Making Space for What’s Next: An Important Update <3

Now that I’ve had time to share this update with current members of my A Course About Copy® family, it’s time to share the news with YOU.

First – a bit of context – with a mindful note that some of this context is super personal and related to pregnancy and loss. If you’re not in a headspace for that (totally understand), go ahead and skip down to the “what this means” bit and you’ll get everything you need to know from there:

After wrapping up an amazing nine-month “Homeroom” group experience in May 2019, I kicked off the summer feeling great – optimistically aiming to finish the first draft of the Naptime Empires® book in June, with plans to start up a fresh group experience in August come “back to school” time.

That’s not quite how it turned out.

In late April, my husband kicked off a two-month contract with the Navy in Hawaii. As soon as our boys were out of school, we headed over the rainbow for our first trip back as a family since our 2017 move. (See my Instagram Story highlights if you’d like to take a digi-trip of your own!)

This is the part that’s super personal and deserves more time and attention than I can give in this email. I’ll likely share more in the next / mostly final episode of the Naptime Empires® podcast.

Over the summer, we decided to open ourselves up to the possibility of adding a new member to the family. I ended up pregnant not once but twice — both flickers of life were gone almost as soon as they appeared.

If you’ve known me for a while you know this was not my first (or second) experience with pregnancy loss. (I shared more in this blog post back when I was pregnant with Dekie, our rainbow bro.) And yet, not surprisingly – this summer’s events marked the start of a meaningful shift for me.

As the dust settled, I felt a clear message (from my heart, and from the spirit(s) who paid us a visit) that it was time for me to double down on moving forward to define exactly what I want out of life – in ALL areas – whether or not our nuclear family grows beyond four.

I mean – I’m officially in my mid-30s now. Bonafide adult status, right?

Remembering life is precious at every age and every stage and NO day is guaranteed – what do *I* really want my life to look and feel like? In all areas of life, what are MY terms for this season?

Back in September, after a series of meaningful convos and training to be able to use the Demartini Method® (a ridiculously powerful supertool for LIFE) in my work… for the first time in a long time, my gears started turning back to business.

After years of not SEEING my spot in the market anymore, I started to get clear on who and how I’m best suited to serve moving forward, and what that means for me, my biz, our fam and lifestyle.

All that to say, I’m feeling inspired to start a new chapter in 2020. And before I can go all in on this new chapter, I want to honor the steps that led here.

I want to close loops and make this transition in a way that feels inspiring, aligned, and proportionate to the sentiment attached to them.

And that brings us to the big update:

After SIX YEARS in the game, I’m taking A Course About Copy® off the public market.

What this means:

Literally, it means that (after the grad party this month – see below) there will be no more evergreen offers, no more public launches, no more ways for people to join the ACAC family.

Figuratively, it means I’m very intentionally shifting my offers, how I serve and how I show up in the market – but not without honoring where I started, right here with you <3

When is this happening?

A Course About Copy® (+ years of sharing it) has played such a deeply meaningful role in my life and business for so many reasons, including introducing me to thousands of smart, fun(ny), service-oriented biz owners like YOU.

She deserves to go out in STYLE.

To honor the ACAC journey and the lessons learned along the way, I’m hosting a digi-graduation party on Facebook (much like the FB extravaganzas I hosted in the first years of ACAC – summer school, open house, the anniversary party, and more!).

The grad party is a temporary pop-up group where I’m hosting free trainings, sharing “greatest hits” and resources to serve serve serve as much as I can before my focus shifts to this next chapter.

To put it plainly: This is your last chance to get my support as related to copy, and your last chance to join the A Course About Copy® fam before the doors close.

Whether our class of 2020 turns out to be 5 or 50 dreamies deep — I’m all in on this celebration.

What happens after the grad party (for those who join ACAC)?

I’d love ONE last chance to support you in sharing your message with the people who need it most.

Once the doors close for good, the ACAC family will kick off our own (last) Trimester of Awesome.

