just love it. It’s completely revolutionised my life. It’s got rid of my jet lag when I travel.“
  • Slack “which is a way of communicating with your team. I swapped to it, we were using email and Skype, and it was working all right but you can’t search either of those very efficiently. The thing about Slack is, all your in-team communications go on inside Slack and it’s highly searchable, it integrates with lots of other things, so for example, if you put a YouTube video URL in there, it will actually bring the YouTube video into Slack so you don’t have to go off to YouTube and get distracted by other videos of cats and things.”
  • Trello “I love. I don’t use it massively for myself but we do use it to set up our systems in and for the team to follow the systems. I don’t use it for my own to do lists but it is a really nice tool and we have client Trello boards and all sorts of things, and Trello comes into Slack, so every time I go into Slack, I can see what’s been happening in the Trello boards without having to go into Trello itself. They work really well together.”
  • Infusionsoft “I know other people use other things and I know there’s other things that are just as good and I’ve been using it for a couple years and I love it and LeadPages, couldn’t live without LeadPages.”
  • ActiveCampaign “which has a lot of the really nice features of Infusionsoft without being quite so difficult to learn, but if you’re not even ready for ActiveCampaign yet, I would be looking at using ConvertKit, which is an email list host with automation features, i.e. if someone takes an action or clicks something they get moved automatically to another list, and I would probably team that up with Steli’s Close.io which is a customer relationship management system.”
  • Stripe: “I use Stripe nowadays, to take my money. It’s cheaper than PayPal and you don’t have the thing that if someone has your goods and services and then wilfully asks for a refund, you know, PayPal will automatically refund them.”
  • Gumroad – an all in one solution to sell your work and grow your audience (and gets you round the VAT issues for small businesses selling into Europe as they do it all for you).

Books

  • Choose Yourself’ by James Altucher “you know, the podcast guy. He’s a startup founder and went bust, you know, had a lot of problems with drugs, I just find him quite a fascinating character.”
  • I’ve read ‘Get a Grip’ which is by Gino Wickman who wrote ‘Traction’. ‘Traction’ is one of the best business books I’ve ever read after ‘The E-Myth’, in fact it’s like E-Myth for grownups. ‘Get a Grip’ is a version of the ‘Traction’ story but it’s written in a story as if it was about a real company.
  • “I’ve also read, this week, Yanik Silver’s new book which is all about entrepreneurs with passion, you know, people who want to make a difference in the world. I can’t remember exactly what he calls it and it’s upstairs so I can’t even dig it out.”
  • “There’s a book called ‘Learned Optimism’ which I’d like to recommend which has popped into my head, by Martin Selligman, and he says, “50% of us are pessimists and 50% of us are optimists and you can change”. You know, you can change your language. You can change how you expect things to be. You can go from being a pessimist to being an optimist. It’s worth trying to do, because optimists are not only happier, they’re more successful in life.”
  • “I have what I call my bug-free mind. I lost a 5 bedroom house, I lost the car, the kids had to go live with their dad. It all happened very suddenly. When you’ve been through something like that, everything else just seems wonderful, and the art of learning how to be grateful for tiny things like, you know, I’ve got a bed to sleep in tonight and I’ve got a hot shower and I can eat this evening. You stop worrying about things so much. It’s the true secret of happiness, learning to be grateful, no matter what’s happening to you. My friend Andy, he went through a similar kind of thing at the same time, and he wrote a couple of books called, “Creating a Bug-Free Mind” and “Using a Bug-Free Mind” and they are really, really genius books. I highly recommend them to everyone.”

Films

Tips

  • Not getting up early! “You know, when you’ve got small children, your sleep is the most precious thing, and when you get to the point where you don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn, then why would you?”
  • Keeping a notebook: “I do number the pages so if I’ve got anything particularly meaningful, I’ll go and put at the end of the book what page that thing was on, so that I can find it easier again, because what I hate is, I like to look for things and not know which book they’re in.”
  • Getting to sleep: “Listening to podcasts helps me. It engages my brain enough so that I can relax to go to sleep, learn something at the same time and gradually relax”.
  • Diary Zoning: “Diary zoning helps me very much because I can batch jobs into certain types of jobs. For example, Wednesdays, all about podcasting, all about telephone calls, all about interacting with other people. Then Mondays and Fridays are working on the business and Tuesdays and Thursday mornings is calls with clients / potential clients, then the afternoons are all free. I find diary zoning works really, really well for me. I work much more efficiently if I don’t have to chop and change and do different things.”
  • Making Time for Exercise: “The first step in the ‘exercise’ process for me was clearing my diary in the afternoons. I think my next step is to go and join a luxury gym, because I don’t want to go to my local swimming pool and, you know, be uncomfortable and cold, trying to get changed with a bunch of kids, you know? I think I’ve got to turn it into something that’s a treat.“
  • Having More Time: “I don’t have the day to day thing of having to look after kids, which, you know, you won’t realise Jo ‘til it stops how time consuming it is. Also, having a husband! Those people want demands on your time, whereas my partner doesn’t live with me and so he’s not expecting my attention all the time, and the kids don’t either, so, I do have more time than most people, I think.”
  • Being Happy in the Moment: At the same time when I lost everything, I was … It’s not that I don’t have ambition now and it’s not that I don’t want nice things and it’s not that I don’t want to earn good money, it’s the striving. I’m not constantly striving anymore. I can stop and enjoy and … You’ve always struck me as a very down to earth person and a very grounded person, and perhaps that’s what people mean when they say someone’s grounded. They’re able to be happy in the moment.

