The Happy Engineer Podcast

087: The 4 Must-Have Traits for Engineers to Build a Business from $0 to $1 MILLION in 3 Years (or Less) with Nicky Billou | CEO

In this episode, meet host of the #1 podcast in the world on thought leadership and international best-selling author of the book, “Finish Line Thinking: How to Think and Win Like a Champion”, Nicky Billou.

Nicky has interviewed over 300 of the world’s top thought leaders. He helps entrepreneurs to apply this timeless wisdom and scale their businesses by 7-9 figures through his own coaching company, eCircle Academy.

You are going to learn the 4 traits you need to build a successful $1 million dollar business in 3 years or less.

And the great news is that these same 4 traits will guarantee you a successful career as well.

So press play and let’s chat… it’s time to make the difference you were born to make!

Join us in a live webinar for deeper training, career Q&A, and FREE stuff!  HAPPY HOUR! Live with Zach

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The Happy Engineer Podcast





086: How to Create Authentic Personal Happiness and Effortless Professional Success with Robert Mack | Celebrity Happiness Coach




That really scratched the entrepreneurial itch inside of me. 

Let’s take one moment because I want to go back to that business as a bridge concept. 

I loved that statement that Nikki gave us, “A business as a bridge from your current circumstances to the great future circumstances that you’re wanting to create.

But here’s what I want you to know. These characteristics, decisiveness, commitment, coachability, and resourcefulness are the exact same traits that you need to build a successful career as well. 

And your career is just as much that bridge as building a business. 

Let me tell you a quick story. You may have met Mauricio Nunez, one of my former clients, back in episode 19.

At the time when I met Mauricio, he was a software engineering manager at Spotify.

On paper, everything looked really, really good for career progression and success by the world’s terms for Mauricio. 

But when I met him, he described what was one of the worst moments of his life. He was really unhappy in that role that might on paper look like a dream job.

He felt like he had no path forward. He felt stuck right there, which again if you looked at what he’d come through, he was a high performing individual. 

He wasn’t getting bad reviews or told that he had no future. His experience in that situation was feeling stuck, feeling frustrated, feeling unhappy, and he was tempted to leave the company or just quit and go back to being a software developer.

And when he enrolled in the Lifestyle Engineering Blueprint, our signature program for engineering leaders, by his own words, Maurizio described this decision as a life-changing event.

He discovered that it wasn’t the problems with the company or with his boss or with anything missing on his external circumstances.

The reality was that he was not using his career as a bridge to the future. He was relying on it, the career itself, as his purpose and fulfillment. 

And the truth is that his purpose, his area of creating meaning… once he tapped into that and understood the difference between living outside of his purpose and living inside of it, he experienced what he called a 1000% improvement in his relationships and the immediate results that he created at work. 

And then going on to finding a dream job at Meta where he is currently.

The difference that he experienced is that difference of relying on your career or your business itself to be the thing that creates purpose for you, rather than seeing it as the bridge to getting to the impact and the future that you want to have. 

You see, your career is a vehicle. It’s a bridge. It’s a way to get to places that you want to go.

Your career itself is not the place of purpose and meaning. It’s how you use that to have the interactions you want to have to make the difference that you want to make to experience life the way that you want to experience to create the income that you want to create. 

It’s a bridge and I think this picture is really powerful when we stop putting the pressure on our career itself to be the thing and to see it as a way to get to the place where you can have the impact you want to have.

If you’ve been listening to this conversation thinking, yeah, but I’m just not sure if I want to start a business. Throw that thought out the window because again, these traits of what allows an engineering leader to build a million dollar business are the same traits that will allow you to create million dollar impact and revenue, and as a W2 employee in engineering as well.

Decisiveness, commitment, coachability, resourcefulness. These are powerful traits and you are not just an employee and you are not just a student. 

This is one of the things I tell everybody who enrolls in the Lifestyle Engineering Blueprint, don’t come into our coaching program as a student with me as your teacher.

That is not the goal. You are not here simply to learn as a student. You’re here to learn as the CEO of your life. You are the one responsible for you. You are the one who is creating the strategy for your life.

You are the one who will then execute on that strategy for your life. 

So if you want to become a Lifestyle Engineer, if you want to create powerful and impactful differences in the world around you, then show up to your life as a ceo. 

So again, if you want to join us on that journey, let’s connect. It’s a great way for you to get an application set up for our program. But whether you want to join us or not, take this mindset to heart. 

Practice these traits and don’t listen to today’s conversation with Nikki from the lens of do I or don’t I want to be an entrepreneur?

Listen to it from the lens of how can I use my career or my business as a bridge to get from my current circumstances to the great future circumstances that you are wanting to. 

We’re here to help every step of the way. I’d love to hear how you’re doing, share those things with us in the Facebook group.

Keep connected and let us know what else you need. What other questions do you have? 

Because we want to keep bringing that to you right here on the Happy Engineer Podcast. 

It’s a huge privilege, an absolute blessing to be able to help you along the way. So let us know how we can do that. And until next time, keep crushing comfort creating  and let’s do this.





Nicky Billou has worked with Olympic Gold medalists Donovan Bailey & Mark McKoy, and helped Theresa Dugwell set 3 ultra-distance athletic Guinness World Records. An ex-corporate executive, he has become THE trusted adviser to CEOs, entrepreneurs, and sales professionals for their personal health and peak business performance.

International Bestselling Author of the book Finish Line ThinkingTM: How to Think and Win Like a Champion.

He is an in-demand and highly inspirational speaker to corporate audiences such as RBC, Lululemon, Royal LePage, and TorStar Media. He is an advisor and confidante to some of the most successful and dynamic entrepreneurs in Canada.