We’ll get all new members added to the group and I’ll host a series of three Q&A calls – one each month of February, March, and April. If you decide to join us as a new member, you’ll have first dibs for Q&A time, but ALL members are welcome at no extra charge. We’ll also have three live digi co-working calls, in case you need an extra boost of accountability to sit down and do your homework ;)

I’ll share some bonus trainings and lessons I’d love for you to have access to before we archive the group, make sure you know exactly how and where to find me in this NEXT chapter, and that will be that.

And THEN what?

While I still have plans to bring it to life in book form, I’ll be closing the loop on the Naptime Empires® podcast in this timeframe as well – making space for a NEW podcast to fuel what I’m most inspired by in this next season:

helping high-achieving women avoid burnout so they can lead for the long haul and ENJOY the success they’ve created (withOUT sucking all the fun out of their businesses and / or sacrificing their health, wealth, and relationships along the way).

If you’ve been hanging out with me over the past few years – this shift will come as no surprise. It’s just the next iteration of my work. Think “rate your LIFE” vs. “rate your SITE.”

Taking an honest look at each area of your life to identify what you love, what you’d love to shift, and what you’re willing next to try to do so.

Authentic expression 3.0.

In the next few months I’ll launch a new FB HQ, podcast, and high-level private group experience for entrepreneurs who fit this profile.

You’ll be able to find me on Insta and in your inbox for as long as you want to.

Bottom Line(s)

THANK YOU for reading this far, and for being a truly integral part of this journey.

This transition has been a long time coming.

It’s been on my heart for a while now, but it took the second half of 2019 to give me the spark and strength I needed to make it happen.

It’s been the honor of a lifetime to support you in amplifying your REAL voice through ACAC and all the podcasts and free trainings leading to it, and – if it’s the right fit and time for you – I sincerely hope you’ll join in the festivities over the next few weeks and months.

My hope is that (if you’ve been on the fence and thinking of joining us for some time), you’ll use this news as incentive to recommit and make the MOST of this opportunity and all that comes with it – the lessons, the resources, the bonuses, the PEOPLE.

This is a perfect INSPIRED excuse to dive back in, refresh your site (emails, convos, social updates) and serve YOUR people in the way that only you can.

It’s also a perfect time to show up and connect with the brilliant humans who have been part of the A Course About Copy® community for the past several years.

Click here to join the grad party group while it’s open.

Fun + ridiculous value guaranteed.

I would LOVE to see you in there!

Sending a virtual hug from Houston,

Nikki

P.S. I don’t currently host comments here on my blog — but I welcome them here on the Insta version of this post!

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What hobbies?

What do you do for fun (that has nothing to do with business)?

Genuine Q. Come over to Insta and let me know. I’m researching ;)

This Q is inspired by this week’s podcast convo with special guest Reina Pomeroy. We cover all kinds of life + biz goodness – from why she left her career in social work to support creative entrepreneurs, to how she intentionally created new hobbies when she realized that, well, she had none. << RELATABLE.

We talk about how working fewer hours has been exactly what she needs in this season of life, how she’s read over 130 (!) books in 2018, and a fun sneak peek at a big (totally not biz-related) goal she has for 2019.

If you could use more trust + more FUN in your life, I think you’ll love this one :)

Tune in here and tag us on Instagram @reinaandcompany @nikkielledgebrown with your fave takeaways!

Also worth noting: While creating the show notes for Reina’s ep I dug up the link to our first recorded convo. It was 2017 when we first “met” on HER previous podcast, Creative Empire.

I had forgotten what we talked about but still remember feeling that it was one of my favorite podcast interviews to date.

I relistened yesterday out of nostalgic curiosity and can officially say that almost two years later – still true. It’s like a time capsule. <3

You can find both conversations linked right here in the show notes.

Meet you there!

Nikki

P.S. Don’t forget to click over to Insta and tell me what your fave non-biz hobby is right now (if you’ve got one)… bonus points if you also share why / how you got into it.

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Compassion fatigue is a thing.

Just got home from visiting these brilliant friends of mine in San Francisco.


We had an amazing time AND also couldn’t ignore that each day you could see (taste, breathe) more of the smoke rolling in from other parts of CA, slowly hiding the SF skyline from view.

When Harvey hit my hometown it meant so much to see that people outside of Houston were “with us” in any form — thoughts, prayers, and especially tangible support for those who needed it most.

