Lisa Nichols on Impact, Income, Learning and Legacy - EP 015

pleasure & profits podcast Apr 02, 2024



In this episode, join me as I sit down with a very special guest, someone who's not only a cherished friend but also a powerhouse of inspiration—Lisa Nichols. As a distinguished motivational speaker, seasoned entrepreneur, and the driving force behind the multi-million dollar personal development business, Motivating the Masses, Lisa has transformed the lives of over 80 million people worldwide. Lisa is also a best-selling author of six books, including the New York Times Best Seller, NO MATTER WHAT and ABUNDANCE NOW.

In our time together, she emphasizes the importance of personal development and how it is intertwined with business growth. Lisa also discusses the challenges of balancing impact and profitability, and the need to have a strategic approach to building a sustainable business. 

Additionally, she shares her insights on finding a balance between personal and professional life. In this conversation, we talked about the importance of being authentic in relationships and the power of honesty and vulnerability. 

Prepare to be moved and join us in this warm and inspiring conversation. 



  • Personal development is crucial for business growth and success.
  • It is important to find a balance between impact and profitability.
  • A gradual and solid foundation is essential in building a business that will last.
  • It is important to create a business strategy tailored to a person’s unique situation—acknowledging different priorities, goals, and stages in business.
  • Find the right mentors and learn from them.
  • When you have more impact, it’s okay to make more income, but remember that your fee does not equal your worth.
  • Embrace honesty and vulnerability in both personal and business relationships for greater trust and connection.
  • Invest in personal development to enhance your business growth and elevate your life.


Episode Chapters

00:00 Introduction and Background

05:30 Starting with Impact

11:36 Balancing Impact and Profitability

20:30 The Importance of Personal Development

26:23 The Reality of Building a Business

37:02 Making Love a Priority

40:35 Prioritizing Love and Business

42:23 Taking Risks for Love

43:19 Being Authentic in Relationships

45:08 Completing Ourselves

46:00 Being True to Yourself in Dating

47:32 Authenticity in Business Relationships

48:01 Embracing Breakdowns in Business

49:49 Honesty and Vulnerability in Business

50:57 Personal Development and Business Growth

52:09 Elevating Your Life


If you’re ready to have a deeper conversation about how to maximize impact, profit and pleasure in your business and life, you can schedule a time to connect with me right here >>> 

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Episode Transcript


(Intro music plays)

Rachel: This is Pleasure and Profits, a podcast about feeling good and making money for visionary entrepreneurs and business owners like you who are ready to make an impact and a profit without sacrificing your health and happiness along the way.

I'm your host, Rachel Anzalone, satisfaction strategist. Together, we'll dive into the intersection of well -being and wealth, exploring practical strategies. inspiring stories, and expert interviews that unveil the secrets to creating a business that is both pleasurable and profitable. Let's get started. Hello and welcome to Pleasure and Profits.


Rachel (00:02.252)

Hello and welcome to Pleasure and Profits. I'm your host, Rachel Anzalone. And today I have a very, very, very special guest. My dear friend Lisa Nichols is here with us today. Lisa, if you don't know who she is, is one of the world's most requested motivational speakers on the planet.

She has an incredible story of entrepreneurship that began with her as a single mother on public assistance and, and I know the story's not over yet by any means, but currently Lisa is the founder and CEO of the multi-million dollar personal development company “Motivating the Masses” where she has touched the lives of nearly 80 million people. Lisa is also a bestselling author of six books, including the New York Times bestseller, No Matter What and Abundance Now, which is, it was published in 2016 and that's actually how and when my path crossed with Lisa. So we'll talk a little bit about that. 

Lisa has appeared on The Oprah Show, The Today Show, The Dr. Phil Show, Steve Harvey, and Extra, and today she's here with us on Pleasure and Profits. Welcome to the show, Lisa. I'm so honored and grateful that you're here with me today.


Lisa Nichols (01:15.75)

Oh my gosh. I feel like it's an honor for me because I've missed you so much (Rachel: I know!) and any excuse to get together and hang out the answer is yes, and yes, and yes, you're one of my favorite people on the planet Rachel. You know that though, but in case you didn't you are one of my favorite.


Rachel (01:32.768)

Well, the feeling is mutual. Absolutely. I just, it makes me, I'm like beaming just to see your smiling face in front of me. Yay.


Lisa Nichols (01:39.874)

Thank you. I'm excited for your podcast. Congratulations!


Rachel (01:42.956)

Thank you. Thank you so much. There's many stories along the way of my life and my work that intersect with yours that, you know, were part of the inspiration for this. And so many of the skills I absorbed and learned over the years, I learned, you know, with you, through you, together, side by side. Lisa and I have done some epic work together in bathrooms.


Lisa Nichols (02:02.402)



Rachel (02:08.352)

Lisa getting her hair and makeup done and me on the floor with my laptop. We've done some pretty incredible things together though.


Lisa Nichols (02:14.058)

We've created magic while multitasking (Rachel: Yes, absolutely) in the most, in the most odd places.


Rachel (02:24.351)

Yeah, mm-hmm. Yeah, and golf carts zipping between hotel rooms and conference centers in the green room, on the floor behind stage, all those places we've been.


