Dragon Peter Jones made an excellent attempt last night, where many have gone before, to discover whether the personality traits of one entrepreneur have anything in common with another. Mr Jones was comparing and contrasting Michelle Mone of MJM International, the makers of Ultimo bras, with Richard Reed one of the three founders of Innocent Drinks. I like Peter Jones, he’s easy on the eye and I much prefer the programmes where we get to see him being chauffeur driven and flying in private jets to the tedious Dragons’ Den itself which, to my mind, does not showcase entrepreneurs very well at all.
In his programme How We Made Our Millions, Peter extracted some inspiring little gems from both his subjects which went some way to answering the question I get asked all the time, namely are entrepreneurs born or made, and what drives them?
Michelle revealed herself to have quite a serious case of OCD, with her drawers and cupboards both at work and at home uber tidy, comme moi. She feels that if your drawers and cupboards are a mess, so is your life, and that’s going to get in the way of your success. I totally agree, see my recent post about Clutter Clearing.
Richard offered some wonderful soundbites, all reassuring or inspiring or reminding me of my own intentions. Here are my top three:
- “Get rich and die poor”
- “Do something that you love” – see my book of the same name now available on Kindle – yee ha!
- “Hear the no and turn it into a yes”
But the thing I liked best in the programme and which resonated with me most was the input from private equity investor, Sir Tom Hunter. What I loved about what he said was that when investing, you invest in the person, not their business plan. Their business plan is just a hoop you make them jump through to demonstrate they know what they are doing, but “no-one sticks to them”. No, they don’t; not in the entrepreneurial sector at any rate. He invests in the person, or in the team. In the glint in their eye, in their determination. So if you are asking for cash, remember that – it’s you they have to trust and believe in and back with their dosh.
And Sir Tom also gave me my favourite thought for the hour I invested in the show when he said “Most entrepreneurs are driven by self-doubt. However outwardly confident we all appear to be, we are all trying to prove ourselves, all the time”.
Spot on! Certainly we are driven by something, and Michelle demonstrated the depth of her drive with her unexpected tears.
Do you agree with Sir Tom? Did you see the show? What resonated with your inner entrepreneur? What drives YOU?