How to Lead with Clarity
  • August 25, 2022
  • GSD Creative

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Have you been thinking about starting a business but you aren’t quite sure how to take the leap? Deciding to make a big change like this can be daunting and may lead to a lot of uncertainty. But when it comes down to creating the life you want it is all worth it in the end.

Today’s guest, Nicole Riccardo, Founder and President of Nicole Riccardo Media LLC is sharing her story of how she discovered that she wanted to become a business owner and the path she took to create the business she has today. 


  • Time blocking
  • Team task management
  • Building a business as a creative


Just get started

Even if you're feeling fear or unsure

Getting out there and taking action will lead to clarity


Originally from Sarasota, Florida, Nicole Riccardo is a sought-after performer and speaker currently living in Austin, Texas. She is the founder of a digital marketing agency, NR Media, which specializes in helping other classical musicians create and grow sustainable businesses. In addition to her media agency, Nicole also offers digital courses and training programs to help other musicians learn how to effectively market themselves and create their own careers.

Nicole received her Master's & Bachelor's of Music in flute performance from Florida State University, where she held a graduate teaching assistantship. Nicole has performed as Principal Flute with Sinfonia Gulf Coast in Destin, Florida, the Ocala Symphony, in Ocala, Florida, and the Texas State University Opera. She has also performed with the Sarasota Orchestra, the Cirque Du Voix Orchestra with Circus Sarasota, the Tallahassee Community Choir, and has been a featured soloist with the Anna Maria Island Orchestra. In 2015, Nicole was a featured performer at the Florida Flute Convention, performing a program of flute and bassoon as well as flute and guitar duos. Nicole has also performed as part of Duo NS, a flute and guitar duo, for the Seven Hills Guitar Festival in Tallahassee, Florida, and was the first woman to ever perform as part of this festival.

In addition to her orchestral performances, Nicole has done guest artist residencies and speaking engagement at schools and festivals across the country, including the Boston Flute Festival, Texas Christian University, Texas A&M University-Commerce, the Austin Flute Society Festival, the Texas Flute Society, University of Texas-Arlington, Florida State University.

As a chamber musician, Nicole previously founded and managed the Force Majeure Woodwind Quintet. While with Force Majeure, Nicole toured the Southeastern United States performing and giving masterclasses at various Colleges and Universities, including the University of Georgia and Mars Hill University. Force Majeure has also been featured on the WFSQ Radio Station.

Nicole has performed premieres at the National Flute Association Convention as well as the Florida Flute Association Conventions, and has been privileged to perform in masterclasses with such renowned artists as Jeanne Baxtresser, Amy Porter, Robert Langevin, Marianne Gedigian, Karl-Heinz Schütz, Bonita Boyd, Robert Dick, Aldo Baerten, Jean Ferrandis, baroque flutist Christopher Krueger, pianist Linda Mark, and harpsichordist Shalev Ad-El. 

Nicole has also studied baroque flute with Professor Eva Amsler, and has performed with the Florida State Baroque Ensemble.

In addition to performing, Nicole is passionate about historical musicology, and specializes in early New Orleans Jazz. In early 2014, she began a research project into the lives and impact of the women jazz musicians of New Orleans' Storyville District. Since beginning this project, Nicole has made numerous trips to New Orleans for research, and continues to work with leading experts in the field. In October 2017, Nicole was invited to present her research at the National Conference for the College Music Society in San Antonio Texas. Once the research has been completed, Nicole hopes to publish her work to shine light on the impact these women had on the creation of America's quintessential music: jazz.


Let's do this y'all. bluetest turned Digital Marketer Our guest today is the founder and president of in our media, after working with multimillion dollar businesses and gained over a decade of corporate experience in the field.

