Tuesday, May 08, 2007


You know, despite Alan Sugar adamantly claiming otherwise, I really don't think he could make his millions all over again if he started once more with just his transit van and a hundred quid. This is a claim he's made to his Apprentices several times now - that he could do it all again...no problem.

Hmmm. See, I have a strong suspicion that most self made multi-millionaires like Sir Alan made their fortunes NOT because of their business savvy or their communication skills, or being able to sniff out that 'golden opportunity'....and don't get me wrong, these are all important contributary traits....no, they made their fortunes simply because they were lucky to be in the right place, at the right time with a fistful of money to invest.

During the last twenty years, I have had the honour of working alongside a variety of energetic, 'drop dead shrewd' people who have worked their proverbial bollocks off, and yet achieved no notable success.

It really does p*** me off when the rich and successful grab full credit for their success, when in fact there are many other factors, beyond their control, that ultimately decided their (good) fortune. Sugar appears to be one of those people.

By contrast, take a look at Richard Branson, who concedes that his fortune was the result of luck falling his way on more than one occasion...most notably when his first significant business gamble involved betting everything on the success of Michael Oldfield's Tubular Bells. Richard Branson knows that luck is fickle, it will pick you out or pass you by.

And yes, Donald Trump has exactly the same exasperating air of arrogance about him.

In their defence, I'm sure either would come back with 'well, I've been bankrupted several times, each time bouncing back...makin' even more!'

Sure, but the point is, the first time they made it, they also made all their contacts, made friends on the golf course, forged strategic friendships with investors who would happily help them have another go. And that's not just for old times...there's that self-fulfilling belief that someone who's made a fortune once, can do it again.

Really...if I was surrounded by a pack of wealthy billionaire patrons who respected and believed in me, I reckon I'd have to be a bit of a dummy not to turn that goodwill into a small fortune.

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