Podcasts

  • SuperFastBusiness with James Schramko
  • Think Act Get: TAG with Ezra Firestone and James Schramko
  • Sales Marketing Profit with James Schramko and Taki Moore
  • Bootstrapped with Kids with Brecht and Scott
  • The Startup Chat is possibly my favourite now because it’s got the mental Steli Efti and I get Steli, a mention of Steli, in everything I do. He’s just a bonkers Greek who went to America and he’s got a successful software company himself now, but he hooked up with Hiten Shah, who started Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics, and together they are dynamite. It’s just the funniest, fastest paced, but also most thoughtful and emotionally intelligent podcast I know.”

To Contact Nicola

  • “I’ve got a personal website at NicolaCairncross.com which, really, talks about my books and my speaking and you know personal stuff like that.”
  • ClicksAndLeads.com is where you can come to either find out how we could do your Facebook ads for you or how you can train to do your own, if that’s what you prefer.”
  • “I’m always on Facebook. Facebook’s my thing, obviously doing Facebook ads I’m on there all day and on Facebook just put in Nicola Cairncross and connect with my page”
  • “Twitter, I like Twitter as well so connect with me on Twitter, NicolaCairnX
  • “Our podcast is called ‘Own It’ and you can find it on iTunes and Stitcher and SoundCloud I think. Coming soon on Google Play, because that’s the Android platform they’re just opening up.”

Tweet: Diary zoning helps me very much because I can batch jobs into certain types of jobs. @NicolaCairnX http://ctt.ec/Z1mx7+

Tweet: “I like a nice leisurely morning, it reminds me that I am self-employed and I can do what the hell I like.” @nicolacairnx http://ctt.ec/MdBr7+

Tweet: I just love working from home. I don’t feel lonely in any way because I’m connecting with people online all day. http://ctt.ec/J7HQd+

Read Full Transcript

Jo Dodds: Today I'm interviewing Nicola Cairncross from Clicksandleads.com. Hi Nicola, how are you?

Nicola : I'm very well, Jo. Thanks for having me on the show.

Jo Dodds: I'm really please to have you here, we've known each other a while, haven't we? It's always good to be interviewing people that I know outside of just being online. We have actually met, haven't we, a few times?

Nicola : Yep, we've clocked each other's eyes in a real life place.

Jo Dodds: Tell me about you, what you do, and where you do it?

Nicola : Okay. I live in Shoreham-by-Sea, which is about 7 miles from Brighton in the UK, and I run a boutique Facebook ads agency, which also does Twitter and Instagram ads, but we promote it as a Facebook ads agency. When I say it's boutique I mean that I'm never going to be huge, in that I don't want hundreds and hundreds of clients, I think I'll top it at between 40 and 80, but at the moment we have about 10 to 15 clients, and I love working with them very hands on, which enables me to bring on my sort of 20 years of online marketing experience and direct marketing experience to the benefit of the clients as well as just doing their ads.

Jo Dodds: You're based from home?

Nicola : Yes, I work from home. I'm sitting in my dining room as we speak.

Jo Dodds: Is that your usual place or do you sort of move around the house depending on what you do?

Nicola : If I want to get away from the computer I'll go and sit in the kitchen. I've played with the idea several times of renting a little office space in a rather swanky place at the end of my road, but I can't quite bring myself to do it. I just love working from home, I love the convenience of it, I love being warm. I don't feel lonely in any way because I'm connecting with people online all day. Yeah, there doesn't seem to be any point in spending 500 quid on an office I'll probably never use.

Jo Dodds: No, and sitting there in your pajamas just wouldn't work the same, would it?

Nicola : No. I would have to get dressed and blow dry my hair.

Jo Dodds: That would just add extra trauma to the morning routine, so that's a nice link there. Do you have a particular way of getting the day started that gets you into being productive?

