Barbara Nixon

But I also realised in that year that I was, unbeknownst to me, a master of holding myself back and getting in my own way and sabotaging my own success. And that was something that I really had to learn. Doing my "year of yes" and putting myself first was a great way for me to create a tool box for myself so I could have something in my back pocket full of tools that would help me get over any limiting beliefs, any kind of mindset issues, any confidence problems, that just really helped me to push myself forward.

Barbara Nixon

 

Our 76th episode is with Barbara Nixon.

 

Theme: Give yourself permission to lead yourself first.

 

We talk about: 

💬 Needing to learn to say no and guarding her time

💬 Busy does not equal important or productive 

💬 Going where the fun is

 

Bio

Barbara helps Business Owners and Leaders, get unstuck, improve their mindset, grow their confidence and maximise their productivity so they can get the success they really want.

After 20+ years in the People Development arena and helping hundreds of people achieve their potential, Barbara is on a mission to help amazing people bust through their comfort zones, prime their mindsets for success and really step into their own power so they can achieve their goals.

Barbara is also a speaker, the author of The Boss Hat, and has been featured in Addicted2Success, Thrive Global and the BBC.

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James:

Let's get started then Barbara with the first question. If you go back to childhood, did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up?

Barbara:

Do you know what? I really did. It's not what I am now, but I really, really knew I wanted to be a chat show host. So I remember being, I don't know, probably about 11 or 12 and I was completely addicted to, it was probably Michael Parkinson. I think it was probably Terry Wogan, you know, those type of people. And I just loved the fact that they got free reign to sit there with a cuppa, talk to all of these amazing people and it just looked like the best job in the world. But yeah, it didn't quite work out for me.

I do get to talk to amazing people now with a cuppa. But it's not broadcast anywhere. And that kind of led me to do a journalism degree. So I had did journalism and psychology, which is kind of like the most bonkers combination that you've ever heard of in your life. Even then it didn't feel as though it fit. They were just two things that I was really interested in. I thought I'd just go for it. So yeah, that's what led me that way. But I soon realised that it wasn't for me and I had to do something different. I had to actually get a proper job, a real life job. And that's what led me to people development.

James:

It's an unusual combination. I don't think I've heard of journalism and psychology together. Does that make it then difficult afterwards to say, well, so you've talked about having a proper job. Is that because it was hard to actually see what was available with such a degree? Or there was nothing around?

Barbara:

No, not really. I think it kind of opened up a lot more doors because people were curious about it and to be honest people tended not to ask. I mean, we're going back quite a long time now, so I'd probably say it's well over 20 years. So in those days it was, people were just pleased that you got a degree. And it wasn't too much of an issue what it was in. And also it was a great interview question. Yeah. So what on earth made you think about those two and what did you learn from those two? Where are the transferable and all the general interview questions that you get. It kind of just opened up a conversation.

So yeah, I remember halfway through my journalism degree thinking actually this isn't for me and is this really the right route to get to where I wanted to be. And I was probably more interested in the psychology aspects of it and the people. I've always been a real people person. And again, looking back to childhood, I was the person, the kid, the annoying kid that was always trying to help everybody else. So if you couldn't skip, I was like, Oh, come on. I'll help you do skipping and I'll help you do it. So yeah, it was probably a trait that was always in me to go into kind of people development and supporting other people.

So when I left university and I started looking around for a proper job, like I said, because let's face it, at that point I just needed money as most graduates do need. And I stumbled upon a job working for ASDA at the time in their people development department. And I was there for seven years and I have to say that this was like the best gift for me. It was probably the best gift for any graduate, but certainly for me because I stumbled upon a department and a career. Where in those early days when I was probably about 21, 22, I realised that people development was kind of my calling and it's never got dull, you know, it's been something that I've been focused on ever since. So, yeah, I was there for seven years. Had an absolute ball, just doing all sorts and then I went over to Morrison's and did five years for them. So I had 12 years in corporate and always in the people development space, always in that retail space as well.

