We had the good fortune of connecting with Nicole Durham and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nicole, how do you think about risk?
Risk is kinda a necessary evil in my opinion because taking risks is part of growth. I’m not sure that you can have true, genuine, growth without some risk. I think there’s a quote out there that says “nobody ever became somebody by playing it safe” and it resonates so well with risk. The degree of the risks might be debatable, but risks in our careers and in our lives are all necessary for personal, and professional growth and self-development.
I know every single small business owner at some point took a risk when they decided to start their own business. Be it leaving the comfort of corporate, or making the decision to reallocate your time; that in itself can be a risk because you will essentially be neglecting other areas/people/things to focus more on something you want to pursue…that neglect, whether we like it or not, is risky.
Traditionally the magnitude of the risk is often reflective of the growth and while you CAN still grow without risk, it’s the reward or the outcome that’s most affected. Without significant risk, I think there is only limited, or should we say calculated, reward. If we as individuals want to make those big leaps of growth we must consider equivalent levels of risks.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Professionally I’m a marketer for an upstream oil and gas software company called Enertia Software. I love what I do and the people I work with and it’s never the same thing because marketing and our industry are constantly evolving. But I often find myself looking for risks or challenges if that makes sense, which is why I feel I reignited my dreams of being a visual artist. The variation between these two worlds has proven to work well for me and provides a solid risk/reward balance where it’s needed. Oil and gas is still a conservative industry while art is anticonventional. Where I am mild to take risks as a corporate marketer, I can do so as an artist and vice versa, especially with such a non-traditional medium. I enjoy the raw creation that comes from using an uncommon resource like caulk; it’s malleable, it’s formable, it’s forgiving yet delicate, and very similar to sculpting; combining my love for shaping and natural instincts to just create.
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?
Houston is such an energetic city! There is so much to do and always something new to explore! I’m not even going to pretend to be the expert but I can tell you many people sleep on the art that this city has! In addition to the museums, there is so much culture, local art, and love in this city. I enjoy eclectic quiet places as much as I enjoy the loud robust noise. My favorite spots have been some of the new halls popping up because they are truly a culture mesh of all the senses. But my favorite spot is still at home, in my own studio. The fresh smell of a new canvas and a good pinot noir.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d love to thank my daughter, Nadya Durham, President & CEO of Ichronic Marketing. Her expertise and social media knowledge have really helped me transform my mindset from a weekend hobby artist to an opportunity for growth and entrepreneurship and has expanded her mindset onto the oil and gas side! The antiquated mindset of not having a full-time job and a weekend small business sounded insane to me, not to mention crazy busy, but we’re now creating our own hours, our own virtual storefronts, and changing the way people perceive us and all the things we can and choose to do. I love it because we are all so very capable! I’d also like to thank my husband, Omar Durham, Founder and CEO of Bridge The Gaps, a registered 501(3)(c) non-profit organization reconnecting education and athletics. Both have helped me see my potential and continued to support me in both my professional and artistic risks. Ha.