Inspirational speaker and best-selling author, Nikki Bush, is highly regarded among parents, educators and business people alike as she helps them make sense of parenting and child development issues in a fast-changing world.
Her keynote talks, interactive workshops, books and games are fuelled by her passion for play, connection and relationships as she inspires her audiences to find creative ways of connecting with today’s children to prepare them for tomorrow’s world.
Nikki is the co-author of two bestselling books: Future-proof Your Child (Penguin 2008), now in its sixth reprint, and Easy Answers to Awkward Questions (Metz Press, 2009), a book on sexuality development for children under 13, which was endorsed by Childline and is in its third reprint. Her third and much-anticipated book, Tech-Savvy Parenting, was published by Bookstorm in August 2014.
Nikki has developed seven educational games including board games for well-known brands such as Barney, Thomas and Barbie, and she is South Africa’s foremost toy judge, running a very popular annual event called Toy Talk®.
I Am Driven By | The idea of changing the world in some way, of doing work that has a ripple effect through generations to come – leaving a legacy. I work with parents and educators who are influencing the next generation and it’s heart-warming to hear the stories of how my work has changed perceptions, mindsets and behavior, which in turn is changing relationships between people.
My Highlights | Continual personal growth through the work that I do and the relationships I have with my husband and my two children. There is always another challenge, a way to do things better, self-discovery and unveiling of new talents and abilities within.
I was selected as a Rotary Youth Exchange student and spent my post-matric year (1985) in Australia. The interview process for selection was more gruelling than any job interview I have been through, and I was only 16 at the time of the interviews.
Speaking as the Rotary Youth Exchange ambassador at the 1986 National Rotary Conference in the Sun City Superbowl to over 1 000 Rotarians at the age of 18 and being offered a job on the spot by a very senior company executive.
Being awarded the Murray & Roberts Best Public Relations Writing Skills award at the end of my three-year National Diploma in Public Relations which I complete at the then, Wits Technikon.
Opening my own public relations consultancy when I was 27.
Having the guts to create a new career at the age of 30 in direct selling and discovering I was a great motivator and trainer and had a very unique ability to connect the dots differently to anyone else.
Developing educational games for Smile Education and being asked to develop games for Discovery Health’s Vitality programme and for big brands such as Barney, Barbie and Thomas which were a sell out.
Changing my career again to become a full time professional speaker and author in 2005.
I have written three parenting books. Having the first accepted and published by Penguin was a BIG deal for me – to be recognized by such a big publishing house was a major accomplishment.
Working closely with some incredible people with great minds – Dr Graeme Codrington and Arthur Goldstuck.
Helping people make better parenting choices every day.
Being able to package valuable messages in media interviews that viewers and listeners can take action on immediately.
Being offered my own online TV show at the end of 2014.
Being a mother – my children are the inspiration for much of my work.
The Difference Between Good And Great | People who are great at what they do are prepared to stick their necks out, be thought leaders and are the go to people in their industry. They are prepared to do what it takes to be successful and are disciplined and focused. They are visionaries in some way shape or form and are often out of the box thinkers, doing things in ways that they have never been done before. They are teachable at the same time as being inspirational.
A Key Talent | Clarity of vision of how I can serve (strongly influenced by my intuition, gut feel and spiritual connection) – creating goals around this vision, but being flexible and adaptable on the way to reaching the goals. Sometimes they can be achieved in very unexpected ways through chance meetings and introductions.Do the work you need to do to become expert at something. Hone your skills. Build your knowledge. Be invested in your own learning – and never think you know everything. Be engaged and inspired by your own learning process. Promote others and they will promote you. Learn from others but do not try to be like them. Network. Read, learn and listen to people on a wide range of topics – that’s how you find ways to make your own expertise more relevant. Make sure that what you have to offer is constantly innovative, real and relevant. Today, that means, updating, reinventing, re-purposing and repositioning yourself all the time as the market is constantly changing, and at a very rapid rate. Be teachable.
The Characteristics Of Success |
Razor sharp focus. I am a busy working mum and I don’t have time for redo’s. So do what you do well and do it right.
Having opportunity eyes – there is opportunity everywhere.
Being creative and doling things in unique ways.
Sharing my own stories makes my work accessible and personal – being prepared to be vulnerable.
Flexibility and adaptability.
Critical Skills I Develop |
Upping my game with regard to technology.
Blogging on a regular basis.
Becoming master of the sound bite – being able to pack a punch in 500 words or so. It is an art and a skill that the comes with years of practise.
Constantly honing and crafting my message on the platform as well as through my writing.
Using fear and criticism/feedback to galvanise growth.
Being prepared to risk and try new things in my business.
How I Use My Mind | I seem to have the knack of casting vision forward – I first became aware of this at around the age of 15.. When I set a goal it is not just a mental thing it is energized by emotion and intuition – a knowing. I guess trusting the process is a big part of how I operate. There are many times when I believe that the words are not only mine, they are coming from a much wiser, deeper place. Meditation and contemplation are an important part of my life and I feel guided to do the work that I do.
Lessons I Have Learnt | Never give up. There is always another way. Mistakes are new beginnings. Fail forward.
Everything is in life is a choice. Even not making a choice is a choice.
Always keep a paper trail. Status reports are vital to keep projects on track.
Be clear. Put agreements in writing.
Clear the air face-to-face where possible.
Always honour and acknowledge people and tell them what’s in it for them.
Learn the art of being present (I have been living and teaching this for over 10 years – the new buzz word in the business world is ‘mindfulness’)
The Legacy I Would Like To Leave | To change the world: one parent, one teacher, one leader at a time.
Useful Links |