As the number of New Zealand women embarking on the world of business ownership soars, CareerMum brings you the second story in our feature on successful businesswomen who are managing family life alongside their thriving business.
This latest story is that of Wick Nixon, founder and owner of Wicked Wellbeing, and publisher of the 2015 Gourmand World Cookbook Awards winner, ‘21 Day Marvelous Lunchbox Makeover’. Nixon aspires to be a catalyst for major change in ‘healthy’ eating – inspiring and educating individuals and families to get back to basics, to create meals from scratch, and reduce the need for packaged food and takeaways.
As a former school-teacher and graphic designer, a mum of three (aged 11, 10 and 8), and a self-confessed foodie, Nixon took a leap of faith in 2013, combining her skills, passion and energy to establish her dream business.
From lunch box ideas, to family dinners, Nixon is a great source of inspiration for turning fussy eaters into curious eaters with her simple, enticing, and healthy recipe ideas – many of which are also available on her website. Nixon educates, inspires, motivates and answers many questions to support healthy eating habits for children and adults.
Nixon talked with CareerMum about how business is going, whether it was providing the fulfillment she was after, the highs, the lows, and the key lessons learned along the way.
About Wick Nixon
Nixon grew up on a farm in Southern Hawkes Bay and quickly became known as the local foodie, when even as a youngster she would bake for her neighbours and for local events. Food has always been her passion.
And her working day has strong resemblances to farm life – Nixon starts the day at 5.30am, gets her exercise done early, and sets herself up for a productive day ahead. She is focused, professional, has high levels of self-discipline, and a graceful ability to ask questions that cut to the chase. Time is money, and as a businesswoman, Nixon has learnt how to invest her time.
How did Wicked Wellbeing come about?
Establishing a business is not new to Nixon who trained as a graphic designer, and set up her own business, Wicked Design. But food was always her passion, and after having children Nixon had her ‘aha’ moment when she came up with a way to combine her business nous with her true passion. She tested her concept through a Facebook page, which quickly grew to over 2,000 followers (and now has 9,000 followers). Then came her award-winning book, ’21 Day Marvelous Lunchbox Makeover’, followed by her website and healthy eating workshops. Winning the Gourmand Book award (dubbed the Oscars of the book awards) stands out as a career highlight. However, it is the workshops that excite Nixon the most – face to face interaction with clients, opening eyes to healthy and appetising meals, and demonstrating how simple healthy eating can be.
What has been key to success?
Nixon keeps it real – she has always been open about her challenges, and has embarked on her journey with honesty and integrity, which she finds her clients respond well to. Her award-winning book has also given her credibility on her journey, particularly when moving into new customer segments.
How does Nixon manage to juggle the competing demands of a growing business and family life?
Nixon is the first to confess that she doesn’t necessarily get more time with her children. The busyness of life as a business owner, and mum of three young children, mean that Nixon’s life is spread thinly. But the challenge is one she is clearly up for. Wicked Wellbeing is entering its third year of operation, and Nixon’s enthusiasm, passion and adaptability mean she is constantly looking ahead to the next chapter of the business.
What challenges have been met along the way, and how have these challenges been overcome?
One of the greatest challenges of establishing your own business is that you become it – for example, there is no IT department to lean on for advice and support. Unless you can outsource those things, the onus is on you to get up to speed and get the job done. These ‘behind the scenes’ tasks can use up a considerable amount of time, and keep you away from your core passion. Nixon outsources some elements of her business, such as the website creation, and leading into 2017 plans to outsource more. Often it’s a trade off of time, cost and skill.
Nixon admits that working alone can also be tough. You carry your work around, and finding time to switch off is difficult, particularly when you’re constantly thinking about ways to reach into new market segments.
Investing in a coach has been a priority from the get-go. Nixon is a big believer of continued learning, and ensures she dedicates time to her own training and development. She completed the B-school online programme in 2015; an investment she found particularly beneficial. She also takes opportunities to surround herself with a network of businesswomen – people who are going through similar experiences, and with whom she can easily relate to. Such investments in her time, along with Nixon’s passion, high levels of self-discipline, and her healthy lifestyle, are what she believes helps her through any challenging times.
What does the next 12 months hold for Wicked Wellbeing?
Having successfully tested the appetite of the corporate sector for her healthy eating workshops, and as workplace wellness becomes increasingly popular, Nixon has developed a health and wellbeing initiative for the corporate market, to be launched to businesses in the new year. The initiative promotes quick and easy healthy living to employees, and will be available on demand.
What advice does Nixon have for others starting their own business?
- Follow your passion. Ultimately, on the tougher days, it is this passion that will pick you up and get you back on track.
- Don’t hold yourself back by striving for perfection. Just get started.
Nixon’s award-winning book, ‘21 Day Marvelous Lunchbox Makeover’ can be purchased in hard or digital copy.
Incase you missed it:
Read the first feature story on women in business, featuring Rachel Klaver – Founder and Managing Director of Identify Marketing.