Becoming his own boss really paid off
Ever wondered what it takes to build a successful business, travel the world and work with a whole raft of international brands? Maurice Hamilton does.
Daring to be different
Like many typical 15-year-olds, Maurice Hamilton found that he was surrounded by friends who were interested in music and decided to take it one step further and became a radio DJ on London station Choice FM. After a two-year stint on air he decided it was time to do his own thing and ultimately create a lifestyle for himself that allowed him the financial freedom to travel the world at a moment’s notice and become his own boss. And that’s what he did. ‘I got up one morning and quickly decided I was going to go to Hong Kong. I booked my ticket and made contact with different organisations and just went out there and sold myself and my company.’ After creating a company in 1999 primarily focused on providing promotions services to record companies, he was able to create and nurture his company SMC Europe. Having researched the industry he noticed there was a gap in the European market.
‘I thought to myself – is there a me in France, Germany, Italy or even Scandinavia? I went out and looked for people like me, and there wasn’t. This simple approach has now led to SMC having offices all over Europe and further offices in emerging markets such as Asia Pacific, which include countries like Hong Kong, Australia and India. Maurice has also worked with the likes of Nelly Furtado, Shaggy, Rhianna and Akon.
Mature and ambitious
Although Maurice began in the music industry he realised that even though it’s a $50 billion-a-year industry, there was a cap on the level of success he would be able to achieve. ‘We were growing steadily, but that’s small compared to the different industries that are out there. So if I wanted to progress and I wanted to build, in order to become a true global player I’d have to step into other industries that allowed me to grow.’ SMC Europe decided to target entertainment and lifestyle-related brands that had a link to music. This led to them working with international brands such as Coca Cola where they asked: ‘How can we connect the music world with you?’ Their role was to provide Coca Cola with artists to appear in their TV commercials or to produce a special song that would accompany each new advert.
The future of music
Maurice, 29, has sound advice for budding entrepreneurs: ‘It’s vital that you see yourself as a business in order to maintain longevity. There are many different options available such as film or even consulting. Look at where Jay-Z began and where he is now’. He acknowledges that he was quite fortunate. ‘I had people that were already established guiding me in regards to the dos and the don’ts, and they were able to identify mistakes I’d made and offer advice on what to do in the future. ‘There are many young people who are hot for a minute and then they’re suddenly gone. It’s not down to the artist; it’s because of poor management. Many of these people don’t know how to leverage that entity at the time in order to create longterm business opportunities.’
Dare to dream
With plans to expand further into Latin America, SMC Europe is a wonderful example of what can be achieved when you dare to dream and establish a solid business model. By combining spontaneity, drive and ambition, Maurice has shown why he is where he is today. His success is because of his will to do more and his attitude of constantly being on the lookout for new ways to expand his business to become a true global player. Daring to dream pays off.
To find out more about the kinds of services that SMC Europe offer please visit: www.smceurope.com
Words by Natalie Vincent