Nicola : I do as a matter of fact. I am a morning person, but I'm not one of these fanatics who get up at 5 AM. My kids are now 18 and 20 and I've done my share of getting up and doing the school run and getting their sandwiches ready and having to be, you know, blow dried and made up before I go out the door. I thoroughly enjoy my mornings. I have an app on my phone called "Sleep Cycle" which, you set an alarm to say, wake me up in the hour before this time when I'm at my lightest part of sleep, so it doesn't actually feel like an alarm clock goes off at all, and I have it set to play Kanye West and Jay Z's "Otis", which is not what you'd expect but it makes me smile every morning, a little bit of hip hop. Yeah, you know, it wakes me up when I'm coming up to my lightest part of my sleep cycle and I just love it. It's completely revolutionised my life. It's got rid of my jet lag when I travel.

When I wake up I go, obviously I clean my teeth and all that stuff, and then go down and make a really good cup of coffee and bring it back to bed, and sit and write my journal, which is a black moleskin diary. I'm on to about 7 or 8 now. I started the diary writing, the journaling, when things were very, very tough after the Money Gym, my first successful business, went down the pan and I think it really, it kept me sane in those days, being able to write out all my feelings and thoughts. It's got everything in there from to do lists to how I feel about things. I wouldn't like anyone to read it, that's for sure.

Jo Dodds: You won't be publishing it any time soon?

Nicola : No, although it does help, because I've been chronicling the journey to start Clicks and Leads since last Christmas when I launched it, and having all the data in my diary has made it a lot easier to write the blog posts. What time do I get up normally? About 9ish, you know, I start to get up and have a shower, I don't have anything in my diary before 10. I like a nice leisurely morning, it reminds me that I am self-employed and I can do what the hell I like.

Jo Dodds: I like that. It's funny actually, I've changed what I do in the morning quite often, and my more recent routine is sort of similar. I use "Sleep Cycle" as well, I would thoroughly recommend it too, but I don't have hip hop waking me up. I then plan my day before I get out of bed and I do some reading, and do all the things that don't get done if, you know, real like takes over sort of thing. I'm fortunate that my husband takes Little Doddsy to school, so I don't actually have to get up, although I'm part of the routine because I'm there, if you like, when they're getting ready. Yeah, I'm much the same. Don't want to do too much around appointments at that time either because I'd need that nice time to get the day set up, but as you say, I'm not a 5 o'clock-er either!

Excellent, so-

Nicola : You listen to all those young men on the Startup podcasts saying, "I get up at 5 and I meditate and I do all this" but I just say, "Oh, I'd rather not." You know, when you've got small children, your sleep is the most precious thing, and when you get to the point where you don't have to get up at the crack of dawn, then why would you?

Jo Dodds: Yeah, exactly. Just thinking about your diary cum journal cum everything else type thing, do you regularly read it back over or is it more about getting the stuff out and sort of formed, if you like?

Nicola : Yeah, no I don't. It helps me with the process of thinking, in the moment. If I've done something, like a particular exercise, you know, for example if I'm listening to something or read something in a book and think, "Oh, that would be good to do" I do it in my diary and then I ... I do number the pages so if I've got anything particularly meaningful, I'll go and put at the end of the book what page that thing was on, so that I can find it easier again, because what I hate is, I like to look for things and not know which book they're in and that was a little tip that was incredibly useful so I can find things again when they're important. But no, I tend not to read it back unless I'm doing something like a roundup for the blog posts of what I've been up to.

Jo Dodds: What about at the end of the day? Do you have a certain routine? Do you sort of finish work at a certain time or is it a bit more fluid than that?

Nicola : I go away from the computer with eyes like sand, I pour myself a biggest glass of wine I possibly can and I watch crap TV all evening, because I can't think any further. No, honestly, I don't have an evening routine. I literally do stagger away with eyes like sand, have a glass of wine and watch terrible television or go to dinner with friends. That's pretty much what I do in the evenings.

Jo Dodds: Mm-hmm (affirmative), and do you have any sort of routine to make sure that you get to sleep on time or properly or whatever, or is it you're just tired by then and you don't need that?

Nicola : I've always slept well. I have a spider phobia, which is a bit of a mission, it's not getting any better, either. I have to listen to podcasts to get me off to sleep, and the thing about your ... if you do it on your iPhone or your iPad, it gets darker gradually. You know, it sort of lowers the light level? Because otherwise, when I take my contact lenses out I can't see a thing, and I am prone to lying in bed thinking I can see something crawling across the ceiling, and your imagination is a terrible, powerful thing, and that's the one thing I haven't been able to fix, is that. I've done lots of tapping, I've done lots of hypnotherapy. I haven't done aversion therapy because I know what that involves, but it is a challenge for it. I think it comes from anxiety, you know, when I was having a really bad time in about 2010, I think that's when the spider phobia really ramped up, so I think it's an anxiety driven thing, but listening to podcasts helps me. It engages my brain enough so that I can relax to go to sleep, learn something at the same time and gradually relax and by the time I'm asleep I don't kind of care anymore.

