Natalie Hardie is an award winning holistic mental health practitioner and Director of NH Neuro Training, an organisation which specialises in consultancy and training on the neurological and cognitive mechanisms which underlie human behaviour.
NH Neuro Training is acclaimed for strategically diverting focus to mental health issues within society, increasing access to early interventions and support, whilst eradicating stigma.
Natalie is renowned for exquisitely applying complex scientific knowledge to real life everyday situations which both captivates and educates her audiences. Natalie is acclaimed for her eloquent style of creative non-fiction writing on neuroscience and mental health and has been featured in numerous health and wellbeing publications.
Natalie Hardie is a prominent and influential leader within the alternative education sector, where her work on reducing school exclusions is highly esteemed.
Natalie is acclaimed for highlighting the profound relationship between mood, trauma and academic attainment, creating innovative trauma informed courses for education professionals.
Where did the idea for NH Neuro Training come from?
I have been fascinated about the human brain for as long as I can remember!
As I began teaching and facilitating workshops; it became evident that my passion alongside my wealth of knowledge could help to create positive change – especially within the education and mental health sector.
My extensive knowledge in neuroscience and mental health transpires from comprehensive academic professional qualifications; but has also been established by a continual interest and passion, which is evident in my work as a practitioner.
Initially working within the mental health sector, I was deeply concerned with the stigma and inequalities attached to mental illness.
NH Neuro Training was set up to highlight the importance of mental health, dispel stigma and increase access to early interventions whilst taking account of the cultural components, contextual factors and epidemiology of mental illness.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
I wish I had a typical day! In all honesty, no two days are ever the same!
I usually begin with meditation and setting my intentions for the day ahead.
I love a to do list; lists help to keep me focused and are a great time management strategy. To do lists are key to my productivity.
I have numerous meetings each day; so, when I am actually working it is imperative that I use my time efficiently. To do so; I always break down projects into several tasks, dedicating set times to each one.
This methodology is crucial to my productivity.
How do you bring ideas to life?
As a creative person I have various ideas – often at the same time and often at 3am!
Therefore, I always have a notebook close to hand; in my handbag, on my bedside table and at my desk. This makes it easy to quickly jot down my ideas and track my progress.
I always use brainstorms; this helps to bring my ideas to life by providing a visual manifestation of my thoughts.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Mental health trends within the workplace have seen a sharp increase since the beginning of the pandemic. I believe that it is imperative to put employee mental health at the forefront of every organisation. Mental health challenges can impact productivity, performance, retention and wellbeing within the workforce.
As organisations begin to prioritise employee mental health and race equity; we will begin to see a better work life balance, less stigma and higher levels of wellbeing.
This is both exciting and refreshing to see.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I honestly believe that having a consistent sleep routine of 8 hours each night is key to my productivity.
Acknowledging and respecting my physical limitations has been monumental; taking time to reset is essential.
Deep restorative sleep is crucial to our mental health as it helps us to recover from both mental and physical exhaustion which ultimately supports our cognition and productivity.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Believe in yourself! You can achieve everything you desire.
Worry less and experience more! Worry and procrastination only deprive you of all the exploration that life has to offer.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
Emotions are crucial for rational thinking! People often view emotions as a hinderance to rational decision making; however, on the contrary I believe they offer a deeper dynamic of information which results in overall better decision making! All emotions are messengers which we can use for decision making.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Being consistent! Consistency with my effort, time management and delivery in order to sustain growth. Consistency is a key driver in creating anything successful. Consistency leads to habit formation.
The brain hardwires everything that we repeatedly do, consistently adopting good habits will help to strengthen neural pathways in our brain ensuring our good habits become our primary choice. Implementing good habits is a prerequisite to success. We are what we repeatedly do!
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Never underestimate the value of having the right types of skills sets within your team. Having individuals that understand your brand vision and offer ideas that complement your needs is priceless!
Trusting in the skills and competencies of others has assisted in bringing unchartered dynamics to the growth and progression of my business.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
As an entrepreneur I have had failures and many disappointments, I have always viewed them as a learning curve, deciphering valuable lessons from each on.
There is a lesson is everything; adopting this mindset towards failure helps not only to overcome but also leads to the acquisition of wisdom.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
A network where individuals can honestly discuss mental health – which will ultimately lead to dispelling stigma and allowing more individuals to access the support they need.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
It would have to be an upgrade to the Paperwhite Amazon Kindle. I am honestly happiest with a physical book in my hands, turning the pages and using vintage bookmarks found on my travels. However, this kindle allows me to have endless (and weightless!) books with me all the time! The storage capacity and battery life are quite impressive which makes reading numerous books easy.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
The most current one would have to be Slack. Organisation is key to productivity and Slack is useful for navigating team meetings and conferences.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
There are so many! I love reading. One that comes to mind is The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. This book is very useful for introspection and understanding what drives your habits. The book unravels the process of habits and how individuals and companies may use it to their advantage.
What is your favorite quote?
“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending”.
I love the optimism of these words! It reminds us that no matter what happens; we must take control of our present and our future. Success, happiness, achievement and emotional healing are ours to embrace.
• Adequate quality sleep is crucial for productivity. It is important to adhere to the needs of both our mental and physical health.
• Emotions are messengers which provide information to support our decision making.
• Be consistent in everything you do. Your brain hardwires everything you repeatedly do – therefore consistency is key to your success.
Mario Schulzke is the Founder of ideamensch, which he started a decade ago to learn from entrepreneurs and give them a platform for their ideas.