Nelson Sivalingam, One Minute London: The 5 Things Every Creative Should Know

As desperately clever as we are here at Enternships, occasionally it’s good to gather together wisdom from elsewhere. Nelson Sivalingam; CEO of One Minute London (the UK’s first online video-based reservation website), leader of Barking Mad film and video productions as well as IndyBrown.TV – one of the UK’s leading South Asian entertainment channels, seemed like an excellent bet…


So you want to a make a career out of your creative passion? Who can blame you, it’s satisfying, inspiring and desperately rewarding – if you get it right.  Five things you need to keep in mind if you want to get lucrative with what you do for fun…

1. Know what you can do

Do you know what you’re good at? Well, it’s not enough to just know – you need to understand how to exploit that skill. It’s frustrating to meet an individual who is evidently talented and intelligent but does not have the slightest clue of 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 what your skills and strengths are. It reminds you that what you know is very little compared to what is left still to learn, so know when to pipe down and keep an open mind as you never know who you can learn what from. As a creative, it is important to know how others see the world and it’s more interesting to try and understand someone else’s perspective, even if you disagree. As they say, you’ve got two ears and one mouth for a reason so start listening and let your art do the talking.

3. Why you’re doing what you’re doing

If you don’t know why you’re doing what you’re doing then why are you doing it in the first place? Whether you’re making a film or writing creative copy, it is important to know why you’re doing it, as people buy into the ‘why’ not ‘what’.  If someone has the same geeky excitement as me for creating new things, the same love for art and the same enthusiasm to make the things you want to see in the world around you, I’m able to see it.

2. How to gamble

Okay I can explain – taking a gamble on yourself is good because face it, if you don’t, then don’t expect anyone else to. As a recent graduate it can get really tough and frustrating at times when you see your friends around you in grad schemes or in full time jobs getting a nice monthly salary and you’re still struggling to get your foot in the door. You might start doubting your ambitions, even worse – you might start doubting yourself. At times like this give yourself the benefit of the doubt – ask yourself what’s the worst that can happen? It might take you longer to buy that luxury car or you might have to give up on a few holidays. Now, ask yourself what’s the best that can happen? You have a chance to write for that magazine you’ve always wanted to or you get to be a part of a creative new start up that’s the next big thing. If the best-case scenario outweighs the worst, then surely it’s a risk worth taking?

5. Wait for it…Be yourself!

Yeah you’ve heard this one before, and it sounds like a cheesy line out of a Hollywood blockbuster but the reason why you hear this often is because it’s true. People hire you for your thoughts, your ideas and your perspective on the world. As a creative looking for employment in a competitive industry it is important to differentiate yourself, so forget about what the guy before you did and what the guy after you might do, just believe that you have something unique and worthwhile to offer this world.

Nelson Sivalingam

Filmmaker & Entrepreneur

 London’s first online video-based reservation site –

 Creatively insane filmmakers from sunny Barking –

 The online South Asian Entertainment channel –


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Natasha Hodgson is the Content and Community Manager over at Enternships. She loves writing about inspiring things, and Nicolas Cage. Luckily, those two things are not mutually exclusive.

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