Happy Women’s History Month Muses!!
We are kicking off March in a powerful way with our first feature for 2018. What can we say about Nadine Liverpool, except that her story is the definition of awe inspiring. It’s the kind of story that will have you asking yourself some serious questions, like “how bad do I really want it’? No really, how bad!? From her hometown of Toronto, Canada to the twin republic of Trinidad & Tobago where she now resides, Liverpool stays making waves as a lead female sports presenter for Flow Sports, the number one sports network in the Caribbean. In addition to that she also runs her own business as a Branding and Digital Marketing coach, boasting a diverse range of clients from students to entrepreneurs. What makes Nadine stand out from the rest? I personally believe it’s her ability to put faith over fear in order to create the life she’s always dreamed of.
Please enjoy our first Muse feature for 2018, we promise you, you will get your life.
If you had to describe yourself in three words what would they be?
Kind-hearted, Ambitious, Driven
Your story is truly an inspirational one. You went from making videos via YouTube as “SportsNAYtion” where you garnered a large following, to then working from some of Canada’s largest media houses (TSN, Sportsnet, MTV) and now Flow Sports; the number one sports network in the Caribbean. Tell us about your journey to Flow Sports and most importantly your mindset during these phases of your career.
Well, working in the sports media industry wasn’t something I “planned”. After I graduated from college from the University of Alabama at Birmingham on a full scholarship for soccer, I moved back to my hometown of Toronto, Canada and the only job I could find was being a waitress at Boston Pizza. After realizing the real world is super duper hard, I actually went to visit my high school counsellor from Pope John Paul II Secondary School about possible options for me because my heart wasn’t in pursuing a professional career in soccer. He advised me to get into journalism and because I love sports media so much, I decided to enroll in a post-graduate sports journalism program at Centennial College in Toronto.
The experience was amazing because I learned everything from print, television, online, public relations, marketing and more. I learned my lesson from graduating the first time, that a little piece of paper isn’t all that it takes to get ahead in life, so I decided to start my own YouTube channel. I loved sports, my nickname is Nay Nay and from that SportsNAYtion was born. Looking back, I owe so much to YouTube because without that I don’t think I would be where I am today. But besides Giving my kudos to YouTube, I have to big up myself for having the courage to put myself out there. The journey from starting my own YouTube channel to now working at Flow Sports has not been an easy one. When you start a YouTube channel, you don’t make money right away, so you really have to be doing it for a deeper reason. My reason, was to be seen and heard but honestly one of the biggest reasons, was to create a life that I was proud of. I knew deep down I was talented and the only way for people to discover me is to create my own brand (Even though I didn’t know I was creating a personal brand back then lol…)
I worked tons of jobs on top of creating content for my YouTube channel, I networked my butt off, and grinded for years before I got to Flow Sports. From a mindset perspective, did I mention already this is not easy? lol… I’m not going to sugar coat anything, this thing called life is HARD. For me it was tough because when I started out I was volunteering and interning everywhere, making no money, and had very negative family and friends around me who would put me down for having such high ambitions in life. (The nerve!) I started to read self-help books and discovered that I had a lot of negative energy surrounding me and I needed to make a change. And from there I started changing my circle, my habits, my mindset for the positive so I can focus on where I wanted to go.
Now I still make mistakes and have allowed bad people into my life from time to time, but it’s a part of the process. The way people perceive you is none of your business, so you have to be very strong and confident in who you are as a person to keep on persevering no matter what; especially in a cut throat industry such as television.
In addition to your work on Flow Sports, you’re also a Branding and Digital Marketing Coach. In your opinion, what’s one obstacle Caribbean business owners and professionals are facing (in terms of branding) and how can you assist?
Building my own brand from scratch is what motivated me to become a branding and digital marketing coach. I understand the frustrations we have, “thinking” we have to ask permission in order to live our best lives. But honestly, it’s bullshit. And with the power of the internet, all you need is a laptop, internet connection, and extreme work ethic to build your brand to your wildest imagination.
Speaking of work ethic, I think that the biggest obstacle facing Caribbean business owners and professionals when it comes to building their own brand is mindset. Caribbean people have a syndrome of always identifying the problem but never identifying the solution.
A lot of people (not all but a lot) have a dependency mindset, thinking that they need someone to hire them in order to find fulfilment and security professionally. But the problem with the dependency mindset is that you allow someone else (your boss, supervisor, etc) to dictate your worth. And there are a lot of crappy bosses out there that use fear tactics and manipulation to make you feel you’re not worthy, which then messes with your self- esteem. Then you start to believe the lies and don’t ever try to do anything for yourself because a power hungry, egomaniac of a boss made you feel that way for his own selfish reasons.
The reason: To keep you dependent on him/her in order to survive. Sounds a lot like slavery, huh?
Yes, that was a mini rant because I’ve dealt with so many horrible bosses, so I’m speaking from experience. Now this isn’t just happening in the Caribbean but I feel that Caribbean people still believe that they can only find security through a job, which is simply not true. If people adopted a more entrepreneurial mindset down here, the Caribbean could be one of the most powerful regions in the world.
Over the past few years there has been an increasing number of products and platforms geared towards Caribbean people specifically Caribbean women. In your opinion what is fueling this niche?
Insecurity. There is a lot of domestic abuse in the Caribbean and a lot of women need a self-esteem boost. That’s one of the reasons why the beauty and fashion industry is HUGE down here, a lot of women think they need these external things to feel better about themselves. It’s unfortunate but business is predicated on finding a need. If more women believed that they were enough, then there wouldn’t be all these new products and platforms geared to “fix” us.
According to your bio, you packed up your entire life and moved to Trinidad & Tobago without a job. That takes so much confidence! How do you combat self-doubt and fear?
Moving to Trinidad and Tobago was one of the most craziest things I’ve done in my life. I knew I wanted a change and so I just went for it. I face self-doubt and fear all the time. I don’t really believe anyone can be “fearless” but I believe people need to learn how to control their fear and pursue bravery. I read affirmations every day so I mentally train my mind to think positively. I believe it’s important to always try to have an optimistic mindset instead of a pessimistic one.
What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?
I’m very committed to the economic development of black people. I know being “woke” is sort of a buzzword right now but living in Trinidad and Tobago has changed how I view life and our people. I feel because I work in television, have a certain look, and have a North American accent, people judge my character based on that alone but when it comes to my legacy, I hope when I’m dead and gone people would look back at my life and say I was someone who was committed to the community.
Name one Caribbean woman that inspires you and why?
Candace Guppy of Candy Coated Events. You know her middle name is Nadine? Small world right. I think it’s tough to be a woman in today’s world but to be a woman thriving in a male-dominated industry takes a whole lot of heart and guts. When it comes to the world of entertainment and event marketing, Candace has created not just a well-known regional brand but an international brand with her company which is very impressive, so my hat goes out to her for breaking down those barriers.
What’s your favourite Trinidadian saying?
Beat de iron while it hot – Which means don’t waste time. Make use of the opportunities you have now.
Finally share some words of wisdom for Caribbean women.
All I want to say to Caribbean women is that we are powerful beyond measure and we need to start believing in ourselves and each other, so we can lift each other up instead of tearing each other down. The future is female, so join the bandwagon before it’s too late. Admission doesn’t cost much. All you need is a good heart, a belief in God, and a positive spirit.