We had the good fortune of connecting with Erika Nicole and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Erika Nicole, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
I am a firm believer that balance is not found, it is created. This is something that I still struggle with if I can be completely transparent. outside of being a business owner, a creative and serving other creatives, I am a mother, a daughter, a servant leader and a friend. My partner stresses the importance of boundaries. office hours, and ensuring that my clients understand this was the key. Over the last 12 years I have had to protect the balance. While, my clients need me my family does as well. I notice that I’m less productive when my balance is off. Ensuring that I’m present in the moment is important. So, when I am with my children, they get all of me. The same way that I am passionate about my craft I am with those that I love. Giving my best in the moment is vital. I think that as creatives we give of ourselves, our time and energy and if we are not careful we find ourselves giving from empty cups. I found myself more fulfilled when I made time for the things that fill my cup. Be it meditation, travel, yoga or most importantly prayer I have to make time for it. once I found balance I created balance I became my most creative self.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
The Ambiance Group was created 8 years ago. It started as a local lounge type event where creatives expressed themselves through music and the arts. Having lived in Southern California, once I moved to Las Vegas I noticed that there was a need for such events for my age group. I had envisioned it and created what I saw, now 8 years later The Ambiance group has evolved into a boutique consulting firm. We still host events, hosting national recording artist in concerts in many cities, and doing logistics for clients across the country. How did we get here? I learned early to fail forward. I learned more from my failures that my successes. I am my biggest critic. When things have yielded less than the desired results I studied the WHY? What I could have done better? Where was there room for improvement. So much so that it cost me sleep. Hours of time that I analyzed each element. Now, the clients could have been completely satisfied, everyone could have raved about the event or services… but If I felt like it was less than, I was pulling it apart. Looking for opportunities to better my services. I want to leave a mark of inspiration that lives even after my time on earth is done. The Ambiance brand now serves creatives. We host headshot parties in different cities and it is an amazing way to foster organic networking. We love to see the visions of creatives manifested into reality.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well for Las Vegas, there is always so much to do… Obviously our weekends start on Thursdays! If you want a good steak, at a swanky speak easy Herbs and Rye is the way to go. Shopping, I love the premium outlets North. There are tons of amazing spas but the Circa pool is the newest HOT SPOT! The High Roller is where you will find the best views of the strip, its a 30 minute ride and you will get lots of great selfies overlooking the Las Vegas strip. Other than Saturday nights you can find live music at the SugarDaddy Cigar bar. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I look at life like a blank canvas. It was my village that helped create the picture of life for me. My Mother Sherry Howard, My grandmother Effie Green and my father Dexter Butler all influenced who the world sees today as Erika Nicole. My mother is strict, she is no no-nonsense. She is a woman of faith and she taught me the importance of prayer. Not sure where I would be without that solid foundation. My village was not only family but my community and my church family growing up. From my work ethic to my love of music, it was their contributions. As, I navigated through my undergraduate studies, I met Andrea Goodman. As an intern, I served as her assistant, she was the Chief of Staff at a non profit. She was hard on me. I remember crying myself to sleep many nights as I felt that I did nothing right. She always demanded excellence. She saw something in me and was never content with me giving her anything less that the expectation that she knew I was capable of. I appreciate her more than she knows, every lesson added to this masterpiece that is yet to be completed. I watch many from afar and they are teaching me much without knowing, as I am a student of life. I think that relationships should always be mutually beneficial. The people that I have in my inner circle inspire me to be and do better. From Joe Manaway, Dr. Barbara Jackson, Dr. Elizabeth Hutson and Faith Anderson to my close friends Kimesha Jackson, Tiffany and Kia they all hold me together and I make sure that I do the same for them. If there was ever a book that inspired me it was THE GO GETTER by Peter B. Kyne. The Go-Getter is Kyne’s most famous work, I read it and the principles never left me. My children changed my life. Even after some pretty significant failures their faces inspired me to keep going. Knowing that they are watching and taking notes, is reason enough to endure! Just like my parents fingerprints are are my blueprint now its my turn to inspire this next generation of creatives.
Linkedin: Erika Nicole Howard
Other: Clubhouse: @ErikaNicole
photo credit: KW Productions & More than Pix, Dallas Texas