Nicole Antoinette wants to live in a world with less bullshit. She helps people change their stories – the ones they tell about themselves to themselves. She’s the founder of A Life Less Bullshit, an online powerhouse that provides simple, actionable and powerful strategies for ditching what you think you should want in favor of what you actually want. She’s been featured on sites like LifeHack and the Huffington Post UK, and recently we got to steal a few minutes of her time.
First off, love the name. Tell us the backstory of Lifelessbullshit.
Sure! LLB is more than my business, it’s my life philosophy. I want to cut through what people say we have to be, or what we have to do.
LLB really started to come about in 2011 when I made some pretty major life changes. I was the party girl who didn’t really do anything athletic; and I decided to quit drinking, pick up running, and blog about the messiness of it all. LLB really started to take shape through my desire to run a half-marathon. I blogged about the entire training process, and I refused to be fake about it. I shared every gritty detail and I found that people really connected with it.
So, how did LLB grow from a personal blog into your career?
People started following my journey and asking how they could do something similar. I woke up one morning and realized that my story could be about helping people believe a better story about themselves and I wanted to draw some lines around that.
I started with helping people who were beginners to the running game. I mean, real beginners. I partnered with a running coach and offered a beta training guide to help beginners train for and complete a significant race. Over a hundred people downloaded that first guide – and things have just continued to evolve and grow from there.
Why do you think people are so inspired by your story?
I think it has to do with reversing the Pinterest effect. There’s this tendency we have to want to show the best version of ourselves to the world – the neat, pretty, well put-together parts. That means, generally, that we talk about things after they’ve happened and we’ve had some time to put together our thoughts.
But for me, I want to make a conscious effort to talk about things as they happen. I find that it’s more empowering to talk through things than to share our results after we’ve accomplished something.
There’s a lot of vulnerability in your writing and approach to life. How do you handle the fear of failure when so many people are watching?
I think that we never stop being afraid of things and we never stop wanting to be liked by people. But, I’ve found that the more you allow yourself to be open and honest, you develop skills to control the fear, rather than letting it control you. I believe in taking 100% ownership of your life. We create our own reality based on our thoughts.
Running really taught me this. I was notoriously a procrastinator – you know, the type that would write papers the night before they were due. But you can’t wait when it comes to running. You can’t cram all your training miles in the night before a marathon and expect to finish that race. Running taught me how to say, “Hey, I’ll just do that” rather than hiding stalling or over-planning.
Running your own blog and business must be pretty overwhelming at times. How do you stay motivated and inspired through everything?
Hands down, by reminding the people that I serve everyday. The internet has this wonderful way of instantly connecting people – I write a post and publish it, and suddenly I’m talking with people through comments and social media to further their stories.
I ask myself every morning, “How can I help someone today?” It’s easy to get bogged down in faceless tasks and to-do lists, especially when you own your own business, but I’ve found that starting with this question gives heart to every single one of my tasks.
What’s the legacy you want to be remembered for? What’s the one statement that you want people to associate with your name:
What a great question to ask! It’s got to be something about the fact that we are all storytellers, and the most important story you tell is the story that you tell yourself about yourself.
You work a lot with dreamers. For those of us who are pursuing big dreams in our lives, what simple advice can you give?
Start with a tiny step. What’s one thing you can do in the next 24 hours to move your dream forward? Every step is important, and we never really know how we feel about something until we try it. Big sexy dreams happen one unsexy step at a time.
Your job seems like a lot of fun! What’s been the most rewarding moment for you since creating LLB?
Oh, when that first round of half marathoners completed their first races. When you do the impossible thing in your life, everything else suddenly opens up. Watching those runners struggle through the process, fight through the doubt, and then cross the finish line – that was really incredible.
What’s next for Nicole and Life Less Bullshit?
The next big thing for both myself and LLB happens in 2015. My friend Liz and I are going to run from LA to New York City in five months. Right now, this seems totally impossible and there are a lot of things to figure out between now and then. But, my hope is that this becomes a community-supported kind of thing where I can meet lots of people and share lots of stories along the way.
Nicole is making a statement by help people ditch what they think they want in favor of what they actually want out of life. What is it that you actually want out of life?