Nolan Watson is a Canadian businessman, humanitarian, and philanthropist. He is known for his contribution to finance innovation in the mining industry. Watson began working in mine finance with Silver Wheaton Corp., where he was named the Chief Financial Officer in 2006 and was the youngest CFO (age 26) of a New York Stock Exchange listed company. Watson helped develop the silver streaming business model and raise over $1 billion in debt and equity to fund Silver Wheaton’s growth into the largest streaming company in the world.
In 2008, Watson co-founded Sandstorm Resources Ltd. (now Sandstorm Gold Ltd.) and has sat as a member of the board of directors of Gold Wheaton Corp., Bear Creek Mining Corp. and True Gold Mining Inc. In addition to his work in the mining sector, Watson founded a Canadian Charitable organization called Nations Cry, which is dedicated to providing education to children in Sierra Leone, Africa.
My Highlights | I am most proud about my ability to find balance in all areas of life. I have been able to pursue a successful career, while simultaneously starting an educational charity and having a wonderful family with 3 daughters.
A Key Talent | Without question, the strength, which has been critical to my success is my determination. When I was younger, I lacked confidence in my intelligence and my abilities. I never expected to even get into University or be successful in life. However, in high school I learned that the kids getting the best grades weren’t necessarily the smartest, they just studied harder. So I began to fully apply myself, with the goal of working harder than other people and never letting anyone tell me that I couldn’t do something. I ended up working my way into a university scholarship and eventually graduated with honors. After university, I started the Chartered Accounting School Of Business, and I didn’t listen to my teacher when he told me I wasn’t smart enough to become a Chartered Accountant. Instead, I studied harder than everyone else and I became the Valedictorian of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of BC. I then went on to become a Chartered Financial Analyst Charterholder and eventually became the youngest Chief Financial Officer in the world of a multi-billion dollar New York Stock Exchange company. If I had listened to other peoples’ opinions as to my capabilities, I would have not achieved these things. Determination in the face of adversity can be painful and frustrating, but I have found it to be the only way to success.
Principles I Live By | Honesty and Integrity. Business is full of people willing to lie and exaggerate in order to get what they want. I was raised to understand the importance of integrity, and I have found that if it is a principle that you are willing to put ahead of all other principles, it will eventually define you. Not only in your own mind, but others will notice as well and eventually they will seek you out as a desired business partner.
Dealing With Doubt | I have struggled with self-doubt my entire life, even to this day. However, it is my belief that just because I may be taking on a challenge that I do not know how to accomplish, I have learned that usually, no one else truly knows either. My source of confidence comes not from thinking my-self great, but rather from knowing that no one else is truly great either. I know that if I work harder than other people, I can accomplish just about anything.
Performing At My Peak | I find that to perform at my peak, the most powerful tool is a good night’s sleep.
My Future Dreams And Ambitions | I want to help change the mining industry from within, helping the industry focus on the importance of environmental sustainability while being a benefit to the communities within which they operate. I regularly see a significant gap between how mining companies should operate, and how they actually operate and I would like to be a positive influence from within the industry.
The Best Advice I’ve Received | The best advice I ever received was from my father, who told me “don’t ever make a decision without your wife.”
Advice On Building Wealth | My advice would be that to grow rich and build wealth, you need to work hard, work smart, don’t take no for an answer. My next piece of advice would be that there are more important things in life than getting rich. Love your family, live with integrity, and make the world a better place
I Am Inspired By | I find inspiration everywhere, even in the smallest things.