And obviously, from our own personal point of view, the principal challenge is a personal challenge.
Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.
I believe in benevolent dictatorship provided I am the dictator.
I wanted to be an editor or a journalist, I wasn’t really interested in being an entrepreneur, but I soon found I had to become an entrepreneur in order to keep my magazine going.
My mother was determined to make us independent. When I was four years old, she stopped the car a few miles from our house and made me find my own way home across the fields. I got hopelessly lost.
I never get the accountants in before I start up a business. It’s done on gut feeling, especially if I can see that they are taking the mickey out of the consumer.
What’s the quickest way to become a millionaire? Borrow fivers off everyone you meet.
Well, I’m somebody who is just living…living life, and if I get frustrated by something, then I like to try to put it right.
There is no one to follow, there is nothing to copy.
Records are made to be broken. It is in man’s nature to continue to strive to do just that.
I’m inquisitive…. and I love a new challenge… and if I feel that we can do it better than it’s been done by other people, we’ll have a go. Some people call that ‘brand stretching’ and say that this is not the way business should be done, and in the Western world generally it’s not the way business is done. And I think to be perfectly frank the reason it’s not done that way is that most big companies are public… they have fund managers who only specialise in one area… and so if you go and stray outside that fund manager’s arena, the company gets criticised. Fortunately we’re not a public company – we’re a private group of companies, and I can do what I want.
My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable challenges and trying to rise above them.
To be successful, you have to be out there, you have to hit the ground running, and if you have a good team around you and more than a fair share of luck, you might make something happen. But you certainly can’t guarantee it just by following someone else’s formula.
I don’t think of work as work and play as play. It’s all living.
I’ve had to create companies that I believe in 100%. These are companies I feel will make a genuine difference. Then I have to be willing to find the time myself to talk about them, promote them and market them. I don’t want to spend my life doing something that I’m not proud of.
As much as you need a strong personality to build a business from scratch, you also must understand the art of delegation. I have to be good at helping people run the individual businesses, and I have to be willing to step back. The company must be set up so it can continue without me.
If you are trying to do something for the first time, it’s always an enormous challenge, and there is no guarantee of success. You never know with these things when you’re trying something new what can happen. This is all experimental.
I have always believed that personal relationships are vital in business and that people should be directly accountable for their actions.