Jo Dodds: Yeah, interesting. Are there any particular podcasts that you'd recommend, and I know there is, because I listen to your podcast and you're always recommending them and I go scurrying off to check them out. Which ones would you say are your favourite at the moment?

Nicola : I've got 5 favourites. A couple of them are with James Schramko, who runs SuperFastBusiness. He's got his own SuperFastBusiness podcast, but funnily enough I don't listen to that that much because it's too short, it's only 8 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, but he does one with Ezra Firestone who is a real hippie from America and that's call Think Act Get: TAG, and that's brilliant. They talk very deeply about something for about half an hour. The one he does with Taki Moore, who talks so fast it is faster than me, it's hilarious. That's brilliant for coaches, that's called Sales Marketing Profit. Then my other 3 favourites are Bootstrapped with Kids, love that, and in fact I'm sponsoring that for a certain amount of money per month, and Zero to Scale, they're all startup orientated these 3, and then the Startup Chat. The Startup Chat is possibly my favorite now because it's got the mental Steli Efti and-

Jo Dodds: You see? I'm going to have to tell Judith that you've mentioned him, on our podcast.
Nicola : I get Steli, a mention of Steli, in everything I do. He's just a bonkers Greek who went to America and he's got a successful software company himself now, but he hooked up with Hiten Shah, who started Crazy Egg and KISSmetrics, and together they are dynamite. It's just the funniest, fastest paced, but also most thoughtful and emotionally intelligent podcast I know. The Startup, that one's called.

Jo Dodds: Brilliant. Excellent. I knew you'd have some good recommends there. Thinking about how you organize what you do, how you get stuff done. What sort of ways do you do that?

Nicola : Well the main thing really, when I was thinking about the answer to this question, is diary zoning. I don't work very well, because I've got ADD, but I can also hyper focus, which means to focus for a long time on one thing, but only if I'm engaged in that thing. Diary zoning helps me very much because I can batch jobs into certain types of jobs. For example, Wednesdays, all about podcasting, all about telephone calls, all about interacting with other people. Then Mondays and Fridays are working on the business and Tuesdays and Thursday mornings is calls with clients, stroke potential clients, then the afternoons are all free. I find diary zoning works really, really well for me. I work much more efficiently if I don't have to chop and change and do different things.

Jo Dodds: Yeah, yeah. It's something I've heard a lot.

Nicola : You know, put it all together.

Jo Dodds: Yeah. I've been listening to podcasts how people have been saying that recently. I try to do, but the nature of what I'm doing with so many different sort of types of organisations, it doesn't quite work that way. I tend to have a theme for the day but then I actually do something else entirely. So, it's not really working for me at the moment.

Nicola : At least you tried!

Jo Dodds: Yeah, at least I'm thinking about it, anyway. Do you use any particular tools or apps to help with that?

Nicola : Oh, come on Jo, you know I love a nice app! The 3 that spring to mind are, Slack, which is a way of communicating with your team. I swapped to it, we were using email and Skype, and it was working all right but you can't search either of those very efficiently. The thing about Slack is, all your in team communications go on inside Slack and it's highly searchable, it integrates with lots of other things, so for example, if you put a YouTube video URL in there, it will actually bring the YouTube video into Slack so you don't have to go off to YouTube and get distracted by other videos of cats and things. It's very good. Trello I love. I don't use it massively for myself but we do use it to set up our systems in and for the team to follow the systems. I don't use it for my own to do lists but it is a really nice tool and we have client Trello boards and all sorts of things, and Trello comes into Slack, so every time I go into Slack, I can see what's been happening in the Trello boards without having to go into Trello itself. They work really well together.

The final 2 are Infusionsoft, I know other people use other things and I know there's other things that are just as good and I've been using it for a couple years and I love it and lead pages, couldn't live without lead pages.

Jo Dodds: Yeah, yeah. Infusionsoft you were talking about on your podcast the other week, that there's something else that you quite like the look of but because you're so wedded to Infusionsoft now it would be too much effort to sort of change it. Do you remember what that one was?

