Nick Asiama, 25, is founder of Certified UK, a media platform that gives the best rising young creatives the opportunity to promote their work. Nick is a West London boy, who used free somewhereto_ space when he was first starting out. We caught up with him about why he loves this city and supports our mission to keep London creative.
Tell us a bit about yourself and how you started out?
I founded Certified UK in 2010. When I was starting out, the power of the internet was instrumental in building the success of the platform. I used it to research, network and gain attention. No one gives you attention automatically. I had to raise awareness myself and over time people organically came to respect the platform I created.
When you first start out, as a young person, it’s difficult to be taken seriously. It’s hard to convince people that you actually have the passion and motivation to succeed. As soon as people realise you have passion and drive, and you stand by what you’re saying, you can’t lose.
You’re from West London, and have started and based your business in London – what is it about the city that you love. What do you think draws young people here?
London gives people the opportunities and the motivation to chase their dreams. It has so much in one place, and you can find new areas all the time. Everything is accessible.
If you want to break into the creative industry in London, you can, it’s available. If you have passion and you just go for it, you’ll make it. I work with people who prove that on a daily basis.
How have you found being a practising creative in London’s current climate? Have you felt the pinch of rising rent and constant redevelopment?
I find everything affects everything. My funds have to be allocated accordingly as I have to pay my rent as well as keep my business flowing, which can be hard. I’ve learnt to budget really carefully.
What advice would you have for young people starting out in London?
Love what you’re doing. When you love what you’re doing, you put out your best possible work and your dream becomes a reality. My mum can’t believe I’ve got to where I have!
The one piece of advice that has stuck to me was ‘don’t be boring’. Everyone wants to start a company and we’re in an ever changing climate where people live-stream their whole day – you need to have a message and a goal that stands out.
I was in the situation where no one would employ me, so I put myself in a position where I can never be unemployable. My future is in my own hands and I want to give that to other people through Certified UK.
Something else that I’ve found to be really important is ownership. I’m glad to be working with the brand and organisations I do, but I make sure I have ownership of what I’m putting out there. Once you have ownership, you can’t lose. You have to have a long term goal and think about ownership in the future.
How has having free space from somewhereto_ helped you achieve your goals?
somewhereto_ gave me office space when I didn’t have one. The dynamic totally changed and gave me a completely business minded approach to my work, which was so beneficial. When I first started, I didn’t have the funds, so it was great to have the space for free.
It’s a good thing for anyone who’s just starting out because you learn the steps you have to go through in order to get the free space and put on events.