The Art of Living: Marilyn Nichols' Path from Corporate to Creative Freedom - Freedom Nation Podcast

Episode 173

The Art of Living: Marilyn Nichols' Path from Corporate to Creative Freedom

In this inspiring episode of the Freedom Nation podcast, we had the pleasure of speaking with Marilyn Nichols, a dear friend and an embodiment of what it means to live a life of freedom. Marilyn's journey is a testament to resilience, adaptability, and the pursuit of happiness beyond the conventional working years.

Marilyn's story begins in rural Arkansas and takes us through her upbringing in Topeka, Kansas, her college years, and the "lost years" where she explored life before getting back on track. She shared her experiences with marriage, step-parenting, and the heartbreak of losing loved ones to illness. Despite these challenges, Marilyn's spirit remained undeterred as she pursued her passion for dog training, eventually starting her own successful business, Happy Puppy Tiny Dog Boarding and Training.

About the Guest:

Marilyn's journey to freedom is an inspiring tale of perseverance, growth, and success. Born in Belle Plaine, Iowa, Marilyn's life began in a small town, but her ambitions and determination would soon lead her to bigger opportunities.

At the age of eight, Marilyn's family moved from rural Arkansas to Topeka, Kansas, which marked a significant shift in her life. The move to a bigger city presented both challenges and opportunities for Marilyn, a country girl at heart. However, she embraced the change and used it as a catalyst for personal and professional growth.

Note: The books mentioned in the podcast, "Illuminated Path" by Marilyn Clemmy Nichols, are available on Kindle and Amazon.

About Jeff: 

Jeff spent the early part of his career working for others. Jeff had started 5 businesses that failed before he had his first success. Since that time he has learned the principles of a successful business and has been able to build and grow multiple seven-figure businesses. Jeff lives in the Austin area and is actively working in his community and supporting the growth of small businesses. He is a board member of the Incubator.Edu program at Vista Ridge High School and is on the board of directors of the Leander Educational Excellence Foundation

Connect with the Freedom Nation podcast at

Connect with Jeff:




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Jeff Kikel: [:

We networked together, we helped build each other's businesses up. I helped her with some of her planning when it came to her exit from her business and she is off and doing wonderful things in her life. And I wanted to share this story so that you know what it's like when you get beyond Freedom Day.

Marilyn, welcome to the show, my friend. Hi there, Jeff. Good to be here. So glad to have you on. I've told your story for years, not telling people the name, but I've told your story for years. Because I think you've played life absolutely perfect when it comes to Freedom Day.

s our opportunity to finally [:

Marilyn Nichols: Oh, okay. You want my history? You want my business history?

Jeff Kikel: Go go back to the beginning.

Marilyn Nichols: Oh, I was born in Belle Plaine, Iowa 72 years ago yesterday.

Jeff Kikel: Congratulations, and happy birthday, by the way.

Marilyn Nichols: Thank you. And we moved from rural Arkansas to Topeka, Kansas, where I grew up. When I was about eight, we moved there. And it was a big shift for this country girl. It was a big city to us.

Jeff Kikel: Yeah. Look at it in life today, not so much.

t years where I went out and [:

And when I got myself back on track, I went back to college and I was living up in Minnesota by then. So I graduated from a university up there with a degree in, which I can remember my dad asked me

I don't know what you think you're going to be able to do with a degree in art. I expect if I can get some honors, if I beat a cap key on there and my grade point average is high enough, they won't care.

And they never did. And I moved from Minnesota back to Texas. I had been in Texas during the. [(inuadible)]

And married a man named David and we had divorced and one day he called me up in Minnesota

and sparks flew and I moved back to Texas to be with him. And guess what, folks, it did not work.

ho Roger and moved into with [:

and they were the nicest children teenagers you've ever met, but I was a step mom with 17 year old teenagers. Oh my Lord. And they had never ever been required to do any kind of chores.

