10 Self-Mentoring Ideas from Deborah Nixon
- Build a network of contacts who you can call on, and take the time to nurture those relationships.
- Your relationship with people is absolutely everything.
- Follow your passion. If you’re sensible about it, usually takes you to a really good place.
- If you come from a place of integrity, honour and humility people respond to that.
- Most of us can survive almost anything.
- You have to read your market very well, and be willing to change and adjust your offering because you cannot convince the market. The market is what the market is, and you have to be open to letting go.
- When we go into things, and we assume that what we’re trying to get out of something is what the other person wants to get out of it as well, we often do not check with the other person, we don’t question assumptions, and sometimes it’s wishful thinking because we want something so badly that we won’t look critically and won’t ask the tough questions.
- If you have resiliency it gets you really far in life.
- Integrity is all about what you do when nobody is looking.
- Pay attention to where things are going and read widely.
Invisible Mentor: Deborah Nixon, President/Founder
Company Name: Trust Learning Solutions, MyMoneyMindset
Avil Beckford: Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Deborah Nixon: My area of specialization is working with leadership teams in organizations trying to build better relationships, conflict resolution, and actually to help them work more effectively together. I have another business which is quite interesting as well called My Money Mindset. I work with women helping them to look at psychological issues toward money.
Avil Beckford: How do you integrate your personal and professional life?
Deborah Nixon: They’re intertwined, they integrate well. I think when your work is your passion, when you’re doing your work it doesn’t feel like work. I love what I do so the integration is very smooth. Maybe because I work in the area of trust, and for me it’s something that I speak to my son a lot about and the way in which I live my life and model my behaviour. It’s a pretty seamless thing.
Avil Beckford: When you have some down time, how do you spend it?
Deborah Nixon: One of the things I do is go on retreats – that is probably the foundational thing that I do and it’s so important to me. Every quarter for three to four days I go on a retreat, and once a year, I go from seven to 10 days. On a regular basis, I try to stay away from TV and the media, and I walk with my dog.
Avil Beckford: What are five life lessons that you have learned so far?
- The importance of resiliency and I teach it to my son. I think if you have resiliency it gets you really far.
- Have a great respect for people’s journey.
- When bad things happen we have a moral obligation to grow something good out of that.
- There is no shortcut around working really hard.
- If you’re not doing what you’re passionate about you really won’t be successful. Being a success requires hard work and is all about resiliency.
Avil Beckford: What process do you use to generate great ideas?
Deborah Nixon: I go on retreats. I’m most creative when I’m on a retreat. The process there is a silent retreat how I have no connection to the internet, there is no TV no newspapers, no radio, it’s just you and the silence and nature. And so much happens.
Avil Beckford: What’s your favourite quotation and why?
Deborah Nixon: It’s my own quotation and I know it sounds egotistical, but it is the one that I live by. “Integrity is all about what you do when nobody is looking.” It’s my favourite quote because it’s the measure I use to evaluate other people and it’s part of my work, and it’s part of my philosophy.
Avil Beckford: How do you define success? And in your opinion what’s the formula for success?
Deborah Nixon: Success to me is twofold and believe it or not I do think there is an element of financial success in there. For me success is doing important work that allows you to achieve a certain level of survival and comfort. So although it’s important to follow your passion, it’s not helpful if it doesn’t generate any income for you because you won’t be following your passion for very long. The formula for success is to find what you love and be really strategic about how you can make a living from it. The key to that is developing a solid network.
Avil Beckford: What are the steps you took to succeed in your field?
Deborah Nixon: I was always a very great networker very early on so I’ve built an incredible network, and what’s good about that is that there are always people to reach out to for advice, to check your ideas. You asked me earlier if I had a mentor and I don’t have a single mentor but I have an unbelievable network, and my network is very wide so some of the steps I took were: (1) I listened and paid attention to where I excelled in my career so I knew what I was good at and not good at and then I decided on what I needed to do so I decided to get my Masters and PhD. All along the way, I built the network, and my network is very wide so I spoke to people who were successful to find out what they did to learn from them about what it took and what they did, and to really engage people in my journey. So the step I took was really making connections.
Avil Beckford: What advice do you have for someone just starting out in your field?
