I am passionate about human potential
I spent the first 25 years of my working life as a fashion and advertising photographer and as a father of five children.
I met so many people with tremendous potential but without any people skills – they were like roses with rubber bands wrapped around them – and they’d never blossom until someone took off that rubber band.
I made up my mind to be that person so I took a risk and traded in my cameras for a laptop. Before long I was visiting schools showing kids how to ace interviews and get jobs. From there it grew fast and within 6 months I was invited to be the kick-off speaker at the AT&T national convention. That event kick-started my new career as a speaker and author.
Today I speak to audiences all over the world and my books have been translated into more than 30 languages.
More than 600 corporations, thousands of small businesses, and six of the world’s leading business schools have contacted me to rally and inspire their staff to connect, communicate and articulate their business ideas.
I live on a farm with my wife Wendy, the most exciting person I’ve ever met. And I still go into schools.
THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY – How Nicholas learned all about connecting with people by re-inventing himself 3 times on 3 continents – from scratch
At the age of 20, and fed-up with his job in advertising, Nick left London to open a disco in the south of Portugal – something he knew nothing about when he started out. It didn’t work out and he ended-up singing in a Portuguese rock band for 2 years – something else he knew nothing about when he started out. A great life for a single guy but not for a new dad. Time to move on.
He arrived in Cape Town, South Africa with $200 in his pocket, a young family by his side and a promise of a job that fell though. Time to reinvent himself. Sheer desperation, circumstance and a way with words led him to a job as a fashion photographer. Something he knew nothing about. Within 3 months he had his own studio and an impressive client list.
In 1971, limitations in South Africa led Nick and his family back to Portugal: this time as a fashion photographer. Within a year he ran his own studio in central Lisbon and was shooting advertisement for the likes of Revlon, Coca-Cola and GM.
Then, in 1974, came the Portuguese revolution and it was time to abandon his very profitable business with whatever he could grab and get out of the country. Next stop, a new life in Canada. The only problem was the currency restrictions bought in by the revolutionary government. You could only take a maximum of $400.
It took Nick just 40 days to make his mark on the Toronto fashion scene with some fairly scanalous (for the time) full page fashion shots for a major retailer in the national papers. Within a year he was travelling the world shooting for clients like Carlsberg and AT&T and magazines like Vogue and Cosmopolitan.
In 1982, he founded the advertising company Corporate Images in Toronto and created powerful corporate presentations for almost every well-known company in North America, from Coke to Carlsberg, and Suzuki to Sea-World.
In 1997 Nick was chosen to speak at “Leadership from the Ground Up,” a global closed-circuit event, along with Tom Peters, Ted Turner, Richard Branson, Stephen Covey and Ken Blanchard. He loved it.
Time to reinvent himself for the third time. This time as a professional speaker. Without having a clue about the business.
Two months later, with his speaking career moving too slowly for his liking, he decided to speed it up with a passion to write a best-selling book with a killer title. Nick traded in his cameras for a laptop and over the next three years spoke to anyone who’d listen – schoolkids at first then, colleges and corporations. He wrote three best-selling books in a row. Despite not having a clue about writing a book when he started.
Today he lives on a historic 130-acre country estate in the rolling hills just east of Toronto Canada.
Moral of the story.
Desperation is the mightiest driver. We can do anything we put our mind to. All you need to do is burn a few bridges or have them burned for you.