Nicky Angelone is a counsellor and yoga and meditation teacher who participated in the September 2017 intake of the Hustle & Heart program. Here’s her story, in her words.

At the beginning of 2016, I started teaching yoga classes in my local bayside neighbourhood here in Melbourne while working as a business analyst four days a week, in a large organisation based in Melbourne’s CBD.

I was considering what I could do to take my business to the next level and started following Brook’s writing and videos through the Hustle & Heart website and joined her email list. I was really inspired by what Brook had to say. It all made real business sense and also aligned with my values.

I joined the Hustle & Heart program in September 2017 because I was ready to accelerate my business. I had a website already and had started social media channels but was really making it up, on my own, which I knew wasn’t going to cut it.

The next month, in the middle of the program, I lost my job and became full-time self-employed. The timing was quite serendipitous.

Sink of swim

While the loss of my job was a surprise, it was a good time for me to move out of employment and into my business full-time. I methodically completed all the Hustle & Heart lessons. I looked forward to receiving the email trigger every Monday morning, revealing a new module for me to devour.

I appreciated that Brook encouraged us to skip lessons that weren’t relevant, so although I read every lesson, I didn’t agonise over implementing every little thing. I loved the Facebook Live videos in our private community and the mix of audio, video, and written lessons.

Comparisons and doubt

Brook encouraged us to ask questions to the community group as a way to share our learning and knowledge. She also partnered us up with accountability buddies, which was great. I’ve met several of the Hustle & Heart alumni here in Melbourne since, and found a wonderful woman in Sydney who’s given me lots of support as I move into offering coaching.

It’s been invaluable having regular business planning sessions and meet-ups here in Melbourne. I’ve attended two, and met more like minded Hustle & Heart people at these sessions.

You can go your own way

What I found invaluable in doing the Hustle & Heart program is coming to the realisation that I don’t need to do what everybody else is doing. There’s a lot of hype about content marketing and obviously, Brook teaches content marketing in the program, including blogging, email marketing, social media marketing.

But I don’t want to follow a strict content marketing program as writing isn’t my strength and it doesn’t seem critical to my market at this point. That may change, but for now, I’ve explored different ways to advertise and market to my audience, as part of the program.

I was relieved to find my thoughts on this were respected by Brook and I didn’t feel any pressure to do what everyone else in the group may be doing. I actually connected with a couple of women in the program who were also not keen on content marketing and this has been really helpful for me, to know I’m not the only one and confirming that it’s quite okay.

When you’re on the outside, looking in at other people’s businesses, they look so much more confident and together than you feel. But now I’ve been on the flip-side, and seen how diverse we are, all with different personalities, businesses and goals. This is a great reminder that we’re all, to a degree, making it up as we go, as entrepreneurs.

We can all be doubtful about money, pricing, branding, marketing, from time-to-time. It’s been a relief to realise that doubt is normal and to feel supported by Brook to move through negative feelings and keep taking action.

New offering, new clients

During the program, we were given a challenge to launch a new offering. At the time, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Since finishing the program in November, several ideas have germinated and I’ve launched a couple of new offerings – corporate wellbeing programs and wellness coaching.

I have a few proposals in the pipeline and am really looking forward to see where these lead and how my business will evolve over the next twelve months.

As an accountant, I’m already confident writing financial projections for myself and keeping a close eye on my numbers. I’ve set ambitious goals and am on my way to achieving them, though I’m not buying into the ‘six figure business’ overnight palaver.

Since the program, I’ve revised my website and appreciated the feedback and support of the Hustle & Heart group in doing so. I’m feeling more comfortable writing about myself and my business. I believe my brand is far stronger as a result.

I love what the program stands for: to use your values to define your brand and guide your decisions. To create and refine your business to suit your uniqueness. And to take risks, experiment, back yourself, and keep stepping outside of your comfort zone. My confidence has grown as I’ve seen others in our community do just this, and it’s so good to have a supportive community to fall back on when you’re doing something brave.

Hustle & Heart is open for registration now.