Hi, I am Anna Nichols!
For most of my life, I have been drawn to leadership positions. Whether that was being the oldest child in my family, student council president in middle school, saxophone section leader in high school band, project team leader in college, or director of a department in a major corporation.
Then one day, a great mentor sent me on a journey of self-discovery where I learned the power of transforming my mind and the impact this would have on my life and business. This experience was so profound that I took a huge leap of faith and started my own business. Now, I help others become the empowered leaders they want to be in this world.
All this lead to me becoming the most authentic version of myself and taking intentional actions in my life and business.
Read below to learn more about me and my journey.
A little about Anna...
STATUS QUO CHALLENGER
As the child of immigrant parents, I was taught at an early age the value of hard work and determination. My parents were originally from Poland and came to Chicago to follow the American dream. This lead them to running several businesses in their lives, the one that made the biggest impression on my life was running a motel in Colorado. I started working here at 10 years old, helping my parents clean rooms, serve customers at the front desk, or working the weekend banquets. This experience was so different than the kids I grew up with, but it has become the basis of the life I wanted to provide my own children, but of course shaped with the values I had developed throughout my own life.
A major lesson from this part of my life was that grit and the drive to always to be learning and growing would get you far in life, even if you didn't have a formal education. My entrepreneurial parents taught me anything is possible.
When it came to picking my own career, the foundation of working for my parents' business allowed me to quickly transition into larger roles in the hospitality and retail industries. I then spent a decade working in higher education administration, in several formal leadership roles as well as extensive service on committees and community boards. This is where I saw that many people had technical expertise in their trades, but they felt baffled about how to lead people, projects, and change. This is where I loved to jump in and help, because after all, building relationships and leading people was my specialty.
A major lesson from this part of my life was that balancing your own identity with that of your job role is challenging but important. Learning how to lead people authentically was key for individual, team, and organizational success.
My passion for learning sent me to college ultimately earning a bachelor's degree in finance and accounting, as well as a master's degree in business administration. In addition to my formal education, I privately studied leadership strategies to improve myself and the organizations I served. Despite all this traditional education, I felt like people needed more than just strategies to embody the leadership identity they desired. I wanted to learn how to break through limiting beliefs and conditioning that had clouded my mind for years. So I sought mentors and coaches who helped me explore self-discovery, mindfulness, subconscious reprogramming, and other tools as the keys to building the confidence and communication skills I desired as a leader.
A major lesson from this part of my life was that we all have the personal power and the ability to be who we want and create the life we want. My heart wanted to share this wisdom with the world, so I started a career in coaching.
Throughout my life, I found myself naturally sharing the leadership skills, techniques, and strategies I learned with those around me. I did this in creative, engaging ways, because I wanted to help people grow as much as I wanted them to enjoy the experience along the way. Watching my parents on their entrepreneurial journey planted a seed and my education compounded with my experience pushed me to official start Discovery Leadership LLC. My mission is to help managers, business owners, and entrepreneurs become empowered leaders, so that they can powerfully and positively impact their businesses, communities, and the world.
A major lesson from this part of my life is that leadership is a journey, one that required deep self-discovery and commitment and encouragement in order to grow into the best version of yourself. Regardless of your past education or experience, you can become the leader you want to be with the right systems and people to support you.