NICOLE: [00:00:00] This is where I think everything I’ve done in my adult life has really involved body and mind. And some careers have been more focused on the body, like when I was a pro triathlete. And some careers have been more focused on the mind and learning business and learning new things. And when you take a break, that’s when it really comes together. You know, it just really merges. And what I found during my break was that I was freaking tired.

[Intro Music]

Intro: [00:00:41] This episode of the Smart Athlete Podcast is brought to you by Solpri. If you’re active at all, whether you’re running or simply out walking for the day, you’ve probably experienced one of the number one problems that active people have, and that’s chafing. Solpri’s all-new, all-natural anti-chafe balm solves that problem while feeding your skin the vital nutrients it needs to be healthy. If you’d like to stop chafing once and for all and treat your body right, go to Solpri.com to check out the anti-chafe balm today. And that’s S-O-L-P-R-I.com.

JESSE: [00:01:18] Welcome to the Smart Athlete Podcast. I’m your host, Jesse Funk. My guest today is a very well-known former pro triathlete. She is the founder of Skirt Sports. And because she can’t stop with just one thing, she’s also the founder of a nonprofit called Running Start, which is helping women change their lives through running. Also, she has a podcast like this, probably a lot more popular than mine. So, if you’re here, you should also go check out hers because it’s really cool. She talks to some really awesome guests on the Run This World with Nicole DeBoom podcast. So, obviously, welcome to the show, Nicole DeBoom.

NICOLE: [00:01:49] Thanks, Jesse. That was awesome. What’s really funny is no one can see you but me right now, and you talk with your hands just like I do. Gesturing as if everybody’s watching you and can feel that amazing energy coming off of you. I’m really grateful to be on the show. Thanks for having me today.

JESSE: [00:02:08] Yeah, absolutely. And if you’re listening, there is a YouTube version. So, you can see me talk with my hands if you want to see me talk with my hands, see my cluttered background. And if you’ve watched the YouTube version, you know I finally got my closet door stained and backup that’s been off the hinges for like six, eight months now. So, I’m making progress. We’re moving forward with the house.

But yeah. No, I mean, I do these other videos for the YouTube channel where I talk running, just running because that’s my background. And I have my video editor cut me out and then put me in the thumbnails. And it’s always like I’m talking with my hands and I’ve got these like things going on. So, you can always get something like a little different face and some hand gestures. It makes for good thumbnails. But I don’t know. I don’t know any other way to talk animatedly, I guess. I have to get my hands involved for some reason.

NICOLE: [00:03:03] No, I think we share some similarities in that both of us are restless in our lives with just one thing or with not having a goal or direction. And so we fill the space around us sometimes even with hand movements, right? I think we’re both creators. And I’ve learned a lot of things over the years with the different ventures that I’ve been involved in and the careers I’ve had. And one is that I’m a really good starter. I’m really good at starting things. And I do think it’s possible that I’m not so good at hanging around after they start to hit a steady state. I need the excitement of starting. Can you relate?

JESSE: [00:03:56] Yeah, I can definitely relate. Like with Solpri, which is the business attached to this podcast, I’ve definitely had moments where I go, well, is this it? Like, am I just grown in a — like I need something. And I keep the excitement in the same business in part by just like, I really love developing new products. Like, that’s the exciting part of the business for me. The rest of it, I’m like, okay, now I have to sell it. That’s great. Customer support. I love talking to customers, but I don’t necessarily like taking complaint emails. Although I don’t know anybody that likes taking complaint emails.

I don’t get a ton of them, but they always come no matter what business you’re in. So, I think I stay interested by just saying, hey, this is the new thing I’m working on. Like we talked about the new sports drink I’m working on before we got going, and expanding the business outward and trying to think of this bigger vision of where I’m going and what I’m doing. And that gives me some fuel to get through some of the tedium of, okay, like, I’ve got to send in paperwork to the IRS every quarter. And like, all of that stuff that you have to deal with.