And just really enjoying myself and really kind of learning my craft. And then it was slap bang in the middle of the recession. It was 2010. And remember, you'll remember when everything was just falling apart wasn't it, all the high street shops closing every single day. And it wasn't a great time economically. And I had just come back from maternity leave. So at that point I had three small children and a stepson, my eldest was 12, my youngest was probably just coming up to two, something like that. And I realised that this was the time that I wanted to jump ship and start my own business. I thought, yeah, this is the time.

And I always knew that I was going to do that. I always knew that I was going to have my own business. It was always on my bucket list. It was always something that I wanted to do. I just didn't know when. And to be honest, I really enjoyed that corporate space. I loved working in teams. I loved the security...security's a bit of a loose word, isn't it? But maybe I just loved the structure probably more than anything else. And yeah, I remember when I had just come back from maternity leave and I thought, yeah, this is the time. If I can do it now when everything else is falling apart, then I'd never need to worry.

And I'd got to the point in my job where I was just ready for something else. And I think it happens just because you come back from a long maternity leave. Honestly, it was the only time I'd had two other children previously and it was the only time that I had such a long time off for maternity leave. So I had something like 9 or 10 months and I've never had that in my entire career. It just gives you time to think differently, doesn't it? And just to kind of put everything else into perspective. And at that point I realised I wanted to be a different Mum. I wanted to have a different experience of being a Mum.

I'd never done the school run. I'd obviously been to school plays and things like that, but I'd never taken part in the day to day stuff. And I was ready to do something more. So that's when I went home and told my lovely husband. You know that job that I had in food that everybody needs. Um, yeah. I've kind of resigned today. So that was, and he was all right. Yeah, he knew that it was going to happen, but we just didn't know when.

James:

It wasn't just...do you know what? I was having lunch today and I decided, screw this, and I resigned.

Barbara:

Yeah. I should have texted him. It wasn't, yeah. It wasn't like that at all. We did know it was going to happen. I didn't know what day it was going to happen. I knew that it was going to happen, but yeah. So every day was like, have you resigned today? No, no not today. It's not today. So it was that kind of conversation. So yeah. So he was, he was all right actually. But I remember not long after I'd actually left work and bear in mind this was all I knew, you know, working in corporate was all I knew. I'd never done anything else. We went on holiday to Wales and we're all in this cottage and every night I woke up like at two o'clock in the morning, you know, sitting up in bed and he'd go, are you all right? I've had this really weird dream that I've given up my proper job, my secure job in the middle of a recession. He said, yeah, you have done that, but you're all right. So that kind of went on for the whole holiday. We got to about Friday. And he went, yeah, we're going home. You've got to start, you've got to just get started cause you're going a bit bonkers.

So that's when my business venture, actually my business journey started. So yeah, it was just really, really an interesting kick-off to be honest. What I hadn't anticipated, cause I kinda knew what I wanted to do and I knew obviously I was staying in people development. I had no customers at this point and I had nothing. Yeah. And I experienced the biggest loneliness ever and that kind of hit me really hard because I'd gone from working in an open plan office surrounded by people, you know, there's chat going on and there's your friends. So you know, everybody's around you at work, to sitting on my own at home and everybody's out because they're all either at school or doing their thing. I'm thinking, ah, what do I do now?

And that's when the loneliness really hit me. And that was probably my biggest lesson right early on was what happened afterwards cause I started to try and compensate for the lack of team in my life. So I started volunteering for lots of different committees. So anything that the kids were involved in, I'd be on that committee. Yeah. The PTA, I'd be on like the ice skating committee and everything. And before long my whole calendar was full with volunteering things and there was no room for any kind of work at all. And I remember a potential client phoning me and I'm looking through my diary. Yeah, no, and I realised really quickly that although it was probably a good tactic to surround myself with different people and have that team ethic in different parts, just to start saying no. And it was my first real lesson of actually running a business was, yeah, I've got to guard my time now. I've got to step up and start saying no. And that's when I found a business partner. I thought that was the way to go. Yeah.

