Today, on Aiki! we are proud to have with us, Nick Williams, an entrepreneur with a rare vision of “inspiring people to find their true calling.”
About Nick: Nick Williams is a UK’s pioneer and leaders in inspiring people to discover their vocation and follow their heart at work.
After leaving his own unfulfilled corporate career in IT in 1989 to follow his own calling, Nick Williams has spent the last twenty years inspiring tens of thousands of people around the world re-imagine work, discover the work they were born to do and then guiding them to create successful businesses around the work they love. He is an internationally renowned coach, mentor, speaker, writer, guide and educator, and has so far been invited to present in fifteen different countries. He is the author of six books, including the best selling
The Work We Were Born To Do, which he followed up with Unconditional Success, The 12 Principles of The Work We Were Born To Do, Powerful Beyond Measure and How To Be Inspired. His sixth book The Business You Were Born To Create was published in December 2010.
He has been the subject of over 1,000 media features in UK, USA, South Africa and around the world, including BBC radio and TV, and has written for “O” magazine in South Africa.
He coaches and mentors leaders in education, the media, entertainment and business.
Nick has served individuals and teams within such companies as: IKEA, BT, W H Smith, London Underground, PricewaterhouseCoopers, The Institute of Marketing, McKinsey, British Aerospace, The University of Westminster, Deloitte, Direct Line Insurance, The University of Cape Town, Media 24, De Beers, The Human Resources Summit, Peninsula Leadership Development, CIPD, Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, BBC, University Hospital Birmingham, RightCoutts, Temple Street Children’s University Hospital, Dublin, Southern Area Health Promotion Department, and various universities.
Most recently, he has co-founded
Inspired Entrepreneur which provides inspiration, community, guidance and education for people creating successful businesses around the work they love.
Here is an excerpt of our interview with him. Enjoy.
#1 What do you do?
My job description of activities reads: I am a speaker, writer, author, coach, mentor, product and programme creator, educator, broadcaster and community builder.
#2 What does it entail?
I help illuminate the world of work for people. Most people see work as a form of enslavement, and form of misery and suffering. They don’t experience much joy, love, inspiration and fulfillment through their work, and I help people understand that it is possible.
#3 How does it impact on the world?
I know that tens of thousands of people around the world are happier because they have changed their attitudes towards work, found the work they love, and are expressing their gifts and talents and their best selves through their work. I know the happiness of those people impacts others. So the overall impact must be significant.
#4 Did you always know you would be doing the thing you love? How did you know this was what you would be doing – what you really love?
When I was young I felt a sense of calling but thought that meant I needed to become a priest or social worker, and didn’t that find appealing. So I did my studies, got a 2.1 Degree in Business Studies, a diploma in marketing and then went into three sales and marketing jobs. But by late my late 20’s I was very unhappy, selling expensive computers to Japanese banks in the city of London. I knew I needed and wanted to change. I knew I would love to inspire, teach and communicate, but was terrified of changing.
#5 Tell us the story of your start-up
I had no entrepreneurial training. I had always been employed. I had no family history of being self-employed. I felt like I was embarking on a completely unknown but exciting path and adventure. I had started to learn about psychology and personal growth whilst still in my corporate job. I was terrified to leave the conventional career path but felt this call to do my own thing. I had taken some baby steps and given some talks and done some training. I enjoyed them so after three years of soul searching, I decided to leave and start my own business. It was a slow start, but I just kept going. I told myself I could always go back, but knew it my heart I never would.
#6 Who or what inspired you to get thinking? Who were your major influences?
I started engaging in therapy in 1986 and that started to open me up. Then I got involved with an organisation called Alternatives in central London and served there for twenty years. It is London’s major mind body spirit platform. I got to hear many of the leading lights in personal development. I loved Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Susan Jeffers, Robert Bly, Marian Woodman, John Gray. I think I needed to immerse my parched soul in inspiration and possibility. Marianne Williamson has remained one of my greatest inspirations.
#7 How do you recharge your creative batteries?
Most of my work is essentially nourishing because I love doing it. And I also love that I work in many different ways: sometimes writing and working alone, other times working one-to-one, and at other times working one to many. I have a mantra which is “There are many things I love doing, but none of them would I want to have to do every day.” I am a renaissance soul. I spend some time working in my business delivering what I do and I spend some time working on my business, developing new ideas. I also love holidays, lying in the sun and am usually reading at least two books, one a novel and another about personal growth or being entrepreneurial. I love spending time with friends, being entertained, and still attend personal growth talks and workshops.
#8 We recognize that it isn’t always easy starting off on your own, so, please, tell us the few obstacles you met on your way and how you overcame them.
My biggest obstacle was without doubt my own fear and resistance. My own internal negativity has been huge. I have needed to become much kinder to myself. Also know how – there is so much to learn about being an entrepreneur and running a business – its so different from working for a business. And also undoing the thinking that I inherited and grew up. What made me a good employee – like following orders, colouring between the lines and waiting for instructions were not helpful for running my own business.
#9 What next? What is your next challenge?
As well as being a writer, speaker, coach and mentor, I am now consciously trying to build community, online for global access and live in London. This is something I have very little training or experience in, but I do know that isolation is one of the greatest dream killers and connection and support both provide meaning and incubate success. So community building is the next big project.
#10 What is your advice to careerists who might be thinking of breaking out of the monotony of their present career lives to do something they love doing?
Four bits of advice. 1 Trust the dream in your own heart. It holds the key to your fulfilment. 2. Be courageous. Act in the face of your resistance, and move in the direction of your fears, especially when you don’t feel ready. 3.Take lots of small steps and keep taking lots of steps, forever. 4. Don’t try to be great to start with. Get skilful as you go, serve your apprenticeship, become masterful in time.
If you are not yet clear about the work you were born to do, you can download your free copy of a nine part programme to help you discover it and become an inspired entrepreneur now at:
Thank you for your time. Here, in Aiki!, we love what you are doing for yourself, and more importantly, for the world. We appreciate your time.
Lafia! (We wish you well!)