It’s not where you start that is important, it is where you end up.

In a former life as a property developer, I used to attend national auctions in London (this is what my wife refers to as my ‘homes under the hammer’ phase!). One of these was run by an extremely charismatic auctioneer who regularly used the phrase “it’s not where you start, it is where you end up that is important” when trying to encourage an initial bid. Once he had managed to get the ball rolling, he then had the knowledge and expertise to ensure that the final price was the best that could be achieved.

It occurs to me that starting a business is much the same.

For example, can you identify the following?

1. Dyslexic. His headmaster thought he may end up in prison. His mother had to re-mortgage the family home to pay fines and unpaid tax.

2. Brought up in a council flat, he worked briefly for the civil service as a statistician at the Ministry of Education. Started selling car aerials and electrical goods out of a van which he had bought with his savings of £50.

3. As a seven-year-old child, witnessed the results of the bankruptcy of her father, who had owned a central heating company, when bailiffs removed furniture and household goods from the family home.

4. Served 18 months in prison in the 1950’s but went on to make his mark on the world of enterprise.

The answers are shown below and, as you will see, all four have gone on to varying degrees of success. This is because they had the necessary drive and determination rather than the perfect starting point!

If you are thinking about starting a business, regardless of your current situation, we would love to hear from you (Contact Us) If you have the drive and determination, our experienced business advisers have the knowledge and expertise to help you get to where you want to end up.

The answers are: 1. Richard Branson, 2. Alan Sugar, 3. Hilary Devey (now one of the UK’s most successful businesswoman and former Dragon on Dragon’s Den), and 4. Arthur Daly (apologies to those of you who are too young to remember the loveable but rather ‘dodgy’ entrepreneur from the TV series, Minder).

andy Andy Pringle – Adviser Manager

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