And I came in and I said, I don't think so. I am not your mate. I'll cook, but you're going to clean up. And so that's how it went. Unfortunately, their father, my husband didn't live very long when he had cancer and he passed away. And I had a wonder another wonderful relationship with a man named Dave.

been in the corporate world [:

And I loved working for Schwab. If the downturn in the economy hadn't happened I'd say, cause it worked my brain

the other side of my brain from art really hard, it's stuff to learn. And I was very proud of myself that I learned it and I was excelling, but a downturn to downturn.

And eventually I got caught the last wave of layoffs and ended up bouncing around a little bit. And then I decided. I'm going to try and do what I really love. I'm going to open business. And I have always had a knack for training dogs. I'm going to be a dog trainer. And my goodness, my stepmother, who is still alive, my father had passed away.

She goes, You're going to have to go out there and sell an awful lot of insurance to be able to afford to be a dog. And I opened the business the day after she died. Cause I just didn't want to fight with her, is it hard to open a business? Not as hard as people think. I don't think it's as hard as they think.

There are hard stretches.[:

They don't care if little Fido bites mailman so long as they can eat. I don't care either. So I had to make it through some really lean times, but I had a great advice for my business coach, Stan. Can I say his last name? Sure. Stan Dantyler, he helped me through the whole thing. He held my hand in a gruff way all the way through the I ain't making no money period.

I did. And I was very busy, [:

Jeff Kikel: Let's just stop for a second. This wasn't boarding dogs. This was basically dogs getting to live with Maryland for a week on. Yeah, they weren't shoved into cages or anything like that. They were just basically living with Marilyn for a week, which they were little spoiled dogs

to begin with, and they were more spoiled by the time they left.

Marilyn Nichols: Happy puppy, tiny dog, Morty. They were in crates at night to keep them all safe and separate. But during the daytime, they lived on my couch and my chairs and the whole house was fenced to keep them, where they needed to be. And of course, I had a great fence backed yard and everybody. Now, it got really busy at a certain point.

I remember I had 21 dogs in my house. And not everybody chose to get along. So there would be the group of the first group would go out would be the teeny weeny ones

hold a platter very long and [:

And then I had a few dogs that grandfathered in because they were my clients from training

that were bigger dogs, some of them quite large and they would go out. So it's three and then of course my dogs, because I also had seven dogs at that time, so hello! It was, and two cats, it was chaos, but it was organized chaos and I loved my job.

I loved what I did, I loved promoting it for those of you who want to know how to promote a business

at that time networking lunches were everything and they worked extraordinarily well for me

most people in there trying to sell you on some kind of product or service that you may, or is very not particularly necessary maybe. It sounds good, but I don't have to do that but when your dog is being on your floor and somebody

fix that, you hire him. And [:

And I didn't mind at all getting up and doing my little promo speech, which is supposed to be about 30 seconds. And I at one time did it in several different languages and the gist of it, I was saying in whatever language your dog doesn't speak. Spanish or French or Farsi or Klingon. Your dog speaks dog.

However, I can translate it. And I'd say that part in English. So it was a lot of fun. And you don't sell to the room. You're selling to their friends. And of course I got a lot of referrals. But my direct sales to the room were very high. And so it was a perfect environment for me. And quite frankly, I made a very good living.

Jeff Kikel: Yeah and I think probably the biggest advice that I can give to somebody

rowing our businesses at the [:

Yeah. Your job is to be out there promoting and growing your business. And then that allows you to do the fun stuff that you really do enjoy doing, but you got to do that. And you can't be hidden in a room.

Marilyn Nichols: No. And you gotta be out meeting people. It really helps. If you decide at the door, I like people, even if you're not feeling like you like people

and go in there with a really positive attitude and the same rules that apply to anything.

eally enjoy in retirement is [:

You might as well leave a message. Then I'll decide whether I want to listen to your message.

Jeff Kikel: Going back to those lean times, a lot of businesses and having a having a coworking space, I see a lot of businesses come through and. A lot of them fall apart, what made it different for you?