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Her mission now is to empower other creatives and freelancers with the business and digital marketing know how they need, and you need it, trust me in order to create a career doing what they love. So many of us start our careers because we have a passion or we have a hobby, and then it becomes work and then it's not fun anymore. And so how to really strategically think about what do you want out of your business? What do you want out of your life? Yes, we all want to help people. It's usually when we start a business. But what do you really want? What does that strategy look like? We're gonna share a little bit of memory. Let's take a trip down memory lane today. And I feel like our guest today is like my long lost twin. We are so similar it it was just it's it's so awesome. Like looking at the brand. And I'm just going to open up and bring her on best saying her top CTA button on our website says it's fucking Showtime. So people, it's fucking Showtime. Nicole Ricardo, welcome to the show.
Yay. Thank you so much for having me. So excited to chat. Of course.
I'm so excited. So you've been at this for well over a decade. But before we even jump into like the really goods of businesses. You started out like and you're creative, too. But you played the flute. Was that right?
Yes, I actually. Yeah, I am a classically trained flute is professional flutist. I do still perform professionally with some orchestras. And that's what my degrees are in actually. Yeah.
So all music so like, where did you get this wild, crazy hair of like, I'm gonna just start a marketing company, because there's always a story. Right? So it's like something had have happened to you like it happened?
Oh, yeah. So of course, there's a story. So. So what happened was, yeah, I went to school, got my, my bachelor's and master's in flute performance. And after I graduated, I'm sure anybody who is in any sort of creative field, we'll be able to relate to this. But it's really freaking competitive to get a job in the industry, let alone a full time job, let alone a full time job that's actually going to pay you a livable wage. And these are things that, you know, they just don't really tell you in school, right. But to put this in perspective, like literally the year I graduated, there were five full time jobs that came available for flu in the entire US that year, the whole year, and all of them paid under $30,000 a year. So um, yeah, that's the kind of thing that we're working with. And usually auditions, you know, it'll be like, like, 150 200 people, like it's insane. Just so insane, competitive. So anyway, um, after I graduated, you know, I was doing the whole like, freelance starving artists thing for a while I was piecemealing together, you know, so being with a bunch of different orchestras. I was teaching private lessons to people in their homes. I was teaching at a music academy. So between all the things I was doing it was I mean, I was working like full time hours however, I was not getting paid enough to even remotely be able to pay my bills even combining all of those things. Which that's a whole other story on you know, those shitty pay and creative industries. But anyway, so yeah, I ended up having to go get a normal nine to five job and the job that I got it so it was in the medical industry, moved to Austin was still in the medical industry, but the practice I was working at, they would Have these regular meetings, I'm like, Hey, how can we improve what we're doing on blah, blah, blah, right? So we had this meeting and it was on, how can we expand our demographic to, you know, our audience to a more millennial demographic and, and I just like friggin dominated the meeting, I had like statistics, I have my laptop pulled up, I had notes. And so afterwards, the owner kind of pulled me aside, I was like, Um, okay, so you're clearly really good at this. Do you want to start helping with the marketing for the practice? I'm like, Um, yes. So little like backstory here now. All through school. I, in a roundabout capacity had kind of been doing marketing, I just didn't actually realize that that's what I was doing. So when I was at Florida State, that's where I did my degrees. I worked in the office of admissions, sometimes I would help out with their social team, right? Social media, obviously, that's marketing. When I was in school. When I was in grad school, I was running a woodwind quintet. And I would put together all of our concerts, I put together a tour, I was doing, grant writing that we did fundraising events, stoners, you know, doing the social media stuff, like promoting our events, obviously, all of that is marketing, right. And I always really loved that aspect of it. But I just didn't actually realize that's what I was doing. Until, you know, fast forward that meeting at that practice, where he's like, Hey, you want to start helping with Barney? I'm like, Oh, that. That's, that's what this is. Okay, cool. Yeah, I like this. Let's do this. Do more of this. So yeah, I started doing that work at a few other places. And eventually, just kind of got to a point where I'm like, you know, what, I'm seeing all of these results, like, obviously, what I'm doing is working. But also like, I'm Pete, it's a nine to five, right? Like, as a creative person, you can only not be doing creative things for so long, until you're just like, What the fuck am I even doing? Right? It just kind of got to a point where I'm like, you know, why am I like doing all of this and seeing the result result result and I'm just putting more money in somebody else's pocket, who, you know, is somehow telling me oh, you can only take these this many days off per year, you're only worth making this many dollars per year. You know, I'm like, That's so stupid to me. Like, why that doesn't make sense in my brain. So it was like, this is like, whatever I'm over and I'm out. So I'm in August, not August in January of 2018. That's when I really made the decision. Like I fuck this shit. I'm out. You know? I'm sorry. I felt and be honest.
