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Mark your calendar for December 8 and visit
to purchase the kindle version for only $1.99 just in time for the holidays!

What's this blog series all about? Let me satiate your curiosity :) I decided as part of my book launch campaign to feature 28 holistic souls - 1 every day leading up to my 28th birthday on December 8th, which is also the official launch date.

I am so pumped to feature my friend Austin as part of this series! We connected through a few mutual friends at a leadership event called Millennials Meet the Mayor in Grand Rapids. After meeting for coffee and connecting over our backgrounds, entrepreneurship and passion projects, I was completely blown away with how Austin put his heart, knowledge and soul into everything he took on. He didn't let his young age, or other hindrances keep him from moving forward. He just always figured out a way to make things happen in whatever role he found himself in. 

As we share the same birthday week (high five fellow Sag!), we discovered our similar passion for instilling leadership qualities in others. When we met for coffee I was currently attending a morning mastermind he had co-founded the previous year. Sharing the long-term vision for the group, I saw the bigger picture - a incubator for community oriented leadership - represented by Millennials. There is nothing more exciting than seeing others confidently pursue their passion, a skill-set Austin excels in. Currently the Operations Director at Start Garden,  ambassador for 5x5 Night and founder of an online company called Collective Metrics, Austin truly embodies living a BADASS and Brilliant life!


1. Nicole's definition of BADASS and Brilliant encompass: passion and thinking for yourself. First, what is your passion? Second, can you share one example of how your passion has guided you to think for yourself?

1) Good question. I tend to be very passionate about what people are calling "flexible income". When people use this term they are generally referring to multiple income streams from different sources. 

2) I get excited about what flexible income creates for my wife and I, which is a "free and uncommitted" lifestyle. In other words "the ability to make decisions and changes on the fly without having to feel immobile, tied down, or encumbered by commitments".  This could apply to a number of things: changing jobs, traveling, new projects, etc. This mantra however, has  provided me with the confidence to set very difficult goals, both personally and professionally.

2. Nicole chose to highlight the dwindling honeybee population and its affects on the aspect of global agriculture. No bees, no food. No food, well? You get the picture. What's one holistic cause you would like to bring more awareness to?

Currently, I sit on the board of a nonprofit called Well House. It's a fantastic organization that is taking a new approach with aiding the homeless in Grand Rapids. Well House believes the solution to end homelessness, is housing. The organization targets the city's 800+ individuals living on the streets, and provides permanent housing in one of thirteen neighborhood dwellings. Before we can treat drug and alcohol addiction, unemployment or domestic abuse, we need to provide the very basic of needs (shelter). It's a simple concept that makes too much sense.

3. Nicole suggests in order to create success on your terms, one must develop two fundamental skill-sets: inner peace and confidence. What technique or practice do you recommend to develop inner peace? Lastly, what's your definition of confidence? 

1) My wife tells me that I do a good job with self care. On that note, I tend to go into total recluse mode on the weekends. My mind needs to take a serious mental break from running high octane during the week, so I gravitate towards reading, meditation, movies and gardening. Things that don't take up a lot of headspace. There is nothing like the movie theater to quiet my rambling mind. 

But self care is only part of the inner peace equation. Another part is the free and uncommitted lifestyle I mentioned above, where changes are easier to make. I'm not convinced that there is this perfect dream job waiting for me, and all I have to do is find it. Instead, I'd be happier if my work was fluid, and I could work on the many different things that bring energy and excitement to my life.  Like most things, balance is probably the objective.

2) My definition of confidence. Confidence is conviction in ones decision making abilities, and the outcomes those abilities have on ones life.

So grateful to feature 28 other BADASS and Brilliant souls!

If you'd like to read more inspiring stories, visit: Bee the first 100 to pre-order my new book between November 11 to December 7 and receive an autographed bookmark along with your copy! Pre-order shipping will take place on the official launch date, December 8. Local book signings, radio and podcast interview schedule can be found at the website link above.


Nicole Zaagman

NICOLE ZAAGMAN is the creator of the Discovering Your Brand Story® Program, founder of LUX CHIX™ and host of the LUX CHIX™ Radio Show. Empowering other health conscious WONDER WOMEN to LOVERAGE™ their past experiences to impact present and future SUCCESS, attract IDEAL CLIENTS & follow their DREAMS is what she does best. She is a caring and creative individual at heart. Her experience working as a graphic and digital designer, starting a professional photography studio with her mother and creating her first business at age 22 all culminated together to express her purpose as the Luxury Image Director. With the self discovery she obtained after going through a health crisis in her early twenties, NICOLE now enjoys helping others use their own experiences to cultivate confidence and achieve success. Her mission is for others to value themselves, and realize what they have done really does matter. And furthermore, teach them in order to be successful they must be willing to share their experience with the world. NICOLE and her husband Ken reside in West Michigan with their Maltese dog, Nickel.