The Billionaire Still Betting Big on The Malls of The Future

 

Forbes
Rick Caruso won't tell you that traditional retail is dying because he doesn't believe it. The creator of The Grove, LA's famous shopping and dining destination, discussed the state of retail in America and why he is one of few developers still betting big on the malls of the future.

 

 

Target’s “Cheap Chic” Comeback Sets to Challenge Amazon

 

Youtube/CNBC

As it redesigns its stores, Target is getting back to offering fashion-forward merchandise at decent prices. If it can keep that momentum going, it will help set the company apart from its peers including Walmart, Amazon and Kroger.

Nestled inside Target's Minneapolis headquarters, racks of unfinished clothes line the walls. In another area, sketches and splotches of color are hung up for inspiration. Walk down the hallway, and it looks like you've arrived at an HGTV set with bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens on display. This is the creative hub of Target's in-house brands — a key part of the retailer's turnaround.

 

This exceptional make-up artist’s surreal work made her an Instagram hit

 

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Sat, 15th Sept 2018) London, Uk – –
Make-up artist Romanie-Jade Tulloch has amassed nearly 160,000 Instagram followers on her account with her surreal designs.

The 19-year-old, from Nottingham, said the artworks can take up to five hours to create.

Ms Tulloch, now an “Instagram influencer”, was awarded a Prince's Trust loan to get her career as a make-up artist off the ground.

At the same time her social media page “blew up”, she said, and now hopes to turn her hobby into a full-time job.

 

The Savvy Millennials making millions from home

 

Youtube/Meet Edgar

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Sat, 1 Sept 2018) London, Uk – –

“I went on safari with Richard Branson – I can’t believe I’ve achieved this lifestyle”

To paraphrase the TV quiz show title (and old Sinatra song – ask your gran): who wouldn't want to be a millionaire?

Of course, money isn't everything in life, but that doesn't stop many of us from fantasising about hitting on that million pound idea that rescues us from the 9-5 routine and a life of overdraft dodging.

Much as we may dream about it, becoming a millionaire certainly doesn’t come easy, especially for young people – but for some it has proved possible. From blogging to Bitcoin trading, here’s how these four millennials achieved it – all from starting out in their bedrooms.

The cryptocurrency boss
Erica Stanford, 30, from Berkshire

“I’ve not always been good with money. In fact, I've found myself in debt in the past – but I’ve always loved learning new things. I think that’s where my interest in cryptocurrencies comes from. I first heard about Bitcoin – a digital encrypted currency, which means anyone in the world with an internet connection and a smart phone can send it anywhere in the world for free – on the radio in 2009, but only ever chatted about it with mates or my dad.

“But last year, I was getting bored of my sales and marketing job and looked into blockchain (which is like a worldwide database that crypto is built on) after my friend, John, started investing in Bitcoin. Once I read that you can use it to track the ethical background of diamonds, trace stolen antiques, and find out the history of second-hand cars, I was hooked. I found it fascinating that it had all these ‘real-world’ uses.

“I bought £200 worth of Bitcoin and some other new cryptocurrencies. I started playing around and buying the cheapest ones, investing about £2,000, which I stuck on credit cards. But within a few months I’d made £30,000, which I put into savings and used to pay off my debts. I remember thinking, ‘Wow this is actually proper money – I could quit my job and do this!’

“Which is exactly what I did. In September 2017, I handed in my notice to trade full time. A few people at work told me I was stupid, and I felt a bit scared on my last day, wondering if I’d actually be able to make a living out of crypto, which, let’s face it, is still pretty new. My boss kept my job open for when it ‘inevitably’ failed. That annoyed me a little, but also spurred me on be as successful as possible.

“I think Bitcoin had a bad reputation as being something people used to buy drugs and arms on the dark web, but, in my opinion, that’s like saying there’s something dodgy about using cash because people use that to buy illegal things, too.

 

>
On the day I made my first million, I just felt panic

“That said, all my friends were concerned, and my dad gave me the, ‘You’re going to end up homeless’ lecture – especially as I had a mortgage to pay and credit card debts to pay off. And yes, I made mistakes early on. The most expensive one was when I’d been trading a small currency for a day and made £5,000, but then the currency put my wallet into ‘maintenance mode’, so it went offline and I couldn’t cash out. I lost the lot – it was awful, and I could hear the ‘I told you so’ words from my boss in my head.

