Master the Inner Game Nina Cooke

Master the Inner Game for Rapid Growth with Nina Cooke #031

Show Notes:

Nina Cooke is a business mindset coach helping entrepreneurs to release their inner blocks so they can hit that sweet spot of continually growing their impact, income and downtime.

She hosts entrepreneurs inner game podcast, and has been featured in Forbes and on BBC Radio. Now I have to say on a personal note, Nina has been recommended to me by so many people that I hold in very high regard and several of whom are actually clients of Nina not just colleagues.

Topics explored:

  • When you’ve a great product or service but are not where they want to be with their business
  • You realise the blocker is you
  • They need a better mindset that allows them to take bigger bolder action
  • You have to be aligned with the strategy or it won’t work
  • What is your energy when you’re taking that action, and why it matters
  • Don’t blindly follow other people’s processes
  • Do what you enjoy doing
  • Mindset first, then action, not the other way around
  • Stories that block us from our potential success
  • The Three A’s Formula
  • How to stop struggling with yourself
  • What can you do right now?
  • The Millionaire Mindset Formula


Al McBride 0:07
Welcome to the dealing with Goliath podcast. The mission of dealing with Goliath is to sharpen the psychological edge and business leaders with skin in the game, who want to be more effective under pressure, uncover hidden value and increase profitability. With expert guests across the business spectrum. We deliver gems of wisdom, delving into their methods, their thinking and approach to business life and to problem solving. This is the double espresso shot of insight through our short interview format, where we are concise with five questions in about nine minutes. I’m your host, Al McBride. And my guest today is Nina Cooke. Welcome, Nina. Hi.

Nina Cooke 0:45
Nice to be here. Oh,

Al McBride 0:46
great to have you. So, Nina, for the audience out there. Nina is a business mindset coach helping entrepreneurs to release their inner blocks. So they can hit that sweet spot of continually growing their impact, income and downtime.

Al McBride 1:02
She hosts entrepreneurs inner game podcast, and has been featured in Forbes and on BBC Radio. Now I have to say on a personal note, Nina has been recommended to me by so many people that I hold in very high regard and several of whom are actually clients of Nina not just colleagues.

Al McBride 1:20
And they all sing her praises. So I’ve been listening back through your podcast, Nina, and there’s some outstanding stuff in there. I have to say I’ve been really enjoying it. So I’m very, very pleased and flattered to have you on the show. So welcome.

Nina Cooke 1:33
Oh, it’s an honor to be here.

Al McBride 1:35
It’s great to have you. So we’ll dive straight in. So tell us who is your ideal client, and what’s the biggest challenge that they face.

Nina Cooke 1:43
My ideal client is someone who has an established business and they have done well. They have some you don’t have a great process, they have a great service, they get brilliant results for their clients. However, they’re not where they want to be in their business.

Nina Cooke 1:59
They know that there’s more that they could be achieving. But they just didn’t know how to get there. So they’ve tried lots of different things, you know, new strategies, new processes, they’ve implemented things, but they’re still not where they want to be. So they get to the stage where they think the only thing that’s getting in my way is me.

Al McBride 2:17

Nina Cooke 2:18
And when they get to that stage, when they realize that they want to do some work on their mindset in order to be able to create that new powerful thinking that will enable them to take big bold action in their business and may involve taking bigger risks. Right, but they have that they have the mindset that allows them to show up in that bigger way play a bigger game. That’s when that’s what I love working with them at that stage.

Al McBride 2:45
Excellent. I mean, you’re touching on the answer to my next question, you preempted it very well. What are some of those common mistakes that people make when they’re trying to solve that problem? So they’re starting to realize that as I said, they’re their own main blocker? So what are some of those things that they might try that don’t quite work before they get to your good self?

Nina Cooke 3:06
Well, they may think that there’s a new strategy they can try and they’ve seen someone else being successful with it, they think, Okay, I’m going to hire that coach, because they’re doing exactly what I want to do. So maybe they want to launch a new program online, but they don’t know how to launch.

Nina Cooke 3:20
So that person is, you know, who gets big figures, so I’m going to work with them. And then often they’ll learn exactly that person’s process and then try and ply it. But it doesn’t fit in with their skill set.

Nina Cooke 3:31
They’re not aligned with their so for my example is I worked with someone I pay them a lot of money to help me to launch my first group coaching program, and involved in lots of, you know, creating lots of lead magnets doing lots of webinars sending out so many emails, it’s a very long chain of things.