What kept you going? When things were lean and things were tough and you didn't want to do it anymore. What were those things that just kept you going?

appened, I had just opened in:

Jeff Kikel: Probably about 11 or 12. Yeah.

Marilyn Nichols: Maybe 15.

When did you start going to networking groups?

So I came down from Dallas in:

Marilyn Nichols: Yeah. Yeah. So I opened up a [00:11:00] business October 1st, 2006, the day after my, Stepmother's funeral up in Minnesota.

And there's no real coincident with that. I was planning open the business and the process of picking the name of your business is so important. It has to actually say what you do. And I've run into many people in networking meetings that have names that mean nothing. Like this one person who had this interesting business and it was called the eye of the dime.

Nobody knew what that meant. I told her, why don't you tell him that you help people somehow in the name of your business. Tell them that you help them through innovative ways to get in stuff in touch with their inner self. Figure it out. Yeah. And that happened over and over. So I worked on my name.

rned a lot from that process.[:

And I said, I don't want to do that. It was going to be mobile. So I bought a very efficient car. The first one I had my business was a Hyundai Elantra got really pretty good mileage

not as good as my Toyota Prius, which gets great mileage, but which I b ought up. And I thought about the business and it was like, okay, I want all dogs to be happy.

Happy dogs. Good dog. All those, and finally said, I want them all to be happy puppies. And then I thought let's say Happy Puppy Academy. No, that says I have a business building. So I want it to Happy Puppy Tutoring is what came out. I went, that's the one. Yeah. I feel like I named my business.

It's very appropriate.

ld have said happy puppy dog [:

I trained owners. So you're tutoring the owners in a lot of cases.

Marilyn Nichols: And that's what I meant is I can translate dog for you and you to the dog.

I can help you communicate with your dog. Yes. That's probably all that's wrong. I said you're not communicating effectively. And I remember when I first started out, I didn't like pit bulls. I didn't like them all and I got one little, one little gorgeous little Papillon

was my first client in:

I need the money. Yeah. Okay. I'll go train a Pitbull and I trained a Pitbull and I started learning about Pitbulls, but then I sat down and thought if I turn down Pitbulls. I could go out of business. Yeah. And I said, I know how to deal with aggressive dogs. I know how to fix it. I'm going to train [00:14:00] whatever comes.

And for nine months, I didn't get anything other than pit bulls and pit bull mixes that were mostly aggressive. Dangerous. And I was younger and I helped a whole lot of pit bulls, stay in their homes because they're lovely dogs. If raised right and trained right, they are caring and loving and they'll babysit your children.

They don't have the nickname, the nanny dog for nothing. And anybody going to steal your dog when you're pit bulls and your kid or your pit bulls sitting next to him, I got to love them. And I actually made my bones in my business training, aggressive dogs. I was one of the ones that would be recommended to train you mainly without any pain.

I don't get animals, right? Train the dogs with you to be better dogs and be very successful. So that's what I did. And then we further on in my business. I remember when the lean time came, the first lean time came just a few months after I opened

the downturn happened in the [:

And it was lean. There was, yeah, it was difficult. But the way I stayed in business was, I believed. That I knew I could do the job. And I was learning that I could really sell it too. To find out that's one of your forte is standing up in front of people and interesting them in what you do is really helpful.

It will be difficult for someone who can't project who can't communicate. Yeah. Good communication skills. I often said that working in corporate America and having to deal with people every day, which is not what most dog trainers do or artists. They don't deal with people. Most dog trainers that I've met, excuse my language, piss poor communication skills with other people.

t they know, but they're off [:

and they don't reach out to you and for any other dog trainer, I would say, remember. That dog's gonna like you because you love dogs, and dogs know it, but that's not your job.

Yeah. Your job.

Jeff Kikel: They don't write the check.

