When you talk to Angela Proffitt, the first thing you realize is how humble she is about her accomplishments. “I’m passionate about what I do, but when I first started out, I didn’t even know what an entrepreneur was,” she says with a laugh. “It just happened!”
Proffitt was working in health care when she stumbled into event planning after acquaintances asked her for help. She has since built a thriving Nashville-based business, Vivid Experiences, which has garnered A-list clients that include country solo artist Kellie Pickler and Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott, as well as awards, raving testimonials and international media attention.
But Proffitt is quickly becoming just as well-known by partners and competitors for revolutionizing an industry better known for tulle than tech.
Proffitt has always run a paperless office, keeping electronic records instead. But that’s not the norm in the event-planning and wedding industry, despite the myriad contracts and minute details involved.
After a flood inundated much of Nashville in 2010, many of her partner vendors lost paper records. “They came to me and needed help. So I held a class and showed them my process of making my iPhone my office,” Proffitt explains. Soon word spread of Proffitt’s expertise in “going paperless,” and she began to realize how much she had to offer her industry in coaching and productivity resources.
“I just wanted to let my peers know that, hey, there is a better way to do this. Let me share my experience with you, and here’s why. It’s created a nice little niche for me because creative people need people with business sense, and they don’t always plan for that.”
She still teaches her popular paperless productivity class and, in addition to running Vivid Experiences, is growing a speaking and consulting career in the events industry.
Proffitt credits her local Nashville branch of Entrepreneurs’ Organization and EO mentor Michael Burcham, CEO of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, for helping her realize and reach this next level in her career. “I joined a Catalyst [accelerator] class a few years ago. I had never taken a business class, and it felt like I was getting an MBA through my Catalyst class,” Proffitt says. “I’m really fortunate to be part of EO and even just to be around other people who think and operate like I do.”
Proffitt’s Productivity Tips
• Favorite tools to go paperless: She swears by Dropbox, Google Drive and Wunderlist apps.
• Secret to team management: The True Colors personality profiling system. “Knowing how people are wired allows us to save time and work together more cohesively.”
• First rule of organization: Break up your to-do list into small chunks. “Little by little, your life can be made easier and less cluttered.”