Nelson's Column

One day i’ll make a film about all of this but until then…entrepreneur, filmmaker and annoyingly curious kid.

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This year the riskiest thing you can do is to take no risks.


In 1984, a young Sri Lankan man in his early 30s reluctantly fled his home, leaving behind his newly wedded wife and his four-year-old son. Uprooted from all he knew and anxious of all that lied ahead, he arrived at the borders of the UK. This man is my father. The young woman left to care for their child, in a country imploding from civil war, with dreams of joining her husband for a better life - is my mother.

This is the beginning of most refugee stories with only the details of where, when and who changing as history repeats itself. It is this risk that my parents took that would change their generation and mine forever. No risk I have taken until now and no risk I can see myself taking in the foreseeable future has stakes as high as the decision my parents took - and this is probably true of most of you reading this. This raises the question as to whether we are making the most...

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5 Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read

When I was a kid I wasn’t much of a reader – in fact I would do anything to get out of it. My Dad was quite big on reading and would take us down to the library regularly but classic case of a rebellious child, the more I was told to do it the less I understood the value of it. And then it happened – on my year out before Uni I decided to start reading on my way to work and I was hooked.

I’ve been a cinephile since I was a kid and one of the main reasons for this was films’ inherent ability to take you into someone else’s world – great books did this for me but captured my imagination and inquisitive mind further. The experience felt more intimate where you could feel everything the character feels with access to their innermost thoughts. It gives you the liberty to be more than an observer and the opportunity to live their life.

But I’m not here to convince you to read although you...

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3 Startup Lessons from ‘The Wolf of Wall Street'

The much debated ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ based on the memoirs of real life stock market fraudster Jordan Belfort opened to packed screens and divided audiences when it released. A story of our times, a cautionary tale or a merry fable – whatever your take on it is, this film cannot be ignored. Putting aside the much talked about sex, drugs and more sex, there are a few lessons in it for start-ups:

1. Build a great team

Belfort, portrayed by DiCaprio starts his New York investment-banking firm Stratton Oakmont in a spare closet at a used car salesroom. The first thing he does is get together a team of talented sales people, who although might not be familiar with the stock markets, had the key skills required to learn the rest on the job. This is one of the most difficult yet crucial parts of starting and running a business. It is important you realise your strengths and focus on...

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I Was Shot Last Week…


An attack on freedom of speech is an attack on you and I, whether we have the same opinion or not. The Charlie Hedbo shooting is not an isolated incident but history repeating itself and an everyday reality in parts of the world less reported.

The cold blooded murderers from the shooting, the vandals who are now smashing mosques in retaliation, Rupert Murdoch with his ignorant sweeping generalisations and the French state who banned the burka – they are all cut from the same cloth. The victim here is the basic human right to express and the attacker is intolerance.

Heroes and Villains

The shooters are psychopathic criminals and they could have said they did it because Charlie Hebdo drew a satirical cartoon that offended blondes – if that was the case would it be fair to blame all blondes or even hair colour in general? Islam has just as much to do with this as the clothes a rape...

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The 5 Things Every Creative Should Know…


1. Know what you can do

Do you know what you’re good at? Well if you do, it’s not enough to just know - you need to know how to exploit that skill to your advantage. It’s frustrating to meet an individual who is evidently talented and intelligent but does not have the slightest clue on what to do with their talents. Are you a confident person who enjoys public speaking? Then have you ever thought about being a motivational speaker? Or do you have a unique and interesting writing style that people enjoy reading? Then why not explore journalism or screenwriting? Whatever it is, find out how you can exploit your skills because the most successful people are not always the most talented ones but the ones who knew how to use their talents.

2. Know what you don’t know

Being aware of what you don’t know is just as important as knowing your skills and strengths. It reminds you that what...

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How To Start A Business With Just A Phone Call

Imagine spending days writing a business plan, weeks trying to get money and months developing a website just to find out no one wanted your product from the beginning. Or alternatively you have a great idea but you don’t think you can pursue it because you don’t have enough money to do it and then one day someone else does it and then you’re cursing them for beating you to it.

What if you could avoid both of these scenarios with a phone call?

Today One Minute London is a video booking platform for restaurants, bars and experiences but back when I had just an idea it was very different to that. The initial thought was videos would be a cool way to scout restaurants - better than reading reviews that had questionable credibility and looking at pictures of empty venues. So the plan was to make the equivalent of movie trailers for restaurants - but the cool thing is we would have this...

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Start With Why

For a while now i’ve toyed with the idea of putting the rants and raves of my ever so restless mind down on paper but I didn’t want to do it until I could answer the question of “Why?.”

According to Simon Sinek, the answer to this question is what we should start with. The thing that the brands we love, the leaders who we choose to follow and the outliers we look to in wonder have in common is that they all start with this question. The ground breakers, leaders and pioneers didn’t define themselves with what they did but inspired their audience with why they did it. If you’re not familiar with this idea, then I would strongly recommend you take 18 minutes out of your life to watch this:

Now assuming you’ve watched the video, if you’re anything like me you’re now feeling pretty inspired by how such a simple idea can have a significant impact on how we approach our decisions both in...

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