Marilyn Nichols: They do not pay you. Your job is that person. Sure. And you've got to help the person. So I got through that time and it started to pick up. And it just went really well. And then there was another lull that almost took me out of business. I remember from end of March until August, I made no money.

And so right when school hits and also dog training is cyclical. Yeah. They in at the beginning of the school year, you got no business. And over holidays, you have almost no business on dog training. However, that's when people want to board their


Jeff Kikel: So [:

When they're, when you don't have dogs. Dog boarding business, you end up with dog training business in most cases.

Marilyn Nichols: Yeah, it balanced out so beautifully. Your listeners, your watchers, viewers can do the math. 21 dogs boarding in my house at $45 a night, each. Except for a couple that I gave a little break because they had two or three dogs.

But other than that's how much I was making a day. Yeah. It's not bad money anywhere. That's not even bad money in corporate America.

Jeff Kikel: Yeah. To work from home and get to play with dogs all day. Yeah.

Marilyn Nichols: And in love on them. And I have so many wonderful memories. These dogs were part of my life.

n. Oh, I forgot to add in my [:

And I had to train her a little bit and she was already grown and mature, much more difficult to train them. An adult dog. It's not impossible. It's with the right treats and the right attitude. Believe me, they want to learn whatever it is that gets that piece of food. So when I trained Herman. I know I had to, we got this St.

Bernard because my dad wanted one and then he gave him way and broke my heart when he figured out he was too big

but I trained him every single day and I took what turns out to be one of the dumbest breeds on the planet and taught him tricks

like you wouldn't believe and Grand culmination of that is I showed him and when they want, when you go up by the judge

you'll see on videos, you'll see people, it's called stacking your dog

lift up their head and their [:

So they look really proud. I had seen that I knew that they did that. I work really hard on something and then I showed it off for the first time in the ring. I ran around, came in front of the judge and I told my dog Herman, I said, stand

and he planted his back feet, took a half step forward, which would give him that proud chest up

lifted his tail, lifted his head and looked right at the judge.

And the judge went. What? Oh my God. And he goes, how'd you do that? And I said I was scared. I was 16. He goes, do it again. Maybe run the ring again. Come in front of me. And the whole time I'm saying, Herman, you better do it again. By God, you really better. And we get up there and I tell him, Oh, and also I had no treats on me.

I was not treating my dog. And so I get up there and I say, Herman. Stand. And he did exactly the same thing, planted the back feet

forward, threw up his chest, [:

I learned from that. I had a knack for dog training and then I started training around my neighborhood. I trained dogs when I was a teenager. I also house sat for pets, including little Freddy, the black poodle who would never come out

from under the bed when I was there and wanted to bite me. I trained him.

I worked with him too. By the way, he never thought me, but I knew from my history that I hadn't.

Jeff Kikel: You had the skillset and not anybody. You didn't really have training to do this. It's just, you were not really.

Marilyn Nichols: I'm self taught. And then Cesar Malone came on the scene and I watched him and I thought he trains just like I do.

friends and associates from [:

Anyway, so that's what got me through the bad parts is knowing I loved it, knowing I was good at it knowing it would come around. And then if not, I would figure out some way to bump it up and Dan was with me the whole way. And then three years before I retired, I started talking to Stan about when.

When do I think I'll retire because I was over the social security age. I was 66, 67 years old.

Jeff Kikel: You and I worked out the money part of it that we knew, okay, you're going to be fine there. And it was really, I remember it from my perspective, really 3 years prior to you deciding that was it.

We already knew you were there. And then it was just when is it gonna be, when was that time for you?

s is something that a lot of [:

He was the director of one of the five divisions at the Minard Foundation and his was applied industrial psychiatry

how people work, how they work well, and why they fail. And one, he wrote many articles on what happens to men, especially when they retire. They're a major taproot of their life, but fed them all their life was their job.

