Meet Nadine Nicholson with Ascend Leadership Co.
Nadine Nicholson specializes in guiding driven, overworked entrepreneurs toward mastering the art of time leadership. She is the visionary behind The Time Leadership Method – a collaborative effort with her husband Derek. Their expertise allows their clients to achieve greater wealth, joy, and presence in both their professional and personal lives. With a proven track record, they have assisted hundreds in crafting what appears to be “impossible” freedom, enabling them to feel extraordinarily accomplished in every facet of their lives.
Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
It was in 2009 that the work habits I’d developed up until then came to a screeching halt. I was at the pinnacle of my career as a corporate communications manager, leading 100 employees, and recognized internationally for my achievements. At the time, my son Keane was just 18-months-old. I saw him for only 30 minutes on weekdays because I worked so much. One day, sitting near the Bow River – sad, confused, and completely depleted – I asked myself, “Why am I doing this?” Not long after, my dad was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. Only 21 days later, he was gone. As he took his last breath, I watched his face fade from a reddish hue to ivory white. What happened next changed my life… I received a message from his spirit. I felt a blast of wind come from his face up into my face and heard: “Nadine, you have new life. YOU HAVE NEW LIFE!!” It was like he breathed new life into me. And, in that moment, I promised myself I would devote my life to what matters most. I would put my own health, well-being and family FIRST. I would live my life to the fullest. So I started right then and there. While I miss him dearly, my dad’s death gives me the courage, fortitude and inspiration to do this work. That was where the Time Leadership Method was really born.
What do you think makes your company stand out?
Our company Ascend Leadership Co. stands out because we lock arms with our clients and get right down into the trenches with them. The ROI is immediate with us – our clients get tangible results fast. There is no problem or challenge that we get flustered by. We coach our clients outside in Nature, on the trail! I also like how one of our clients said, “You couldn’t hire people who have more heart AND hard skill expertise than what these two have. They are a special couple, they are angels.” I humbly believe this to be very true.
I also believe our company stands out because of what we stand for. Our PURPOSE is to eradicate the Say/Do Gap in the lives of successful business owners. We help our clients unlock “impossible” freedom and feel wildly accomplished both inside and outside their business. Our VISION is a world where people are unapologetically in the driver’s seat of their lives and make the most of their precious time. They feel successful and lit up in both business AND life. They navigate life from the heart and gut, without need for external validation. They intentionally focus their time on who and what matters most. They believe they can, and DO, turn their dreams into a reality. Not “someday”, NOW!
What has been your favorite moment in your career so far?
My career spans over 30 years and I have MANY favorite career moments. I’ll focus on my second career – being a professional coach for entrepreneurs. Some highlights are:
- The decision to take my time and life back, and start this business to focus my precious TIME on what mattered most to me: my health, well-being and family.
- When I led a business retreat while backpacking on the Kalalau Trail on the west coast of Kauai, and eight business retreats at Mount Engadine Lodge in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
- When my husband Derek joined me in the business, we combined the best of his skills and the best of my skills, and rebranded as Ascend Leadership Co.
- So many moments of our clients being, doing and having what they thought was impossible before working with us. I could write multiple books with stories of our clients’ wins in both their businesses and lives.
- All the new clients I’ve met while doing what I love, like hiking in Sedona, houseboating on Lake Powell, and swimming in Hawaii, as a few examples.
- The day our company hit $1M in annual revenue and we qualified for membership in the Women Presidents Organization (WPO).
- When I was awarded the Master Certified Coach (MCC) designation with the International Coach Federation, the gold standard in professional coaching.
What measure do you use to determine success?
Success to me is when my SAY (what matters to me the most) is aligned and integrity with my DO (my choices and decisions for how I spend my time). Success is defying “can’t” and staying in brave action. Success is when I unapologetically put what lights me up at the center of my calendar and experience more wealth, growth, and impact because of it.
What piece of advice has impacted you the most?
Shortly after my dad died from cancer, when I was back in corporate, I was in a 1:1 meeting with my boss. I shared transparently with her what I was feeling and how I wanted more time for my health, well-being and family. Then she said, “Nadine, when I look back on the last 10 years in my career, I have lost 5 years of my life from stress.” In that exact moment, I remember thinking, “It’s time to go. It’s to create more freedom in my life.” It was the greatest piece of “advice” that I’ve ever received and I’m grateful for her honesty every day.
What message would you like to give to anybody who has a plan of creating something of their own and making a living through it?
If you have a business now or you want to create one, there is a different way to run your life and business. One that allows you to experience what I call “impossible” freedom – which means being fully available for what lights you up and matters most to you both inside and outside of business, experiencing spaciousness and flexibility in your schedule, and feeling truly present in your relationships and most importantly: with yourself. And not only will you not lose revenue, it triggers more financial growth. I know this sounds “impossible,” but it’s more than possible. It’s precisely what I do to support my high-achieving, powerhouse entrepreneur clients with, every day.
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