Nina Cooke 3:48
And I did it all diligently step by step. I hated the whole whole process from beginning to end. It didn’t lie with me, I thought I was just doing things mechanically, my energy wasn’t good. When I was doing it. I launched guess what I had, I think three people sign up. It wasn’t big enough for me to create my group coaching program.

Nina Cooke 4:04
So then I thought, Okay, I need to play to my strengths and main skill set. How can I create a group coaching program doing things that I really enjoy doing? And I came up with a really simple system. I sent three emails to my email list.

Nina Cooke 4:18
And I got eight signups. Wow. So it’s doing things that are really aligned with you. And before I send the emails, I thought I have to let’s just check my energy. When I’m sending out these emails, the first email and I checked my energy, my energy wasn’t good.

Nina Cooke 4:32
My energy was there not going to respond, I’m not going to be able to create this group coaching program. So I uncovered my limiting belief, which is people don’t respond to my emails. I remove that dissolve that limiting belief and I replaced it with a new empowering belief.

Nina Cooke 4:48
People buy lists love hearing from me. And I sent that email out with that energy 40 people raise their hands to say they were interested. And I thought this works this way. Left foot I’m aligned with it. So that’s one of the mistakes that we follow other people’s processes, but we don’t think, is this the right process for me,

Al McBride 5:08
right. So we don’t try and make it make sure as he said, he used the word alignment a few times. It’s a it’s, it’s very much the right word. But I said that it’s not a good fit. Because if we were going to work with a coach, and I’m often available digitally, with corporate clients, I’m often invited to do this sort of chemistry meet, which is basically to make sure that you’re a good fit for one another.

Al McBride 5:30
And what you’re what I’m hearing you say is that if you’re getting on a course, or if you’re getting to work with a coach, that you have that same idea of does this align with me does this person or these strategies or tactics actually work for me or work with me and what I think I’m about?

Nina Cooke 5:47
Exactly, because you know, some people skills in reaching out is to phone, another person likes to email, another person may like to do some social media. So find out what you enjoy doing.

Nina Cooke 5:57
Because if he, if you find out what you enjoy doing, you’re more likely to implement that process consistently. And I think that’s the key. That’s the key to having success as an as an entrepreneur, find out what you enjoy doing, do consistently. But make sure you get your mindset in the right place first, before you take action.

Nina Cooke 6:18
Because having the right mindset in place first enables that those actions to be consistent because you don’t give up on them. And also, you’re going to enjoy doing them. And you’re going to have higher expectations of yourself. And that’s gonna work. for you…

Al McBride 6:33
it sounds like you’re creating very positive, self fulfilling feedback loop. So you enjoy doing it. So you’re putting more energy into it, so you’re getting a better response. Or even if it’s not so great, you’re still in a more optimistic framework or mindset, as you say, for taking in that information that you’re able to bounce back better, and not have a wear you down.

Al McBride 6:56
But you’re going in an upward spiral the whole time. And when you say it sounds incredibly simple, but it’s one of those things that that might be simple, but we’re not most people aren’t doing it. And we’re not aware of it. It’s one of these forest from the trees issues, isn’t it?

Nina Cooke 7:13
It says I think people do it the wrong way around. This is my personal opinion that they do the implementation before they’ve got their mindset fixed. To get the mindset fix, the implementation becomes much easier.

Nina Cooke 7:24
And as he said, you build a lot more resilient, because not everything works. That’s the beauty of being an entrepreneur, you never know what’s on the other side of the activity, what what results is going to get no one can predict a result from sending an email making a phone call, whatever it is, no one knows the result, says taking that risk.

Nina Cooke 7:41
And a lot people are just scared of taking the risk because they have the mindset, it’s not going to work for me. I’m going to get criticized, I’ll be judged. People don’t like my stuff, people won’t pay me what I want.

Nina Cooke 7:50
So we have all these stories that we create, which block us from taking the action. So remove those stories, put new empowering stories in place that take the action, and then see what happens. That’s so

Al McBride 8:00
true. It’s so true. I was reading just the other day that something that surprised me that some of the most successful CEOs now I don’t usually work at large corporation CEO level, I usually prefer, you know, smaller bit a little bit more medium, small businesses, but it fascinated me that a lot of these people we thought would be super rational logic, and I’m sure they are as well.

Al McBride 8:22
But they claim that that’s one of the differences in high performing CEOs and moderately performance is that they go with their gut instinct far more, which was real surprise that they they literally use intuition. And as part of that it’s this positive opportunistic mindset for what’s there what’s not, and they trust themselves, which is fascinating.

