At 19, J. Nichole Smith adopted a Great Dane and soon found herself knee deep in the world of pet photography. After a trademark licensing agreement left her with over $50,000 in debt and the brand she partnered with never delivered, she moved into the world of retail. She opened physical brands in Los Angeles and London, but soon discovered that her dream businesses didn’t make her happy.

Now, at Working with Dog, she helps other “petrepreneurs” find their why and build niche brands. She guides them on their personal growth journey, stops them from developing what she calls “Shiny Object Syndrome”, and has helped build thriving businesses successfully and repeatedly across a number of different markets. 

Today, J. Nichole joins the podcast to talk about why serial entrepreneurship is a marathon and not a sprint, how to stop fear from getting in the way, and why building a business – and overcoming any challenge in life – helps you understand yourself in ways you’ve never allowed before.

Key Takeaways

  • How a trademark licensing agreement to build what she thought was her dream business left J. Nichole saddled in debt – and how she moved past this early setback. 
  • What J. Nichole did when she discovered that she didn’t love her retail business – and how it led her to finding a corner of the industry she truly loved.
  • How the membership model allows J. Nichole to charge for the content marketing bloggers and other people who sell courses have to give away for free.
  • Why success is easy, natural, and sustainable when you’re doing the thing you were born to do.

Free Give

TRIBE membership guide

FREE Guide – Launch & Grow a Profitable Membership Site

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Memorable Quote

  • Your business is not your baby. It’s never going to love you back. It’s an experiment. We need to hold it lightly. We need to be able to set it down, tweak, change, and let go.” – J. Nichole Smith

Episode Resources


Read The Transcript  
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Shelli Varela

When you reframe your inner story, you reframe what’s possible. This is the mantra of our host, Shelli Varela who achieved incredible success, blazing a trail to become a fire captain, author, TED speaker, and host of The Yes Effect on Entrepreneur's list of 48 Best Podcasts for Entrepreneurs. Today, she uses the same approach to show people how to magnetize their message to achieve their dreams, and discover how they can make a BIGGER impact.

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