Lisa Nichols (02:34.59)

You're one of the few people that have been able to stay creative with me in a noisy space to honor the environment, to not make people feel displaced, but to get back to creation, like you and I, it's almost like, for those of you who are old enough who know, it's almost like that cartoon, wonder to empowers, activate, right? And that's how we would be. So it's been an honor.


Rachel (03:02.472)

Yeah, absolutely. So one of the things that I know from your story, which is, you've been around, you've been in business for over 25 years, you've done...


Lisa Nichols (03:12.651)

Someone called me a legend. (Rachel: Wow) The other day they were like, they were like, Lisa, you're a legend in the industry. And I was like, legend? How do I feel about being a legend? (Rachel: I think it's an accurate assessment.) It was a mixed feeling. Not none of it bad, but it was an awareness, 27 years.


Rachel (03:33.516)

27 years and like I said while I was introducing you I know you're not even close to being finished yet. So that's what's incredible and probably what feels a little uncomfortable about, *excuse me* about being, calling yourself a legend, is you're like but I'm not even halfway done yet right?


Lisa Nichols (03:49.854)

Like in some ways I'm like, oh, like I'm just getting started on that. Like I have more things on my calendar this year than I had on my calendar four years ago. And I'm super excited about them. So yeah, it's weird. It's 27 and running and recreating myself, you know, understanding what life looks like in this season for me, but a long way from over, a long way. So yeah, it's exciting. It's exciting.

You know, I do it differently now. I do it so that it goes further. It touches faster, touches more. It feels better. So I'm excited to be here with you because I believe that in conversations like this, we can save people time, energy, stress, money, you know.


Rachel (04:35.132)

Yeah, yeah, all the lessons learned that you can share, right? So let's go back to where you started, because I know that impact is really one of the core reasons that you started your business. 

And one of the things I didn't say in your introduction is that you also have a nonprofit organization called Motivating the Teen Spirit, where you've touched the lives of over 270,000 teens, prevented over 3,800 teen suicides and supported 2,500 dropouts in returning to school and reuniting thousands of families. So that's a massive impact. First of all, congratulations. I know how much that organization and that work means to you personally. And so let's talk about where you started with impact and the impact you wanted to have and where you are with that now and what your impact goals look like 27 years into the business.


Lisa Nichols (05:30.666)

Yeah, first of all, thank you for acknowledging my work at Motivating the Teen Spirit because it's where I started. Most people don't know that long before Chicken Soup for the African-American Soul that I co-authored my first book and long before The Secret, which is what got international credits and took me to the Oprah, Larry King and all those national meters, long before that.

I was transforming the lives of teens in little rooms and hotels and, and YMCA's and in the, in the basement of churches and Flint, Michigan, long before the lights and cameras. My commitment has always been to transform lives and it started and for the first 12 years, all I did was transform the lives of teens and I never really signed up to transform the lives of adults. (Rachel: Hahaha) I never really did that. 

The adults just came and got me and they would not go away and they were, you know, and, and it was a little easier to navigate through the world doing adults and teens. And so, um, uh, transforming teen lives was my origin and it was my origin because though my mom is amazing, my dad is amazing, I had the epic mom and dad experience where we went on holidays together and when my mom and my dad divorced, it was the most amicable, friendly divorce you could ever imagine and because of the kids. So I had this amazing life.

Somewhere in that journey, I still begin to question who I am. I begin to wonder, am I good enough? Can I, in this chocolate skin with these full lips, these round hips and this kinky hair, can I still have my dream? How can I be happy when the world doesn't look like me and they don't look like people like me to look like they're happy? And I found myself depressed and I found myself actually suicidal at 19.

And yet I couldn't explain to anyone why I was so sad because they would look at my mom and they would look at my dad and they would look at my lifestyle. And it was, I didn't know how to navigate through my emotions and Rachel, I didn't know how to put words to how I was feeling. And because I didn't know how to do that, I pushed them down and pushed them down and pushed them down. And after a while, I just would wake up sad. And I remember at 19 crying out to God, if you bring me through this dark season, I'll help as many teens as I can get through theirs. 

And that's where at age 19 and 1985, that's where motivating the teen spirit was first born in my spirit, in my cry out to God. And then fast forward 12, 13 years later, 14 years later, I'm trucking along in my business called Motivating the Masses, a little bit, just doing a little bit.

And I feel this (knocking) and it was the call to do the work that I had cried out to God on my knees years ago. And so Motivating the Teen Spirit was born and that has transformed over the years.

Uh, for a while I realized that I was more comfortable with teens because adults made me nervous. I, because I questioned, am I good enough? Am I smart enough? I don't have a PhD degree. I don't have a bachelor's degree. I don't have a degree from a business school. Will they listen to me? So it was in my lack of trust or in my insecurities or in my lack of doubt that I kept myself with teens. And, and then this little project called The Secret came along. 


Rachel (09:02.362)

Just a little, little tiny thing.


Lisa Nichols (09:32.094)

And this little project called The Secret that, you know, touched 120 million people in the first six months. And it was like I was lunged into the spotlight and I had to give myself a chance to be who other people saw me as. I don't know if anyone listening, if you're listening and you've had the case where other people saw me in such a light and I saw glimmers and I saw flickers of that light, Rachel, but I didn't see all the light that they said. 