He is the co-founder of eCircle Academy ( where he runs a yearlong Mastermind & Educational program working with Coaches, Consultants, Corporate Trainers, Clinic Owners, Realtors, Mortgage Brokers, and other service-based Entrepreneurs, positioning them as authorities in their niche.



Please note the full transcript is 90-95% accuracy. Reference the podcast audio to confirm exact quotations.

[00:00:00] Zach White: Nikki, welcome to the Happy Engineer Podcast, man. Glad you’re here, 

[00:00:13] Nicky Billou: Zach. It’s an honor to be here. God bless you, and thank you for having me on. 

Expand to Read Full Transcript

[00:00:17] Zach White: It’s a privilege. It’s a pleasure. So Nikki, a lot of times on this show, we focus on the career side of engineering. Many of us are in that W2 world, you know, looking to get that next promotion.

[00:00:32] But it’s not uncommon. And my journey is one example of this, where you’ve got the entrepreneurial itch and you are a wizard, a genius. The man when it comes. building growing businesses. You’ve got a ton of experience in this area, and I wanna ask that question with you today. What does it take for an engineering leader to build their first million dollar business?

[00:01:01] what a brilliant question, man. Yeah, I, I want you to just share with us, first of all, I is now. An okay time for an engineering leader to think about launching into their first business. 

[00:01:17] Nicky Billou: The short answer is yes, , 

[00:01:19] Zach White: it is. What’s the long, it’s the right time. What’s the long answer?

[00:01:22] Nicky Billou: The long answer is it’s probably better if they did it 10 years ago. , 

[00:01:25] Zach White: but Okay. Fair. 

[00:01:27] there’s an ancient, Buddhist proverb that goes, when’s the best time to plant a fruit? Best time is 20 years ago. The second best time is today . Right? So true. if you’d started your business 10 years ago, you’d probably already have a million dollar of your business and you’d be well on your way to moving forward.

[00:01:46] Nicky Billou: And there’s a lot of reasons people don’t start their businesses. One of them is analysis paralysis. Procrastination disease. Yeah. . If you have had an inkling that you want to be an entrepreneur, don’t wait. Don’t delay. Begin now. Be decisive. There are four qualities that allow anyone to achieve extreme success in entrepreneurship.

[00:02:09] The first quality is decisive ones. Okay, so the word decide comes from, uh, a Latin word right side. I mean, if you look the root of it side, right? They’re all about killing things off. Homicide, suicide, regicide, Patro side decide, decide is to kill off the alternative. The first thing you wanna do is decide you’re gonna be an entrepreneur and you’re gonna be successful.

[00:02:34] And kill off the alternative. Don’t lead yourself a backdoor. That’s super, super, super important. Decisiveness is, yes, a key quality of the successful. Right. Nikki, 

[00:02:45] Zach White: before you go onto the other three, I have to jump in because you just described me to a tee. My entrepreneurial journey was, slow to begin because of over analysis I wanna see if you have a thought about this cuz I think engineers like me feel this way a lot.

[00:03:04] I know I want to be an entrepreneur, but I don’t know exactly what I want to do, or what business is the right business to start, and we get stuck in that place. So I, made the decision, but it’s not a real decision. Right. But, but I told myself I wanna be an entrepreneur, but I didn’t act because I, I didn’t know what to do.

[00:03:26] What would. Coach me. If you could go back in time to Zach White when he was stuck in that place, what would you say to me in that spot? 

[00:03:35] Nicky Billou: Find a mentor who’s helped other people. Start businesses. Hire that mentor, With a lot of urgency, go to work until you got it figured out. Mm. Because you know it’s an engineering problem if as it were,

[00:03:48] Yeah. Right. how do I fix, how do I build this bridge? Well, you don’t sit there and go, well, I don’t know how to, so I guess I’m not gonna do anything. You go find a person who’s built bridges before you get the damn thing built, right? Yeah. Yeah. And the business is a bridge from your current circumstances to the great future circumstances you’re looking to create.

[00:04:08] Zach White: Say that again. That’s a really powerful statement. 

[00:04:10] Nicky Billou: A business is a bridge from your current circumstances to the great future circumstances that you’re wanting to create. 

[00:04:20] Zach White: Oof. Okay. We may circle back to that quote later in the chat after we’ve unpacked this. I interrupted your four qualities with decisiveness because I think it’s so important.

[00:04:31] M most engineers don’t get off the. because they lack the courage to decide I’m going to do this. And so, yeah. I dunno if there’s anything else you wanna hit on that before I move on to number two. Keep going. 

[00:04:45] Napoleon Hill is the bestselling personal development author of All Time Thinking Grow Rich is the best selling personal development book of all time.

[00:04:55] Nicky Billou: It is estimated that 75 million copies of that book have been sold and. You think about that, that’s a lot, right? Yeah. Yeah. But what you may not know about Napoleon Hill is that when he was a young man, he was a newspaper journalist, and, um, he was actually sent by his editor to interview the then richest man in the world, Andrew Carnegie, and Andrew Carnegie was the founder of US Steel, you know?

[00:05:23] Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. used lots of engineering and making steel back in the past days and today too. And, The interview went extremely well at the end of their time together, Mr. Carnegie had taken a shine to Young Mr. Hill and he said, Mr. Hill, how would you like to spend the weekend at my estate?

[00:05:40] So we can continue our discussion. Now, I don’t know about you, Zach, but if the richest man in the world asked me if I wanted to spend the weekend at his estate, the only reason I’d say no is if I had important things to do with my kids. And other than that, the answer would be hell yeah, , right?

[00:06:02] I mean, that’s. , of course. He said yes. And they spent the weekend having detailed conversations. Yeah, no brain. And at the end of their time together, Andrew Carnegie said, Mr. Hill, I have a proposition for you. How would you like to spend the next 20 years of your life researching and writing about my philosophy of success and bringing it to the world?

