I’m a business therapist and mindset coach who works with entrepreneurs to create and nurture healthy relationships with their businesses. I’m a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a Masters in Social Work and a rich experience of working as a therapist. Certified in Brené Brown’s The Daring Way™ and Dare To Lead™ methodologies, I’ve also been featured on numerous media outlets including Fast Company and NPR for my work in breaking the stigma of mental health and business ownership.
I write and speak about the impact of small t trauma on businesses but my biggest, more important work is in combining therapeutic processes with business coaching to help entrepreneurs like you build emotionally sustainable, financially stable businesses.
My body of work is included in my book – How to Love Your Business: Stop Recreating Trauma and Have a Business You Love-and That Loves Your Back.
It’s transformational work and I would have it no other way.
What do you do and why do you do it?
I work with small biz owners, entrepreneurs, and leaders to reveal and release trauma’s impact on their work. It is important because our society minimizes the impact of childhood trauma on our adult lives, and I will not let that lack of support and education be the reason why you are not successful.
What changed for you after age 50?
I have become more willing to challenge the systems that create the traumatizing experiences that we have had, and I care very little about what people think about my work and where it belongs in the world of entrepreneurship.
What would you tell the 20 or 30-year-old YOU?
I would tell her to stay in therapy, question everything, travel more and let go of the indoctrination of patriarchy and supremacy because it is toxic.
Oh and that there is nothing wrong with her at all. She has a different brain that is beautiful.
What do you think you’ll tell yourself in retrospect at the end of your life?
You were good.
What impact do you think increased visibility can have on your business?
Grow my thought leadership, more client leads, and disruption of a paradigm in business that needs to change.
Who or what inspires you and why?
My adult female friends inspire me, including you Donna.
Brandi Carlile, the artist also inspires me for so many reasons but mostly because she has not betrayed who she is to find her community and to become successful on her own terms.
“Trauma is not YOUR fault and should not be hidden or overlooked due to societal stigma or self-doubt. It’s beneficial to the systems around us. You don’t realize you’re being traumatized. It’s a failure, not a bug, and it’s never too late to start to unpeel this and get help.“
This interview with Nicole Lewis-Keeber is a MUST watch.
Nicole is a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist. Her clients lovingly call her a “business therapist,” focusing on helping entrepreneurs fall in love with their businesses. Her work primarily involves studying the impact of childhood trauma on entrepreneurship, a topic she has written about in her book, “How to Love Your Business.” Additionally, she is a certified facilitator in Brené Brown’s The Daring Way™ and Dare To Lead™ methodologies.
Nicole explained that trauma can infiltrate various aspects of our lives, including our businesses, careers, and finances. Childhood trauma, particularly, can unknowingly affect small business owners. She highlighted the difference between ‘big T’ trauma – significant, life-altering events like domestic violence or natural disasters, and ‘little t’ trauma – smaller, repetitive experiences during childhood that over time, change how you see yourself.
Despite society’s tendency to minimize the importance of ‘little t’ trauma, our nervous system responds to both types of experiences. We often bring this trauma into our adult lives. Nicole cautioned against trying to address trauma without professional help, stressing the potential for retraumatization and the importance of appropriate aftercare.
Nicole discussed how trauma could manifest in business, particularly affecting the ability to set appropriate prices, understand our value, and assert self-worth. Trauma can also create trust issues, leading to resistance in delegating tasks and limiting business growth.
Addressing the concept of the ‘inner critic,’ Nicole explained this as a protective biological mechanism. Its origins lie in critical voices encountered during childhood. Instead of trying to silence this inner critic, she advises learning to understand the fear that drives it. Build a relationship with your inner-kiddos so they feel protected and safe.
Nicole shared her personal experience of turning 50 while undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. She embraced this milestone as a reflection of her life choices and experiences, opening up a new chapter of possibility and growth.
Finally, she wanted to leave the audience knowing that trauma is not YOUR fault and should not be hidden or overlooked due to societal stigma or self-doubt. It’s beneficial to the systems around us, you don’t realize you’re being traumatized. It’s a failure, not a bug, and it’s never too late to start to unpeel this and get help.
You have inner-kiddos that want to be a part of what you are doing right now and others that want to be dismissed to have the childhood that they always wanted.
Nicole tells us that you can do the work which will change your life.
If you’re hearing this for the first time and are curious about experiences you remember, talk to a therapist or someone who can hold space for you. You deserve to have your journey witnessed, and there are people who can and want to help you break free from the impacts of trauma.
Learn more about Nicole and the other Real 50 over 50 women on our official web page.