And there were some moments where I decided, Hmm, I think I'm going to trust what they see more than I trust what I see in me. And so I was running and still trying to have my confidence catch up with my pace. And now what it means to me, um, is I want to teach gladiators how to own their power, stand in their power, how to shine their light. I wanna teach lighthouse, people who are a lighthouse, how to get comfortable being the lighthouse that you are and how not to wait for the boats to show up in the ocean to shine your light, to shine your light because you were born a lighthouse. 

And our journey, 27 year journey. Um, and then how to be okay being paid for sharing your light, how to understand that when you have more impact, it's okay to make more income. And that making more income doesn't compromise your faith, your spirituality, your intention, your godliness, your goodliness. It doesn't compromise any of that. And that your fee does not equal your worth. So the whole conversation, 27 year journey.


Rachel (11:07.108)

Yeah, I'm sure you've had so many experiences over those years that have led you to where you are now and your message and the way you teach that and the way you communicate that has evolved over the years. 

And I'm curious if there's been times where you were working in your business and you felt pulled away from the mission or the impact in order to focus on the profitability? And if you've ever felt that like tug, I think that's something that happens a lot. My experience with entrepreneurs is everybody's so heart-centered and has this drive to do something really important and make people's lives better. And then it's like, oh, but I have to make money. And trying to figure out how to hold that desire for impact and be in the place to grow the business and invest in the business and investing yourself.


Lisa Nichols (12:01.687)

Oh, I've been there many, many times. Oh, many, many times when Jelani went to middle school and then when Jelani went to high school and then when Jelani went to college and, and then when I began, I got employees, I remember I was so afraid to get employees. Because then someone's livelihood was dependent on me. 

And so of course, in typical Lisa Lesson form, the very first employee that I get was a newly single mom of three children. (Rachel: Hahaha. No pressure, no pressure at all.) 

No pressure, no pressure, no pressure. You and I both know and love Margaret.


Rachel (12:39.196)

And Margaret stayed with you for a long, long time. Yeah.


Lisa Nichols (12:42.094)

16 years, 16 years, but I gotta tell you, I was sweating. Cause I knew I knew I needed to make her salary. And I'd already been making it, but it wasn't attached to someone else's livelihood. So there were moments when I went, I completely went in and out. When it was just mission based, when I could do it and, and I had my little side hustle other job. And then I, I took the leap of faith and it was all my business. And I was like, oh my God. And when I heard things from my family, are you being responsible, Lisa? You have a child.

You need to be responsible. Is this the most responsible thing you can do for Jelani? Like there were moments when I freaked out and every time I freaked out around money, the impact shrunk.


Rachel (13:31.311)



Lisa Nichols (13:32.534)

The impact shrunk. Something was compromised and for by the grace of God, knock on wood. There were times when I was good enough where I could give a C level experience and people were happy, but I knew it was C. And my A level only happened when I trusted the impact and then I made a strategy for the income.

Income won't accidentally happen all the time enough. That requires a strategy. But what I found was I love to spend the time as the technician. I love to spend the time coming up with the speeches. I love to spend the time outlining the workshops, doing what we would do on the floor, doing what we would do in the golf cart. But I also knew, and you were a large part of that to go, wait a minute, this has to translate into business growth.

It has to translate into stabilizing my business, well, either launching my business, stabilizing my business, or scaling my business. Everything I do, I have a responsibility to the business. When I began to recognize, Rachel, that it would be more irresponsible of me to share with people this possibility and this impact that I had through teaching them and to not be...strategic enough to build a formula to grow the business, so much so that in three to five years, I'm gone. 

To open them up to a new possibility and to not create the structure in my business to make sure that I'm around so that as they grow, I can keep guiding them. And so when I realized that income, and scaling the business and being fiscally responsible to the future of the business was as much a service to my students as it was writing the program, delivering the program. All of it is a part of sustainability. 

I used to say to people, they would ask me, well, why do you have to charge a fee? I say, are you getting value from this program? They go, absolutely. Wouldn't you want your daughter to get value from this program when she's 10 years older than she is now? Absolutely. Then I need to be fiscally responsible today to make sure that I'm around. 


Rachel (15:49.36)

I think that's a huge, huge important lesson. And especially in people who are service-minded, that there tends to be just like a really intense drive to give, give, give, give and not to, you know, kind of the old saying of like, put on your own oxygen mask first. Well, that involves your personal wellbeing, but it also involves your bank account. Like if you can't continue to sustain the business operations and you can't continue to sustain a lifestyle, then you can't continue to do the work.

And then, you know, I think there's a line there too, where it's like, okay, well, I'm making enough. I'm doing just enough. I'm getting by, so I shouldn't charge more or I shouldn't try to grow. And that's a tricky spot. That's different than I wanna give everything away and I shouldn't, you know, it's like, I'm taking the money, I'm making the money, but I'll only allow myself to grow so much and then it becomes uncomfortable, right? And so we have these like tears of…


Lisa Nichols (16:48.446)

Me, me, I've been in all those places. (Rachel: I know! Me too. We hit these plateaus that we have to work through.) Yeah, so, yeah, absolutely. And, and I always say your discomfort, your next discomfort is one zero away. Add a zero to whatever you're making and then see, are you comfortable there? What I realize, everything you just said, I love everything you just said. I feel like you were reading my story.