I love it. Have the fuck this shit moment, right. So, yeah, that was when I was like, Yeah, I'm gonna do this for myself. So I completely you know, I did my my branding, built my website using SEO started getting strategic with my own social media, educating, growing an audience building relationships with people and then I started I just started pitching myself for the opportunities that I wanted for booking paid opportunities. And at first I did actually use it to book music things. Although I did book a couple social media management, clients, social media marketing, because that's always really been kind of like my, my wheelhouse. I mean, obviously, our generation we're all on like Instagram, right? So of course, right? Right. But yeah, it was primarily originally to be doing music related things, but, um, by August of 2018, that was when I was able to quit and end up going full time with working for myself, but when I did, I was getting so many questions like literally like multiple questions a week people DM me, me messaging me emailing me like, how did you do this? Because anybody in a creative field, we know like, once you get into that nine to five world, it's really freakin hard to get out. Because like, yeah, like it's so draining, right? And so your life is pretty much go to work, come home, eat, sleep, wake up, repeat. You know, it's really hard to get out of that, especially if you're wanting to be self employed. But anyway, so I was getting a ton of questions and, um, I was like, Okay, well, I guess I'll just like teach you what I did. And so I ran my first online course I didn't know what the fuck I was doing. That's how boy this was like before online courses where I think you're saying like they were a thing but I seen anybody doing this. Yeah, like now where everybody freaking have one but anyway, so yeah, I launched my first course with literally one Instagram post, like a year I'll show you what I did. And got, I think I had like 15 or 20 people in the very first round and going through teaching everybody what I do Edie and then seeing people be able to like, literally like, somebody was able to quit their job. Somebody was able to graduate from grad school and instead of getting a job, they had a business. They graduated with a business. I was like, Oh, that this is this is what I'm, this is what I was doing. Okay, cool. Yeah.
Did you read like any books? Or like listen to podcast or have a mentor? Or was your Boston healthcare? Like, where did you find the information to have that mindset of knowing your creative? You, you're not gonna be the same company for 30 years and be happy? Or did you grow up like in an entrepreneurial household where you like, kind of knew some of these things? Because everything that you just said, like, obviously, I know it now. But when I was like, 20, something years old, I've worked in health care, too. I didn't know what I didn't know. And so I joined a business group. And that's when they started saying some of these things. And I'm like, oh, never thought of it that way. Because I didn't grow up in a household with a mother and father, you know, that was entrepreneurial. So what was your like, inspiration to like, learn how to think like that?
Oh, yeah, there's, I think there's a few layers to that. Um, so yeah, well, the first thing you ask him is, you know, podcasts, books, whatever. And, yeah, as soon as we have that meeting, and he pulled me aside, like, Hey, you want to start helping with this? And I kind of finally figured out like, Oh, this is actually what I'm doing. This is what this is. This is you know, I'm really enjoying this. I, I'm very so Okay, first of all, I'm ADHD. So hyper fixation and oh, yeah, we went way, way, way down the hyper fixation rabbit hole. So I was literally like, any books I could get my hands on. I was reading that I was listening to a million freakin podcasts. Like, I honestly, I probably listened to like, two, three hours of podcasts a day, like watching YouTube videos, just like, literally, like, if I wasn't working, I was learning I really just threw myself in. So there's definitely that was a lot of self education going on. Yeah. And then obviously, you know, getting to work with this marketing agency. And this wasn't just like, you know, a little like marketing firm, it was like, literally like something that a madman, like, huge marketing firm, like, I don't even want to know how much money they were probably paying them per year, probably hundreds of 1000s of dollars. So I got a lot of like, hands on experience with them, which I think is invaluable, right, like absolutely about shit all day. But it's very different than getting in there and actually doing things. But in terms of like, growing up, so No, neither one of my parents are entrepreneurial. However, I kind of always have been. And it's funny, because when I think back, I've had like, many businesses, air quotes throughout my entire life, you know, like, around Christmas, I would always like, I'm a creative, right? So we're always like, you know, doing shit creating things. Business, I would always like, make, like, different ornaments. And so I'd you know, go around and like sell them to our neighbors or, you know, my mom's friends would see them really oh my god, that's so cute. Can I buy one from you? You know, where at one point I was like, making jewelry, like I would make like earrings and bracelets and whatever. And so same kind of deal. People would just buy it from me when I was in like, literally like middle school, I would I would do these like, it was gonna really show like nerd alert. But I would do these like fairy drawing games. And yeah, like buy those for me. So I've just like, it's been something that I've always done is just naturally, like, I don't know, coming up with ideas and like monetizing them, I guess, which is I'm not saying like don't monetize all of your hobbies, people that's also not healthy. But yeah, definitely. I think it's kind of like in my DNA to be entrepreneurial, which is another one of those things like, you know, Oh, I did marketing. And I didn't even realize I was doing marketing until you know, it's kind of the same thing with me for entrepreneurship. Like when I finally started my own business and made this decision, whatever. I was talking to my mom and she was like, I mean, yeah, like I, it makes perfect sense. Like, you don't like to be told what to do. You're never gonna be able to work for somebody else. Of course, you have to work for yourself. And I was just like, yeah, yeah, that's that tracks.
Like, I just figured, I just kind of figured that out.
It's like, Why didn't notice this sooner. It's so
funny. Everything you're saying though, because there's this app. I'm like, I love apps and I love astrology and like psychology and all that and like my app today, my daily like everyday I get like one little sentence of something, you know, just like inspiration from this app. It says, literally, literally it says sometimes you're doing In the work without being aware of it, like I'm not lying, like, right. So for you, it's like you were already marketing. But I don't know, when I started my first business like digital marketing didn't exist, social media did not exist. This, these things did not exist. And so it sounds like to me though, you really did get some great, like front row seats, hands on experience by like seeing, you know, the marketing and the digital side of things. But something that struck me then I was like, looking through your website and stuff, you know, you're both of us, we are very much into strategy, and like how to strategically get a result. And I don't know about you, but I know that like, if we don't have a strategy, and we don't have a plan, now it's flexible, and it might change, it probably will change a few times. But to get a result, there has to be a deadline. And there has to be a strategy. And that seems to be the piece that most people are missing, at least in the companies that we go in and work with. It's like they're missing the right kind of people. And they're missing the strategic portion. They know they need to get somewhere and they know they need to provide something to clients, but they don't actually sit down and talk through the strategy portion, which is the most important shit,