“It’s very easy to lose money in crypto, and I didn’t realise that if a currency goes up very fast, it’s probably also going to rapidly go down a lot, too. I threw myself into more research to try and understand the market, find patterns, and work out the next big project to invest in.

“I’ll never forget when I first saw the numbers in my crypto wallet really start to climb. On the day I realised I’d made my first million, just a few months after quitting my job, I just felt panic. I didn’t know what to do – as in, whether to take the money and run, or invest it again. I decided to hold on to most of it, but it was like Monopoly money; it didn’t feel real. I’d seen how volatile the market could be, so I didn’t go out on a massive spending spree or tell many friends.

“I was determined to stay grounded and treat it like any other job. It might sound hard to believe, but so far my life hasn’t really changed, other than having a few more holidays. Don’t get me wrong, it does feel satisfying to pay for things like a Thailand holiday in Bitcoin.

“It can get lonely working from home. Most days, it’s just me and my cat. But I love that I’m my own boss, and, one year on since leaving my job, John and I have pooled our resources. Together we’ve made £20million. I’ve been asked to invest other people’s money – from friends to hedge funds – but I wouldn’t want that kind of stress or pressure. I’m happy to give advice though, and I’ve been asked to speak about crypto at events around the world. I love being known as ‘the crypto lady’.”

The online furniture kings
Monty George and Dan Beckles, both 21, from Wiltshire

Monty: “I’ve always been an entrepreneur. At 12 years old, I was buying cheap sushi-makers and laptop lights with my pocket money – and then selling them on eBay. At 15, I bought a load of dirt bikes from China to sell online, but then realised I didn’t actually know anything about mini motorbikes if they broke. Thinking about what else I could sell, I heard that furniture was one of the biggest growing markets online, so I ordered in a couple of shipping containers worth of tables and chairs – and they sold out straight away.

“I couldn’t believe my luck, so I reinvested the money into getting more stock. Towards the end of sixth form, I asked my mate Dan to come on board. Three years ago, the night before my A-level results, sales ticked over £1million. Fortunately, my parents have always supported my buying and selling ventures – and I think I’ve inherited their strong working ethic. But I have made errors along the way. In 2014, I got a huge tax bill because I hadn’t realised I had to pay VAT, so I had to sell some of my belongings to raise the cash. I felt foolish, but didn’t let it stop me.

“Launching the company when I was still living at home meant that I had no overheads, and my parents let me use their shed as a storage warehouse. Today, I’ve mainly put the profits back into the business and I live quite frugally. Dan and I have just moved into a houseshare in Bristol, but we’re too busy working to spend much money.

“Most days I’m up at 6am emailing suppliers in China, and the rest of the day varies from printing labels to talking to customers. Last year I treated myself to an expensive car, but I sold it after a year. It might sound weird, but I’d honestly rather have a simple one that gets me from A to B.

“I don’t have to play my wealth down to my friends because I don’t feel rich; I’m just working all the time. I’m proud of myself for making so much money at such a young age, though – it’s something you see in films. I like to think I’m proving wrong all those people who say millennials are lazy.”

Turning down uni was a big sacrifice, and we also work 365 days a year

Dan: “Sometimes I can’t believe that I’ve gone from barely any experience in the furniture market, to co-running a company that turned over £1.6million last year. Monty and I have been friends since we were 13. After sixth form, I planned to study economics management at university, but when he asked me if I wanted to take a year out and help him start Furniture Box, I couldn’t say no. I deferred my university place, but we ended up being so successful that I decided not to go to uni after all.

“We’ve picked up helpful advice from friends and family over the years, like not to just sit back and relax when things go well. We’ve taken on four employees, but we still have a hand in every aspect of the business. I think dealing with customers is the part we like best. Monty once went to help an elderly gentleman with Parkinson’s who was struggling to put one of our desk chairs together.

“We might be young millionaires, but we have made sacrifices. Turning down uni was a big one for me, but we also work 365 days a year. I only see my girlfriend once a month because we work every weekend. I remember on one New Year’s Eve, all our mates were out having fun, while we were in a warehouse taking down industrial storage racking in the freezing cold. We’ve worked so hard that our social lives have suffered, but we’re passionate about what we do. It’s an amazing feeling to be running a successful business with one of your best mates – I feel really lucky.”

