Nick Nanton, Florida ’01, is a man of many mantles. Attorney. Director. Producer. Songwriter. Author. Entrepreneur. Emmy winner. As the CEO of the Dicks + Nanton Celebrity Branding Agency, Nanton learned early to pursue his passions and put in the hard work to get where he is today.
For him, it all came down to pursuing his education while fostering his creative abilities. “I combine the two, and it allows me to serve many people in ways that I simply couldn’t have if I hadn’t fostered both education and creativity,” Nanton said. “I have always loved entertainment and producing media that gets a message across.”
Nanton helps business and professional experts build their personal brands. As Fast Company’s leading expert on personal branding, he explains his work quite simply. “Branding is simply story-telling. That’s it,” he said. “A personal brand is a story whose key element is a person. So personal branding is the art of using personality in your brand to build your business.”
From starting his first business in high school to songwriting and producing records and music videos in college, Nanton set out to “hack the system” to achieve his goals. “The bands I was working with typically had little to no budget and needed to compete in the marketplace with bands whose record labels had millions,” he said. Learning to create high-level material using a slim budget was one of the experiences he still looks back on today. In fact, it’s what won him his first Emmy. “We shot the whole short film for under $12,000, which as you might guess, is a very low budget,” he said.
While it seems that Nanton has an overflowing plate, he knows how to stay grounded. “It’s all about priorities,” he said. “Mine are God, family, health, and then my career. Not that I don’t work lots of hours and travel quite a bit, but the roots are always in the same place.” Nanton knows exactly where he learned this—the Balanced Man Ideal.
As a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon, Nanton was able to build a solid foundation for his education that wouldn’t have been otherwise possible. “The connections I made there helped me get involved at the University of Florida,” he said. “Florida can be a hard place to get connected due to the sheer volume of people, but SigEp plugged me right in.” Nanton was able to use his talents to get involved with things from big concerts and other large scale events to private meet-and-greets with people like Bill Cosby and President George H. W. Bush to name a few. “All of that led me further into the type of work I do today—it was an invaluable experience.”