Nicola : You know I have been playing with the idea of moving but Judith's convinced me that, to save $100 a month and the time spent learning the new things wouldn't work. I mean, there's a lovely tool called ActiveCampaign which has a lot of the really nice features of Infusionsoft without being quite so difficult to learn, but if you're not even ready for ActiveCampaign yet, I would be looking at using ConvertKit, which is an email list host with automation features, IE. if someone takes an action or clicks something they get moved automatically to another list, and I would probably team that up with Steli's Close.io which is a customer relationship management system.

Jo Dodds: Yeah. Yes.

Nicola : Really, what you need is a CRM and mailing list host and you need the 2 to talk to each other. The least expensive combo, I think, is Close.io and ConvertKit.

Jo Dodds: Yes, yeah. So that's really for our geeky marketing people out there. Some people are looking-

Nicola : I think ConvertKit's for starter people really, most people recommend AWeber and MailChimp, I've always hated MailChimp.

Jo Dodds: Me Too.

Nicola : Whenever I have to go to MailChimp for clients, I hate it, it's so counter intuitive-

Jo Dodds: Yes.

Nicola : And Aweber is very efficient at just for holding your list but a) they charge if a contact's on more than one list, I didn't realise that ‘til recently but b) very unreliable in terms of, even if you hook it up to PayPal and set up automation features so that if someone buys something they get moved from a prospect list to a customer list, you have to go and check because it often lets you down.

Jo Dodds: Yeah.

Nicola : I think the 2, CovertKit, Close.io for your CRM and something like PayPal to take money or even Gumroad, but beware with Gumroad because they hold your money for a month.

Jo Dodds: Oh, right. Yes.

Nicola : PayPal's better in some ways.

Jo Dodds: Yeah. Cool.

Nicola : I use Stripe nowadays, to take my money. It's cheaper than PayPal and you don't have the thing that if someone has your goods and services and then wilfully asks for a refund, you know, PayPal will automatically refund them-

Jo Dodds: Yes.

Nicola : Whereas Stripe won't necessarily.

Jo Dodds: No. No. Excellent, some really good recommends there. Thank you. What about relaxing and not doing any of this work stuff? Because you said you sort of watch the telly sort of thing, do you do ... Do you go out walking? Do you do ... I know you read, don't you?

Nicola : I do read, I read a lot. I love films, I watch a lot of films both with friends indoors and also we go to the cinema a lot with the teens. I hang out with teens a lot, actually. My daughter and son have got some amazing friends and I've always had open house so, they're coming and going, they're parking their bikes, they're popping in on their way to other places. I love to cook, that's one of my favourite things, so even myself, when it's just me, I'll cook a decent dinner.

Jo Dodds: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Nicola : I love live jazz, so, you know, I go to live jazz open mic nights with my sister who is an opera singer / jazz singer.

Jo Dodds: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Nicola : She's international class, so, she was, you know, it's lovely when she gets up on the mic.

Jo Dodds: Yes.

Nicola : I bawl like a baby every time.

Jo Dodds: Not quite what they're expecting in Shoreham or wherever?

Nicola : No. They do know her now but when she first sang it was, you could hear a pin drop that's for sure.

Jo Dodds: Yeah, lovely. What about keeping healthy? I remember your podcast only just this last week you were actually talking about a mindset thing around exercise and things like that.

Nicola : I am terrible Jo. I'm rubbish! I'm rubbish at it! I don't know why, and I'm working very hard, you know, intellectually, to try and find out why I can't seem to give a toss, but I just can't. Honestly, I know what's bad. I know sitting down all day is bad for me. I know I should be taking exercise. I can't ... The first step in the process for me was clearing my diary in the afternoons.

Jo Dodds: Yeah.

Nicola : So that I could stop at 2 o'clock and go and ... I think my next step is to go and join a luxury gym, because I don't
want to go to my local swimming pool and, you know, be uncomfortable and cold, trying to get changed with a bunch of kids, you know? I think I've got to turn it into something that's a treat-

Jo Dodds: Yes.

Nicola : Or a reward rather than something that's something that I have to do, because I just can't bring myself to do it.

Jo Dodds: No, no.

Nicola : I've got loads of energy, I'm really lucky, but I am 54 55, I can't actually remember which one! I know I need to take better care of myself, I am overweight, I lost a lot of weight for a while but then I put it all back on again and I know I need to do something about this but I can't quite bring myself to have the motivation to do it but I don't suffer from motivation for anything else apart from this-

Jo Dodds: Yeah.

Nicola : There's something psychological going on and I haven't figured it out yet.

Jo Dodds: Yeah. It's interesting. I agree with you though, I think it's about finding something that you enjoy, something that is something that you'll do naturally rather than feeling like you have to, because that just gets completely in the way, doesn't it? I used to play quite a lot of netball and I haven't for a long time now and I tend to just walk now. I've been listening to some podcasts around health and fitness and so on where they've said actually, in some cases, people are doing too much exercise and they're doing all this stuff thinking it's really good for them and actually exercising sometimes is actually stressful on your body and can actually cause more issue than it solves. Which is interesting because that's not the story that we're sold all the time, is it?

