Meet the founder of Wilson Worldwide Productions
I’m very excited to be doing this interview, thank you for taking the time out to do this. I’ll just jump straight in and ask, who is Josh Wilson?
It’s not really a linear answer, the fact of the matter is that there are several different areas, that make me who I am. Including, of course, my personal and business life experiences that moulded me into the person that I am today.
Obviously philanthropy is a huge part of what I do, I just don’t think there’s much point in doing all of this from a personal or selfish perspective, so to me, it’s very important to care about the success and wellbeing of others in this world. That is far more important than anything else I do, because at the end of the day, what I do in my business life, is always secondary to lending helping to nurture the development of other people. At the same time I also love Television and TV production, and the other ventures I’m going into as a result of having Wilson Worldwide Productions. It’s a very layered answer.
You’ve created a production company that’s producing innovative content in scripted drama, factual and branded content. What inspired you to get into video production?
After finishing sales and marketing (I was working in that space for about 4 years in 2008-2012), I realised that I wanted to get involved in the creative industry. While studying media at college, the first thing that I wanted to do was acting, so I pursued being a thespian in North America and Canada. I did really well at this, due to having an English accent, but as I wasn’t working for the company anymore, I had to return to the UK where the competition is obviously tough.
Upon returning to the UK, I did pursue acting, but I no longer had the same edge that I had in Canada, so I launched Wilson Worldwide Productions. This was more so to give myself the opportunity that I knew may never come to me if I simply relied on other people’s good will. We started off doing corporate videos and commercials, and then we expanded to working with bigger brands.
Favourite work to date?
To be honest, I love all it all, I won’t work on a project unless I love it. There has to be some form of interest in the entire concept for me to want to produce it. But, if I had to choose; mainly for sentimental reasons it would probably our first project - Mission Mudder. I remember how hard it was putting that entire project together. Now we’ve gotten to the point where we can create more series of that project, in many different countries and that’s something I'm very proud of.
What do you think makes Wilson Worldwide Productions too unique in a competitive industry?
I think a lot of production companies in our industry see things in a very linear way. Although they’re generally amazing creatives; pulling on my strengths in business and sales - I feel really brings an innovative quality to Wilson Worldwide Productions. We are also always innovating, adapting and overcoming key barriers in our industry, which is something we've always strived to do. Hence, us moving into Beijing and Toronto, and working in so many different genres. We aren’t afraid of change and we will capitalise on the opportunities that present themselves.
I have to ask about your previous life as a journalist - what was this like?
Being a journalist was a fantastic opportunity that KFTV gave to me. It was an important step for me to gain the connections I needed in order to get Wilson Worldwide Productions to where it is today. I learnt a lot during that entire experience. Specifically, about the nuances of television, the people in it, what to focus on , things that people don't think of - like tax incentives in foreign territories; how the government works with our industry, and things that helped me as a business owner progress, especially as an independent production company.
You are making very important strides in tackling the issue around diversity, with your company being a great example. How do you think other companies can do better?
I think that people have to understand that diversity shouldn't really be seen as a box ticking exercise. Not having diversity hurts your bottom line. We have a whole division of Chinese individuals in our office, who possess great experiences from working in China. This experience has allowed us the ability to access that market like never before. If it wasn't for them, we wouldn't have done so. It's very important to remember that diversity is not a hinderance, it is the root cause of success. But also, if people don't want to expand on diversity, I’d be more than happy to have multiple divisions in every country. Please leave them all to me, I’ll be more than happy haha!
More so, I just feel as though it is important for companies to have different stories and different perspectives, which you can't achieve by listening to the same kind of people everyday. That's why diversity is important.
I’m third generation British, my grandparents are Jamaican, but I consider myself British. So, I think if we look into the future, by the tenth generation, we're going to be living in a very different society. These stories are going to be much more cognisant, on a global scale. Diversity is opportunity, you can take it or leave it, but the results will be very obvious.
Recharging every so often, especially as an entrepreneur is important. How do you recharge when you’re feeling burnt out?
I think recharging is very important, I put my mind pretty much on the mend everyday. I’m very lucky, I have a spa in my building at home, so I normally go to the spa everyday. This gives me the opportunity to focus my mind and relax, meditate and get ready for the next day.
Alternatively, I like to socialise, have a good time with my friends and go to the gym.
After a while we all go into a stride and our mindsets develop the longer we pursue entrepreneurship. What habits do you think helped you to become successful?
I think a lot of it is about mindset, I live by 3 very basic rules, no fear, no ego and stay on the course even through stormy waters. If we miss out on getting a commission, I know we’ll end up getting another. In the end, every single thing that happens ends up being positive. Every single thing! I can't lose because of that mindset.
The fact is, I won't be here in 90 years. One of my biggest fear is lying on my death bed and having regrets of not doing things because of fear, or because someone else suggested that it wasn't a good idea to do it. We must take the chance while we are here and push boundaries.
If there was a question that you feel entrepreneurs should be asking themselves before anything else, what would it be?
Do you really want to do it? If you really love it, then keep going. Are you egotistical and is that stopping you from learning? Are you asking the best people around you the questions that you need to know? Are you pursuing what you really want to do?
If I may, are you working on any amazing content now for 2018 release?
We are working on a lot of new stuff - a very exciting scripted drama series with Jeffrey Archer called False Impression. There will be more series from Mission Mudder of course, which is very exciting. We’re also working on some really exciting factual content and a scripted comedy project, so all in all, a lot more series and a lot more entertainment.
You’re not only the man behind a Wilson Worldwide Production, you also founded a charity called Genisys, which is doing very important work with young people. What’s the vision?
My thought process behind it was that I had to help people somehow, but while doing this, the two things that I couldn't control were health and natural disasters. Which lead me to focus on helping to improve their skill sets, with great care on improving themselves in the process.
I'll always remember this story, as I mentioned I'm 3rd generation British, my grandparents are Jamaican. In Jamaica there aren't enough schools to cater to the amount of children on the Island, and I'm well aware that if my grandparents didn't move, one of those kids would’ve been me. It’s not their fault, it's just a mater of supply and demand. I knew that was something I could fix, so the goal is to train individuals in the creative industries, as well as a number of other industries and then eventually build educational institutions, so that people get the opportunity to grow and develop.
What plans do you have for the next 2 years?
We have a lot of expansion plans - a lot of growing to do. I want to make sure that every series we work on are produced to the highest quality. I want to make sure we can produce more content around the world, so North America, China and Asia are being targeted. At the end of next year the goal is to open up an office in China and have revenue schemes that are active and can support that expansion.