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Female Founders: Nikki Moore of Hello, Lovely! On The Five Things You Need To Thrive and Succeed as a Woman Founder

An Interview With Candice Georgiadis

As a part of our series about “Why We Need More Women Founders”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Nikki Moore of Hello, Lovely! An accountant by degree, Nikki has spent 15 years growing her business knowhow and furthering her love for leadership by working in the business world. Married for over 12 years with two beautiful children, Nikki has learned how to partner personal fulfillment with professional fulfilment after starting Hello, Lovely a women’s networking organization aimed at creating that balance for both hardworking women and those not afraid to follow their dreams.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

Absolutely, I am a degreed accountant and the epitome of a day dreamer. I worked hard in my industry and even harder to find my passion. I love to read and dove into as many entrepreneur books as I could find. I realized early on that starting a business was my path I just didn’t know what that path looked like or what bumps I would find along the way. I wanted more time with my family and I wished there was someone to point me in the right direction. And that is what led me to starting a connection based group for women. To find the support, courage, and the cheerleaders you need to go after that next big idea!

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

It is interesting how the right people come in to your life at the right time. Here I was trying to organically build relationships little by little when I made a post in a business group online. It was just a small question about a potential mastermind I was thinking up. And I got a reply from a business coach. At the time, I had no idea it was a business coach, I was having genuine conversation about my business and I was getting amazing pointers on how to move forward. When I realized who I had been talking to I was insanely excited. Kyle Slaymaker of the Slaymaker Method, was mentoring me on business! I was quick to take him on as my coach and within 24 hours of working together, my vision was off paper and into action!

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

As an introvert, yes an introvert started a networking site (we are all capable of anything!), I had started a Facebook page because Facebook would be a great place to market! I think I had maybe 50 friends if I was lucky. Even so, I never posted. Not one word. Then one day, I said Hey, here I am, here is what I have to offer! Expecting this big influx of interest. Wrong! Yet somehow I was so incredibly upset when I had no engagement! That was years ago. I have since built relationships and put myself out there! You have to have value, solve a problem, and show people you are a real person wanting to help!

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Hands down, my father and he will undoubtedly be the first to read this article. He is the type of dad to stand on the rooftop and shout about his daughters, all 3 of us. His quote for us, “Keep on plugging away…” When I first started dabbling with my own business I wrote and sold poetry. He put his everything into making things for me to display my art. From handmade wooden business card holders (the better to house them in stores) to large beautiful easels. My dad literally would walk up to strangers, my work in hand, and show them what I had to offer. So when we say the word grateful, that is certainly quite the understatement.

Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the primary focus of our interview. According to this EY report, only about 20 percent of funded companies have women founders. This reflects great historical progress, but it also shows that more work still has to be done to empower women to create companies. In your opinion and experience what is currently holding back women from founding companies?

Honestly it is learning how to take time for yourself. As women, we are so well equipped to take care of everyone we forget the importance of taking care of ourselves. And taking care of ourselves means taking that chance and pursuing what we love. We have to learn to delegate and not be afraid to ask for help. Trust me this is one area I struggle with most. If I am not doing it all, I am failing somewhere, right? No, certainly not. But it is getting the right mindset and using the resources you have to make it all work!

Can you help articulate a few things that can be done as individuals, as a society, or by the government, to help overcome those obstacles?

Celebrate the achievements. We are so focused on bringing light to the negativity in this world that it overshadows the amazing. There should be more articles out there like this, more media coverage! Get out there and support those small business owners and all the gifts they are providing the world. Remind our children again, that there is proof they can do anything!

This might be intuitive to you as a woman founder but I think it will be helpful to spell this out. Can you share a few reasons why more women should become founders?

Women are such passionate people. Can you imagine if all that passion was out there in this world? In addition, women are naturally nurturing. The whole premise of starting a successful business is to solve a problem and help as many individuals with your product or service as possible. This nurturing mentality is the perfect antidote for solving those questions that still lie unanswered!

What are the “myths” that you would like to dispel about being a founder? Can you explain what you mean?

“I don’t have time to start a business.” Each of our situations are certainly different but having enough time is essentially our way of talking ourselves out of going for it. We all have the same 24 hours in a day, how are you making the best of your time? I for one, swapped out the evenings of Pinteresting (how I love a good home décor pin!) for researching, reading, podcasting, and working on business development!

Another good myth, “there are too many similar ideas out there, why would anyone need to hear from me?” YOU are completely unique, YOU have a different skill set, and YOU have a fresh outlook on an already successful idea. The world needs to hear from YOU!

Is everyone cut out to be a founder? In your opinion, which specific traits increase the likelihood that a person will be a successful founder and what type of person should perhaps seek a “regular job” as an employee? Can you explain what you mean?

Not everyone is meant to be a founder and that is absolutely okay! You have to eat, sleep and breathe your mission. I am not saying you need to work until burn-out, certainly there are ways of working smarter not harder. What I mean is that you have to believe in your business so much that you will do what it takes to keep moving forward even when the going gets tough! Because when the going does get tough (and it will) you are the only one that can choose to keep it going!

You also have to have thick skin. This one I am 100% still working on! You will not be everyone’s cup of tea! It is just the nature of the beast. So when someone is adamant on telling you just how much they do not like your business, you have to believe enough in yourself and your work to overcome it.

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)

  1. Nothing happens overnight. Going into business I was well aware nothing was going to happen overnight. But your ambitions are so high in the back of your mind you think you are instantly going to create a massive success. You know how awesome your business is, why aren’t other people getting it? The truth of the matter, no one really knows it exists. You have to gain trust, become a reliable source of information, and create a relationship with your customers. Gaining customer engagement is a crucial part of the journey.
  2. Get a mentor. Learning from a mentor, someone one step ahead of you, can be a huge asset to your business. Who better to go to for business advice than from someone who has been there? Having someone help you set actionable goals and provide you with feedback is invaluable.
  3. Invest in yourself. As hard as you try, spending some form of money in the beginning stages is inevitable. Investing in yourself will be one of the best things you can do for your business. Whether you feel you need to invest in a business coach to help move you forward or invest in masterclasses/courses to give you that extra knowledge, the investment will prove its worth.
  4. Don’t go it alone. As I have mentioned several times throughout this interview, a cheering squad is essential! Knowing you have people routing for your success helps keep the motivation going. It will also be a great resource to ask questions and gain advice. We all have a variety of strengths. Joining together to learn from one another is where the magic happens!
  5. Don’t forget to have fun! You can get caught up in the weeds of getting everything started you forget that you should enjoy the ride. You took a chance on this business for a reason. Have fun with it! It is all about living in the moment.

How have you used your success to make the world a better place?

If I can be that little bit of encouragement that someone needs to go after their dream and never look back, be it through my positivity or my ability to bring talent together, I feel I have made someone’s world a better place!

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

Let’s call it the cheerleader effect! There’s that word again!

Where we make it our mission to connect with as many people as possible and spread positivity through small business. It can be as you have coffee in that small-but-mighty artist studio or any small business that you frequent. Each visit, bring someone with you who will in turn bring someone with them the next time they come and so on and so forth. This brings more visibility to these business and shows them just how awesome they are!

We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

Marie Forleo! Talk about a powerhouse!! I have her book, Everything is Figureoutable on constant rotation. Her vision is everything I inspire to become. To help get the word out there that you are capable of anything and change begins with YOU! You are amazing, Marie!

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.

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Candice Georgiadis

Candice Georgiadis

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Candice Georgiadis is an active mother of three as well as a designer, founder, social media expert, and philanthropist.