Nicole Hartnell – Creating Opportunities to Be Together

Posted by Rodan + Fields on Monday, February 1st, 2016

Nicole Hartnell felt her chest swell as she disembarked the plane with her two oldest daughters. For so long, she’d wished that her family could spend more time together, but it was difficult to do when everyone lived so far apart. As a family of seven, it was incredibly expensive to travel, but here they were: in Wisconsin, visiting her sister and her newborn niece. She knew that she wouldn’t have been able to bring her girls on this trip if she hadn’t pursued a business opportunity that provided her both time and financial freedom. With the knowledge that she was only just getting started, Nicole couldn’t wait to continue building her business so that she could make even more memories with her family, and never again let time, money, or distance stand in their way.

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Preparing for liftoff

Originally from Texas, Nicole and her husband, Devin, moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, when they were first married in 2002. Over the next few years, they had three children and, in 2008, they relocated to the Boston area for Devin’s job. While there, Nicole leveraged her PhD in interdisciplinary studies and her background in pharmaceutical administration, medication errors, and patient safety research to teach courses at Northeastern University. When their family eventually returned to Canada, Nicole decided to go back to doing contract work. “It wasn’t feasible to have a full-time job with three small kids. I’d intended to get back into academics and had just accepted a contract job, but shortly after we were back in Nova Scotia, I found out I was pregnant with twins.”

Once the twins were born, Nicole quit working to stay home with her kids full-time. “After two and a half years, I finally felt like things were slowing down a bit, so I decided to take a new contract position.” Around that time, Nicole noticed some of the Facebook posts that her friend Erica was sharing about her Rodan + Fields® business. “I didn’t pay much attention to the business aspect, but I was interested in the products. I’d been looking for anti-aging skincare because I was starting to notice a significant change in my skin. I’d tried lots of products, but nothing seemed to make a difference. And, as a scientist, I was intrigued by the clinical nature of the products. I purchased the REDEFINE Regimen from Erica, and she told me I should consider the business too, but my plate was full and I didn’t feel like I could take on anything else. But, I loved the products and saw immediate results, so my husband and I decided to take a closer look. We could see how reputable the Company was, and I understood the power of a recognizable brand, so I decided to run with it.”

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Nicole with her friend and sponsor, Erica MacKinnon.

Changing the itinerary

In March of 2015, Nicole enrolled as an Independent Consultant and began working 10 to 12 hours a week around her family’s schedule. “I love that I can build a successful business around what I’m already doing. With contract work, I often had to commute and leave my kids—and to be honest, sometimes I loved the chance to get away, but my kids hated not having me around. Then after working all day, I’d have to spend the evening preparing for the next day. Academics is an amazing career, but it’s too much at this point in my life—it was so hard to fit everything in. My business gives me the flexibility I need to be there for my family, while still having something of my own that fulfills me. It feels more in tune with where I am in my personal life.” Nicole is blown away by how passionate she has become about her business. “I’ve always been in an academic setting—either teaching in a University or doing research. I never imagined myself doing something like this, but for some reason, my business feels much more in line with who I am and what I’m meant to be doing.”

Having never struggled with skin issues herself, Nicole didn’t realize how much it affected people’s lives to be uncomfortable in their own skin. “When I hear people tell me that these products have changed their lives, it makes me so happy to know that I shared something with them that truly made an impact. This experience has shown me what a vital part skin plays in a person’s confidence. When a person looks in the mirror and feels good about what they see, that confidence filters down into other aspects of his or her life and helps them to become the best version of themselves.”

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Nicole’s children.

Taking flight

Nicole’s business also provides her with a sense of fulfilment and encourages her to keep growing. “My achievements are all contingent on how hard I work, and my progress is based on the effort I put in. That’s really inspiring because, while I always felt this business was amazing, I didn’t always have the confidence to believe that I could maximize the opportunity and achieve success for myself. I didn’t think I had the right personality, and it felt outside of my comfort zone to approach people, but once I saw my growth, I became so much more fearless about sharing this opportunity with others. It really hit me that anybody can make this work for them and that they could take this opportunity and turn it into whatever they wanted it to be.”

Nicole is now much more outgoing and proud that she is able to do things that once intimidated her. “I’ve always been the type of person who was more than happy to sit at the playground and not talk to anyone. I preferred to just observe, but deep down, I wanted to be more outgoing. My business has given me a reason to strike up a conversation with someone I don’t know and, whether they’re interested in the business or not, I’ve made so many new friends because I’m now more willing to put myself out there. And the relationships I’ve gained have added incredible value to my life.”

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Nicole with some of her teammates at an R+F event.

Soaring to new heights

Nicole is incredibly grateful that her business is providing the time and financial flexibility for her family to travel more. “We don’t have any family that lives close to us, and if we want to visit anyone, we have to fly there. Once we had the twins, we were much more limited because it was so expensive to buy plane tickets for all of us. Even though we have a phenomenal group of friends who have become like family, I started to feel isolated and a bit lonely because it felt like the only time we ever saw our relatives was when they could come to us. I grew up with a very close-knit family, so it was frustrating that my kids weren’t getting to see their cousins, aunts and uncles, and grandparents the way that my husband and I both did growing up. Now, family vacations don’t stress us out financially. We were even able to plan a fantastic getaway this past summer—we spent one week with my husband’s family in British Columbia, and one week with my family in Wisconsin.”

Nicole’s R+F business is also enabling her to show her children, especially her four daughters, that the world is full of options. “My kids are intrigued by R+F. They often ask me questions, they wonder, in particular, if I’ve shared the opportunity with their friends’ moms. It is pretty cute. Having an additional income definitely makes having such a large family easier, and it’s so rewarding to show them that you can have the best of both worlds. I get to be home with them, but I’m also pursuing something for myself which is creating some really fun options for our family.”

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Nicole and her husband.

Reaching her destination

Nicole believes that the most rewarding things in life never come easily, and her business has been no different. “Everything that is worthwhile—whether it’s owning a business, being a parent, moving to a new place, or accepting a promotion—will inevitably require hard work, but if you stick with it, that’s when you see the benefits. This business is for anybody who hopes for something more in their life—and ‘more’ looks different for everyone—it could be more money, time, or stronger, deeper friendships. After seeing how much this has already added to my life, my goal is to see how far I can go with it. It’s an incredible feeling to be doing something amazing that’s adding so much value to my life and giving me the chance to provide my family with more than I ever could before.”



One response to “Nicole Hartnell – Creating Opportunities to Be Together”

  1. Jessica says:

    What a fantastic piece featuring a fantastic role model for women in all walks of life!

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