She’s trained teams at the United Nations, Google, Nike, and the BBC on how to keep their competitive edge in a busy market in driving innovation from the inside, to creating cultures where creativity and innovation flourish. According to Nicole Velik , Founder of The Ideas Bodega we’re all creative, and through her work she acts as a catalyst for switching on this creativity. Her training is known for turning people into creative powerhouses, and arming participants with cutting edge tools and techniques to come up with killer creative ideas. In addition to training, Nicole presents, facilitates, and works with leaders of organisation to create cultures where great ideas come from within and have the opportunity to thrive. Based in Bondi she is also a passionate musician and traveller, recently attending an international innovation camp in Berlin. We caught up with Nicole to get a peek into how The Ideas Bodega came about, and what really lights her up about creativity.
OC: WHERE ARE YOU + WHAT’S THE TIME?
NV: I’m sitting in my office in Redfern and It’s now 1pm
OC: TELL US A BIT ABOUT WHAT YOU DO
NV: I am the founder/director of The Ideas Bodega – an international creativity and innovation company. I train, facilitate and speak about all aspects of creativity and innovation. Most of my work involves going into corporations and either helping them come up with new ideas, teaching them how to be more creative or helping leaders build teams and create environments where ideas can thrive.
OC: WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT WHAT YOU DO?
NV: My biggest passion is being a catalyst to switch on other people’s creativity. I get to do this with my clients everyday. I absolutely love having conversations about ideas and possibilities, where inspiration is present and ideas are almost bouncing off the walls. That gets me very excited.
OC: WHAT SACRIFICES HAVE YOU HAD TO MAKE TO BE A SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEUR?
NV: I haven’t had to sacrifice very much to be honest. I recognized my strengths and weaknesses very early on in my career. My business is 100% based around my strengths and passions and when I focused on that, opportunities came and doors opened.
OC: WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY?
NV: Music – performing, going to live gigs and collaborating with other artists.
Spending enough time in another country where I find my local coffee shop and can imagine what my life would be like if I lived there…but then coming home to Bondi beach and being so happy and grateful for my life here.
OC: TELL US ABOUT A HIGH POINT IN YOUR CAREER
NV: It would definitely be training the United Nations at the head quarters in New York. At the time they were dealing with the crisis is Haiti. People kept entering the room and passing notes to one very senior guy. He had a major crisis on his hands but stayed in the room as he felt the innovation training was really important. That was quite an honour.
OC: NOW TELL US ABOUT A LOW POINT
NV: The low point for a few years was reaching some of my goals but then not having anyone to share the success with. This happened the day I walked out of the UN and also when I finished a training session with another dream client, Nike. I had no one to high-five. I remember standing on the street in New York after the session feeling a bit flat and thinking “Ok, that was great…now what”.
OC: WHAT DID YOU NEED TO KNOW TO GET OUT OF THERE?
NV: It took me a long time to realize that I needed a team. I now have a small team and it makes all the difference in the world.
OC: WHAT’S YOUR COFFEE ORDER?
NV: My friends laugh at me and call it a babyccino with coffee but actually is a piccolo with chocolate on the top!
OC: WHAT KICK ASS DAILY HABITS DO YOU HAVE IN PLACE?
NV: I don’t really think of this as a habit because I enjoy it so much but I jump out of bed most days and go for a run or walk to the beach.
OC: HOW DO YOU GENERATE NEW IDEA’S?
NV: I get my best ideas by talking. Sometimes when I’m talking to someone ideas fall out of my mouth and I don’t even realize it’s an idea until a few seconds later.
OC: IF YOU HAD THE CHANCE TO START YOUR CAREER OVER AGAIN, WHAT WOULD YOU DO DIFFERENTLY?
NV: I don’t really think I would do anything differently. Everything has been useful even if I didn’t know it at the time.
OC: IF YOU COULD SHARE ONE PIECE OF BUSINESS ADVICE WITH OTHERS WHAT WOULD IT BE?
NV: Absolutely it would be to build your business around your unique strengths and passions – find a way to combine them and outsource the things you’re bad at or don’t enjoy.
OC: WHAT DO THE NEXT FEW MONTHS HOLD?
NV: The next few months are unusually crazy and exciting. I am recording an EP of original songs next week. As far as the business goes I’ll be running creativity workshops in Sydney and Melbourne then I am going to Mumbai and Los Angeles to speak at a Television conference. Then doing a short course in Berlin and Cannes.
OC: GIVE US THE 3 WORDS OTHER PEOLE WOULD USE TO DESCRIBE YOU