Michelle:

I had fairly similar. So I've always wanted to do this. Yeah. You know, didn't love my job. So I'm just going to jump. And it's really interesting how quickly you can fill your days with stuff. How did you go about it? So what did you do in terms of creating a business? What were the first steps?

Barbara:

Again I knew, I was kind of volunteering during the day and then working on my business in the evening, which was just kind of mirrored my corporate life, which was looking back absolutely bonkers. But at the time it seemed like the best thing to do. So I remember having a conversation with a really good friend of mine and we were talking about this new business and talking about what my plans were and my vision. And she was in the same field, but she'd worked for, worked with me previously, we'd worked together. And throughout the conversation, it then dawned on me that I needed somebody to work with at that time. So I asked her, I said, right, do you fancy doing it together? And this was such a good move because all of a sudden then we were able to build it together. And it was at that point that things really started to take off and I kind of stopped messing about. So, put my business hat on and really started to focus.

So it kind of ticked that loneliness box really quickly. But it also just gave me somebody else to bounce ideas off. You were in it together from that moment. So for the next five years, we built and created our training consultancy. So we designed and delivered management and leadership programmes for lots of different medium size organisations and we worked all over globally and just had an absolute blast. And during those five years, there were just so, so many lessons, so many lessons. But the one thing that really stuck out for me was the importance of fun. You know, fun has always been a really core value for me and the fact that we wove fun and a real element of fun into absolutely everything that we did.

So, you know, when I look back at that time, we just spent a lot of time just laughing. And because of that we got things done. We were so much more productive, you know, our customers were just having a ball as well. Things were getting done and it was an absolute joy, a real joy for five years. And then after five years we realised that we both wanted to go in different directions and it was evolutionary. And it was perfectly fine and very amicable. She's one of my closest friends even today. So it was just a natural progression. We both wanted completely different things. So we closed the business and it was at that point that I was kind of like in a real crossroads. My kids were a little bit older. I had had this experience of running an amazing business. I was stronger. I had a different head on, you know, I knew how to run a business.

But the guiding principle for me at that point was what do I want? And that was a real sticking point for me at that point because I'd gone from growing up, going to uni and then going straight into corporate working for two big companies and then running a training consultancy. So at no point had I ever stopped to have a bit of a think and no point I had thought, right. What is it that really matters to me? And I realised that I'd fallen into the trap of something that I see so many people, so many of my clients fall into, of putting myself at the bottom of my own pecking order. You know, I'd been a Mum, I'd been a business owner, a wife, and all these other hats, but none of them really put me at the top. For so many reasons, you know, we just get caught into that trap. Sometimes we can feel guilty of putting ourselves first, can't we?

But I realised at that point that in order for me to really enjoy the next phase of my business journey, I had to prioritise myself and what that looked like for me. I also realised that I wanted it to kind of be evolutionary. I wanted it to just grow organically and I didn't want the pressure of just pushing and you know, hustling all the time. And I'm not naive. I realised that it's not easy necessarily but I just didn't want it to feel too hard. I'm a big fan of taking the path of least resistance. So in that year, it was about 2015 just before then maybe. I declared 2015 to be kind of a year of yes for me. I don't know whether you've read the Shonda Rhimes book Year of Yes? If not, I'd definitely recommend it.

Michelle:

I love all of her shows so I would imagine I'd love it.

Barbara:

You would absolutely love it. So yeah, Shonda Rhimes, the writer of Grey's Anatomy, we were talking about that before weren't we? So yeah, she wrote a book as she's got a really good TED Talk. The year of yes. Where she decided that she's going to have a year where she was just going to say yes to lots of different opportunities. For me it was about saying yes to things that would light me up. It wasn't about saying yes to everything because I had no problem with that as we learned earlier. That wasn't an issue for me. It was more about saying yes to things that would just fill my cup if you like, that would just really light me up.

