- The podcast host talks about finding the strength to leave her radio career.
- How during lockdown she converted her home into ‘Antigua’.
- She shares her insight about anxiety and the life changing power of learning to say no.
Nicola Bonn is a Broadcaster and host of the Outspoken Beauty Podcast, one of the UK’s most popular beauty and wellbeing podcasts. She talks to 35 Thousand about leaving her radio career, her passion for interviewing people and finding balance amidst the chaos.
Describe yourself in 3 words…
Eccentric, kind, ambitious
Tell us about your work
I used to be a radio presenter with a podcast on the side but then gave up my daily radio show to focus full time on the podcast. It was the best decision I ever made and I now have one of the leading beauty podcasts in the UK and feel incredibly fulfilled.
Do you work in a spare room, skyscraper, or other?
I spend half my time in a little corner of my bedroom where my husband speedily put together a makeshift studio for me at the beginning of the pandemic. The other half is spent at The Allbright where I recently became a member.
What parts of your work give you energy?
Interviewing people and getting to know their stories and what makes them tick. Nothing beats it. I have learned so much from my guests. Some of their words of wisdom have been life-changing for me.
What parts of your work drain you?
I can’t stand the admin side. Invoices, contracts, chasing invoices…all necessary evils but I’d love to spend all my time being creative.
Most pivotal point of your career so far?
Interviewing Dermalogica’s founder Jane Wurwand. She was the person who gave me the strength to leave my (very safe and easy) radio career and take a leap into going solo.
Best piece of advice you received that you now pass on to others?
Don’t gossip, be kind to everyone and show respect to everyone no matter their position.
Also, if you are being paid to do something always overdeliver.
What event or situation is funny now but wasn’t at the time. Please expand!
My pants fell down during a wheelbarrow race when I was 9. I will never forget it. I was absolutely mortified but still wanted to win the race so I hastily tried to pull them back up before carrying on.
Pets, hobbies, external commitments?
I am a mother of two wonderful and lively children and grandma to two lockdown guinea pigs called Snuffles and Haribo. We live in happy chaos and our house is always noisy.
Describe your pre-pandemic day-to-day:
I didn’t know whether I was coming or going, was always racing around and I never said no which meant that I wasted a lot of time having meetings that were of no use to either party.
How has your daily life changed, what’s your new normal?
I feel like I have more balance in my life. It’s hard to get it quite right, but I hope that I’m doing a good job of moving my career forward and being the best mum that I can be.
Has the Corona crisis impacted you personally and professionally? How?
It’s helped me to focus on the things that really matter and let go of anything unnecessary.
What, if anything, keeps you up at night?
I’m a massive worrier. I worry about my kids, my husband, my family, health, my job…you name it. I’m working hard on shifting my catastrophising ways. It’s definitely a work in progress!
What have been your best coping strategies over the past year? Do you have any objects, routines or tools that you found particularly uplifting? Gin or Gym?
Breathing! I puff out all my breath like I’m blowing a balloon up and then this leads to a perfect and deep breath in. I do it three times to calm me down.
Also phoning my sister who makes me laugh more than anyone and having freezing cold showers (for as long as I can handle) to snap me out of my anxiety.
What has kept you sane? And kept your family sane?
My work has kept me sane. Isolation was such a massive thing during the pandemic, even though I was at home with my family. I needed to speak to other people and hear how they were coping. The podcast allowed me to do that.
Family wise it was trying to make a bad situation fun. One afternoon we turned the house into ‘Antigua’, wore swimming costumes, played tropical music and had the best time. We tried to make our home as exciting and uplifting as possible.
Did 2020 change your outlook on life in any way?
In so many ways. I have never felt so scared and yet it also showed me what really mattered on so many levels. It has given me focus and I am a better person for it.
Are you travel ready? Where do you want to go, with who or would you rather stay home?
I am itching to go to Paris. I lived there for a year and it is my spiritual home. I’d do anything to be drinking coffee in the Marais right now.
Finish this sentence “If you look in my handbag at any time you will ALWAYS find….”
Lipsticks galore, a mirror, hand sanitiser, hand cream, perfume samples, pictures from my kids, random snacks and tissues.
What are your work from home saviours?
Good coffee, glorious candles, Classic FM.
Describe your style?
I’m classic with a bit of a twist. I’m also fairly eclectic.
Name your 5 essential items of clothing?
1. I have a fur coat from Shrimps. It is navy blue with neon orange and is utterly fab. It lifts every outfit.
2. A great fitting pair of jeans
3. A colourful maxi-dress (I’ve just bought an amazing one from Rixo)
4. Zara blouses
How do you see your business or career in two years from now?
I want to continue growing the podcast and attracting the very best guests. I also am loving working with my trialling panel which consists of 500 amazing podcast listeners who give honest reviews of products and are just the very best community.
Other than that I would like to do a radio documentary around female empowerment, write a book and go back to TV which I love. There’s a lot more!
What’s something you haven’t conquered yet but really want to?
I would love to get Lisa Eldridge on the podcast. I find her absolutely fascinating.
What could you say to your 20 year old self that would help her the most?
Don’t put other people on a pedestal, particularly potential partners and bad bosses. Also, never show desperation or beg too hard. If something is meant to come to you it really will and sometimes appearing a bit aloof (even if you don’t feel it) can work wonders in business.
Do you have a life motto or mantra that really resonates with you?
It sounds cheesy but I truly believe that the world is your oyster. If you want something enough you can make it happen. Yes, you might have to work for it but nothing is out of your reach.
Take a look at Nicola’s website here.
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