Nothing Sweet About Alan Sugar
“Once you decide to work for yourself, you never go back to work for someone else.” -Lord Sugar
Alan Sugar, widely known as Lord Sugar- one of the biggest names in business with, as some may attest, one of the biggest mouths as well. Not meant to be an insult, Alan Sugar is a very outspoken English gentleman with firm personal ideals that stemmed from an initially difficult life that he has turned into one that may boast owning and running a very big, very rich empire. As far as egos go, I’d say his was rather fair.
Quite far from his current lifestyle, Alan Sugar lived in a council house with his family in Hackney, East London. He left school at the early age of 16, he first worked for the civil service as a statistician at the Ministry of Education.
It seems, however, that from day 1, he had already wanted to be his own boss. He eventually gathered up his savings of a whopping £50 and sold electrical goods and car aerials out of a van.
He had mentioned that his experience with his parents were not exactly the best for a budding businessman. Both his father and mother were not very supportive of the little jobs and side tasks that he had set up for himself and would wonder where he got his money.
His big break came at the age of 21 when he set up Amstrad (Alan Michael Sugar Trading), an electrical goods company in 1968. The company was able to completely undercut existing competition with regards to engineering, and was able to turn higher profit each year.
He arguably had a sixth sense of finding the next big thing, as the biggest and most successful venture for Amstrad came in with the wave of the idea of home computers, with Amstrad coasting comfortably right on top.
Later on in 2007, the company was eventually bought for £125M, with Sugar withdrawing from the company to focus on his other ventures.
He certainly doesn’t sugarcoat
If Lord Sugar wants you to know his ideals, you will know his ideals. He is very outspoken and rather blunt, though one can argue that this is how he gets things done as efficiently as he does, and it’s hard to blame the ideology of someone as successful as he is.
Before all else, he does not hold educational attainment and personal backgrounds as high in regard as other employers tend to- after all, he left school at 16. As a self made man, he understands that all have the luck of being born to rich parents, and therefore have access to quality education. He values wit, instinct, perseverance and good old hard work.
The Apprentice, The Junior/Young Apprentice
Many people will recognize the blunt and intimidating Lord Sugar from the reality TV series The Apprentice and The Junior/Young Apprentice as essentially the British counterpart of Donald Trump.
During The Junior/Young Apprentice, he continuously drives home the point of wanting to support and give opportunities to the best and brightest minds of the younger generation, looking for that “genius spark” from teenage candidates whose ages were very close to his own when he opened up business from the back of a van. While still being firm and setting precariously high expectations for the teens, when he does have to fire one, he always reminds them that getting onto the program is an incredible achievement in itself and is something to be proud of.