And so I'd kind of, I'd go where the fun was and that's what I did and kind of just tried lots of different things that year to see what would keep filling my cup up and I just tried all sorts of things. But I also realised in that year that I was, unbeknownst to me, a master of holding myself back and getting in my own way and sabotaging my own success. And that was something that I really had to learn. Doing my year of yes and putting myself first was a great way for me to create a tool box for myself so I could have something in my back pocket full of tools that would help me get over any limiting beliefs, any kind of mindset issues, any confidence problems, that just really helped me to push myself forward.

James:

It's fascinating. It reminds me of, talking about a year of yes, there's a movie called Yes Man, which is Jim Carrey. He is not everyone's favourite actor necessarily but the principle is that he goes from being in a job in a bank, fairly unhappy, is separated from his girlfriend, sits at home when he's not at work and eats and just watches telly. And then all of a sudden he's introduced to this concept of yes and embracing life and he just starts saying yes to things. So it's like, Oh, do you want to come to our band's gig this weekend? Yes, please. Do you want to come to Korean lessons? Oh yes, please. I'll have some of that. And all of a sudden his life just transformed from the people he meets and from learning guitar and languages. And his life goes from being fairly miserable to finding the love of his life.

Barbara:

None of that happened for me. For me, it wasn't about saying yes to everything. It was about just being really focused on the things that would, for want of a better phrase to fill my own cup. To just energise me, to align myself back with my own values and principles and just decide what it is that I wanted next. And like I say I've tried all sorts of things. Even simple, super simple things like taking myself out for lunch midweek. I never ever dreamed of doing that. I don't know whether you've ever just gone out for lunch on your own midweek. I certainly hadn't at that point. I'd never have gone to a cafe and just eaten alone just for the sake of it. And not because I was needing to it. And going to the museum throughout the day not with any kids in tow, just because I wanted to have a look at something. Little things like that that I'd just weave into my week.

And like I said before I knew it, I realised that those tiny, tiny little tweaks that I was making throughout my day. It was probably not day, but certainly months and weeks. It was making so much difference. You know, I was starting to get headspace. I was able to appreciate me a little bit more. I was able to identify what I wanted and start being more in tune with my intuition as well, which was really nice. And it rubbed off. It had that ripple effect as well. So I was happier everywhere else, in your family life and everywhere else. So having that headspace to think again is something that was another really important lesson for me.

Because again, I see that with the people that I work with, we get on this hamster wheel, we get on this treadmill and we just keep going. And I was so guilty of that, just keep moving and you have this long to do list of things that you just feel like you're ploughing through all the time and never giving yourself any opportunity to just chill. And chill, not like, my chilling was like in front of a video, you know, video? Crikey. A movie (it's not that long ago!) on TV or just getting lost in a series and that's just not enough. It doesn't do enough for you I don't think. So, it was a really big lesson.

And throughout that year I started to get asked by people if I wanted to coach them one on one and I'd always coached people. Coaching since the start of my journey really. Started being a coach wasn't new to me, but it had never been something that I solely did. And so that's what I did. I started saying, yeah, okay, let's do that. And again, it was just let things happen rather than go looking for it and just kind of explore and be curious. And I started to get a lot of requests from leaders, managing directors, business owners saying do you fancy just working with me one on one? What do you think?

And I realised very quickly the more people I worked with that they were often exactly the same problems over and over again, that it didn't matter how big their business was or how big their team was if they worked alone or you know, everything in between, they were still struggling with the same things that I'd struggle with. Things like saying no, things like getting caught on that hamster wheel and managing your time and being productive. Things like putting yourself first and just giving yourself permission to lead yourself first and that be okay. And battling with confidence and second guessing yourself and feeling the fear and all of that sort of stuff that I'd gone through. And I realised that that was a common denominator for all of my clients and it became what I actually do now. Yeah. This is what my business model is to support people and leaders, business owners at all levels, to help them actually overcome all of that stuff.

James:

Because there's elements aren't there of, I think in society from what I see everyone is, it's almost like you have to be seen to be busy and it's almost, would you say it's vulnerability? That actually resting, relaxing is so that you can always be on top of your game, whereas you're not allowed to show that in the sort of traditional Western society.

