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Nelson Davis
Nelson Davis is President of The Making It Institute and Nelson Davis Productions both based in Los Angeles. He was born in Andalusia, Alabama and grew up in Niagara Falls, New York. Nelson's fascination with business began with stories of his Grandfather who owned a small general store in the racially segregated south. From a young age, Nelson felt that controlling your destiny was based on having your very own way to earn a living.

Before satisfying his entrepreneurial urge and starting his own business, Mr. Davis was a partner in several small businesses. The first was a Submarine Sandwich shop, "Fat Albert's", which grew from one location to a small chain. Another was Pioneer Aviation in Van Nuys California, which was a pilot training and aircraft maintenance facility.

On his way to business ownership Nelson loved working in the media. Prior to becoming a programming executive for the NBC Television Network in 1980, Nelson honed his television skills with a variety of projects. Freelancing as a host and producer in Los Angeles he worked on such diverse projects as a series for PBS, commercials for presidential candidate Ronald Reagan, and a film in Africa. At NBC for 4 years, he moved from Broadcast Standards on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson to become Director of Daytime Programming for the network.

Nelson began Nelson Davis Television Productions in 1988 with the idea of bringing together his passion for business with his deep electronic media experience. He saw a niche for special television programming supported by sponsors and advertisers who wanted to reach a niche audience. His first weekly series was, Making It! Minority Success Stories, a program focused on the diverse small business community. His work has received over thirty awards and commendations from all levels of government and business organizations, including four Emmy Awards for Best Public Affairs series. The company has also co-produced a quiz series, "Campus All Star Challenge" sponsored by American Honda. As the market for online TV has grown, Nelson Davis Productions has begun a small business series called "Making It! TV Presents." They are half-hour online shows hosted by Nelson and Lynette Romero designed to support the vendor development programs of America's largest companies.

In June of 2009, Nelson received IRS approval to launch The Making It! Institute for the Advancement of Business, a 501-c3 not-for-profit corporation. Under the umbrella of The Institute, Nelson is developing programs that educate, inspire, and place a brighter public spotlight on small and minority business communities via special events and peer-to-peer learning opportunities. The first of these is "Superstars of Small Business" which provides an opportunity for ambitious business owners to learn from the very best entrepreneurs.

Nelson frequently speaks and appears on TV & Radio on the subject of small business and entrepreneurial pursuits. His inspiring speeches have been delivered to audiences from Washington DC to San Francisco. They include The Edison Institute, Anheuser-Busch, University of Southern California, the Port of Long Beach and others. His favorite subject is "The Wisdom of 1000 Entrepreneurs." Nelson is a regular blogger for Huffington Post small business and is seen as "The Business Guru" on Fox5 TV in San Diego.

Nelson is committed to combining his passion and knowledge of television and radio production using these media to communicate positive messages and promote economic empowerment. In addition to The Making IT! Institute, Nelson also presently serves with the following community organizations: The Board of Directors of the Pacific Coast Regional Small Business Development Corporation, and the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation. He has served on the Board of Advisors for the National Association of Women Business Owners, The Board of Trustees for National University, and is a Member of Santa Monica College Associates. Mr. Davis has also been active with Big Brothers.

You can follow him @MakingItTV
Or look for Nelson Davis to join him on Facebook

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Nelson Davis' blog: Small Business Expert

Entries by Nelson Davis

A King's Dreams

(0) Comments | Posted January 19, 2015 | 10:13 AM

The Dr. Martin Luther King holiday is one of my favorites. One reason is that he's the only federal holiday figure who was alive during my lifetime and whom I actually met in my youth! Of course at age 14 I had no idea that he'd become a towering historical...

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Not All Entrepreneurs Own a Business

(4) Comments | Posted November 21, 2014 | 12:40 PM

If most people were asked to define the word entrepreneur, many would envision a person alone perhaps in their garage or spare bedroom working on something they think will revolutionize the world. Maybe they see an energized new business owner toiling away with most of their waking hours devoted to...

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Inversion Thinking

(0) Comments | Posted August 22, 2014 | 1:23 PM

This morning I read a headline saying "Treasury Gathers Anti-Inversion Plans" which gave me the impression that something seriously weighty was on their agenda. Perhaps something that would change the course of a country whose #1 issue according to many politicians is income inequality. Further reading revealed that it had...

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A Real War on Poverty

(0) Comments | Posted September 23, 2013 | 8:45 AM

I was just a kid coming to grips with the fact that I had to really put together some serious career thinking and preparing to make a living on my own when President Lyndon Baines Johnson launched his major initiative of the 1960s, the War on Poverty. At that time...

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Margaret Thatcher -- Business Advocate

(5) Comments | Posted April 17, 2013 | 8:55 AM

The recent death of Margaret Thatcher tugged at me in ways that I didn't expect. Perhaps it was because it was during her later years as Prime Minister of Great Britain that my business was born. When I was struggling to pull the elements together to launch a small business...

