Interview Series: with Nicole LeBreux of Cosmic Earth Collective (Part 1)

Welcome! This is the first of my interview series where I speak with entrepreneurs who masterfully weave their spirituality into their business. I wanted to do this series because I believe you can integrate your passions and views together to create a sustainable business that you love.

This will be a two-part interview with Nicole LeBreux of Cosmic Soul Collective. As you will read on, you will learn that Nicole is very wise and passionate about all things earth-centered, as well as learn about her offerings and how you can further work with her.

For more information about Nicole, you can find her website here, and her handle is @nicolelebreux on Instagram.

So let’s get started!

D: Tell us a bit about yourself and your business and how you got that idea up and running.

N: My name is Nicole LeBreux. I live on sovereign Wampanoag land in Southern Rhode Island. I consider myself a community herbalist, a self-care mentor, and an earth-centered business strategist and coach. The entrepreneur part is a newer thing that is really fun and what I’m feeling really called to do right now. I work with clients. I have a monthly membership that shifts every couple of months called “the cosmic earth collective”. I work with students one on one in my “Radical Self Care Mentorship”, which is giving people space and permission to care for themselves, teaching them herbal infusions and herbal body oiling and smoke medicine to help them reconnect to the earth. This earth medicine and plant medicine that is our birthright that’s available to all of us and that so many people don’t know about, as I’m sure you know.

I just launched my first business program called “Earth-center Entrepreneur” that I’m bringing students through now. People who are more earth-centered in their business, because I found, in being an entrepreneur for many many years, but online entrepreneur for the past two, there’s so much business stuff out there that’s just very linear, masculine, patriarchal, capitalist, business stuff. So there’s that strategy on how to do this, and then there’s also so much spiritual, 5th dimension, manifestation, energetic stuff which I think is very based in the cosmos, the ether, which is certainly a big part of my life, but it’s like it’s over there and they’re separate. I haven’t found much that’s earth-centered with that sustainable and reciprocal and seasonal and abundant. The natural abundance of the earth always has to offer us. 

I’m having a lot of fun playing with those ideas and bringing them together and to other entrepreneurs who are herbalists, or yoga teachers who have gifts that they want to share with other people and just don’t really know the structure and the action steps to go about doing that.
 
Of course, as I’m sure you know, as an entrepreneur, there are just so many mindset shifts and deconditioning to be done. It’s all of that and it’s going really well so far and I’m really enjoying doing it. 

D: Yea, it’s really interesting being an entrepreneur in more of a spiritual-based genre, I guess because you do kind of have to weave those two together. You have the very masculine, linear strategy like the ABCD steps, but you also have to weave in your authenticity, and the more go-with-the-flow feminine energy – and it is really interesting to see how people do that differently because it is honestly difficult to mesh those two together.

So then, I know a lot of people don’t like to mix their personal or spiritual lives with their business because it can alienate some potential customers that don’t have the same kind of views and I see that you mix everything in really well. Have you faced any opposition or anyone coming up against you because of that choice?

N: A little bit, but those aren’t my clients. Those aren’t my customers so I have no problem alienating people because those aren’t the people who are my soul connections. I believe that the more fully authentic you are and how completely yourself you are, that’s when you are radiating and magnetizing the people with who you want to work with. When you say something even a little bit controversial, I don’t even like to use the word controversial but when you say something that’s maybe a little bit outside of the mainstream, people are like “SHH!”. If that turns people off and turns people away, that’s fine. They can go and find somebody else with who they resonate with.

There’s a teacher for every student and I’m not going to be a teacher for every student, I’m going to be a teacher for MY students. And the more that I can embrace all of the parts of myself that I love and enjoy and mirror that out into the world, the more people who are fully aligned with me and with my voice and with my values and with my mission get drawn in. I made a conscious decision on the “Earth-Centered Entrepreneur” program. I did a whole part about what is an earth-centered entrepreneur. And it’s basically all of my values as a human being that involve; doing anti-racist work, not culturally appropriating, accepting all genders and sexualities, being anti-colonialist, and notice that the indigenous people have been living where we are for thousands and thousands of years.

