Nick Green (right) joined Elite Wine & Whisky Ltd back in 2013 as an investment director. Having previously traded in fine wine, he utilized this knowledge in order to become an integral part of the team. Along with this, he also has a history of asset management as well as spending a brief spell in the city trading CFDs.
With qualifications in business, fine wine, and spirits, he naturally began to develop as a senior figure in the company, transferring his skills from the wine industry into the whisky market, and in 2016 he became an executive director. Day to day, he oversees purchases, operations and heads up the company’s global strategies.
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Thank you for joining us today. Please introduce yourself to our readers. They want to know you, some of the background story to bring some context to your interview.
Nick Green: I joined Elite Wine & Whisky Ltd back in 2013 as an investment director. Having previously traded in fine wine, I utilized this knowledge in order to become an integral part of the team. Along with this, I also have a history of asset management as well as spending a brief spell in the city trading CFDs.
With qualifications in business, fine wine, and spirits, I naturally began to develop as a senior figure in the company, transferring my skills from the wine industry into the whisky market, and in 2016 I became an executive director. Day to day, I oversee purchases, operations and head up the company’s global strategies.
You are a successful entrepreneur, so we’d like your view point, do you believe entrepreneurs are born or made? Explain.
Nick Green: In my personal opinion, entrepreneurship is not something which you are passed down through your parents, it’s something which you can make and build for yourself. Many of the most successful entrepreneurs were not born into an environment which taught them to be an entrepreneur. The majority have to learn over time by taking risks, failing, and then starting again using the knowledge which they learned. Life is all about facing challenges, overcoming them, and then striving forward without looking back in a negative manner which prevents you from looking forward.
If you were asked to describe yourself as an entrepreneur in a few words, what would you say?
Nick Green: I would say that I’m not afraid of taking a risk and failing. I have failed many times in my career, but ultimately I make sure I always fail forwards.
Tell us about what your company does and how did it change over the years?
Nick Green: I joined my company with the foresight of taking it forward and growing the business. I had known Steve, the founder, for many years at the time and we decided to create a business that encompassed both of our strengths and knowledge. We began as a wine investment company, however, we have now expanded into also offering enthusiasts the opportunity to purchase casks of whisky too as assets to hold on to. From a relatively small business, we have expanded over the years to hire over 15 employees as well as creating a greater virtual presence which has helped us to expand and develop
Thank you for all that. Now for the main focus of this interview. With close to 11.000 new businesses registered daily in the US, what must an entrepreneur assume when starting a business?
Nick Green: Assume that not every business idea will take flight; you may not succeed the first time or the second, but never give up on a concept you believe in. Keep on learning and developing the concept to make it successful over time.
So you have an idea of who I am, I have accumulated wealth and lost it all 4 times. Yes, I am not afraid to say this. At age 28 I lost my million-pound house, 100k car and the list goes on. The most important thing I nearly lost was my relationship with my wife and kids. I had to move into my mum’s 3-bed semi with my family of 5. Let me tell you 6 people in a 3 bed is challenging haha. I can honestly say that I visited some dark emotional days. I had failed miserably. I knew I had to go back to the drawing board and so I did. Following this failure, I then replicated the same outcome by bad money-making decisions 3 more times. You can imagine my wife wasn’t happy haha. at age 38 I stand here proud to say that every mistake I made has shaped me into who I am today. A good father, a good husband, a good son, healthy, fit, and a successful businessman. I used failure to drive me forward, forward to the man I most look up to in my life, my future self.
Did you make any wrong assumptions before starting a business that you ended up paying dearly for?
Nick Green: It’s impossible to make completely informed decisions when starting up a business. There is no way of knowing what is the right or wrong way to do something as no one has been down your exact path before. You will always make decisions and create assumptions that prove to be wrong further down the line but it is always important to ensure that you ask enough questions to mitigate risk and ensure everything you assume is calculated as much as possible.
If you could go back in time to when you first started your business, what advice would you give yourself and why? Explain
Nick Green: In all honesty, I don’t think I would have done too much differently as I have learned from my experiences and it has all helped me on my journey. The best advice would have been to maybe take more time to access my decisions and make sure I asked more of the right questions at the right time, however in general we all have to take a chance and just do the best we can. The hardest thing is never getting defeated when something goes wrong or doesn’t work out – continue to develop and don’t give up.
What is the worst advice you received regarding running a business and what lesson would you like others to learn from your experience?
Nick Green: I think some of the worst advice would sometimes be from other people in the industry. People have different ideas and agendas and it’s sometimes hard to know who has your best interest at heart. Everyone you meet with has a slightly different opinion and it’s just making sure that these align with where you see yourself and your business.
In your opinion, how has COVID-19 changed what entrepreneurs should assume before starting a business? What hasn’t changed?
Nick Green: COVID-19 helped to encourage a new age of digital entrepreneurship. It highlighted the importance of the virtual world for many businesses and how quickly companies can be developed if marketed correctly online. Of course, the fundamentals of the business model will be the same, however, the landscape of some industries has changed dramatically and you need to learn to adapt to this.
What is a common myth about entrepreneurship that aspiring entrepreneurs and would-be business owners believe in? What advice would you give them?
Nick Green: I believe that most people access success based on an inability to fail, however in my experience, it is those who make mistakes and learn who ultimately prosper in the end to create a better business. There is a great taboo that if you don’t achieve something on the first try, you’re not cut out for that challenge, however, actually, the best amongst us have usually not got it right the first time. Also never be afraid to admit when you or wrong or if your business is not where you want it to be. Be flexible to change and start again.
What traits, qualities, and assumptions do you believe are most important to have before starting a business?
Nick Green: It’s important to have a passion and drive for the business which you are developing so that no matter what you believe in what you are doing. Having confidence in who you are and what you want to create is never a bad thing as it ensures that you remain on the right path and can see what you want to achieve. Make sure that you listen to your peers and those around you; absorb everything they say and filter out the important information for yourself. You don’t have to be anyone but yourself to set up a business so don’t start changing who you are to become the businessman you think you need to be; become the businessman that you already are.
How can aspiring leaders prepare themselves for the future challenges of entrepreneurship? Are there any books, websites, or even movies to learn from?
Nick Green: For me, it’s always important to take life skills from different resources. There are many self-help books available that will help to give you guidance. Read as much as possible about your field as well as self-development via the means of podcasts can books. I recently created my own journals through another business venture as this is the best way for me to consolidate my thoughts and make a plan of action going forward. I try to give myself positive affirmations every day to remind myself of positive thoughts and direction. Remind yourself of what you’ve achieved, how far you’ve come, and what you need to do next in order to achieve your ultimate goals.
You have shared quite a bit of your wisdom and our readers thank you for your generosity but would also love to know: If you could choose any job other than being an entrepreneur, what would it be?
Nick Green: I believe most jobs involve being an entrepreneur; you are the leader of your own destiny and pushing yourself forward. But I would have to say my dream job would be a fashion designer as I have already started creating my own fashion business too which brings me a lot of joy. The brand is Fail Forward and encompasses all the ethos which I have discussed.
Thank you so much for your time, I believe I speak for all of our readers when I say that this has been incredibly insightful. We do have one more question: If you could add anyone to Mount Rushmore, but not a politician, who would it be; why?
Nick Green: I genuinely believe that entrepreneurs are the leaders of our time, driving forward the whole world via their ideas and businesses. So for me, someone like Bill Gates really is someone who has changed how people live their lives, and would be great to be added to the collection of leaders!
Miek Weiss, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Nick Green for taking the time to do this interview and share his knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Nick Green or his company, you can do it through his – Instagram
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