[00:06:27] I will not pay you a stipend to do this, but what I will do is I will help. by giving you my, experience. Mm-hmm. . And I’ll also give you letters of introduction to the 500 most successful men and women in these United States. Now you gotta remember the time. That was a time where Love of America impossibility was.

[00:06:56] Present among every segment of the population, including the most successful people. You didn’t have a bunch of billionaires like George Soros who were trying to store the country, right? So he said in 31 seconds he said yes and the rest of his history, he went out, he did the work and wrote the books and became famous.

[00:07:14] And then he met with Andrew Carnegie one last time before the great man passed. at that meeting, . Andrew Carnegie congratulated him on all his success and said, but you should know that what I had done is I had actually, had a watch with a second hand under the table, and I’d given you 60 seconds to make up your mind.

[00:07:39] And if you hadn’t made up your mind in 60 seconds, what I was gonna do was withdraw the offer and nap.

[00:07:48] Why, thank God I said yes in less than 60 seconds. Right? He said, while you’ve been studying my philosophy of success, why indeed would you say I was gonna withdraw the offer? And he said, you’re right. Successful people are decisive. They gather the facts. Once they have the facts, they make a decision, right?

[00:08:11] Right away. They don’t. I love that. Dilly or Dally. And he said, I had approached four of the most eminent educators in these United States and asked them if they would take on this task, and they all said, I need to get back to you. I need to research this for myself. I need to do some consulting and analysis.

[00:08:36] And he said, that’s when I knew they were the wrong people. 

[00:08:38] Zach White: And so I love that story. I knew you were the right people. I love that story. And he that’s so good. And I, I’ve never heard that part of the story. I mean, I knew all about how Napoleon Hill and Andrew Carnegie got connected in the first place, and I’ve studied some of that biography of his life.

[00:08:53] But that piece is new to me. And I’ll be honest, Dick, I’m like, I’m convicted about, Even right now with the success that I’ve had at entrepreneurship, that I still fall into my old engineering pattern of overthinking more than I would like to. And I know for a fact that my clients who are new to this type of conversation really struggle with it.

[00:09:18] And so, If you were gonna give us one, you’ll call it an exercise or a mindset or a way to begin strengthening decisiveness, or the courage to be decisive, what’s the way to improve that muscle? How do we develop that skill? 

[00:09:37] Nicky Billou: Say yes to the next 20 requests that are made of you, regardless of what they are.

[00:09:41] Immediately don’t think, say yes and follow through. Just practice. Even if you don’t wanna do it immediate, just say sentence, I’m in. Okay. Yeah. 

[00:09:52] video1573983058: There’s 

[00:09:52] Nicky Billou: a challenge. And then practice saying no. 

[00:09:55] Zach White: Yeah. Then flip it. Do a no, a no challenge for the next 20. Okay. No, I love that. I love that. And ironically, Nicki, one of the things that we do in our coaching program for engineering leaders is a 24 hour no challenge.

[00:10:10] You, you say no to every request that comes your way, but I also like doing it as a yes. You know, just say, Hey, practice making quick decisions, practice making quick decisions, quick 

[00:10:22] Nicky Billou: decisions. It’s awesome. You know what, I’m actually gonna write this down because there’s a client of mine who I’m gonna do this 20 Yes thing to practice making decisions, practice making quick decisions.

[00:10:33] Yeah, that’s good. All right. Thank you for, boiling it down to its essential. All right, great. So the second quality is commitment. Oof. You cannot go, I’m gonna try this business thing out for a week, a month, two months, three months, a year. And if it works, great. If not, I’m gonna quit. That’s a foot out the back door. Yes. You gotta be in it to win it. You’ve gotta be willing to be bad before they’re good.

[00:11:01] You’ve gotta be willing to say, I’m a great engineer, but I suck at business. Yes, I suck at business. Suck as a technical term. It’s not a square word. It’s a tech term that 

[00:11:11] Zach White: is right. 

[00:11:12] Nicky Billou: And the average engineer is a great engineer. Do you agree? 

[00:11:17] Zach White: Oh, no question. And, and I could speak, we’ve, we talked tos.

[00:11:21] Thousands skill of 

[00:11:22] Nicky Billou: engineers. Yeah. Educated, unreal. Skilled as a tradesman. or a technician agreed. 

[00:11:29] Zach White: Yes, yes. But 

[00:11:32] Nicky Billou: they are a terrible, terrible businessman or businesswoman. Yep. Terrible. They don’t understand sales and marketing. They don’t understand numbers and finances, reading balance sheets and cash flow statements and payroll.

[00:11:48] They don’t understand hiring and firing. That is all. Hieroglyphics to. . You understand? 

[00:11:56] Zach White: Yeah. And you know, just to clarify the term technician in that sentence, cuz I know the engineer 10 years ago, Zach would’ve objected to that. Like, I’m not a technician. I’ve got my engineering degree because of the world of, being in that industry.

[00:12:10] But thinking about Michael Gerber’s work in EMyth, the difference between entrepreneurs, managers, and technicians, meaning the people who do the work, or Tony Robbins would call it the artist. You know, the one who’s actually. Driving hardest, the the technical work. And so this is a hard truth to face.

[00:12:28] Nikki. I’m a great technician, but I am not yet a business owner or entrepreneur. I don’t know how to do that. And to just admit that I suck at it is a good first step. 

[00:12:40] Nicky Billou: Yeah. And you’ve got to be willing to be a disaster before you can be a master. 

[00:12:45] Zach White: Yep. That’s a good, that’s a good modern day remix of the old Zig Ziegler quote that I have on my wall.

[00:12:51] That anything worth doing well is worth doing poorly because you don’t get to being great at something without sucking at it first. So, commitment. What does, what does a duration, if we’re talking time, what’s a minimum duration of commitment that you would tell a new entrepreneur? Like if you’re not in.