The social media magnate
Laura Roeder, 34, from Brighton

“If someone told me one day I’d be a millionaire from social media, I’d think they were joking. I taught myself to code at 12 so I could build my own website. I was one of the first users of Facebook when it launched at my university, but I never imagined making a lot of money from it.

“In 2007, when I was 22, I quit my job as a graphic designer to go freelance. It was around the time Twitter and Facebook were taking off, and when I made websites for small businesses, I would also advise them on things like what their clients would want to see or show them to get more people to visit their websites. I just thought everyone building websites was doing this type of thing – but they weren’t, and more people started saying, ‘You could get paid for teaching this’.

“I’ve always loved public speaking, so I started making videos about social media marketing from my bedroom, and holding live webinars about using Facebook and Twitter to promote small businesses. I’d package them up as online courses and charged between £35 and £175. It was so exciting when I realised the idea meant that I could work less but make more money – and I was I earning six figures in my first year. It was mentally rewarding, too – like I’d hit on exactly what I should be doing with my life.

“But my parents and their friends didn’t really understand what I did. My mum would tell people I was an author after I also published an e-book about Twitter marketing. I laughed it off as I knew that the social media world was a relatively new industry.

“In 2013, I put the money I’d made from the courses – around £150,000 – into building the software for my company, Meet Edgar, which helps freelancers and small businesses automatically update their social media feeds. I started with a team of three, and now have 25 employees who all work remotely from their homes too, or from coffee shops. Although I hit £1million in revenue within a year of launching, it all went back into the business – it wasn’t like someone handed me a cheque for that amount. Last year we made £3.8million, and it was such an overwhelming feeling of pride.

“Starting a business from your bedroom does have downsides. I have to remember to leave the house and force myself to hang out with people. I’ve faced misogyny, too. Even recently, I’ve had people assume I don’t own the business because I’m a woman, or ask me if my husband or father is involved. Some people have been skeptical and said things like, ‘I don’t see why anyone would buy this software'. But seeing our success has been really confidence-boosting for me because I knew that I was onto a good thing.

“Sometimes when I’m on a safari holiday with Richard Branson, or enjoying the luxury of taking a long maternity leave with my baby daughter, I can’t believe I’ve achieved this lifestyle through social media. Best of all, I can’t believe that I’ve escaped the rat race – and am doing something I’m passionate about. Isn’t that the true definition of success?”

By Kate Wills

 

 

Fever-Tree founders land a further £100m payday after selling shares

(qlmbusinessnews.com via telegraph.co.uk – – Tue, 7th Aug 2018) London, Uk – –

The founders of Fever-Tree are toasting a £103.5m payday, after confirming the sell-off of another tranche of shares in the mixer maker.

Charles Rolls, non-executive deputy chairman, sold two million shares, while Tim Warrillow, chief executive, sold one million shares, leaving them will stakes of 7.1pc and 4.7pc respectively.

The shares were sold at a price of £34.50, landing Mr Rolls £69m and Mr Warrillow £34.5m.

The two men decided to exercise options over 275,820 shares each at a price of 134p per share, in order to source some of the shares being sold in the placing, meaning they will pay out around £370,000 each.

Mr Rolls and Mr Warrillow remain the fourth and eighth largest shareholders in Fever-Tree.

Shares in the company fell 4.2pc to £35.35 in early trade on Tuesday.

Initially, Mr Rolls and Mr Warrillow said they planned to sell off a total of two million shares.

During previous placings, the number of shares sold has been vastly different to the number originally intended, having almost doubled twice, due to significant demand for the stock.

This has meant the pair's holdings in Fever-Tree have notably shrunk. Since the end of 2015 to Monday night, prior to the most recent placing, Mr Rolls has sold just under 10 million shares and Mr Warrillow 2.5 million.

Mr Warrillow told The Daily Telegraph last year that he had sold down his stake as “you have to look at these things depending on the situation”.

The new share sales come as Fever-Tree's growth shows no sign of letting up. The company two weeks ago revealed its revenues had soared 45pc to £104m in the first half of 2018, driving profit 36pc higher.