Al McBride 8:48
That, as I said, their whole perceptive. I mean, in science, because the reticular Activation System, basically what your filter is doing is filtering in this extremely opportunistic, but positive, forward looking filter, which is remarkable. Yeah, yeah. Okay. So as you said, it’s, and it all starts with the mindset and probably comes back to the mindset, it’s probably a surplus. Well,

Nina Cooke 9:13
it says, because you can, if you want to have a certain income in life, you have to have the beliefs that allow you to have that income because otherwise you know, you’ll go through your you may have a really great month that you’ve earned more than you’ve ever earned before.

Nina Cooke 9:30
And it’s not all about the money but I’m just using income as an example here. So you know, you go through you have your best month ever, but then if you think this feels a bit scary, I’m not sure I deserve that much.

Nina Cooke 9:40
Next month, you’ll make sure you self sabotage, and then you’ll go back down to your previous income or even less, or it might just be 10% more but not that big chunk because you know, you just say feel comfortable around it. Clear out all of that stuff, clear it out.

Nina Cooke 9:54
And then you will see bigger results. It has to be true because when you have those beliefs that expect that then you know, you deserve all the success you want or the fulfillment you want in life, then your mind thinks that’s what you want, let’s bring it in, and it just becomes easy, you become you become more of a receiver, then that, you know, pushing grinding entrepreneur, which everything feels really difficult and exhausting.

Al McBride 10:21
And that’s part of the myth, isn’t it that you know, as entrepreneurs, you’re a business owner is you’re meant to be grinding, the whole time already hustling to survive, and all this survival, aggression, Law of the Jungle type language. And as we were talking before we hit record there. But it was something you mentioned that it’s the difference between this push versus pull energies. And, as you said, it’s a radically different feeling for someone on the other side of that equation, and

Nina Cooke 10:53
it says, much nicer, more feeling, because natural Yeah. And you know, same thing and entrepreneurs easy. We know how to put lots of work in at the beginning, you know, build your business, all of that. But also, you need to be work a couple of hours a day, and you’re gonna have an amazing business. That’s not bc energy bring into each and every moment. That’s the important thing.

Al McBride 11:13
That’s the important thing. And so, you mentioned clearing out some of those blocks. So i’m sure is a whole process, and it’s very intricate. What is one valuable free action that the audience can implement that will help them with that issue? No, it won’t maybe solve the thing, but at least just in that mindset, we put them pointing in the right direction?

Nina Cooke 11:38
Absolutely. Well, there’s, there’s a little formula that I share with my clients. And that’s the three A’s formula. It’s very, very simple to explain, but challenging to do. First one is perceived as awareness. Be aware of your thinking, be aware when you go down that rabbit hole with negative thinking, and you’re just playing that loop again, and again, and be aware that it’s causing you to hesitate or procrastinate, and not do that action in your business that you know, you should be doing.

Nina Cooke 12:08
So first step is awareness. And it’s easy to become aware, if you just say, Okay, I’m gonna grab a pen and paper. And I’m going to just capture my thinking, Now, think about doing that activity, maybe posting on social media, and maybe making a phone call, maybe a sales call that you know, you should be setting up.

Nina Cooke 12:28
So just write down on a piece of paper, your negative thinking so they can capture it. Okay, that’s interesting. The second step, the second a is acceptance, accept, this is what I’m thinking, because the moment we start wishing it was different to how it is, then we get into the resistance mode.

Nina Cooke 12:47
Hmm, I wish I didn’t think like this, I wish I could just be really positive about stuff. No, because that’s wishing something that isn’t it is what it is. And let’s just accept it. So that’s my thinking right now. That’s fine. And then the fight goes out immediately. And then the third step. Third, a is action.

Nina Cooke 13:06
Okay, so this is how I’m feeling about this activity. That’s fine. Now, what action can I take to change that? So maybe, you know, you take an action where you just say, Okay, I’m just going to clear my mind, I’m just going to take 10 deep breaths, and just see how I feel about doing this activity there. Or maybe, Okay, I’m gonna do a little bit of, I’m going to do a productivity process right now to make me to make me just sit down for 25 minutes, the Pomodoro or whatever.

Nina Cooke 13:35
And just, I’m just going to press that, you know, 25 minutes, and I’m just gonna sit down and do it. So whatever it is, but you can just start thinking, How can I change this situation now? What action can I take? And that’s really a simple, simple process. But I know it’s challenging to do

Al McBride 13:53
very much. It sounds also that the last action, which was interesting is that it just needs to be even a small step. But the key principle, if I heard you, right, was that it needs to be something pretty much right now. Like you, as in don’t make a huge action plan, some massive gesture, it just something to step toward the direction you want to go. Absolutely. Okay, very good, very good. What is one valuable free resource that you can direct people to that will help them with that issue?