Barbara:

Yeah. I think there is this kind of just...we're all a bit conditioned aren't we? We're supposed to be busy. That busy equals important if you like, but it really doesn't, it just doesn't it. And one of the things that I teach is that busy doesn't equal productive. You know, I see people being super busy from the second that they wake up to the second that they go to bed. And when you ask them actually how much of that has actually moved the needle on your business? Probably not that much.

Again, it's that old saying, isn't it? Working smarter, not harder. And it is about just really looking at and protecting your time and guarding it and thinking, right, okay, if I only had two hours to work this week, what would actually make the most difference for me in my business? What could I actually be doing? And usually when people answer that question, it's not the things that they're actually doing, you know, they're doing everything else. The things that they don't need to be doing at all. Or they could be delegating or they could outsource depending on what's easiest for you or just crossing off your list and say actually, if I didn't do it, nothing would happen. Nobody would care. It'd be okay. And just really being super targeted about what is it that I'm going to do today that is actually going to make some difference. And then even if that takes an hour and you take the rest of the day off, at least you do spend an hour doing something super productive that has got a bit of weight attached to it rather than eight, nine, ten hours of doing like nonsense.

So yeah, it is funny, isn't it? How we kind of feel like we need to be super busy. Where in actual fact, in my head, after being super busy, it's so much more important to be productive to get the biggest bang for your buck. Let's face it, there are more fun things to do, isn't there? If you have the choice or if you were going to work eight hours, eight hours of pure gold it's even better if you really think about everything that you're doing.

Michelle:

Yeah, I really loved, when I first read it, the Tim Ferriss Four Hour Workweek. It's almost like, woah. And then obviously some people took it too far. Like a chap in America basically outsourced his entire job to somebody, to a development company in China. But it's almost, there's information that was really useful around emails and only responding during like set hours and kind of being more disciplined with your time and what you say yes to. Yeah, I think we struggle with saying yes to everything don't we? Yeah, we can do that.

 

James:

But we do, excuse me. We do try and...shouldn't talk for we, I should talk for me...is if I'm not feeling in a particular frame of mind for something creative, but I've got a bit of grunt work I need to do that doesn't require a lot of mental energy, then I'll switch tasks. Or if nothing's happening, well I'll try to do something else rather than be the sort of traditional model of you will come to your desk at 9:00 AM and you'll not leave until lunchtime. You'll have your lunch at this hour and then you'll do the same in the afternoon until home time when you're allowed to go. I mean, sometimes we're really creative in an evening, aren't we? So we'll actually do tasks in an evening.

Michelle:

It depends when your energies are.

Barbara:

Absolutely. And I think you're spot on. And again, it's about listening to yourself, isn't it? I'm a night owl so I'm absolutely rubbish in the morning. If you were to ask me to have this conversation at eight o'clock, I wouldn't be able to remember my own name. You'd just get like some kind of jibbering mess in front of you. But yet later on in the day, like in the evenings, my creativity just like pings on and I'm on it. It's just about, yeah, doing what's right for you definitely and getting out of this old school thinking of, really, yeah, I've got to be super busy. I've got to be seen to be busy. We do, it's funny, isn't it? So when you go to networking events or you bump into people and they say, Oh, are you busy? And go, yeah, yeah, we're busy. It's often the wrong question, isn't it?

Michelle:

Are you doing fun stuff?!

Barbara:

Are you happy? Yeah. Maybe we should ask that, but we just don't. Yeah. Are you busy? Yes. It's just, I don't know, a hidden phrase, a hidden sentence for, have you got enough work I guess, isn't it? Have you got enough on?

Michelle:

Yes. Do you come across a lot of your coaching clients that are heading towards burnout or coming back from burnout? Is that something you are getting a lot of?

