That Time I Tripled My Revenue (+ Couldn’t Talk About It)

Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 9.58.09 PMOnce upon a time (a few weeks ago), I sat down at my kitchen table and had a chat with my biz buddy David Siteman Garland (creator of Create Awesome Online Courses) to discuss my experience growing my ACAC fam over the past year.

Right off the bat, he asked how ACAC was doing. Numbers-wise.

Instead of sharing the bottom line (becaaause #moneyblocks)…I bashfully hid behind a little math problem: “Well, we’ve got about 300 students, and the course is $999, sooooo…..”

In other words: Pleeease don’t make me say it.

After math class, we continued to have a super-valuable conversation on the ins and outs, ups and downs of my journey to leveraging ACAC in a bigger way. It was lovely.

And then, in true dude (DSG) style, he chose to go with THIS headline when he published the interview this week:

From Teacher & Park Ranger To Course Creating Rockstar: How Nikki Elledge Brown went from $0-$300,000 in Revenue In One Year

#o.m.gee. *cue the monkey hiding eyes emoji*

I woke up to that baby tagged on my Facebook wall and thought, “WELP. Cat’s outta THAT bag!”

I’d been resisting a “year two in review” post for over a MONTH for this very fear of sharing, and BOOM – in one click of the publish button, David helped me (pushed me?) clear RIGHT on through that wall.

And for that I’m VERY thankful.

Why? Because friends don’t let friends play small. (Tweet that!)

(And by “play small” I mean hide out in the corner on mute, minimizing the good stuff that SHOULD be celebrated, for fear of what people may think.)

I’m sharing this today to encourage you (+ remind myself):

Whether you recently worked with your first customer, hit “publish” on that sales page, reached a meaningful revenue goal, or even wrote your first blog post this week, please:

Click here to watch directly on YouTube.



Own it. Document it. Talk about it. Roll AROUND in that goodness.

It’s okay to be proud of yourself.

It’s okay to share it.

It’s okay to SHINE. Whatever the hey that means for you.

The response to this interview – the comments, the messages, and texts I’ve received from those who have seen it – has been amazing. So encouraging. So inspiring. And so convicting.

I’ve finally hit a tipping point, realizing how selfish it is to keep wins + stories of potential + possibility quiet when I *know* the impact they can have when shared from a genuine place.

I’ve *seen* that gorgeous impact in my inbox time and time again over the past two years – and yet, it’s been SO easy for me to shrink back and keep to myself + my tight inner circle, out of fear of what others may think if I share.

This whole experience reminded me of something I used to be *so* good about remembering when I first started my business – this beautifully crafted, often quoted reality check from Marianne Williamson in A Return to Love:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

(“This little light of mine,” anyone??)

So here we go, friend. Time for some liberating:

Hi. I’m Nikki. I tripled my revenue in my second year in business by growing my ACAC fam to include hundreds of lovely entrepreneurs from all over the world (funding a school in Guatemala the process!), and I’m pretty dang proud of that.

If you’d like to learn more of HOW it all happened, check out my interview with David right here.

Otherwise, it’s gametime:


Take note of at LEAST one thing you can really be proud of this week.

Now acknowledge + celebrate that thing this weekend, will you?

And for bonus points: Tell me about it! Facebook, Insta, Twitter, the comments below….you pick.

Seriously. See above “friends don’t let friends…” comment.

I’ll get my party emojis ready :)

To good friends, embarrassing fears, and figuring it out all as we go,


P.S. Spoiler alert: David and I are working on lil somethin’ somethin’ for you in early June. If you want to learn more about his course creation strategies AND mine, watch for details later this month! (And if you just can’t wait, start here with his cheat sheet.)

P.P.S. If you liked this post + want to help me spread the word by using the links below to share it with your buddies, I would greatly appreciate it!

This post was updated on May 13, 2016.



  1. Patricia

    Congratulations Nikki! This is definitely something up be celebrated. You’ve helped a lie of entrepreneurs in the process and you deserve all the success you are experiencing.

