On Growing Pains and Growth Seasons
What do you get when you combine a small but mighty team, creative license and rope to learn, fail and change daily? In Nimble.’s case—our entire approach to business.
Testing new ideas without fear of rejection is a part of our DNA. Moving towards year five as a solid studio unit, we’re focused on growing our reach, growing our team, broadening our competencies and continually finessing our internal processes to prepare for future scale. We’ve come to realize that while success and growth are vital to business, so are growing pains.
This year in honor of International Women’s Day 2019, we wanted to share our fearless founder and creative director, Candice Riley Campbell’s story and a few wise words on growing pains and growth seasons. To all of our fellow small business owners out there, this piece is for you–🥂.
MR: First, let’s talk context — how did Nimble. come to be?
CRC: I started my career in commercial real estate in 2009 as a marketing catch-all, learning and growing alongside a lean team destined to make waves in the Atlanta market. At a very young age I was granted the creative license and rope to learn, fail and change daily. This level of trust not only shaped my skillsets, but my entire outlook on business. It allowed me to test new ideas without fear of rejection, pursue value-add consulting without limitations of a defined role, shape industry change through action, vs. politics.
This experience taught me, progress isn’t bound to age or [industry] exposure, it’s fueled by passion and process. Continual action and reflection – that’s how true progress is made.
It’s this core belief that granted me the confidence to step away from comfort and stability in 2014 to found Nimble. and continue to pursue what’s next as we proudly progress towards year five.
MR: Why did you found Nimble.?
CRC: A trained interior designer, who found my footing in the branding and marketing industry, I have always been dedicated to bringing my full self to the table. It’s impossible for me not to think spatially and ‘go there’ when discussing the potential of design with prospects or clients. Throughout my career, I’ve found my highest purpose in helping holistically shape a project from start to finish. The idea for Nimble. was born from my desire to do more, and be more, for a focused clientele who could anchor in and trust in the value of design for their projects and brands.
MR: What drives success at Nimble.?
CRC: This one is simple—customer service and an undeterred level of care for team members, clients, projects and everyday situations. Caring for people and their projects —purely and genuinely—will always pay dividends.
MR: How do you grow and sustain talent at Nimble.?
CRC: Listening and observing are two of the greatest skillsets you can employ as an entrepreneur. For myself, getting to know each of my team members—learning their strengths, and then finding ways to thread those in to our daily to-do’s (or better yet, special side projects), has continued to pay dividends. It helps my team members recognize that I get them and want to see them grow. That I’m consciously providing opportunities to help flex their skillsets further.
Also—craft coffee and the occasional pizza party because, well, food is a shared love language around here.
MR: How do you promote work-life balance at Nimble.?
CRC: Ah, the topic of the decade. In short, work-life balance is subjective. It weighs differently on the values scale for every professional and changes frequently as seasons of life do. As a full-time studio owner, designer, mentor, wife, mother and wearer of ‘all hats’, I can personally admit work-life balance can feel unattainable or idealistic. What I’ve learned—give and seek space in your life. Often, when unexpected, generously.
At Nimble., we build space into our collective schedules to get away, refuel and return re-inspired. We’ve coined this planned remote time Nimble. Elsewhere and it’s become an essential staple for our creative process.
MR: With this year’s International Women’s Day theme #BalanceforBetter in mind, how does balance drive a better working world and what steps can we all take to help create it?
CRC: Balance means having and honoring others with a whole lot of grace. I am praised often by clients and fellows in the CRE industry for my undeterred work ethic and ‘always on’ approach, but those traits do not come without continual sacrifice – of time, of health, of social commitments. They come from long days and hard lessons, pushing back and pushing through.
#BalanceforBetter to me means bringing my whole self to the table in everything I do. To prove to myself, not others, that pursuing a more focused less is worth fighting for. And to prove to my son and future children that following your curiosity is 100 percent worth the journey.
MR: How have growing pains shaped the Nimble. studio?
CRC: As an entrepreneur, process is progress. Every single effort requires action and reflection to continually finesse and improve. This is how progress is made and value is anchored. The hard interruptions and time required to navigate all of the non-preferred ‘hats’ small business owners must wear daily. The impact of these interruptions can weigh on you, but I wholeheartedly believe that every effort, every experience, is a required one. In the ongoing pursuit of entrepreneurship, adaptation is definitely key to growth.
For Nimble., our most difficult moments – those that have required the greatest discipline – are the ones that have pushed us the hardest towards change.
MR: Antidote for the days that seem impossible?
CRC: This mantra is my constant re-focuser in times of doubt or stress —
“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.“ – Picasso
Do not let situations weigh you down. Time is precious and positivity is the only true antidote to criticism.
MR: Career advice to fellow CRE/Hospitality industry dwellers?
CRC: Do not operate in silos. This has been the absolute hardest lesson for me to embrace and I still have to intentionally work at it every day. No matter where you are in your professional journey, this holds true — good things will come when you let others in.
MR: What's next for Nimble. in the near future?
CRC: We’re focused on growing our reach, growing our team (broadening competencies of our existing team and adding additional skillsets/personnel)), and continually finessing our model and processes to be prepared for future scale.
This is the fifth edition of our new series, Nimble. on Record. Thank you for reading!
For questions or to add to the conversation, contact Candice Riley Campbell, firstname.lastname@example.org | 404.445.3400.