Nicole “Dr. Nic” Rankine is one of the most engaging certified personal growth coaches around. In her early years, Dr. Nic struggled with reading comprehension, issues of low self-esteem and other associated challenges.
However, she overcame those obstacles to become a successful research scientist at high-profile government agencies. She is now an international speaker, teacher, and life coach.
Whether working with educational leaders, youth leaders, entrepreneurs, or emerging leaders, Dr. Nic has a proven track record of success of teaching personal growth and leadership principles so that her clients can see, own, and achieve their dreams.
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
I worked as a research scientist for 15 years. Early in my career, I loved it! I worked hard, climbed the so-called “corporate ladder” and made great money. However, as I began to explore my passions, I realized that I was not fully operating in my giftedness as a scientist. I wanted to make a greater impact and touch the lives of others in a more significant way.
After investing all those years in a scientific-oriented career, I understood that my “ladder” was leaning against the wrong building. With the desire to do, be, and have more, I then knew that working a traditional 9 to 5 was not going to get me where I wanted to go.
In order for me to achieve my dreams, I had to make a choice: do I stay comfortable in my profession but remain unfulfilled, or do I take the risk, step out on faith and follow my dreams? I chose the latter and left my comfortable 9 to 5 job and started my own business. I decided to create the life of my dreams and write my best story.
Tell us about your business.
The COLE Academy of Personal Growth was established to address the personal and professional development needs of youth leaders. More specifically, the Academy aims to enhance workplace relationships, leadership styles, internal motivation, work-life conflicts as well as communication and social interaction among and within our next generation.
We live in a time where our next generation requires a different level of leadership. By working extensively with young people, I have found that the traditional methods of teaching leadership development with this age group are not effective.
Based on my experiences as well as my passion for youth development, I was keenly aware of the importance and significance of effective leadership. I understood that our next generation required a greater level of engagement. Therefore, I saw the need to not only equip, inspire and empower our next generation to be great leaders, but also to help those that lead them to increase their level of connection.
The COLE Academy of Personal Growth seeks to address these concerns through training and coaching services. Its affiliate nonprofit, Healthy Young People Excel, Inc (HYPE), was founded to meet the needs of the next generation through the development of leadership and personal growth skills, increase awareness of healthy lifestyles and relationships and career/workforce readiness.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
We are offering a 50% off Summer Special on our new Masterclass. #FearsIntoFocus
Too often we allow our fears to hinder us from moving forward into greatness. Fear of failure, fear of criticism, fear of rejection, the fear of the unknown etc., can stop us from gaining the focus to achieve our dreams.
If we want to create the life of our dreams and write our best story, the most effective solution is through personal growth. Therefore, we must turn our fears into focus to reach our full potential.
The #FearsIntoFocus program helps the person that has dreams they want to achieve but are just simply afraid to step out and go after them. #FearsIntoFocus is a chance for participants to focus on achieving their greatness by learning proven strategies that will assist them with their personal growth as they work to reach their goals.
More information can be found bit.ly/FearsIntoFocus.
I am a certified International Speaker, Teacher, and Coach with the John Maxwell Team. By being trained and mentored by the world’s #1 leadership guru John Maxwell, I have had the opportunity to provide personal growth and leadership development training in schools, organizations, churches, and companies all around the world including Costa Rica, Kenya, and South Africa.
I am an Adjunct College Professor and author of an upcoming release entitled “Write Your Best Story.” More information on that will be coming out soon.
Where is your business based?
My business is based out of Atlanta, Georgia but provides services globally.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
One of the first steps I took to get my business up and running was to look for and find the right mentor and business coach. I didn’t have a clue about starting a business so my first step was to connect with people who were doing the things I wanted to do and, more importantly, were successful at it and willing to help show me the ropes so to speak. This was an invaluable first step to success.
Secondly, I developed a business plan. I needed to know who my target audience was, where I could find them, and how I could best meet their needs. It is said, ‘If you fail to plan then you plan to fail’. So, I wanted to have a fundamental vision and understanding of how this would work.
