How do you feel about switching gears and pivoting into a new industry? Does the mere thought terrify you?
I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Nicola Peake, the founder of Peakes Luxury Connection Lounge. Nicola is an author and financial adviser turned entrepreneur who certainly knows a thing or two about switching gears and finding success in a new industry.
After a less-than-ideal departure from her corporate job, she decided to carve out a new path for herself by creating Chouxlicious – one of the best afternoon tea delivery companies at the time. But she soon came to realise that it wasn’t bringing her much joy. That’s when she made the bold decision to switch lanes again and strike out in a new industry.
You can hear our full conversation on the Goals Do Come True podcast where Nicola explains why she wants you to break free from your comfort zone and step into a new territory – even when you’re terrified of falling flat.
If you’re currently feeling stuck or trying to veer into a new career lane, these four tips will ease your transition and help you take bigger, bolder steps that move your business forward.
1. Build genuine relationships with people
Building an organic audience from scratch is a tough nut to crack, especially if you’re venturing into uncharted waters. For Nicola, her secret to success was focusing on building genuine relationships and connections with people.
Nicola: “I had built quite a lot of relationships by the time I set up Peakes. The biggest challenge for me at that point was changing my brand from simply being known as ‘The Afternoon Tea Lady’ to something different and unique. So, I met people through Facebook groups and communities and began to share my ideas and future plans on my personal Facebook profile. Obviously, this piqued people’s interest and generated curiosity about my new brand. Eventually, when I opened the doors to my new business, people came in droves.
It wasn’t really about going live on my socials or speaking on podcasts. It was more about having genuine relationships and building connections with people. It’s not an instant sale, but it works because people get to know you, you start to have conversations with them, and this fosters a deep connection.”
It’s also worth noting that the strongest connections are forged when you remain true to your authentic self. One nugget Nicola and I both agree on is that it requires more effort to don a disguise and pretend to be someone you’re not than it does to simply be the YOU that you know.
2. Measure success on your own terms
As you already know, I’m a big fan of setting big hairy audacious goals. However, too often people get caught up in chasing the wrong things – obsessing over metrics and losing sight of the little wins that pave the way for true progress.
This mindset is counterproductive as it keeps us fixated on short-term gains, preventing us from seeing the bigger picture and taking bold strides towards our ultimate goal.
Nicola: “I’m not particularly fond of vision boards or writing down all my goals. And this probably stems from my background in an industry where there was an unending pressure to meet KPIs and targets. However, at the start of the year, I made the conscious decision to map out all my goals and plans. My big, hairy, audacious goal is to get half a million pounds in revenue.
Realistically, I may not be able to achieve it but if I keep taking those tiny steps, I’ll be closer to it than if I didn’t even set the goal in the first place. To be honest, I was too scared to set this goal last year but now I realise that nobody’s going to yell at me or tell me off if I don’t meet my target. So why not go for it anyway?”
Nicola’s advice is golden for anyone trying to navigate the monkey mind that constantly undermines the progress you’ve made (by telling you that it’s not enough). If you’ve set a goal of £500,000 like Nicola did, it doesn’t matter if you fail to hit the target. What’s truly important is how far you’ve come from ground zero.
3. Focus on your unique abilities and skills
I particularly loved Nicola’s new approach to tackling her big hairy goal – not viewing it as an overarching mountain, but rather as an exciting journey with small yet significant milestones to celebrate along the way. But I was also keen to know the structure she had set in place to keep the wheels turning and strive towards that target.
Nicola: “I don’t have a set structure where I wake up at six in the morning and dive straight into work. That’s just not me. However, I’m fortunate to have Kylie, my business manager, who handles the finicky bits while I focus on generating ideas and managing launches. My main advice would be to recognise the tasks that don’t ignite your passion and pass them on to someone who’s brilliant at them.”
We all have our unique sets of skills and abilities. As tempting as it may be to try and take on everything at once, it’s important to outsource any tasks that feel like a drag to someone who genuinely enjoys doing them. And if you’re lucky, you just might find your own Kylie!
4. Get into your “WHY” sooner rather than later
Nicola: “My personal motivation is financial freedom and security. I’ve always wanted to have an abundance of money and get all the nice things that life has to offer. But I also want to have a business that I enjoy and that’s why I created Peakes. It’s a lifestyle business where I get to do what I love, project my happiness onto other people, and bring them into my world. And that’s my main motivation.
I never truly looked into my ‘WHY’ until about three months ago but when I did, it made all the difference! So it’s really important to dig deep into why you do what you do and then further examine why you do have that motivation. When you find your ‘WHY,’ it definitely makes everything easier.”
If you’ve been reading my blogs for a while, you’ll know that writing down your goals and getting clear on what you truly want and why, is a powerful way to bring them to fruition. It’s so incredible to see Nicola having this same epiphany and applying it to her new business.
As she was quick to point out, her “WHY” may have remained at the surface level if she hadn’t taken the time to introspect and write it all down. When you truly dig deep, like Nicola did, you’ll be able to identify the goals closest to your heart and make the most of your new environment.
Nicola’s journey is a shining example of what can happen when you’re not afraid to take risks and follow your heart. If you ever feel stuck in your career or unsure of your next move, I hope this blog post inspires you to change your lane and focus on a path that’s true to you.
And, if you’d like my professional support as a coach and mentor, please click here to book a complimentary discovery session with me to find out more about how I can help you on your journey to creating the life that you truly love.