By Mayshad Mag
Mayshad Magazine is an advocacy platform for empowerment which mainly focuses on empowering women, raising awareness and exploring a contemporary lifestyle.
Interviewer: So Lisa, tell me a little bit more about yourself. Who are you, and what do you owe your success to? How have you got to where you are?
Lisa Nichols: I am, you know, first I am a mother, a daughter, dedicated family member. I am the CEO and founder of Motivating The Masses Inc which is a company committed to personal and professional development. I am an author, I am an entrepreneur. I owe my success to first and foremost my family. The individuals who were willing to cheer me on before anyone knew who Lisa Nichols was or even cared, and the individuals who took care of my son while I was working my dream, when I had to be away, made it possible for me. Outside of my family, owing my success to my family, I owe my success to a myriad of amazing, brilliant, artists, spiritual teachers, business owners, who all poured into me. While they were working to be a great teacher I was working to be a great student. The willingness, I was willing to work when most people wanted to quit. I always found my stopping point and went past my stopping point. Whether it was making one more sales call, hearing one more no, or whether it was staying up two more hours to craft one more marketing or sales pitch or to outline another speech. I was willing to find my own end of the line and then go past it. So I continuously found my own end of the line, you know I can’t do another sit up, and I do another two sit-ups. I was willing to do that in business all the time. That’s what I owe my success to. That I found my end, and I kept expanding my end.
Interviewer: Right, right. And kept pushing forward.
Lisa Nichols: Mmhm. And I didn’t determine my forward moving commitment based on how last month or last week went. I didn’t determine my dedication this week based on how last week went. I didn’t determine my commitment to work hard this month based on how last month went. So every month was a new start to make it right.
Interviewer: Hm. And around that journey, you obviously had some difficult decisions that you had to make, in order to reach this success. How did you get through that process of making those tough decisions and what was your action or mindset that you had to be in, in order to get through those?
Lisa Nichols: So, some of my most difficult decisions that I had to make along my way to success were to, um… it’s hard to even articulate it, my most difficult decisions were to find, to require the parts of Lisa that were not supporting the woman that I was becoming to require them, to die away. So, my old story, it sounds like it would be easy but you’re committed to your story. So, some of my most difficult decisions was reinventing myself, not knowing who I would become, and most comfortable with who I was and I was comfortably uncomfortable with who I was but she couldn’t get me to the place that I wanted to get to. So being willing to reinvent myself was a very difficult decision. Being willing to release, old, releasing existing relationships that were limiting who I was becoming, from romantic to friendship. But releasing existing relationships that was very, very difficult and stepping confidently into environments where I was unknown, where I was a minority. When I say minority, I mean the only woman, I mean the youngest person by eighteen years, I mean culturally. So, it wasn’t just one, it wasn’t just a cultural experience, it was a gender experience, it was an age experience, and living in that space for a long period of time until I understood what they were talking about. Those were some of the most difficult decisions that I had to make and then how do I pull through them, the way that I got through them… gosh, I’ve never been asked how did I get through them. I… got through them.
Interviewer: And if you think about how many times that we all have challenges and stuff that we go through, and there’s got to be something that pushes us, something that keeps us motivated. Something that keeps us going, like what was it for you?
Lisa Nichols: Right, right. So, what I live with a lot is I’ll find two or three mantras that I can anchor down on and chew on. And I just, I can’t even tell you if I had the same ones, I can’t recite it now but like for sales; one of the hardest things I can do is go pitch myself to people and I will use the mantra all the time man’s rejection is God’s protection. Man’s rejection is God’s protection. So that I could keep making that decision to go forward without taking the no so personally. So mantras were a big thing to get me through. And then I sought spiritual counsel. You know, I would sit at the feet of people who did know business maybe or, the part of my life that they said was my spiritual consciousness and they let me know that all is okay and the other thing was that I visited my grandmother regularly. My grandmother would drop her pearl of wisdom and I would always leave her refreshed, and I would always know I was okay, I would always know I could stop at any given time and that she would love me the same. She wouldn’t love me any less, so I always had my freedom to choose to, I didn’t have to do it, so every time I rechoose it again I chose it properly.
Interviewer: Right. So, when you think about it, you know you’re constantly keeping yourself motivated and achieving the goals, how do you continue to grow and how do you reach a level of success and still remain humble through the process?
