Nicola Peake, 45, who is a mum and ‘gritty’ entrepreneur from Bridgnorth, Shropshire and Founder of Peakes Private Members Club, is celebrating this week having spearheaded a new business book; Fearless Connection: Real Life Stories Of Entrepreneurs Who Made It Happen’, featuring eight women from her network, which has become a global bestseller.

Nicola, who runs a multi 6 figure business she founded in 2021 after selling her 6 figure afternoon tea business she launched during Covid, is recognised as a champion for other entrepreneurs and attracts founders from across the UK, who flock to be a part of her network.

Following in the footsteps of the first volume, which Nicola released in 2023, only a few hours after the release of ‘Fearless Connections: Volume Two’, it flew to the top of the Amazon book charts to be a No.1 bestseller in Small Business Hot New Releases, Biographies and Self Employment categories, also sitting at No.2 in Business just above the creator of Nike’s memoir.

The book brings together stories from business owners within Nicola’s network, who bravely share their struggles, triumphs and wisdom in business, so others can become fearless and use their failures and challenges as fuel, to spur them on to create a business that they adore. The book is filled with inspiration, tips and advice from women from varied backgrounds, running businesses in different sectors, including; accountants, bookkeepers, photographers, sales experts and strategists, social media coaches, personal health transformation experts, virtual assistants… and more, but the common theme is that despite their challenges, even when the chips were down, these business owners have dug deep and used their circumstances to fuel their success. Nicola said; “Each and every author within this incredible book all have grit – and that is what makes us unstoppable!”

2024 Key SME statistics:

There are currently 5.51 million small businesses in the UK, indicating potential for new ventures.

Overall, the UK has still enjoyed a 77% increase in SMEs over the past 23 years.

SMEs account for 99.2% of the UK’s business population. This fact highlights the significant contribution SMEs have on the economy.


On average, almost 20% of new businesses fail in their first year.

Startup founders are navigating through incredibly challenging times, with many experiencing increased stress levels according to a new report by Business Insider. And, according to a report by Startup Snapshot in April 2023, 72% of startup founders reported a detrimental impact on their mental health.

Nicola is driven by her mission to support others in business to enjoy life alongside building their empires. After spending over 20 years in financial services, Nicola decided in 2020, that it was time to walk away from her career and create her own new business. Nicola grew this business to 6 figures within 12 months, before selling it. Although she loved the business and it was a huge success, she missed spending time with others, and working alone every day led her to not enjoy running the business she lovingly built. So, she decided that she had risked everything once, and of course she could do it again, so she created and launched her second business. This was created through her passion to work with people again, and to help to connect other business owners, who also wanted to be around people. Peakes Private Members Club was opened in December 2021, and this is now a successful networking business with over 100 incredible business owners who she says ‘will never again feel lonely in business’.

Having seen that ‘having it all’ means nothing if you are not fulfilled, if you are not happy, if you are not filling your life with things you love, Nicola has now made this the focus of her business, after much soul searching to discover what she needed her business to do for her.

“It’s not a case of what you can do for your business, but what your business can do for you”, she said. Nicola loves to help other ambitious founders see what they don’t see themselves, empowering them to grow in a way that makes them happy, and supporting them to build a business they love.

Peakes Private Members Club is a place that challenges traditional networking cliques. Having been on the receiving end of them, Nicola passionately dislikes cliques and believes the online world is full of them, making people “feel like crap” because they don’t believe they fit in – Nicola likens this to the “cool gang at school and being made to feel your face doesn’t fit”, or being treated badly in a corporate environment, and is here to offer an alternative.

Nicola said; “What does it take to be an entrepreneur? Grit! When someone decides to start their own business, it can be with the vision of working from sunny locations, taking time off when they like and money to enjoy a lavish lifestyle…all while answering only to themselves. But, the reality is harsh: 20% of businesses fail within the first year, and those that do succeed can often work long hours and struggle with motivation and consistency. It’s hard doing it alone. This is why I set up Peakes Private Members Club to give entrepreneurs a place to connect. With online connection sessions and inspiring events in great locations, members quickly signed up and the community grew. And, without this business, I would not have so many amazing people in my life and this book would not be here. I have experienced huge growth over the last few years to really connect to my own purpose, and I am now well and truly living it.”

