What would you do if, within a short period, your world collapsed? You lost everything, had a car accident, lost your well-paid job, your dad, your marriage and the business, every penny you had, your son was just diagnosed with autism, and you became homeless. For many people, this is the end. They are hopeless. But not Mandy Nicholson, who is an inspiration and proves that you can change everything if you believe in yourself.
Mandy Nicholson, a 56-year-old woman from Northumberland, welcomes me with a massive smile on her face over a Zoom call and shares her story. After all the unfortunate events that happened in her life over 10 years ago, she knew she had to move on for her children. Today Mandy is a Creative Genius Consultant, artist, author, and entrepreneur. She proves that everyone can change their life if they really want to.
My first question to Mandy was, why did she decide to focus only on helping creative women? With excitement in her voice, she said, “on every step of my career, there were only men on the top positions. I didn’t struggle to prove myself because I always knew my worth, but I just wanted to see more women succeed.” She has a soul of an artist herself and believes we should see more creativity in this world.
Mandy proudly explains that she has a vast community, thousands of followers on LinkedIn and other social media, and hundreds of program users. She’s coaching women and helping them create businesses and monetize the genius inside them. But, unfortunately, society tells us that “you are going to be poor as an artist, that this is not a real job, you cannot make money from it.” And here is where Mandy’s signature program, Creative Business Academy, comes in.
Firstly, everyone starts with a colouring book. Yes! A colouring book! “They learn how to associate colours with emotions. Usually, it takes up to 4-5 modules until they are ready to build the business. You cannot start thinking of business if there is no self-belief. Only then can you talk about branding, marketing, launching, sells and leadership,” Mandy explains with a passion in her voice.
The women who are participating in the program receive a lot of support. They have 1-2-1 with Mandy, where they speak about problems, but she doesn’t give them solutions. She helps them understand. There is also massive support from the community, as ladies meet twice a week for a group call. The structure of the call brings positivity as they must share one win and ask one question. This is a safe environment but also a strong mastermind opportunity. Mandy says she helps them think outside the box, “usually people are thinking in one direction, they paint – they must sell the painting, that’s it.” She helps them open their minds to new opportunities.
Some ladies left the program with prospering businesses, but they returned to their usual environment and people who planted doubt in them again. They are coming back and asking for help because the momentum is shaking. It’s hard to establish a successful business after just 12 months of a program “people need two to four years to really get traction in their business,” therefore there is an option of joining the Graduate Program with access to all the knowledge and materials.
But there is even more! Every Tuesday at 7 pm, Mandy records a Creative Genius TV. You can find over a hundred videos on YouTube. The content comes from the women in the program.
“If these ladies struggle with something, it means that there is someone else who struggles with the same thing.” There is so much value for free, but this is only a tiny piece of all she knows. Mandy has a degree in art and design and psychology, a business diploma, six coaching qualifications, and 30 years of business experience.
Unfortunately, there are so many coaches and mentors on social media nowadays. Coaches who have no experience and charge a lot of money. Many people say: “I’m a millionaire. You must do what I do to be successful”. “There are so many scammers, you can be a coach or mentor and have no qualifications for it. These people are scamming others and making billions of it.” – that really upsets Mandy. She understands there are people genuinely looking for help, but they are being scammed.
This year, Mandy Nicholson sold her house and moved to Scotland, where she bought a seven-bedroom house, which she’s now renovating. She’s creating it based on a vision of a castle in Scotland on her vision board. She has sparkles in her eyes when she says, “this retreat will be for creative women. Three rooms will be themed on artists: Picasso, Monet, and Van Gogh, who suffered Imposter Syndrome. I will be with them for 7 full days, and they will finish the whole journey with a self-created piece”.
Let’s not forget that Mandy Nicholson is also an artist, and her art is about women’s empowerment. The painting she has the most prominent sentiment to is “Let Her Rise” – women held by society. “I painted the orange background as a sunrise, but a lot of people say it looks like a fire, that she looks like a phoenix, which is beautiful and inspiring.”
Next steps? She is writing a series of children’s books. These are stories she used to tell her children when they were living in the little council house. With a bit of sentiment but optimistically, Mandy shares, “my son is autistic, and daughter has ADHD. So I was making stories about autism being a superpower and them going on adventures and saving the local town when we were living in that small council house.” Her children are also creative, daughter is doing a degree in fine art, and her son is in animation and illustration. So they will help her illustrate the books.
Mandy is also an author, “Cancer – diary of a daughter” was her first book. “The life I won” – is her story of losing everything in 12 months. I asked her how she felt sharing her story with everyone, “it was the right thing to do. I wanted to inspire women that they can overcome everything in their lives. Story of losing everything, hitting rock bottom, but realising I had everything I needed because I already had all this knowledge.” The second book will be called “The life I’ve created” – it will be a story of how she bought and rebuilt the house of her dreams. She should finish the book by the end of the year.
There will be a third book as well. I could feel hope and confidence in Mandy’s voice when she said, “it will have a castle in it, doesn’t have a title yet, it’s not written yet, doesn’t have an ending yet, but it will be amazing.”
Read more about Mandy Nicholson on her personal website HERE.