Lisa Nichols: Hmm. First of all, I don’t live successfully and stay humble. I live humbly while creating success. So yeah… I’ve never said it like that before actually. I don’t live this life and remain humble; I live to be humble while creating this life. So, humility is actually the gift of grace and ease. Because in humility, there’s fluid and flexible. In humility, people have grace for me. In humility, my extraordinary really is ordinarily taken to the next level. There’s nowhere to fall, in humility my feet are on the ground and humility is my protection and humility is my freedom, my freedom to say I’m tired. My freedom to say I don’t know. My freedom to say I’m being used. My freedom to say I want to be obedient. And humility is my freedom. So, I live in humility, I live in everything else. Because in my humility I can breathe. And in humility, I don’t have to be perfect. I get to simply learn how to perfectly manage all my imperfections. And so, there’s no strategy to stay humble, I stay humble and then I build the strategy around my humility.
Interviewer: Wow. That’s a reverse of what most people think.
Lisa Nichols: Yeah, yeah. And I’ve never said that before. Just hearing your question, I thought, hold on, I don’t motivate everyone and motivate myself and achieve my goals and remain humble, I choose to be humble, and then I create from there. Because everything sits in a more solid soil. It sits in the soil, if everything grows out of gratitude and humility, then the soil is richer. Versus growing a big tree, then trying to sprinkle it with humility. I’d rather put the humility in the dirt; you know what I’m saying? And then the hardest part, it’s funny because people would say how do you stay so humble and do this. The hardest part isn’t not staying humble; the hardest part is reminding people what humility looks like. While being this successful. The hardest part is having my humility coexist in such an ego-centered environment all the time. You know, and not getting hooked by their ego. Like to be in a room where you have twelve ego giants, and then to choose to sit in my humility and not get abated into proving, defending, perfecting, fighting, bragging, to not get pulled in to that. That’s the hardest part, is to be in an environment where there’s such little humility and to choose to still live in my humility, to hopefully be a silent, or a generous, or a gracious, or a gratitude based example for others versus flexing.
Interviewer: Wow. So, when would you say was the last time that you really challenged yourself and pushed yourself further than you’ve gone before, and what did you do?
Lisa Nichols: Hahaha, oh my gosh. When was the last time I really challenged myself? Gosh, I’m in this metamorphosis time, where who the world will see Lisa Nichols as two years from now will be on the other side of what’s being emerged through me right now. So, it’s a unique time to say because I feel like I’m in this metamorphosis time and I’m going through it so the last time I really challenged myself I would say was about 6 months ago and this may sound crazy but I really challenged myself to separate myself from my career. To separate myself from how the world knows me. To define in totality Lisa. Not Lisa Nichols. Lisa. And it was challenging because I didn’t have a lot of answers. I lived in Lisa Nichols so much because it’s my life’s work. That Lisa, what does she really like to eat and where does she spend her time and I remember seeing someone write down their hobbies. Two people were writing their hobbies, and I challenged myself to flip and to discover my hobbies, and I came up short. I came up blank. I couldn’t find the hobbies. So, I went on an exploration. To find my hobbies, to find my pastimes, to find my old girlfriends, to find me in midst of this beautiful breathtaking life, to find if there could be a separation. And what did I do? The first thing I did was to apologize to myself for going this long without having this type of attention on just me. Without serving anyone. I got whole with me, I got whole with Lisa. I didn’t pick up the gloves, I made a point to not pick up the gloves and beat myself up silently. But I apologized to myself for not even noticing that I had asked the question in eight, nine, ten years. And then I immediately begin to carve out space in my calendar to just… be. To not do. I haven’t had any space in my calendar to just be. The second thing was I carved out space to just be and let quietness and the company of myself cause me to find some of those things. And then the third thing I did was I reached out to a select group of people in the community and I asked for their support. To support me in this journey. And it’s been 6 months, I’ve discovered a lot but I’m still discovering. And I’m excited about it. I’m needing myself and I’m in a whole new season and in a whole new time.
Interviewer: I would be remiss if I didn’t ask, have you found your hobbies? Have you found your hobbies and the things that you like?
Lisa Nichols: Yeah, I have, I love bike riding. I went bike riding recently and I stood up on the bike. And I stood up on the bike, you know how kids stand up on the bike? I stood up on the bike the whole time. I rode up and down the beach and around town. I love bike riding. And I love the water. I love to get in it, I love to swim, I love swimming. And I love dancing. I realize I love any form of dance. I used to only equate dancing to a club, and I don’t really go out to clubs, so then I wouldn’t dance, and then I realized, ‘oh, I would love Zumba dancing’, and I would love African dancing, I love putting steps together, 5, 6, 7, 8, and I love adding the steps together. I love getting to the end of a routine. So yeah, I’m discovering what I really enjoy. And I enjoy hosting small, intimate and informal social gatherings at my house, where people come in and everyone is cooking, and everyone is willing to clean, and we play Pictionary or Charades. I love anywhere from 5 to 12 people at my house, and just endless laughter and simultaneous conversation.
