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Nicky Bartley, Director and Trainer - Thrive & Shine

Nicky Bartley is the Founder of Thrive & Shine, a company focused on identifying and dealing with stress in the workplace. Nicky talks to The Industry Leaders about her work.

How did you end up sitting where you are today?

Following a career in Social Work, my own journey with mental illness led me to rediscover my innate wellbeing. After working with many businesses and organisations whose employees are struggling, despite investment in training with various consultants and trainers, I realised that no one is innovating in this area. We still rely on outdated models of psychology that are over 100 years old.

I set up Thrive & Shine to change that. We are about to roll out and deliver the first comprehensive audit of workplace stress with our newly developed algorithm.

What kind of work does your role involve?

It's all about relationships, as is life itself. I teach that on a daily basis: how to be in a relationship. This one thing is at the heart of our wellbeing. On a day to day basis, I am involved in the research and development side of my business too. I also work with Keele University and other stakeholders whilst also working closely with my team and partners around data management and developing technology, and ensuring that we deliver the best possible service for our clients.

What gets you excited about your industry?

Innovation! It's long overdue, and I fail to understand why we keep doing what we have already done, and that is not getting results and not making real sustainable change.

What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?

Take risks! It will all be okay in the end, even when the outcomes are not as you imagined, actually, especially when the results are not as you imagined.

What, or who inspires you?

Anyone who doesn't conform, who goes their own way and follows their intuition instead. Those people inspire me.

I don't really have any well-known celebrity or business leader types who make my heart sing; they've usually sold out at some point. I love finding the unknowns, and they're often already in my circle. Also, my grandchildren! All of that creativity, energy and non-reliance on norms hasn't yet been conditioned out of them. They're pure love! I will endeavour to keep them that way.

How do you keep up to speed with what's happening in your industry?

I work closely with clinicians and academics as a result of my company innovating, so it's pretty easy to keep up. I am interested in those that are also doing innovating. There is lots of fabulous potential out there, and new technology is increasing possibility, especially in mental health.

What was the most challenging project or situation you've overcome?

7 years of mental ill-health, suicide ideation, substance misuse and so on and then finding my wellbeing on the night that I finally decided to give up. That was revelatory and probably one of the most profound moments ever. Following that, I continued to build my business and bring what I learned into it, whilst also not falling into the trap of believing I have all of the answers. That is hard sometimes, and it's what stops us from finding the real answers.

You finish work today and step outside the office to find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?

The same that I am doing now, but with an expanded team. Probably at a faster pace and maybe in a place with more sunshine.

How do you switch off after a day at work?

I spend time with my family whenever possible. I write a lot, about anything and for nothing, just because I like it. I crochet, spend time outdoors with my partner and dog. I have a pretty low key and low maintenance lifestyle.

If you had one wish for the future of your industry, what would it be?

That more people would get involved with their own wellbeing so that they could show others how to get involved with their own wellbeing. We teach people to bypass it, to buy it somewhere else, to manage it by this means or that and when we realise we don't have to do that, we find our wellbeing. It would be great if more of my industry realised that. Eventually, we could put ourselves out of business and live happily ever after.

What book or podcast should everyone know about?

Book - The More Beautiful World our Heart Knows is Possible by Charles Eisenstein, but then again, I love all his books, so maybe Sacred Economics by the same author.

In terms of Podcasts, I listen to several, but my favourites are Caffeine for the soul by Michael Neill and Move Your DNA by Katy Bowman. I also really enjoy Making Sense by Sam Harris.

How should people connect with you?

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