Fever-Tree said it was continuing to benefit from the “well-established ‘premiumisation’ trend across the wider beverage sector as well as the movement to long mixed drinks”.

The positive results are just the latest in a string of upbeat updates from Fever-Tree, lifting shares 61pc in the year-to-date.

They have increased in price pretty much consistently since Fever-Tree floated in 2014, and shares now trade more than 2,600pc higher than Fever Tree's 134p initial public offering price.

Fever-Tree was the top mixer brand in shops last year, the bulk of its sales coming from tonic water.

However, it has recently branched out to offer mixers which could go with “dark spirits” such as dark rum and whiskey and, earlier this year, signed a deal with North America's largest wine and spirits distribution company, Southern Glazer's Wine and Spirits.

By Hannah Boland Sophie Christie

 

 

Billionaire Tilman Fertitta Interviewed on How to Be Successful

 

Youtube/Mark Lack

Tilman Joseph Fertitta (born June 25, 1957) is an American billionaire businessman and television personality. He is the chairman, CEO, and sole owner of Landry's, Inc., one of the largest restaurant corporations in the U.S. He also owns the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s Houston Rockets.

In 2013, his net worth was estimated at $2.4 billion, placing him at No. 235 on the Forbes 400 list of the wealthiest Americans;Forbes calls him the “World’s Richest Restaurateur”

Secret Millionaire Star Kavita Oberoi Discusses her Success Journey

 

Youtube/Kavita Oberoi

(qlmbusinessnews.com via theguardian.com – – Sun, 8th July, 2018) London, Uk – –

Here the businesswoman discusses her journey and how giving back to society should always be part of an entrepreneur’s gameplan

People question whether entrepreneurs are born or made. For me, it was in my DNA. I grew up above my father’s plumbing shop in Bradford. He had moved to the UK from India with the intention of starting his own business and always said I brought him luck because he started to experience success when I came along. I have memories of being locked in the car with a bottle of milk while he went to business meetings. It wouldn’t happen today! Sadly, my father passed away when I was 15.

But my family didn’t want me to have an education and go out to work. They were very traditional and there was a lot of pressure – particularly from my extended family – to get married and stay at home. Some of those cultural expectations can still hold black and minority ethnic women back today. But from a young age, I have always fought against those barriers. I was never going to do what I was supposed to do. My mother is my biggest champion – when I was a child, she used to sneak me out of the house to go to ballet or tap lessons. She has always said: “I will support you, but don’t let me down.”

People question whether entrepreneurs are born or made. For me, it was in my DNA. I grew up above my father’s plumbing shop in Bradford. He had moved to the UK from India with the intention of starting his own business and always said I brought him luck because he started to experience success when I came along. I have memories of being locked in the car with a bottle of milk while he went to business meetings. It wouldn’t happen today! Sadly, my father passed away when I was 15.

But my family didn’t want me to have an education and go out to work. They were very traditional and there was a lot of pressure – particularly from my extended family – to get married and stay at home. Some of those cultural expectations can still hold black and minority ethnic women back today. But from a young age, I have always fought against those barriers. I was never going to do what I was supposed to do. My mother is my biggest champion – when I was a child, she used to sneak me out of the house to go to ballet or tap lessons. She has always said: “I will support you, but don’t let me down.”

 

 

It’s about being a driver for change and making the necessary compromises along the way. I did go to university (although I still lived at home and had to travel in every day) and I went on to develop a successful career in pharmaceutical sales with Bayer. By this time, I had probably been introduced to 10 potential husbands, all of whom I had rejected. But I did eventually marry a man my family approved of. His family were also very traditional, but I carried on working.

The turning point for me was when I didn’t get the promotion I wanted at work. I was looking to move into management at Bayer. I’d set a goal, as I always do, and I expected to reach it. When that didn’t happen, I sat there and thought: do I really want to go and work for somebody else for eight years, only to be told I’m not good enough? The answer was no. I set up my own healthcare and IT consultancy business, Oberoi Consulting, in 2001. I would later start the Oberoi Business Hub in 2012 to provide back-office support to small businesses, and received an OBE for services to entrepreneurship and startups in 2014.

