‘TJMS’ senior producer Nikki Woods leaves show, pens book, ‘Shift Happens’

'TJMS' senior producer Nikki Woods leaves show, pens book, 'Shift Happens’
Photo credit: Walter J. Johnson

On Oct. 1, Nikki Woods, former senior producer of the acclaimed, nationally-syndicated “Tom Joyner Morning Show,” used her Facebook page to announce to her huge fan base that she had resigned from the position she held for nine years.

The following week, Woods released the third volume of her best-selling book series, Shift Happens. That’s when rolling out obtained the opportunity to chat with Woods about her transition.

What gave you the courage to leave what most would consider a dream job, as senior producer of the nationally syndicated “Tom Joyner Morning Show”?

It really was a difficult decision, mainly because I wasn’t unhappy. I mean I loved, and still do love, radio and television, and I loved being the senior producer working with Tom and the crew every day. But, I knew that there was something greater for me to do. Honestly, I had put my career first for 20 years, which through the course of that time I had gotten married had children and found that everything — family, friends and even myself at times — had taken a backseat to that career. I just knew that there were greater things for me to do outside of the “TJMS” and secondly, I needed to make a different choice for my life. I wanted the quality vs. quantity, so to speak. I wanted to take my children to school in the morning. I wanted to be able to go on field trips and have lunch with family or friends without feeling anxious because I knew I had a ton of work left to do at work. I needed to make a different choice and knowing that there was something greater for me made that decision a little easier.

What were your fears as you contemplated making a move?

I think there are a lot of fears. I technically had been an employee most of my professional career. There weren’t a lot of entrepreneurs in the family, so I didn’t grow up seeing entrepreneurship. I think the fears are the very basic ones: supporting the family, making sure we have everything we need. But I think the difference between being scared and having the fears, is that I’m not worried. I’ve always been able to provide no matter what. When you’re an entrepreneur, there is more opportunity for financial abundance because it just depends on you. It is how you look at the opportunity and how you approach it. The fear is just of the unknown; I’m not worried, and that is the difference.

You wrote the Shift book series, and the title of your newest book is Shift Happens. It’s so befitting for so many people dealing with life issues, can you tell us more about the book?

Shift Happens is the third book in the Shift series. First, there was Shift, then Shift On and now the final installment Shift Happens. The Shift movement was about me walking my talk. When I decided I was going to start a business, I wanted to focus on helping people share their stories. With clients [I] coach them on how to use content and increase their platform, get clients, get more media, more speaking engagements and also coach them on how to become a published author.

When I first decided to do Shift it was very clinical, it was about me taking 20 people sharing their stories, putting them in a book showing them how to write, publish, launch and market the book, and then leverage the book to get greater. It started out as a head project for me and turned into a heart project for me. The results were amazing. Before we had even closed the book, no pun intended, on Shift, people were signing up to find out how they could also share their stories, so we rolled into Shift On and then Shift Happens.

What have you learned through your Shift experiences?

It has become an amazing experience, because what we’ve learned is that no matter where you are in life, whether you’re an entrepreneur or an employee, no matter your job or where you fit in the socioeconomic realm, you’re always going to have to shift through something. There will always be an obstacle, a challenge or a valley, and you don’t always look like what you’re going through, or I should say growing through. So Shift, Shift On, and Shift Happens are the encouragement that you will make it through.  No matter what! Some of the stories that are shared are obstacles that I never would’ve imagined; people are going through — multiple traumas, but they got to the other side. I think when you share, not only your challenge story but your triumph story, you give other people the permission to do the same.

Is your transition and the book release coincidental or a strategic move?

I think everything I do is strategic; I don’t think anything is coincidental. I certainly wanted to come out of one phase of life and move into another with a bang. This was definitely fitting for that. But I think it was strategic in that now I’m shifting into a place that I have not been in, both professionally and personally. This is a place that my family and I have not experienced. I have my business, but it feels like I’m a stay at home mom at the same time. Being able to take my kids to school — I’ve never done that because I was always working and my kids are now teenagers. I’ve never been on a field trip, and only had rare opportunities to have lunch with them. So all of those things are what I’m enjoying, and I can already see the difference in my children because it’s a different energy. They don’t have to rely on themselves as much. It seems like we are doing it backward but I’m glad they were able to experience both. I wanted this last leg of their “childhood” to be about making memories. So hopefully, we will do much more of that than we’ve done in the past.

What advice would you give to others teetering on “shifting” into more of their purpose?

For me, it’s having something inside of you that needs to be fulfilled. It starts as a whisper and the longer you ignore it, the louder it gets. I believe you will make the leap or somebody will help push you. For those who are in jobs that are not fulfilling but stay because it’s comfortable, eventually, it will be too uncomfortable to stay, or something will happen like you’ll be fired or laid off, and the job will go away. The longer you fight it, the harder the transition is. I know it’s not easy and doesn’t feel good all the time, and it’s scary but when you have something inside of you that you keep suppressing it will become painful. For me, because I was at a job that I enjoyed and was fulfilling my purpose in the first leg of this journey, I was in a difficult position because I could have very well stayed. But the noise was getting much louder, and for whatever reason; it became so hard for me to continue along that path because I knew I was supposed to be doing greater things professionally and also personally.

I advise people to do what they do and get quiet, whatever that is for them; meditation, prayer or whatever it is for them to hear that small voice. It is going to take courage and strength and faith, but I think we all know what we are supposed to be doing, but sometimes we choose to ignore it because we are comfortable and safe. If you want to do big things in life, you have to get used to being uncomfortable and used to being scared. If you aren’t doing things that make you scared you aren’t doing what you’re supposed to be doing.

What’s up next for Nikki Woods?

What’s next for me is growing my business, Nikki Woods Media, and trying to help people share as many stories as possible. My talents lie in helping people share their stories and getting more visibility based on their story. Publishing content and publishing books, but also leveraging that content and books to get more media, get more clients and speaking engagements, to get to that greater — that is what I do.

I have some really neat projects coming up and another collaboration book, so if anyone is interested in sharing their story they can contact me. I am also launching a project called “Authority Publishing” because it’s no longer about being the expert, so if you are the financial expert, relationship expert, health expert, it is no longer about being the expert; you want to be the authority. That is going to begin at the beginning of next year, and I truly appreciate being able to share that here, it’s the first time I’ve publicly talked about it because I believe in moving in silence. People may also contact me about that program as well.

Photo credit: Walter J. Johnson
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