By Cesar A Reyes
Eric Nicoll started to be more and visible in 2022 after launch the San Diego chapter of Out Professionals, an organization that wants to create a safe welcoming space for ALL members of the LGBTQ+ business community to come together create community and to help them with their career development and advancement goals. Branching from this and his passion for connection he has launch a Podcast titled Just Do You where he will have conversations with a diverse group of guests to talk about confidence, how to speak your truth, how to move past loss & trauma, how to set boundaries, and how to practice self-care and so much more. Get to know Eric a bit more as we ask him about his life, the podcast and Out Professionals.
Please tell us about yourself
I am a Southern California Native, grew up in La Canada, CA, a quiet suburb of Los Angeles. I moved to Laguna Beach in 2000 and lived there until 2015 when I got married and ultimately moved to Palm Springs. In 2019 after an unexpected divorce, I decided to return to the coast to “start over” and selected San Diego as home base. It was a tough decision as I was looking at Hawaii, Carmel, Laguna Beach and some international destinations. I landed in Encinitas with my dog Leuca and absolutely love living in San Diego! It was so the right choice! We really do have the most amazing city and community here!
I have been in the events & meetings industry since 1994 and am currently celebrating my 30th year in an industry I love and respect and that has been very generous. I have been able to travel the world as well as produce bucket list events like the after parties for the SAG & Academy Awards, a safari in Africa, a $1.5 million dollar wedding, celebrity studded fundraising events and everything you can imagine in between.
I am a total water baby and have to live and play near the ocean. On weekends, it is a must do to spend some play time at the beach with Leuca followed by brunch with my peeps at our favorite spot while Leuca enjoys her pupuccino. I love to travel; love meeting new people and get my life energy out of helping people live their best lives.
Describe your new podcast: Just Do You.
Just Do You is a network of conversations with friends, family, colleagues, practitioners, and specialists in their respective fields about living an authentic life … basically … how to Just Do You. We look at how to find confidence, how to speak your truth, how to move past loss & trauma, how to set boundaries, how to practice self-care, how to go after your dreams & goals without fear, how to date in your 50s (well, at every age lol) … in addition to some, let’s say “juicy” episodes one will just have to listen in on to hear about!
How did the podcast come about?
I have always been outgoing and very social in my life and have been told I can talk to anyone easily. That was true up until my divorce began in 2018. That single experience rocked me to my core and had me question a lot about my own life, and even some people in it. It was truly the most difficult loss I had experienced next to losing my grandparents. Over the year that followed I was in complete survival mode and created a false narrative that everything was “fine.” But in reality, it wasn’t. The beautiful life I had worked hard to achieve was dismantled overnight. In late 2019 I had left the 125-degree heat and had just unpacked my last box here in paradise. I was ready to get out to find my people and perhaps eventually, even my person. However, the universe had other plans and literally quarantined us all overnight. I was in a new city, alone and unsure of what was coming next.
What came next was A LOT of alone time, just me, the dog, Netflix and a weekly delivery of San Diego’s favorite, Cali Ice Cream … oh, and my thoughts. Over that next year, I retreated into myself with my support animal and comfort food and buckled up to ride out the world’s current reality, for however long that was going to be.
What I did not realize is that not only had I not dealt with the trauma of my divorce, but I had also stopped having conversations with friends over coffee, dinners, walks on the beach and my favorite weekend-get-a-ways. The only conversations I was having were in my head and they started to get a bit resigned and eventually destructive. I so missed the connections that fed my soul and gave me so much joy. I was really alone and the effect was worrisome.
After a series of unexpected and might I add, exciting experiences in late 2022 & early 2023 (BTW, the amazing fling in Puerto Vallarta that jump started my heart again will remain a secret so don’t ask lol) I started to feel like myself again. I realized that it was time to get back out into the community, get grounded, get connected, and to get back to living the life I knew I was supposed to live.
I had been using the hashtag #justdoyou on social media for about a year to remind myself to be present, to speak my truth and to be authentic. It became kind of my “thing” and it spoke to me. I had wanted to launch a podcast for years which I finally put on my 2023 vision board … and promptly forgot about it. In March of 2023, my coach, mentor and fellow podcast host Darrin simply asked me to stop procrastinating, to just sit down and DO IT! I am at times, a master procrastinator.
Enter Yanina Scolnic, a wellness practitioner on the Papagayo Peninsula in Costa Rica I met while on an incentive trip I was part of in April. On my first day, I booked a 4-hour spa session that included yoga, meditation, sound healing and massage. It sounded relaxing, peaceful and a great way to start the week … however I had no idea what I was about to experience.
Although I was ready for a life altering, toxic clearing intervention from the Universe, I did not expect my life to be dismantled while simultaneously creating the clearing and path for the life I was meant to live. Yanina, a true gift to the world, having never met me, knew exactly where I was in my life, what I was holding on to and what I needed to hear to let go of the conversations, and the people that were no longer serving me.
The next 4 hours were truly extraordinary, and I experienced every emotion imaginable. With her guidance and angelic voice, I was releasing all the stress, anxiety, sadness and resentment I had been living with for years. At the end of our 2nd session, exhausted but surprisingly excited, I sat up and she looked me square in the eye and said, “isn’t it time to just do you?” That was the moment my life shifted. I returned home, got those very words tattooed on my wrist and sat down to plan the launch of my Just Do You. podcast. And here we are.
How can folks get to enjoy the podcast?
Just Do You. can be found wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts like Apple, Spotify and YouTube.
Can we have a teaser as to the topic of the first episode of the podcast?
Episode 1 is a sort of a “welcome to the conversation” with me, to set the intention and tone of episodes. My first guest on Episode 2 is the epitome of the just do you conversation and they will talk about their path to finding their queer confidence. It is a beautiful, real conversation that everyone needs to hear.
Tell us about Out Professionals San Diego?
In late 2022, I was asked to launch the San Diego chapter of a 40-year-old New York based LGBTQ+ networking organization called Out Professionals. I LOVE being a conduit for people to connect and Out Professionals was the perfect opportunity for us to create a safe, welcoming space for ALL, and I mean ALL members of the LGBTQ+ business community to come together each month, create community and to perhaps help them with their career development and advancement goals. I am proud of the vast diversity OutPro has created in our members and attendees and know we have only just begun to make the impact we are committed to make here in San Diego.
Are your mixers “open invite” and when is the next one?
Yes, all are welcome, and you can find out more about OutPro San Diego by visiting www.outprofessionals.org and visiting the chapter tab and selecting San Diego. There is a direct link to our monthly mixer which is $15 to attend! You can also check out our membership tab for our yearly rates that are offered at a big savings which allow you to come to our mixers for free.
Our next mixer is Monday, February 12th at The University Club
Our March mixer, which will celebrate International Women’s Month will be Tuesday, March 12th at Gossip Grill!
Follow us at @outprosd
What are your goals for 2024?
That is a loaded question and not enough space lol. I feel I am up to some big things in 2024 and it is all centered around making a difference for others. I of course will make the top 50 podcasts list on Apple & Spotify. I will have had our first luxury wellness retreat in Costa Rica with my incredible wellness team. I will double the size of our Out Professionals membership and start offering some incredible programs to our outlying communities that may be a bit apprehensive to attend our larger events. I will go to Bali … and will go with my “person” … whom I have yet to meet lol.
How can folks connect with you?