Nina Cooke 14:23
Well, this is something I’ve created is called a millionaire mindset scorecard. And I crushed it because so many of my clients say, I just want to be able to, you know, if I have a seven figure lifestyle, then I’ll just be able to take time off my work, etc. And the question is, well, why aren’t you there yet?

Nina Cooke 14:39
So this scorecard helps you to find out what your limiting beliefs are, that are stopping you from having that lifestyle. And it’s, it’s, it’s very easy to do, it’s fun to do. And also it points it in the net and that points you towards the next steps of how you can start creating more empowering beliefs as well. And it’s that forward slash scorecard.

Al McBride 14:59
Outstanding, that’s like something I should probably take another look at. It’s something I do every six months or so is right then some of those beliefs when I noticed that I’m hitting blockers, but if you have a very neat format for certainly have a look at that, that’s hugely valuable. Again, it sounds one of those things that sounds deceptively simple. But as he said, it’s a little tricky to do. But the value in doing it is off the chart

Nina Cooke 15:26
off the chart, it’s not just in your business, it’s in every area of your life. And it transformed the way you shop, not just in your business, but in life.

Al McBride 15:37
Excellent stuff. So what’s the one question I should have asked you, that would be of great value to our audience?

Nina Cooke 15:46
Why is it so challenging? Why don’t we automatically seem to think about the negative stuff instead of automatically thinking positive? Thoughts? Now, I don’t have the answer to that. But I do feel that it’s something that is almost, there’s lots of conditional thinking, that goes on.

Nina Cooke 16:10
And we tend to say, okay, that’s how I was brought up, that’s my childhood. That’s my parents, you know, they just, they’re not the competence out of me. However, when we stopped blaming our parents, or saying, okay, I created all these beliefs inside of me, no one gave them to me.

Nina Cooke 16:28
So like osmosis, we absorb it, and then just fixes in our head. I had to make decisions about everything I’ve seen in my life, every single event, and then I’ve made a decision, is what they’re saying about me? Is that true? Or am I going to reject it and make up my own story about me? So I think once we take 100% responsibility, and we stop blaming our parents and other adults in our lives, then we’re able to really make the change, because then we are in control of our life.

Al McBride 17:02
That’s, that’s another key truth right there, Nina? That, again, sounds deceptively simple. But oh, you just take responsibility for your thinking. But it’s a work in progress. But as I said, Akiva aggress, even the first steps in that process can be hugely valuable. Absolutely.

Nina Cooke 17:23
Any any awareness that you have about your thinking, that’s when you’re cashing out your thinking. And you’re saying, Oh, I know what’s going on. I’ve gotten all these negative thoughts, but I’m not gonna identify with them. So any awareness is just golden.

Al McBride 17:41
I’ve found, you know, obviously, meditation, and mindfulness has become much more mainstream in the last few years, which is a great thing, because it said that, that helps you with that awareness of noticing thoughts, particularly when they’re daft, but I find it nearly I find I get much better out of when I make it a game

Al McBride 17:58
Now, maybe that’s just me. But it also feels less serious. It’s important, but it’s not as serious and you can be playful. And it also helps me release them a lot more when they when they feel nearly silly, you know, it’s like, oh, it’s better that Oh, what, what an easier thing to do or say as I go, and it allows it makes us a little lighter. It’s not being carried like a weight. You know? Yes, me.

Nina Cooke 18:27
I think it’s really important. We take things too seriously. We take life too seriously. difficult things happen, for sure. I mean, look at this year, but it’s always the response. We can always choose our response to what was going on and making it light hearted, making it playful. You think, well, this is the game of life. I’m here to play, that there’s going to be setbacks, but let’s just play and make it easier. Because it’s a choice. It’s a decision. That’s all it is.

Al McBride 18:51
It’s a beautiful way to finish up there as well. It’s a choice. It’s a decision. And that’s exactly it and bring back the joy. Yeah, choose to see where the fun and the thing is. I think I’m still learning that fall it to be very serious sometimes to pull myself out. Usually by making fun of myself.

Nina Cooke 19:12
Doing it.

Al McBride 19:13
It’s a decision. It’s a choice. That’s exactly it. So thank you so much for coming on the show. Nina.

Nina Cooke 19:18
Thank you for having me on. It’s been great.

Al McBride 19:20
Thank you.

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