NICOLE: [00:5:08] Yeah, absolutely. You know, there is definitely a honeymoon period after starting something, whatever it is. I mean, it could even just be a new diet, for instance. I mean, you feel great for a period of time, and after a period of time, things change a little bit. I think it’s interesting. I’m in a new place in my life where I just spent a year really not working. And that was an uncomfortable year in a lot of ways.

But like a much needed year as I’m exiting the world of non-working folk, like, moving into the next new thing, which I’m sure we’ll talk about today. But I think those breaks are also really important. And so for someone like you or me, they’re very hard to do because it’s against our natural state to just let life happen around us. Right? Not try to do something with it, not try to mold it, [crosstalk] not try to take it forward. Yeah. Not try to control it, and kind of see what comes. But there’s a lot of learning that comes in those times.

And I’ll tell you, this is where I think everything I’ve done in my adult life has really involved body and mind. And some careers have been more focused on the body, like when I was a pro triathlete. And some careers have been more focused on the mind and learning business and learning new things. And when you take a break, that’s when it really comes together. You know, it just really merges. And what I found during my break was that I was freaking tired. I was sleeping till like, 08:00 AM. I mean, I know some people are like that’s when I wake up. But I was going to bed at 09:00, because we’ve got a fourth grader. I was like, how does — my body can’t even — How do you even get 11 hours of sleep? Like who does that? You know, second graders. That’s about it.

JESSE: [00:07:18] I did that in college, and I knew I was way over worked. That was the signal. I knew it was just like, there’s too much stress going on.

NICOLE: [00:07:25] Well, I think fatigue, you don’t realize you have it sometimes until you finally stop. You know, this is sort of the theory that when people finally take vacations, they go to Hawaii, the second day they sit down in the lounge chair next to the pool, they get sick [crosstalk] because their bodies —

JESSE: [00:07:44] That’s exactly what happened to my wife when we went to Hawaii. That’s exactly what happened.

NICOLE: [00:07:49] This is your story.

JESSE: [00:07:51] It is.

NICOLE: [00:07:51] Well your body’s like oh, you’re finally giving me a chance to decompress. Fine. Now I’m going to let all that stress — [crosstalk]

JESSE: [00:07:58] Well, it’s like trying to get through the end of a race, right? Like, you’re good, you’re good. You’re going to make it to the line. You’re cranking, you’re pushing with everything you have and then you collapse after because it’s done. You don’t have to try anymore.

NICOLE: [00:08:11] Right. Oh my gosh. I mean, if you want to talk triathlon, let’s go there because that is a sport that it’s not just a thing you do. It’s your life. Triathlon becomes your life and your lifestyle. And it can be the most healthy, beautiful life if you allow yourself to balance it a little bit with other things. So, I found triathlon actually, right out of college. I was a competitive swimmer, I went to Yale, I was also a good student. And when I graduated, I wasn’t good enough to pursue the Olympics. So, it was like, okay, what are you going to do? And really, I went through a few cycles of, I don’t know, despondence. And like, I have no purpose. And I got this fancy Ivy League degree, and I don’t know what I’m doing with it.

And a counselor suggested this really cool exercise to me, which was to, first of all, she was like, it’s very normal to be feeling the way you’re feeling. It’s probably a little bit of what it would feel like to be in a depressed state. You might have depression. And she said, you don’t have any purpose. When you don’t have any purpose, when you wake up in the morning, and you don’t know what the day — you have nothing to do that day, that can lead to these negative feelings. So, I want you to do something that might give you some direction. She said, go home, and take some time and write down and journal all the times in your life that you have felt the most alive, that you have felt the happiest and it was very simple. And she goes, and just sit on it and see what message comes to the top.

And so I wrote all these things down and mind you, I’m like 22 years old at the time. So, the experiences are what I’d known till then. And what message bubbled up was this, when my body is fit, my mind is fitter. So, it’s like when my body is fit and healthy, my mind is fitter and healthier too. And so I knew, I kind of took that message. And I was like, okay, the times I’ve been happiest, I’ve been fit. I’ve been an athlete. So, whatever I do in my life, I have to be able to include athletics. I didn’t know if I’d become a professional triathlete at that time, but I was like, so whatever job I get, I’m going to have to make sure it provides me time to work out in the day and set goals and pursue those goals. Yeah.