Yep. Now look at me. What fed me was my job. What am I going to do to feed myself when I cut off that root? So I was trying to make sure I was ready, that I wouldn't regret it, that I wouldn't miss it too badly and that I had something I was going to go. Now, COVID hit and that I probably I might have worked for three or four more years if COVID

had not hit because [:

I'm an older woman. I have heart disease. I don't want to die. And so I was training them a couple of lessons outside at their house and then the others on zoom, which worked. Okay. But it wasn't that rewarding for me. Yeah. And then I got together with my f riend Mike and he lived in Kansas and we started visiting and then he moved out here and

while COVID was in full spate, we didn't go hardly anywhere and the traffic didn't bother us

but he had been in several near fatal car accidents and he has.

PTSD for traffic, just like a combat veteran would have and it really breaks him out. And I've seen him do meltdowns and it was hard. So we started looking at first, just idly for a place to live that wasn't Austin. And we looked all over and then Mike pulled this one house up as a joke because it had several things

t want, which is an upstairs [:

I took one look and fell in love. I was like, Oh, I want this house. It would have been completely remodeled on the inside. It was fresh and new. It's actually adult 1996. And of course, there's always problems that you find in your house, but my house is filled with light and it's pretty. And we bought, I bought it.

Yeah. And we moved three years ago on the 18th here, right before Snowmageddon. Yep. Which was interesting to find out your heaters don't work well enough. That was a lot of fun.

Jeff Kikel: Surprise!

Marilyn Nichols: Yeah, you spend a lot of time with all the covers on you when it's only 51 degrees in your warmest part of your house.

Yes. We moved in here and I ordered a outbuilding. And it was finally delivered. We spent a lot of time trying to figure out exactly what I needed. And it's my studio now. And in there I paint and I sculpt. And I have two friends who come out and work with me. One's kind of a student and he's learning a lot about sculpture.

I had [:

which is when I had the energy for it, sculpting a couple of days a week in the morning, and then running around and doing whatever you want.

I have taking singing lessons, vocal coaching lessons from someone I met in networking for now. seven years, six, seven years. And I can sing now and I like it very much. I love the sound of my, it's very a melodious voice. I have fun. I will say that after I got out here in retirement, my production of books speeded up.

I have three more in various [:

I'm just like, yes, ma'am. I love it. And they'll go live within the next 48 hours. And then I hope everybody will look for Marilyn Clemmy Nichols. And the Illuminated Path. The first book is about a woman who's given the opportunity to live her life over from childhood on with all her memories intact. The second book is about their continued path as they figure out what it is God wants them to do.

she had to do that. And she [:

and stay together because she's an old soul in a young body and she knows.

And they eventually find out that their mission which they wouldn't tell her the heavenly angels

wouldn't tell her because that would infer with her free will she finally figures out it is to try to defeat satan

who comes back to the earth due to a prophecy that involves her family and they do win.

I won't give it away too much, but the winning comes in a most unexpected way.

And it was just a treat to write and I write because I love telling stories. You can't tell. I love telling stories. And I love telling stories. I hope a lot of people read my stories so that they will have fun. They're real fun reads and they're sexy too.

hy. There's dragons. There's [:

Jeff Kikel: You're filling your life. And this is what I tell people and I've told people this over the years I've said after working with thousands of clients over 30 years

I've met some of the oldest 60 year olds and the youngest 90 year olds. Yeah. And you've always had that young, yeah, you've just, you've always had that youth to you whenever.

And I think you just keep striving to keep yourself going and I think that's the most important part of living that retirement

or living that freedom day lifestyle is you've got to fill it with something

with a business or a job and [:

You can't just not do it. And I was on a podcast last night and the guy was, he's in the the health insurance business

and he was we got into talking about clients and all this. And he said, yeah. Because I can't tell you how many people that are like postal workers and stuff like that.

And that's their whole identity. And then they retire and it's just going to hang out and watch my stories all day. You can only do that so many times.

Marilyn Nichols: Yeah. Yeah. My normal schedule is first of all, I have to tell my, no, I'm not going to go anywhere because I'm writing every day because that if I.