[00:13:11] For X time or is it nothing to do with time? How would you approach that? 

[00:13:15] Nicky Billou: what I say, when we work with people, our ID clients are people that are under a quarter million dollars a year, like in the entrepreneur, solopreneur, consultant space. Okay. Right. I have a second group of ideal clients who are kind of like two and a half million to 20 million, but in this space, they’re in the golden handcuff.

[00:13:37] The golden handcuff zone is between 60,000 and a quarter million dollars a year in, in income. Okay? It’s good money. enough to pay your bills and maybe then some, right? It’s not wonderful money. Yes, it is not life-changing transformational money. Can I work with someone who makes less than 60 grand and help ’em?

[00:13:57] Yeah. Can I work with someone who’s making a half a million or a billion or 2 million and double their income? I can, and in fact, with those other folks, if they’re at that higher amount of money, it’s easier to get them to double, triple, quadruple when they work with someone like, like me, just because they’ve got assets that I know how to help them leverage that they’re may not be well aware of, but those folks in the 60 to 250 k.

[00:14:25] like if you’re making a million dollars a year, Zach and I take you to two and a half million, you’ll be happy. But is it life transformational? Probably not. . Right. It’s really good. It’s excellent. Like right, wonderful. Two and a half times my money. But is there a whole lot more that you could, you would do for your family with that money?

[00:14:44] Nicky Billou: Probably not. That’s at the stage where you’re making the kind of money that I would say is already allowing you to pretty much do whatever you want, that kind of money, two and a half million. Is legacy money. It’s money for your kids. It’s money to set up their favorite charities for, for scripture and mission stuff and all that stuff.

[00:15:01] That’s what that’s all about. Yeah. It’s not transformational money for a guy or gal making a, 60 K to a quarter million. When I get ’em to a half a million or a million, I transform their whole existence. Absolutely. Their entire life absolutely. Has gone forward. So if you’re in that zone, I tell people I’m confident.

[00:15:21] because we have a track record that I can take a committed individual from wherever in that zone to 1 million to two and a half million inside of three years. I’ve got example after example. There’s a fellow Christian who, was a realtor and became a a coach, and he worked with me for two plus years.

[00:15:43] Great man. His name’s Colt, right? Great. First name Colt. Love that. The revolver, right? The Colt Revolver. So Colt. Called me and said, you know how you’ve been bugging me to be like a Kingdom business coach and to do a mastermind for kingdom business owners. You said out of that like 11 months of like just trying to get that going.

[00:16:03] One of the folks in there introduced me to his business partner who just hired me. I’m the perfect coach for him, just sign a half a million dollar a year contract with those folks. One client. One client. You think about that, that’s. Transformation did it in under three years. So that’s, that’s, that’s awesome.

[00:16:23] That’s what I promise people, and I tell people, but you gotta commit. There’s no backdoor. There’s no, I’m gonna quit in five years. There’s, this is my horizon, this is my timeline. You gotta do it. That’s what commitment’s all about. Now, that’s a good segue to the third quality, which is coachable. You gotta have the right coaches, you gotta be coachable.

[00:16:45] You cannot go into this and go. . I’m somebody who, is going to figure this out by myself. If you were gonna figure it on your own, you would’ve already done it. You need the coaches and the mentors. One of my clients, back when I used to be a personal fitness coach, was Robin Sharma, who wrote The Monk Who Sold this far.

[00:17:02] Are you familiar with Robin and his work? Yes. So Robin was my client. He lives in my city. Oh, awesome. He touched him. And, I did a couple of his programs too. Cause, you know, he told me about ’em and it was great. Now here’s, here’s the beauty of, Robin Sharma. What he taught me about being coachable.

[00:17:19] He said to me one day he said, Nikki, are you looking to grow your business? While I was like, making him sweat, and I go, yeah, of course. , he said, , do you know what’s the fastest way to grow your business? I said, no, tell me. He said, if this year you want to at least double your income, triple your investment in personal and professional development.

[00:17:44] I’m gonna say that again. If you want to pull your income, triple your investment in personal and professional development. Hmm. You have to hire the coaches and mentors. You have to join the peer groups. You have to do the courses and the programs. And you have to attend the conferences and you’ve gotta double and triple down on that.

[00:18:05] I listened to ’em and I overruled my income. And I would say this to your clients, hire the coaches and listen to them. Hire the coaches and listen to them. Listen to Zach, and if you are in the golden handcuff zone, whether you’re working for yourself or you’re still in, in the J o B world, yes.

[00:18:22] Then. You owe it to yourself to get a mentor and a coach to get you out of it. Now, I wrote a book, if you don’t mind me talking about this 

[00:18:30] Zach White: book for me, please. No, I want you 

[00:18:31] Nicky Billou: it’s called The Thought Leaders Journey of Fable of Life. It’s written as a fable. Kind of like Ag Mandino’s, legendary books and Robin Sharma’s book, the Monk Sold Ferrari.

[00:18:42] It is the story of a young man working for a, uh, uh, an IT firm in a sales capacity who wants to start his own business, but is too scared. And there are 16 chapters, 15 chapters in the books, and it goes into. The things you need to do in order to get outta your j o b and start your business. Yeah, yeah.

[00:19:03] It’s just a blueprint and it’s, I love that it’s available on Amazon 

[00:19:07] Zach White: now. We’ll put the link directly to the book, you know, in the show notes, and I definitely encourage, everybody to go, go grab a copy of the work I’ve loved. 

[00:19:15] Nicky Billou: So that’ll help get you to the point where you’re gonna do it, but you’ve gotta hire the coaches and the mentors, all of that.

