How to Enjoy Life (The Ferris Wheel Theory)

How to Enjoy Life

Going into this week, I had a pretty clear idea of what I wanted to share with you. But then something pretty major happened.

And by “pretty major,” I mean “supernatural.”

(Not kidding.)

If you’ve ever felt like you have to sacrifice your relationships in order to grow a successful business….

If you’re burning the candle at both ends (and you know that never ends well)….

If you can see the big picture of your life + business, but haven’t a CLUE how you’ll get from Point A to Point Z…

You’re really going to appreciate this story.

In this video, I’ll share:

  • Highlights of what may be the most AMAZING (life-changing) Skype call of my life
  • Proof that you DON’T have to sacrifice relationships to experience success
  • A touch on my 1st experience with EFT (AKA tapping)
  • How life is JUST like a big mama ferris wheel
  • 4 SUPER-practical tips for enjoying the ride

DISCLAIMER: As you may know by now, I’m a Christian. A rather imperfect human being who aims to love errrrrbody and embrace the unknown with faith. I don’t have all the answers. (Shoots. I don’t even have all the questions!) I really don’t want to start a debate or controversy about spirituality here. Just want to share something AMAZING that I experienced, in the hopes that it will resonate with you too.

WHEW! Nervous yet?

Click below to watch:

My Dream Guys + Our Ferris Wheel

Ferris Wheel

Aren’t they gorgeous?

Now you see why I’m not willing to sacrifice my time with them ;)

The Ferris Wheel Theory (in 4 Simple Steps)

  1. Tune in. What’s your ferris wheel? Your purpose? What lights you up?
  2. Trust the Operator. That beautiful word: providence. There’s a plan. Do your best to follow it, and the right folks and opportunities will come your way.
  3. Go for it! Hand over your ticket. Sit down, buckle up, and do the work.
  4. Enjoy the ride. Slow, fast, steady, stalled…whatEV. It’s YOUR ferris wheel. Enjoy the view and the folks in your bucket with you…all the way to the top. (Tweet that!)

Special Thanks

As much as I’d secretly love to keep her a secret, I can’t share this story without sharing Michelle (of She’s an amazing entrepreneurial mama and woman of faith with a warmth that radiates through the airwaves. You’ve gotta meet her. 

If you’re experiencing ANY kind of ick, ugh, stress, blah…ANYTHING that’s holding you back in your life OR your business, PLEASE book a session with her….before I seriously take them all.

I haven’t fully wrapped my head around what happened last night, and I probably never will. But today I’m more connected, inspired, and curious than I’ve been in years…and I have a feeling that’s exactly what God was aiming for.

This Week’s Tweet Shop

Click one, click ‘em all!

Let’s Talk

This one’s a doozie, I know.

So if you’re a fan of The Ferris Wheel Theory…pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down…please SHARE it with your friends and fans. Then, in the comments below, tell me:

  • What’s your ferris wheel?
  • What’s keeping you from enjoying the ride?

Whatever it is, chunk it out of the bucket and let’s ride, friend. We’ve got some (fun) work to do.

Aloha + ferris wheels,




  1. Suzi

    Beautifully stated! Thank you so much for sharing!

  2. Erin

    Love the message! Definitely hits home!

    I think when our business gains momentum, we can veer down the path of ‘business, business and more business’ Perhaps because we fear it’s all going to vanish? (Or all the good ideas will “get used up?”)

    But, like you said, it doesn’t have to feel like the Zipper – even though I DID love that ride, a ferris wheel sounds much more enjoyable!

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Ha! Well, to be fair, every now and then the ferris wheel DOES pick up and go a little bit. I think we’ve both experienced that this year ;)

      Thanks for commenting, lovely!

  3. Maria Kayumi

    Hey Nikki,
    I absolutely loved this video – thank you for sharing! What a wonderful message. I can hear the love and excitement in your voice :) I really do love the idea of the ferris wheel. It makes me laugh because recently I had a dream where my brother (who I adore) and me were buckled into a fairground ride, which was – get this – actually a mini globe! It was almost like my dream-mind was having a giggle and telling me to just ‘enjoy the ride’! My problem is I’m not quite sure what my ferris wheel is yet – I’ve just left my job to start my own business, but I’m not quite sure what’s going to happen yet. I do know that I want to enjoy it and stop fretting so much. Thank you for the reminder (and what a gorgeous photo!)

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Love that dream, Maria!

      Can’t wait to hear about it when you find your ferris wheel. Please keep me posted!

  4. Barbara Foxworth

    That is AMAZING, Nikki. I feel there is so much love and gratitude pouring out from you right now. <3 I'm so glad you shared. Love, love, love the analogy w/ the ferris wheel.

    My ferris wheel would also be my business and what's keeping me from enjoying the ride is probably fear.