Nicola : No, but it's the story we hear from the runners amongst us. Everyone I know who runs has got problems. Yeah, I mean, walking and podcasts is sort of the way forwards because I get very bored very quickly and I can't just walk for the meditation, relaxation of it. I would have to be listening to something, otherwise it would drive me crazy.

Jo Dodds: Yeah.

Nicola : I do quite think about street dance often, I think about street dance often. I just love watching people dancing in ... like street dance and I was trying to find one but the nearest one's in Brighton and I'm just never going to drive over to Brighton to go, so.

Jo Dodds: You've disappointed me, now. I thought you were meaning just go out into the street and dance. Just imagining your neighbours wondering what was going on.

Nicola : I think that's where the name comes from, though, where they all used to hang out on the street corners and do dance offs and things.

Jo Dodds: Yeah. Exactly. I'm sure I'll be kept posted with that on your podcast, so I'll keep-

Nicola : It is an ongoing challenge.

Jo Dodds: Yeah, exactly. What about learning and improving? I know you do a lot of this sort of thing, so, what particularly do you do and do you sort of plan to do this or it is just something you're naturally inclined to do?

Nicola : I just love it. It's sort of my ... do you remember back in the early days of coaching when we all had to do our
core needs and our core values?

Jo Dodds: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Nicola : One of my core needs turned out to be learning and one of my core values ... Needs are things you can't live without and values are things that make your heart sing. I just love to learn, so learning is both a core need and a core value for me. I've always been a bookworm, and I realised this week, I've read 3 books this week. "Choose Yourself" by James Altucher, you know, the podcast guy. He's a startup founder and went bust, you know, had a lot of problems with drugs, I just find him quite a fascinating character. Nice book, "Choose Yourself." I've read "Get a Grip" which is by Gino Wickman who wrote "Traction." "Traction" is one of the best business books I've ever read after "The E-Myth," in fact it's like "E-Myth" for grownups. "Get a Grip" is a version of the "Traction" story but it's written in a story as if it was about a real company.

Jo Dodds: Right.

Nicola : It gives a deeper understanding of the concepts in "Traction" and how the tools in "Traction" would be used.

Jo Dodds: Sorry, just, to sort of push that a bit further. What's the sort of overriding message with that? What's the-

Nicola : It's how to grow a business and when I came out of the Money Gym, there were 3 of us partners, we had 5 coaches, it was pretty effortless because everyone was so motivated, but then I went back into myself and thought, "I'm never going to do anything with anyone else ever again, now. I'm just going to be a solopreneur. But, when I read ‘Traction’ it really fired me up again to build a proper business because it tells you how to do that. It gives you systems and processes to follow to build a heart centred business with simple processes. It just really fired me up, ‘"Traction’ is brilliant. I is like ‘E-Myth’ for grownups. If you read ‘E-Myth’ first and you love it, read ‘Traction’ straight after, or read ‘Get a Grip’ first actually and then perhaps read ‘Traction’ because ‘Get a Grip’ is the story version and it's perhaps more enjoyable to read.

Jo Dodds: Right. Yes.

Nicola : I've also read, this week, Yanik Silver's new book which is all about entrepreneurs with passion, you know, people who want to make a difference in the world. I can't remember exactly what he calls it and it's upstairs so I can't even dig it out.

Jo Dodds: I'll look it up, it'll be fine.

Nicola : Yeah, it was, you know one of those books where you pay the postage and packing, but it's very, very
inspirational. He talks about people like Innocent Drinks and Virgin Galactic and all that stuff. He talks about why it's so important in this world to have a business that's out to make a difference. How important it is, both from the success of the business point of view and also from the world's point of view.

Jo Dodds: Yeah.

Nicola : It's really interesting.

Jo Dodds: Yeah, it's interesting. One I'll have to perhaps have a look at it. It fits with what we were talking before we started recording about the work that I do with Engage with Success and a lot of what we talk about around employee engagement, you know, about connecting employees to the strategic narrative for the organisation and it's so much easier to do that when it's something that, as you say, that's making a difference. So, yeah, that sounds like a good one to read.

Nicola : I also love going to conferences. I love to learn by going to conferences, which I think it takes you out of your normal environment and gives you time to work on your business by way of thinking about it.

Jo Dodds: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Nicola : I love video training. I've just signed up for a new Facebook Ads course, just because I want to make sure I'm not missing anything by this particular trainer. Love to ... I was thinking, "Oh, that's something good to get stuck into at the weekend!" I mean, most people wouldn't look forward to that, put it that way, whereas I certainly do.