There’s so much wisdom that came before us. We aren’t the first ones here on the land. All things that are so easily forgotten because it’s just what we’re taught from childhood. America started when Columbus came here and that is obviously incredibly incorrect. So if people have problems with anti-racist work, if people have problems with transgendered people, if people have problems with the land-backed movement that first nation communities are doing, then honestly, I don’t really want to work with them so it’s okay. I’m glad that I put that up there as a filter.

So many people who joined my program have told me that those values and morals are why they joined the program because they believe in those things very strongly as well and they were very excited to see someone in the business world who is also an herbalist and yoga teacher and a meditation guide and all these things so bluntly stated to them. That’s what threw together so many people in my program and now I have this program filled with incredible women and non-binary folks who are on board and who I totally resonate with and it also just gives me more permission to say all the things that I want to say without worrying about it.

If I didn’t state those things before my program, I might be a little nervous about alienating people within my program. Because I put it out there as the sign on the door, now we’re talking about cis, hetero, white supremacy, patriarchal capitalist structures and I am so excited I created a space where we can talk about these kinds of things and also that people understand and know what I’m talking about in the program. 

D: Right, your views are very well stated and obvious on your page so I’m sure you don’t have a lot of people coming in not expecting any of that. 

N: I will say, when I sent out a BLM email about a year ago, I did get a bunch of people unsubscribe from my list and I got just one angry email from a woman saying the usual thing like denying it, and denying white supremacy and racism. I was like, “Great! I don’t want to be working in that kind of energy with you so you can unsubscribe and go on your way”. That’s totally fine, but honestly, I haven’t received a lot of pushback. I’m very open about everyone going through their own process and everyone is doing their own thing in their own way and everyone’s beliefs are changing all the time so I don’t believe in just canceling people.

If I look at myself a couple of years ago, I have grown so much and learned so much actively over that time that there’s always room for growth and learning and expansion if you are open to it. That has been a great way for me to be true to myself, act in integrity and authenticity, and attract people similar-hearted to me to come forward and to work with me, which has been really great. I haven’t received that much negative pushback. It’s been more people saying things like “wow, thanks for saying that. I totally resonate, sign me up”.

D: That’s really nice. We are not linear beings. We are constantly growing and evolving so even if someone comes to your page or your information not already having some of those same ideals as you, you can use that platform and I’ve seen that to educate people, to share your growth, and then maybe help them grow along the way as well. 

So how do you mentally and emotionally work through being anti-colonial but also running a business? Because you have to balance the capitalistic world with making a living and also your authentic self.

N: Well I think we just need to separate in our minds that capitalism and owning a business are completely separate things, they are not the same at all. Ever since Europe was indigenous, which was 1500-2000 years ago, obviously they were places colonized way later than that, there was always trade, there was always bartering. Sometimes it was just done in community without any actual trading of things, it’s kind of just like everyone did their part and contributed and it all kind of worked out, but there have always been people who are bakers baking bread and giving bread to somebody to receive something in return or fishermen or farmers or cobblers or blacksmiths. There have always been people doing what they are called to do or what they are inspired to do or what their family has always done. Doing those things in exchange for something else. And there’s a vast difference between that and hoarding extreme amounts of money at the expense of, most likely, poor, marginalized people of color or the earth.

Capitalism destroys; communities, the environment, connection and it creates so many more issues just to make a few people very very rich- hoarding vast sums of money that aren’t contributing to anything good. So if you can separate those two things in your mind, you’re good. I’m not anti-making money. I think people who are earth-centered entrepreneurs should make tons of money to then have a greater impact in the world politically, or philanthropic or shifting the paradigm in ways that would benefit us and all beings on the earth, that’s the idea. If everyone who was an herbalist was like a multi-millionaire, the world would be a completely different place, right?

So there is power in that money, but one of my favorite money mantras is “easy come, easy go, let it flow”. Just be a channel for money to flow through you and I allow myself to be a filter. I am receiving money for my gifts and for what I have to offer and then I am spending that money at the farmers market, supporting other women-owned businesses, donating to causes I believe in. It’s like I’m a river channeling money into other places that I want to be empowered. So there are ways to be in business that are not- I don’t want to say not capitalist because we live in a capitalist society and I don’t know if there’s a way to fully remove yourself from that, but you can be mindful, aware and operate your business in a way that is sustainable and reciprocal and is supporting growth and shifting towards acceptance instead of taking. You can grow your business in a way that adds to the community and the world, instead of taking from it.

