At the beginning of her career, Nicole Walters was planning on a life on Wall Street. She’d worked with mortgage-backed securities and as a prolific licensed trader when the 2007 recession hit. She was forced to switch gears and quickly rose through the ranks in a new career in international corporate insurance, working with Fortune 500 companies. In her last role at the nation’s largest insurance company, she had a moment of clarity that changed everything. What if she invested even a fraction of the time and effort she’d put into scaling these companies into scaling herself and a business of her own? Having accrued invaluable experience leading some of corporate America’s biggest companies, Nicole now helps build smaller ones. Through crafted online courses, mentorship programs, and an educational curriculum, Nicole empowers hopeful entrepreneurs to gain the skills and confidence they need to monetize their ideas, thus bolstering hundreds of businesses, business owners, and their families.
If this sounds like the ideal job for such a vivacious, compassionate, and experienced businesswoman, you’d be correct. The beautiful family and flourishing career Nicole has built since her Fortune 500 days had USA Network offering her own TV show. “She’s The Boss,” premiering in March, is an unscripted family sitcom that centers around Nicole, “a jet-setting entrepreneur,” Josh Walters, “her nerdy husband,” and their three adopted girls. She keeps it real on the show, she tells us, and she got real with us. Meet Nicole Walters, our newest FACE of the South.
You are a woman of seemingly unlimited talents who’s touched so many industries. Tell us how you decided to start your business education firm.
This is so flattering! While I’ve bounced around a lot, it’s primarily been due to the economy, my desire to learn new skills, and eventually creating space to balance family and a business! It was in my final role of scaling a division of the largest insurance company in the nation from $2 million to $200 million that I had an epiphany: “If I can give decades to Corporate America, what would happen if I gave my own purpose and dreams one year? Don’t they deserve that? And heck, I can always come back!” So I started documenting my “exit strategy” online and quit in August of 2014. Inherit Learning Company, my business education firm, is now a debt-free, multimillion-dollar corporation headquartered in Atlanta. I also have a TV show, “She’s The Boss,” which will debut on USA Network in March! It’s been a crazy journey, but I wouldn’t change a thing.
Of all the pieces of your business, is there one part that feeds and fulfills you the most?
I absolutely love working with my students in my $1K1Day Academy. This online experience helps me take anyone — the stay-at-home mom, the empty nester, the new entrepreneur or the person who is feeling a tug knowing they’re meant for “something more” — and work with them side-by-side as a small community to build their business profitability, sustainably, and legally. It’s incredible what we accomplish in just a few weeks. It gives me so much joy to watch people step into their God-given gifts, use those talents to support their families, and do all of it without compromising their values and life balance.
Two things we feel emanating from you online are authenticity and transparency. You seem to want to share what you know with other entrepreneurs to build people up personally and professionally. Is that a fair assessment?
Oh, yes! This is the primary reason I shifted from working within corporations. I just love and care about people. When I help an entrepreneur build a debt-free business to six, seven or eight figures, it’s not just about the financial win, it’s the legacy and generational impact that business owner makes. It’s entrepreneurship with heart. The way that manifests in how to do business is primarily on social media and my TV show. I keep it all the way real. You get to see my big business wins along with my hilarious parenting fails! It’s possible to be imperfect and successful.
Your family is precious, and you all have been through some trying times. Can you speak to your family and what you’ve learned?
I’m blessed to be married to a kind, patient and thoughtful man for over 10 years. All these attributes came into play beautifully when we adopted three sisters while living back in Baltimore. We became instant parents to girls age 3, 11, and 14 and never looked back. Of course, we’ve had regular parenting moments, with kindergarten, two in college, two proms, and everything in between in just five years. We’ve also had our fair share of big moments. Our 18-year-old beat stage 4 cancer last year, and our 21-year-old just moved out and is now our “adult kid.” It’s been a blessing to parent our kids, and we’ve learned family is the most important job we’ll ever have.
When you’re not working, where can we find you?
When I’m not working, you can find me in my garden! It’s one of the best things about living in the South — longer growing seasons. I’m a veggie/fruit gardener, and I love that in Georgia, I can grow my very own Thanksgiving dinner because it’s fairly toasty until November. So the collard greens, sweet potato pie, and all the trimmings were extra delicious this year as the ingredients were homegrown!
What’s something people are often surprised to learn about you?
Because of my social media and digital skills, people are often shocked to know I’m extremely uncool and out of touch with trends and fashion. I have a stylist and teenagers, otherwise, I wouldn’t know the cool song, trendy fashion or popular TV show. I spend most of my time working, hanging with my kids doing activities, or outdoors in my garden. I’m a homebody extrovert, and I love it!
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
The best piece of advice I have ever received is directly aligned to my Christian faith, but it applies to everyone. It’s 1 Peter 4:10: “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” Essentially, it’s not enough for you to be a great singer and only sing in the shower — you have your gifts and talents specifically to share with the world. And if you can profit from them, then you can afford to do nothing else but use and share your gifts with others full-time, and that’s the best way to please God.
Besides faith, family and friends, name three things you can’t live without.
I absolutely can’t live without an eyebrow pencil! Eyebrows are the true gateway to the soul. I wouldn’t trust someone with bad eyebrows to watch my kids, do my taxes, or make my food. I’m also a big believer in Spanx. They’ve single-handedly kept my marriage together. And of course, my amazing community and clients, sure they may count as friends, but they’ve helped me build and spread the message of purpose, and I’m always grateful to them for giving me a place to serve.
Thank you, Nicole, for chatting with us. And thank you to Danielle Finney for the photos. Make sure to follow Nicole on Instagram @NicoleWalters and check out the trailer for “She’s The Boss” — premiering next month — below!
Get to know more of our inspiring FACES in our archives!