Deborah Nixon: Focus on building your network and pay attention to what’s happening in the field, not only what’s going on today, but pay attention to where things are going. Read widely, I’m a great believer in reading, think carefully and project where things are going because things are changing so quickly.
Avil Beckford: If trusted friends could introduce you to five people that you’ve always wanted to meet, who would you choose? And what would you say to them?
- I would love to meet Nelson Mandela. I have great respect for him, what would I say to him? I would say, “Thank you!” I would thank him for his commitment and his belief in his mission.
- I would like believe it or not to meet Bernie Madoff. I’m very fascinated by his fraud and I would like to ask him about his process to do what he did and why he did it.
- I would also like to meet Mother Teresa because she is a great inspiration for people who have a bigger mission outside themselves.
- I would like to meet a group called the Desert Fathers and Mothers who lived in the fourth century. These are people who left society to live in the desert. I’d like to ask them about what they heard out there and what the lessons are.
- The last person I’d like to meet is Bill Clinton because he survived a scandal, and he was someone who was a trusted leader. I’d like to talk to him about the experience
Avil Beckford: Which one book had a profound impact on your life? What was it about this book that impacted you so deeply?
Deborah Nixon: The book is The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. Joan Didion is a well-known American writer whose husband dropped dead suddenly right in front of her while they were having dinner in front of their fireplace. She wrote a book about the year following his death, and it had a great impact on me because she was very real and authentic about the craziness, the insanity when someone close to you dies.
Avil Beckford: You are one of the 10 finalists on the reality show, So, How Would You Spend Your Time? Each finalist is placed on separate deserted islands for two years. You have a basic hut on the island and all the tools for survival; you just have to be imaginative and inventive when using them. You are allowed to take five books, one movie and one music CD, and whatever else you take has to fit in one suitcase and a travel on case. What would you take with you and how would you spend the two years? T he prize is worth your while and at this stage in the game there really aren’t any losers among the 10 finalists, since each are guaranteed at least $2 million?
Deborah Nixon: If I’m stuck on a deserted island I would need something to make me laugh.
I would do what I do when I’m on a retreat. I would write the book I’ve been wanting to write. I would write and reflect and I would always workout and I would swim. I would come out with my book on trust.
- The Desert Fathers
- The Year of Magical Thinking
- Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela
These are inspirational books and books of the soul. The other two books are The Bible and a Jamie Oliver Cookbook (Jamie Oliver’s Meals in Minutes: A Revolutionary Approach to Cooking Good Food Fast).
Music CD & Movie
The CDs I would take are by Snow Patrol (Fallen Empires [Deluxe Edition]) and also another group Guster (Ganging Up on the Sun), which is not well-known. Those two groups make me feel very good. I am moved by music and their music is different and creative and puts me into a good space. I would take Something’s Gotta Give because Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson in the movie make me laugh and I can relate to it. It’s a middle aged couple who find romance with each other and I like movies like this one because they are authentic and you look at it and go, “That’s me”.
Snow Patrol – In The End
Guster – Do You Love Me
Something’s Gotta Give – Trailer
Cannot view this video, click here. Uploaded by TheMovieSceneUK on Jul 20, 2010
Avil Beckford: What excites you about life?
Deborah Nixon: The possibilities. I’m a very hopeful person and I always expect something exciting and special to happen down the road. And what’s exciting is that we’re in more control than we think. And even when we get upset and think about why something happened, we have a lot of power to change our direction. And I think that’s really exciting.
Avil Beckford: How do you nurture your soul?
Deborah Nixon: Going on retreats. I’m very spiritual and I nurture my soul through my faith and it’s very important to me.
Avil Beckford: If you had a personal genie and she gave you one wish, what would you wish for?
Deborah Nixon: Oh my God I’d wish for money! I would wish for a lot of money so I could do my work for free. There are so many people who I know I can help who can’t afford to pay me and the reality of life is that the bank wants their mortgage payment. So I would like money, I’d like a benefactor who would give me enough money so that I can live on, so I can take my work out to the community, to people who can’t pay me.
Avil Beckford: Complete the following, I am happy when…..
Deborah Nixon: I’m on a retreat – that’s my happiest moment.
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