Nicola continues; “It has been a delight to work with these amazing women featured within this book who have each faced their fair share of tough times, but they’ve come out stronger and more fearless, especially when it comes to making those big, scary decisions we all dread. Growing a business is hard. There are times when I have doubted my goals, I’ve told myself that I am being unrealistic, and I look at others who are smashing it and tell myself that I have no chance. I have felt overwhelmed, anxious and just stressed out of my mind. Maybe you have felt the same? And trust me when I say, you are not alone. I wanted to bring something different to the table with this book. Real stories from real business owners who are still on the journey, just like you and me. We have one amazing life to live and I am so passionate about us doing and working towards what we love. Fearless Connection is all about embracing our challenges, feeling uncomfortable, celebrating our wins and succeeding together. Enjoy these stories, enjoy the journey and know that you are not alone.”

This book has been published by Discover Your Bounce Publishing run by Nicky Marshall.

To purchase a copy of the book, please visit:

Nicola’s 8 Tips For Entrepreneurs Who Are Struggling To Help Them Keep Going

Remember ‘You Are Not Alone’ – Growing a business is hard. There are times when I have doubted my goals, I’ve told myself that I am being unrealistic, and I look at others who are smashing it and tell myself that I have no chance. I have felt overwhelmed, anxious and just stressed out of my mind. Maybe you have felt the same? And trust me when I say, you are not alone. We often compare our realities to other people’s highlight reels on social media. Not many people share the true realities and struggles – and, this is why I felt it was important to do so.

Harness your Grit and Develop a Resilient Mindset- Despite challenges, even when the chips are down, as a business owner it’s important to dig deep and use your circumstances to fuel success. Grit is essential in business as it embodies the resilience and determination necessary to navigate the inevitable ups and downs of entrepreneurship. It fuels sustained effort through challenges, inspires teams, and drives innovation and growth. Grit allows leaders to maintain focus on long-term goals, adapt to changes, and persist where others might falter, creating not just surviving businesses but thriving enterprises. This tenacity is more than a trait; it’s a cornerstone for anyone aiming to achieve lasting success in the competitive business landscape.

Become a fearless entrepreneur – this often involves developing a mindset and environment that reduces fear’s hold over decision-making and action-taking such as: embracing risk as part of the journey. Understanding that risk is a natural part of entrepreneurship can help reduce the fear associated with it. Viewing challenges as opportunities to learn and grow rather than threats can shift your perspective and make you more open to taking calculated risks.

Educate Yourself Continuously. By continually educating yourself about your industry, market trends, and business management, you can build confidence in your decision-making processes. Knowledge empowers you to make informed choices and reduces the intimidation factor of unfamiliar challenges.

Be Part of a Strong Support Network. Being part of a support network can significantly reduce the fear of entrepreneurship. Being part of a supportive community provides a safety net that boosts confidence and encourages risk-taking, which is essential for any entrepreneur aiming to be fearless in their pursuits.

This network can include mentors, peers, friends, and family who provide emotional support, practical advice, and different perspectives. Such networks are invaluable for bouncing ideas, receiving feedback, and gaining reassurance during tough times.

Celebrate Small Wins. By setting and celebrating small milestones, you can create a sense of progress and success, which builds momentum and courage to tackle larger challenges.

Practice Mindfulness and Stress-Reduction Techniques. Entrepreneurship can be stressful. Regular practice of mindfulness, meditation, or other stress-reduction techniques can help maintain your mental health and perspective, making you less likely to be overwhelmed by fear.

Visualise Success. Visualisation is a powerful tool for combating fear. By regularly envisioning achieving your goals, you can create a mental image of success that motivates and guides you through fear-inducing situations.