Most entrepreneurs don't want to hear this, but I'll be your sister in prosperity and possibility and tell you anyway, that has a lot to do with personal development. (Rachel: It does.) And that I realized there was no strategy in my business that helped me shift from any of those places that you said it was going and developing Lisa. Your business will never outgrow your personal development.

It will never. Matter of fact, it'll get to that point, like to the top of this hat or to the bottom of that light. And it'll sit there and it'll wait for you. You'll feel like you hit a ceiling, but you didn't hit a business ceiling. You hit a personal development ceiling. And so for me, what I did is I started doing personal development. I went to places that made my knees chat, my knees, knocking my teeth, chatter, and I worked on me. 

I worked on my relationship with money. I worked on my relationship with a lot of money. I worked on my relationship with a lot of money and me in the same sentence, wherever my comfort zone was, I began to work on that. I worked on my worthiness. What am I worthy of? I worked on my enoughness. I worked on recognizing that I was worthy of making this income without having that background.

Cause I kept equating my success to directly with the education that I didn't have and I was always going to lose that battle. Then I would equate my level of success with my nationality and my origin and my geographical origin and my economical origin. And every time I do that, I lost that battle. And so I would shrink every time, shrink to fit the profile that I had of myself. And so what I have to go do is go find a way in personal development to expand the profile that I had of me and my contribution and my birthright and the abundance that I was worthy of because I wanted to do the impact. I was always going to serve big, but I would serve big and not accept the fee for it. I would discount everything, everything. I was discount queen. Everything.

Because it wasn't that I wanted, just wanted you to like me. And it wasn't that I just wanted you to be in the program. It was that I was more comfortable with the discounted fee than I was with the stated fee. But my business partners and my colleagues knew my value. So they said, this is your fee. Because I wasn't comfortable with, I say, well, this is my fee, but you don't have to pay that.


Rachel (19:41.353)



Lisa Nichols (19:42.554)

I had to work on me so that I didn't feel the need to say that, just the option to say it. So all of my growth in my fees lived in my growth in my personal development. All of my income growth started with personal growth.


Rachel (19:59.892)

That's such an important thing because it's, I think we tend to go to, I want to grow my business, I want to grow my revenue. So I have to figure out what the latest marketing tactic is. You know, what's the new marketing strategy? What am I missing in my business plan? Sort of all those things. And then you could spend a lifetime taking classes and learning from people, all those things. And there's this missing component, which is, like, where are you getting in your own way of allowing for the abundance to happen or the opportunities to come in? And I think it's a common story for so many entrepreneurs. Yeah.


Lisa Nichols (20:36.858)

It's so incredibly common. I start a small exclusive mastermind next week in my house. And these are game changers and they're going to come, everybody for business. Everybody.

They're gonna be so hit inside the head and other side of the head when they realize that some of their solutions are gonna be in personal development. And I'm aware of how it's going to disappoint them. (Rachel: Hahaha) I'm aware of how they're gonna feel like we're wasting time. I'm aware of how they're gonna feel irritated until they get to the other side of the breakthrough.

And they see it show up in their business. And I believe you always need to have someone who's advocating for what you need as much as for what you want.


Rachel (21:25.704)

Yes, absolutely. Because our response, our human response, is to assume that the thing that we need, the thing we think we need, is the thing that is actually easiest to get. And not the thing that is gonna be challenging, is gonna be hard, is gonna push our limits, is gonna get uncomfortable. And yeah, that is, I think, and I think...

I love that you're doing this with a small group, and this is the first time hearing about it, so I wanna know more. But I think that one of the challenges is that once you've reached a certain place in your business, a certain level, a certain level of success, you have a little bit of recognition to your name, it's uncomfortable to go to a place and say, hey, I'm struggling, because you've worked so hard to position yourself as the expert, you're the person everybody else goes to and hires for help and brings in. And so how do you then, you know, make yourself vulnerable enough to go to your peers and say, I'm struggling with something too, and I need help with this.


Lisa Nichols (22:33.383)

Yeah, yeah, I'm excited about this space that I've created and I created for gladiators and game changers only so that we all are uncomfortable. We all have that and we all recognize that our questions don't compromise our credibility and that we are dynamic beings in development, and we get to know nothing about that thing and know everything about that thing. 

And we give each other permission to live in a constant state of duality. When you give yourself permission to live in a constant state of duality, that's when you can contribute and absorb. You can contribute and absorb. And so I'm excited about it. Well, you're right, you've never heard me talk about this before. And I'm doing it.

Right here in this living room, right here, cause it's so fabulous that I want to bring people into the epic environment just because I know what I needed. I needed a safe space when The Secret came out and I was overnight, it felt like I was on Oprah and then Larry King, you, you know about that season and I didn't have a place that I felt like I can go, wait, wait. My, my popularity is much grander than my insight.


Rachel (23:57.503)



Lisa Nichols (23:58.25)

And I'm serious, girl. I don't think I've ever told anyone. And because I felt like I didn't have that space, I tried to just fake it till I could make it. Well, I spent a lot of extra time. I had a lot of extra stress. I spent a lot of extra money because I was trying to fake it till I make it. I wish someone would have, I wished someone would have said “Here, sit down at this table and tell me everything that you don't know. And that you're confused about. So I can help you clear it up sooner, quicker, faster.” 

