We had the good fortune of connecting with Nicole Cruz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nicole, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risks showed up in times in my life when I was faced with the choice to believe in myself or believe in my fear. For most of my life, I was incredibly risk-avoidant and chose to listen to my fear. A lot of this stemmed from my immigrant upbringing, where risk was a luxury my parents didn’t have. I learned that risk meant uncertainty and uncertainty threatened survival. My risk averse nature kept me in work situations, relationships, and a lifestyle that really didn’t serve me. In my early 30s, I realized that fear had dictated a lot of my life choices, which created a life that felt small and safe. I decided to take a big risk and quit my 6-figure corporate job in order to travel the world. I had to let go of the fear of not having stability and choose to believe that I would be okay. This risk led me to experiencing life in a whole new way, which opened up the possibilities I saw for my future. Another pivotal risk that I took was to pursue a career that was totally different and, to be honest, not a career path that most parents wish for their children. I decided to take a risk and trust that I could build a successful career rooted in the activities that I enjoyed the most: helping others reach their goals in a deeply transformational way. Because of that risk I took 2 years ago, I now have a career and lifestyle that is truly fulfilling and no longer feels small — I truly feel like I am living bravely.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
My business supports immigrant and immigrant descendants of color to release limiting survival beliefs so that they can thrive, unapologetically. Through coaching programs, I help 1st & 2nd generation immigrants love and believe in themselves so that they can create liberated lives. Building my business took a lot of belief in myself. It was a total career change from my over a decade experience in corporate program management. I had also never tried my hand at entrepreneurship before. I had to believe hard in myself and my vision to keep going. My first year of business, I spoke to 100 women and received over 80 “no’s”. There were times where I doubted myself, cried, felt lost, and started browsing career sites. What kept me going was my support system, especially my husband who never stopped believing in me, and my clients. Every time one of my clients told me that she believed in herself more or accepted herself, the joy and fulfillment would give me enough fuel to keep trying. I learned that every step is cumulative. That even though there are failures, it doesn’t mean I’m regressing. I’m still moving forward, as long as I keep taking steps. That’s when I knew I was really doing what I was meant to do in the world. I didn’t want to stop, quit, or give up. I wanted to show myself (and my community) that I could create the life and impact I wanted to. And now, I’ve helped over 100 women of color, have built a multi-6-figure business, and feel like I’m truly thriving
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to give a huge heartfelt shoutout to my mom. As a young mother, she sacrificed a lot in order to provide for our family, give me the best education, and set me up for as much success as possible. She modeled what a thriving life could look like. I saw her work herself from food stamps to a 6-figure corporate job. In her 40s, she showed me what designing your own life could be. She retired early and has traveled the world to surf and experience other cultures. She now spends half of her time living in Mexico. Because of her, I saw what could be possible for me.