[00:19:21] You gotta have a blueprint and you gotta, you gotta be a, a coachable individual. Yes. And then there’s the fourth one. And this 

[00:19:28] Zach White: is, hold on, let, let me ask you a question here. I, I, we gotta hold the hold number four, the number of support one. But this is really interesting. So coachable. Obviously I’m a coach, Nikki.

[00:19:37] I’m passionate about this. And one of the requirements when I’m talking to potential clients is really getting clear with them, like, Hey, if you want results working with us, you have to bring that coachable spirit. I’ll just speak for myself as an engineer, we take so much pride in our intelligence and it takes a high level of intelligence to earn an engineering degree and perform as an engineer.

[00:20:05] I mean, it is a tough occupation. This is incredibly demanding work. It’s, you know, thought leadership journey is a great word. Like these Ev every single engineer I talk to in some way in their own right is a thought leader just to get to that space. The intelligence breeds an ego and a lone wolf mentality that I can always figure it out if I just keep studying, keep learning, keep reading, keep, you know, listening to podcasts like this.

[00:20:33] You know, if I just listen to Zach and Nicki long enough for free, I’m gonna figure all this out. And there’s a resistance to maybe hiring that coach, hiring that mentor, to your point, truly investing in yourself and. I’m just curious from your experience, Nikki, if you were talking again to the, to the ego in Zach White, what would you say or what questions would you challenge me back with to that mentality that I can always just figure it out.

[00:21:02] Nicky Billou: It’s a double-edged sword. Your greatest strength is also your greatest weakness. And if you’re very bright and intelligent person, that mentality will prevent you from working together in team. and winning. because I’ll tell you something. The lone wolf mentality, the rugged individualist, it, it’s lovely for movies and, and you know, Marlboro ads, it’s not true in real life.

[00:21:27] Yeah. People win in teams. So you may even look at an individual in a solo sport, right, like a UFC fighter or you know, a marathon one or a Sprinter. They have got a massive. , like my book Finish Line thinking how to Think, you went like a champion. The Forward was written by a buddy of mine who’s an Olympic gold medalist, and my lady is a three time Guinness World record holder for running 12 hours on a treadmill, three times set, three world records, right?

[00:21:56] They have 30 person teams that support them in being able to go out there and do that on. There’s nutrition coaches, there’s training coaches. Yes, there’s running coaches, there’s stretching coaches, there’s mindset coaches, there’s sponsors. Like, are you freaking kidding me? This lone wolf? I, I’m smart enough to figure it out.

[00:22:17] Mentality will set you back 10 years Now. Do you wanna start making a million dollars a year within three years, or do you want it to take you 10 years? Because if you start making a million dollars a year in 2020, versus 2033. Yeah. That’s eight years at a million versus eight years at 150. 200,000. Yeah.

[00:22:40] Yeah. That’s, you’re, you’re putting six, seven, 8 million on a table. And if you’re intelligent, you gotta be intelligent enough from a business point of view to understand that anything that gives you a shortcut, you need to take it. And the ego, you know, I do men’s work as well. I run the men’s podcast. In the men’s program.

[00:22:58] Yes. Yes. We say that a man’s ego is a good thing up to a point, because it’s your ego that’s gonna give you the the belief that you can go out there and get things done. You need your ego. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . But you gotta be careful that your ego doesn’t cut you down. Let’s just say, Zack, you’re making, I don’t know how much you make, but let’s say that you make a million a year and you, you know, you just said in your mind you said, I wanna make 5 million. I wanna make 5 million. I’m want, I can figure this out on my own. Who is this guy?

[00:23:26] I don’t need to talk to him. I’ll read all his books. I’ll listen to 10 of his best podcast episodes. I’ll take really detailed notes. I’ll get it done. And I’m sure you’re smart enough to read all the, all the books. Take good notes. develop a program. I’m sure you’re smart enough to do it, but here’s the first thing that’s gonna happen.

[00:23:44] You’re gonna do the wrong thing in the wrong, the right thing in the wrong order, and it’s gonna bite you in the butt. And because you don’t have the experience to understand that you did that, you’re not gonna know what went wrong. You’re gonna go, oh, well this guy’s an idiot. What he said doesn’t work.

[00:23:57] No, that wasn’t what happened. And then you’re gonna try something else and you’re gonna fumble around until you, you finally figure. , but the following around will waste a lot of your time. We’ll create a lot of frustration in your cycles. Could put pressure on you financially, could put pressure on your relationship because money, and sex are the two biggest things couples fight about.

[00:24:17] Right? And money’s way ahead of sex. I’ll take that right now. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Like by Country Mile. And it’ll also put stress on you. You’ll stay up in bed staying awake at night because you’re a smart person and you should have figured it out right now. And your mind’s gonna be racing in a million miles a.

[00:24:33] and your health’s gonna suffer. And really, was that really smart? Yep. Be coach. This is more hire coaches and mentors. This is so good. Gotta do it. It’s, it’s a no-brainer. if you’re an intelligent person, as you say, in engineers are intelligent, this is a no-brainer. This is, this is as simple as making sure you rivet.

[00:24:52] The arch at the bridge , this is not one of those things. There’s an argument over, 

[00:24:57] Zach White: right? Yeah, yeah, yeah. No, I would agree. And especially on the other side of results. When you’ve done this, you’ve made those investments and you’ve seen the return and how incredible it is not just for the financial rewards, but the quality of your life and the experience and the journey and the number of struggles you dodge along the way because you’ve had that mentor.

[00:25:17] You know, a lot of my clients, Nikki, you know, they, they really struggle with making their investment into working with us. And then I, you know, they find out that I’m paying 10 x what they paid me to pay my coaches, because I wanna get to that next level too. It’s like, it absolutely matters to continue to make those investments.