Stand up to him. My high energy is in the morning for writing. His high energy is for getting things done is too, but he's just going to have to wait

because I've discovered you have to discover things about yourself. If I don't do it in the morning, I won't do it. And it's worth it to me to hold my ground and do that.

I guess one of the best things I could tell people is knowing yourself well

and [:

I am sober. I love being sober. I don't need to alter my brain in any way. It works just fine the way it is. And it's been that way pretty much throughout my sobriety. I remember when I was in college and finishing up I was in acting and I had gotten offered, I'd won a part in this play. And then I realized I can't do it because I'm working full time while going into school full time.

ds and they're all getting a [:

And one of the guys turns to me, he goes, are you really not drinking? I said, no, I don't drink. And I don't need any pot either. And he goes, I think you're having the best time. I said I know I am.

Jeff Kikel: And tomorrow morning I can guarantee you I'm gonna have a much better time.

Marilyn Nichols: I will feel great tomorrow.

Life will be good for me. And just having that attitude which, there's been a lot of trials and tribulations in my life. There's been a lot of sadness.

Jeff Kikel: Way, way more than most people. Most people would have curled up in a corner with all you had been through. Even since I've known you all that you've been through,

Marilyn Nichols: I have to admit it.

It was hard. It was hard after Roger passed away. I thought now I've seen the worst life's going to throw at me and damn, was I wrong to have Dave have to go through a death by ALS. Yeah. Horrible. And I did learn some important things people ought to know is it don't expect

to get any of [:

That's not your job. Your job is to take care of your dying spouse and they're not going to give you the Hollywood stuff from TV. They're not give you, I love you, I'm so glad you're taking care of me. They're going to go. I don't feel good. I because it's so difficult for them and getting through that was tough.

I will admit one of the best purchases I ever made was long term, long term insurance on both myself and my partner. I still have it. So when I need it, I will be able to stay in my house with my dogs until I die because it will help pay for caregivers. We got this caregiver named Lynn, who's the real character, but she saved my life.

She came seven days a week and took care of David and I worked and I thought

my business while David was [:

She had him eight hours a day. I had him teen hours a day and didn't sleep. So was it difficult? Yes. Was it worth it? Yes. Could I have left if I had wanted to? No, I'm not built like. That's not me. And I'm grateful to what I put in place and what life had to offer me. Let's face it for the last 40 years, 40 and a half.

ank you. You're a brilliant, [:

Jeff Kikel: You did extremely well, actually.

Marilyn Nichols: Having worked at Schwab helped. Yeah.

Jeff Kikel: That was the end and it's the way your brain works too. Most artists are not real good with figures and you just are. Which I think helped also with your business too, is you understood money and figures and everything else.

Marilyn Nichols: And profit and loss and how to keep your expenses low and your profits high.

Everything I did with my business was designed from the get go to have the least overhead with running a business

where I went to them, I had no building I had to maintain, no utilities I had to maintain other than my home, which is. Any a given anyway. You had to have that. Yeah, I had that efficient car.

ly put thought into it and I [:

Jeff Kikel: Like I said and today, you still fill your life with all of that.

You could just, sit there and wither on the vine. I just, I don't think that would ever be you. But, I think the lesson that I want to impart or I wanted to impart with this interview, and this interview is going to be part

it'll be a component of the last chapter of the book that's coming out, the retirement trap and it really wanted to share

Marilyn's story because so many people decide I want to retire early, or I want to get out of work early

but they don't put in place that step, that three year step that you took now.

It doesn't necessarily have to take three years and it may have taken longer. It's just COVID made that decision for you. But, you thought through it all and said what are the things that make me happy? And for you, it wasn't just one thing. It wasn't I have this one hobby and that's it.

You have a whole [:

and it's what keeps you young and it keeps you going for many more years because

I'm not giving up on you you're not going anywhere on me for a while.

