You don’t have to be who you were yesterday.
You can achieve your goals and dreams—if you think about it continuously, if you believe it passionately, if your actions relentlessly work toward your aspirations, and if you never give up—your hopes and dreams will one day materialize.
I am the queen of reinvention. Through the years I have revamped my image, debugged my thinking, spit-shined my core identity, and refocused on a new life’s direction.
Through the years, I changed jobs often in an effort to increase my income. In my 20s I was an advertising secretary for a major grocery chain and a newspaper advertising salesperson. Without a college degree, I made a woman’s paltry income and I worked additional part-time jobs selling magazines door-to-door, as a waitress and a nanny. I did whatever it took to provide my small daughter and to pay rent and buy groceries.
At age 34, I went to night college to study interior design and I landed a good-paying job as an office furniture salesperson-designer. But alas, my narcissistic boss didn’t like my tenacious personality and he fired me a month before Christmas.
I began tinkering with an arts and crafts hobby. My hobby turned into a home party business. At age 38, my home party business evolved into Miss Nancy’s Tearoom and a small gift shop in quaint Olive Branch, Mississippi. I became the city’s respected Merchants Association chairperson and Secretary of the Chamber of Commerce.
I sold my tearoom and gift shop and I began selling first cellular phones (the gray brick that weighed 2 pounds, had a half-hour of talk time and sold for $3,995). In the 80s, cell phone salespeople made obscene commissions but the industry was highly competitive and the sales quotas were brutal. I left that job and my tearoom experience helped me to get a job as a food broker selling institutional food lines to restaurants, hotels, hospitals and schools.
Age 42 rolled around, and I began seeing a counselor for my personal problems. I quit drinking for eighteen months, I thawed out, and my self-image went through a major transformation.
I was always looking for ways to build my confidence and improve my overall image.
After every divorce, I polished my rough edges. I strived to be more informed and cultured. I increased my vocabulary and I worked on my Tennessee twang. I spiffed up my wardrobe, I stepped up my exercise and I exposed myself to new social settings.
At age 45, I began a new career in skincare and cosmetics. I learned how to apply my makeup professionally. I used skincare products that erased years of wrinkles from my face and I discovered my best cosmetic and clothing colors. I eliminated unflattering clothes from my wardrobe and I gradually replenished my closet with more expensive designer lines. I budgeted for regular manicures and pedicures, I whiten my teeth and I justified an occasional Botox.
Fifty-one crept up and my polished image helped me land the best career of my life as a trainer and consultant for a national cosmetic and skincare company. I traveled the United States calling on 300 stores and I found my passion for women’s low self-esteem issues.
At age 55, after my third divorce, I moved to Houston and I began writing my first book, Secrets of the Ultimate Husband Hunter, a self-help dating and relationship book. My book was published in 2007. I posed as my own publicist. I booked my signings, TV and radio appearances and speaking appearances throughout the United States.
In theory, there was nothing different about me, other than 288 pages of manuscript. But I felt different and so I acted different. In my mind, I was no longer Nancy with low self-esteem issues from Podunk, Tennessee, I was Nancy Nichols, a Houston-based, best-selling author. Because I thought like a best-selling author, I acted like a successful author, and because I acted like a successful author, people treated me like a celebrity.
I returned to Memphis and I became a regular radio and TV talk show guest, and I began writing on my second book, Never Date a Dead Animal.
At age 62, I moved to Nashville and I launched a women’s social and business networking group, my second book Never Date A Dead Animal was released, I married my fourth husband and I quit drinking so I could better cope with his passive-aggressive behavior.
At age 65, I became a first-time horse owner. I took many months of lessons to learn how to ride and train my 4-year-old Tennessee Walker, Ready to Roll—and I worked long hours, writing on my third book God, Please Fix Me.
What good is a lifetime of misery, if I can’t help others who struggle with low self-worth and relationship difficulties?
Six months after I got Ready, I broke my left leg bailing off a runaway rescue horse. My tibia was severely fractured. My surgeon stabilized my leg by inserting a titanium rod and five screws but I sustained extensive nerve damage causing me to have “drop foot.” I was on pain medicine for several months, my brainwas foggy and my recovery required 6 months of physical therapy, electrical nerve stimulation and acupuncture to hopefully reverse the nerve damage to my foot. It was by far, one of the most painful and difficult experiences of my life.
Through it all, I anguished and I struggled to finish my 3rd book, while also coping with my husband’s withdrawn, brooding, punishing, non-communicating behavior
Eight weeks after I broke my leg, I released God, Please Fix Me. Two years later, my husband and I divorced.
Divorcing my fourth husband was an extremely low time in my life. This marriage was supposed to be the stable and final relationship of my lifetime. As a self-help author, a fourth divorce was devastating and humiliating to me.
I resumed my cocktails and I slumped into depression and despair.
My son said to me, “Mom, you should write a fourth book.”
“No. No. I don’t want to write another book,” I shrilled.
And then God said to me, loud and clear, “The title of your fourth book is: It’s Not You. It’s DEFINITELY Him: The Psychological Warfare of the Passive-Aggressive Man.”
What was meant to harm me, contributed to my writing career—and once again, my unorthodox, difficult and tearful life made perfect sense: Four divorces. Four books.
Read more inspiring true events in Nancy;s God, Please Fix Me! Trilogy A Breakthrough in Self-Esteem, Relationship Understanding and Personal Healing for Women by Nancy Nichols
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