Interviewer: So, when you look at the mixture of Lisa and Lisa Nichols, what would you consider your mission in life to be?
Lisa Nichols: Wow… it’s big. It’s big, and I used to be afraid to tell people my mission, for a long time I couldn’t wrap my arms around it, but I used to be afraid because I’ve always known that my mission in life was in the same zip code as Doctor King. I’ve always known that. It would scare me by the way, I wasn’t comfortable with that. I didn’t want to tell anyone that. When I would hear Doctor King’s voice, I would get disrupted, believe it or not. Because I could feel the mission before I could feel the courage. So, the calling, I felt the calling before I felt the courage. And so I ran from it, for probably about five years I remember running. I remember what running looked like. No one else was running but I remember running. So, I can comfortably say today that the mission as I know it, because it constantly unfolds, and I can’t tell you that the mission that I see clearly today will be the mission that I see clearly fifteen years from now. Because they unfold and they evolve. But as I see clearly today I am an intersection for nationality, faith-based origins, religious origins, gender, age, I am an intersection where people meet. And at that intersection, they find that unity. They find a sense of oneness at that intersection. Where at that intersection, that I create through my voice, through my words, I create it through my education and my entertaining, I create an intersection where people from all diverse backgrounds can meet. And for a moment, and hopefully an extended moment, they can see our likeness, and celebrate our differences, honor each other’s space and spirit. And that’s been validated over and over again, paintings people give me. People always give a painting of a black woman, a white man or a white woman. They’ll give me a gift for me, you know, you allow me to see this person for the first time as I’ve never seen them before, everything will keep going back to you bringing us together. When I was 25, a gentleman told me he heard me speaking and thought oh, you’re going to be the pied piper. And I was offended, I don’t know why I was 25, I was emotional about everything. But I didn’t know what that meant, he just said you’re going to be a pied piper; you’re going to bring them all together. I didn’t understand what that meant. And that’s what I am, my mission is to be a piper, across cultural lines, gender lines, religious lines, economic lines, geographical lines, and generational lines. To bring all those people together and collide in a moment. A moment of sheer acceptance, not judgemental, and to find and discover what’s perfect about our imperfections.
Interviewer: So you’re really bringing a new level of empowerment to the world. And how would you define empowerment, when you hear the word empowerment, what does that mean to you?
Lisa Nichols: What is the word empowerment? Empowerment is having within you the awareness, the information, and the consciousness, to move in the direction of your choice. To move with a force, to move with certainty. To move with conviction, to have the information, the awareness, the freedom, the respect, to move in authority forward. Not having all the answers, but when you have enough to move forward, with some certainty, with some conviction. The way that I empower myself I am empowering myself through information, gather information, factual information, logical information, that feeds and informs me. I tap into an act of my emotions, the feeling of passion, conviction, whatever the feelings are about that topic. I tap into it, I center, meditate, I get grounded in what it feels like on the other side of this activity once it’s done. What will it feel like? I tap into that feeling and I use it as my fuel in addition to the information. And the way that I empower others? Information and I facilitate them, tapping into what does it feel like to achieve this, what does it feel like to get it done, I empower others by letting them know I trust them, I trust their brilliance, and I empower them also by letting them know that their mistakes are welcomed, that on the other side of the mistake, error, or breakdown is a great lesson that we’ve learned. So, run hard, run fast, run strong, and if you hit a wall we’ll get back up. So, the freedom to make errors is an empowerment.
Interviewer: It’s something that most people try to avoid, and try to run away from. To look at mistakes, to look at failure, to look at error, to look at breakdowns as a source of empowerment is a total mind shift for a lot of people.
Lisa Nichols: Yeah because when you give someone the freedom to fail, meaning they’re not planning to fail but they know that they can, they can and they’re safe, safe to get wrong then they’ll run to get it right. They won’t stop, they won’t beat themselves up and they won’t slow down. They’ll go “Oh, got it wrong, better bounce back”. I’m protecting the bounce back muscle. And building the bounce back muscle by saying failure is okay. And move forward, fail and learn the lesson. And so now people will run and leap because we make failure okay. Most people will never leap because failure wasn’t okay. I’m not saying we plan for failure, I’m not saying I look failure, I’m not saying I expect failure, but what I do is on my way to success, if we have some moments of breakdown, or at the moment something fails I’m okay with that because it doesn’t change the trajectory that we’re on our way to success. It doesn’t change it at all.
