JOHN CAUDWELL -
THE SECRET OF SUCCESS
|John Caudwell a self made
From sweeping floors
in a pottery to an £840 million fortune - John Caudwell's life
is an extraordinary tale of rags to riches. Inside Out gets a unique
opportunity to get behind the notorious hard man image and discover
the real John Caudwell.
John Caudwell is the
epitome of a self made man. He began his career sweeping floors, now John
is the owner of the biggest independent mobile phone retailer in Europe
and a £840 million fortune.
This may be the stuff that dreams are made of, but for
John, his success came as no surprise.
"I did imagine becoming a millionaire when I was
seven years old," says John.
"I always had a passionate belief in my ability to
succeed at anything I did."
Once upon a time
Like all good fairy tales, John's success has not come
easy. John's fortune was not made through a lucky lottery win, nor was
he heir to an estate.
had the foresight to see how mobile phones could become big business
It was sheer hard work, determination and amazing foresight
that rocketed John Caudwell from obscurity to a place in the top 30 richest
"I was brought up in a fairly poor neighbourhood,"
"I was bullied a lot
I think that made me into
a bit of a fighter."
John and his brother Brian began selling mobile phones
when they were largely unheard of, the size of a house brick and a craze
that many thought would never catch on!
The Caudwell Group is now the biggest independent cellphone
retailer in Europe.
But John is not content to rest on his laurels. Where
his business is concerned John is still very much hands on.
On yer bike
think cutting through the crap is right. I like to be upfront and
open," says John
John's monthly board meetings highlight a weak store in
the area and John decides to pay them a visit.
So how does a multi-millionaire arrive at one of his retail
outlets? Chauffeur driven Bentley? Helicopter?
Not today - John arrives by bike!
A keen cyclist and fitness enthusiast, John takes every
opportunity to get in vital training for his forthcoming charity bike
But judging by this performance - John needs little practice.
John cycles the 43 mile journey from Stoke on Trent to
Birmingham in just two hours, before giving the area manager a dressing
"I pay the absolute top dollar to get the very, very
best people," explains John.
"I put them in the roles and they have to survive
and prosper by their own abilities. If they don't - they go."
You shall go to the ball
charity ball boasts royalty - Princess Anne's daughter Zara Phillips
John may have a hard head when it comes to business, but
no-one could accuse him of having a hard heart.
John is throwing a star studded charity ball - the biggest
in the UK.
John even boasts royalty amongst his guests as Princess
Anne's daughter, Zara Phillips arrives in time for the auction.
In less than an hour, John succeeds in raising nearly
£150,000 for charity.
So once again John is beating those targets, but can Inside
Out persuade him to share the secrets of his success?
"Everything is a positive if you can make it into
it," reveals John. "It's very rare that you can't make a negative
into a positive."
But as for taking time out to enjoy his wealth, John can
not be persuaded.
"If I could just do everything I wanted because I've
got all the time in the world and all the money in the world, then I think
it would be a bit empty, a bit valueless."