Is it me or does it feel like the 20th Century is one big, nonstop eruption of innovation… And the thing is, it looks like its pretty much all rooted, in the creative minds of driven individuals and small ambitious local businesses… and not just the global giant. There is definitely a shift in play. A move into the time of ‘The Entrepreneur’; the creatives, the brave, the bold and the brilliant. We at HOI salute these ballsy and beautiful minds who break the mould, to pursue a vision.
To find out a little more about this pursuit of a life of creativity and entrepreneurship, we decided to get together with co-founder and creative director of Branding agency Paradise London (@paradiselondon) to find out what went on in that beautiful brain of his to get him here, how it all started and what he’s learned through his journey.
Rachel: Hey Nick thanks so much for giving us your time today. Let’s take it back the start of it all; you’re obviously a super driven, talented, creative guy. Where did it all begin? Did you go to university? What’s your backstory?
Nick: Thanks for having me. So, I’ve always been musical from a young age. Started playing guitar and song writing, pretty young. I didn’t really study it. It was just sort-of innate; something I wanted to do. I was in a band and got signed quite young. Also worked as a session musician and got a publishing deal as well. I mean I was probably around 17/18? Kind of had that mind-set like “oh I’ve done it; I’ll be the next big thing!” But, of course, life doesn’t always workout the way you plan it to. And that was where the inspiration for Paradise London came from. I studied design and business at college and it was always something I really enjoyed; I think for me just anything creative made me happy, so the two sort-of made sense together.
Rachel: Can you tell us how Paradise London was started? Do you have an entrepreneurial family?
Nick: There wasn’t a big lump sum of money, or a trust fund or anything, I was 21, living at home, and I was in a position I could make mistakes without the responsibility of a mortgage. I guess I was just driven. My family aren’t particularly entrepreneurial but they are hardworking and have supported everything I have done. It’s a cliché but It’s true; without them I don’t think I would have been as successful as I am. They believed in me and that was a huge part of my success.
Rachel: Obviously starting up would have been tough. Did your network or connections to the music industry help at all?
Nick: Not really from a ‘client’ perspective, but yes definitely for meeting other creatives who had already been through the journey. For example, we film a lot of content, and the team we use I met through projects in the music industry. The only thing that proved difficult in gaining clients at the beginning was the experience. We were quite a young team, but our productivity and passion spoke for itself.
Rachel: What do you think has been the biggest ‘win’ for you personally and for the company?
Nick: Personally, I’m probably most proud of the transition from a 17year-old designer to a business owner. I guess when you start out as a creative you never really know where the journey may take you. As a company, I think our biggest win has been the overall development and a team who are so aligned across everything we do. From working with Ministry of Sound (@ministryofsound), to Jack Wills (@jackwills ). We have an amazing plethora of clients and a team I am incredibly proud of.
Rachel: With that all in mind, what would you say your biggest lessons have been?
Nick: Always be kind. Always be humble. Give back, and ‘pay it forward’. In my younger years I found it was easy to move quickly up the ranks, and think you never have to go back to those jobs, and it’s just not true. You learn very quickly that you should never get too big for your boots. So,yeh. Pay the kindness and help you received forward to others you meet in your journey, you never know how you affect another person’s life.
Rachel: What advice would you have for anyone wanting to start a company or get into the industry?
Nick: Don’t think, just do. Don’t panic about the process, just do it. If it’s not something you’re willing to throw yourself headfirst into, (even in your spare time) it’s probably not for you. You have to be brave.
Rachel: And final questions, how has social media impacted your business?
Nick: From a business perspective, social media has been fantastic. It’s a great way to showcase our work, connect, collaborate and connect to new clients. It’s a great online business tool and has definitely been beneficial for us as a company. In today’s market, ‘collaboration’ is another key factor in accessing new audiences; social media again plays a very important part in finding the right people to create valuable creative synergies through collaborations.