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Hiya its Nicky.

Byline: Hilarie Stelfox ,

A lot of bad things have happened to Nicky Pattinson.

In the space of four years, when she was in her early thirties, she lost her first born son, her mother and her father. Her marriage broke up, her business collapsed and she found herself living in a rented cottage with a young child to support.

Nicky, now 46, knew that such tragedies could pull her down into a place from which she might never return. Or she could fight back with every ounce of determination.

"It's more than just picking yourself up and dusting yourself down; it's about making the decision that although something terrible has happened I'm still going to make something of myself.

"It was even more important to me after my son died that I should become someone special. I have done it partly for me, partly for him and partly for the son that I have now," she explained.

"I wouldn't change a thing that has happened to me because it has helped me to grow and grow. If someone had given me the opportunities that I have now 15 years ago I wouldn't have known what to do with them."

Today Nicky has her own company, providing motivational training to businesses both at home and abroad. She also seeks new business for advertising agencies - a field of work in which she is recognised as one of the best in the field.

It's no exaggeration to say that Nicky is an animated and passionate person. She exudes enthusiasm for her work from every pore and admits, in her broad Yorkshire accent, that once she starts talking about it she can't stop.

She has a forthright and down-to-earth manner. "Chuffing," appears to be one of her favourite words, but she is also known to use stronger descriptive terms when she really wants to make a point.

This is a woman who pulls no punches and delivers her message at breakneck speed, barely pausing for breath. To meet her is to be well and truly `Nickyed.'

Her story of success forged through hardship has an entrepreneurial feel to it.

Born into a well-heeled Holme Valley farming family, Nicky had a privileged upbringing and saw no reason why life beyond childhood should not continue in this vein.

She left school at 16 without a single O level but didn't let that get in the way of building a successful business with her former husband. The couple started with a biscuit and cake stall in the Queensgate Market, which turned over pounds 1,100 a week. Four years later they were turning over pounds 1 1/2m a year and their empire eventually extended to five outlets in the North of England and a wholesale enterprise.

She says their success was down to the way the business was run: "It wasn't just the stock and the price, it was the experience that people got when they came to that counter."

When her baby son, Jackson, died - a victim of cot death - at just 16 weeks old, she threw herself back into work. "The day after the funeral we had opened another business in Chesterfield. It was good for me because I could go somewhere where nobody knew me or what had happened.

"It helped me to be able to create something and not allow my life to be totally consumed by grief. But, don't get me wrong, I know all about grief, about feeling like you can't get out of bed on a morning because you can't stop crying,"said Nicky.

Her second son, who is now 15, helped to heal some of the sorrow and today Nicky says that he is a major driving force in her life.

After her marriage broke up and the business failed, Nicky found herself facing an uncertain future. Then a chance meeting at a party 10 years ago provided her with an opportunity to work for an advertising agency that she admits she was almost afraid to take up. "I'd not worked for a couple of years and my self esteem was low. I didn't know who I was any more, I didn't have an identity. When I turned up for my first day at work I was so frightened I was physically sick."

But she proved to have a flair for attracting new business for the agency, Holmfirth-based Propaganda. Her "Hiya it's Nicky" approach opened doors. In her first year as an inexperienced cold caller she brought in more than a million pounds worth of new business. The agency has since become one of the most successful agencies outside London.

Nicky, who later moved to another Hudersfield-based agency, Attik, describes herself as an "opportunity maker." She has landed advertising deals with some of the biggest brand names - Adidas, Orange, Porsche, HSBC, Rolls Royce and Toyota.

Today she has her own business and is back up there among the successful people. She flies around the world to meet clients and train others, owns a Mercedes convertible and says "I have this amazing life and I meet the most wonderful people."

"It would have been so easy to slip into not really living after what happened but you have got to use it as a catapult into something better," she says.

* For a taste of Nicky's unique approach to life and business check out her website www.hiyaitsnicky.com
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Nov 30, 2005
Words:899
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