018 – How to Get and Stay Motivated, be Intentional, Train Your Mind for Success and WIN, with Nicole McLaren-Campbell
Nicole McLaren-Campbell is an Educator, Motivational Speaker, Author and Entrepreneur. She operates AIM Educational Services, providing college and graduate school placement services, SAT / ACT / SSAT and GRE prep, and tutoring in high school English, Math and Science.#PeakPerformers, Nicole shares her inspirational journey on #TheEntrepYou today! Click To Tweet
Fun question…would you rather be able to see the future or change the past?
I guess maybe more I’d want to change the past because I have that compulsion but on the other hand I feel like even my failures and missteps have been very useful. I guess I would change the past because some things were just dumb. I would go back and fix the dumb stuff although you can find a lesson in everything. I wouldn’t go back to make it perfect though because there are some things that the struggles were worth in the end.
Give us a little into your background and how you developed this fire in your belly?
Some of it feels like my purpose in life, because of that I think it’s a gift to me from God and I appreciate that energy. I’ve been very blessed to be influenced and motivated by very key people at very key stages of my life. That has given me fire and energy and I’m a student of success. I’m ready about how successful people keep their energy up because energy is such an important part of winning.
Exercise, eating properly, getting up early, praying, reading books help me. I try as much as possible to stay away from things, people and activities that suck my energy.
I spend most of my time in pursuit of what I feel I was called to do, I get energy from that because I enjoy my job and the impact that I’m able to have. I enjoy most things about my life and that gives me energy to power through the things I don’t necessarily enjoy but they are part and parcel of what I’m trying to accomplish.
How important is it for us to wake up and intentional?
What could be more important? There is so much going on in the world. There is a lot of distraction, noise and so many things we could be doing. It is very easy to get busy being busy. If you’re not moving from a place of clarity about what the vision for yourself – aligning your values with that vision and making sure your goals are in alignment with your values and vision – then you can find yourself doing all sorts of things. You don’t know what to say no to, you don’t know what to say yes to, you just sort of going through the motions and you’re wondering why you feel dissatisfied and you’re not feeling a 100% of you.
You know that there is something in you but it’s not coming out because you’re not being intentional. It is very important to move from that space of intention because that’s how, over time, we move forward with what we want to be doing as opposed to some other agenda that someone has put forward or equally as bad just “tek weh yuh get out of life” where everyday just come at you and you in reaction mode constantly.
With the best of intentions, sometimes we get distracted how do we maintain that positive mindset?
We have to build our vibes sometimes. We can’t just go with the way we feel. We have to realize that we can deliberately turn that around. Repeating affirmations and practicing gratitude is important. In my book, “Make it Count”, I talk about getting and staying motivated and that you have to take a very deliberate approach.
Every day I wake up, I pray first and imagine my day as to how it is going to go, thanking the Lord for things that haven’t even happened yet and to put yourself in that positive mindset.
The brain naturally tends to go the negative stuff because back in the day you had you focus on surviving. Our brain is still in survival mode and programmed to go to the negative. You have to take back control, don’t let your brain lead you. You have to lead from your gut and heart and tell your brain what the agenda is.
We have to understand that we are not powerless in this thing of mood or staying up on energy, it is something we can be deliberate about and affect our disposition. Some of it is genetic but a lot of it is within our control and we have to seek to control what we can. We shouldn’t worry about what isn’t within our control. If you are sucking my energy, you are getting a swerve. I don’t play game with that.
Your entrepreneurial journey?
I did my under-graduate studies at Princeton University and decided that I would volunteer as part of the Admissions School Chair (ASC). I was interviewing a young lady for Princeton who was and is powerful (she is doing great things in the world now). At the time she was a student really dreaming of going to Princeton, really doing outstanding work in terms of her studies and SATs and very powerful. I thought she was a great candidate but by the time the interview was finished I realized that she hadn’t quite competed in the way that I know she needed to in order to maximize her scholarship as it was competitive. She didn’t get in and when she didn’t, I went home to tell my boyfriend at the time (now husband, Jeffrey Campbell aka Agent Sasco) that I wish I could help people get into college. I didn’t know if it’s a job or anything. He said I should totally do it. I was worried about car payments, etc., and he encouraged me not to worry about it because he knew I was going to be successful.
I didn’t quit my job immediately, I got trained even while being at the Ministry of Education which was a great experience. I worked with Andrew Holness as his Senior Policy Analyst. He is now the Prime Minister of Jamaica. It was a priceless experience because he is one of the hardest workers I know with an energy level that is unreal. He taught me a lot and pushed me hard in that job. I got trained, and started going to local events around the industry.
I met another consultant who focused on boarding school placement, I wanted to do college placement and we just struck up a friendship and an alliance that exists to this day. I’ve been blessed to meet some key people at some key points in my life.
That’s how AIM started, a dream, a faith, a step, a very supportive boyfriend (now husband), family that supported me and believed in me. Yes, they are naysayers and that’s part of the story. They were people telling me about the industry, you’re a young girl, what are you going to come and do. Here we are 7 years later and we are on fire.
It feels really good to help others to achieve their dream in the same way that others have helped me to achieve my dreams.
My business from a business point of view helps people which is exciting but from a non-business point of view there is also the responsibility to help people who cannot help themselves.
What are some of your successes?
Every year, I set my intention to exceed what I did the previous year. It is going to be my best year yet. Last year for example, we had a return on investment of 4700% and this is when we look at the average scholarship for 1 university. This year it is 5067%, that’s really exciting. Our average scholarship per year per college is US$38,000. Last year it was US$30,000.
I am a results person. I want to talk about value. I’m reading a lot of Warren Buffet and he says you don’t look at cost, you look at value. I’m very serious about where I invest my time and money. I love to return that investment to our students and their parents because this is a serious thing. Not only are the numbers telling us, but the types of universities that our students are getting into versus what the regular admissions rates look like for those schools. We are doing more online work more now than ever, we are seeing students from all over the Caribbean, all over the USA and in Canada in the same way we are working with students like we do right here in Kingston.
What inspired you to write, Make it Count: Tips on Unlocking You Vision in 2017 and Beyond?”
It was a Security Guard at Television Jamaica in Kingston. I was on the programme, “Smile Jamaica, it’s Morning Time”, talking about making the second half of 2016 count. When I was leaving the security guard said she really enjoyed my presentation and that she was really inspired. She wished I had a book so she could read to be inspired when she wanted to. It did occur to me to write a book but shoved it aside.
I was struggling to complete it although it is very short and digestible. I gave myself some external accountability by putting it on Instagram for pre-order the (it wasn’t finished). People started pre-ordering and I was forced to complete. I googled an App to self-publish. A publisher has contacted me and I have signed a publishing deal. I’ve already launched it in Paris and I’m going to launch it in New York and I’m doing an island wide tour. All of this is completely blowing my mind but you move in the direction of your calling and purpose, you don’t need to see the whole staircase as Martin Luther King said – you just need to see the first step and you will be frightened at how everything starts to come together.
The book is 37 pages dealing with anecdotes, stories from my life about different things that have been in my way. Getting really honest, different failures I’ve had and how I’ve overcome and learn powerful lessons from failures. It is overcoming fear, staying motivated and tuning in to your purpose and setting that vision for yourself which I find to be priceless. It is attacking that horrible thing called procrastination that sabotages so many of us.
Focus your energy on your calling.
You must be intentional in order to move forward.
We are not powerless, we have the ability to affect our mood.
RESOURCE TO PEAK YOUR PERFORMANCE
Connect with Nicole McLaren Campbell
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