Nicoline Huizinga is a certified business clarity strategist, coach, speaker and the author of the ‘Flick the F*ck It Switch’ book series.
The lyrics of the musical Mary Poppins changed Nicoline Huizinga’s life 11 years ago, giving her the courage to start her own coaching business. She already worked for a training and coaching company, so all she needed was to register her own coaching business. She registered the business on the day her parents got married, got her certification and grew it over the years. Her goal now is to help her clients reach clarity and focus, allowing them to run their businesses according to their own personalities without following others’ blueprints.
Additionally, she is the author of the books Courage and Focus ‘Flick the F*ck It Switch’ book series and an expert in Human Design working on her next book while continuing her coaching business.
1- Can you tell our readers about your background?
Since my mid-twenties, I’ve been working in the training and coaching business. I started working for an international training and coaching company when I was 27 and I fell in love with the self-development industry from that moment onwards. I got certified as a trainer and a coach and I’ve been studying human behaviour ever since.
2- What inspired you to start your business?
When the training and coaching company went through a reorganisation, I got the question: ‘Why don’t you start your own business?’ several times.
I had never pictured myself as a business owner, but a seed had been planted. I discussed it with my husband and he said: ‘Yes, you should, I just know it’ll be a great success!’. But still, I felt a lot of doubt.
Until the moment I went to the Mary Poppins musical and ‘Mary’ sang the song ‘Anything can happen if you let it’. That was my cue, I knew right there and then that I should start my own business. That happened over 11 years ago.
3- Where is your business based?
I’m based in the Netherlands, but I always joke that the world is my playground.
4- How did you start your business? What were the first steps you took?
All it took to start for me was a laptop and an internet connection, and my own knowledge and experience. But the first thing I did was come up with my company name, so I could register it at the Chamber of Commerce on an important date for me: 8 June 2010, the date my parents got married 54 years before.
5- What has been the most effective way of raising awareness for your business?
Being consistently visible on social media is the best way to create awareness. Not trying to be omnipresent as that could potentially be exhausting you, but picking just one platform to start from, being consistently present there and then adding a next platform to it.
6- What have been your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?
My biggest challenge as a business owner would be the solitude of running a business all by yourself. Sure, you get to decide and choose whatever you want to do with your business and clients, but having no one around to discuss things with can be quite daunting.
I even went back to a corporate job at some point, as I had gotten too lonely. Of course, I found out that I wasn’t cut out to be a corporate employee anymore, so after 9 months, I went back to running my own business again.
But ever since that moment, I have made sure I have like-minded people around me. Together, we form a solid bond of trusted advisors and we help and support each other whenever and wherever we can.
7- What personal sacrifices have you made throughout your career?
Personal sacrifices would be mainly time and energy, I would say. And the learning curve as a business owner is incredibly steep, although it’s all worth it. My business is not just my business, it’s my way of contributing to a better world – and from that perspective, it’s not a sacrifice at all.
8- How do you stay focused?
Over time, I’ve found this really hard so I’ve done some thorough research to find out what works for me. Last year, I even published a book called ‘Focus’ with the practices that helped me focus.
First of all, I got to know my Human Design, which gives you an energetic blueprint and manual, so you will understand how you’re wired. Knowing that, it’ll be easier to use the focus tools that work for your type, so you can leave the tools that are not suited for your type.
9- How do you differentiate your business from the competition?
I don’t sell people blueprints, I help them to find their own. I love keeping things real, so I share the good, the bad and the ugly so the people in my audience can learn from my experience.
10- What has been your most effective marketing strategy to grow your business?
For me, guest speaking has been the most effective way of getting new people into my world. Every time I was a guest speaker at someone’s event, in someone’s group or membership, I got new clients out of it. Since I discovered that, I’m now teaching others to be guest speakers too and people love it!
11- What’s your best piece of advice for aspiring and new entrepreneurs?
Understand that being an entrepreneur is a journey. It’s a marathon, not a sprint, so it’s important to build resilience, stamina and power. Taking good care of your health is the best starting point: get enough sleep, rest, exercise, eat healthily and don’t drink too much alcohol. Especially when you are in business, it’s crucial to take care of yourself first!
And of course, whenever you’re doubting yourself, Flick The F*ck It Switch and go for it! (and read my book to know more about that F*ck It Switch!).
12- What’s the best work-related advice you’ve ever received?
I found out over time that it’s best to share from the scar, not from the wound. What that means; when you’re sharing what’s going on in your life, it’s best for your business to share it in retrospect, not while you’re in the middle of it. In retrospect, it’s a lot easier to connect the dots and therefore much more valuable for your audience to get the lessons you learned from whatever you went through.
“I don’t balance work and life. Letting go of the urge to balance things frees a lot of energy and frustration.”
13- How do you manage self-doubt?
As I’m a Generator in Human Design, I look at famous role models with the same Human Design as me. In my case, that’s Oprah. She’s a famous Generator, so whenever I doubt myself, I think: ‘What would Oprah do?’ – and that helps me to get going.
14- What’s your favourite app, blog, and book? Why?
My current favourite book is ‘The Art of Possibility‘ by Benjamin and Rosamunde Zander. It describes an entirely different perspective on success and failure and how we can stop beating ourselves up. Incredibly inspiring! The TED talk Benjamin Zander did on this topic is highly recommended too!
15- What’s your favourite business tool or resource? Why?
I have got many favourite business tools, but I would say Canva is my best spend 11 dollars every month. It makes you an instant designer and everything looks SO good!
For authors or aspiring authors, I would recommend Reedsy, an online platform to write and edit your book. It’s free and it works like a charm!
As an emailing system, I highly recommend MailerLite. The free version is incredible with templates and it’s very intuitive to use.
16- Could you name a woman who’s inspired you the most?
The woman who inspired me the most would be Mel Robbins, the author of The Five-Second Rule. She inspired me to come up with my own version of that rule.
17- How do you balance work and life?
I don’t balance work and life. They are intertwined and for me, it would be useless to try and find a balance. My work is part of my life and my life is part of my work. Letting go of the urge to balance things frees a lot of energy and frustration.
18- How do you unplug from work?
I love reading, so sitting outside in my backyard with a lovely book is wonderful for recharging my battery. Another thing I love doing is taking long walks on the beach. I live about 6 km away from the beach, so I’m incredibly blessed to have that nearby.
19- What do you have planned for the next six months?
I’m working on my next book in the “Flick the F*ck It” series called “Passion”, which is all about how to find the thing you love doing most.
Furthermore, I’ll be running a 6-month group program on getting the basics of running a business up and running and my 4-week guest speaking program will start at the end of September. That excites me a lot!
20- How can our readers connect with you?
On Social Media: