Self-doubt. Uncertainty. Fear of the unknown. Opportunista Nancy Levin has overcome all of it and helps others do the same.
As entrepreneurs, we need to transcend that doubt, that uncertainty, and that fear that holds us back. As a personal coach, author, and speaker, Nancy shares deeply personal experiences about overcoming these inner struggles, and how she practices what she preaches by living her own Transformation Equation. Nancy also discusses her invaluable insights on self-worth (read: this is life-changing advice), and knowing your intention and desired outcome—key to an entrepreneur’s success.
Nancy appreciates and defines what it means to be “the new Super Woman.” And we appreciate Nancy for defining what it means to create her own opportunities to live her best life.
Nancy is The Opportunista.
Listen to the voice alive inside of you...
Find what you’re longing for,
know your intention and desired outcome,
and work backward from there.
Let’s meet Nancy and learn from this Opportunista.
Name: Nancy Levin
Location: Colorado - Boulder and Snowmass
Title & Company: Owner, Nancy Levin
Industry: Coaching, Publishing, Personal Growth
MFA, Writing and Poetics, Naropa University
Master Integrative Coach, Ford Institute for Transformational Training
You were the Event Director at Hay House for 12 years. What inspired you to make the transition from this role to become a Master Integrative Life Coach, author, and speaker?
In the wake of my deeply painful divorce I decided to do a yearlong coaching training program—that was more rigorous than my master’s degree!—as part of my own healing process. I never had any intention of leaving my dream job but, by the time I received my certification, I was truly unrecognizable from whom I was before. Once I was clear on my mission to help other people get free, I knew I needed to get after it!
What was the biggest challenge you needed to overcome in starting your business? How did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge was taking of my cape. It’s amazing to witness what I was able to give myself permission to do once I realized I wasn’t Super Woman! I had long been tied to putting my worthiness in the hands of others, allowing them to determine my worth. I used to take great pride in my super-human people-pleasing skills. I willingly allowed others to be my governing body, and I hung on every gold star, accolade, and morsel of external validation that I believed proved my value. So, thoughts like: “If I work for myself, how worthy could I possibly be?” “What if I fall flat on my face?” and “What if I end up without a job or a career?” started to creep in. The shift came as my self-worth strengthened.
I am now my own governing body–doling out freedom. I believe the new Super Woman prioritizes herself while being true to her inner yes and no, without second guessing herself. She has traded self-doubt for self-worth and is in acceptance of right where she is, with clear knowing that abandoning herself for the sake of another is no longer a badge of honor, or even an option.
There’s nothing that can take the place of co-creation and collaboration with someone who has your back while guiding you and holding the vision for you when you’re unable to see it for yourself.
What was the greatest risk you took in making the leap from your full-time job to working for yourself?
The perception of giving things up—title, salary, identity, status—when in fact there was so much more to be gained by leaving than I could have imagined—including money! In the end, truth be told, there was no risk at all … it was all just a story I was making up based on an old self-preservation survival strategy to keep me from stepping into the light that was no longer serving me.
The theme of your book, Jump … And Your Life Will Appear, resonates with entrepreneurs who are looking to make the leap from their full-time jobs into entrepreneurship. What guidance can you offer to aspiring entrepreneurs about making this transition?
Here’s the deal: if we don’t make different choices, we’ll never get where we want to go and our future will look like our past. Our present moment choices determine our future … they’re our crystal ball. If we want a different future, we have to make different choices. The truth is that your heart has already jumped … your head just has to catch up with your heart! No matter what the external jump is, the internal jump must be fueled by a deepening of self-awareness, self-acceptance, self-compassion, self-love, self-forgiveness, self-trust, self-worth—which is why my latest book is Worthy: Boost Your Self-Worth to Grow Your Net Worth.
Do you have a mentor, and/or have you had one in the past? What are your thoughts on aspiring entrepreneurs having mentors?
The desire to leave my day job was just a scary little spark back in August 2012. On a walk in Melbourne, Australia, Reid Tracy—my close friend and most trusted mentor and advisor and CEO/President of Hay House—said to me, “It’s not about your indispensability at work. It’s about your irreplaceability as a human.” Woah. He was right.
It’s about who I am, not what I do. I had been living in a long-running story that everyone loved me because of what I did for them, when in fact they all loved me for just being me! That right there was a straight-up masterclass on business with soul and the soul of business. Not to mention worthiness! It really took me some time to understand that I’m not loved for what I do. I’m truly loved—by colleagues, family and friends—for who I am. To them, my worth was unconditional.