In that spirit, I have a few thoughts + resources with YOU today:

If you’ve been seeing images, hearing stories, and you have the capacity to turn your heartbreak into action, consider donating to an org like @together.rising or @lafdfoundation today.

Even simply sharing a list of vetted resources with your network can be helpful – to YOU, to the ones who need support, and to those also feeling a desire to OFFER support in a more tangible way.

That said – not everyone has the capacity to support right now. That’s okay.

If you’re feeling unusually affected or even immobilized by the fires (and / or any collective tragedy on your heart) – this post by Houston psychotherapist Elizabeth Haberer may be more in line with what you need right now.

It’s from 2017, written with Harvey + flooding in mind, but the heart of the message is evergreen:

“…If your home is intact, you may feel forced to say ‘great, I am lucky’ when asked how things are with you, because you are, in many respects, but please remember that we have survived a collective traumatic experience. Your body, nervous system, spirit, and heart are likely a kind of tired and overwhelmed that is bone deep- and that is to be expected. You are not alone. You are ok, and you are not ok. Both things are true. Its ok to take a break. It’s ok to seek help. We are in this together.”

Compassion fatigue is a thing, and in a world as connected as ours, its reach goes far beyond our local communities.

All that to say, wherever you are: Please take care of you.

If you need support, ask for + allow it. If you can give support, give it.

We need each other. Moments like this offer countless opportunities to prove it.

Thanks for playing your part.

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Time to let some words loose

The almost-birthday boy had $15 to spend at the book fair today and of all things he came home with a JOURNAL AND A PEN and my inner six year old promptly squealed with joy + appreciation. 😍✨🤓

In case you don’t know this yet: My name is Nikki, and I am a sucker for school supplies, journaling, writing, and magic.

For that and many other reasons, I love this haul so much more than the shark attack book he was eyeing over the weekend 😂

What about you? What kind of books are YOU most excited about right now?

For me, in this moment — it’s the blank ones.

I’ve been in heavier than usual consumption mode for a long while now.

Time to let some words loose. ❤️

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This AHA is shifting EVERYTHING over here

If you’ve ever caught yourself thinking or believing that big service has to mean big sacrifice (of what you value most), THIS MESSAGE IS FOR YOU.

I was actually uncharacteristically nervous to go live on my FB page when I first shared this last week, but I took a deep breath and did it ANYWAY because this ish is important.

You can watch / listen to the replay here, but I’m also going to write out the semi-quickie version here in the meantime because I want to make SURE this message reaches you.

It requires some context, so bear with me.

Almost three years ago, back in Hawaii and shortly after the birth of my second little guy Deacon, I had a bit of a breakdown over my breakfast.

We were at one of our fave spots on Oahu – Disney’s Aulani resort.

I was high on life, oxytocin, and tropical tradewinds, and yet there I was… ugly crying over the Mickey Mouse waffles.

It wasn’t even anything obvious or major that sparked it.

I had simply realized while discussing our Thanksgiving plans that (way) later that year our oldest son Bryson would turn FIVE.

(Yes, logically I KNEW that five comes after four, but for some reason at that particular moment in time, it hit me hard.)

I’d started my business a few years before that – when B was about 18 months old.

At that moment, I was overwhelmed by a flash flood of memories of his toddlerhood spent with my head in my laptop: “just one more email, bud…”

I thought – at least B had 18 months before I started my business – Dekie was practically born on a live webinar!

Before we go on, I want to be clear that there is NOTHING inherently wrong with working long hours as a parent.

Ex. My husband was (is) an amazing dad, even when he was under the sea on a submarine for months out of the year. Likely BECAUSE he was gone so much… he was ridiculously present and playful when he WAS home!

So this isn’t about shame or pride points. It’s about what’s true for us.

And at that moment I realized that the dynamic I’d created actually felt super out of alignment for ME.

It was important feedback.

Now – if I knew then what I’m learning NOW – I coulda shoulda woulda used that feedback as an opportunity to think on how I could incorporate both of my loves in my life (my inspired mission and my family) … and yet instead, on some level, I told myself (the lie) that I couldn’t have / be both.

