Imagine walking into an event…any event…let your imagination run wild. Not only is it simply breathtaking, but you had the time of your life! While leaving the event, you whisper to your friend, “I wonder who was the planner?” Your friend replies, “I don’t know, but I hear she’s a full time practicing attorney.” As you sit back in astonishment, you wonder, “my gosh, I want to learn more about this woman who is both an attorney AND an event planner!” Whelp, here is your chance.
Nicole Collins, owner of the Dallas-based event planning boutique Blissful by Design Events, is a University of Virginia law graduate. Although Nicole considers practicing law as her day job, she is also an event planner. Her company, Blissful by Design Events, offers event planning for birthday parties, sip and sees, baby showers, engagements, and anniversary parties. And of course, weddings, which Nicole considers her specialty.
Nicole’s start in planning events arose from her assisting her own wedding planner in 2013. Not only did she enjoy planning her wedding, but she noticed her wedding planner posed the same work ethic that Nicole herself had acquired while practicing law. Pay close attention Dreamers to what excites you. Like Nicole, you might be surprised about where your various experiences can lead you.
Nicole’s ability to pursue multiple dreams allows her to feel free, and not stuck in a rut. As Nicole says, “I truly believe I’m living my life to the fullest.” For Nicole, dreaming more than one dream is the refusal to have tunnel vision, and being able to do it your way. “I never want to wake up and have any regrets, especially about things I could easily have control over. Being able to pursue my passions as I see fit, in the now…that has given me all the courage I need.”
Because Nicole’s experiences as an event planner and an attorney are more intertwined than one would think, she has developed mantras that are applicable to both of her dreams. The most important mantra she has developed and has learned to apply is setting expectations. Nicole recalls having to clean up after a caterer immediately left once a wedding ended. She and her husband were forced to take piles of garbage and move it to the dumpster in her brand new SUV. She also had to mop and sweep the entire venue. Although it was clear someone would have to clean the venue, she certainly did not expect it to be her. This experience taught her to be very clear in setting her expectations for people she works with. From a different perspective, sometimes our dreams require us to take on tasks we didn’t expect to. Take ShuEsq for example, sometimes we are forced to be our own accountants and marketers, even though we are not experts in this area!
Nicole’s journey to dreaming more than one dream has not always been blissful, to say the least. Like many of us, multiple doors have closed in Nicole’s face for not having enough experience, not having a big enough operating account, or for not having built connections within her respective industries who could “talk her up.” So how did she overcome these obstacles? Nicole believes the phrase, “it takes a village” isn’t limited to raising children, but can also be applied to fulfilling your dreams and chasing your passion.
“Find people who are like-minded, who have faced the same challenges and struggles. Find mentors who are committed to your growth— these people won’t necessarily be there to hold your hands as you fall, but they will be there to show you how to get back up. They will be there to show you that success doesn’t come without some failures.”
Now, for all you dreamers out there who are facing obstacles of your own, Nicole says to think about when a baby learns to walk and falls down 100 times, he never thinks to himself “maybe this isn’t for me?” She says, “get back up after you fall, and if you still want to give it another go, do it. If you’re passionate about whatever it is you’re pursuing that will eventually show in what you do, people will see your talent, and everything else will follow suit.”
Nicole’s lasting words for us dreamers is, “If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it.” Nicole’s quote brings to mind the parable of the whaling dog. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the story, there was a young man walking down the street and happened to see an old man sitting on his porch. Next to the old man was his dog, who was whining and whimpering. The young man asked the old man “What’s wrong with your dog?” The old man said, “He’s lying on a nail.” The young man asked “Laying on a nail? Well why doesn’t he get up?” The old man then replied “It’s not hurting bad enough.”
In essence, how many of us complain about our lives, discuss how we wish to have better opportunities, or just the opportunity to pursue our goals, but never take control to change what we can about our careers or lives in general? ShuEsq challenges you to take action and associate actions steps with every complaint or thing you wish could change. Rather than investing your energy in talking about it, take the steps necessary, no matter how big or small, towards changing it. Once those changes occur, tell us about it at firstname.lastname@example.org, we’d love to hear about it and possibly share it with the other dreamers out there!
If you’re in the Dallas/ Ft. Worth area and need an event planner, or know someone who does, be sure to check out Nicole’s event planning business, Blissful by Design Events, at www.blissfulbydesignevents.com.