I wish I could have, I don't regret any of my life, but if you say it in the last 15 years, what would you rewrite? I would rewrite how long I tried.

I tried to fill in the blanks of the story people were telling about me without going, wait, wait. I don't know how to do an online marketing campaign. Rachel, you're the one who taught me how to do a real campaign. I was using my brand power to do these really loud announcements. I didn't know that there's a difference between an announcement, a launch and a full on campaign. I had no idea. And I was just successful enough to keep myself confused for a while.


Rachel (25:08.947)

Hahaha. That’s a dangerous place to be. You could stay there for a long time just hustling and hustling and hustling and hustling, right?


Lisa Nichols (25:14.144)

It's dangerous.

And, and not even knowing that I'm hustling harder than I should, because I don't know what I don't know. And that's why I love podcasts like this. That's why I love communities like yours because help me see what's in my blind spot. You showed me, you showed me so much that was in my blind spot. You said something to me once. I don't know if you even know that I remember you said, “Lisa, you're not playing the game wrong. Sister, you're playing the wrong game.”


Rachel (25:32.358)



Lisa Nichols (25:46.422)

I said, oh, you said that to me? I have been repeating that for at least the last five years. I sure have.


Rachel (26:12.726)

Yeah,  I mean, I think it's easy to look around and see what everybody else is doing and go, "Oh, I need to go do all those things too," right? But you're not the same as that person. You have different priorities. You have different goals. You're in a whole different place in your business than they are. And so, you know, creating a strategy that really meets you and matches where you're at and what's important to you is really, I think, the secret to creating something that's sustainable. 

And of course, there's no magic formula, right? There's no game plan that works for everybody. And so there's this little bit of this trial and error and trial and error and testing and seeing what works. And sometimes that makes us really uncomfortable. We feel better listening to somebody who says, I have the answer, and you just need to do this one thing I'm telling you. And if you do this, it'll all work. And we'll buy that story instead of saying, wait a minute, let me see if this actually applies to me in this time, in this moment.


Lisa Nichols (26:39.372)


And we'll also buy that story because they also say, and you can have it instantly and in six months, you know, so we want to buy, we want to buy the time capsule. I want to, I want to take this capsule and I want to shave five years off my business growth while I believe you can shave time. I really do believe that. And I am a big believer of turning years into months, turning decades into days. I am a big believer of that. But there's a process. It still needs to have your fingerprint. It still needs to have your DNA. It still requires time. It still requires planting a seed, watering the seed, and nurturing what grows. It still requires that. 

There's no quick way to get to the 35th floor. There's no elevator. If it's your floor, if it's my floor, I can put you on the elevator, because it's my floor, it's my house. But if it's yours that you're building, build it on cement, not sinking sand. Build it, don't build it on plexiglass. Don't build it on plywood. Don't build it on styrofoam. Build it so that it lasts. There's so many people that you've seen three years ago that you don't see anymore. And they made seven figures on their first launch, you know, and then they sell you. You can make seven figures on your launch. I haven't seen anyone yet that's made seven figures on their first launch and they're inside of their 16th launch, meaning it's been five, 10 years. They made seven figures, but they made seven figures and it was a one and done. 

I believe we want to make a legacy. I want to be 27 years into this. I want to be another 15 years into this. And so I, I'm a big, and I know that I deliver news to my students that they don't necessarily want to hear, but I believe I owe them the truth and they love me for it later. But in the moment they're like, ah, I'm like, listen, we're not building a seven figure launch year one. We're gonna build a cement to hold onto. We can make some money, but we're gonna build, we're gonna launch it, we're gonna solidify it and make it solid, stabilize it, and then we're gonna scale it so that it lasts.

And so, yeah, not only do they buy the do what I do, but they also buy the, and we can have it fast.


Rachel (29:07.344)

Yes. And then, you know, there's this part where we see people come into success, but all we've seen is like the last five minutes that got them there. We didn't see the months and the years and the decades of work that went in behind the scenes. And sometimes when people are trying to sell that you could do this too and be where I am, they don't tell you that, you know, they had two businesses that went bankrupt first, that they did all these things and then after learning all those lessons, then this business was very successful very quickly. And so we like to buy that story because it sounds good, but it's really just not true.


Lisa Nichols (29:47.478)

Yeah. I often say, I often say we buy the filtered story. Like, you know, my nieces, whenever we're taking pictures, they're like, wait, wait, let me put the filter on. I'm like, wait, wait. I like, I like me without the filter. Like, can you not get, it took a long time to get comfortable with all of her. Like don't, don't take her away. And so we have to be mindful not to sell the filtered story and, um, not to, not to sell someone my fourth quarter as their first quarter. And I'm very mindful of that to say, listen, let me help your quarters take you further, but you are in your first quarter. And so you can't compare your first quarter to my fourth quarter, it's unfair. You'll always beat yourself up if you look for the same outcomes that I have. 

I used to put 10,000 units of effort in to get one unit of result out. And I put 10,000 in over and over and over again to keep getting one unit out. And then one day, I put 9,000 units of effort in and I got one out. And I said, wait a minute, I saved 1,000 units of effort. And then over the years, I was able to put 1,000 units of effort in and get 1,000 units of result out. It took the time and the exchange. Now here's what I say.