    I admit I also share your struggle with pouring myself out there, and agree that it really is important for us to share so we can support one another. And funnily, I wrote a post about it that included that fabulous Marianne Williamson quote – the post was about receiving an honor from MindBodyGreen and Athleta a few months ago when I was named one of 100 women to watch in wellness and how I was a little embarrassed when someone congratulated me on it in front of others.

    Anyhow kudos again to you. You are awesome!

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Congrats and thank you for sharing, Patricia! It can feel a little weird to be one to WATCH – as if you’re in a fishbowl. But you are in a fishbowl. Of wellness-based greatness. So there.


    2. Paola

      This is so awesome and inspiring! THANK YOU for sharing Nikki, and for always putting encouragement in your messages and words. It’s powerful and a difference-maker. Got lots of fear about a little project, and this is the kick in the pants I need to move ;) So lovely how you share, THANK YOU again! And a huge congratulations!!! May the Lord continue to bless all your endeavors as you seek to bless others with your ideas and words :)

  2. Nenne

    I love this Nikki! And as a proud student of ACAC I can tell you that you tripling your income is no surprise at all. That course is the bomb and worth every. single. penny. You SO deserve it!

    What I would like to celebrate and acknowledge? Today is my last day at my full time job and I will start coaching full time. Aaaaand on Sunday I will be hopping on a flight to Paris which has always been my DREAM!

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      YESSSS, Nenne! Huge congrats on the last day and I hope you’re having (or had) a FANTASTIC trip. Share some pics in Study Hall so we can take a field trip with you :)

  3. Mel Wells

    LOVED reading this email, and loved the interview! You deserve all this success and more, and it’s such an inspiration to me about to launch my course too.

    Something I want to celebrate and be proud of this week is the fact I just increased my TEAM from 1 to 2! I now have a gorgeous amazing and super organized assistant who is literally a god send to me.

    Yay us!

    Tons of love, and keep spreading that Nikki magic,


    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      So amazing, Mel! Finding my #2 has been on my list for a ridiculous number of months now. Seeing your posts about how amazing it’s working out so far gives me hope + inspiration.

      You’re on FIYAH, sister. #workit

  4. connie curtis

    Thank you for sharing.. I am in the opposite place. I am a food and allergy coach and I have had a few paying clients but just gone. Its like what the hell am I doing wrong or not doing. I know this all takes time and sometimes I get inpatient. I want to be helping people in this area. I am doing a 12 day gluten free tip video series. I have been doing this for 8 days so far. I like doing the video so I am going to do more and share more even the dark stuff so people know everything and get I have been there and am still going through my own journey of hard changes personally , health and business wise. My long term relationship ended and its sad.. working on health stuff keep everything else going.. seems like a huge task some days.

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      I’m sorry to hear that, Connie! Have you thought about bridging the online efforts with more in-person connections (like phone calls)? May help to get in a groove and connect with folks live to help them relate + see exactly how you can help get them where they want to be.

      Wishing you all the best! This journey is definitely a rollercoaster <3

  5. Shannon

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I really appreciate how your authenticity comes through in your posts and videos. You’re a great inspiration.

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      And thank YOU for sharing this encouragement, Shannon!

  6. Marsha from

    Um, this is the second post in two hours that I’ve read with this message… and I just very recently printed out that MW quote and put it above my desk. Have something you need to say to me, do you, Universe??

    Last week I had one of my busiest work weeks in years, including running three enormously successful workshops, one of the highest-attended (and I *think* the best ever) of my storytelling shows, and I told a story onstage, that I pretty much did with almost no prep and not in the mood.

    That made my British insides shrink into themselves, but let’s briefly renounce my Britishness here:


    Ok, now I’m off to celebrate :)


    ps SO PROUD OF YOU, eternally! PLEASE celebrate how amazingly well you’ve done, and done with LOVE!

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown


      It’s true. All true.

