We had the good fortune of connecting with Nicole Renard and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nicole, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
I’ve always struggled with having a healthy work/life balance. I love what I do for work so it doesn’t feel like work and if I’m not careful I don’t stop working. Although I’m grateful and feel very blessed to be making a living off of something I love doing, I’ve had to create boundaries for myself and make a clear separation between work and life so that I don’t get confused and believe that my work defines me because it doesn’t. My work and job is one part of me and in no way gives me worth or value as a human. Understanding that has helped take the pressure off of feeling like everything has to be perfect or perform a certain way because I know that at the end of the day, it doesn’t define me. I’m also enjoying actually living life. A while ago I realized I was much better at working than I was at living so this year I’ve been trying to reverse that and let me tell you, it’s very fulfilling. I made a promise to take one day a week COMPLETELY OFF work. No emails, no planning, no scheduling, nothing and it has actually caused me to be more productive and successful during my work week. Further proving my point that we need breaks and balance.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
If I could describe my journey as food it would be a giant plate of spaghetti eaten by a 3 year old. Messy, all over the place but soooo good. In the beginning I was ALL IN on becoming a travel/food blogger. I had no idea what I was doing but I made it up as I went along and learned along the way. I always felt kind of like an imposter calling myself a blogger and a YouTuber because I didn’t really have any followers but I was working so hard and producing my best, most creative content. I did that for 6 years with little noticeable success and I was really discouraged.
I always thought that my breakthrough would never come and it felt like what I was doing wasn’t making a difference so I almost gave up. Right when the pandemic hit and the world shut down, I decided to give creating food content a try on tiktok and within 4 months my account had reached 1 Million followers. As a result my Instagram, YouTube and other social media channels grew and now I’m in a position where I’m able to create content full time and have an audience of just over 2 Million.
Truly, I can’t tell you what it was but here’s what I believe. When it’s your time, it’s your time. Those 6 years of the hustle and grind were preparation for what I stepped into this year and I’m so thankful I had the time and space to try new things and experiment with a small audience so that when I got my “breakthrough” I was ready, prepared and at my best. I wish I could have known it at the time but I’m truly thankful for those years of preparation because as I was learning and sharpening my skills, it was building a solid and firm foundation that would uphold the weight and magnitude of everything now. Every video I produced and photo I edited was strengthening my creative muscles and had I not had those years of sowing, I wouldn’t have reaped as big of a harvest and certainly wouldn’t have been strong enough to handle it.
If you feel stuck in your journey, I want to encourage you: don’t give up. You may just be right around the corner or one deal away from your breakthrough so don’t walk away. Keep your head up and remind yourself why you started. If you walk away, there will always be a void left in the world where you were supposed to fulfill your calling because no one else can do what you are meant to do. You have unique purpose or else you wouldn’t be here.
I think that’s what I want the world to know and to experience after they consume my content. That they are loved, worthy and valuable and that there is a special plan for their life. I hope that fills people up every time they come to my page.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
SO many things! I would first take them on a sunrise hike: either Runyon or the Hollywood sign and then head straight for the beach and grab an acai bowl on the way from Kreation or Nekter. We would have lunch at Aroma Cafe in Studio City and snag a coffee for an afternoon pick me up at Blue Bottle. The New Orleans with Oatmilk is my go to.
We’d end the night at the Grove, walking around, looking at the lights and listening to the music while snacking on a cupcake from Sprinkles.
The rest of the week we would hit up all the fun, iconic spots, Hollywood Walk of Fame, followed by ice cream sundaes and Ghirardelli Soda Fountain or milkshakes at Mel’s Drive in.
We might grab a drink at Mama Shelter on the rooftop or have dinner at Gracias Madre.
My favorite spots for breakfast are Breakfast by Salt’s Cure, Superba Bread and Food, Aroma, the Butcher the Baker, the Cappuccino Maker, and Toast and we have to do lunch at Mendocino Farm (can you tell I’m a foodie?)
Mid week we would take a drive down to Orange County and hit up Disneyland, Newport Beach and then drive down PCH with the windows down and music blaring all the way to Laguna.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
JESUS! Truly. He saved me, gave me purpose and opened my eyes to my unique calling in life. When I’m feeling defeated He lifts me up and gives me the tools I need to complete whatever it is in front of me. I would not be here without Him.
Other: tiktok: https://www.tiktok.com/@nicole_thenomad snapchat: nicolerenard
the picture with me holding the smoothie coconut bowls with the flowers on my head was taken by Sheri Angeles