right? But how how to get there how to get going, it's like,
oh my gosh, and so around this, and then this point in time, especially, you know, post the pandemic, not all that back in the day of 2020, depending on when you're watching or listening. But there is a huge focus on building the life you want, and building the life you want to live, especially for entrepreneurs. And I do want to go back and just say like, because I'm a psychologist, there's four personalities that we talk about, like, and whenever we're doing marketing. It's a it's a psychology methodology, super Elementary. But there's four colors. And so oranges, we are very entrepreneurial, and we cannot be doing the same thing all the time. So it's like, we've got to keep our wheels spinning, or we're not feeding our I don't mean like food, but just like we're not feeding that creative drive. And it's it's almost like a unhappiness or like a depression mode that I felt before where I'm like, Oh, I gotta do something, I gotta like put some paper or something. Because I mean, I don't do a ton of design in creative 70 more I mean, I do more strategy. But you're right, like, you have to have it. And so but what I've noticed in creatives especially, and younger businesses, I don't mean young by age is younger businesses. If you're a creative, you don't know how to monetize, you don't know, strategy, again, unless someone teaches you that. And so you're big on like creating the life that you want to live and have a strategy around structuring your business, which took me almost 15 years as an entrepreneur and owning multiple businesses to really understand because no one ever asked me, Well, what do you want? Why are you doing all of this shit? And a mentor asked me, I'm like, oh, fuck, I don't know, like, I guess I should think about it. And, you know, we all know we need money. We all know we need money to live and to work and to run a business. But money is not what drives a creatives heart and passion. It's just not. And so how have you like married those two, it sounds like you were doing it since you were young, you know, marketing and monetizing it. But as a creative and with ADHD, which were so similar in that the only way I know how to operate is to time block and track time. And we do trade time for money a lot. But again, something that's really important to you and reading through your stuff is like the value and the experience that you create for somebody is priceless. It really is. So it's not really about like that money, you can't buy your time back. So how are you spending your time? And do you love doing the shit you're loving doing? So how did you arrive at that, like how going into your business? You stepped out of corporate America? And did you start from the get go like, Okay, I'm making this up, but I'm gonna work with five clients and they're gonna be on a retainer and I'm gonna make this much money. And I want to work four days a week, six hours a day like did you have all that figured out before you like jumped in?
So I will say I mean, as you mentioned, I am very strategic. So I am definitely a long term thinker for sure. But I will say in the very beginning, um, there definitely was a period of trying a bunch of different things figuring out what I liked, right? Because I I am multi passionate, I do a lot of things. And like I said, before, you know, I originally set out to do this doing music, right? But then in doing that I very quickly realized, no, if I have to teach flute lessons all day, every day, I'm gonna like the I can't handle this. And then, you know, with the social media management and marketing, I love the strategy portion, but the actual, like getting in there and doing it and managing the accounts. I'm like, Oh, I can't do this long term, either. Not it for me, you know, so there was some trial and error in the beginning to kind of figure out what areas I really am good at. And also light me up to know, okay, long term, this is where I want to be spending my time and these other things like social media management, you know, I still, that is still incorporated into my business. That's what I am known for, like social media marketing strategy. But now I have an agency where, you know, they kind of do the work, right. So in terms of building my business structure this way,
I think there's a couple different facets here, as I was getting in there, doing things, figuring it out, which I do want to put like, big asterisk here, you have to do things in order to figure them out. You can't just like, sit around and think about it know, well, I don't really exactly know if I want to do this or that or, like, do it and figure it out while you're doing it. So anyway, that's that's what I did. But I think in terms of you know, once I kind of got a better bearing on things and what I liked what I didn't like, um, I personally used and also recommend doing this for my clients, basically creating kind of a short term plan. And then my long term plan, right, so short term, like how am I driving income in the right now, it might not be what I want to do forever, right. So in the beginning, for me, that was balancing teaching flute lessons playing with some orchestras, and I had a few social media management clients on retainer. So in order to leave a nine to five job I just had kind of calculated for myself, okay, if I can get this many flute students, this is gonna be this much income per month, if I have this many social media clients, that's gonna be this much income per month. Great. So then I can leave my job, right? You need that. So that way, you can pay your freakin bills, right? But you have that and you have some sort of, okay, my short term plan is in place, I'm generating this income. Okay, cool. Now, like, what's your long term plan, you kind of need to be thinking about those things simultaneously. And for me, I'm really big on building your business structure and setting your business up in a way that's going to support the actual life you want to live. Because as much as I love what I do, I also sometimes want to go lay on a fucking beach and drink a pina colada, you know, or like, kill in New Orleans for a couple weeks, and just like, hang out in the French Quarter and whatnot, you know, like life is for living, okay, like, we it's, yes, love what you do feel passionate about it, but also like, life is