Ask A Heroine: Welcome to the experts corner, love. This is where you ask your burning questions on business and life, and receive personal advice from the best. Each month we feature amazing industry Heroines and their wise video answers to your deepest inquiries. Here, questions give way to solutions, insights transform into action, and more »
Nisha Moodley is a Women’s Leadership Coach and the creator of FIERCE FABULOUS FREE, The Freedom Mastermind & The Virtual Sisterhood.
Inspired by the belief that the world will be set free by women who are free & sisterhood is key to a woman’s freedom, Nisha creates communities of ambitious women to support them in redesigning their lives & businesses. Enjoy her exclusive Business Heroine interview…
BH: You believe the world will be set free by women who are free. Tell us more about this!
Nisha: For my entire life I struggled with food addiction and emotional eating. When I overcame those things I started building a business around helping other women overcome emotional eating. I really loved the work that I was doing with the other women, and it felt really meaningful.
Yet, I pretty quickly found myself become a complete workaholic. I was working all the time – getting up at 7am and working until 2am – and I realized I was actually working to avoid things in my life that weren’t working, including my marriage which was falling apart. I was doing meaningful work, yet I was on the verge of total burnout.
A really pivotal moment for me was when I heard the quote from the Dalai Lama, “The world will be saved by the Western woman.” A question came up for me: Which ones will save the world?
I realized it wasn’t going to be those of us standing on our soapbox preaching a way of living and being, it was going to be those of us who were actually being the change. That’s how I realized the world will be set free by women who are free.
BH: How did you discover sisterhood for yourself, and how did you discover it as the key to setting women free?
Nisha: When I was realizing that I couldn’t keep doing things the way I had been doing them and that things had to shift in my business and life in order for me to be happy and healthy, a couple of things were happening…
One is that I realized I have to start doing my work for myself – to look at what things are going to create more freedom in my life, and what conditions are going to support that. So I had to start opening up and asking for support around the things I was struggling with. Until then I had kept a lot of my struggles from my girlfriends because I was ashamed. I thought, “Let me just figure it out on my own and then I’ll update them on the situation.”
So, what shifted in my personal life is that I was now getting this beautiful support and encouragement from the women in my life. I was experiencing how just receiving that support and being in sisterhood with them was really expanding my sense of personal freedom.
At the same time that this was happening, I was scaling my business. I was going from working with clients one-on-one to doing group programs and leading retreats. What I saw time and again was that the women I was working with within groups were getting such incredible results. Fast results and deep results. Sticky and lasting.
What was happening naturally as women were circling together in these groups was they were talking about what was really going on in life – the shameful parts, the celebrations, all of it. The women were able to show up in the fullness of themselves in this safe, loving, supportive space.
So this connection between freedom and sisterhood was really gelling, in both my personal life and my professional life at the time.
BH: What advice do you have for the heroines reading this who might be missing sisterhood in their lives right now? How do you go about finding or creating a sisterhood of women who really get who you are and hold you to your highest?
Nisha: I think it’s important for us, as much as possible, to have three friend groups.
The first one is old friends. I hear a lot of women say, “My old friends don’t get me anymore,” or “They’re not on an entrepreneurial journey so it’s harder for us to understand one another,” which I can really get. And yet, there’s something so valuable about those old friendships – the people who know you and your heart, before you had a brand or a message or “colors” or a tagline. Those old friends can really keep us grounded so, unless they are toxic relationships, I always encourage women to keep fanning the flames on those friendships, because they’re meaningful.
And then there are local friends. It means a lot to have people who can walk over to your house or take a short drive over to your house and be there with you. I can tell you, there’s no way I would have gotten through my divorce and other difficult things without having those local friends to snuggle with when things were difficult.
And then there’s the group of friends which are the colleagues – the women who are on a similar journey to us as far as building a business and putting a message out into the world.
One way to find them is to look for a leader that you feel really aligned with. If you feel a connection with them, they are probably calling in other people that you would feel connected with as well. So look for people who you are inspired by and see who their tribe is, because those are your people too.
Creating sisterhood circles yourself can be really valuable as well. It’s important that we pick people – not because it feels like a good strategic move – but because it feels like, “I just love you as a person and I want to become great friends with you. I want us to be able to talk about life AND business together.” The way I see it, friendship always comes first.