    I'd love to hear more about EFT!

    Enjoying this Wild + Wonderful Ride Together,
    Your Friend + Dream Client
    Barbara Foxworth

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Thanks, Barbara! Happy you like it :)

      I’m excited to add EFT to my toolbox. It’s so funny that all of this happened BEFORE we actually started the session, which was really helpful too.

      I’ll be booking more sessions with Michelle so I can get it down on my own!

  5. Melissa Burkheimer

    Loved hearing your experience with EFT. I’ve done it during baseball games for my son and once for me. I feel the exact same way – that I spend all kinds of time on my laptop and not with the people around me. Time to ride the wheel!

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Ha! That’s amazing, Melissa. I can totally see how it will come in handy at games in the future ;)

      Gotta hold each other accountable for enjoying the view – no matter where our buckets are at the moment!

  6. Flor

    Thank you Nikki for sharing this story and being honest about your fears. I think this is something most entrepreneurs can relate to. I certainly do. I think like you said, everything comes in its due time, because God does things purposefully in our lives. I have been curious about EFT for months, and some how it keeps coming up in my readings from different authors and coaches that I seriously love. This video I think really sold me on the idea that it’s something I must try because God keeps clearly sending me reminders and pushing me in that direction. I have a vision to be at the top of my ferris wheel and I know that I have to push past some emotional fears before I get there. I’m going to give this EFT thing a shot. Thank you so much Nikki! Great post.

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Absolutely, Flor!

      Even after just 20-30 minutes, I could see how it’ll help me get OVER the fabricated stuff and beliefs that are keeping me from really doing what I was created to do. Definitely a tool worth trying!

      Keep me posted :)

  7. Dana

    Hey Nikki! Absolutely love this post and the ferris wheel analogy. And how serendipitous you had that pic! I’ve been following you ever since I noticed you in the b-school group and love watching you grow through your newsletters and videos. Thanks for letting us witness your journey and for the great content you churn out. You’ve definitely inspired me on several occasions. Much love!! Dana

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Dana – thank YOU for taking time to leave this message. Totally encouraged by your support.

      Thanks for being on the wheel with me!

  8. Silvia

    Love that you shared this. What a universal message. And I’m right with you that LIFE continues after death. I’ve received so many powerful messages from loved ones that passed over both with and without the help of mediums…so I have no doubt they’re with us and helping us! How great was it to hear noni…

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      No doubt in my mind, Silvia! I’ve had some pretty sweet dreams after losing loved ones, and we’ve had a few other instances in the past few weeks where we thought, “Okay, Non…we get it!” :)

      There’s so much more to us and to LIFE than what meets the eye. Pretty awesome. (In the actual sense of the word.)

  9. Allison Sharpe

    Thank you for opening up and sharing this! I would have to say FEAR is keeping me from enjoying the ride in my business. The what-if’s are strong, but your point #2 really reminded me that God is stronger. Trust the operator, and enjoy the ride. Wonderful! Thanks again. :)

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Really happy this helped you, Allison!

      My big fear (what we ended up using for the tapping sesh) was that “If I’m already sacrificing THIS much and I’m only 7 months in, how can I possibly get where I feel like I’m *supposed to go without sacrificing MORE?”

      It’s a powerful fear. But it’s already dwindling.

      I’m now actively looking for powerful women who HAVE built their businesses (WHILE building their families). If they can do it, we can too!

  10. Jessica

    Nikki, you are a true inspiration. As a Christian myself, I want to thank you for being such an honest and lovely example to the world. I am constantly amazed at how He gets messages through to us, aren’t you? Such a creative Creator!

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Thank you so much for this note, Jessica!

      He’s a smooth Operator…that’s for sure ;)

  11. janet

    Wow – this hit home! Making sure I’m going in the right direction and doing everything the right way (keeping up my relationships, my health, God’s will, what’s best for my clients) are all heavily on my mind the last couple of weeks leading up to my session with you and branding session today with Amanda from GG2WD. I can’t wait to see where I’m led and thanks for the reminder to enjoy the ride – I’ve been really stressed that I should be further along and have more of my processes, etc “together”. Thank you!!!! Have a great week and talk to ya soon!! :-)

    1. Tonia Winchester

      I love Amanda! I had my branding session weeks, no months (?) ago and haven’t been able to implement anything for a variety of reasons. I’m back from some time away and no I’m ready to move forward with it. I’m excited to see what it will all bring!! :) Have fun with it, Janet!

    2. Alysa

      Eeee! Janet & Tonia! So fun to see you here too. Can’t wait to hear how your branding session goes.