Barbara:

I don't tend to get as much of a burnout but for me or my clients they tend to struggle more with, they're holding themselves back. They need help in terms of confidence or just second guessing themselves. But yeah burnout. It does pop up from time to time, especially when we've got all these plates that we're spinning constantly. Cause work is just one hat that we are wearing isn't it? Everything else on top of that, being a Mum, being a Dad, being a husband. All these hats that we wear all the time. And then this kind of the myth of having work life balance, which I have not actually ever seen that working in fruition, you know, coming to fruition.

Yet I think for me, I don't actually believe in work life balance. I think when you talk about balance, it's all about it conjures up feelings of equality and having equal sides. Whereas for me it's just about does it feel right? Is it right for you right now? We all secretly know, right? If something's not quite right or out of sync. Or if we are doing one at the expense of the other and we need to just self-correct. But, it's just about being more in tune with yourself and giving yourself permission to sway the other way if you need to and just look at your personal life more.

James:

Yeah, I totally agree with that. It's like suggesting that, Oh, I've spent too much time with work, therefore I need to balance up and put a bit more time into family life or some other activity. Whereas really it's about designing the best life in general, which fits all these different things in that we want to do and achieve.

Barbara:

It's true and it's gotta be right for you. Again, I'm a big believer in creating your own rules. It doesn't have to be conventional. It doesn't have to kind of fit into any kind of box. And I remember reading an article going back years, and it's always stuck with me about this executive and she really struggled for ages trying to get home. She was a Mum with kids in a busy house and get home for dinner and she really struggled to get home for dinner every single night. And then all of a sudden the penny drops and she thought why am I trying to fit my life into a box that everybody else says you should have dinner together when, why not have, let's have breakfast together and let's have that as our meal, our family time.

So, she changed that in her family. And so they were all up at breakfast. They all made that their main meal together as a family and nobody cared about dinner. You know, they obviously they still had dinner but it wasn't about being together for dinner and she didn't feel the pressure of needing to leave work or then rush home for or miss dinner and she said it worked a treat. And again, it's about giving yourself permission to design your life that's right for you. That's right for you and your family. It doesn't have to fit into any kind of box or stereotype or category. It's just about what actually works for you and what's going to make you happy.

Michelle:

Yes. At the beginning of this Covid-19 situation, for want of a better word, there were so many kind of, I am now winning at life and home schooling and I am so perfect on social media that it was just almost bonkers. I'm going to post my entire schedule for my children and they are going to get more than when they go to school. They're gonna get way more learning. And just kind of the pressure that that put on people. I was just like, Oh, failing at parenting. And failing at home schooling.

Barbara:

And we did that. We had a day, cause none of it, this was so new for everybody. I'd never taught anybody at home. You wouldn't want me as a teacher at all. And my youngest, luckily I've only got one that I have to teach and she's 12. She's just gone up to high school. So we had guidance that she had to follow her timetable. And I'm thinking, you've got to be kidding me. I don't know any of this stuff. I don't know. I can't remember like high school maths and fractions and what is that? And then all of a sudden that's what we're faced with. So I had all these amazing intentions and then the first day I said, right, we've got your timetable, we'll follow it. We got to about 10 o'clock. And I went, yeah, we're binning this, this is not working and how can we actually create this to work for us?

So, we actually sat down, me and my daughter, cause I was more flexible and my husband's still having to do his proper job at home, so he's a bit more structured. So it was all down to me. And we sat there and said, right, how can we design this so we're both happy? What is it going to actually look like? Then just let's bin everything else. And what we decided to do was just do a whole subject for a day or two days and then that's it. Just one subject for a couple of days and then we'll switch to another subject. And that allowed me to get on with my business so she knew exactly what she was doing and we were all focused and no stress.

And then we'd have one day obviously where we were doing crazy fractions or something, but I could get my head around it and build my life around that. So I needed to get my head into gear. But other than that, it's just about doing what's right for you. But yeah, social media is a killer for that. Trying to shame us into doing stuff like baking. See, I don't bake. I couldn't bake to save your life. You're seeing all these amazing cakes just pop up on Facebook, and be like no, that's not happening in my house.

