Niki Koubourlis was working 80-100 hour weeks in commercial real estate in Abu Dhabi, and while she was gaining financial success she found that the rest of her life wasn’t where she would like it to be. It was the death of a college friend and her experience going through a strenuous fitness program that helped her gain back her boldness, and take the steps to become unstuck. She moved from the secure world she had created for herself to one of uncertainty and she says it is the best thing she ever did.
Upon moving to Denver, she decided to take seven months off and made the promise to herself that during that time she would say YES to all the things she said no to in the past because she was too busy working. A lot of these things were outdoor adventures that tested her fear and pushed her outside her comfort zone. It was through these experiences that she decided to start a Meetup group, Bold Betties, which focused on female bonding, being outdoors and active and trying new things. This group not only showed her how powerful women can be when they support each other, but also gave her the idea for Bold Betties Outfitters, an eCommerce site where women can rent adventure, travel and outdoor apparel and gear.
Fast forward a year and Niki decided to transition out of the world of real estate, so that she could focus on Bold Betties full time. In the podcast episode we talk about the abundance she has gained in making this leap, the power of being bold and how outdoor adventure assists her in her life as an entrepreneur. Listen below to learn more about Niki’s Chapter Be story…
CHAPTER BE QUESTIONNAIRE…
What’s your favorite quote, story or fact?
“You can choose comfort, or you can choose courage, but you can’t have both.” – Brene Brown
Worst work experience?
My family had rental properties in these two small college towns and I grew up working for the family business. Dealing with some of the students/tenants and their parents was not fun. They would trash their apartments – one going so far as to smear feces all over the walls – and then have mommy or daddy call us up to yell at us when their deposit wasn’t returned. I guess “adulting” can be hard for some college-aged people.
What is your definition of success?
This is hard for me to answer because I go back and forth between the qualitative and the quantitative, the subjective and the objective. Objectively, I measure my own success against my progress towards goals I set for myself. But subjectively, I also allow myself to feel success in the mere fact that I am in pursuit of a goal. It gives me great satisfaction to dedicate myself towards a goal – being in pursuit of a goal is equally as satisfying as achieving that goal. There is success in the result, but there is also success in taking action in itself. For a long time, I was paralyzed by fear and didn’t go after the things I wanted in life. So now I feel pretty successful for just putting myself out there, for taking risks and giving myself a shot – rather than letting fear get in the way.
I have a lot of ideas about what success means with respect to Bold Betties now, but in many ways, I feel tremendously successful already because I get to wake up every day and do something that matters, something that I am completely obsessed with, something wonderfully bold!
How do you tap into your creative energies – especially when you are feeling drained?
For me, I rely a lot on physical outlets. I like to get outside, have adventures, and be immersed with the Bold Betties community. Exercise also gives me a great boost.
Mentally, being around other entrepreneurs is incredibly stimulating. So it’s great to be a part of the startup community, especially in Boulder and Denver. Entrepreneurs are typically passionate, engaged problem solvers and that energy is infectious.
What does “to be” mean to you?
It means to be content, to be present, to be enough, to be unfiltered and unapologetic, and to be authentically you.
How do you spend your time when you are procrastinating?
Oh man, it varies so much! I could be surfing the web or browsing facebook, watching Empire or pro football, sleeping, even working sometimes (just maybe not what I am supposed to be working on)!
Ideal READING LIST – books, websites, blogs, podcasts, magazines, etc. that you would want on your Swiss Family Robinson deserted island?
- Anything involving Brené Brown
- Anything related to startups and the outdoors
- The Diary of Anais Nin (all 7 volumes)
- My entire Beat Lit collection
- Logic puzzles
- Anything related to the NFL
- And probably Facebook
Favorite song with “be” in the title?
To Be With You by Mr. Big!
LINKS & RESOURCES…
- Bold Betties Website
- Inca Trail
- Glory Girls Fitness
- Bold Betties Meetup Group
- Boomtown Accelerator
Images via Chapter Be and Bold Betties