Marilyn Nichols: Oh no. Did you, do you haven't told them that I've always thought I was going to live to be 103, right? Yeah. Yeah, I still intend to live to be 103. And I know people say that's silly, but if you don't think you're going to live very long, what do you think is going to happen? Yeah. You're going to accidentally live a long time.

Maybe not.

Probably going to be pretty

ut to her house. And I loved [:

my business coach, and we actually talked twice a week during that period.

And he would hold my hand about not making enough money. And then when I started making money, he would hold my hand about that. And we I went through all those things about making sure my business money and my other, finances were never mingled. Never, they were always at a different bank than my personal banking.

And I always, after I learned a few things, I didn't keep a very high balance in there to protect myself from. And when you're working with dogs, there's always a chance a dog is gonna hurt somebody or kill them. Yeah, maybe me, most likely me, but it might be one of the kids in the house where I'm working at my in that I had insurance to cover that.

And I also didn't keep a lot of money that could be seized. In my bank account because it's just self protection, I need money to live and he just held my hand through

ul conversations. I remember [:

and if I had stayed in Austin, I probably would have still boarded dogs for a very long time.

It's real good passive income. It's easy for me because I love dogs and I understand them. It wouldn't be easy for somebody who didn't, but it would have been easy for me. But since I moved out here to the country, I decided, no, I don't think so. And if I didn't have the things that you talked about my art, my vocal lessons, but most mostly my writing

I think I would not be as happy because I have an imagination, which I'm finding out is rather maybe different from other people's. It's I live there a lot. And this gives me a way of taking all those.

te before I write it. I know [:

And I might not even have thought of that. But then when I get to the point, a certain point in the story, all of a sudden I realized, Oh. That character would do this or what if we had this happen and it's just so much fun the twists and turns and everything you put into it. It's just, and it also helps that I have the kind of imagination where I see.

My various segments in my head, I see the people doing what they're doing.

I see that you just have to write it and describe what you're seeing in your head.

Yeah. And so it's easy crafting it isn't, with all the plot lines and stuff

God was going to grant me a [:

to be a series or be a series of movies because that's where they would really shine. Yeah, they really would. And we have the same characters going through. The same characters to a certain extent are in the seventh book that I'm writing

now that we're in the first and we picked up characters all along the way.

And it's getting to be this universe that I get to live in and then I get to share it with people and I'm in love with writing. I really am. And I got to tell people I didn't think I could write a book. Yeah, just like everybody else. I did not think I could write a book. I could write a short story and I excelled in that part creative writing in college, but I couldn't get it further.

ing to sit down and you write[:

you open up your tablet or your MacBook Pro or whatever you're writing on your notebook. But it. Whatever you're writing on and a couple of paragraphs that you wrote the last time

you were there and you say to yourself, what happens next?

That's it. The secret of writing is writing. Just sit down and write something. Tell the story. Don't think, Oh, I can't do it. Don't get too complicated. Just look at what you wrote and figure out what the next thing should happen.

Jeff Kikel: I can't remember who the writer was. It was a famous novelist. I remember watching on an interview one time and he said the most profound thing to me ever.

Yeah. The most profound thing he said, the act of being a successful writer is attaching one's butt to a seat and starting writing.

Marilyn Nichols: That's absolutely it. I don't know if I'll be a success, but that's it. You got to put in the time. You have to sit there and write a story.

everybody on the show, what [:

Marilyn Nichols: Being able to live a life that is fulfilling to me and those involved with me to be able to do what I want and take care of those I love and be happy. And I am

Jeff Kikel: Excellent. Thank you very much for sharing your thank you today with the audience folks as soon as her books are out. I will make sure those are attached to the show notes page.

I've actually had a little bit of a preview of these over the years. She shared them with me. So I will tell you it's a great story and you really want to if you enjoy. A good story. This is a great read. And so pick up the books, whatever you can. Thank y'all for joining us and sharing in this story.

channel. Make sure you give [:

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Jeff Kikel