Michelle:

We bought some cake kits.

Barbara:

Oh yeah, we did too. Yeah. The boxes.

Michelle:

Icing, sprinkles, sorted!

Barbara:

I feel amazing. I've done something.

Michelle:

James made banana bread, finally. There's just a teeny, tiny bit left.

James:

Yeah, it's good. We'll have to put the recipe out.

Barbara:

Yeah you should. That'd be good.

Michelle:

So yeah, we interviewed a lady, Oh, last year now wasn't it, who runs a sort of baking supplies company. And sprinkles is what she's known for so getting lots of different types of sprinkles. So she was selling really early doors, sort of a cup cake mix. So we were just like - send them.

Barbara:

That sounds amazing.

Michelle:

And she's got this really cool banana bread recipe. It's amazing.

Barbara:

So you see, I'm all for that. I've got nothing against baking. I'm a big fan of cake and eating. But it's just too scientific for me, you know, having to measure things out properly. I'm too slap dash. So when I cook I'm like, Oh, a bit of that and a bit of that and see what happens. So I just haven't got the brainpower to bake properly. So yeah, it's just not something I'm born with.

Michelle:

It's the decorating that I'm properly pants at. None of us really like icing anyway. So you know what's the point?

Barbara:

It does look good though, doesn't it?

Michelle:

Mine never look good.

Barbara:

I like those like spray aerosol icing cans that you can get where you just like literally squirt it on. I'm all for that.

James:

Let's move on to the quick fire round. Three quick questions. So question number one, who is the best role model a person could have?

Barbara:

Oh, that's straight off the bat. That's a good one.

James:

They do get easier than this!

Barbara:

Thank God, who is the best role model? I think somebody that you can trust, somebody that you look up to and somebody you've got access to I think. I'm thinking as I'm talking of all the amazing role models I've had in my life and they tend to be the family members or people I've worked with. So definitely people that you just look up to and think, actually I'd love to do what you're doing.

James:

Hmm. I like that. Then it's linked to happiness, isn't it?

Michelle:

Question number two is not as deep. So how do you feel about putting pineapple on pizza?

Barbara:

Terrible idea. I hate pineapple. I wouldn't even eat pineapple if it was like in a bowl. Hate pineapple. And also I think I'm turning off pizza. So yeah, saying it here first. I haven't actually admitted that to myself. I need to think on that a little bit. But right now in this moment, pineapple and pizza, definitely not a good idea.

James:

Ok. There's usually two camps aren't there. So, question number three, what cheesy song do you love?

Barbara:

Video Killed the Radio Star? Just love it. Never gets tired. Yeah, I could just, that is definitely just a put on dance around the kitchen kind of song.

Michelle:

That's brilliant. Was that the first video that was ever played on MTV or am I just making that up?

Barbara:

I don't know. That's a cool thought. I need to look into that.

Michelle:

Yeah, I might be talking nonsense, but you know.

Barbara:

I like it.

Michelle:

Okay. And then the final proper serious question. If you could get yourself in a time machine and go back to your 18 year old self and have a cup of tea with her, what advice would you give to her?

Barbara:

To follow your gut. Oh absolutely. To follow your gut. I've got this firm belief that everybody secretly knows what's right for them and what they should be doing. But we just kind of muddy the water by looking, you know, asking people or questioning ourselves and all the rest of it. Just to follow your instincts every step of the way and you won't go far wrong.

Michelle:

That's brilliant.

James:

Very good advice.

Michelle:

And if somebody wants to get in touch, what's the best place to find you?

Barbara:

So the best place I am on LinkedIn, that's probably my main playground. I'm on Facebook and Instagram, so all the usual places. But my website is www.BarbaraNixon.co.uk so you can come and hang out with me there.

Michelle:

Awesome.

James:

Very insightful.

Michelle:

So, Barbara thank you ever so much for taking the time to talk to us today. It's been really interesting.

Barbara:

Thank you so much for having me. I've really enjoyed it.

Michelle:

Awesome.

James:

Thank you.