Escaping the 9 to 5 with Nicole Donovan-Wells

how to become a holistic life coach with Nicole Donovan-Wells

This month’s interview is with Nicole Donovan-Wells (previously Nicole Marie), who responded to my call for interview candidates in a Facebook group for online entrepreneurs who particularly value freedom. As it turns out, this is Nicole’s core value, which has really driven her career change. Although not coming from a corporate background, she explains that some of the symptoms of that corporate world could also be found in her work as a midwife.

Nicole shares many valuable insights about the transition. In particular, she talks about the usual financial challenges but also at a deeper level getting used to following her own intuition rather than looking for guidance from friends and family. She has found the whole journey rather lonely, although she’s had a supportive partner throughout, as people perhaps did not react as she had hoped in understanding and encouraging her in the changes that she was making.

I also like how she talks about celebrating her successes with her husband. Often we reach our goals and then just rush onto the next one, without pausing to acknowledge our progress and celebrate what we have achieved. If we don’t stop to enjoy what we are creating, then what’s the point?!

You can watch the full video of the interview below, or read on to find out more about Nicole’s experiences…


How to become a holistic life coach

Nicole Donovan-WellsNicole Donovan-Wells spent ten years working as a midwife. Although not an office setting, there was still the corporate politics of working for someone else and in a business that wasn’t her own. There were also regulations that constricted how she wanted to provide care and comfort to women in their birthing and maternal health challenges. Today, Nicole calls herself a Midwife of the Soul, Energy Worker, and Ritual Creatrix.

1) At what moment did you decide it was time for a change?

There was definitely a defining moment that came from the clarity that I got after trying to figure out why midwifery wasn’t working for me any longer.

It was probably about a year before that moment where I realised that I was really burnt out from offering and holding space energetically for women and just not having the time and the space to replenish my own self, to be able to build myself back up again. From a place of taking care of myself, doing self care, being able to take vacations and having the money to take vacations. So there was definitely this lack of energy and emotion that I was putting out for other women, and not being able to have the time and the space, and the finances, to be able to give it back to myself.

The defining moment was doing a workshop that was put together by Danielle Laporte called The Desire Map. It’s based off a book, and I was part of the beta testing workshop that happened in Seattle. In doing that workshop, I was also finally coming to a place where I was ready to start looking at how I wanted to feel in my life, versus all of the things that I wanted to do or was doing. I got that clarity that one of the most important ways I wanted to feel in my life was free. If I’m not feeling free in my life, in all the areas of my life, I am miserable. And working as a midwife – there was definitely not much freedom in that.

2) What was the biggest challenge you faced in making the change?

I think one of the challenges was learning the whole logistics of starting my own business and what it takes to build a website and deal with all the technical issues. The steep learning curve that went along with that was challenging!

It has been challenging from a financial standpoint to find the place where I’m really clear about what it is that I’m offering so people know how I can best support them. It has been challenging as my friends and family have looked at the financial struggle that I had in the first few months and just wanted to tell me to go and get a job. People who are not on an entrepreneurial journey don’t understand that I have a job, and I’m working my arse off in a job, day and night. It is actually bringing me more money than if I got a job in the area we live now – about six months ago we moved out to an island so it’s not as if I could just go and get another job as a midwife out here, it doesn’t work like this.

I think another challenge has been to stop looking to society and my family and my friends for guidance, and to learn how to follow my own inner guidance. In some ways, I have driven a wedge between my family and friends in a way I didn’t expect. I expected to be on this amazing journey and to have them link arms with me and to take them along with me. Instead it feels like I’m trailblazing and cutting a path and heading out onto this journey on my own, and I keep turning around to look to see if anyone else is behind me and I see them way back there. So it’s been a lonely journey as well.

3) Where did you get the support you needed to make it happen?

Having an amazing supportive partner, who has been my biggest cheerleader; who has edited all of my blog posts; who helps me celebrate and reminds me to celebrate all of the little and the big things that I have accomplished along the way. That’s been the biggest thing for me in the last year, having his support.

4) What’s the best part of your lifestyle today?

Nicole MarieIt’s the freedom that I have; the freedom that I have most days, outside of having appointments with clients. I have the ability to not write my blog post today if I’m not in the mood to do it, or I’m not feeling it, or I’m tired and I want to go and take a nap instead. So the freedom that I have to really do this work from anywhere, when I want, and how I want. And if things aren’t working, if I’m not liking how it feels to me anymore, to be able to stop and shift directions, and change course.

5) What one piece of advice would you give to someone who is considering making a big career or lifestyle change?

I think the biggest piece of advice I can give is to really find clarity in how you want to feel in your life and begin chasing those feelings in all areas of your life. Shut out the often well meaning advice from others who aren’t supportive of where you are wanting to go, and really tap into your own inner wisdom and your own inner guidance (I call it your soul guidance, that guidance that comes from your own heart, your own intuition, your own soul). And to let go of fear and just take the leap!

 To find out more about Nicole’s work with individuals to discover their voice, their intuitions, and their deeper purpose, visit her website.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

You might also be interested in these articles

“Everything you’ve ever
wanted is one step outside
your comfort zone.”

Book a free consultation

Get on the phone with Anna to discuss your unique goals and situation to determine the best programme for you, so you can start taking action towards creating the business and lifestyle you desire.