for living. So anyway, um, I have always known that I want to have a more flexible schedule, I have always said, If I could spend two weeks of out of out of every month traveling or being somewhere else, that would be like my dream life, right. And so there aren't many business structures that are gonna give you that kind of flexibility. Definitely not gonna get that with a nine to five job. So it was kind of thinking about, Okay, this is what I want my life to look like, I really want to have the flexibility to be able to work from wherever I want to have the flexibility in my schedule that I'm not going to have back to back shit all day keeping me tied to my computer or tied to my schedule, right? So for me, I kind of you know, you can brainstorm all the different ideas and what feels good to you. But what I ended up landing on is okay, I want to have my agency where, you know, I have my team, they primarily do the work, I do the bookings, I kind of review everything, you know, do the final check offs, do the delegation, whatever. But I'm not actually like doing the things right. I'm not the one, designing the brands or designing the websites or doing the social media management, you know, I'm kind of the like, the overseer position. And then I also have digital courses, because that's as long as you structure them in a way that is scalable, which is another rabbit hole to go down. But yeah, as long as you structure them in a way that is scalable, having digital courses is going to allow you to help significantly more people than you could ever help one on one. And there literally isn't an income cap, right, like my programs are set up in a way that I could have hundreds of people inside of my program, then they're still going to get supported. They're still going to get results right and it's not adding on more to my schedule. So literally, if I was to look at my schedule for the course versus that I run. That's what with our group coaching calls, maybe three hours per month, plus, I add on, you know, my coaching clients, which I don't take many one on one coaching clients at a time, it's usually six, we do two calls per month, so you know, six hours, twice a month, and then plus me doing the final overseeing for my agency, like, that's not many hours that I have to work every month, right. And so that's the business structure that I have. Now, obviously, it did not happen overnight, I had to work very strategically to build that and to get here. But knowing from the beginning, beginning ish, right? Not from the very beginning, but beginning ish, knowing that, you know, this is the kind of life I wanted. Okay, great. Here's the type of things that I need to do in my business in order to be able to support that kind of like, and then, you know, you basically reverse engineer Great, well, what are the steps I need to take in order to get there, you know, and then you just do them,
which is a fucking strategy people, there's 24 hours in a day, 365 days a year, it doesn't matter where you live in the world, we all share the same time frame. And what do you want to do with that time? And what do you want to do with those hours? And like you very specifically said six people, this many calls this many, which is exactly how my brain operates. It hasn't always been that way. It was chaotic for about 10 years. And I just kept saying yes to everything. And finally, join this group got a mentor pretty much saved my life. How do you do it like with you and your team? Like, do you guys use planners? Do you use apps? Do you use platforms? Or CRMs? Like, what are you guys do to make sure that you're using the time the best way that it can be used?
Yeah, so many things. Um, so for me, I'm, well, for me personally, for my brain, I use multiple things. Actually, I use Google cow. I use my iPhone calendar, I have a written planner. Um, but in terms of actually breaking the tasks down. I like to break them into daily, weekly, monthly, for basic wave. All I guess, like channels that I use to run my business all like platforms, if you will, right. So I'm a big Instagram person. Right. So that's on on my overall list, and then I break that down into okay, what are my daily, weekly monthly tasks that I need to do to keep this running? And then, okay, for my agency, we have a referral program. Okay, what are the daily, weekly monthly tasks that need to keep that running? Right? email lists? What are the daily, weekly monthly tasks? I need to keep that running? And then from there we go into, okay. Is it something that I can automate? Great, let's do that. Next step is, is this something that I can or mean to want to outsource? Okay, great, if so, who am I delegating that to right, and let's get that on, on their schedule. And then what's left over for me personally, where I have all of that is I actually use an Asana or. And I just literally set them all as recurring tasks. And so that it's literally like, I have a calendar, in Asana, of all of the tasks that I personally need to do in order to keep my business running, I can go in there and click the little check marks. And once I go down my list, I'm done for the day, you know, and that is, it's a very organized way of keeping track of like, this is the stuff I actually need to do to keep my business running. And know I'm doing things that are going to move the needle because I find a lot of times especially I mean, for me, with my friggin ADHD brain, it's so easy to go down random rabbit holes, right, like talking with Canva templates, or, you know, oh, let me spend 30 minutes and Planoly looking at my Instagram grid and making it look aesthetic, right. Like, there's so many things that we can waste our time on. And we think it's importantly, it might be fun in the moment, whatever, but it's like, okay, yeah, well, I mean, that's not actually keeping my business running, you know? So I find that in terms of prioritization, that's the most important for me is I have to have that like, literally like checklist of, here's the thing that I actually need to do the non negotiables to keep my business running to keep it moving forward, right, then kind of tier two below that would be okay, what are my two day tasks? Right. So, what are the calls that I have on my schedule today with my clients? Okay, great. Now I need to check boxer and make sure I'm serving my clock. Am I right? You know, so it's kind of those like today things, and then everything else is kind of the cherry on top. But you know, it's like, literally, if you just get through those two things, you're like tasked to keep your business running and your today tasks of what is actually on your calendar, like show up in you know, serve your clients, I mean, you're, you're gonna be pretty good.