One of my biggest challenges was learning to trust other people. It wasn’t a natural thing for me. Entrepreneurs are naturally very controlling individuals and I’d never had any people management experience when I was first starting out. I had to learn the hard way about creating and motivating high-performing teams. While mistakes can be frustrating for a perfectionist like me, it’s important to let staff learn from them, without a fear of failure or consequences. I am still learning every day about great leadership.

Giving something back should always be part of an entrepreneur’s game plan. In 2016, I got involved with an initiative to provide breakfast to primary school children in Derby, and funded it for a year to get it off the ground. We now have 16 schools involved, Kellogg’s is providing the cereal, and local businesses and Derby College are raising money. There’s already been an improvement in the children’s attendance, behaviour and attainment in class.

My biggest ambition is to inspire others, so they can achieve their potential. Self-belief is key for any business owner – you have to communicate the passion you have for your business, stay focused and be dedicated to your cause. Finding a mentor can help, as can spending time surrounded by like-minded, motivated individuals to keep your energy levels up. Above all, be prepared to sacrifice a lot. Failure is not an option.

Interview by Emma Sheppard

 

 

Meet The Founder of Halo Top a $2bn Low-calorie Ice Cream Success Story

Source: Youtube/CBS

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Fri, 7th July 2018) London, Uk – –

Just a few years ago Justin Woolverton was pleading with US supermarkets to keep his reduced calorie ice cream tubs in their freezer cabinets.

Sales of his low fat, low sugar brand Halo Top were flat-lining, and stores were continually threatening to stop stocking it.

“We were hanging on by the skin of our teeth,” says the 38-year-old, who launched the business in 2012. “We'd tell them ‘leave us up there, things are going to turn around'.”

In his wildest dreams Mr Woolverton couldn't have predicted just how dramatic the turnaround would be. Just six years after starting, his ice cream is now the best-selling brand in the US.

With very little money for marketing, the LA-based start-up had been trying to inch up sales by working hard to promote itself on social media.

Then in 2016 a journalist for GQ magazine wrote a very witty article about how he ate only Halo Top ice cream for 10 straight days.

The story went viral, and Halo Top's sales went through the roof.

In 2016 it was reported to have sold 28.8 million tubs, generating $132.4m (£101m) in revenues becoming the best-selling pint of ice cream in the US, beating iconic industry leaders such as Ben & Jerry's and Häagen-Dazs.

Not bad for a small independent business that has no outside investors, other than the family and friends of Mr Woolverton and his co-founder Doug Bouton.

Yet despite the brand's success, some critics have questioned the claimed health credentials of the “guilt free” ice cream. While others wonder if it should be allowed to call itself ice cream at all.

Before founding Halo Top, Mr Woolverton was working in Los Angeles as a corporate lawyer, a job with which he'd become disenchanted.

The idea for the ice cream came about because of restrictions he made to his diet to manage his blood sugar levels.

At home, instead of sugary treats, he'd have a bowl of Greek yogurt with fruit, to which he would add the sweetener stevia.

After buying a $20 ice cream maker he put the mixture through it to see what it would taste like. “It was delicious. So from there, it was like: ‘Holy cow, if I like this why wouldn't other people like it?'.”

Mr Woolverton then started experimenting with ingredients, including replacing the yogurt with milk, to make the concoction behave more like ice cream when frozen and enable it to be produced on a mass scale.

 

“It honestly took a year of complete failure at the beginning,” he says.

With friend Doug Bouton, another former lawyer on board, they launched the business with money borrowed from family and friends, student loans and £150,000 of credit card debt.

Mr Woolverton says that not having any private equity investors has given him and Mr Bouton more freedom. “We don't have suits telling us what to do,” he says.

To promote the brand on social media in its early days, Mr Woolverton came up with a novel idea. He hired local college students to send Halo Top coupons to people with large followings on YouTube and Instagram who were posting about health and fitness.

“That was a really big marketing strategy,” he explains. “We thought if they can buy it that's great; if they can't, we're on their radar anyway.”

Alex Beckett, global food and drink associate director at research group Mintel, says that Halo Top's continuing strong use of social media has been a key component behind its success.

“It enhanced its appeal as a cool, plucky alternative to global ice cream brands with larger advertising budgets,” Mr Beckett says.

And then there was the GQ article.

“That [Halo Top diet] is not something we recommend, to be clear, but it was a really fun article,” says Mr Woolverton. “It made the brand catch fire.”