Next, to get my business up and running I intentionally focused on developing a personal growth plan. While that may sound strange, I quickly realized that a successful business building requires having the right mindset. This is critical to success for an entrepreneur. I truly believe the passage of Scripture that says, “As a man thinks, so is he”.
As a result, I needed to ensure that my thinking was always positive and if it wasn’t, I had methods were in place to get me back on track. There are so many challenges, obstacles, and failures that I have already encountered, and I know that I will continue to face more along this journey as an entrepreneur. I believe that facing them with the right attitude and mindset as well as having the right environment around me conducive to growth enables me to persevere and to continue striving to reach my goals.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
When I first started, I began where I was. More specifically, I connected with people who I knew loved me and would support my efforts. I started providing services to those in my network, in my community, at my church, etc.
As I grew, I learned the importance of implementing marketing tools and social media strategies to grow my business. Now, my social media platforms are the most effective ways of raising awareness of and advertising my services.
What has been your biggest challenges so far?
That is a loaded question. Moving from the corporate world to live as an entrepreneur is full of challenges because you, “don’t know what you don’t know”. In my corporate life, I had specific daily duties which I knew exactly how to do and could and would lead others to do the same.
As an entrepreneur, I do everything! I am the head of all departments of my corporation: HR, Finance, Marketing, Operations, etc. For me, the learning curve of going from the mindset of an employee to an employer has been a great but also a challenging one.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I think it is a perpetual work in progress. Successful entrepreneurship is a daily process, it doesn’t happen in a day. We live in a microwave society that expects quick results and fast money, but entrepreneurship requires long-term thinking. I had to view this as a marathon, not a sprint.
That is the attitude I take and it is how I have learned to overcome any challenge. Giving up is not an option. And since I’m not giving up, I have to find a way to overcome any obstacles that may arise. “I don’t know” is not a suitable answer for me. I have to think outside the box to get to results.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
I am an avid reader. I make sure I listen to the right things that motivate and inspire me spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. And often times, I take a break from the real world: no news, no fake news, no social media, etc. As they say, “garbage in, garbage out.” I am also connected to awesome communities of like-minded individuals. Having the right inner circle is a great help through difficult times.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
Since I spent over 15 years as a research scientist, I am able to take my years of experience to truly engage and connect with my clients in a systematic way. With curiosity and patience, I can focus on my client’s needs and provide detail-oriented services with an analytical yet open mind. As a result, my clients can see solutions they previously did not think were possible.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
I was faced with a challenge recently, and one of my mentors told me “Jump and grow wings going down”. This statement has become one of my life’s philosophies.
As an entrepreneur, things are constantly evolving and I am often faced with doing things I have never done and are outside of my comfort zone.
Jump and grow wings going down, is my mental push to say that although it may be a scary risk, just do it and learn along the way. Whether it initially works or not, eventually, I will soar.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
The main thing I would tell other entrepreneurs is to embrace the process. In order to get from where you are to where you want to be, it will take the right daily habits and discipline, but it will happen. Don’t quit. Just embrace the process and keep moving forward.
What are your favorite business tools/resources and why?
I like books. Much of what I am doing has already been done and is well documented so there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Books have so much information in them to help me along the way. Also, www.Fiverr.com has become my go-to for help with graphics and a valuable source for other techy needs. These are some tools that help me work smarter not harder.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
I am a part of a Mastermind group rereading “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. I am also working through “The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It” again by Michael Gerber. That is a great book for aspiring entrepreneurs.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
Currently, I am learning about social media marketing and automation. There are many tools out there that can help my business and I am not a tech savvy person so I am now taking the time to learn how to best maximize social media to grow my business.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
Over the next few months, I will be focusing on my non-profit, H.Y.P.E Inc, working to streamline some of our student programming activities. Programming for young people has to be relevant and engaging. So, I am working directly with a coach to develop solid programs and activities that are geared towards today’s young learner.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
Facebook Group The Millennial Mindset Network
Hashtags #writeyourbeststory #drniclovesthekids