We had the good fortune of connecting with Nikki Montesanti and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nikki, how do you think about risk?
I think about risks the way everyone thinks them. It’s freaking scary! It makes you wonder and question if you should proceed, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked back in retrospect and felt gratitude in the fact that I “took the risk.” Even if it wasn’t how I had envisioned in taking the risk, I learned and grew, so as scary as it is to take risks, they are so necessary. To be honest, now that I think about it in retrospect, I have never regretted a risk that I took. If anything, I have been hard on myself in regard to how long it took to take it because I was too fearful. The more risks I actually took, the less I felt rejection or feeling down about my life because of feeling stuck. I’m referring to all sorts of risks like quitting your job and starting your own thing, moving somewhere new, standing up for myself against toxic people, being strong enough to give myself boundaries for things that didn’t serve the same energy as I served them, traveling solo somewhere, trying something completely different, sharing my talents and experiences, going out to meet with new people. Don’t get me wrong, every risk was a roller coaster. There was plenty of loneliness, nervousness, and pessimism, but every risk gave me new opportunity. What I now see is that all the opportunities I had taken have something in common, GROWTH. It’s about being completely open to opportunities, despite your fears, because you know that it is going to contribute to your future. No matter the risk, no matter the opportunity, we learn how to be content with our decisions. We learn how to be optimistic about what the risk could contribute and how to adapt to the changes. We also learn how to be alone and how to trust our instincts. For every action there is a reaction, and same applies to anything in life. You can’t have confidence without doubt or uncertainty, so when you feel fear, TAKE THE RISK. I would have never said this before, and I’m still human with “risk taking” in regard to committing to the risk, but one thing I can say is that I never let the fear stop me from pushing. Once I commit, I push and grow. Today I really believe taking everyday risks is the best thing you can do to increase contentment with your life and build self-love.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
After graduating college, my career began in the supplement industry as a lab technician. I had guaranteed opportunity for growth, but no matter how much success was in front of me, I didn’t feel “successful.” I gained awesome experience, learned from and shadowed a great mentor, but still wasn’t happy because to me success equals fulfillment. I decided to move home and pursue what fills my soul. That’s when I began my journey into the fitness industry. I worked at a few corporate gyms and got to experience management. Again, I had many guaranteed opportunities, but it was not what I saw for myself. From here, I transitioned into group fitness in boutique studios, and I got to experience a different aspect of the industry. This gave me more opportunity to not only expand who I am, but what I have to offer. Over the course of all of this, I was building/growing my brand and myself while prepping for a bodybuilding competition. It all was an amazing experience, but life didn’t stop when I took this risk. There were so many ups and downs that at times it had seemed life started to hit me a little harder, test me. My first apartment on my own ended up having a case of mold, and I had to self-evict which put me behind on finances, need I remind you I was already broke coming out of college and having just initially leasing an apartment. I was constantly on the move, living out of bags, and having my mother watching my two dogs. I was constantly hustling to support myself for the littlest things knowing I did not want to ask for help. None of it was easy, but looking back, everything makes sense. I’m not going to say I overcame every challenge “perfectly.” I cried, screamed, dwelled, ran, and avoided many things, just like you, but what I did throughout this process was WAKE UP. What I do is not so much of what sets me apart, but more of “how” I do it. I can give you the plan and program all day, but WHY won’t you follow it? Why do you get in your way? My mission is to get you to your goal, but my sole intention is to walk through the process with you along the way. I share with you my story not to “prove” you can do it too, but rather make you “trust” yours. Shift your focus from things that aren’t in your control because they’re not part of your story. You won’t see this when you look ahead, only when you look back. Look ahead to persist, but don’t fight what you can’t control. Again, this isn’t easy, but I’m here to help you let your life happen. I’m behind you helping you fight for what you want. I’m watching you jump and take the risk. I’m here, in the end, to look back and make you see how everything connected.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Hmmm. Okay, so my best friend is a photographer, so I think we could both agree on these locations lol! First, Piedmont park is a GO. We love nature and sun, so if the weather is up for it, you should totally go, which also brings me to the beltline. It’s something so simple, but the walk, view, and experience to me is very enjoyable with the right people. There are tons of cool stops to make with food and alcohol as well. I love the botanical gardens and all the themes they do. Clearly, I love being outside. Last outdoor spots are stone mountain and the Chattahoochee river. Here’s an indoor place though, the GEORGIA AQUARIUM, so cool and they did such a good job. Now, food…there’s too much, and I’m honestly such a routine person, once I find something I like, I get the same damn thing. I am THAT girl in regard to chicken fingers and fries, but when people get me to experiment, I just love food! I don’t go for seafood except when I’m at the beach, but I will say I enjoy Steamhouse in downtown. It’s delicious and their grilled crab cake melt is FIRE. Buttermilk kitchen or white house in buckhead is amazing as well for breakfast food, and JCT kitchen and mission and market off Howell Mill road are also pretty cool which are located in West Midtown. The vibe is dope, and they have outdoor seating with easy walking access in the area. How about a good pizza? Antico’s is super good near 14th street. What about a good donut? Five daughter’s bakery donuts is not comparable to any donut I’ve had! The croissant layers are literally something you HAVE to try. Houston’s is also super good too. They do something to their chicken fingers where they bread them in tempura breading. I have no idea, but the way they melt in each bite is AMAZING. If I really wanted to, I feel like I could keep going, but I feel like these are some good spots for a week!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
This is honestly such a hard question because so many things and people contribute to my life, including people no longer in it. Everyone and everything served a role and taught me something about myself. I made mistakes. I learned. I grew, and it’s still a continuous process. I do want to give a shout out to my mom. If there has been anyone there for me, day in and day out, it was her. I have amazing friends and some awesome people in my life that I can totally count on, but the bond and trust I have with my mom is like no other. So mom, I want to thank you for everything you have done. Thank you for loving me unconditionally, even when I’m a total brat. Thank you for believing in me, when I didn’t believe in myself. Thank you for challenging me when I felt stuck. Thank you for pushing me, even when I felt like I couldn’t push anymore. Thank you for constantly reminding me of who I am and everything I have to offer this world. Thank you, mom. I love you!
Phaedra Williamson, Will Allen, and Dustin Rademacher