I’m a big proponent of having support as we transform our businesses and our lives and this is precisely why I created my group coaching programs. There’s nothing that can take the place of co-creation and collaboration with someone who has your back while guiding you and holding the vision for you when you’re unable to see it for yourself. Reid has always been my greatest cheerleader, so when I finally told him I wanted to quit my job and he said, “I’ll tell you when you can quit,” I listened. “Stay here a little longer and use the time to build your platform,” he advised. “That way you’ll have a firm foundation under you when you leave.” He was right. By “platform,” Reid meant working on my “side hustle”—building my coaching practice and online presence, publishing Jump … And Your Life Will Appear, getting some speaking engagements—to be solid enough to make it without the full-time job. I spent over a year doing that while still working at Hay House, and I loved it. Clearly, my “side job” was what I was meant to do.
During that time, I also focused on strengthening my self-worth. It was only by becoming willing to be worthy of the life I wanted that I was able to finally go out into the world, on my own as me, full-time. In the interest of full disclosure, Reid gave me a little push. “It’s time for you to go,” he said one day on the phone, not long after delivering the huge news that Hay House wanted to pick up my self-published book Jump … And Your Life Will Appear. My fears were still a bit in my way, even after I had created a strong enough platform for myself. In fact, the first thing I said to him was, “You’re firing me?!” Good thing my sense of worthiness was strong enough by then to say yes to fully immersing myself in coaching, writing, speaking, teaching – to serving from front and center instead of from backstage. Good thing I had the courage to jump! It was time to raise my havingness level.
In order to have more, we have to change our thinking, behaviors, and habits related to self-worth—little by little. As we do that, we can continue to increase our “worth threshold.” By that, I mean what we’ll allow ourselves to receive more and more. Our self-worth beliefs—that we have always thought of as fact—will determine how much we let ourselves have. We can inch past our current threshold of what we’re willing to have by catching ourselves when we perpetuate patterns and behaviors of low self-worth.
Yes, it takes work to get past the programming of our childhoods. But it isn’t a burden. It’s something to cherish and relish. As adults, we have a wonderful opportunity. We can choose to base our identities on who we truly are inside—the personality, the essence we came into this life with. This is who you were before you were imprinted with anybody else’s opinions—imperfect, human, thoroughly beautiful, and oh so worthy. Trust me: There’s so much more possible for you than you know! Self-worth is the key. Turn that key in the lock, and open the door. The life you most desire is waiting.
What advice do you have for an aspiring entrepreneur who knows she wants to be an entrepreneur, but doesn’t yet have a business idea? How can she determine her big idea?
Listen to the voice alive inside of you that started as a whisper and is likely screaming wildly now. Find what you’re longing for, know your intention and desired outcome, and work backward from there. The spark is within you. It simply needs to be uncovered and revealed and then it becomes its own gravitational pull drawing you toward it.
What guidance can you offer about getting into the most effective mindset for becoming your own boss?
Delegate! Start with hiring a virtual assistant for ten hours a month. You don’t have to do everything yourself, or know everything. You just need to know where to look and ask for help. I resisted receiving support for so long, thinking it would mean I wasn’t enough, I was a failure, or that I was defective. But it doesn't. Asking for help means I’m smart enough to know that drawing on the wisdom and strength of others exponentially enhances me, and my business.
What do you love most about what you do?
I love keeping my clients accountable to the commitment they make to their own evolution. Holding the vision they discover for themselves, even when they're unable to see how they’re going to get there. I tell my clients when we begin, “You don’t have to believe, you simply need to believe that I believe.” And, inevitably, they find themselves living into it. I also love the experiential connection I’ve created on my weekly Hay House Radio show and Facebook live broadcast, and in my online coaching groups, as well as my in-person workshops and retreats.
How are you creating your own opportunities to live your best life?
I know my non-negotiables. I make myself and my time a priority. I am very picky about the people I share my life with and what I choose to do when. I schedule my hikes and self-care activities in my calendar as if I am my most sacred client. When I am on I give a zillion percent and when I am off I give myself silence and stillness. I live by my own Transformation Equation: Change = Vision + Choice + Action.
Nancy is The Opportunista.
What’s your favorite way to start your day? I begin each day waking up in the dark early morning to meditate and write in my journal. Then I make my coffee and, when I’m ready, I toggle my phone back to Wi-Fi from airplane mode where it’s been since I went to sleep.
Next item to cross off on your bucket list: Month-long silent meditation retreat.
I want to be remembered as: A woman who took action to live in alignment with her truth and desires, standing solidly in her self-worth—and a catalyst for others to do the same.
The woman you dream of taking to lunch. Why her? Having spent all those years backstage with luminaries, I don’t have anyone on a pedestal or wish-list ... so, I likely haven’t met her yet.
What does entrepreneurship mean to you? Liberation and limitless possibility.
Let me know in the comments: How has Nancy's story inspired you to build your own business?
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