CEOs / Founders / Interviews

Balancing the Grind with Richelle Nicols, Founder & CEO of Nicco Global

Richelle Nicols is the founder & CEO of Nicco Global, a combined payments-data-cloud solution designed to help enterprises understand customers like never before.

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1) To kick things off, could you tell us a little about your career background and current role?

I started my career as a commercial and governance lawyer working with KPMG and Australian Institute of Company Directors. I always had a keen interest in business and the entrepreneurial world, so I moved into the start-up sector where I worked as Managing Director for a couple of start-ups to cut my teeth. In 2019, I decided to start my own company, Nicco Global, which is where I was able to take all my skills and experience and focus it into something that I had created.

2) What does a day in your life look like for you? Can you take us through a recent workday?

Every day is different – which I love – however most days I start by grabbing a coffee at my local coffee shop and walking my rescue Greyhound, Sterling.

I then spend the day working with customers and partners both here and overseas, preparing for speaking opportunities or meeting with my team to finalise plans and briefs. It’s a never-ending to-do list, which I’m sure resonates with a lot of people.

3) What does work-life balance mean to you and how do you work to achieve that goal?

I have learnt from ending up in a hospital bed that I have to prioritise myself and my health first. As someone who previously focused 100% of my time and energy on my company, believing that I would and could rest once I had achieved my goals, I had to learn to un-do that mentality and step by step build in balance and self-nurturing.

It’s not something I could just change in a day – and I think that’s something we all need to learn: change is a process, but even the smallest steps you take each day, are the ones that create consistency and stability in new habits for the long-term.

4) In the past 12 months, have you started or stopped any routines or habits to change your life?

Yes. I have been focusing on regulating my nervous system and learning how to stabilise it to ensure that my mental health, confidence and energy is balanced day to day. I also try to focus on getting a good night’s sleep. I know that sounds simple, but it’s a huge aspect of nervous system regulation.

Basic things have made a big difference, like not looking at my phone for at least one hour before I go to bed. I also try to avoid sugar and stimulants at night – and then in the mornings, I wake up around 4:30am most days so that I have a good amount of time just for me, without any interruption.

I like to walk my dog, then meditate, set my intentions for the day, write out my gratitude list, play guitar, maybe do a cold plunge in the ocean – stuff that has nothing to do with work. Making time for myself in the morning sets me up with the right energy for the day. Again, it’s not rocket science, but it’s been a game-changer for me, and funnily enough, for my company’s success too.  

5) Do you have any favourite books, podcasts or newsletters that you’d like to recommend?

I have my own podcast called Empire Rules that I record with my friend where we talk through learning how to be better at life by developing new habits and rituals that set you up for success.

I’m a big fan of picking up books that I have read many times, opening up a random chapter and reading it to remind myself of all the great material and wisdom they share. Some of my favourites include A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle and The Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav.

I’m a big believer in exposing yourself consistently to repetitive material like these books, in order for it to really sink in and aid you in shifting your mentality and energy towards where you want to be, versus where you are. Sometimes all I do is read a page, but if I do that every day, it’s building that material into the way I think bit by bit – which over time makes it ‘stick’.  

6) If you could read an interview about work-life balance by anyone, who would that be?

I’d love to read a collection of interviews, across all different types of people in different industries. I think we can learn so much from collective experience, so there isn’t one person that comes to mind.

7) Do you have any last thoughts on work, life or balance that you’d like to share with our readers?

If success was purely based on effort and stress, then wouldn’t we all be rich? There’s something else to it and I really believe and have experienced myself first hand, that the momentum in your life is directly connected to the balance and nurturing of yourself that you either cultivate as a priority every day, or not.

It may feel really uncomfortable to take days off or push back deadlines in favour of your physical and mental well-being, but take it from me, if you don’t the result is far more uncomfortable and costly (and painful).

What’s that saying? If you don’t pay for your health now, you’ll pay for it later. We’ve got to set the precedent in business that grinding yourself into the ground for an outcome isn’t the standard for achieving success – and I hope more people talk about it, instead of continuing the rhetoric of stress equals success.

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About Author

Hey there! I'm Hao, the Editor-in-Chief at Balance the Grind. We’re on a mission to showcase healthy work-life balance through interesting stories from people all over the world, in different careers and lifestyles.