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American Dream or Fantasy?

(13) Comments | Posted October 18, 2012 | 2:30 PM

This first reading material that I picked up this morning contained an article with the provocative title "The American Dream: What went wrong?" I happen to think the dream is still intact and can be as real today as it was 50 or even 100 years ago. But today there...

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We Did Build That

(65) Comments | Posted July 26, 2012 | 10:39 AM

During any heatedly contested political battle, passions and rhetoric run hot and it's easy for the combatants to stumble off the page and into the ever present political quicksand. I write about small business, not politics, but the candidates vying to occupy the White House have been talking about the...

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Intrapreneurs: The New Entrepreneurs?

(2) Comments | Posted June 22, 2012 | 6:43 PM

Recently, the CEO of a Fortune 500 company invited me to lunch at a very nice private club in Los Angeles to pose a rather interesting business question. After hearing me give a speech on the subject of small and big businesses helping each other, he wanted to explore how...

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Dick Clark's Business Lesson

(2) Comments | Posted May 1, 2012 | 2:31 PM

I was fortunate enough to know Dick Clark and receive the benefit of him sharing a number of his experiences as a business owner. Like so many others, I first became aware of Dick as the host of American Bandstand and a Saturday night show sponsored by a chewing gum...

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Networking for Real

(3) Comments | Posted April 23, 2012 | 10:04 AM

If ever a business buzz word has been mashed and hammered into something unrecognizable, it is "networking." Some people see a networking event simply as a hundred-yard dash to give and receive as many business cards as possible in one hour or less! And then they wonder why no meaningful...

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Small Business and Politics

(3) Comments | Posted March 26, 2012 | 3:53 PM

Right now political discussions are like so much confetti that seems to be dropped on us every day whether we want it or not. This is the season when political aspirants show their love and attention like no other time. However, in the lives of most small business owners there's...

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A Ballet Dancer's Lesson

(8) Comments | Posted March 6, 2012 | 11:59 AM

A few days ago I read an interview with the famed Russian ballet dancer, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and one of his comments sent me into an hour of business thinking. It may be the first time that a person often seen in public wearing tights has given me a business lesson!

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Now Is the Time

(5) Comments | Posted January 13, 2012 | 1:02 PM

I love the hopeful feeling of having a new calendar and fresh plans laid out in front of me. But of course the New Year doesn't wait long before euphoria subsides and it begins testing your resolve, persistence and plans. Whether your goals for 2012 were written in indelible ink...

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Small Business Essentials

(0) Comments | Posted October 21, 2011 | 5:12 PM

In response to a recent email question regarding how to succeed in a small business venture, I began to distill what I've learned from over one-thousand business owners of all sizes, categories and ethnicities. They are people whose television stories I've presided over as executive producer of the Making It!...

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More Jobs -- Steve and Small Business

(2) Comments | Posted October 11, 2011 | 12:20 PM

Many thousands of words have been written about Steve Jobs as a visionary and titan during the past week. They are well deserved. Today however, I'm looking in on his life as an inspiring story for the small business owners of today and tomorrow.

Like many other people, I was...

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Helped by The Help

(1) Comments | Posted September 1, 2011 | 3:08 PM

A motion picture titled The Help is proving to be a surprise late summer box office hit and after watching it recently, I wanted to know more about the author of the book on which the film was based. Among the things I found in the book, the film and...

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Finding Purpose in Small Business Week

(2) Comments | Posted May 26, 2011 | 3:30 PM

It will probably surprise most people to know that small business actually has a week of its own, officially declared by the president of the United States. On one hand, Mothers Day doesn't get the presidential proclamation, but Small Business Week doesn't get the publicity or the spending...

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Trump This: Small Business Lessons From Donald

(7) Comments | Posted May 11, 2011 | 11:19 AM

Just when you think that you've heard everything about Donald Trump, there's another chapter being written in the semi-fictional book of his life. Last week, I was in New York, the place where he has marked out his most prized territory with tall, expensive buildings. Though his recent dust-up with...

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A Boy's First Business

(6) Comments | Posted April 9, 2011 | 4:54 PM

If there is or was a favorite "first business" in America for the past one hundred years, it is probably delivering daily newspapers as a newsboy. Now, that business has shifted from eager youngsters on bicycles to less enthused adults in pickup trucks. I think that's too bad. Every young...

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Messy Brand Management

(0) Comments | Posted March 7, 2011 | 1:09 PM

In the world of small business, a large percentage of owners are sole proprietors who operate with minimal full-time staff or the trappings we often associate with larger businesses. Whatever brand equity these individuals have is connected to them in very personal ways; often they have to be the brand...

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