After the story went viral, Halo Top enjoyed a rise in sales so meteoric that the business struggled to keep up with demand.

“[Supermarkets] didn't know how to deal with it either,” says Mr Woolverton. “For the first time people were buying three, four or five pints at a time. It had become the first lifestyle ice cream that people could eat daily.”

But should people really be eating Halo Top on a daily basis?

The ice cream contains two sweeteners – erythritol and stevia – in place of much of the sugar. While these are widely used across the food industry, and given a clean bill of health by food authorities, they do have their sceptics who say they may cause side-effects, such as exacerbating irritable bowel syndrome.

Other critics claim that Halo Top and its rival reduced-calorie ice creams could actually contribute to people putting on weight. And some question whether Halo Top should be allowed to call itself an ice cream, because it contains so little milk fat.

Mr Woolverton says the brand's success “is a recognition of how much smarter consumers are than a lot of companies think”.

Halo Top's success has also led to the launch of numerous other reduced-calorie ice cream brands. These include Unilever's Breyers Delight, Ben & Jerry's “Moo-phoria” range, and UK start-up Oppo.

Mr Woolverton has also been inundated with takeover proposals, including a reported $2bn offer from Unilever. He has rejected all of them, and instead has his eyes on global domination.

The company launched in the UK last year, and exports to countries including Australia and Singapore. Halo Top ice cream parlours, called Scoop Shops, have also opened in the US.

Mr Woolverton is confident that within five years Halo Top will be one of the biggest ice creams brands globally. “We'll be as well known as Ben & Jerry's,” he says.

By Anne Cassidy

 

 

Oprah Winfrey’s Legacy Celebrated at Smithsonian’s Museum Exhibit

 

The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture is opening a new exhibit this week called “Watching Oprah.” It's a celebration of Oprah Winfrey's legacy. Gayle King previewed the exhibit with Oprah on Wednesday where the media mogul saw it for the first time.

 

Dalai Lama’s Top 10 Rules For Success

 

He's a monk of the Gelug or “Yellow Hat” school of Tibetan Buddhism, the newest of the schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The 14th and current Dalai Lama is Tenzin Gyatso. The 14th Dalai Lama received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. He's Dalai Lama and here are his Top 10 Rules for Success.

 

John Paul DeJoria : Overcoming Homelessness Twice to Become a Billionaire

John Paul Dejoria has had a rough ride to the top. Yet being homeless twice and being abandoned by his wife early on didn't shake his drive to make it in this word, and he's managed to turn an admittedly difficult hand into a royal flush. These days he's a billionaire several times over with a successful Paul Mitchell haircare line and even a founding stake in Patron tequila brand. So how did he maintain motivation? He remembered giving two dimes to the Salvation Army as a boy, and how his mother told him that those dimes add up and can really help people. This lesson directly helped him overcome a period early in his career where he was collecting bottle caps to get money to eat.

 

Inside Tommy Hilfiger’s Stunning $50 Million Penthouse in the Plaza Hotel

Iconic fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger and his wife Dee take us on a home tour of their duplex penthouse apartment at the Plaza Hotel overlooking Central Park. Hilfiger's NYC penthouse suite has been home to The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and Marilyn Monroe. His office even features an authentic New York Times sign

 

New Orleans all-female motorcycle club empowering women everywhere

 

They’re bold, chic, and they can shred the streets of New Orleans in a pair of stilettos. Meet the Caramel Curves, an all-female motorcycle club focused on empowering and uplifting women. After feeling removed from the culture of all-male bike clubs, co-founders Tru and Coco got together to start their own movement. Now, every time they ride, the Caramel Curves demand respect, standing as a role model for girls everywhere.

 

Nelson Mandela’s Top 10 Rules For Success

 

He was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician, and philanthropist.

He served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.

He is held in deep respect within South Africa, and he's often described as the “Father of the Nation”.

He's Nelson Mandela and here are his Top 10 Rules for Success.

 

 

The senior letting older entrepreneurs know It’s never too late to reinvent yourself

 

It's never too late to reinvent yourself. Take it from Paul Tasner — after working continuously for other people for 40 years, he founded his own start-up at age 66, pairing his idea for a business with his experience and passion. And he's not alone. As he shares in this short, funny and inspirational talk, seniors are increasingly indulging their entrepreneurial instincts — and seeing great success.

