As iron sharpens iron, great leaders bring out the leaders in others. Dr. Nikki Zeigler is a great example of one of those who was born to lead, as she educates and empowers Christian businesswomen in all that she does. With an extensive background in branding, public relations, marketing, and advertising, the Alabama native is the director of The Herprenuer Network, which assists Christian women in business by identifying their strengths and challenges as entrepreneurs and expanding their knowledge in branding, finances, and faith. The network also publishes The Herprenuer Magazine.
Dr. Nikki is also the Executive Publisher of the HBCU Magazine, an online business professional magazine for HBCU attendees and alumni, and she is the founder of The Life Christian College, an online school that allows life, business, and master’s coaches to get their certifications. She launched this company in 2019 and now has over 250 students from all over the world. The school also certifies public speakers and event and wedding planners.
Simply put, Dr. Nikki is a powerhouse. You may have heard her speak on Clubhouse, which is where I was first introduced to her and immediately drawn in. It was an honor to sit down with her and learn more about being a businesswoman of faith. Let’s get to know her better below.
Fancy: Who are you in your terms, and what is the Herprenuer Network?
Dr. Nikki: In my terms, I’m Dr. Nikki Zeigler. I am a servant, and I really have taken on the spirit of servitude. God has truly blessed me. Of course, I’m a Christian woman in business. I’m big on that because I just believe that your faith is where you be. That’s who you are. That’s your lifestyle. This is my lifestyle, and I’m learning how to adjust to it. I’m the founder of the Herprenuer Network. It’s actually an organization for Christian women in business and ministry. So for us, it’s all about collaboration. It’s all about celebrating. We’re all about fixing crowns; you don’t have to tell everybody that you fixed someone’s crown. You just have to be there to help people like Fancy and those who are doing big things to be recognized and honored. And that’s what we do. I have a passion to love, celebrate, and love on people.
Fancy: What was it that inspired the Herprenuer Network?
Dr. Nikki: Having 100 companies- I came up with every idea that you can to start a business. I’ve always wanted to be a business owner. My dad told me he knew I was an entrepreneur and instilled entrepreneurship in me. I tried everything, girl, from selling cars to selling underwear. I sold everything you could think of, and all of it failed. One day, I just told God, “I’m tired. I probably will have to be no entrepreneur. Maybe I just need to go back to corporate and work.” But then something fell on me. Like, you have so many experiences of failing that you can help people not to do what you did wrong. I prayed about it at that time because I was homeless. God gave me the vision of the herprenuer back in 2012, but just because He gives it to you then doesn’t mean you have to do it right then.
Sometimes it’s a process to the madness. I went through a season where I was just broken, and I was just kind of tired of losing, and when God started depositing in me like it’s other women out there that want to learn business, and they’ve made so many mistakes, or they haven’t made any mistakes at all, but you use the knowledge that you have, and you build from there. He said, “As long as you put me first and get my permission, I will help you excel.” He has been doing it Himself, and many of the ideas He gives me aren’t mine. They are His ideas. I’m just a servant that does it for Him.
Fancy: Wow. I normally say I feel like the best businesses are when the owner or the entrepreneur can see a problem, identify it, and they are able to find a solution to it. Then they continue to spread that solution amongst others. That’s normally a really good success starting point. However, we often hear of people who have started businesses that God just ordained. It was brought to them. It seems like you finally found your way. Whereas you have been having all that resistance and stuff before when you walked into this situation, it just seems like it was a better situation for you because this was something that God already had planned for you.
Dr. Nikki: I think, Fancy, what I had to learn was to get God’s permission. Like many of the businesses I created, I never asked permission, and then one thing I learned and what I am doing now is that I actually got scriptures to back me up. Most people start their businesses, and they don’t even ask God. They’re just like, “Oh, I’m going to do this.” They do it, and then they wonder why it failed, or they’re unhappy because you can make a lot of money and be broken, right? You can make a whole lot of money and be sad. I am so in love with me. I’m so in love with what I’m doing. I’m so in love with the ambassadors. God has given me some amazing, teachable women, and I think I had to be teachable for me to find these kinds of women.
I had to make those mistakes. God popped my hand-pop, pop, pop. Then try again, right? It’s just like you falling to get back up. I think it was all about making sure I get God’s permission to do what he has called me to do, and then you have a lot of people that want to duplicate. My deal is to be original like no one can be SwagHer Magazine. Fancy, you have done an amazing job creating a brand. You have been consistent even at times when you want to be like, “Man, forget this thing; I’m tired.” You kept persevering, and you kept striving for greater, and now you’re here. So many other women- they might not say, “Well, she does a good job,” but I’m going to tell you what they should be saying. You are amazing with SwagHer Magazine, and it’s always positive, and that’s what I love about the magazine. I think we both have that in common. Our job is to be problem solvers, and we do it daily without complaining.
Fancy: Yes, and thank you so much for that, Dr. Nikki. I totally get what you’re saying, and it brings me to my next question: What do you often see Christian businesswomen struggle with the most in business?
Dr. Nikki: Many women in business are so emotionally driven, Fancy, that when their family doesn’t support them, or their cousin doesn’t show up, or somebody doesn’t support them, they give up so fast. It’s like, did God give you that, or did you do it on your own? For me, I see a lot of lack of confidence. I see a lot of not being consistent and committed. You have to be committed because if He puts it on your heart to do it, He will see what you do with it. And that’s what I feel.
To read more about Dr. Nikki, check out our digital issue, Women of Faith.