Being a founder, entrepreneur, or a business owner can have many exciting and thrilling moments. But it is also punctuated with periods of doubt, slump, and anxiety. So how does one successfully and healthily ride the highs and lows of Entrepreneurship? In this series, called “How To Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur“ we are talking to successful entrepreneurs who can share stories from their experience. I had the pleasure of interviewing Nicole Townend.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
Nicole Townend: I’m an entrepreneur at heart, the kind of person who thinks of a new idea daily! I went to school in Los Angeles at FIDM, developed a brand Teddy Needs A Bath that aired on ABC’s Shark Tank, and eventually sold the brand. My latest venture incorporates my passion for fragrance with the help of my business partner, Veronica Hu called Celui Fragrance.
What was the “Aha Moment” that led to the idea for your current company? Can you share that story with us?
In your opinion, were you a natural born entrepreneur or did you develop that aptitude later on? Can you explain what you mean?
Nicole Townend: I’m a natural entrepreneur through and through. I’ve been doing this for 10 years, starting with my company Teddy Needs a Bath that I pitched on Shark Tank Season 4 (2013) and sold a few years later. I love growing something from the ground up. I take all the past knowledge I have learned and apply it to the next!
Was there somebody in your life who inspired or helped you to start your journey with your business? Can you share a story with us?
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
Nicole Townend: After 2 years of developing my business partner and I would get stopped on a daily from women and men asking what scent we had on. It was really at that moment that we knew we had something special.
You are a successful business leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?
Often leaders are asked to share the best advice they received. But let’s reverse the question. Can you share a story about advice you’ve received that you now wish you never followed?
Nicole Townend: Licensing is usually not the way to go! Especially if they want to pay you royalties to net sales. When I was offered a licensing deal from a large company, people told me it was, “a once and a lifetime offer”, “one in one million brands get offered a licensing deal” and other exciting words of advice. Really, it would have been better to keep on moving and take it all the way myself.
Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them create a work culture in which employees thrive and do not “burn out” or get overwhelmed?
Nicole Townend: Building a team is one of the most important aspects of building a successful brand. Find people who believe in your passion and individuals that you can learn from.
What would you advise other business leaders to do in order to build trust, credibility, and Authority in their industry?
Nicole Townend: I always treat others with kindness and respect and expect to be treated the same. As two women and mothers, we are always open to supporting other like-minded businesses or women-owned brands. We believe the more you give, the more you get back.
Can you help articulate why doing that is essential today?
Nicole Townend: The world simply needs to be more kind. I hope in the future everyone is more accepting and understanding. Don’t hold impossible standards for everyone in your life. We all need to be given a break once in a while. And if we’re not enjoying ourselves then what’s the point?
What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start a business? What can be done to avoid those errors?
Nicole Townend: Make sure you love what you’re doing. I have consulted for a few companies where the founders were more focused on the financials than the actual service or product they were selling. This disconnect or lack of connection comes across to the consumer and can devastate a business before it even starts.
Ok fantastic. Thank you for those excellent insights, Let’s now shift to the main focus of our interview about How to Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur. The journey of an entrepreneur is never easy, and is filled with challenges, failures, setbacks, as well as joys, thrills and celebrations. This might be intuitive, but I think it will be very useful to specifically articulate it. Can you describe to our readers why no matter how successful you are as an entrepreneur, you will always have fairly dramatic highs and lows? Particularly, can you help explain why this is different from someone with a “regular job”?
Do you feel comfortable sharing a story from your own experience about how you felt unusually high and excited as a result of your business? We would love to hear it.
Do you feel comfortable sharing a story from your own experience about how you felt unusually low, and vulnerable as a result of your business? We would love to hear it.
Based on your experience can you tell us what you did to bounce back?
Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. What are your “Five Things You Need To Successfully Ride The Emotional Highs & Lows Of Being An Entrepreneur”? Please share a story or an example for each.
We are living during challenging times and resilience is critical during times like these. How would you define resilience? What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?
Nicole Townend: I would compare resilience to one of the laws of nature; survival of the fittest. How can you use the resources available to you to get what you want? There are so many resources available! Anyone can send an email. Send 20 and get one reply…that’s worth it! Keep it up! How can you take the power back? What are you good at? Once you identify what you’re good at, find people who can help you with the things you’re not good at. That is resilience to me, taking all the power back and not accepting total defeat. When I felt like I had exhausted all my resources for my first company, I sold and redirected.
Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency? Would you mind sharing a story?
In your opinion, do you tend to keep a positive attitude during difficult situations? What helps you to do so?
Nicole Townend: I’m obnoxiously optimistic!! I appreciate everything and everyone and I don’t freak out over little things. And what I consider to be little is mostly everything. I draw the line at disrespect or anyone trying to harm me or my family. But a money issue? We can always lose money. We can always make money. Money is a tool we use in life l. But big things like my daughter’s childhood, can never be made back again. My family and daughter is 100% my top priority.
Can you help articulate why a leader’s positive attitude can have a positive impact both on their clients and their team? Please share a story or example if you can.
Nicole Townend: It’s all about energy. Energy spreads and is contagious. If you have negative energy that is just going to infect your entire life. Including your team, and all your opportunities. I’m not a religious person but I’m a huge believer in the law of attraction as it has worked magic in my own life. I believe what we think, we become.
Ok. Super. We are nearly done. What is your favorite inspirational quote that motivates you to pursue greatness? Can you share a story about how it was relevant to you in your own life?
Nicole Townend: Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right.
How can our readers further follow you online?
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with
this. We wish you continued success and good health!