So, that was what probably, that kind of led me on my path towards triathlon. So, as I’m floundering around waiting tables, I’m like, God, what could I do next, then? Why don’t I just go ahead and pursue this sport that’s been in the back of my mind ever since I watched Julie Moss crossed the finish line in the Hawaii Ironman all those many years ago, and instead of being mortified by how disgusting that looked, and how terrible you know, you can push your body to those extremes. I was like that is amazing. I want to try that sport one day. I want to see how hard I can push myself. So, I knew I would try triathlon. And I was like, well, I have nothing else to do.

So, why don’t I just move to San Diego. It’s where all the pros live and see if I can kind of get hooked into that network and see if I could be any good at this. I recently read an article that Karen Smyers made six figures doing triathlon so I was like, I got to give it a try. Maybe I could be good enough to be Karen Smyers level. Anyway, that was kind of the beginning of my triathlon career. So, I went out there and I started learning, started playing, started running, riding, swimming, and never really found a different job, that’s for sure.

JESSE: [00:12:21] Really kind of created a job for yourself. I would say that there’s something about, obviously, you turn triathlon into a bigger thing besides just a pastime for yourself. But I feel like many of us probably go through those times where we’re like, what am I doing, that lull or that depression, where you’re like, why am I waking up in — what is life? What’s the point of what I’m doing here? I definitely think it’s probably common at certain milestones for people graduating college, definitely one of them. Because you’ve been inside this structure for 16 years of this grade and the next grade. And then now you’re just free floating off into space, and you could figure it out on your own now.

And I think that’s difficult for a lot of people. But the thing that I think is interesting is that, regardless of whether you make a career out of whatever it is, there’s something about just getting something going, some kind of motion. Whether it’s like, I’m going to take a painting as a hobby or just something to get you moving again instead of just being kind of stuck, that starts to open doors or whatever metaphor you want to use, but just some kind of motion that gets things rolling again.

NICOLE: [00:13:59] Yeah, I think there’s a lot of beauty and energy and momentum. And momentum can simply be a single step you don’t even realize will lead to the next thing. You’re right. For me, it obviously was I’m just going to move to California and see what happens and never really got another job. But shortly after that, I met my husband, Tim, who went on to become one of the all-time best triathletes in history. And he wasn’t at the time. We were 23 and 24 years old, and he sat next to me on an airplane going to a race and Cancun in 1995, which was luck at the end of the day. But I had taken those steps to pursue this thing. And even if I wasn’t going to be that great at it, I wanted to at least give it a shot.

And I think there’s a lot of, I don’t know, it takes courage to do that. I mean, It also might be a little bit of a cop out, like, I’m going to put off the real world and keep trying this triathlon thing for a while. I wasn’t a pro at that time. But my life changed forever after he sat next to me on the plane. I mean, we were married one year later. And Tim went on to become the best in the world. Just a few years after that, and I sort of just, I was following in his footsteps. As soon as I became good enough to justify going pro, and I know you were right there you were right at that edge. There’s this —

JESSE: [00:15:40] Well, my goal was more just like, my holy grail, so to speak, would have just been to be a pro because I knew physically, like, I’m never going to be anywhere near like, what Tim’s level was, but just just to make that next step was going tom like, that would have been big enough for me, just knowing my background and how fast or relatively slow-fast I was and that kind of thing. But yeah, I’m sorry. Go ahead.

NICOLE: [00:16:07] Yeah, totally. I mean, honestly, my goal when I turned pro was to break even. And my whole philosophy was always like, Don’t quit your day job until you know if your next job is going to work. You might appreciate that. So, I was swim coaching, and I loved it, and the impact on these kids and watching them flourish into not just great swimmers, but great people was just, I’m still in touch with some of those kids now, and they have kids it’s really cool. But I was doing coaching and loving that and pushing my body when I wasn’t on the pool deck.

