A Nick-less Animas...could you imagine such a thing? Well, just last week he sent out an email addressed to all Animas students and alumni about precisely that: the "retirement" of Animas Founder and CEO, Nick Bolton.
Now it isn't quite as black and white as that, and Nick explains all with great clarity, but in case you missed the email, or it got lost in the sea of online communication that hits your inbox every day, we wanted to share it with you here, as we feel that it is an important piece of news and marks a big moment for both Animas, and Nick. It will no doubt come as a surprise to most, as he has played a huge part in many of your coaching journeys, but don't fret we aren't quite losing him altogether. I will let the man himself explain all...
To all Animas students and alumni,
Nick stepping down as CEO? Really?
Well, yes and no.
Let me explain.
We recently sent out an email for my talk in October and it alluded to it being my last ever talk as "operational CEO for Animas".
To indulge in a double dose of cliche, that sentence got tongues wagging and it set the cat amongst the pigeons!
And so now I want to give you the skinny on what's happening.
They key word here is "operational".
After 18 years of cut-and-thrust creating businesses, including 10 years of growing a coaching school that is now one of the largest in the world, I feel ready to step back and take a break. Call it early retirement!
Animas is in a great position with a skilled team, strong finances, and a coaching course we've delivered more than 100 times over the last 10 years and on which I haven't taught for a long time.
My team know what they're doing and, if you caught them being indiscreet over a glass of red wine, they might even say I'm just a distraction!
Where I add value now is in shaping the vision of what we can achieve, exploring innovations and ensuring Animas is an effective business at all levels. I'll still do this, but not daily.
I'll remain as CEO setting the vision, and I can guarantee I'll still care mightily about our quality and values.
So, what's happening and where am I off to?
Well, you might have seen that I got married earlier this year (yes, this confirmed old singleton!) and as my wife and I looked ahead to our lives together, we realised that we both love the quiet, we both love nature, and we both love change and movement.
And so we decided to move on to a canal boat and live on the waterways of the UK, cruising without a fixed base for as many years as we enjoy it. Essentially we want to experience being present in the world, unconstrained by daily routine and responsibility. We've bought a gorgeous new boat which is being built in Poland and will be delivered to the UK in December and we'll move on in January.
Hasta la vista, London!
Now, for anyone who knows how Animas came to be, you'll know this story has a beautiful symmetry to it.
Back in 2008, I was living on an old, dilapidated canal boat and I loved it. But, facing bankruptcy, I sold it for £15,000 to have a final stab at creating a business.
With that little wad of cash, I started a tiny coaching school.....
The rest, as they say, is history!
Now, 10 years later, I'm going back to the life I loved afloat but with a woman I adore and a successful business to support us.
Well, you have to admit, I do bang on about patience and taking consistent action if you really want to achieve something that matters to you!
Of course, life being the fluid thing it is, I don't see this "retirement" as permanent. It's about a mindset of spaciousness and freedom to do what I love.
Some of that will still be entrepreneurial. Indeed, I am already opening an advanced sister-school in somatic practices for coaches and therapists but I am setting it up so that I am the investor and mentor, but not the doer.
"It's all about choices. And isn't that what Animas is all about - having the courage and the tenacity to create the life you actually want, rather than be stuck with the one you've got!
So there we are. That's the story.
Animas is a beautiful thing, with an amazing community and one of the best coaching courses around.
You are in very safe hands!
Thank you for being part of my journey so far and I look forward to remaining an active force in Animas.
Founder & CEO