      1. janet

        Thanks guys – Just got off the phone with her – AMAZING!! Feel like a weight’s been lifted – can’t wait to get started!! :-) Weeeeee! :-D

    3. Nikki Elledge Brown

      You are exactly where you should be, Janet. Can’t wait to meet you there soon :)

  12. Tonia Winchester

    Hi Nikki,

    I love this and I know exactly how you (‘ve described) you feel. I also feel I’m destined for greatness, have for a long time. There was just this little voice inside me. She is growing and growing each time I take a step towards the thing, which I believe to be a series of things all flavoring and informing the next thing. The cool aha I’ve had recently is that if I do believe the great thing is actually a series of great things (which I do, as mentioned above), then I’m already there and the path will continue to evolve and unfold. Somehow that makes it easier, lighter and more fun for me!

    Thanks for your constant inspiration :)

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Easier – lighter – more fun.

      That’s EXACTLY what my takeaway was from Wednesday, Tonia.

      We don’t have to struggle and trudge to try and MAKE things work. (That was another message that came through!)

      She said to focus on just doing the work when I’m in the zone…for me when I’m feeling in my “flow” is when I’m working with y’all, live, creating, speaking, etc. and doing it from a state of service. THAT’S when the magic happens.

      It’s like a shortcut.

  13. Erin-Ashley

    Nikki, I love this!

    I must admit that when you announced that you would be shifting your focus with your blog posts with your new “brand pants” I was worried that you and I would drift ways – that what you would offer would no longer be in resonance with what I’m looking for. The thought made me sad, because you’re frickin’ awesome.

    This, however, has made me quite happy because my “ferris wheel” is a technique to help sensitive people, like Teresa and Michelle (and myself), experience confidence and strength. Spiritually sensitive people tend to experience extra anxiety, simply because we’re sensitive… so we’re sensitive to EVERYTHING, including stress. And often that can keep us from sharing our gifts to the world (plus the controversy you mentioned). Your beautiful post is the exact reminder I need to keep doing the work consistently.

    Sending you SO much love!

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Receiving it, Erin-Ashley!

      Don’t worry – the communicationy bits are still gonna be around. Just couldn’t NOT share this message this week!

      Really grateful for the work you do so that folks like Michelle can be brave and bold enough to share their gifts with the world.

      Thanks for sharing!

  14. Alysa

    Beautifully shared story and analogy. Can’t believe how adorable that picture of your husband and son is! Perfect for your new ‘brand pants’. :)

    My “ferris wheel” is helping others create a life of fellowship and restoration one meal at a time. Totally enjoying the ride right now but am navigating the balance between this new venture and my graphic design business. Exciting days ahead.

    Praying that you have amazing amounts of quality time with your family and friends.

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Thanks so much, Alysa!

      I am totally biased, but I DO think they’re objectively adorable.

      Maybe you’re meant to have a farm of ferris wheels ;)

      1. Alysa

        Well I am married to a farmer. ;)
        GREAT perspective.

        1. Nikki Elledge Brown

          HA! That’s perfect.

          I dream of a farmy ferris wheel one day. But in the meantime, our garden of teeny tomatoes, mint, and peppers will have to do :)

  15. Marsha from

    Beautiful! And gripping! And then beautiful again!

    i TOTALLY hear you on having one’s nose in the computer and forgetting about the real human beings around us. I make my screensaver a (frequently-changing) photos of the swoon & the boy, so as to remind me of my priorities!

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Totally, Marsha!

      As soon as I found this photo, I made it my new screensaver. It’s like a one-image vision board. (I don’t actually have a VB, but I imagine it’d make for a good one!)

      Thanks for commenting, friend :) I always love seeing Yes Yes Marsha in my inbox!

  16. Sofia @ The Life Diner

    Hi Nikki! It’s my first time commenting but I watch you every week since I found you through Suzi. I always look forward to what you have to say and you do it so authentically. It seems that WHATEVER you talk about each week is always EXACTLY what I need to hear or have been dealing with each time. Synchronicity is amazing :)

    This week I’d say my life has been all business and not enough fun and I’m leaving Europe after a 5 month sabbatical and I vow to enjoy my last few days here before heading back to Houston.

    My ferris wheel is my business. I’ve been a professional organizer and life/business coach for the past 7 years in Houston and I’ve been feeling for a long time that I could offer more than just organizing. I felt it 2 years ago and it didn’t become clearer until this year, that I could help people get to a point of clarity in their lives that could include so much more than just organizing which is why I started the new business I’m putting together, the Life Diner.

    My type of approach has always been, that it’s not about the “stuff” we hold onto but the WHY we do it and so I call it Mindful Organizing. But being that I’m more than a Mindful or Holistic Professional Organizer, I’m a clarity catalyst and I’ve held back on fully being that and more, and now am on the path to unleashing it all. What feels a bit scary is that I’ve always asked for this certain type of success. That I would have a waiting list of people, that people would come to me easily etc and etc. and when I did achieve that with my other organizing business, I had that and it didn’t feel good like I thought it would. So I’m being much more careful what I ask for and also how I measure my success. My ferris wheel is this new business but it’s also in the way I care for it and myself in the process of living a big life.