When you hook your caboose to someone else's train, like if you're listening to my voice and you remotely believe that in the area of running a profitable business that gives you joy, that satisfy your desires and gives you income is important to you, then hook your caboose to Rachel's train.


Rachel (31:31.712)



Lisa Nichols (31:31.978)

Because when you hook your caboose, I'm just saying, I did it for years. I, what y'all probably don't know is I paid her to show me what she knows. So if, if you at all admire any one thing that I've said, I always say, find out who your mentors or people that you admire, find out who they go to, to learn. I went to this woman to learn. 

And so what you can do when you hook your caboose to someone like your train, then what happens is you put 10,000s of units in to get one result out and you look up and in a shorter period of time, you put 9,000 in and get one out because you've taught me how to collapse that time. And then you look up and I have to put 500 units in to get 1000 units of result out. So you can help people. You can help collapse time. I help people collapse time, but it doesn't mean you won't have to give it some time.

And I, I'm a big believer, Rachel of here's the life you want. I believe that that's attainable. Here's what it will cost you. Do you want to pay that price before we get started? Are you willing to sign up for the inconvenience? Are you on the sign up for the full cost? Cause if I told you the full cost, would you still say yes? Almost feel like I love to understand the full cost and then let me say yes again. But no, but people don't sell like that. And so I know.


Rachel (32:57.04)

No, no, no. And most of us wouldn't say yes. Most of us wouldn't, right? You know, if I think back to when I, when I, my gosh, when I started on this venture of entrepreneurship, which was 14 years ago, I was buying the story that you could hit six figures in your first year. And probably plenty of people do.

But for whatever reason, whether those people were starting in a different place than I was starting, or they had it, you know, they had it, whether that was from a time or education or money they had in their bank account or the support or whatever, that did not happen for me. And if I had known then that it would take me years to get to build the business that I have now, would I have started? You know what I probably would have, but I would have had a better game plan to get going.


Lisa Nichols (33:45.357)

Right, right.


Rachel (33:46.128)

I would have said, okay, it's gonna take me some time. And so here's what I'm gonna do to make money while I build this thing. Yeah.


Lisa Nichols (33:52.918)

I was going to say, you would have had a bridge over your building walls. You know, you would have had. So for me, when I first started, I didn't know what I didn't know. I didn't have a mentor. I didn't have a coach, but I had a son. I had a three year old son and I had a very strong opinion given mother and father. And they made me promise that I did not throw my son into a tailspin because of my dream. So because of that, I kept my day job.


Rachel (33:55.944)

Yeah. Yes.


Lisa Nichols (34:21.114)

And you know this story. I would write myself a check every two weeks. And in the memo line, I wrote funding my dream and at night, and I actually clocked into my dream job, my motivational speaking, which I was motivating absolutely no one at the time, but I was writing some amazing speeches and I was really getting ready for the audience that was soon to hire me, but while I was doing that, I was writing myself a check and I wrote myself a check every two weeks for three and a half years while at night, I built the business on the weekends. I did a couple of keynotes, I developed programs. I still earned the money and put the money in the bank account called Funding My Dream.

I didn't know, like to your point, you would have, you would have had more income. I didn't know what I didn't know. I was ignorance on fire. Let's be clear. I was ignorance on fire, but I knew that I needed to sustain my lifestyle so that I didn't disappoint my parents and ultimately me. And when I had a certain dollar amount in the bank account, $62,500 to be exact. I knew that I can live off of $31,000 a year.

And the simple days (Rachel: Hahaha) And I knew that I had two years of a runway and get this Rachel. I didn't know how to manage a bank account. I never had 62,000. I never even had 30,000. I never even had 10,000. I never even had 5,000 in one bank account with my name on it.

And so because I didn't know how to manage the bank, bank accounts, I put 31,000 in two different bank accounts, let one sit for a whole year, didn't touch it and just lived off the other one so that I understood how much money I really had. And then any money that I made in that year, I rolled it over to the third year. So to your point, I kind of built myself a bridge so that I wasn't out of my stability. Now, unlike you, I wasn't looking for six figures. I was just, I was, I was looking for 31,000 a year, just so I never had to go back and work for LA unified school district again. (Rachel: Hahaha) Small dreams. And then I got bigger.


Rachel (36:33.672)

So we've talked about impact and we've talked about profitability and sort of what you were getting at with this idea that like over time you realize like, “Oh, I can get more results with less effort and it builds,” right? And so you start to build a thing that allows you to focus more on your life and the things that you value and how you want to spend your time outside of work. 

And so that leads us to a really juicy topic that is one of my favorite things to talk to you about. (Lisa Nichols: There must be love, there must be love.)  It must be love. And I just remember, I remember we were both in this time period. I think that you met your husband the same time I met my husband. Like within a very narrow window of time. And we were both like giggling and giddy and silly and…


Lisa Nichols (37:24.594)

And nervous and excited. Listen, this is the word. We were both terror-cited together. Part terrified, part excited.


Rachel (37:29.716)

Terror-cited, yes. Yes, yes. So I would love if you shared a little bit about how you, after all these years of building your business and being a single mom and taking care of yourself and taking care of your family, at some point making the choice to say, I'm going to change this. I'm going to start a relationship with somebody who doesn't even live in the same country as me. And how you shifted to make that a priority.