So one really important thing that I want to point out that you said to anyone listening or watching. And it took me a long time, oh, well over 10 years to really understand this, that you focus on what moves things forward, and you are not actually doing the work. And that is the biggest time suck is when you are selling something and you're actually having to do it. And 90% of the time, what I have found is the reason the business owner is doing it is because they don't trust anybody else. Or they've tried to bring on a team member or a freelancer or outsource it. And it just didn't go well. And they're like, it's just easier if I do it myself. I mean, even last night, I was training with a VA in the Philippines, and our intern was on the call. And he's like, why don't you just edit the rest of this yourself? Like, why are you telling her like these itty bitty little things to cut. And I said, because if I stop and do it myself, then she's never going to learn. And so all the other videos that she edits for social media, she's going to know moving forward that those little bitty one to two seconds. And those jump cuts, make the watch time complete, where if you don't pay attention to those details, you lose people within two to three seconds. And then you're not monetizing your videos if you monetize your social media. So but then there's other times where if I'm working on like a personal project, and my team will get so far, and then I'll look at it and I'm like, something's missing. I don't know, like, I don't know what to do. I can't tell them how to fix it. And then I'll be in the shower. And I'm like, oh, that's what I need to do. And I will do it myself. Because it's a personal thing. To me. It's personal. That doesn't happen very often. So it's like, how like, has there been? Is there one piece of advice that you could tell us that? How did you get into that mindset of trusting others to actually do the work? Right? It? It really comes down to leadership? And training, right? Hey, yeah, how, like, what's your experience been with that?
Yeah. I'm definitely well was definitely also one of those people, like, I'm very type A, I am very much a perfectionist, I was very much in the position of, oh, it's just going to be easier if I do it myself, you know, having a lot of like, you know, personal struggles with hand or handing things off. Because it does require a lot of trust it does. But things that have helped me exactly like you said, you know, making sure that you're doing a really thorough job and training your people. And even the little teeny tiny nitpicky details, like, tell them because at the end of the day, like first of all, they're going to be appreciative that you're, you know, trusting them to invest that time and energy into that, to train them in doing that. But it's also going to make your life so much easier moving forward, it's thinking about the long term payoff right? Now, like, there have literally been times I swear, sometimes my team probably hates me, but I'll like, get an idea for something and be like, Okay, we're doing this launch next month, and here's, you know, like delegate 500 different things. But like you if you know that you have done your job and training them thoroughly on the way that you think and your brain processes things, which I think is one of the at least for me, one of the most important things that I've tried to teach them is like, this is how my brain processes information and how I got to this conclusion. So that way, ideally, they're as self sufficient as possible, right? Like, if something goes wrong, I want them to be able to come to me with solutions. Instead of oh, here's the problem. Now, what do I do? Right? Because I'm not just putting more shit on my plate. Right? And I'm like, the point is to get shipped off of my plate. Exactly. So really, yeah, like really training them. But I think it's also as you said, leadership and having good relationships and good communication with them to like, one of the things I always ask my team first of all, is how do you best receive communication and feedback because I'm a very direct person, but not everybody appreciates that right? Like to me if you're trying to give me feedback on something just fucking told me so I can move on. Right? Correct it right. But, um, you know, there is I think I'm kind of an outlier in that sense. A lot of people you know, if they're just like, oh, Well, this was wrong, fix it next time, you know, there might be like, Oh, that's, that's not the greatest. So you know, knowing how they that's like to receive feedback and being able to, you know, sandwich things because that's how they're going to be able to best receive it. And I of course want to make sure that they're feeling appreciated and valued. And that, you know, I truly like and grateful for them, right. So knowing how to best communicate with them is really important, I think. But also communicating your needs effectively with them, too. So one of the things that I made very clear to my team is some of the little subtleties on how I work, like, they all know, I have ADHD, if it is not on my to do list, it's not going to happen, right? So whenever something you know, it's like, Oh, can you review blah, blah, blah, don't just like sock message it to me, because I'm probably, you know, I might read it, and then I'm gonna click into something else. And I'm gonna forget, right, like, you have to add it to my Asana to do list or it's not gonna happen and assign a due date, or it's not going to happen or put it in my Google Calendar, it's not going to happen. But also just communicating, like, hey, when we're on a call, you know, recorded if you need to write things out, like whatever you need to do, but when something comes out of my mouth, I have to be able to trust that like, you are now taking ownership of that task, you are writing it down, you're completing it, if I don't give you a date on like, Oh, get this to me by this date. Like, please ask me for that. You know, so I think it's just kind of a being honest, on for with both parties, right? Like for your your team on like, how do they best receive feedback and not saying, Oh, I can handle directness is like it's at you actually, maybe can't just be on that. But also being honest, like ourselves, too, and saying, This is how I function and like, if it's not on my calendar, I'm going to forget or like, if I, you know, say something, I need you to take ownership of it and actually do it and like, send me reminders into law, because I'm gonna fucking forget everything. You know, like, I'm very honest about that. We all know, like, my whole team knows that. So, um, you know, I think it's like a mutual mutual respect and trust from from both sides.