And I turned pro, and I was like, if I could break even, then I can continue to put off the real world just a little bit longer. And that’s how it went. Because it’s like you said, you don’t know if you’re going to become the best in the world. You’re on a journey towards maybe that level or some kind of goal. But for me, it was like, hey, it costs money to go to these races. So, if I can earn enough money to pay for the costs, then I felt good about this for a while. So, that’s how I approached it.

JESSE: [00:17:23] Yeah. It is funny as sometimes I think I forget about this is that I started this company with that goal. I was like, oh, if the company can make enough money to pay for my racing, because I already had the company where I made board games and stuff. We were talking about that before. I was like, that’s kind of paying my salary, but triathlon’s not the cheapest of sports. You got equipment and travel and all that stuff. So, I was like let’s start this company, I can sponsor myself because nobody else wants to sponsor me and pay me cash. So, I’ll sponsor myself. I’ll be able to promote it at events. And if that can pay for my expensive habit, then I’m good to go.

NICOLE: [00:18:09] Well, there’s this theory that if you can make your passion, your job, you’ve just struck gold. Right? And I like that idea. But I do think that sometimes once you make your passion, your job, it stops becoming your passion, because now it’s a job. So, maybe it’s simply a reframe of your mindset. Don’t call it a job then. Just call it your passion. What’s your passion? What if we replaced the word job with passion, wouldn’t that be kind of cool? What do you do for a passion? So, I kept racing pro for a number of years, and it was an incredible lifestyle. I absolutely look back and at the time, it was the best job I ever had, until I had my next job, right.

So, what was interesting though, is it was pretty obvious to me that triathlon would be a more temporary blip in my life. I raced pro for six years and I was a very accomplished athlete. I was one of the best in the world and I raced all different distances. I was a really strong swimmer and cyclist. It took a long time for my run to get as strong so I was always running scared, always out ahead, always running scared. But here’s who I lived with, Tim DeBoom, two time Hawaii Ironman World Champion, like whatever I did, I was going to be second fiddle unless I was also winning Hawaii Ironman twice, right.

So, I kind of also — it was obvious to me that what it took to be the very best triathlete in the world which I got to see firsthand was not a place that I was really willing to go. You know, Tim is built for that. It puts you in a very self-centered universe. I mean, we are all the center of our universe. I always laugh because I’m like when you have kids, you find yourself saying these ridiculous things that your parents said, which is like, you’re not the center of the universe. But you are the center of the universe. It’s just that you need to recognize and appreciate all of the suns and the moons and the planets and all the other things that revolve around you and allow you to enjoy your life.

And you have to be very singularly focused. And it’s a solo journey. You may have a few people on your team, your squad, your support crew, that are kind of in on it with you. But really, it’s your journey. And by nature of what you do, you may inspire others, but I don’t know, something was missing for me. And I knew it. I knew that whatever I did next was going to need to involve people, community. I wasn’t going to be fulfilled unless I had that. And my next thing presented itself when I wasn’t expecting it.

JESSE: [00:21:28] Yeah. Yeah. Well, I mean, I’ve seen and you obviously can retell the story. But it’s like, I’ve seen you wore the skirt, won the race, started the company. But I don’t know if I’ve seen like, what quite predicated the reason for wearing the skirt in the first place?

NICOLE: [00:21:51] Oh, good question. Well, so I’ll tell you the epiphany run. So, I do have a theory, that especially if you’re an active person that all your best ideas happen when you’re working out.

JESSE: [00:22:04] Swimming is good for me because it’s real meditative.

NICOLE: [00:22:09] Yes, yes. And I have a 20 minute theory too. Like, it takes 20 minutes. And then all of a sudden, the first 20 minutes of a run you’re thinking about all this stuff you got to do, the meeting you just had, the laundry list. 20 minutes in, you’re like, wait, I haven’t been thinking about anything, your mind frees. It frees up. And that’s when all the good ideas come. And this was — My idea happened in December of 2003, when we were living in Lyons, Colorado, just outside of Boulder, and I was out on a winter training run. And we took our offseason seriously. We backed off on training we do just a little bit so we wouldn’t kill ourselves when it started again.