Also, look for someone whose message so inspires you that you want to support them in getting that message out into the world. If you really get the person’s heart and you really want to be a stand for their message, that’s going to be a really beautiful rich friendship.
BH: You went from being a ‘workaholic’ to now having a business that is designed around spaciousness and your own personal rhythms. Will you give us a sneak peak into what your business model looks like?
Nisha: My model is this: I run a nine-month mastermind call The Freedom Mastermind which I invite twenty women into each year. We go on three really luxurious retreats together, I coach them one-one-one, and we do group coaching as well. It’s a gorgeous experience and, for the most part, those are the only people that I have been working with one-on-one for the last several years.
I also have a program that I am launching this year, which I did another version of a few years ago, called FIERCE FABULOUS FREE. It is an eight-week online course on living for ambitious women.
And then I will have an online community, called The Virtual Sisterhood.
Lastly, I run an annual retreat with my friend Sarah Jenks, called Live Free, in Sonoma California. That has been such a joy as well.
And that’s it. There’s been a lot of space. Of course, this model isn’t for everyone – some people don’t like one-on-one coaching. Some people want to be only doing one-on-one coaching. I think there are different things that work for different people.
BH: How might a heroine design (or re-design) her business so it fits who she is, so she can operate from a space of ease, grace, and inner freedom?
Nisha: What I encourage people to do is look at – What is your future vision for your life?
There is a great exercise called “The Painted Picture,” in the first chapter of a book called Double Double by Cameron Herold. (You can download the first chapter for free here). It’s about getting a clearly mapped out vision for your future and what you are living into. Without knowing where you’re headed, it’s kind of hard to take the next step, or to know what things to build.
So one of the things I like doing is starting with that bigger vision for yourself – I call it your “Why for You.” I also like people to look at their “Why for the World,” which is your vision for the world that you stand for. Once you have those two things clear, they become your North Star, and now you can start to look at creating a model based on moving toward that cohesive vision of the future. That’s the first step.
From there, I love exploring with people, how would you love to give creatively from your heart? If you were creating art out of your work, what would just be so enlivening for you that the idea of getting up and doing it every day would be like, “Pinch me! I can’t believe I’m getting paid to do this work!” How beautiful, if the whole planet was living in such a way that we got to work in a way that felt so aligned for us.
I also really encourage people be committed to living in the feeling of your Why for You and your Why for the World right now. One of the things that I had to get was my Why for Me does not include a lot of 2am dinners, and not having a shower each day because I’m working, and still being in my pajamas at 7:00 at night. Horrible! I realized there were some things I had to change about how I was living and working now in order to be aligned.
The idea of “Oh let me just get through this launch, and then I’ll miraculously start getting dressed every day…” No, you actually have to start doing it right away and living in alignment with it right away.
One other thing, which I don’t talk about often, is something we can really learn from the technology world. One of the things tech startups do really well is they understand beta testing. When you put something out on the market it’s an experiment – you’re going to have to see how it goes, and you’re going to have to change it.
Sometimes people do something once, and it’s really challenging or doesn’t go as planned, and they just kind of throw it all out instead of noticing what didn’t feel good or didn’t work and changing it for next time. The first time I led a retreat, it cost me money to run that retreat. If I had just decided I just shouldn’t run retreats, I can’t imagine what I would be doing now.
So I encourage people to make informed decisions, yet also get that it’s all an experiment and if it doesn’t go the way you want it to the first time, pick yourself up and do differently next time.
BH: For those who want to enter your world, what is the best way they can get more Nisha in their lives?
Nisha: NishaMoodley.com is a wonderland of things to explore. On the “Work with Me” page you’ll see all the ways to work with me, including some fun one-on-one stuff that I’ve decided to create.
I have a downloadable workbook called Take Flight Action Guide, which really helps you get clear on the different areas of your life that may need tending to, how can you rally the resources to do so, and the first steps. I also have a poetry book I’d love to offer everyone for free called The Freedom Devotional.
One is a very practical tangible guide and the other is super impractical love letters to your heart from me!