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The Heidi B Show

Nov 18, 2021

Finding Joy and Well-being with Nicole Bensen 

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode: 

1.  Be inspired by how Nicole found the common thread in all her work and made that the center of her entrepreneurship. 
2.  Hear how she took the daunting leap from a dream job with perks beyond belief at Google to starting her own business. 
3.  Discover the uber luxe retreat locations Nicole is planning for. 

-- My first book, Relationship Ready: How I Stopped Fucking Randos and Started Cupcaking My Soulmate, is available on Amazon and Audible.  Grab your copy now! 
-- Subscribe to my mailing list on my website. 
-- Visit my website to learn about my coaching programs. 
-- Visit Nicole’s website ┃Instagram ┃Facebook  
-- Watch TED talk, Jia Jiang: What I Learned From 100 Days of Rejection 
-- Check out Villa Honegg and Burgenstock Resort in Switzerland 
-- Check out happiness researcher Sonja Lyubormirsky 
-- Read Are You Busy Or Productive? By Christine Carter 

Episode Highlights 
The Pinnacle of Corporate Life in Silicon Valley 
Nicole started as a recruiter making 80 calls a day and 10 client visits a week. 
She was recruited to work at Google in their recruiting program. 
She went on to be the program manager of many programs including the Wellbeing Program for Google’s Executive Female Leaders. 
She worked and lived in Switzerland for part of her time with Google. 
At Google she had perks beyond belief and learned how to create luxurious Leadership programs and retreats for the highest positions at Google.   
After nearly a decade she found herself as the program manager of 9 demanding programs. 

Some Sneaky Burnout Symptoms 
Waking up in the night with tightness in the chest, hard to breath. 
Shaking hands. 
Chipping teeth. 
“I’m so busy” is a sign that we are stretched too thin.  If we are stretched too thin, we are missing our opportunity to do things to the best of our ability. 
“I’m bored” can be a sign of being so overloaded that we become numb. 
Feeling imposter’s syndrome.  We will jump to deliver everything so we can keep up.   
Sleeping too much or too little. 

We Become Resilient by Getting Up After a Fall 
Nicole took a leave of absence and did ALL the things (books, conferences, her doctor, work stress coach, couple’s therapist, psychiatrist, etc) to get back to a healthier mental place. Near the end of her leave, Nicole decided to choose her wellbeing and follow her dream to start her own business drawing on all of her experience.   
Self-compassion, mindfulness, and resilience are integral. 
Staying in our comfort zone stunts our resilience among so many other things. 
Need to practice failing and getting up. 
“Focus on what’s strong, not what’s wrong” 

What I LOVE About What I Do 
Supporting others in chasing their dreams 
Creating experiences for people to learn about themselves so they can pursue their dreams and best selves 
Learning and doing research about how our brains work 
Studying happiness and wellbeing 
Creating courses and quirky exercises to practice the concepts 
Tips for Developing Happiness and Joy 
If you try a practice or strategy and it doesn’t work, even though it works for EVERYONE else, try something else. 
Make tiny goals or M.V.E.s (Minimum Viable Experiments).  These create energy and momentum.  
Surround yourself with happy people. The friends of your own friends are affected by your happiness (or unhappiness). 
Laugh!  Try Laughter Yoga in which you force yourself to laugh.  Its starts off feeling cheesy, but we end up actually feeling happier afterwards. 

The Hard Part 
Practicing being brave, working on my own resilience, putting myself out there, 
Launching a new program after hundreds of hours of creating something with love and tears… and then crickets. 
I Don’t Do it All… No One Can Do it All 
Doing it all is not a healthy goal. 
I pick and choose what gets my attention that day or week. 
Not feeling bad about not doing it all is a practice.  
I want to set boundaries and make wellbeing a priority. 

About Nicole 
Nicole lives in the Bay Area with her husband, two children, two kitties, and a baby on the way.  Nicole’s father was a software engineer and she has lived around Silicon Valley for most of her life.  She started her career as a recruiter for staffing agencies and moved over to Google when a former manager recruited her to Google’s recruiting program.  At Google she worked in the recruiting organization then became a program manager in Switzerland.  Nicole was the program manager for the Wellbeing Program for Google’s Executive Female Leaders along with 9 other programs. 

After nearly a decade at Google and experiencing extreme burnout, Nicole reflected on her work experience and chose to create a company that centered all the things she was passionate about.  She is the Founder and CEO of Tentacles and Tea, a Happiness Ambassador, Positive Psychology Coach, and Creator of Transformational Experiences. Nicole offers one-on-one coaching, group programs, and corporate workshops, and luxurious retreats in the dreamiest locations near and far. 

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Have any questions?  You can contact me through email ( or find me on Instagram or Facebook.  Thanks for listening! 

For more updates and episodes, visit my website.  You may also tune in on Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, or Spotify. 
To pursuing our passions and building our businesses, 
Heidi B