And you’d always put a little weight on and at that time in my life, I was drinking and eating cheeseburgers. Now, I’m a sober vegan. Do you like that, twist of fate? But I wasn’t feeling super awesome. And I headed out on this training run. And I was wearing all men’s, like, extra small black clothing. It didn’t fit me well. And my hair was covered by a beanie and my head looked like a peanut and I wasn’t inspired. I didn’t really realize it until I was running down Main Street and I looked in this big storefront window and saw my reflection and I was like, oh my God, I look like a boy. I don’t want to look like a boy. I don’t feel like myself. Something’s missing.

And the word pretty just popped into my head. And I was like, what’s so wrong with wanting to feel pretty when I’m working out? Like, why do I have to leave that feminine side of myself inside. And then when I go out for my workouts, I have to become this athlete who doesn’t match my normal personality. And that idea just started spiraling and I ran home and I cut my run short. I couldn’t keep running. I was like, maybe I could do something about this. No one’s making cute athletic clothes for women that actually fit. And when I got home I just started scribbling basically the business plan for Skirt Sports, which was the word pretty and five bullet points and that’s about it. And you ask like, I started a company called Skirt Sports and I named it after our first marquee and trademark piece, the running skirt.

I created the very first running skirt used in competition and publicly and widely produced. And it’s not like I created skirts. I mean, part of my inspiration was Venus and Serena Williams, because they wore their personalities on their sleeve. Like they were so awesome. And I could see that it gave them confidence. They were like, I look good. I’m wearing a catsuit today to win the US Open. And they just crushed. And I was like, why can’t we do that in running? And so yeah, I launched with a skirt for runners. And the reason that I developed the skirt was because the shorts at that time, and this is early 2000s, were terrible. You had two options, you could wear compression shorts that showed every part of your body.

Nowadays, that seems like no big deal, right? But back then, a lot of people didn’t want to show all parts of their body and they were thin fabric and the compression — they weren’t compression shorts. They were spandex shorts, right? Women have dimples and our bodies are not like, not every woman wants their body on display. And then running shorts at that time also, they did this thing that was just like the ride up.

They rode up your crotch, and then you would get thigh chafing, otherwise known as chub rub, and it was painful and you spent half your run pulling your shorts down from between your thigh. It was just uncomfortable. And I wanted to address that. So, I made a skirt with these built in shorts that did not ride up. And I put pockets on the sides of the shorts. We were the first company to put those freaking pockets on the side of the legging.

JESSE: [00:26:37] The pockets thing is always, like I was going to mention that because I guess I understand it, talking about pockets for women’s clothing in general. It’s like women just can’t get pockets. I’m just like, I don’t — like can’t somebody make — Like, it seems like the simplest idea and you’d sell a bajillion pairs of whatever, like just put frigging pockets in it. And I mean, it seems at least part of your path to success.

But before I get too derailed, I was thinking about just the nature of the genesis of the business. Like, it is a product, right? So, it’s like, you’re making a skirt and people can wear skirts, but the genesis of the business isn’t, I’m going to make a skirt and sell a bunch of them. It’s like, I want to display more authentically who I am. And I feel like that’s an easier way to build a tribe than it is to be like buy my skirt.

NICOLE: [00:27:42] Sure. Totally. I mean, we got knocked off so fast. The next year, there were five companies that made skirts, and one of them was like an exact knockoff. And they were trying to kind of pretend they were us. Like, it was just, it was brutal. I mean, that’s when my business lessons really began. But you cannot, it’s not about selling a product. It’s about building a brand. And to me building a brand is about creating a community.

And not every company uses that model, but that’s what worked for me. When we launched, the very first year we launched people were insane for our — They were like, what is that? I don’t even know what it is, but I gotta have it. Like, it’s something, it’s freedom, it’s liberation. It’s coverage, but like, somehow it’s more sexy, but you’re actually covering more. And that was also really interesting.