I told myself I had to choose.

And with a preschooler by my side, a newborn in my arms, and a husband about to deploy on a submarine, early 2016 me made the choice to pretty much bench my business and shift most of my focus to family.

Needless to say, even though I didn’t consciously realize it at the time, that moment shifted how I showed up in my life and my business in a big way.

As you may or may not have noticed, I pretty much STOPPED showing up in my business / your inbox altogether!

And yet even though I was home “more” (especially as our “home” address changed from Hawaii to Texas)…. I wasn’t really here either.

WHY?

Because authenticity is one of my highest values… and I wasn’t being authentic. (!!!)

(It’s worth noting here that from now on when I say “authentic” I mean something much deeper than “writing like you speak” – I mean “living in congruence with your actual values.” And I wasn’t.)

Yes I was HERE and less business-focused in THEORY… but not really.

Ask any ONE of my closest friends, fam, and dreamies who have been so patient with me throughout this process over the past few years.

In this funky space, I’ve never stopped thinking about business, my message, and my mission.

I felt confused and frustrated.

Instead of feeling guilt and shame over working too much, I started to feel guilt and shame over working too LITTLE.

Double U. Tee. EFF.

THANKFULLY, as I mentioned earlier – I’m finally finding my way outta this mess (and into a new, more aligned one ;)).

Here’s what I’m waking up to:

We don’t have to choose.

We DO, howev have to be honest (objective, realistic!) about what our ideal “both / and” lifestyle looks like.

And I mean SUPER honest. No judgment.

True love / gratitude / PRESENCE / fulfillment comes from unconditional acceptance of who we are and what we truly value. << learning this in a whole new context thanks to Dr. John Demartini, who I mention in the video.

Truth is: I don’t feel like mySELF when I don’t consistently prioritize moments of true presence with my kiddos. That’s where the mom guilt comes in (it’s feedback letting me know I’m out of alignment).

^^ examples of prioritizing moments of true presence: making an effort to welcome them at the door every day they get home from school. putting 1:1 lunch dates or school events on the calendar and planning work days around them. putting the phone away more. (not always… but more ;))

Likewise: I don’t feel like mySELF when I don’t consistently prioritize studying, teaching, sharing, and connecting with you. That’s where the biz guilt comes in (more valuable feedback).

^^ examples of prioritizing moments o’ mission: recording a FB live. connecting with my dreamies (past present and future) via Instagram stories. hiring support in my business so I can delegate my lower value tasks to brilliant people who LOVE to do them.

Years ago I wrote a post somewhere for my fellow entrepreneurial mamas:

“Some days we’ll work too much, some days we’ll play too much. As long as our work too much days pave the way for more play too much days, I think we’re headed in the right direction.”

Now I can see the flaw in that thinking.

Because I experimented heavily, for YEARS, with the “play too much” days and honestly, Clint Francis – on their own, they didn’t truly fulfill me either.

Fulfillment comes with congruency.

When we feel like “YES – today I showed up + gave the world what is uniquely mine to give. And (while that comes with its own challenges): I freaking loved it.”

THAT’S how I want to feel when my head hits the pillow each night (and ultimately, when my time in this life comes to an end).

Do you feel me?

Does this convo speak straight to your heart like it does to mine?

If so – click HERE and let me know in the comments of the video.

As you can probably feel by now: I’m obsessed with this conversation.

It’s driving a whole new offer that I quietly opened up last week.

(More about that in the video.)

Either way – since you’re still reading (+ I value your time ;)) I’d love to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU for sticking with me through the pendulum swings over the past few years.

There is so much goodness (realness) to come, and it’s an honor to be on the journey with you.

Don’t forget to come say hi / share ahas in the comments if you’ve got a sec.

Would love to hear if this sparks any ideas or inspo for you too.

Talk soon,

Nikki

P.S. If you’re feeling like you’re a bit (or a lot) out of whack with your own values right now – I hope you’ll watch the video and reach out to learn more about HOMEROOM. If it resonates, click here to tell me more about you + your business. I’d love the opportunity to support (and challenge!) you as you find your way back to YOU this year.

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