But how did you learn that? Like, did you? Do you guys go through like psychology things? Because, okay, when Amanda edits this, she's gonna be like, I feel like I'm talking to Angela. Like, we are so on the same page. But it's like, I, I went to school to be psychologist. So it's like, that's how I'm a lot of what you just said. It's like, I knew that. But I didn't know how valuable it was until I actually started running my own businesses. Right. And in health care. I mean, not cared. But like, it wasn't my money. It was my bank account. I didn't you know, those were my people. But I mean, I do the best I could, right. But it's a little different. When it's your own bank account. And it's a little bit different. I mean, you get it, right. But it's like, how did you know, to it is the most important thing your people in your in the communication? If you don't have that? Forget it, like, go work at Apple or Chick fil A or something? Like, I mean, I'm being funny. But it's like, you have to have a process. So what do you guys use something to, like better help communicate with each other internally?
Yeah. Um, so Okay, well, how did I learn? I mean, to be really honest with you, I learned a lot of this from from being in the corporate world and seizure me to that I don't want to do because one of the things that has been the most mind blowing to me, like we're about to get really real right now is like seeing the inside of other businesses and working within them and seeing how fucking successful people can be. Without knowing anything about fucking business, or like, they have like, zero leadership skills, zero communication skills. And that was one of the things honestly, it would Oh my God, get me so jazzed up. But like, why are you in a management position, you have no communication skills, you have no interpersonal skills, you have no emotional intelligence, like you're not qualified to be in, like, What the fuck are you even doing? It would drive me so insane. And so I learned like a lot of the things that I do now. It's because I had shitty experiences in the past. And I worked with people who didn't know what the fuck they were doing. I'm like, Well, this is how I would do this differently. So I mean, just to be really real. That's how I learned all of this from that.
And I love that. I love that. And there, I mean, thank you for being real. And thank you for saying it. But it kind of like brings it perfectly perfectly to like what I'm thinking in my head. So if there's a bad situation, or there's a hard situation or a stressful situation in your own business, or someone you're working with, like, take a step back, because you could learn so much from those situations, and most importantly, learn what you never want to fucking do again, right? And so there, it sounds like you're not we've had a lot of these moments. I've had a lot and I still can continue to get them sometimes daily lessons. And it's good. But then when I'm teaching people and onboarding and teaching interns like leading people and speaking and I'm like, oh, no, no, we don't do it that way. And here's why. And like, I don't do this because of this and like, like stupid shit, right? It's like the other day I was packing my car. And one of the girls that was with me, she's like, do you really have to like, zip she's like, Oh my god, I'm OCD to I have to zip every single zip, like all my bags up. And I'm like, oh, and I am a tad bit OCD on a few things. I said, I don't sit my zippers because I'm OCD as it my zippers because almost died in a car wreck when I was in high school. And I was coming back from a trip and all my bags were open, because I'm just, I didn't care that my shirt was closed. And when the car, you know, crashed and went down, and I lost everything, everything, I mean, it's material things, but still, at the time in high school, it's like, you know, your life is in these bags. And so I'm, I'm psycho about all my zipper speech, and every event that we do, and every single thing that we do, but it's like, those are the types of bad things. I mean, I was almost killed. But those are the types of things that you walk away and learn like these really small things. So in the future, when something falls over, or spills out, or you have a trailer worth of lots of money, and couches going to an event and it rolls over and there go all your couches, like what the fuck do you do? You know, it's like, these are real kind of problems that you're living that day. But then tomorrow, the events over, the wedding's done and like they're on with it. And no one ever knew that there were 25 couches, because they they weren't delivered, you know, they didn't make it to the event. So there's just all these things that you think of or like, you know, things could be much worse, at least no one died. But there's usually a personal experience from it. And again, I tell people that because life is hard. And running a business is hard. There is nothing easy about it. There's pros and cons to everything you choose to do in life. But the one thing is just learn how to have the mindset that you know that you have, really, and as a leader and a business owner, have that mindset to understand like, Okay, this really sucks right now. But I'm going to fall flat on my face real fast. And then I'm going to get up and do it better. And that's exactly what you just said, like, it's just being real.
Yep. Yeah, yes. All of that. Always.
It's been real. So I know if we have other like, marketers and digital marketers, they're just gonna, like cringe when they hear this. But there's, there's a few myths in in digital marketing. And, you know, my favorite is like, can you just run a Facebook ad? We need to sell some tickets? Or we have a new product? Can you just run a Facebook? It's not that crazy people like, Oh, my God, no, I'm not gonna take your money. And no, I don't care how much money you're gonna pay because you're being stupid. time it takes strategy, it takes testing it. And yes, you can skip all that shit, you're gonna, you're gonna waste a lot of money. But I learned that the hard way. But what's like the number one myth that you hear probably every single day.
The one the one on my number one on my hit list is if you build it, they will come. I absolutely cannot stand that saying, obviously with what I do with, you know, digital courses, you know, like the Online Education base, you know, whether it's a group coaching program, or a digital download, or digital course, or even a physical product, right, or whatever it is, like, if you build it, they will come? No, that's not how the world works. Maybe it did at one point, but not anymore. It's just not. And I will say, let me clarify as well, because I've had this conversation with a friend of mine. And she always kind of interpreted it as like, just be passionate about what you do. Which Yes, that's important. But the way that I interpret that phrase is saying like, Oh, just, yeah, you have this great idea for a digital course cool. Just go build it, and people are gonna buy it right? Like, no, that's not how it works. Like you have to other people have to know how great it is to it doesn't matter how great you think the idea is how much time and effort and energy and money you put into