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Pic's peanut butter

What peanut butter taught me about life

Recently I was at a conference where I heard peanut butter guy, Pic Picot speak.  As he told his story, from making his first jar of peanut butter using his mum’s recipe, to becoming a peanut butter mogul, manufacturing 20,000 jars of Pic’s Peanut Butter every day, I couldn’t help but feel inspired.

But it wasn’t the number of units he’s sold, or the fact that Pic’s delicious delights can now be found in stores all over the world that inspired me. Nor was it the fact that Pic achieved all this whilst coping with eyesight condition macular degeneration. As he stood on the stage with a beaming smile, sharing his peanut buttery adventures, the source of my inspiration was oozing from his every pore..

Passion.

I’ve never heard anyone be that passionate about peanut butter. Actually, it’s been a long time since I’ve heard anyone be that passionate about anything. Pic sold the first jars of his delicious zero-sugar peanut butter down at the local markets in Nelson, most likely giving away as much in free samples as he sold, because he loves the stuff so much and just wants us to try it. When he speaks about peanut butter and the empire he and his team have created, it’s like watching a kid in a sandpit, joyfully up to his elbows, mixing and building, excited about what he might create next.

The passion is contagious, extending out to his team. After his talk, when I mentioned to Pic’s distribution manager that my local New World didn’t have Pic’s almond butter on the shelf she was immediately on the case. ‘We can’t have that’ she said. ‘We don’t want anyone missing out!’

All of this passion got me thinking. What am I that passionate about? Anything?  Certainly there was a time in my life when I was passionate about singing, and that passion enabled me to achieve a whole lot more than I thought I was capable of (more on that here).

But what now?  I’ve never really been a believer in the ‘find your passion’ cliche, but surely there’s something out there for me that I can be really excited about.  I want that ‘Pic’ feeling too, digging happily in the sandpit, creating new worlds and adventures.

However, I’m not panicking.  Pic was 55 when he sold his first jar of peanut butter – living proof that dreams are there for the taking at any age.  I’m pretty sure my next adventure is just around the corner. And I bet yours is too.

Until next time,

Lisa x

PS:  If you haven’t tried Pic’s Peanut Butter yet, you’re missing out … it’s REALLY delicious – made out of roasted peanuts and salt -and that’s it!  Check it out here or grab some at your local supermarket.

Lisa Nimmo is an author, speaker and mum of two teenagers, based in Wellington New Zealand. If you’d like to know more visit lisanimmo.com

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Words too beautiful not to share…

I happened to come across these words in The Dom last week, buried at the bottom of an article about Stephen Hawking not believing in God. Whatever his spiritual beliefs, I was knocked out by his simple but profound final thoughts, that were broadcast at the end of his funeral as an emotional address to younger generations. In case you missed them the first time around, here they are. Enjoy x

“Remember to look up at the stars
and 
not down at your feet.
Try to make sense of what you see,
and wonder about what makes the universe exist.
Be curious,
and however difficult life may seem
there is 
always something you can do and succeed at. 
It matters that you don’t give up. 
Unleash your imagination. 
Shape the future.”

Stephen Hawking

PS: Stephen Hawking’s funeral was held on the 1st of April …. isn’t that ironic.

The Stream blog header

Paddling Upstream

When I was a musician I pushed myself beyond reason. I was a 32-year-old woman trying to cut a break in a highly competitive, youth obsessed industry. I knew the odds weren’t in my favour and my rock-star biological clock was ticking madly.

I tried so hard to prove I was worthy, fought for every opportunity, did everything I could to get my music heard. I needed people to like my music (and me) if I was going to succeed. And I had to convince them as quickly as possible, as I wasn’t getting any younger.

Eventually, I drove myself into the ground. My physical and mental well being suffered, my love for music was stripped away, replaced by disappointment and exhaustion. I’d won many battles and even had some success, but in the end, I lost the war. I hung up my guitar in the corner and walked away from my music career.

It’s no surprise then, that when I became a published author and released my first book into the world 10 weeks ago, I felt worried. What if I’d learned nothing from my past mistakes? I could easily work my guts out again, beg for every opportunity and still end up in the same place—exhausted and broke.

I was so afraid of history repeating itself that for the first few weeks I did nothing. I ignored the ‘book marketing’ to-do list on my desk and instead busied myself with domestic duties, increased my hours at work and tried to pretend I wasn’t a newly published author with a book to promote. I subconsciously did everything I could to avoid going in to battle again.

Then one morning, in the midst of my procrastination I stumbled across this YouTube clip and everything changed.

I realised that throughout my entire music career I’d been paddling upstream. I had thought that achieving success meant I had to battle against the current, struggle over all the craggy rocks and cling for dear life onto tree branches when things got really rough.

But ‘law of attraction’ suggests a simple solution for whenever we feel like we’re paddling upstream—we stop, turn the canoe around and go withthe current instead.

It really is that simple.

Paddling downstream I’ve discovered, is way easier. In fact, without the constant struggle you actually get to bask in the sunshine and admire the view. As soon as I made the decision to relax and enjoy going with the flow, life as a published author began to feel like fun and much to my delight, opportunities like these started to come my way.

