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IGNITING THE SPARK with Nick Hocart, Chizu Media

David Farquharson

Nick Hocart
Nick Hocart


The moment that ignited the spark in me was…

I can’t narrow it down to one moment. I moved to London after high school and started working for a start-up when I was 19. During the next eight years, the business became quite successful. Having seen first-hand what works to generate success, I felt it was time for me to attempt to do my own thing. So, it wasn’t one single event but rather, the experience of joining a young business, being a part of its growth, and then having the self-belief to go it alone.

The thing that’s most surprised me since I made that move is…

The amount of learning never slows down. Each day brings new problems to solve, there’s so many more skills you need to master when you’re on your own in comparison to when you’ve got the support network of a larger team (and an experienced boss) around you.

The toughest challenge I’ve faced is…

There’s been many! Off the top of my head, a seed investment we made into a start-up company became problematic when the founder acted outside of the agreed purpose for the funds, and it became apparent he had been outright dishonest in his dealings with us. Forgetting about how quickly barrister fees rack up, it’s a lot of wasted time, energy and resources over a prolonged period of time. Dave and Ignition provided us with close support throughout and we did eventually have a successful outcome. There was a lot of stress, but it’s all part of the learning curve.

My biggest success has been…

I hope it’s still ahead of me! On Sunday 8th October, we will be premiering British composer Roy Budd’s orchestral score to the 1925 silent film The Phantom of the Opera at the London Coliseum with a 77-piece orchestra. That will potentially be my biggest professional achievement to date. I don’t think my excitement is at its peak yet, as there is still a lot of work to be done, so I have to keep my focus, but, it’s starting to look pretty good.

I’m very good at…

Getting things done! I dropped out of mainstream high school to study music at a specialist school as I wanted to pursue a career in music, before a change of focus led me to working in finance and investing for the next decade plus. I tend to get involved in things due to personal interest, and once I start something I fully immerse myself and see each challenge through to successful completion.

The type of person I look to recruit into my organisation is…

I look for young people who are very keen to learn. They don’t need a degree, or a complete life plan; they just need a positive disposition and a willingness to learn and work hard.

The part of my day I most look forward to is…

Anytime, I just get on with it!

If I could give my 18-year old self one piece of advice it would be…

18 year olds, along with most teenagers, already know everything, there wouldn’t be much that I could say that would make much of a difference….

Outside of work I can be found…

Behind the drums in a dark bar with my cover band of fellow reprobates!

My philosophy on life is…

Give everything a go!

What I like about working with Ignition Law…

I’ve been working with Dave since my first start up in 2009. Working with Dave and the team has hammered home the importance of taking advice from the outset when making investments and getting involved in projects. We all know the upside when things go well, but it pays to get a ‘divorce’ plan in place too. Even if funds are limited in your start-up, budgeting in some advice up front is definitely money well spent. Ignition are always available at short notice, they’re reactive, forthcoming with ideas, recommendations and introductions along the way. My only worry is, they will get too popular as word gets out!

Nick’s production of Roy Budd’s score to Phantom of the Opera will premiere at the London Coliseum on Sunday 8th October at 5pm. For tickets visit londoncoliseum.org

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