What can I say about Nicole Johnson?

She is quite simply, one of the best human beings I know.  I often think back over the past couple of years of my life- and I realize that there are so many people that I now hold near and dear because I took a risk and tried something new. Nicki is one of those people.  Had I never entered into Real Estate, I doubt our paths would have ever crossed and our friendship never would have formed. I never would have learned that she’s the Queen of Puns, or that she has the best, most contagious laugh.  Life is full of ‘sliding-door’ moments.

Nicole is a colleague at Calderwood Realty. She has been an agent for about 7 years and she is a rockstar.  She is fantastic at her job but she’s also on a steep learning curve figuring out how to balance all the things as a wife and new mother.  (All you moms out there, you know what I mean).  Nicki has created an awesome career for herself- one that has provided for her family but also has given her a sense of accomplishment.  It’s been an absolute pleasure watching her flourish as she figures out how to mother her daughter, the cutest baby in all the land. (I’m only slightly biased).

When I started my career, Nicki was an endless advocate for me. She listened patiently to my whining and complaining, all the self doubt, and as I grew more sure of myself, she always cheered me on and I can confidently say that she’s always been in my corner.  To be able to have an honest to goodness friend in the midst of a hectic real estate career has been priceless. 

Last winter when Nicki was on maternity leave, we grabbed coffee and went for a walk.  I shyly told her my latest idea- what if I wrote a blog highlighting local women… what if I called it The Long Table… and she was immediately supportive and excited for me.  That’s the true definition of community over competition and relationship over real estate.

Welcome to the table, Nicki!  

How long have you called the Bulkley Valley home? 

Although I’m a 2nd generation ‘Smithereen’ and my roots run deep in this town, I like many/all teenagers couldn’t wait to leave this place and see what else was out there! Long story short, I ‘chose’ to call Smithers home again in 2013.  

What is one thing you’ve learned about friendship (or community)? 

There is strength in weak ties. 

In a community where the saying “everyone knows everyone” is tossed around easily, this statement has really resonated with me. Because although we really can’t know everyone on a personal level, we typically always recognize a name or can make a connection of some kind.

So, it’s amazing how that one hand-shake, simple gesture, or small favour can pay it forward over and over. It’s those little demonstrations that show your truest character, almost like a silent elevator pitch to complete strangers. Yet, it leaves such a lasting impression that perhaps it leads to your next job interview, fundraising event, or even relationship. 

What is one area you are growing in?

Well, having had my first baby almost a year ago, the simple answer would be that I’m growing into my maternal skin. 

I’ve grown more in this last year, figuratively and also quite literally, than I probably ever have. Between running my business, appreciating my marriage, growing a human, and then adapting to keeping said human alive all during a global pandemic no less, it’s been a wild & extremely humbling ride – I’m more vulnerable, self-aware, and stronger in saying ‘NO’ than ever before and these are the areas I continue to work on.  

What is one thing you would say to your younger self?

Am I not still my younger-self?!

Looking back, I’d say it’s okay to make mistakes and be vulnerable. 

I think the fear of doing wrong and failing scared me into making some “safer” choices.  I’ve struggled with the ‘sticky’ point in a lot of things. When things get tough, and I feel defeated my reaction was typically flight over fight… I’m so thankful for the people who pulled me through these times and for anyone who needs to hear it, trust your legs before your wings. 

Who inspires you and why?

Joanna Gaines! – She’s my spirit animal, I’m sure of it. I adore her as a designer. She inspired me to enjoy cooking and baking and how to use them as a productive creative outlet. Also, how to decorate my porch with the seasons as a fun reminder of what ‘home’ means. I want her closet. And of course, how she built the Magnolia Empire yet demonstrates a work-life balance with a family of 7! She’s a unicorn! 

BUT also, my husband for less exciting and more realistic reasons. 

What do you know is true, and how do you carry that day to day? 

“If not you, then who?” 

This question both gives me the PTSD feels from my days at BCIT but is also the constant voice in my head that pushes me past that sticky point I’ve struggled with. It has the power to motivate me when I’m procrastinating and reminds me that I can’t rely on/blame anyone but myself for my actions.