There are still days when I can feel the canoe turning back upstream, or that I’m drifting towards a frighteningly large waterfall with deadly rocks at the bottom. But, instead of preparing for battle, I’m learning to just dip my paddle in the water and calmly change direction.

So here’s to all the sunny days and gentle currents that lie ahead. Perhaps you’ll come join me on the river.

Until then,
Lisa x

Ester Hicks is a spiritual channel, who shares the ‘law of attraction’ teachings of Abraham. Check her out here.

Author Lisa Nimmo sees her first book in print

Making the impossible possible

I held the book in my hands and smiled. This wasn’t just any book—it was mine.

It had once been just an idea, a story nagging to be told. Then it became a dream, one that would require sacrifice and long-term commitment.

I believe everyone has an incredible story to tell and I’ve met countless people who would ‘love to write a book one day.’  But I totally understand why they might not get around to it—it’s bloody hard.

Bloody hard, but not impossible.

My goal four years ago was to become a published author. I was determined to not start writing a book, but finish writing it.  As it turned out, one was way more difficult than the other.

When I first started writing my memoir Blame It On Abba I was a total novice.  As a musician I’d written a few songs and over the years thanks to Julia Cameron’s Artist’s Way, had developed a daily journaling habit. But I soon learned it was a rather large leap from short creative bursts to developing a 72,000-word manuscript.

What I lacked in writing experience however, I made up for in life experience. I’d been through a radical career change before, when in my thirties I transformed myself from shy salesperson to professional singer. Through those challenging years I learned a valuable lesson about stepping into the great unknown:

You don’t have to know everything. You just have to know whom to call.

So, after floundering through the first 20,000 words of my book, I decided to call in an expert—a writing coach. I knew I didn’t have the skills or experience to make it to the finish line alone and my writing confidence was as fragile as a butterfly.

Enter author and writing coach Catherine Cooper. Her wisdom, encouragement and skill helped me stay focused, enthusiastic and turn what felt like the impossible, into the possible.  It was still bloody hard – I had  to dig deep, pour my heart out on the page and reveal parts of myself I wasn’t sure I wanted to share, but eventually I crossed that finish line. I did it!

When I began writing I thought I was telling the story of an adventure I’d had in the past. I never realised that through the act of writing it all down I was embarking on a totally new adventure, where I’d get to learn not  only about the art of writing, but myself.  I could not have achieved that depth of insight and knowledge if I hadn’t sought the help of a writing coach to push me beyond my comfort boundaries to discover what I was truly capable of.

If you’re contemplating starting something new but feel worried you don’t know enough, that’s just not true. You have so much experience behind you already, that you can bring to whatever new idea or venture you choose. And for the things you don’t know, there is help available everywhere, both on and off line, all you have to do is ask for it.  Or as I like to phrase it:

When you don’t know oodles, check it out on Google!

Go forth and good luck.

Lisa x

 

If you have a dream, but no time to make it a reality, enter your details to receive my ‘Time for Life’ guide. It has helped me bring so many creative pursuits to life, whilst still juggling a day job and kids and I’m sure it will help you too.

Shit sandwiches blog by Lisa Nimmo

Shit Sandwiches

I’ve been a published author now for 53 days. It took me four years and a lifetime to get here, and a thousand voices said I wouldn’t—most of them inside my own head.  Now that I’m here, instead of feeling euphoric for pushing through, doing the work and finally reaching my goal, I feel depressed and anxious.

I blame the shit sandwiches.

As hard as it was, writing my first book was a glorious adventure. I was able to cast aside the everyday normality of life and lose myself on the page. The steady, regular crafting of each word, each chapter, gave me my true north and I felt grounded, slowly heading towards something.

But now that I’m finished I have this book out in the world and someone has to sell it—no surprises as to who that might be. Even though I have some experience in sales, I’m no different to every other artist when it comes to selling my own work—it sucks. But if I want to share my work, I know I have no choice. I have to step up and get ready to eat a lot of shit sandwiches.

In 2006 I released a debut album and boy did I eat some shit back then. All the emails I sent that never got answered, the phone calls where people refused to talk to me, and when they did it was to give me a big fat ‘NO’. There were people who pretended they’d help but never did and ones who lied, because they couldn’t bear disappointing me with the truth. If only they’d known that the lie was worse.

But here’s what I learned.  Deep amongst the shit there were nuggets of gold. Huge opportunities, unexpected windfalls, stunning reviews and connections with incredible people who supported, advised and encouraged me along the way.

All I had to do was eat my way through the shit until I found them.

Now that my book is out I find myself facing yet another faecal diet—no wonder I’m lacking some enthusiasm!  But I know from personal experience that beyond the shit lays the gold, so I’m in the kitchen and I’m ready. Bring on the shit! I’ll take mine with a side order of courage and sauce.  Bon appetite. Here I go.

Are you an artist? Leave a comment below and tell me what your biggest struggle is with selling your own work.