      Love that you’re getting the get over yourself + SHINE message on repeat. We all need that :)


  7. H. R.

    Thanks for the amazing lessons you shared, especially that it is nice to celebrate your success with your friends and don’t fear.
    I feel uneasy with what you call homework, but to be polite, I will tell you: I designed my own website (long way from plain HTML to custom WordPress Theme) to publish my works and thoughts online and the boldest thing I published ever since is a short novel but then I feared and now started to take it offline from everywhere.

  8. Maggie

    My entire inbox is FILLED this week with emails about “stop playing small” and like you, and many of us….. It’s scary. Thoughts of, “is this niche really for me? I don’t want to sound like every other coach in the world etc”

    I did actually share a win with my list this week and guess what happen… I got one unsubscriber. UGH!! I know it’s not a big deal, but just when I’m excited and happy to celebrate, people don’t share in the glory.

    Thanks for sharing this post. My action for this week is to just “keep swimming.”

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Ha! I laugh because I totally get it, Maggie. Let them unsubscribe, my dear.

      I don’t subscribe to the “they’re making more room for the right subscribers” philosophy because HELLO – we have room for unlimited subscribers! BUTTT I do subscribe to the “good riddance + happy trails” philosophy.

      We’re not for everyone. Can’t be. So when people unsubscribe and you feel a sting, tryyyy to find the silver lining in that you a) put yourself out there by sending an email at all – #WIN! and b) put a stake in the ground as to what you’re about. People can choose from there if they stay or if they go, and (as you’ve seen) most of them will stay :)

      Go you!

  9. Mike Potts

    Fab Nikki, awesome job. Me? Just joined and going through Mindset changing stuff and trying to overcome those Self Limiting Beliefs; this week I’ve been doing Idea extraction cold-calling – it’s truly terrifying at first but I got through it. And… people didn’t laugh at me or tell me where to get off. Progress made, fear (almost) conquered – RESULT!

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      Thanks, Mike, and congrats – the best way to do it is just to DO IT – and you’re doin’ it! ;)

  10. Paola

    This is so awesome and inspiring! THANK YOU for sharing Nikki, and for always putting encouragement in your messages and words. It’s powerful and a difference-maker. Got lots of fear about a little project, and this is the kick in the pants I need to move ;) So lovely how you share, THANK YOU again! And a huge congratulations!!! May the Lord continue to bless all your endeavors as you seek to bless others with your ideas and words :)

  11. Amy

    I’m celebrating being named the Esthetician of the Year and best in the Nation in my category of age management. I’ve also just proofed the labels for my own Signature product line, The Ageless Radiance Collection and worked on the deliverables for my product launch and funnel. PHEW!!! Thanks for your email. I really needed it!

  12. Mindy

    Aloha, Nikki! Thanks for sharing and encouraging us to be transparent and open! As a somewhat private introvert, I know this will be a struggle for me as I launch my blog (hopefully within the month). Your post was very inspiring. Congratulations; it’s wonderful that you were able to create something that not only helps fellow entrepreneurs, but also provides an education to those less fortunate than us here in America. What a huge blessing! I just signed up for your live call with DSG and was happy to see the 1pm PST start time. I’m a fellow Navy wife here on Oahu : ) and have too many early, early mornings thanks to the 6 hour time difference to the East Coast. Looking forward to May 19!

  13. Hannah

    I love everything you write/share/post, and look forward to each new inspiring and insightful piece. This one especially spoke to me today. (I know, look at me just discovering it!) I am already a published author and a successful freelance writer (though I’m trying to phase that out so I can focus on my novels), but each time I begin a new book, or even a new blog post, I feel weighted down by the dreaded sensation that it will speak to no one.

    It is high time this weekend that I go ahead and celebrate even my latest little successes! For positivity breads more of the same, as does success. Thank you for the inspiration!

    1. Nikki Elledge Brown

      YES, Hannah! How did the celebration go?

      I totally resonate with the “holding my figurative breath till I get feedback” phenomenon… I think it’s just part of the creative process. (And it makes comments like THIS ONE so much more valuable, so thank you :))

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