I remember being in front of the camera one day saying to myself “I’m a smart guy, I think I can learn how to do all of this.” So I did. – Carson Nicely
I first met millennial entrepreneur, Carson Nicely, when he was studying Psychology at Rollins. Born in Michigan, but came of age in Knoxville, Tennessee, Carson Nicely has been developing his career in the media world since before he graduated. Since I last saw him, Carson has lived in New York, Miami, Dallas, Nashville until he finally starting Nicely Made Media, a content media company in Los Angeles.
How did you get into modeling/acting/photography?
In college, I was on the varsity swim team for Rollins. During a practice, one of my teammates told me there were Abercrombie & Fitch recruiters wanting to talk to me. I thought they were joking, so I dove into the pool to start swimming. It wasn’t until a few laps later when I looked over and saw a man and a woman in their late 20s wearing all A&F that I believed them. I ended up getting out of the pool and talking to them, which led to me being in 3 campaigns for Abercrombie over the next 3 years. After college when I lived in Nashville, I found an interest in acting where I would eventually be cast for over 20 music videos – mostly country. It was when I moved to Dallas that I started working behind the camera as a photographer. I remember being in front of the camera one day saying to myself “I’m a smart guy, I think I can learn how to do all of this.” So I did. I took it upon myself to study every resource I could whether it was an online YouTube video or meeting with professionals in the region to discuss their work flow.
What has been the greatest challenge in starting Nicely Made?
The hardest part of starting Nicely Made Media has been finding clients that trust my abilities. Even though I have credible work and examples to show them, I haven’t had the long running track record or any famous names to put behind my brand, yet. It’s getting easier the more established I am, but it will always be an uphill battle.
What has been the greatest success?
The greatest success for Nicely Made Media has been working with small business owners to create their online web content that they never would have been able to do before. In the past – they never would have never been able to create a quality video for their website or yelp web page. I’m happy to say we offer an affordable option that can fit all of their needs into a package that can also fit in their wallet.
What is the greatest concern you have for the Millennial Generation?
One of the largest concerns I have for the millennial generation is we are unlikely to have a better standard of living than our parents. With high levels of unemployment coupled with crippling financial costs for schooling, it leaves the millennial generation at a loss, even when working as hard as possible. The millennial generation thrives on change and innovative technology, but resents the baby boomer generation for their lack of interest or dedication to understanding this. This leaves a gap in the work force between newly recruited employees (millennial generation) and their bosses (baby boomers) which can hurt the bottom line of a company. Millennials believe success and upward mobility should be based upon knowledge and not seniority or time.
What is your greatest hope for the Millennial Generation?
With this being said – I believe the millennial generation has a lot going for it. They truly understand that a single voice can determine change, as can be seen throughout the social media outlets of today. With regards to business, they are not afraid to try out new ventures on their own despite the large risks of doing so. With this type of risk come many failures, but from these failures, new ideas are created and refined to a point where amazing products, services, and companies have emerged. A millennial may not have the same position in a company for more than 2 years, but they are interested in gaining upward mobility as quickly as possible. They would like to see their boss more as a mentor or friend, instead of someone who pushes papers onto their desk and says “do it”. While the unemployment rate of millennials is quite high – they are the most optimistic of any generation.
What is your advice for anyone looking to start a company like yours?
My biggest piece of advice would be to gain insight from anyone you can. Talk to the professionals in the industry, set up meetings, work an internship…etc. Literally everyone will have some opinion on what you can do better or worse, and you should take all of it into account before setting out on your own to create something. You may not agree with everything they have to say, but you should be able to learn something from everyone you talk to whether it’s a peer from college or a CEO of a fortune 500 company.