 

 

 

How Greg Cox sports injury led to a successful business career

(qlmbusinessnews.com via bbc.co.uk – – Sat, 17 Feb 2018) London, Uk – –

When a serious injury ended Greg Cox's hopes of making it as a professional rugby player, little did he know that it would set him on the path to making a fortune in business.

On the books of top English club Wasps back in 1999, the then 18-year-old was playing regularly for the second team, and had been called up by the England Under 19s squad.

Then one rainy evening training session Mr Cox says he twisted his knee ligaments “and that was that”.

“I had a full knee operation, and I did return to Wasps the next year,” he says. “But still recovering from the injury I couldn't apply myself as much when I came back. And you have to be 100% committed [to be successful at rugby].”

So realising that his contract was not going to be renewed he left the club, swapping rugby for working on building sites.

“I was earning £300 a week cash in hand, which when you are living at home isn't bad, but I was looking for something else to do, and thinking ‘how can I earn more money?'.”

Soon Mr Cox swapped being a bricklayer for the life of a serial entrepreneur, moving from importing cars, to property investments, and then into the world of finance.

Since 2009 he has been the founder and chief executive of Quint Group, which owns a number of financial technology or “fintech” businesses, and today has an annual turnover of £42m.

“I think I have always been entrepreneurial, I was always selling things to other pupils at school… and I've always had a real drive,” says Mr Cox, now 36.

Educated at a private school in the south west of England, he had gained good enough A-levels to go to university, but instead chose to try a career in rugby.

When things didn't work out at Wasps, he didn't think of making a late arrival at college. Instead while working on those building sites he came up with his first big moneymaking idea – importing cars.

“There was an article in the Sunday Times all about how to import a car from Europe and save money,” he says. “At the time there was a big hoo-ha in the press about cars in Europe being 20% cheaper than in the UK.

“So I thought that this was a really good idea for a business, so I created a company to help people import cars from Europe.”

Remembering how to program computers from his school days Mr Cox quickly built a website and started to import up to 400 cars a month, even handling work for much larger firms such as Virgin Cars.

“What many people didn't realise is that you could simply go to a car dealer in Germany or Belgium and they'd be quite happy to sell you a right hand drive car. It wasn't as if people would have to put up with a left hand drive vehicle.”

For the next two to three years business boomed for Mr Cox and his company Coszt Imports “despite the terrible name”.

But then a combination of the dotcom bubble bursting in 2001, and the pound going up in value meant that the business went bust.

“I felt dented pride and a bit stupid, I guess,” he says. “I had dived into it, and I didn't know how to run a business at that age.

“Obviously you think you are invincible at 21, but I learned a lot from it. I had racked up quite a bit of debt as a result of it all, so I just had to go straight back to work.”

So licking his wounds, Mr Cox moved to South Africa, and thanks to the weakness of that country's currency, he started to once again export cars to the UK. He then expanded into property investments.

By 2008 Mr Cox was back in the UK and investing in the fintech sector when together with a friend and business partner called Paul Naden they launched Quint Group in January of the following year.

Both investing £12,500, Mr Cox says that he saw a big opportunity to set up a number of consumer finance websites. Brands owned by Quint include Monevo, an online marketplace that connects lenders with consumers that wish to borrow money, and price comparison website Moneyguru.

Based in Macclesfield, in Cheshire in the north of England, Quint makes most of its money by charging lenders a commission, and it also has a data business called Infinian.

Mr Cox today owns 90% of Quint after buying out his co-founder last year. The company now has 100 employees, and overseas offices in Poland, China, South Africa, and the US, as it continues with its international expansion plans.

Richard Bell, north west editor of business news publisher Bdaily, says that “given the level of growth that Quint has achieved over the past couple of years… I'm keen to see where they are headed. Exciting business with switched-on leadership.”

Mr Cox is, however, happy to admit that it hasn't all been plain sailing at Quint, with an unsuccessful insurance business being closed down.

“When something doesn't work we stop it and do something else,” he says.

“My advice to anyone wanting to start a business is: Focus on what you are good at, work relentlessly at it, make considered decisions, don't be too emotive, and with a bit of luck you'll have some success.”

By Will Smale