Jo Dodds: It's funny I always think I'm really busy and I've got so much going on but I can't believe how much you pack in! Just by-

Nicola : I think, although the kids don't, they live with their dad round the corner, in fact I think one's just arrived, so they come around here all the time. Hello darling! You know, so I don't have the day to day thing of having to look after kids, which, you know, you won't realise Jo ‘til it stops how time consuming it is.

Jo Dodds: Yes.

Nicola : Also, having a husband! Those people want demands on your time, whereas my partner doesn't live with me and so he's not expecting my attention all the time, and the kids don't either, so, I do have more time than most people, I think.

Jo Dodds: Mm-hmm (affirmative). You talked a little bit about liking to go out and listen to jazz, what about other sort of music and films and perhaps some non ... I was going to say non-non-fiction but that's not how you say it! Books that aren't about business, do you partake in those?

Nicola : Oh, I love sci-fi. I'm mad about sci-fi. Biggest Star Trek fan ever, not so keen on Star Wars. Actually love anything that's sci-fi orientated, and thrillers, I love drama on the TV, you know, British drama. Absolutely love that. I can't really think of much else apart from ... I mean, I love to travel. You know, we're going on the internet marketers’ cruise on the end of January, and because it's a lot closer to Traffic and Conversions, which is a big thing in San Diego, the other side of the country, there's 4 or 5 of us are hiring, this is going to make you laugh, we're hiring mustangs, convertibles, and we're driving across America. I can't believe I've been talked into this Jo, I cannot believe. I'm the only girl going and it's just so mad and I'm so terrified of the whole thing. You know, like serial killers, staying in motels, driving in America. The whole thing just terrifies the living daylights out of me, but I thought, I'm 54 years old, if not 55, and I'll never have a chance like this again. I've got to do it.

Jo Dodds: That just sounds brilliant.

Nicola : Well it is and I've just seen the cars as well, they're like low slung ... You know, they're like you imagine in 1950's convertible cars to be, just bonkers. Bonkers, the whole thing.

Jo Dodds: Yeah, so do you get to like have the roof down and jump in?

Nicola : I couldn't do that if you paid me £1,000,000. You know, but that's the kind of thing, I tend to cram my fun into short bursts like that. I have a nice life, but I generally don't do anything very exciting when I'm at home, and then I'll go and do 3 weeks of sheer craziness like, cruising around the Caribbean with 600 other internet marketers and then doing a road trip with my 5 best mates.

Jo Dodds: Yeah, that sounds very cool. I'm hoping you'll be able to still do the podcast as you're going along, because that would be very cool.

Nicola : I think what I might do is record some audio while I'm on the car trip and then we can weave that into the podcast, it'd be funny.

Jo Dodds: Yeah, brilliant. Makes sense. What about if things don't go right? If you're having a bad day? How do you get yourself out of those?

Nicola : We don't have bad days anymore. I have what I call my bug-free mind, and that's mainly due to, when you've been down to absolute rock bottom, and you claw yourself through that by dint of journaling and finding things to be grateful for, even if you haven't got anywhere to sleep, because I didn't for about 3 months, I had to take potluck at my sister's house, wherever there was a bed free.

Jo Dodds: Yeah.

Nicola : I had no money, I had a little bit of coaching income from, you know, mentoring people on internet marketing. I lost a 5 bedroom house, I lost the car, the kids had to go live with their dad. It all happened very suddenly. When you've been through something like that, everything else just seems wonderful, and the art of learning how to be grateful for tiny things like, you know, I've got a bed to sleep in tonight and I've got a hot shower and I can eat this evening. You stop worrying about things so much.

Jo Dodds: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Nicola : It's the true secret of happiness, learning to be grateful, no matter what's happening to you. My friend Andy, he went through a similar kind of thing at the same time, and he wrote a couple of books called, "Creating a Bug-Free Mind" and "Using a Bug-Free Mind" and they are really, really genius books. I highly recommend them to everyone. They're easy reading because they're such fun but such profound concepts in them. He taught me not to worry. I was such a worrier! I didn't realise how much of a worrier I was until I stopped.

Jo Dodds: Yes.

Nicola : I just got control of my thoughts now. Whenever I catch myself having a negative thought or a scaredy cat thought, or whatever, I'm much more conscious of it and I can actually easily turn it to a positive or a grateful thought.

