The students, Amanda and Tatiana, visited our offices several times and interviewed Nicole at length about her background, the history and work of The Events Company, and touched on her newest project, SKY Armory.
We often work with other entrepreneurs, and as you may know, we’re heavily involved in the WISE conference, so I thought it might be interesting to share some of the findings and takeaways from the students' perspective:
- Nicole was looking for a career change that would allow her some flexibility with her sons’ school schedule, but she didn't necessarily want to stay in fashion retail, where she started her career. To figure out what she wanted to do next, she researched up-and-coming industries. Identifying an existing or potential need is an integral part of starting a new venture.
- What traits are necessary for an entrepreneur? Nicole’s personality struck a chord with the students: They identified passion, creativity, determination, and a high level of self-confidence as the top traits they saw in Nicole. These are certainly important because if you don’t believe in your idea, how will anyone else? Additionally, being able to have an extremely positive attitude is essential. As Nicole says, she doesn't consider problems as setbacks, but rather “lessons learned.” The ability to think quickly on her feet (where the creativity comes in, too) has served her – and our clients – well.
- If you have a strong personality and work ethic, don’t worry if you don’t yet have certain skills: those can be learned but behaviors are usually set. This knowledge also comes in handy when you are building a team to support you. Nicole and our HR consultant use a tool called the Harrison Assessment Test to identify and analyze the key attitudes, values, and interests of potential employees. It is a time-consuming process, but its effectiveness has been proven by successful hires to our team.
- If you’re in college, study what truly interests you and will get you to think critically (a very important skill). Many people change careers or are in fields that don’t directly relate to their college majors, so don’t feel bound to a certain program of study.
- Join industry associations and pump up your credentials by earning any certifications that are applicable in your field. Once Nicole decided to pursue the events industry, she joined a prominent industry society and also worked to earn her Certified Special Events Professional designation, which recognizes event professionals who have successfully demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and ability essential to perform all components of a special event.
- Have a point of difference and know the value of the service or product you provide. Thoroughly research the market and your industry so you can offer something different or better than what exists already. And if you’re not the less-expensive option, prove why you’re a better value for the price and why your service or product is worth more. We always put an emphasis on quality because we believe in the value of what we provide to our clients.
- Have fun. The trials and tribulations will mean more and will be easier to take if you truly enjoy what you’re doing. Nicole's work is her life, but her passion for bringing happiness to others gives her a happy return as well.
Thank you to Tatiana and Amanda for selecting Nicole and The Events Company for their paper!