How Hiring A Publicist Changed The Course Of My Life Forever

I know this sounds like a sales pitch but I assure you, it’s not going to be that. I want to share my personal experience in case it can help you the way it has helped me. Life has a way of taking us down some weird and wonderful paths. You never know who you’re going to meet, or how that meeting may alter your life. With that in mind, I want to share with you how hiring a publicist changed the course of my life forever – for the better. This is about how the right person asked me the right question to refocus me in a way I didn’t even know I needed.

I met Crystal Richard at a social media convention in San Diego, California in March of 2019 through mutual friends.

My husband and I working remotely from our airstream in a field by a creek in rural Nova Scotia

While I only spoke with her in passing a few times over the course of those 3 days, she seemed like a really nice person with a beautifully sunny disposition. I began following her on social media and was quite impressed with her entrepreneurial side. Like myself, she was a multi-passionate entrepreneur. Crystal owns her own PR firm and often shares the work of her impressive roster of clients. She also had a personal blog that helps you develop a coastal crush on her home province of New Brunswick. Crystal also has an apparel company of sea-worthy designs she was regularly promoting and attending trade shows with. 

While struggling with my own overloaded work schedule, I reached out to Crystal to ask if we could have a chat about how she juggles her own busy workload from multiple businesses. Over a zoom call, we got to know each other, as well as share trade secrets about how we each operated. It was extremely helpful, plus Crystal’s energy and enthusiasm is something that should be bottled up and distributed to the world. It’s contagious, in the best way.

As my businesses expanded, I felt it was time to look in to professional help to spread the word of what I was doing, as well as look for new opportunities. I didn’t have time to write press releases or make media contacts on top of everything else I was doing. I reached out to Crystal again, and we scheduled a discovery meeting to see if we were the right fit. That one meeting was priceless.

Alicia Simms & Crystal Richard, Truro

I feel like I am actually living a dream. A dream I realized when the perfect person asked me the perfect question.

Crystal asked me a series of questions, but the hands down most important one was “what are your dream goals?”

Dramatic pause.

What were my dream goals? I honestly wasn’t sure. If felt like when you wake up kind of remembering a dream, but can’t quite get the details. I had a vague idea, but suddenly wasn’t sure what I was working towards. Like ‘I want to be a whatever-figure business’ – but doing what? What is my end game?  I knew I was working hard on my businesses, and I wanted them to grow and succeed, but what were MY actual dream goals? After sitting back and thinking about it, I outlined a few things for Crystal but once we got off our call I REALLY stewed on it, and it lit my heart on fire. If I could be anything in the world, what would it be? I am in that position now? I knew it wasn’t working 60 hour weeks tethered to my laptop in an office.

airstream trailer nova scotia graves island provincial park mobile living travel writer
Our Airstream at Graves Island Provincial Park, Nova Scotia

One thing I really wanted to pursue was writing. I had done freelance writing for the local paper in St John’s, Newfoundland on the side. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but never considered it as something I should pursue. Now here I am, sitting at my desk in our Airstream trailer (affectionately named Clutterbug) in a field by a creek without cell service. I’m looking at the trees surrounding me, and listening to the gentle rain pinging on the aluminum shell while writing a travel article about my favourite places in Nova Scotia. I feel like I am actually living a dream. A dream I realized when the perfect person asked me the perfect question.

Maybe you’re not in a position to hire a publicist, and that’s ok. If it’s something you’ve considered or think you might be interested in knowing more about, I obviously suggest you reach out to Crystal. She’s your biggest cheerleader – you just don’t know it yet. The moral of the story is that sometimes it takes a fresh set of eyes to help you see things more clearly. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help or to even just discuss options and brainstorm. In the meantime, I’d like to extend the same thought provoking question that she did to me, that lit my heart on fire:

What is your dream goal?

Take your time. Think it out. And most importantly, don’t limit yourself with this answer. Dare to dream big.

Now how will you get yourself there? Start with the goal and work back from that. If you need help with that question or answer, reach out to a close friend, someone who’s doing what you want to do, a coach, or feel free to pop me an email. Let’s reach our dream goals together!

The Power of a Day

Today, March 8, 2022, is International Women’s Day. What is the power of a day- of one day celebrating women? I’ve been struggling to put in to words what this day means to me because one day is not enough to support the strong women of the world. It’s not enough to show our girls growing up what they can be in this life. One day is not enough to keep propelling women forward in a world still holding so many of us back.

So, why is this day important to me? It’s not just because I’m a woman. Is it because of all that I have? A university degree, a home owner, and a small business owner? There are parts of the world where that’s not allowed to happen for women, and I can’t even fathom what that’s like; to be denied simply because of the body parts I was born with, or I should say, without. I can’t imagine someone looking at me and saying ‘You can’t’ just because I’m a woman, but thats because I grew up with extreme privilege. I’m a straight white woman born in Canada, who am I to talk about the struggles of women at all.