We did over 300 grand in sales our first year. And I didn’t even know — Honestly, we had a hit in Runner’s World, we sold out of like, our first 5,000 units or something. And I was like, okay, let’s get more. And the factory was like, okay, that’ll be five months. And I was like five months? So, I was doing things that I don’t even know if they were legal. Like I was on our old school 2005 website putting these products up to pre order five months early. This was before Kickstarter, and like, when you can normally do that now, but I I think that was sort of a no, no, but people were doing it. They were like, must reserve mine. And we were making products that went XXL like not just extra small to large. You know, so we were serving more women’s bodies even back then.

And I just, I rode this wave of adrenaline for years. It was absolutely insane. It took us, in our third year, we did over a million in sales. It just took three years and it was like this hockey sticking and learning, okay, now this internet thing is cool, but why don’t we sell the stores. And then the business just took off until it didn’t. And that is when I go outboard, right? This is what we were talking about at the beginning.

I’m a great starter, and I love building teams and getting people fired up, and I love watching the empowerment too. But once it kind of hits like steady state growth, you’re like, oh 5% growth, even 10% growth, you’re kind of like, eh, that wasn’t that exciting? I need excitement.

I spent like, half the time I was at Skirt trying to dream up exciting new things for us. And we did everything under the sun. We had this customer collaboration business. We had a used clothing side hustle. I started podcasts. We started our own events. I would do the speaker series at the — we had a retail store. I honestly if I ever made a resume, which I don’t know if I ever will because I’m not sure I’m like employable by somebody else. I think I might always have to be.

JESSE: [00:31:09] That’s how I feel myself. Yeah.

NICOLE: [00:31:10] Right, exactly. I think my resume would be really cool. And like kind of fun to write. When you dig back in and think about all the stuff you went through, all the experience you have. But ultimately, I needed to move on and Skirt Sports, like all businesses, once you hit a certain point, we were just going through the roller coaster ride. We’d have some good years, and then you may have a recession.

Or we had some good years and then I call it the retail apocalypse when all those little mom and pops went out of business and the internet — online sales started to — It’s like the constant shift and change of things that were beyond your control. And it was fun to manage those, I don’t know, those chapters of the business and come through them. Every time we came through them. And I have no doubt that we could have come through just about anything really. It’s just that I needed something new.

And so last year, I ended up selling the business. I found an incredible business partner and now I’m working with her on some projects. She’s amazing. And it was sold to Sarah Ratzlaff, who owns the Zooma Women’s Race Series, which is a Women’s International Running Series, which is super cool. It was a great fit, great audiences on both sides to kind of merge into the other businesses. She since went on to buy Momentum Jewelry, which is an athletic women’s jewelry company. She bought, I think it’s — what’s it called? It’s another women’s running series that has 5K’s on Mother’s Day. And she’s working with another national group as well. Yeah. So, she’s building an empire. It’s called Inspired Brands.

And I told her at the beginning, she was like, Nicole, we have a place for you. But I need to know what you want to do. And this is like, within weeks or a month of transitioning. And I found myself blurting this out like a baby. I was like, I just don’t want to work. I don’t want to work. I don’t want to do it. Like, I didn’t want to get sucked back in. And I just knew I needed some time as hard as that might be. So, she was patient with me.

And we’ve come back together, started a podcast called She Runs It because I do love podcasting and I didn’t stop doing that. And we’re putting on a Women’s Summit. Actually, it’ll have just happened after this launches, but we’re going to have more in 2022. It’s called the BeYOUtiful Summit. Like the word beautiful but Y-O-U in the middle. Yeah. So, yeah, I’m doing some cool things now. I’m getting the juices flowing again. As well as a new business idea that actually did slowly come to me over the past year. So, lots of cool stuff, right? This is momentum, you do one thing.