    Sorry for the long comment but thanks a million for the reminder to enjoy the journey!

    1. Jen Smith

      Hey girl,

      I love this post. I swear we’re on the same journey from brand pants to Ferris wheels! Except you so eloquently are able to communicate how you feel. I think so many of us have experienced these same things from BSchool…it’s been such an amazing ride – mine feels like a super turbo ferris wheel!

      I’m vowing from this point forward to slow down so I can enjoy the ride more…

      I actually completely unplugged tonight and watch a movie with my husband and then hopped online and watched this…so glad I did.

      You’re a beautiful soul :)

      We need to meet up in Houston with Victoria before you leave!

      1. Nikki Elledge Brown

        Ha! YES, Jen, my ferris wheel started off on high gear. NOW I’m determined to slow it down and enjoy the ride around to new heights :)

        And YOU are a beautiful soul, friend. I can’t wait to finally meet you in person!!

    2. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Love that, Sonia!

      Thanks for sharing your lessons with us. And for sharing the bit about the synchronicity. Just about every Thursday night (before the email goes out), I think “Does this even make SENSE?”

      So encouraging to get comments like yours :)

      All the best on this new ferris wheel!

  17. Ashley Kolesar

    Good point, friend! Very inspirational :)

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Thanks, friend! Gotta fill you in on the rest of the details tomorrow :)

  18. Shannon

    I enjoy all your blogs/vids, but this one really made me smile – esp your disclaimer. It is true – no matter our faith – it is irrefutable that there is so much knowledge to be gained, and a deeper sense of self – when we open up to exploring… and there are many wonderful ways to open up to self-exploration. It is empowering – and encouraging! It’s been fun to see your ferris wheel taking off for nearly a year, Nikki :) I celebrate you from Michigan! And your help with my site’s page (for my e-book) – well it’s sold a lot in less than a week – so thank you! Much Love, Shannon

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      So happy to hear about your book, Shannon!!

      And thank you so much for taking time to leave this comment :) Loved getting to play even a teeny part of your 2013!

  19. Ursula-the crafting gypsy

    OMG, I so loved this post – video. THANK YOU!
    You are so right – and I can SO relate to your thoughts. What is keeping me from enjoying the ride? Honstely – me. Most of the time – all of the time? – it is just me, my expectations of what I should do or should think or should enjoy. I am working on that! *laugh* But it surprises me again and again how hard it is to just enjoy and “let loose” … and how easy it is to get back into “crazy mode”. :-) It really is a learning process for me.

    Thanks for the awesome reminder – and the great analogy!
    It makes it so much easier for me to think about it with your analogy! :-)

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Well that’s fantastic to hear, Ursula! I’ve realized lately just how much I think in metaphors and analogies. It’s a lot.

      And trust me, dude, it is VERY easy for me to slip back into crazy mode too.

      We are, always, works in progress :)

  20. Deanne

    Your message is so pure. Thank you I found myself smiling. You really touched a cord for me. I work my butt of and really find myself not sleeping even though my brand is all about helping women entrepreneurs how to tap into their intuition, gain clarity, and big one: Self Care (I teach yoga, ha…) Woman thank you for this little bing moment. So I just made a healing blend lotion and lit going to be 100% love my family and husband mode. Afterall, yes the women I work with inspire me and keep me doing what I’m doing, yet beyond my family is my world. Also, I love how you mention you’re a Christian with such conviction and it’s ok. Love keep it going. Love, Dee

  21. The Sunshine Doctor

    LOVE this! So real, authentic, honest, open, loving and generous. Thank you for sharing :-) You’ve inspired me to share my own stories with my tribe! xx thank you xx

  22. Maria

    OMG Nikki! Its just what I needed to hear! I guess is about getting in the ride and enjoy it! we sometimes forget about why we got in it on the first place! thank you for sharing this, always love your posts/vids
    big hug

  23. Darbi

    That was lovely, Nikki. My ferris wheel is this work I’m attempting to do. My fear is that I’ve taken on more than I can handle. I have chronic Lyme Disease and have been on disability for the last 10 years. Now I want to help others with chronic illness to explore their life skills and experiences so they can create more productive, joyous, passion driven lives…my canned statement, but it’s true. Although I’ve had some epiphanies and know how to LIVE with chronic illness and desperately want to share this with others, there are days I can hardly stay awake and I’m not getting the work done as fast as I’d like. I worry that if I succeed then it might become too big for me. On the other hand, I believe that God is in control and will give me all of the strength I need. So I have buckled in and I’m on the ride and I’m doing the work! Thanks for sharing your very touching and insightful story.

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