We all have or have had women in our lives: Mothers. Sisters. Cousins. Friends. Co workers. Mentors. Heroes. Would you ever want to hear or see someone talk badly to any of them? To tell them they can’t, or call them names for asserting themselves? What would your response be? That is what fuels my passion for this day. For those who haven’t been as fortunate as I have, we need International Women’s Day to go beyond a single day.

The world doesn’t need more humble women.

What can we do to keep the momentum from this day going? Maybe it starts within us – with the language we use, or changing behaviours we grew up with that are actually damaging to all of us. I’m just as guilty for it. To be a strong woman does not mean you are: intimidating, bossy, or aggressive. It doesn’t mean you’re a bitch because you know what you want, and you work hard for it. We, as women, have to stop tearing each other down and resorting to using these terms. We need to stop feeling threatened by powerful or successful women. Study them. Learn from them. Don’t tear them down. The world is doing that enough already.

I felt uneasy about posting an article I’d been interviewed for on social media, until someone sent me a video stating: ‘The world doesn’t need more humble women’, and I realized that’s true. It needs them to be loud about what they’re doing – to celebrate their successes publicly. To let other women know they can do it too. Why do we fear sharing our success? Is it because we’re afraid it will look like bragging?

I spent the last half of my 20s and the first half of my 30s thinking I couldn’t have love and success – it just wasn’t possible.

Another article I was asked to be a part of scared the shit out of me just with the title: Power Women: Alicia Simms of Truro Buzz Media and Promotions On How To Successfully Navigate Work, Love and Life As A Powerful Woman. ‘I can’t call myself a powerful woman,’ was my immediate thought. How arrogant would that be? That was followed by ‘Who the hell am I to talk about navigating work, love and life – I’m divorced with a string of failed relationships.’ While my professional life was thriving, my personal life was a raging dumpster fire. I spent the last half of my 20s and the first half of my 30s thinking I couldn’t have love and success – it just wasn’t possible. I either had to make myself smaller to fit in to a relationship, or accept that I would never be able to have love and a successful career.

To me, this day means we have come so far, but we still have a long way to go. Women need to be able to walk down a street at night and not fear for their safety. We need to be able to dress how we want to dress without fear of being told ‘we’re asking for it’. I know women who are afraid to work late in an office alone, and that should just never be.

Maybe I am an aggressive woman. I have a fire inside me; a passion for life that I cannot quantify, and nothing, absolutely NOTHING is going to keep me from going after anything I set my mind too – certainly not my genitals. I will never stop celebrating International Women’s Day, and sharing the words of powerful women everywhere, and doing my part to create a world where we can #BreakTheBias. That’s the power in a day.

Sometimes, you just have to start.

Have you ever wanted to do something but talked yourself out of it? Or end up paralyzed from moving forward by overthinking what you should be doing? What will the faceless “they” think? Thats been my journey with this website.

Over the last couple of years, it became clear I needed a site for myself and all the things I’m working on that don’t fit in to the other businesses I have. I’ve wanted to create a blog for years! Each time I opened a new business that required a website, I added a blog page to it, but they sat unused. It’s as if adding a title to something immediately triggers imposter syndrome. ‘I can’t have a blog because I’d have to call myself a blogger, and I’m not.’ 🤷🏻‍♀️

What should I say?
What do people want to read?
What can I give to the world?

I’ve been trying so hard to figure out what to write for my first blog on this site that I have decided to just write… because sometimes, you just have to start.

As I get older (I’m closing out my 30s!), I find its easier to let go of those insecurities that hold us back. Is it the passing years that give us an appreciation for the shortness of life? Or is it that time seems to go by too quickly to not live as fully as possible? I’ve missed out on so many things in my younger years because I was afraid of failure, but somewhere along the line, I learned to dust myself off when I fall, learn why it happened, and to keep going.

If you don’t know me, I’m an entrepreneur in Truro, Nova Scotia. I went from barely graduating high school to owning three businesses here in the northern area of the province, and I love what I do. Being a part of the entrepreneur community has changed my life forever. I love the passion and creativity that comes with every day. I love the team I’ve built, and the work we’re doing. I’m accomplishing things I’d have never thought myself capable of doing (more on that later!) There are definitely plenty of sleepless nights worrying about being responsible for people’s livelihoods, the tasks I didn’t get done, looming deadlines, but overall – its worth it (someone remind me I said this when I’m crying at my desk for one reason or another).

I have a wonderful partner, Tyson, and we have a new rescue pup (Meloo) and two crazy cats (Memphis & Polly). This summer we had the incredible opportunity to work together hosting an upcoming Eastlink show called Road Trippin that had us exploring Nova Scotia in an RV! We’re also planning our wedding for 2022, as well as selling our house and building a new one, so I’m sure there will be more about those experiences to come!

I love to write, and I’m going to write for me because I find it therapeutic. Hopefully there are people out there who will enjoy what comes out, or maybe even find it helpful, but in the meantime, I’ll just keep writing for me. If you’re reading this, thanks for taking the time to checking out my site. I’m glad you’re here, and I’ll keep showing up with my musings.