After experiencing a stress-related stroke, Nicky Marshall began to focus on the world of Corporate Wellbeing. Nicky talks to The Industry Leaders about how she navigated running a business while recovering from her stroke and the advice that shifted her mindset and approach to work.
How did you end up sitting where you are today?
I have a background as an accountant but got into wellbeing 20 years ago as a holistic therapist and Reiki Master. Since then, I've run stress management schemes and have A level Anatomy and Physiology.
I've always been interested in the effect of stress on people, and in 2010, I suffered a stroke through stress. By 2013 I had fully recovered, and the techniques that made me well became the framework for Discover Your Bounce. We ventured into Corporate Wellbeing 3 years ago and have facilitated workshops for over 3,000 employees to date.
Publishing business and inspiration books seemed like a natural addition, and we launched our publishing house in 2017.
What kind of work does your role involve?
I have written multiple books, but my role today is mainly public speaking, delivering keynotes and workshops. Along with Sharon, we mentor our authors and manage our publishing team, who are all amazing! We run our Facebook group, Discover Your Bounce Community and our paid membership, My Wellbeing Club, and interact in both every day too.
What gets you excited about your industry?
I think the Wellbeing industry is at an exciting point in its development. A few years ago, wellbeing was hardly discussed, or if it was, there was usually an annual day of disjointed activities before it was again forgotten. This last year has taught everyone the importance of wellbeing, listening to teams, and the value of striking a good work/life balance - after all, it's all life!
I love that what we do is not just solving mental health challenges but also preventing them and building physical health, strong communities, and an individual and company vision of what good looks like.
What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?
A mentor once asked me, "Do you want to be a solo guru, or would you rather build a legacy?" Since then, I've been growing a team of people that are all amazing at what they do. We have workshops, programmes and books that are going to be here long after I am. We have worked with and impacted thousands of people for the better.
That advice started a shift in mindset that totally changed what I do.
What, or who inspires you?
People inspire me. With the right tools and support, people can achieve all sorts of amazing goals. My business partner Sharon is an inspiration to me too, and my parents, children and grandchildren inspire me every day. When you are in love with where you are and what you do, you can take the time to fully appreciate what and who is around you.
As far as an icon, Louise Hay inspired me by creating Hay House. Books are such an inspiration in themselves, and I hope our titles inspire too.
How do you keep up to speed with what's happening in your industry?
We always try to look years ahead at what people will need. For example, we talked about the changes that are happening now when we started the corporate business 3 years ago. This was at a time when many did not believe wellbeing was needed in the business world - I even lost a friendship over it!
I think social media is a great place to spot trends, and Sharon sits on the board of the accounting body ACCA, which does great research into future trends. We both keep learning, too - last year, I did the ASIST suicide awareness training, which I found really valuable.
What was the most challenging project or situation you've overcome?
When I suffered the stroke, I had a 12-week old business and four growing teenagers. We had a coffee shop and holistic therapy space that needed to keep running, and I spent a week in Plymouth having treatment.
Not only did I need to deal with the shock of what happened, but I had to employ my daughter as full-time manager of the business (thankfully, she had been involved part-time since it started.)
It was all hands on deck to keep everything spinning, but there was a time months later where I broke down and had to take some time to process what happened.
You finish work today and step outside the office to find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?
I've never won a charity raffle, so that would be a first!
I would grow our support team, but I know I would still do some of the delivery and writing as that's my passion and why I love what I do.
I would definitely buy a really lovely car, set my family up with what they need and take everyone on holiday!
After that, I would love to set up some charitable trusts to work on some projects close to my heart, like mental health support. I've always said I would create a bouncy care home to help people age disgracefully!
How do you switch off after a day at work?
I gave up alcohol in September but love a glass of 'Nosecco' (alcohol-free fizz). Now the nights are lighter, I usually head out for a walk before my husband, and I settle in for the evening. He's a great cook, and we are both hilarious comedians, so every night is a giggle!
If you had one wish for the future of your industry, what would it be?
My wish is that our industry got proper investment to ensure people had a wellbeing strategy and practical support that kept up with their needs. There is often a very passionate HR professional but no adequate budget to really serve employees.
Mental Health conversations are happening, but there are still people staying silent, and there are still organisations that have a 'man up' attitude. I'm hoping we can have inclusive conversations on all subjects, so everyone has a voice.
What book or podcast should everyone know about?
We have published a series called The Bounce Back Journey, where people share their personal stories of bouncing back. I know we are the publisher, but I'm genuinely humbled by the wisdom and honesty people have shared.
For a real giggle, I listen to Sh*gged, Married and Annoyed by Chris and Rosie Ramsay - hilarious!
I listen to Audible books for learning and currently listening to The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek.
How should people connect with you?
Our website is www.discoveryourbounce.com to find out everything we do.
Our community is www.facebook.com/groups/discoveryourbouncecommunity, and to get monthly wellbeing mentoring and support, head to www.discoveryourbounceacademy.com.
I'm also on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/nickymarshall.
*Ever wondered what kind of leader you are? Take our free quiz to find out.
**Looking to level-up your leadership skills? Check out our article on the best self-help books for business leaders and entrepreneurs. Thetheindustryleaders.org participates in Amazon's Affiliate Links programme. So, if you click through the highlighted links and buy a book, we may earn Amazon commission (we hope that's a win-win!).