Tag Archives: media

How to Break into the Media Biz, Nicely.

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


Photo Courtesy of Carson Nicely. Behind the camera.
Photo Courtesy of 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?

Courtesy of Carson Nicely.
Courtesy of Carson Nicely.

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.

Photo Courtesy of Carson Nicely.
Photo Courtesy of Carson Nicely.

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.

Courtesy of Carson Nicely.
Courtesy of Carson Nicely.

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.

To connect with Carson check out Nicely Made Media on Twitter @CarsonNicely, Instagram @CarsonNicely, and Facebook.


From the Paper Chase to Solving Problems, Simply

Financial freedom is the driving motivation for many millennials. That goal often drives many to choose majors and career paths based solely on earning potential, rather than any other factor. But, what happens when you go down that path and discover that you would prefer to solve problems for other people instead?

Jared Gold, Chief Simplicity Officer at Brevity
Jared Gold, Chief Simplicity Officer at Brevity

Meet Jared Gold, the super connected Chief Simplicity Officer that founded Brevity,  a digital media marketing company providing tailored services to small businesses. But, if you had met Jared when he was a George Mason freshman, owning a business wouldn’t have been on his radar. Knowing he wanted to do well financially, he tried out a variety of majors that could get him there. From finance, to exercise science, then ultimately decided to major in Operations Management and I.T. systems. Attracted to the big picture thinking, and the scarcity of math, Jared was felt like he finally made it. Lucky enough to nab a good paying software company job, Jared was ready to start building his adult life. But, within the first couple of months, Jared realized that he hated that environment. Looking for a way out of the 9 to 5 grind, he read the 4 Hour Workweek and  it literally changed his perspective on everything.

Buy the book on Amazon here: http://amzn.to/1aeib7V
Buy the book on Amazon here: http://amzn.to/1aeib7V

Jared realized he didn’t want to spend his days waiting for 5 pm to roll around. Instead he started building a marketing solutions business that focuses on digital media. After a couple of months of doing a few pro bono sites by reaching out to potential clients, he landed his first paid client. That first client was Jared’s signal to commit.“I had to force myself to succeed.” So he quit his job and launched his business. Two years out and Jared knows he made the right decision.

But, what were some steps that secured his success? When Jared left his full time job, he had saved enough money to support himself during the most trying months of building his clientele list. Although maintaining the motivation to keep working towards that first client was not easy, Jared was able to focus on building his business instead of his finances.

However, his greatest success in starting his business was learning how to live without the fear of failing. Failure, for Jared, was not earning enough money to pay his bills. But, as he watches his business grow, that fear becomes non-existent. Through building Brevity, Jared has been able to learn his strengths, identify his weaknesses and become a networking machine.

As a millennial entrepreneur, Jared sees his generation in a slightly different light. Having worked hard for his current success, Jared is concerned by the attitude of many of his peers.

Many millennials live with this ‘”woe is me attitude’” and expect things to just come to them. By positioning yourself and networking to the right group, you can take control of your destiny.

This concern stems from the habit of the “work, party, rinse, repeat” life cycle that doesn’t help professional millennials take initiative or get ahead and eventually leads to unfulfilling lives. On the other hand, Jared is quick to point to leaders within the millennial generation as his source of inspiration.

My peers who are overcoming challenges and achieving their goals and are moving at a quicker rate than their predecessors. Our savvy and not being afraid to make it happen are unique to our generation. I think they are inspiring.

Jared’s drive to build a business he loves has lead him to be generous with his wisdom and resources he thinks might be helpful. Through Brevity, Jared has found his passion and himself.

How Being Foolish Can Pay Off

Nestled in between an antiques store and a bike shop, Bikes, Beans and Bordeaux pairs the coziness of a local cafe with tastiness of your favorite sandwich shop. A cycling themed cafe, it attracts the full range of patrons making it the ideal location to meet with the inspirational Alex Hanse. Balancing a full time job with a clothing company, Foolies, and a podcast, Dream Without Limits Radio, would lead anyone to see this young man as a magician.

Photo Credit: Carey Mays
Photo Credit: Carey Ebanks

By inspiring young people the world over, Alex Hanse has staked his claim as an influential millennial leader driven by one thing: changing the world by inspiring others to follow their dreams.

Originally from Miami, Alex developed his talents in Sports Medicine at the University of Florida. After working in a variety of roles, a co-worker during his AT&T days encouraged him to pursue his dreams of working in the arts and entertainment industry. Taking that leap of faith landed Alex at Full Sail University where he truly explored his creative skills.

Driven to promoting powerfully positive messages, Alex and a friend took the risk and invested in their clothing company Foolies. Over time, they have built a variety of shirts that inspire with messages like “Have Faith without Fear” and “Dream without Limits.” Although his shirts were gaining traction, Alex kept finding other people who were also chasing their dreams. He was so inspired, that he decided that he had to share their stories through his podcast, Dream Without Limits Radio (DWLR). Since then, Alex has been giving back to his community by sharing his story by visiting schools, through his ebook A Shot of Espresso: Motivational Thoughts to Pick You Up, and a variety of other ways.

Photo  Credit: Carey Mays
Photo Credit: Carey Ebanks

While Alex’s wisdom is overflowing, the three top  lessons he’s learned along the way. First, pursuing your dreams isn’t hard, but you have to commit. Sleeping in until 11 am, isn’t going to get you there, you’ve got to put in just an hour a day and you will be able to move your project along. Second, if you want to engage a celebrity, or other higher level person with your project, you have to bring them an idea that has a plan behind it. Busy people don’t have time to engage in something that isn’t concrete. If you want that celebrity to get involved, make it so all the person has to do is say “yes” and participate. Finally, never underestimate the power of word of mouth. If you are working on something that you are passionate about, talk about it, get the word out there. If you find out about someone who is doing something interesting, talk about it. Don’t leave all the goodies for yourself.

Photo Credit: Carey Mays
Photo Credit: Carey Ebanks

Divulging every bit of Alex’s wisdom would probably break the limits of this blog post, but if you want to learn more about Alex and subscribe to his podcast follow this link here. If you want to check out the clothing that is impacting lives, check out his site here.

Are there other lessons that you have learned in your path to following your dreams? If so, share them below in the comments or on our Facebook page.