building it. If you don't first of all, if you don't have an audience of other people, but if other people don't also think that's a good idea of other people don't also want a need that if other people don't know about it, you're not going to make any money. It's not it's literally it might as well not even exist, you know, so that's one of the biggest things that I have turned away many clients because they've come to me after the fact of launching some pain or whatever and oh my god, it was a big flop and, you know, I didn't make any sales and I invested $10,000 and building this brand new website. And, you know, help me fix this. And you should have come to me before, like you were putting your efforts in the wrong place. And actually, I just recently, my newest one on one client, literally, when she booked with me, she's in the process of creating a new, like a physical product. And she literally like we were on the intake call, actually, yeah, I've just realized, like, I was putting my efforts in the wrong place, I shouldn't be putting it into developing this product, I need to be putting it into my marketing. Because if I don't have marketing, if people don't know about it at all, then it like, I'm not going to sell any of the product. And I was like, Oh, my God, yes, yes, you're in, you're good to go. Let's go, you know, that is really like that is how it actually works. You have to have the marketing in place, the strategy, the audience, you need those things first, before you can ever launch something otherwise, you're launching something to no one and nobody's gonna care, and you're not gonna make any money. And it was a big waste of time. I'm all about efficiency people like we're going to launch something and do something like let's be efficient about it, make sure it's actually been sell, you know,
that was the hardest thing for me to learn was exactly what you just said, we built a course we had so many people like, Oh my God, I need to know that Oh, my God, oh, my God. But when it comes time to put your pocketbook with your credit card, it's a different story. And people buy what they want, not what they need. And there's so many distractions out there. And so I can't even if you're if you're listening or watching, you're not in marketing, I cannot. It's probably would be unbelievable to you how many products and courses are launched and marketed before they ever get built?
Yeah, I don't I don't build anything until I have paid on
anymore. That people who've never, like there's other course creators, like in some of these mastermind groups, in which they've never built a course they've never sold on online courses, like they're getting, they're like, Oh, my God, I would never do that. I would never, like not have it ready and tested. And I'm like, Okay, you go ahead and do that. I'm just gonna tell you right now. You know, this is your first one, like, Do you have a beta group? Why don't what are what's that? What do I need? You know, like, again, I'm like, we can help you. And you know, Coach you along. I wouldn't do it this way. And it sounds like we've gotten to where you are two, it's like we don't take on people who can't shift their mindset and understanding that, like, your money doesn't need to be going here. It needs to be going here. But what we think and what we know, is two different things. And creatives live in the gray. And especially with online courses, it's like very black and white things convert. They do or they don't people click they buy or they don't. And figuring out why is really important. So on your website, y'all you have to go like everyone should go see your website. When I looked at less sign it's like marketing that makes it insurance. It's fucking Showtime people. It's like, yes. I can't wait to talk to. But yeah, and I love the quizzes. And I love the like the look of it just because you know, I love astrology and gold and black. And it's like everything just you know, talks to me, but you have this quiz that people can take online. If you'll tell us a little bit about that. And then tell everybody where they can go and do it.
Yeah, so I have a fun little quiz. It's called What's your badass business persona? Because I personally am just obsessed with those like personality type coding Enneagram Myers Briggs astrology blah, blah, blah, right? So we actually created each personality type or business persona, you get your we create a little tarot cards to for them. So each one has your own Volterra card and you get your little description. And next up, so it's basically you know, kind of giving you the too long didn't read version of like, oh, basically where you're at in business right now your strengths, kind of next steps it gives you obviously, I'm a strategy person. So it gives you a very tangible like, Here's an exercise to kind of help you like get to the next level. But yeah, if you are interested in taking that it is you can just go to my website, it's Nicole and it is right there on the home page
with a hot pink CTA button, and I love it. Love it. Thank you so much for this. This was so much fun. Thank you so much for your time. I'm assuming if people want to connect with you, you would want them to go to Instagram because I heard you say like, you love Instagram.
Yes, I'm definitely an Instagram girl. Come find me on Instagram just at Nicole Ricardo. My agency is at an R media with an underscore but yeah, come hang out on there. Say hi. DM me if you have any questions. I don't buy work. We'll chat. I'm very no BS. So if you have any questions clearly I'm not going to beat around the bush. decision you know, we'll just give you an answer.
I love it. I literally your latest Instagram post says I sold 13 spots in an upcoming two day masterclass series that I haven't even promoted yet. Like, that's amazing. Yeah, you're doing something right. I mean, that's awesome. crushing it. Yes. Awesome. We'll put all of the links and everything in the show notes. And if you're watching or listening, thank you so much for your time. And be sure to tune in next week to another episode of business unveiled. Bye, everybody. That's it for this week's episode of business unveiled. Now that you have all the tools that you need to conquer the world and GSD get shit done. Would you share this with your friends and fellow business leaders? One thing that would really really help us and help new listeners is for you to rate the show. And leave a comment and Apple podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you tune in and listen to business unveiled. You can check out the show notes at Angela and link up with us on social media so you can share your biggest insights and I want to know your aha moments. Until next week, remember, the profitable shifts and structures you're creating in your business help you be more present in your life. So get out there and GSD


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