D: Right, yea, not greed-centered, but community-centered business.

N: Easy come, easy go, let it flow, like a river of abundance and it moves through you.

D: What did your business look like when you first started?

N: I’ve known since I was a teenager, maybe even before that that I wanted to be an entrepreneur. I actually went to school for fashion design. I went to FIT in New York City and I was a fashion designer in New York for like a year and then I was like “fuck this, this sucks”. Just the way that clothes are being made. It’s just insanely wasteful and manipulative and just taking advantage of other people’s culture and industry and I was just like “no way.” So then I moved back to where I grew up in Rhode Island. I owned a vintage clothing store, which was recycling things. Then I started my own clothing line where I used vintage and recycled fabric so it was like not creating any new waste. I then got really into yoga and meditation and kind of discovered that there was just so much more to life and to experience than I was aware of.

Yoga really opened the door to self-awareness and self-expression and all of those things. So I taught yoga in person for many years. Around that time, I was also doing herbalist training and then I started teaching in-person herbalism classes which were so fun. I was doing that right up until COVID started, but I had a full year of just- what my business kind of is now, but doing it in person. Not the entrepreneur stuff, but teaching yoga classes, teaching meditation, teaching self-care, teaching community herbalism. I did all that in person and it was really fun and I felt really connected to the community. I was really supporting people and people were really benefiting from that, but it is very challenging to make enough money that way when your body has to be at a place at a time with other people’s body’s in that same place at the same time to be connecting with them.

After that year of trying out all different classes, just seeing where my attention and inspiration was being pulled from, I started just researching how I could reach more people, how I could make more money working less time. 

Because let’s just be clear, I don’t want to work. I just want to create. I just want to live my life and get paid for doing that and I’m getting there bit by bit by bit.  So I discovered doing things online. I realized this was a way I could scale, this was a way I could serve many people in many places at many times. there was just less restriction. So two summers ago, I did my first online course- first I will say, I signed up for a program that basically- it was a yoga teacher-based program to teach yoga teachers and wellness practitioners how to bring their business online. All the marketing and emails and community and all the stuff. 

I did a program, which I was super into and then I launched my first online course, it was called “elements of abundance” two summers ago and there were yoga classes and meditation classes and plant medicine and live calls together and that was really fun so that was the first thing I did online. I had twenty-six people sign up for the first thing I did, which was incredible. I was like “Oh! I totally can do this, this is amazing!” and I just tried it all out and have been building and trying new things for the past two years; doing memberships, working with people one on one, doing more mastermind and group coaching programs, but now I’m really feeling the entrepreneur thing. 

I’m very blessed and lucky that I have a good right-left brain balance. I’m very creative and artistic, but I’m very number-oriented as well. In my senior year of high school, I think I took five art classes and AP Calculus. In college, I was tutoring my other art students on basic-basic algebra because I know so many creative people who aren’t inclined to that. I feel that I’m a good bridge, a good connector between those two parts of people and life and that’s what really helps entrepreneurs thrive is having that creativity and flexibility and flow, but also having that earth-centered and grounded structure to hold their creativity and flow so you’re not just all over the place. So it’s been really fun, I’m really enjoying the Ah-Ha moments my students are having- just increasing their self-awareness is just a beautiful-beautiful practice. 

That’s how I got here. I feel that I’m in a very transitional time now. I’m kind of deciding where I want to go now in the future, if I want to do both things or if I want to focus on the entrepreneurship part of it, or to continue to focus on the radical self-care and herbalism piece as well. So I’m at a transitional point, I don’t really know what’s going to come out the other end, but it’s exciting to be here. 

That’s it for Part 1 of the interview. Next week we will hear more about Nicole’s spiritual practices and beliefs, and how she incorporates them into her life.

If you are interested in becoming an Earth Center Entrepreneur, Nicole’s program will be opening up this fall! Click here to learn more.

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