The Week That Changed Everything

Call me biased, it is true I am Natalie MacNeil’s little sister, but if Stephen Colbert can shamelessly promote his sister for Congress on national television, then I can write this honest blog post.

How I Ended Up On Destiny

Since moving to Vancouver the finding a job situation has been tough. After month 6 of being unemployed, Natalie invited me on her and Natalie Sisson’s WE Mastermind Cruise. I was a complete cynic about the whole idea; the last thing I wanted to do was spend a week with successful business women. I actually hesitated booking my flight, and waited until the last minute to make any travel arrangements.

Standing in line to board the cruise ship named “Destiny,” the two Natalie’s began enthusiastically pointing to people who would be joining us on the retreat. Meanwhile I was still dreading the thought of having to be friendly and “on” 24 hours a day. I realize that up until this point in my story I sound selfish and ungrateful, and I would have to agree with you. Things turned around that lunch hour, though.

Tapping Into My Vulnerability

WE Masterminders
WE Masterminders

Natalie and I joined Pamela Slim for lunch, who if you don’t know is the author of “Escape from Cubicle Nation”, and who was one of the mentors on the trip. One lunch hour with her was like a really encouraging therapy session, and so began what would be for me a week of much needed therapy.

I was still hesitant about meeting everyone at dinner, fearing that I would have to explain 100 times how unsuccessful I was, while everyone talked about how successful they were; and then I thought back to lunch when Pam and I were discussing our love for Brené Brown’s book “Daring Greatly”.

I had to check myself and reassure myself that it was okay to be vulnerable. Once I let go of my doubts, I was able to absorb all of the wisdom from these 18 amazing people from around the world. The fact that these were business owners only added to what I learned throughout the week. Not once did I feel judged, not even after singing bad karaoke really late at night.

After one week of amazing networking, and feeling so much love, I was ready to go back and start a new reality. Fittingly, I returned home on my birthday, and I couldn’t think of a better day to start fresh.

Coming Out Of The Entrepreneurial Closet

I began to think that if someone didn’t offer me a job, I would carve out a place for myself in this world. I guess you could say I came out of the entrepreneurial closet that week. I picked up my paint brush again, after months of not painting anything, and with my new found energy I began to put myself and my work out there.

Fast forward to 2013, and things are already turning around. In my tiny apartment I now have a studio set up, and my partner comes home to an atomic bomb of creativity every night. I have 5 commission paintings on the go, started an Etsy store, and I feel like I am heading in the right direction.

I feel I owe a huge thank you to everyone who was on that Retreat. That one week changed everything. As much as I hate to admit it, you were right Natalie MacNeil, I know how much you love to say “I told you so!”

So from all this, what have we learned?

  1. Natalie always tells me that the best way for anyone to land their dream job is to “create it yourself”. For me, it’s not that I didn’t want to create my dream job, it was finding the confidence to. That was the roadblock I had to get over.
  2. In Natalie’s book she says “anything big you are going to accomplish is not going to be accomplished overnight, next week or next month.” She urges that it takes “perseverance and stamina”. Life is a marathon, not a sprint, and I have to learn to pace myself.
  3. The biggest shifts in your life start with the first step, and funny enough this was the theme of an article The Daily Muse wrote about Natalie yesterday. For me, the first step was picking up my paintbrush. Each day now, I start by thinking what is one thing I can do today to keep progressing in this marathon?

I urge you to do the same, what will your one step be today?

WE Mastermind Retreat

You’re Invited to Join the Natalies at the WE Mastermind Retreat 2013!

Join Natalie MacNeil and Natalie Sisson, with special guests Ashley Ambirge and Kyle Durand, this November for another WE Mastermind Retreat in the Caribbean. Massive shifts in your business and your life are guaranteed.Let your business set sail, reserve your spot now.

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10 thoughts on “The Week That Changed Everything

  1. Awesome article Nicola. I am so glad you came on the cruise, it wouldn’t have been the same without you. Congrats on owning and carving out your own space in this crazy entrepreneurial world. Your stuff is beautiful and I know you will do big things.

  2. In all seriousness I love this update, and it was so fantastic having you there and coming to this enlightenment I also loved you on the piano having happy birthday sung to you.

    In less seriousness, where on earth did I get those silly sunglasses?

    1. Don’t forget the karaoke you two did 😉 Didn’t you buy those sunglasses after losing your other pair? You rocked them, don’t worry, and you can always get a new pair before the retreat in November haha.

  3. Nicola, you were such an integral part of the group, so vibrant and endearing. It would not have been the same without you. I had no idea about your misgivings about coming, but am so very glad that you did, and I’m loving seeing your art develop in the images that you post. You have so much talent in so many areas. Hopefully we’ll meet on the cruise again this year. (Brilliant article, by the way- it brought back many great memories.)

  4. You all are so wonderful, and all made a big impact on me. I appreciate all of your kind words and support, and I hope we can meet again soon 🙂

  5. Nicola you absolutely rock! It was such a privilege meeting you and I’m so glad you made the decision to come. You are so talented and I look forward to touching base again. Your talent is amazing and I know that one day I’m going to say that I was ‘on a boat’ with the famous artist Nicola Macneil!

    I absolutely love your question ‘What is one thing I can do today to keep progressing in this marathon’. I might steal that!

  6. Hey Nicola,

    Are you still in Vancouver? If so, I’d love to take you for coffee! I’m your sister’s designer, working on the upcoming redesign for this site 😀

    1. Hi Marie,

      I am so sorry I actually just saw this now! I am still in Vancouver, if you are. The site looks great by the way 🙂

  7. I was really inspired by the article from a younger sister about an older sister. It’s very hard to admit certain things, and as an older sister I agree, it’s also hard not to say “I told you so” but we can try to restrain ourselves 😉
    The beautiful and important thing that came through in this article is that women entrepreneurs are supportive, encouraging and non-judgmental (for the most part 😉 which is so needed as we all find our way in this new era of business, lead by our ‘Feminine Principal’

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