Get a free assessment of your business

Download this scorecard to review where you are on each of the 5 pillars of building a life outside of the 9 to 5, and get clear action steps to help you fill the gaps.

We will use and protect your data in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Looking to grow your expert business?

Download this FREE Business Assessment to identify the gaps that are preventing your growth so that you can take actionable steps towards building a more successful and sustainable business.

We will use and protect your data in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Download the brochure

Find out more about our flagship mentoring programme for experienced professionals who want to translate their skills and experience into a profitable business that brings them more freedom, flexibility, and fulfilment.

We will use and protect your data in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

Privacy Policy

This privacy policy sets out how One Step Outside uses and protects any information that you give One Step Outside when you use this website (

One Step Outside is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. Should we ask you to provide certain information by which you can be identified when using this website, then you can be assured that it will only be used in accordance with this privacy statement.

One Step Outside may change this policy from time to time by updating this page. You should check this page from time to time to ensure that you are happy with any changes.

What information we collect and why

We only ever collect the information that we need in order to serve you.

Generally, this just means collecting your first name and email address that you enter, for example, when you request a resource, register for a webinar, or submit a message via a contact form.

If you are a paying customer, we also collect your billing information including your last name and your postal address.


When visitors leave comments on the site we collect the data shown in the comments form, and also the visitor’s IP address and browser user agent string to help spam detection.

An anonymised string created from your email address (also called a hash) may be provided to the Gravatar service to see if you are using it. The Gravatar service privacy policy is available here: After approval of your comment, your profile picture is visible to the public in the context of your comment.

Contact forms

We use Gravity Forms to allow you to contact us via the website. We will use the information you submit for the sole purpose of that specific form and will explicitly ask you to provide your consent to allow us to do so.

Embedded content from other websites

Articles on this site may include embedded content (e.g. videos, images, articles, etc.). Embedded content from other websites behaves in the exact same way as if the visitor has visited the other website.

These websites may collect data about you, use cookies, embed additional third-party tracking, and monitor your interaction with that embedded content, including tracking your interaction with the embedded content if you have an account and are logged in to that website.

Advertising and Analytics


We use Google Analytics to track and optimise performance on this site as well as embedding video content from YouTube, and this means that your web browser automatically sends certain information to Google. This includes the URL of the page that you’re visiting and your IP address. Google may also set cookies on your browser or read cookies that are already there. Apps that use Google advertising services also share information with Google, such as the name of the app and a unique identifier for advertising.

Google uses the information shared by sites and apps to deliver our services, maintain and improve them, develop new services, measure the effectiveness of advertising, protect against fraud and abuse and personalise content and ads that you see on Google and on our partners’ sites and apps. See their Privacy Policy to learn more about how they process data for each of these purposes, and their Advertising page for more about Google ads, how your information is used in the context of advertising and how long Google stores this information.


We use the conversion tracking and custom audiences via the Facebook pixel on our website. This allows user behaviour to be tracked after they have been redirected to our website by clicking on a Facebook ad and enables us to measure the effectiveness of our Facebook ads. The data collected in this way is anonymous to us, i.e. we do not see the personal data of individual users. However, this data is stored and processed by Facebook, who may link this information to your Facebook account and also use it for its own promotional purposes, in accordance with Facebook’s Data Usage Policy

You can allow Facebook and its partners to place ads on and off Facebook. A cookie may also be stored on your computer for these purposes. You can revoke your permission directly on Facebook here: For more guidance on opting out you can also consult

Who we share your data with

We use a number of third parties to provide us with services which are necessary to run our business or to assist us with running our business and who process your information for us on our behalf. These include a hosting and email provider (Siteground), mailing list provider (GetResponse), and a payment provider (Stripe).

Your information will be shared with these service providers only where necessary to enable us to run our business.

How long we maintain your data

If you leave a comment, the comment and its metadata are retained indefinitely. This is so we can recognise and approve any follow-up comments automatically instead of holding them in a moderation queue.

For users that register on our website, we also store the personal information they provide in their user profile. All users can see, edit, or delete their personal information at any time (except they cannot change their username). Website administrators can also see and edit that information.

The main reason for collecting this information is to be able to send you resources, updates and, sometimes, information and products and services, as well as for internal record keeping.

The rights you have over your data

If you have an account on this site, or have left comments, you can request to receive an exported file of the personal data we hold about you, including any data you have provided to us. You can also request that we erase any personal data we hold about you. This does not include any data we are obliged to keep for administrative, legal, or security purposes.

How we protect your data

We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure.

Where we have given you (or where you have chosen) a password that lets you access certain parts of our site, you are responsible for keeping this password confidential and we ask you not to share a password with anyone.

Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we will do our best to protect your personal data, we cannot guarantee the security of your data transmitted to our site; any transmission is at your own risk. Once we have received your information, we will use strict procedures and security features to try to prevent unauthorised access.

Links to other websites

Our website contains links to other websites. This privacy policy only applies to this website so once you have used these links to leave our site, you should note that we do not have any control over that other website. You should exercise caution and look at the privacy statement applicable to the website in question.

Changes to our privacy policy

We keep our privacy policy under regular review. Initially created on 18th November 2016, it was last updated on 23rd May 2018 to be compliant with GDPR.

Contact information

If you have any questions or concerns related to your privacy, you can get in touch here >>