Our Featured HEH Alumni of the week is Nicole Velik from The Ideas Bodega. Nicole is an in-demand speaker that brings out the best ideas in people. She gives people the practical tools, techniques and processes for creativity. Bottom like – she is all about empowering people and companies to be creative! (which we love!)
Nicole has worked with some of the biggest names in the industry across The United States, Australia, Europe, New Zealand, Africa and Asia such as Nike, Coca Cola, QANTAS, Caltex, Pepsi, Nestle, AMP, The United Nations, Woolworths and many more!
Nicole has been a part of the HEH & Uplevel crew for quite some time now – so we cannot wait to share her story & a bit more about her story.
Where are you right now?
In a car coming back from Wallandbeen, a country town in NSW. I’m in a 50 person samba percussion band and we just played our first gig since before Covid! It was awesome!
Tea or coffee?
Coffee – long black with a dash of almond milk
Tell us a bit about what you do?
Everything I do is about empowering people and companies to be creative. I do this through training sessions. I make innovation and creativity tangible and accessible to everyone in an organisation. I give people practical tools, techniques and processes for creativity. I also train leaders in how to create workplace cultures where innovation and creativity thrive – the kind of companies where you can feel the creative energy and buzz the minute you walk in the door.
I’m also a keynote speaker on all topics to do with creativity and I have been hosting CreativeMornings Sydney for 4 years. It’s a global breakfast lecture series for creative industries. Sydney in one of over 200 cities around the world to take part.
Why do you do what you do?
I realised many years ago that my purpose was to inspire creativity. There is nothing better than showing someone how creative they can be when they previously thought they “didn’t have a creative bone in their body”.
My favourite thing to do is sit around with people and come up with ideas. I find that creative spark and energy addictive and I still can’t believe I get paid to do it.
I believe in playing to one’s strengths and for some bizarre reason public speaking always came easily to me so I created my business around speaking, facilitating and running workshops.
What rituals do you have in place to help you get the most out of your day?
I need to exercise before I start working so every day I’ll either go to a gym class or walk from Bondi to Gordon’s Bay.
I do “power hours” I literally use an old school timer that makes a ticking noise and I give myself a task that needs to be done in one hour. The ticking noise reminds me to focus. At the end of the hour I’ll reward myself with a break. I find that gamifying things really helps me!
How do you get into flow?
I just have to start. I’m a big over thinker and I remember a boss of mine once said. “Stop thinking and start moving.” Just getting in action helps me be in flow. If I’m doing deep or creative work I put my phone on aeroplane mode.
What is your favourite thing about running your business?
The creative moments I have with my clients. That could be cracking a great idea with them or seeing them leave the room with more confidence in their creative ability than when they walked in.
What book, podcast & song are you jamming to at the moment?
Book – The Practice by Seth Godin
Podcast – The Innovation Show
Song – Trem das Onze (I’m crazy passionate about Brazilian music. I’m learning this one on guitar at the moment)
If you could have dinner with 3 people (dead or alive), who would they be & why?
- Tom Jobim – He is the father of Bossanova. It’s a musical genre of Brazilian jazz. The music was created in Rio in the 60’s. I’d love to ask him countless questions about what life was like at that time.
- My grandfather Jake. He died when I was quite young so I never got to know him but I think we would have gotten along very well. He was a painter and jazz pianist and a very deep, spiritual man.
- Sir Ken Robinson who sadly passed last year. He dedicated his life to inspiring creativity and trying to fix the education system so it nurtures creativity in children rather than squandering it. I see my life purpose being on a similar path to his and I’d like to continue this work and the honour legacy he left in the creativity space.
What has been your biggest takeaway from High End Hustlers so far?
I am not naturally a structured, organised person and Pru gives you all the systems and processes you need to organise your business. Pru also has the ability to look at problems with fresh eyes. She once suggested that I sell a two-day course rather than selling a one-day course and then offering the second day at a later stage. This simple and brilliant suggestion doubled my income.
I love the community and have made great friends with the other HEH members.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
I’d like to still be working in the creativity space but branching out into other products and services beyond corporate. I have been wanting to create a Creativity retreat for a long time so hopefully that will be up and running by then!
Best piece of business advice you have been given?
Just start! When I started my business the only offering I had was a two-hour training session in Brainstorming. I thought there was no way I could start a business with just that… but I did. That quickly turned into multiple days of training material, keynotes etc but I just had to start that journey and the rest followed.
Want to connect with Nicole & keep the conversation going?