Lisa Nichols (38:00.61)

Whew, well. So I told myself the story for many, many years that I could not build an effective business, the business that I wanted to build, and raise my son and have love. I just, I couldn't do, I couldn't do all of them. So I needed to choose. And I'm going to choose business because I can control that. Let's just be clear. I can control that. And so I, I bought the idea that love in my life was optional and that relationships were distracting. So I'll just start with that so that I'm being fully transparent.

I don't know how true that was, but it served me to not miss it until I realized I want love. I don't want, I don't believe we live in a universe of either or. I don't believe we, I don't believe our, whatever you call the divine, whether it's God, Allah, whatever you call your spiritual leader, I don't believe that we serve a God of either or. I believe that it's and with.

And it took me a long time to get to that point. And I actually have to admit that I met my husband, my now husband, eight years before you met your husband. I just put them on hold for eight years. Cause I was telling myself this. 


Rachel (39:35.976)

Yes, I do remember this. Yep, yep.


Lisa Nichols (39:41.19)

I wish I had responded when I first met him, but I was telling myself the story that I just told you and I was selling him that story and he bought it. But thankfully he said that he chose to wait for me. And so I realized that we can expand and contract as necessary. And I wanted love.

And I didn't want temporary love. I didn't want short-term love. And there's no body clock in me. There's no, “I need to be married by the time I'm 30 or time I'm 40.” Anybody else has a clock and their clock is ticking. I took the batteries out of my clock and it happens when, when I'm ready for it to happen. So I wasn't worried about age. Age didn't drive me. Age didn't give me anxiety. I was a better woman in my fifties to get married, for me, than I would have been in my thirties. And so when I decided that I wanted to prioritize it, I had to really come at my business and my relationship from an and with and not either or. 

And, um, and so I began to look at how do I, how do I reconstruct? And I was willing to reconstruct my life to fit love in it because my history was squeezing love inside my busy life. So I dated when it was convenient, I dated when I wasn't at work, I began to say, hold on, in order for me to have more, I might need to say no. And so I said no to some events so that I can choose time. And I was scared, I packed my bags and I moved to another country. And I wanted the...

I wanted to play full out. I gave myself permission to not know how to navigate everlasting love too. With all the things I know, all the credibility I get, I asked for help. I asked for help from people who had learned how to navigate a big business life and healthy, happy relationships.

So I found three anchors and I said, I'm 52 and I'm engaged for the first time. I'm 55 when I get married for the very first time. How do I do it? And I was willing to be brilliant over here and absolutely need help over here. I was willing to live in that duality and it's worked really well for me and my husband.


Rachel (42:23.656)

Makes me so happy. I love to hear that. And I remember that time period where you were like, I remember having a conversation where you said, maybe I will move to the Bahamas in two years or something. And I said, “Two years? How about six months?” And you almost fell off your chair. Yeah, I was. I'm guilty.


Lisa Nichols (42:44.958)

Yeah, you were the one. You were the one. Oh my God. I forgot. I forgot about that. You were the person. I didn't do six months, but I did cut it, cut it down a year. And I, instead of going in two years, cause I was trying to take the safe route. And I've always tried to do the guaranteed route around relationship. And the reality is that there's an intention and no guarantee if I play full out. So yes, you have been so instrumental in my life in so many different ways. So many different ways.


Rachel (43:19.892)

That might be my favorite way when you were like, okay, I'm going, I'm going. Yeah.


Lisa Nichols (43:25.086)

Yeah, I was so nervous. I was so nervous. I had never even gone to a different state or I dated out of state and out of country, um, for years, cause I've traveled so much, but I had never even gone out of state for a relationship without having business attached to it. So what I would do is I would figure out a way to get a keynote in that state. And then I go for the keynote and I date while I'm there. Oh my God. Oh my God. So yeah, it was a big, it was a big deal. 

But I think at the, at the core of what you're saying and at the core of what this conversation is about is, um, we, we serve an abundant universe and there's more room in our life for everything we want. And it's not about and, or, it's not about either or it's about and with, and my business is better now. It's better now, because of who I bring to the business. 

And I never knew, I never knew. And also, I wanna say that relationships don't complete us. We complete ourselves. We complete ourselves and then we share our complete, we share our completeness with our partner to compliment our completeness. And so if you're not in a relationship, that's not a sign of incompletion.

That's a sign of a season. And I'm just a big, I'm a big believer to go, it's not my husband's job to complete me. It's my job to complete me. And then it's my opportunity to share my completeness with my husband's completeness so that we can compliment each other.


Rachel (45:08.588)

That’s beautiful and I think that you know I know my experience has been after being divorced and then going into the dating world at 36 or 37 the last time I had dated was before online dating before any of the things right and so um when I at that age when I started dating again, I was getting all these messages from friends that there were like, there are ways you're supposed to do this, right? There's sort of like the rules and the things you can say and the things you can't say and whatever. And I felt such a rebellion against that. It just horrified me. And my experience was that when I got to the place where I was like, I'm a hundred percent me and this is what I am. This is how I operate. Take it or leave it. Then that's when I met my husband.

And I was, I was completely transparent. Here's how I operate. Here's what's important to me. This is what's gonna happen. I'm gonna travel. I'm focused on work. These are the things. And he was like, okay, okay, okay. And then what he shared with me after was that he had gotten to that same place too, where he was like, I am so tired of trying to contort myself to meet somebody else's expectations. I'm just gonna be myself and it'll either work or it won't. And go ahead, please.


