Category Archives: Business

Reading the market

I love to read – I think it is one of life’s great pleasures, although despite that I still don’t get quite as much time as I’d like to plough into my books. As such, I am always interested in refining my to-read list, to get maximum value out of my reading time. This year one of my resolutions is to read at least one book a month – and many of those will be business books.

I think it’s incredibly important to keep alert to new trends, new ways of thinking and new ideas that can help evolve your business and its market impact – not to mention your own growth as an entrepreneur and a businessperson. Especially when the nature of business is changing so quickly – and in such exciting ways.

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Walking the line…

Work-life balance – it’s a phrase that’s easy to say, but for many of us it’s significantly harder to put this elusive idea into practice. For a start you have to define what that exactly means, and I think it means different things to different people – and at different times of their lives.

In my life there was a time when I worked significantly longer hours than I do now, and the majority of my time was weighted toward work. I was younger, starting out and I felt I needed to do it at the time – and indeed when you are setting up businesses I do think you need to put inordinate amounts of time and energy in to get things off the ground.

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Step up to success

A few weeks ago I talked about the traits that I think every entrepreneur shares. I had some interesting and uplifting responses from you and it got me thinking about other key components to success. So I’ve put together my top six things that I know from experience make a big difference to success levels if you practise them regularly. I know it’s a little early for making New Year’s resolutions, but practising any of these more in 2016 will definitely give you a life advantage – so which one will you be focusing on this coming year? I’d love to hear your thoughts – leave me a comment or tweet me.

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Risking success

I’ve been thinking about risk and self-belief recently, and the close relationship they have. To me, the ability to take risk is one of the things that defines an entrepreneur.Steve Jobs would take huge risks and people would say they were “calculated” – but by its very nature risk is still risk and you can only predict so much. The question is: how do you think about risk so it doesn’t stop you moving forward?

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Bring me sunshine….

I don’t know what it’s like where you are, but here in the UK autumn is, so-far, a bit of a grey affair. It’s around this time of year that I start to miss the warmth of the South of France, where we spend a lot of the year on our boat – and start to look to where I can get a sunshine top up. For Lorna and I, as for many people, the answer is a winter break in the Caribbean.

Swapping leaden skies and puddles for blue horizons and soft sand beaches seems like a great deal to me. But I think you do need to be careful where you book to avoid the crowds who agree! As the founder of a luxury holiday provider I’ve been lucky enough to experience a lot of the Caribbean and discover some of its unexpected corners, beautiful and untouched by the rampant commercialism of many of the bigger islands. If you want a relaxing break with a difference then here are my top three suggestions for a sunshine break this winter….

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The business of success: ten top traits every entrepreneur should have

I’ve been in business for many, many years and set up many companies. Some have been successful, some less so – but one thing that has stayed constant is my love of business. I am always looking for the next opportunity and I love the energy and challenge of bringing new products to market. I have a strong entrepreneurial character, and through the years I have done much thinking on what actually makes an entrepreneur – is it an innate talent, is it learned through experience, can it be taught? I am still unsure, but I do know there are certain traits a person needs to be successful in business. Here are the ten traits I think are essential for an entrepreneur to have…. Continue reading

The doctor will see you now

Healthcare-sizedI’ve been having some interesting conversations recently with a company called Red & Yellow Care, which is a new disruptive force in UK health provision. I love disruptive innovation because some markets really need to be shaken up with fresh ways of thinking – and healthcare in the UK is one. There are a lot of gaps in our healthcare system, and not just in the NHS but in the provision of healthcare overall, throughout the UK.

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Educate to prosper…

As the Greek crisis continues, so does discussion over the dangers of ‘easy money’ and what happens when you put its power in the wrong hands. Greece may be the most high-profile case of this at the moment, but it’s worth nothing that it is far from the only example.

Foreign development aid is another case to consider, especially in terms of Africa. The continent is more dependent on foreign aid than any other and in most instances has had little choice about whether to accept it or not. A lot of ‘first world’ countries feel that they are helping by throwing money at it, but while it may salve colonial consciences, in truth it works against Africa’s best interests.

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The power of incentive

Recently, I’ve been thinking – in the light of the recent election – about the difference between what lifts people up and moves them forward and what keeps them stuck in detrimental situations.

Personally, I amEconomist cover relieved that this government has been returned. The path that Labour was pursuing was worrying a lot of the country’s rainmakers. Many I spoke to were getting ready to leave, as the environment proposed to them from a taxation point of view was such a turn off and seemed to penalise the wealthy. When the coalition took over the country at the previous election it was in a perilous state. The only practical solution was to ensure that the UK could borrow more cheaply and to show investors and lenders that it was prudent to lend to us. Continue reading