Nix Ticehurst is the founder of Nixercise
- a breath of fresh air! Nix founded Nixercise in 2009 as a refreshingly realistic and jargon free approach to health, fitness and nutrition which has a devoted following. Get fit and stay healthy, make friends and feel at one with nature.
Nixercise advocates keeping it simple – from exercising in the outdoors to eating uncomplicated foods free from sugar or additives. Laughing is positively encouraged, as is making time to relax and enjoy the company of like-minded people.
Nixercise offers group fitness classes in and around the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside, whatever the weather and including some indoor classes too. Nixercise advocates a completely fad-free and uncomplicated approach to fitness, food and life.
What is your background? What made you decide to become an entrepreneur?
I left school without any qualifications, went on to college in Oxford for re-takes and once again left without qualifications. I didn't enjoy school and played too hard at college. If I were to put an excuse in the way, it would be that I went to a local school where we were the guinea pigs for fifth and sixth year students, suffice to say a few years after I left, the school shut down! That saying, I do not blame the school for my lack of qualifications, my work ethos was appalling, and the pull of a social life was far greater than working hard towards qualifications for a good job!
In my early twenties I set up (with a friend) a sandwich company delivering sandwiches to local offices and garages. I did this for just over two years until the extremely early 4am starts got in the way of my 20 year old busy social life! I went on to work within the motor racing industry followed by a personal trainer role and this took me up to motherhood.
I became a full time mother in my early thirties and returned back to work by setting up a painting and decorating company (with a friend) which I did for just over 2 years. In 2008 I studied for my Personal Trainer Diploma.
I do not see it that I made a conscious decision to become an entrepreneur, it just happened - I still have to pinch myself when someone asks me about being an entrepreneur, I find it very difficult to see it that way!
What is your definition of entrepreneurship?
To me, the definition of an entrepreneur is a person FILLED with ideas, and energy - you need energy to put the ideas into place! An entrepreneur's life is exciting, fulfilling sometimes really frustrating and definitely hard work!
How and when did you know your idea was good enough to develop it?
I knew what I wanted to do the day I walked out of my course as a fully-fledged Personal Trainer, I knew it would work as what I was going to offer would be completely different to other health and fitness companies.
What would you say are the top 3 skills that needed to be a successful entrepreneur? Why?
1. Ideas (lots of them!)
3. Acceptance that you are not good at everything, there are others out there better at certain things than you.
To me, an entrepreneur never stops thinking, they are filled with ideas and a successful entrepreneur will feel happy to work with others who know more in certain areas. I see too many entrepreneurs trying to do it all.
What is your favourite part of being an entrepreneur?
Being able to let my ideas run fast and free, and having others I believe in and trust, to help me put those ideas into action. I love the excitement when thinking up a new idea, too!
What individual, company or organization inspires you most? Why?
I admire many individuals and companies but not one inspirers me more than the other.
If you had 5 minutes with the above indiv/company/org, what would you want to ask or discuss?
If and when I sit down with any individuals I love to know how they're doing and importantly bat lots of ideas between us, in the hope to help each other.
What would you say have been some of your mistakes, failures or lessons learned as an entrepreneur?
The biggest mistake I make is running before I can walk! An idea pops into my head and before I know it I have sprinted into the distance (in my head!). I have taught myself to stop, think and work things (just a bit) before sprinting!
How have you funded your ideas?
All ideas have been funded as and when the company can afford to fund them. The Nixercise ethos is to keep things simple and uncomplicated. In my book, complication is expensive, simplicity isn't.
Are there any sector-specific awards/grants/competitions that have helped you?
I haven't used any awards/grants or competitions to date.
What is good about being an entrepreneur in Oxfordshire? Bad?
I am not really sure how to answer this question! As I have said in an above question, I find it hard to put the title of entrepreneur on myself. I simply see myself as a woman who has set up a business doing something I love greatly and believe in deeply and as that old saying goes, the rest is history!
If a new entrepreneur or startup came to you looking for entrepreneurship resources, where would you send them? (Anything Oxfordshire especially!)
I would tell any new entrepreneur or start up to find a person or people they trust. To use this person or people to listen to any ideas and then to give you an honest opinion - and do not be too sensitive if you hear something perhaps you do not like!
Any last words of advice?
Believe in yourself. If like myself you suffer with dyslexia or any other learning disability or a lack of education, anything is possible, it really is. If you have an idea and want to put it into action be brave, and do it! Be true to yourself and don't let others make you veer off your path if you truly believe in that path, stick to it.
As a final point, use a mentor who understands your business, and you (my mentor is one of the greatest things I have spent hard earned pennies on). My mentor came up with ideas I hadn't thought of, she helped me see things I hadn't seen. I haven't put all ideas into place yet but slowly and surely the ideas are coming to fruition just slowly and steadily, perhaps I have finally learnt to slow down from the sprint to a gentle jog!