Theo Paphitis

Our lives are ruled by rules. If you want to play the game, you have to learn the rules and play by them.” One thing is for sure when it comes to running a business, multimillionaire and Dragon’s Den star Theo Paphitis knows how to be successful and how to make money,  a lot of it…

At just 44-years-old, Theo Paphitis is already worth an estimated US$255 million. The British entrepreneur of Greek Cypriot origin began his profitable career when he was just 21 selling mortgages, he later went on to be the chairman of Millwall Football Club, as well as the owner of La Senza, Ryman, Red Letter Days and Boux Avenue (Millwall and La Senza are no longer on his books).

With Boux Avenue recently opening three new stores on the UAE – Mirdif City Centre and Dubai Festival City, Dubai and Al Khalidiyah, Abu Dhabi, respectively – we decided to the grill the man with a plan for some life lessons

Every detail no matter how small, is considered in the Middle East. Boux Avenue is well placed to delight consumers in these markets. The Middle East and Asia are global retail power houses. Their consumers demand the very best the world has to offer from both brands and product.

I don’t regret getting involved in anything I didn’t choose to, I need to like a person and I know a good money making idea when I see one.

It’s rare for me to have an original idea! I’m often collared in the street by people asking why I didn’t invest in a particular project on Dragon’s Den. While there are often many great ideas and inventions, they don’t always translate into money making. When I do find an idea (mainly someone else’s) that I think will be successful, I get up and do something about it!

It’s very rare for anyone to become a millionaire unless they win the lottery. You would normally become a ten thousand dollar-aire, hundred thousand dollar-aire, two hundred thousand dollar-aire etc until you become a millionaire and then you don’t even realise it.

I wake up every morning wanting to go to work. I love what I do – why would I retire?  I have actually set my retirement date…..for the day I die.

Be dedicated, hardworking and have an entrepreneurial spirit whether you’re working for yourself or a company. You have to have thick skin to work in business, so you don’t fall at the first hurdle – determination will see you through.

I’ve been lucky in business and I’m keen now to spread goodwill to others [through my Small Business Sunday tweets where I encourage people to share their ideas and I also offer advice], of course not forgetting that very often, you make your own luck by making use of every opportunity.

Make sure you’re passionate about what you do and you can bore your friends talking about it. You’ll need this love for what you do to get you through the difficult times you will undoubtedly encounter in running your own business;.

You need to be better prepared than the next person. Why should you compete on a level playing field when you can stack the cards of success in your favour by knowing more and being better prepared?

Never, ever bet the farm in any decision you make. There is an assumption, which is wrong, that to be an entrepreneur you take huge risks. Yes we take risks, but they must be calculated risks where the upside is measured and the downside is known.

 For more Life Lessons, visit here