Interviewer: That right there is golden. So being a Mayshad Woman is a choice, a philosophy that our readers have. Being a Mayshad Woman is a choice that women make to live stimulated lives with a positive philosophy based on gratitude, acceptance, accomplishment, human empowerment, and in order to be who they want to be. Mayshad Women handle different aspects of their life with confidence and make sure to always stick to their values. In other words, stay true to themselves. Mayshad women are free spirits that design and drive their own lives while inspiring others to do the same. How would you say that you relate to Mayshad Woman philosophy?
Lisa Nichols: I’m her, I mean the way that I relate to it is I live based on gratitude. You know, I support my people. I have to run through nine or ten things I’m grateful for before I start my day. I live in the spirit of acceptance and embracing those around me. Embracing those around me and where they’ve come from, and their story. I’m committed to bottom line and results, but a process isn’t enough for me. What input and contribution are we making to humanity? I measure my contribution on the planet and my purpose for being here based on the contribution that I’m giving to humanity. I ask the questions, am I leaving this world a better place because I was here, how am I affecting and infecting this planet because I was born? I hold myself to those standards. And inside of that, I have great respect for who else is doing it. I walk with a sense of certainty, I don’t walk with the idea that I’m right all the time, but I do walk with a sense of certainty. I don’t walk with apprehension, I don’t walk with worry or wonder ‘am I going in the right direction?’ I walk with certainty and confidence that I am going in the right direction until it’s proven that I’m not, and then I walk in another direction, with certainty! Have I ever walked in the wrong direction or hashtag RAN in the wrong direction with certainty? All the time! That’s what leaders do. I stay true to myself. I stay true to myself. I don’t try and do anyone else, I will always do a horrible Oprah, a horrible Michelle Obama, you know, a horrible anyone who you say that I have the pleasure of coexisting on the planet at the same time as, but I do an amazing Lisa Nichols. And I ask myself, Lisa, what is the best version of you that you can bring to the world today? And as I’ve mastered doing me, and as I evolve, I share that evolution with the people who are watching my life. And then finally, I don’t live a compartmental life. I don’t just want to make my business and my world impact great, I want to make every conversation with my son great. I want to make the walks I take with my grandmother great. I want to laugh with her until my stomach hurts, which is what I do. So I’m always looking at the 360 experience, the 360 abundance, what does life in is totality look like? I say that I’m writing my eulogy, right now. I’m writing the story that I want to be told about my life, from everyone’s aspect, not just for my students, not just for my fans, but from my neighbor’s aspect. I’m writing the story if my neighbor got up on the podium and spoke at my home going celebration, I’m living now what I want her to say. And so, I am the Mayshad Woman, I’m learning to continue to do her in greater ways, you know, but by the same token, I’m just a servant leader. I am a servant leader. As I lead from this form of service, no greater than someone else’s, but no less than others. It is 100% my honor and my responsibility to serve this way. And so, I would say a Mayshad woman is a woman who is committed to service. What I’ve grown to in my maturity is that I know that I can only serve others after I’ve served me. And now I don’t serve from my cup, now I truly serve from my saucer.
Interviewer: Lisa, thank you so much for your time. In closing, what would you say to the readers, to people that are reading that reading this that are looking to your story for hope, for possibility, for encouragement of knowing that we can make it through? What would be your closing words for today?
Lisa Nichols: This is a perfect reason to discover more of you. What are your hobbies, what do you really like doing? What do you love, what do you love now that you didn’t even know you loved 5-10 years ago? Who are you? What are the greatest lessons that you’ve learned, giving the greatest strength, of your character? What can you bless? What difficult moment in the last 10 years can you turn around and bless and thank? I would leave you with that you have this amazing Dora The Explorer opportunity, to explore more of you, and when you discover more of you, you’ll serve the world more of you. But first, do you. What can you do, just for you? I have these moments where I battle with self-doubt that I’m being selfish, and then I’m reminded that self-care is never selfish. That self-care is your responsibility for your future. So, I leave you with this: self-care is the greatest gift that you can give to everyone else. It’s not the greatest gift you give to you, self-care is the greatest gift you can give to all of those around you. So believe in the self-care, my Mayshad sister.
Interviewer: That’s wonderful Lisa, thank you so much for your time and thank you for pouring into the readers and that concludes this interview.