[00:25:35] So, alright. Decisiveness commitment, which by the way, know, engineers, I’m just gonna say this. We like to say, well, I’m just being wise and I’m evaluating my risks and I have a risk management plan. I’ll just say you, my risk management plan was a fancy way to say I wasn’t committed, Nikki.

[00:25:56] That was, my story. My just a, it was a, a successful. Language for, I’m not yet committed. I’m working on risk, risk mitigation. So you said number four is the most important one. Take us to number four, 

[00:26:09] Nicky Billou: resourcefulness.

[00:26:10] I’m gonna tell you a couple of stories in this regard. When, Tony Robbins was getting started in business, he was just 17 years old. he wanted to go work for Jim Roh and to work for Jim Roh. The first thing he had to do was purchase Jim Ron’s home tape program, which back then was $1,200.

[00:26:28] This was in the seventies, so tenfold the price now, like $12,000 for a 17 year old kid who’s basically broke, right? Yes. I love this. So Tony, Yeah, Tony was 17 and he had an ill-fitting suit. He said the pant legs were too short. and what he did was he put on his ill-fitting suit and he knocked on 200 doors of businesses in his area and he just said, hello, my name’s Tony Evans and I’m 17 years old.

[00:26:57] I’m looking to get started in business and I wanna know, will you invest? because I will pay you back X dollars if you do. that was his pitch. And he didn’t have the money and he wanted to work with Jim Ron, and he had to come up with us 1200 bucks and he knocked on 200 doors and 198 of ’em said no, but two of them said yes, and they each gave them, I don’t know, half the money or whatever it was.

[00:27:24] Right? 

[00:27:25] Zach White: Yeah, yeah, yeah. And. . 

[00:27:26] Nicky Billou: He took that money, he invested, with Jim roh, and the rest is history. And Tony comes out and he says, it doesn’t matter what your resources are right now, what matters is how resourceful can you be, because if you’re resourceful, you’ll find a way to come up with the resources.

[00:27:47] The resources are just an. And I’ll tell you a story from my life. around nine, 10 years ago, I was going through a divorce. My then wife, she let me know she didn’t wanna be with me. I was completely blindsided. Maybe I shouldn’t have been, but I was. I went into a spiral. I ended up sleeping on my mother’s couch.

[00:28:10] I was a grown man with two sons. I mean, you think about this, sleeping on his mother’s couch, you know. I went to a conference. I saw a man do a talk, which spoke to me, touched my heart. at the end of the talk, I walked over to him and I introduced myself and I told him a bit about my story and. . I finally said to him, I think I need to hire you.

[00:28:32] And he said, okay. He said, but you need to understand that my minimum fee is $5,000 and you’ll get five hours of my coaching for that. And, um, I need to be paid upfront in advance. offer no guarantees and no refunds. You still wanna do it. And I was. I had not worked in months. I had nowhere near that kind of money.

[00:28:58] and I told him that and he said it to me. I had a feeling that was the case. He said, so I’m gonna give you some free coaching. I’m like, free coaching man. This is great. Give it to me. Free coaching. He said, it really doesn’t matter how much money you. And I just said it, it doesn’t, I, I thought you wanted $5,000.

[00:29:19] I thought that was all that mattered is how much money that I had, right? You didn’t know. It doesn’t. Those are just your resources. What matters is how bad do you want change? You said you’re a grown man. You’re going through divorce, you’re not seeing your kids much, and you’re sleeping on your mother’s couch.

[00:29:42] your business went from six figures to barely anything. How much longer are you willing to tolerate this, Zach? I did not like what this man sent to me. His name was Bill. Yeah. Yeah. I, in fact, it boiled my blood. But he was right. He was all right, so, I said to him, okay, give me a couple days. Let’s make an appointment for me to come see you in a couple days at your office.

[00:30:08] And he said, okay. So I was at the time, a personal fitness coach, and what I did was I picked up the phone, I made a couple of calls with a lot of urgency to a couple of individuals who I’d been in conversation with who had not made a decision. They were hand hard, right?

[00:30:27] Here’s how the conversations went. I said, Hey, I got good news for you. You’re fat and you need to lose weight. I’m broke and I need money. I’m going to give you the deal of the century half price. But here’s the catch. You need to say yes now and you need to pay me by the end of this call. What’s it gonna be?

[00:30:47] Winter out? And I guess I must have been persuasive cuz they both gave. Thousand bucks each. So my $2,000 program became a thousand, and I was so proud of myself. I took that two grand. I went into the meeting with the bill and I just plunked it down on the table. I go, here you go. He looks at the money, he looks at me and he goes, that’s only two grand.

[00:31:08] That’s just two. I said, five. And I looked at him and I said, oh God, are you kidding me? Like just my, my, my, my proud, excited demeanor, just myself. Mm-hmm. . But I looked at him and I go, bill, besides me, how many people have you given this little speech to? And he looked at me and he goes, over the years? Yeah.

[00:31:32] Yeah. Over the years. Maybe 30, 40. What? Okay. 30, 40. Good. . And then I said to him, besides me, who else came back with any money? And he looked at me and he smirked and he said, oh, you’re the first . I said, I’m the first. And he goes, yep. I said, take my money. We’ll sign a contract whereby I’ll give you the rest.

[00:32:00] Okay. within 30, 60 days, whatever the case may be. And he said, So we did that. Very cool. I paid him off early. Great story. Great story. And I made a hundred grand in the next six 

[00:32:12] Zach White: months. Woo. There it is, Nikki. I love that. 

[00:32:16] Nicky Billou: Resourcefulness. 