Jo Dodds: Yeah, yeah. That's just really interesting to hear and very ... The way I have a perspective is sort of similar. I haven't had to go through the sorts of things that you went through, thankfully, but ... You know I was at something at the weekend and they had a speaker who got up and started saying, "To be more happy, to be happier in your life you have to blah blah." It was very sort of prepared motivational type go for it thing, but it was completely lost on me because I sat there thinking, "She's assumed that we all want to be happier, and I'm actually really happy with things even though things aren't always how I want them to be and things are always developing and I do have worries at times and things that don't go right or whatever. I'm actually a happy person." I was sort of a little bit offended that she assumed that everybody wants to be happier, because that to me was a bit of a cliché and I didn't think it was true. It also made me think that actually I am pretty happy most of the time, so that's a good thing.

Nicola : At the same time when I lost everything, I was ... It's not that I don't have ambition now and it's not that I don't want nice things and it's not that I don't want to earn good money, it's the striving. I'm not constantly striving anymore. I can stop and enjoy and ... You've always struck me as a very down to earth person and a very grounded person, and perhaps that's what people mean when they say someone's grounded. They're able to be happy in the moment.

Jo Dodds: Yes.

Nicola : That is such a ... It's a skill that can be learned as well and that's the exciting thing about it. There's a book called "Learned Optimism" which I'd like to recommend which has popped into my head, by Martin Selligman, and he says, "50% of us are pessimists and 50% of us are optimists and you can change." You know, you can change your language. You can change how you expect things to be. You can go from being a pessimist to being an optimist. It's worth trying to do it, because optimists are not only happier, they're more successful in life.

Jo Dodds: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Nicola : It's been scientifically proved, you know, so it's worthy trying to learn how to be happy and grateful and optimistic.

Jo Dodds: Yeah. I completely agree. On a day when you've got to the end of it knowing that you've had the chance to live more, which is what I say is the bit where you get to do the stuff you want to do rather than the stuff that you feel you need to do or you should do or you have to do, what have you done? What does that day look like?

Nicola : It's just a normal day, Jo. I'm so privileged to not have to do anything I don't want to do. I actually wrote down the answer to this question, when I've been a guest on a podcast, like this one. I love that, because I don't know who's going to listen to this, I've got no idea, and if anything I say on this has helped someone or changed their life a bit, that is a day when I've lived more, for me. Yesterday one of my clients came on, she's quite a well known coach business consultant, she said, "You've just made me $77,000! From an ad spend of $750."

Jo Dodds: Wow.

Nicola : That is a day when I live more because I just love doing that. That is, creating something out of nothing. Creating, that's what I love doing. When I've created something, whether it's a thought or a successful ad campaign, or a blog post, or a podcast episode that me and Judith, laughed our way through, that's what I call living more. Being creative and having fun.

Jo Dodds: Yeah. Brilliant. Brilliant answer. We've come to the end. I'm quite on time as well! I thought with us and our being known for talking thing it would go on far too long, but we've been very good. Tell us how people can find out more about you, and connect with you.

Nicola : I've got a personal website at NicolaCairncross.com which, really, talks about my books and my speaking and you know personal stuff like that. ClicksandLeads.com is where you can come to either find out how we could do your Facebook ads for you or how you can train to do your own, if that's what you prefer. I'm always on Facebook. Facebook's my thing, obviously doing Facebook ads I'm on there all day, but Twitter, I like Twitter as well so connect with me on Twitter, NicolaCairnX and on Facebook just put in Nicola Cairncross and connect with my page is probably the best thing, because I've run out of friends. I do check my page a lot daily, so you can connect with me there.

Jo Dodds: Lovely, and the podcast?

Nicola : Oh that's, well that's the thing I love the most at the moment. It's called "Own It" and you can find it on iTunes and Stitcher and SoundCloud I think. Coming soon on Google Play, because that's the Android platform they're just opening up.

Jo Dodds: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I can thoroughly recommend listening to it. It's my number 1 podcast. I always listen to it when it comes out. It's the only one I know, apart from Desert Island Discs, it's the only one I know what day it comes out on. It doesn't hang around long before it's been listened to, but as I said, I'm going to stop listening to it walking around Sainsbury's because I embarrass myself giggling away.

Nicola : We do have a bit of a laugh on that one, that's for sure. We do try and keep a business-like structure but sometimes we just go off on the weirdest tangents.

Jo Dodds: Yes, yeah, exactly. Brilliant. Thanks a lot Nicola, it's been great having you on the show. Thank you.

Nicola : Thank you, Jo.

About the Author

I work with business owners and leaders to improve their wellbeing, in these days of overwhelm, whether that be physical, mental or digital, using my POWER to Live More 5 Fundamentals of Simplify, Systemise, Share, Self Care and Sustain. I also work with business leaders to help them to improve their organisational employee engagement and wellbeing. I believe they are interlinked in a lovely virtuous circle.

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