JESSE: [00:34:30] Right. Well, the antithesis of the momentum is the stillness. And you’re talking about just blurting out, you don’t want to work but then earlier mentioning the idea about needing the time off to just recharge and not being aware of that. And I have a friend, he also worked with Barb and wanted to be a pro and all that kind of thing. He’s another entrepreneur, and he’s going through restructuring his business right now.

And it’s just a big tumultuous time for him. And I’ve told him once you get done with this thing you’re working on, just take a year off. It’s just like when I talk on the running show I do, between seasons, take a few weeks off. Don’t do anything. Because you need your brain to catch up and be ready and be hungry again. So, I don’t know that it surprises me a whole lot, that you’re like pump the brakes.

NICOLE: [00:35:41] Totally. Well, and on her end I could see she’s entering this crazy new business venture, and she probably could have used the support. And I just couldn’t be there for her in a real consistent way at that time. But she’s figured it out. And I’ll be honest, it’s all relationships in this world. If you treat people with respect, and you’re honest, you have a much better chance for success. If you treat people like shit, you’re going to be treated that way back. And she heard it, she knew that. She needed to move this thing forward on her own, and give me my space. Even though it was hard for me to sort of admit that. But once I did start taking a break, I thought, oh, I’ll probably be working again in like six months.

Well, I moved my family too, almost immediately. We moved from Boulder to Steamboat Springs, this little awesome resort town. And suddenly, I’m out there tapping into my inner athlete again. I was out doing things I’d never did, like ski, downhill ski even. That was brand new to me. And uphill ski, and cross country ski, and all these different ways to ski. And then mountain biking. And I swear, it’s like every three months, I’d be like, no, I need one more season. No wait. No, I’ll get through the school year. No, now I need a summer. And finally, it hit me. I needed a year. So, when you said take a year off, there is something magic, especially after a long career to a year. If you can afford financially and in other ways to take that year. I would now recommend that. A one year life sabbatical.

JESSE: [00:37:43] Yeah. I haven’t yet had the opportunity myself to go through that. But I just know, from my mentors, from other entrepreneurs that have sold businesses, the thing I see consistently is just take the time. Do not dive back into something. It’s a leap of faith, right? It’s like having enough faith in both yourself and the flow of life that something will come along that you’re going to latch on to.

And I thought about this earlier, I can’t remember exactly what you had said, I think you were talking about taking time off or something. But it goes back to that thing that we have to do as athletes is being comfortable being uncomfortable. Like, in that rest, in the not doing it, it’s so uncomfortable when you want to — you talk with your hands and fill the space and just sit. Be still and like I said, have that faith that you will be okay. I think that’s tough sometimes, especially if, like us, you want to move and do something and are used to that constant motion.

NICOLE: [00:39:06] Yes, absolutely. But we’re practiced at finding a comfortable place within discomfort when we’re out on the race course. It’s just applying that to your entire life. You know, if I was a single person, it would have been a different experience too. But it’s not like there’s nothing to do. We moved to a new town, you got a new house. I’ve got a kid in school, it was COVID. I was basically a homeschool teacher for her last year. So, there’s things that fill your day and then you start to find yourself in the danger zone of will I ever want to work again. Once you do finally go, that was really cool to hit the slopes all day. I could do that every day.

But I had an idea that came about partway through when you, for me, I need a little process. So, I had a lot of whiteboards, and I would throw things up like what I’m good at, what I love, what people might actually pay me for. Like all those things, hopefully, you start to see some gems come out of. And a couple of things. I love podcasts. I love connecting with people. I love interviewing. Those things were there. I love public speaking. I love the spoken word. Right? And it’s what we’re doing right now. I love that podcasts have become so mainstream. Thank you listeners for making that happen.

So, this idea is in my head, like, what can I do with that? And my dad, meanwhile, asked, he was talking to me, and he just said something, you know, we were talking about his childhood. And he goes I think it’d be really cool to record the stories from when I was a kid. And then the grandkids would be able to understand what it was like when I grew up in the 1940s, 1950s. And I go, well, Dad, I’ve got microphones, why don’t we record it. Hello, like, easy. But this concept was spinning. And I started researching and found that really, nobody is doing this. So, I’ve always been an innovator.