[00:32:17] Zach White: Resourcefulness, resourcefulness. Number four, top thing, and I’ll just double down, And, and yeah, we’ve been talking today in the context of entrepreneurship and business, but even if your goal, your aspiration, is to stay in the j o b, the W two world, it’s the same. And I can tell you, You know, some, sometimes you just don’t see the cage that you’re in around the belief that you have a lack of resources and engineers, Nicki, it’s almost as if we’re bred to think this way, because you come outta college, you get that first job, and what do they say?

[00:32:54] Well, here’s the budget. You can’t change it. Here’s the schedule. You can’t change it. and you get put into these worlds of limited resources. and your job is to go figure out how to best manage all the limitations to the best possible outcome. And engineers, we get programmed into that kind of thinking, and I think this is probably the most important message of our conversation for everybody to hear because I must be willing to ask a bigger question and say, yeah, that’s the current cap on a particular resource.

[00:33:28] How will I become the resourceful person who solves that problem anyway, I just had a conversation two days ago, Nikki, with an engineering. Who’s been unemployed since July. This is, so it’s December of 2022. December 7th, 2022. We’re, we’re talking right now, July, 2022. This leader got furloughed because of, economic reasons.

[00:33:50] There was not for performance. So in their mind, they’re still a top talent, but they got let go because the economy was slumping. Okay, well, since July, it took them two months. To regroup and get back into the job market, which was a little bit of a first red flag to me. Then application after application after application, no progress.

[00:34:13] Not getting anywhere in the interviews, not getting grade feedback as to. Why not? And this downward spiral has begun of self-doubt and fear and concern, and the bank account is going down, unemployment timeline is running out, and we get to this point of the conversation and realizing there’s a, three or $4,000 a week loss every week.

[00:34:38] They’re not. This is a highly paid professional who’s unemployed. So we’re talking, you know, you literally are burning hundreds out the window, your car driving like by not being employed, and this individual looking down the barrel of a solution to that problem said, I don’t have. the cash to invest in myself right now to get help on this situation.

[00:35:02] A few thousand dollars. Okay. and it’s like, wow, you know, this, barrier to belief that I can actually, for one, create a return on investment in myself back to commitment and coachability, but also like, you’re losing three, four grand a week by not being employed. If we could just get you a job one week faster than you would’ve gotten on your own, it’s gonna be a positive roi.

[00:35:25] And it’s just that mindset is so backward for engineering leaders. So I love this challenge that you’re giving us and it’s huge. It’s huge. So we’ve got these four qualities. and we started the whole conversation by saying, anybody who’s willing to live into these four things fully can and will with the right coaching and support and, you know, system here, get to a million dollar business in three years.

[00:35:54] Really quick, Nikki, tell us or less, where does your conviction or less? Three years or less. Yeah. Tell us a little about where your conviction in that statement really comes. 

[00:36:03] Nicky Billou: You know, I’m glad you used that word conviction because I think the most important thing any client is looking for from you is conviction.

[00:36:13] They’re coming to see you because they lack conviction that they have a solution to solve the problem. Yes. So you must convey conviction. Your client needs you to convey conviction. So I understand that it’s my job to convey conviction. , but the good Lord has blessed me with being able to be of service to dozens upon dozens of people whose lives have been completely turned around.

[00:36:41] And I’d like to tell you a story, kind of a wrap up story, if I may. Perfect. a few years ago I was introduced to a woman who had been the country director for Canada. For one of the world’s largest personal development organizations, they’ve been around since the late 1960s. She brought on a man to help her run the company in Canada, who she thought was very talented, and she brought ’em on to help grow the company.

[00:37:12] This situation is not dissimilar to Steve Jobs in the eighties when he brought on John Scully to help him run Apple. Okay. Just like Steven. . They got along great at first and did great things together. But just like Steven John, eventually, their visions of the future diverged. And just like Steven John, she was exited from her own company.

[00:37:37] Ugh. Think about this. How can you get kicked outta your own company? That’s 

[00:37:40] Zach White: the worst. That’s the worst. So she 

[00:37:43] Nicky Billou: went into.

[00:37:44] A space of being lost bereft, 18 months. Unsure of what was next when she met us. we could see this was a good human being. We poured into her. We loved on her. We helped her get clear on a message because that’s one thing that was missing. She had no clarity on her message. Okay. and because of that lack of clarity, she was unable to see what she could do.

[00:38:14] So we helped her get clear that what she was really good at, helping people deal with burnout. And she was gonna work with CEOs, founder owners of 10 million plus companies who are burnt out. And her message was, we’re gonna turn that burnout around. We are gonna overcome it. In our first month, she did $10,000 in profit.

[00:38:35] In her second month, she did 12. . In her third month, she did 18,000, but in her fourth month, Zach, she did $62,200. We have a, a ladder based on, martial arts belt levels from white belt to black belt, and then second, third, fourth, fifth hand, and above every $10,000 a month in income is another belt level.

[00:38:57] So 60,000 is the first level of black belt first. Big deal. She was the first woman to do that inside of our work, so we were so pleased. she lives in Ottawa and I live in Toronto and Canada. That’s a five hour drive. my oldest son plays soccer. or the real football. Cause it’s actually played with your feet.

[00:39:20] Right, . 


[00:39:21] Nicky Billou: You had a tournament in Ottawa and she lives in Ottawa and she has a son, his aide. I called her up and I go, Hey, we’re coming to Ottawa for US tournament. How’d you like to bring your son? Watch a game. Let’s grab some lunch together.

[00:39:33] You know, it’d be fun. and good relationship building exercise on my end I thought as well. So we did that. It was lovely. We all had a great time. And then my boy and I drove back to Toronto and she, stayed back home with her son just a few weeks later. We had one of our quarterly. workshops. It’s called the Branded Thought Leader Immersion Workshop.

[00:39:56] It’s a mouthful, but basically it’s where we show, coaches and consultants, how they can add that one to two zeros to their annual income, how they can be that seven figure business person. The way it works is we have some people that are a part of our ongoing yearlong mastermind and this workshop is the entree into our work.

