Nicole Sealey is the latest addition to popular TV show The Real Housewives of Cheshire and the self-proclaimed 5ft2 firecracker is already causing a stir…In fact she’s already been nominated as Celebrity Personality of the Year 2020 at the National Reality TV Awards.
But Nicole is also well known for her thriving business empire, she oozes entrepreneurial spirit and is certainly one to watch. Successfully breaking through in the male dominated world of rail recruitment Nicole has gone on to own healthcare recruitment, sports management and fitness companies – often building them from the ground up – and manages a successful property portfolio.
Due to various private and financial setbacks Nicole found herself at one point with nothing to her name, but she proved it’s very much her mantra of ‘mind over matter’ and built her way back to the top whilst raising her three children. Now Nicole has bounced back in a big way and is ready to take on the world. Nicole, lives in Cheshire with her husband and business partner, the former West Ham footballer Joe Sealey, and her three grown up children.
Thank you for joining us today Nicole. You broke into the typically male dominated world of rail recruitment, but let’s take it back to how your career started and what led you to rail recruitment specifically…
I have to be honest a business in rail was not my life ambition it was a job I did for a period of time just to earn money, however, an opportunity presented itself and I took it, and could see great earning potential to start I actually invested into property, as at the beginning I was supplying just to agencies. Later on, I had the chance to work direct where I took the business to the next level. This is why I always tell people that you should always be open minded and explore every avenue.
What was your though process behind launching your own rail recruitment empire?
I think you can see from my previous reply that in this instant it really just organically grew along with a lot of hours and hard work.
How did it feel when you successfully penetrated the industry as a female CEO, flying the flag for women within the rail recruitment industry?
I never really focused or used the fact that I was a female, either as a negative or a positive but better yet I just got on with my own thing by staying focused and showing the industry what I could do. Yes, there was a huge amount of chauvinism but eventually after many years, I gained respect in the industry.
What do you think could be done to encourage more women into the rail recruitment space?
I think that there are many more women in rail now but yes there is still a long way to go. However, with COVID and people looking to retrain this could the perfect time to have a huge push.
What is the best business lesson you have you learnt to date and have since taken away from the experience?
My life lesson is that no matter how successful your business becomes remember it can quickly change! So be vigilant in everything you do.
What is a typical day like for you now as a successful entrepreneur?
My day starts early, and I like to start with a long walk, to clear my head before work. I typically start at 8am, this is the time I check finances, then when I am not filming I am on Zooms and having meetings. I am super disciplined and organised but sometimes finish at 10pm like most CEO’s I am extremely busy.
Who is the most influential female entrepreneur that you admire and why?
You could either say that she isn’t a businesswoman or you could call her the ultimate business woman. Margaret Thatcher as running the country certainly is a business, and to me she is a very inspirational woman!
How are you working on your own personal development and finding downtime Nicole?
Working personal development is something I do every day not always consciously; I take the positives out of every negative situation and if you make mistakes you learn from them. In my down time I like to go for a walk and a coffee and when I can travel which is restricted at the moment which is my balance. Before lockdown I spent my time between here and Majorca- I don’t mind working hard but travel is my pleasure!
Finally, having gone on to own healthcare recruitment, sports management, and fitness companies – often building them from the group up – and managing a successful property portfolio. What is next for you?
I am actually working on a new product! I haven’t done something like this before- people are normally my product and building/growing businesses. So, this is really exciting! I can’t talk too much about it but keep your eyes peeled- it’s so nice to use my creative flare for a change.
Image taken by James Rudland