There’s a couple players out there in this world of creating what I’m calling personal podcasts for people. One of which is StoryCorps, which is a nonprofit. They’re now on NPR and you can listen to these great stories. But my goal is to help people preserve and share the stories of their life. And I am delivering to them private password protected personal podcast pages, where they can do that.

They can share stories, or chapters, or even their whole life story if they want in this really fun forum, and have an easy to share link that they can send out to all the people they want to. So, I imagine you’re driving somewhere you’re commuting, you’re working out, and how cool is it to hear your grandma’s voice or your kid’s voice or your best friend’s voice, or somebody who you love or care about telling some cool story of their life.

And when you start talking to people about this, they’re like, God, why didn’t I do that before my dad passed away? Like, we all save a voicemail from our parents on our freaking phone, just in case. You know, not everyone, but I do. It’s like you just, there’s something in the back of your mind that’s like, what if I never hear from them again, I want to be able to have this. So, I want to create something special for people. So, I’m getting it off the ground. And by the time this episode launches, it’s going to be live. And my new business is called In The Nood. And it’s N-O-O-D, which is my initials with two Os. But also it’s a reference to what you need to be when you’re sharing your stories. You need to be naked, in a sense, vulnerable, open and willing to put yourself out there.

JESSE: [00:43:32] Yeah. I think it’s a great idea. You know, I think about that from time to time with my dad, who’s in his late 70s now. And we were talking about — we now have this pie safe that was his mother’s that was her father’s. It was built in like 1890, that she had refinished and I’d asked him to write down the story of the pie safe. And there’s also a ceramic — porcelain pitcher and bowl to go with it. And the story of the pitcher and the bowl is, this is my thought. So, my great great grandparents, my father’s grandparents, that was how they bathe. They didn’t have running water, they bathed with a pitcher and bowl. I come from a family of, prior to my father, everybody was either a farmer or a preacher.

So, my father broke the mold and become a teacher and then my brother and I just obliterated it and went off and did other things. And sisters, sorry, to them. So, having those stories is definitely interesting. I think you’re definitely on to something. I’d love to talk about more but I know we’re running down on time. So, I’ve got to ask you my season three question here. I ask everybody the same question for an entire season. And the question is, how do you stay motivated after failing to reach a goal?

NICOLE: [00:45:05] That, it’s such a good question. It is so easy to go down a rabbit hole of self doubt. What I often do is remember to put everything in perspective. You know, that goal, there’s always another goal. Right? Hey, it may have been your fault. It may not have been your fault that you didn’t hit your goal. That has nothing to do with it. You didn’t. You need to learn something from it. Write down what you learned and move the hell on. Make a new goal.

JESSE: [00:45:37] That’s good. Nicole, where can people find you, find the new business, check out all that stuff, all the links, everything you want to share?

NICOLE: [00:45:47] Yeah. So, the new business is In The Nood, I-N-T-H-E-N-O-O-D.co because .com was taken. Who has that? InTheNood.co. I also have an In the Nood pod that is helping to promote the business. And all episodes on that podcast are live and unedited. How great is that? I’m just going for it. And you can also find me at NicoleDeBoom.com, or find me on all the social Nicole DeBoom. But yeah, I’m looking forward to seeing what happens. I don’t know if this business is going to take off and be something I can’t even manage. Or I have to figure out how to scale or get more interviewers, or if it’s going to completely flop. I don’t know.

I’m not emotionally tied to either result, because of something we talked about in the beginning. This could be a really good way to wrap it is that in order to move me from the in-between the life sabbatical, I just needed to do something. This will take me to the next thing. Whether it is this business is the next thing or some part of this business triggers the next thing, it is my next step forward.

JESSE: [00:47:09] Well, in any case, whether it does well or not, I’m definitely wishing you well. And hopefully it goes well. But as you said, regardless, I’m sure you will keep moving forward no matter what the result is. So, Nicole, thank you for joining me today.

NICOLE: [00:47:27] Thanks, Jesse.