We had the amazing opportunity to ask Nicole Marie (NM) Gonzalez about her crazy inspiring story of building her business from the ground up in 2015. PROJECT NM, if you haven't heard of the site already you are missing out!
SC: Your story is very relatable to many career-oriented girls, what piece of advice would you give them about gaining confidence to achieve their goals?
NM: Listen to your intuition. You have everything you need to take your life to the next level, you just have to really believe in yourself. And I mean REALLY. Don't just say you do, act like you do. Take risks and go all in. Do and don't expect anything in return. Don't worry about what everyone else will think of you.
Their opinions don't matter today and won't matter 5 years from now. Focus on one goal at a time and always be authentic and transparent in everything you do. Give yourself permission to reach your full potential, once you do that, you’ll level up!
SC: How did you come up with the idea for Project NM?
NM: Well, it all started back in 2015 after I graduated college and felt completely lost. I felt like I had no idea what I was going to do with my life and on top of it all, I didn't really feel like anyone around me understood me or understood why I didn't want to pursue a career in the corporate world like they did.
That's when I decided I had to start surrounding myself with people that believed in what I believed in and wanted the same or similar things I did. But it wasn't as easy I thought. I had no idea where to even start. Back then, I didn't know anyone who wanted to start their own business, let alone where to find them!
SC: What was your most difficult hurdle when you launched the site?
NM: Deciding at what point it was "perfect" enough to press publish. lol This believe it or not was one of the biggest things I struggled with at the time. I don't remember how many times I looked at my site and decided it "just wasn't perfect yet". I must have changed and edited my site 100 times before I pressed publish – true story.
SC: Your branding is so on point! Did Project NM always have this voice?
NM: Thanks so much! I'd say yes, PROJECT NM has always had the same tone of voice from the day I launched it. I always knew I wanted to be transparent and authentic in my branding, and not feel scared to infuse parts of me in whatever I decided to do.
SC: Who are your top 3 upcoming influencers to watch?
SC: Give us a typical day in the life of a Project NM CEO:
NM: A typical day for me pretty much looks like -- morning coffee, of course lol, a 3-5 minute meditation/gratitude session, back to back meetings at local coffee shops, client photo shoots, an afternoon workout, and quality time with the hubby.
SC: Do you charge for biz-babe meet ups? How do they work?
NM: Yes, our meetups are ticketed/invite only. Everyone who attends our meetups are hand-selected and sent a personal invite via email where they can follow a link to our site and purchase their ticket... Usually, we host our meetups at hotels we love here in Miami like the @slssouthbeach.
My goal with each and every meetup I host is to make sure everyone who attends leaves with at least one new contact or a new #bizbestie!
SC: Will you be expanding to NY and LA? Why Miami to start?
NM: Definitely! We're actually in the works of scheduling our first ever NYC and LA meetup, hopefully in the next couple of months! Stay tuned for that! We'll be announcing deets as soon as dates are finalized!
Well, since we're based out of Miami, I figured starting our meetups here would be less of a challenge for us at the beginning. Plus, this would allow me the opportunity to create that local community I had always wanted.
SC: What drives you? What keeps you motivated during challenging times?
NM: Honestly, the thought of living a life I settled for. Nothing drives me more than thinking about what my life would look like if I didn't pursue my passion, if I didn't put in the work, and if I didn't reach my goals. The thought of clocking in at 9am and clocking out at 5pm from a job I settled for because I was "afraid of failing on my own" terrifies me more than the thought of my business crumbling to the ground.
The way I look at business is simple... If you provide people with massive amounts of value, maximize on your strengths, put in the work, and stay true to yourself, you'll win. Period.
SC: What is the most valuable thing that you have learned from Project NM?
The most valuable thing I've learned so far is to never underestimate yourself and what you're capable of. Trust your gut and believe in yourself 110%, as cheesy and cliché as that sounds.
Check out & shop the site here & #JOINTHETRIBE!