Lisa Nichols (46:29.123)

Trying to, no, that one line that you just said, sorry to cut you off, but he said, he was tired of contorting himself to try to prevent a disconnect. When contorting is disconnected, yes.


Rachel (46:39.408)

Yeah. Is the disconnect. Yes. And so one of the things that as entrepreneurs that I think is really important that we have to get, which you alluded to earlier, is you have to get to the place with your business where you're also complete, and you're also confident, and you can also just show up as who you are and be vulnerable and say, I don't know how to do this, or I'm sorry that happened. That's because of a client or an experience or something that I had in the past. It's not about you. And to be yourself in a client relationship and a business relationship with your employees, with your vendors, with your students, to be fully authentically yourself. 

And that's when your business lines up in the most beautiful, easy, aligned way. And it's not gonna be without challenge, as any, you know, no relationship is without challenge. But wow, it's way easier if you're showing up like that than if you're trying to tick all the boxes that somebody else gave you on a list.


Lisa Nichols (47:43.466)

My star. So you're so, you're so right in my business early on, if we made a mistake, which, oh, by the way, in your business, the bigger you play, the bigger your breakdowns and if you're not having breakdowns, you're probably not playing big enough.


Rachel (48:01.641)



Lisa Nichols (48:01.702)

So the breakdowns do not equate your competency. The breakdowns do not equate your value to the market. Your breakdowns are just a reflection of how big you're playing. All your best next systems live in your current breakdown. So, so in my business, whenever we'd have a breakdown and early on, we had a lot, I would go, how can we clean this up with our clients?

And I love to do videos or I love to make a phone call. And I gotta tell you, we created so much consumer loyalty because of how we handled a breakdown. And mind you, my attorney said something different, no, guard yourself, don't admit, but we did make a mistake. I just wanted to have forthright integrity-based conversations. And, um, and so I just have to say exactly what you're saying is, you have to be willing to be you in business. And when people hire me to coach them, I say, listen, here's the deal. I'm going to get you the answer. If you have a question, I'm going to give you the answer. It might not always come from me because I might not know it, but what I commit to you is that I'll go help find that answer and I'll bring it back to you, but it may not all come from me.

And they love that. Like people love your level of honesty. And we have to recognize that honesty and vulnerability does not equal weakness. It actually equals trust. Like I'd rather you show me your beautiful, authentic imperfection than work really hard to make me think you're perfect. It's a lot of energy in that. And businesses have to do that as well. And I think one of the best stories I ever heard was the CEO of Starbucks years ago. I read the book Onward, that was the name of it, Onward. And the book starts with him convening a meeting with all of his branch managers after they had hit a really hard part about 20 years ago. And he started the conference off with apologizing to them. He said, I apologize. I led you the wrong way.

And the energy in that conference, the compassion, the empathy, the drive, the loyalty that his employees had because he started off owning the breakdown. I love it. It was a big lesson to me as a CEO.


Rachel (50:28.36)

That's beautiful. This is so good. Oh my God. I love you so much. Thank you. (Lisa Nichols: We have to do it again sometime.) I know. I'm gonna come sit on that couch back there. (Lisa Nichols: Hey, right there in front of the fireplace, yours.) Yes. By the fireplace. Thank you so much for being here. Is there some place that you want people to come to find you, to find out what you have going on? Is there any piece of info you'd like to share to help people connect with you better?


Lisa Nichols (50:57.558)

Oh, I appreciate that. I think that, you know, number one, you can always go to, if you want to follow us on, follow me on Instagram, Lisa, the number two motivate.

But I always love going back to the level of your personal development will impact the level of your business. Um, while I love teaching business growth, if there's any place that I would love to support you and start is in making sure that your personal development is further along than your business. And so we have a delicious, uh, program Elevate. And I love it because it just helps you to make sure you stay in front of your business.

So if that's something that feels good to you, that's where I love to point people to, because no matter where you are, when you look at it, it helps you elevate. So you don't have to be down and out. You don't have to be suffering to go. You just need to be somewhere and recognize there's more in me that I want the world to see and I'm ready to elevate. So that's at Motivating the Masses, my company name, And it's, it's one of the things that I'm excited that will be a part of my legacy, helping people to elevate their lives. Because when you rise, your family rises, ideally. Your children's children rise. I'm excited. I'm not a grandmother yet, other than from our two furry babies. But I'm excited for the opportunities that my grandchildren will see because I elevated my life.

I can't control how they'll use it, but it's my job to have it ready for them. And so I'm excited to open that up for others.


Rachel (52:40.06)

Awesome. Thank you so much for being here, Lisa. And thank you to everyone for listening. Until our next episode, I'm wishing you even more pleasure and profits. Take care and I'll see you soon.


Lisa Nichols (52:51.238)

Love you. I love you, Rachel.


Rachel (52:52.724)

Love you too!


(Outro music plays)

Rachel: Thank you so much for listening to "Pleasure and Profits." If you enjoyed this episode, it would mean so much to me. If you would share it with a friend and subscribe on your favorite podcast platform. And while you're there, if you would take a moment to leave a review. For the episode show notes, head to Thanks again, and I will see you in the next episode.


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