[00:40:15] People sign up for this and then, If they want to continue with us, they participate in the Mastermind and they’re high-tech programs, both of them. Right. We had about eight new prospects in the room, and we were at the point in the immersion where we take about an hour to talk to people about how we work with them and how they can continue to work with us.

[00:40:35] And the way I do it is, I ask our members to share their experience. . So the time came for me to say, who’d like to share? And I did that. Who would like to share?

[00:40:48] So this lady, I’m gonna call her Julie, that’s not a real name, but I’m gonna call her Julie. Julie Bounce on stage before I have a chance, Zach to even call on anybody and goes meet. And I’m like, okay, cool. She’s got something to say. So she looks around the room and she starts to ball, like cry, like just rivers of tears.

[00:41:07] We get her a tissue and like any good red-blooded man, when I see a crying woman, I panic inside . The first place I go to is, what did I do? , right? Sure, sure. What did I do? So she. , but I’m, I’m maintaining a placid calm exterior and a look of concern , you know? and she looks at me in between her tears and her sobs says, Nikki, you didn’t know this, but when you and your little son came to visit me and my little son, my little boy in that way, little boys dude got excited and said, mommy, mommy, whom he gonna go meet?

[00:41:49] And she says, oh, sweetheart, we’re gonna go meet Nicki Ballou. And his. And she said, all of a sudden my sweet little boy became very serious and very quiet. And what he said to me was, oh, mommy, are we gonna get to meet the man who saved our family? I start to cry, Zach, I don’t cry in public. I’m old school. I don’t cry in public, but I cried. She. , it tells me between her tears, we hugged. Nikki, I didn’t tell you this when I came to see you, but I had not paid our mortgage in months. The bank was about to foreclose on our home. We were about to lose our home, and my husband and I were fighting every day like cats and dogs in front of our three small children.

[00:42:32] It looked like we were gonna break up. I was about to lose my precious family. The work we did together, how I turned my business around literal. helped us save our family. You saved our family. Amazing. She hugged me. She kissed me on the cheek walked off the stage. Now, I had no idea this was going on, none.

[00:42:57] She had not yet felt comfortable enough to tell me. . What hit me in that moment, Zach, is I’ll help anybody who wants to be helped and comes across my path, but I ask God, God, please bring me people that really need my help and need your help through me, because I want to help see these types of transformations.

[00:43:21] Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. and just as kind of the postscript. when we handed out the registration forms. Usually, you know, some people sign up, some people don’t. Some people have to have a persuasion conversation with, right. Everyone signed up instantly. That little boy is the best salesman I’ve ever had. There you go.

[00:43:41] in my life. , 

[00:43:42] Zach White: my God. I love it. Well, Nicki, I really appreciate you sharing that. it’s not just the, the heart and the energy of it, but also the, the reality that anybody. has a heart and a vision to go do that. Can. an engineer has no excuse there. There’s no gap in capability.

[00:44:02] You are enough. You can do it. It’s just will you have the courage to step up, embody these four qualities, and then get the help that you need and you know, you can have that transformation story. As well, no matter where you’re starting from, but so good. Nikki, where can people get connected with you? your work?

[00:44:19] Of course. We’ll link up, all this in the show notes and your books there, but, but just so people can hear it, if they’re running or driving or something, where can they find more and get plugged in with Nikki Belu. . 

[00:44:31] Nicky Billou: Look, if you, you know, enter my name in any search engine, you can find me pretty easily, on Amazon for the books and the podcasts.

[00:44:40] They’re all listed there and they keep a loop on Amazon. But if you’re a business owner who is or hurting, and wants to, wants to figure out why you’re stuck, let’s jump on a call. Just go to eCircle the call’s free. it’s an, uh, bonafide coaching call that is really full of meat.

[00:45:01] We’re gonna ask a lot of good questions about where you’re at, where you want to get to, and what really is getting in the way, and what’s the consequence of it getting in the way to you in your life. And I’ll provide you with a, with a blueprint on how you can get out of it. And this is a good time to have that convers.

[00:45:22] Remember, like you asked at the beginning, when’s the best time that’s right to start a business? Well, the best time to start a business 10 years ago. But the second best times today, the best time to fix your problems in your business is a while ago. But the second best time is 

[00:45:32] Zach White: today, . There you go. I love it.

[00:45:35] Nicki, thank you so much for this, and as we wrap up, we’ve covered a lot of really important things for the engineer mind. really get clear on, and I know for myself that all four of these qualities are things I’m still sharpening and developing. But one of the things that’s common between your great coaching and leadership that you do and great engineering at any level, is that questions lead and answers follow.

[00:46:04] we’re here today cuz we want better answers, in life and in business. So what would you. That engineering leader who wants to pursue that next level, what’s the question that you would lead them with?

[00:46:17] Nicky Billou: Is the life you’re leading today, the career, the business that you have today, what you always dreamed of?

[00:46:27] If it is, fantastic, if it’s not. , how much longer are you willing to tolerate it being at this level versus the level you wanted at? 

[00:46:39] Zach White: Hmm. How much? Longer. Nikki, thank you so much for your generosity today. I just wanna acknowledge you, thank you for the incredible work that you’re doing, the lives that you’re transforming, the businesses that you’re transforming and growing through your experience and your energy.

[00:46:58] It’s absolutely a pleasure to have connected with you, and thank you so much for sharing that with me and the happy engineers out there. Zach, 

[00:47:05] Nicky Billou: brother, God bless you. Thanks for having me on the show. It’s an honor to be here. I. Never take it for granted that someone allows me to come into their space and, and share.

[00:47:16] it’s a privilege. So thank 

[00:47:17] Zach White: you. You’re welcome. Until next time.