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Be Your Own Boss: See what it takes

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Richard Reed Richard Reed | 08:25 UK time, Tuesday, 18 September 2012

I read recently there are only three questions in life worth asking oneself: 'Am I having sex? Do I have a family? Am I intellectually stimulated?'

With three yeses you're basically in paradise, two will bring you happiness and one means you at least can survive.

I personally have a fourth one which is 'are my trousers comfortable?', but overall that three-question approach seems like a good, simple model for personal development.

I've got a similar three-question model when I'm having business ideas pitched to me.

Do I get excited by the idea? Have the team got the skills and energy to nail it? And is the investment at the right price?

Three yeses gets them my money, two gets them my respect, one gets them a free drink on their way out.

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Richard Reed talks about how to turn a good idea into a great business

Be Your Own Boss on BBC Three is me putting this model into action. On a larger scale.

In the series you'll hear me banging on and on about the quality of the idea and the quality of the team as I expose myself to 500 pitches from new entrepreneurs looking for investment.

There are some where I don't rate the idea but can see talent in the entrepreneur (step forward the Porridge Power lady), there are some where the idea would do much better if it could choose itself a new team and there are a few where the planets align and both are good.

And that's when we get to talk business.

I hope people enjoy watching the show. But more than that I hope it helps people who want to set up their own company.

It's designed to, by showing both what it takes to set up a business and what investors look for in funding start ups.

And as people watch the stages unfurl it will hopefully trigger the reaction I am most looking for in the viewer - one of, 'hang on, I could do that'.

And if you do find yourself thinking that when you're watching, you're right.

So switch the telly off and go get started on your business plan instead.

Richard Reed is the co-founder of innocent Drinks and appears in Be Your Own Boss.

Be Your Own Boss is on Wednesday, 19 September at 9pm on BBC Three. For further programme times, please see the episode guide.

Comments made by writers on the BBC TV blog are their own opinions and not necessarily those of the BBC.


  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    8 minutes of repetition before we get to see any business ideas - here is an idea - create a program that does not bore the tits off its viewers or, hire a producer who knows what he is doing - you could also do with dropping the the voiceover guy.

  • Comment number 3.

    Me and best friend joined the show and half way through it gave us the confidence to 'go for it' it was a fantastic experience.

    We met lots of great people and starting our business was the best thing we have ever done.

    We are on wed 26th if you want to see 2 x geeks give up day jobs and start a mobile app agency.

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 4.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 5.

    The voiceover man is pompous and not funny. Sneering throwaway lines about young people trying to make progress in their chosen field/career is a cheap and unattractive aspect of the programme.... rethink this aspect of the programme please.... is the entrepreneur happy with this nasty script?

  • Comment number 6.

    Just watched be your own boss for the first time. Great programme. Any ideas how I can get in touch with the self confessed app geeks.


  • Comment number 7.

    Love the show and the mixpixie idea is brilliant, however the guy doing the voiceover commentary lets the show down with his sarcastic comments, especially during the piece with the artist at Decca (I think it was). That comes across as unprofessional and I can't see how that would encourage acts to sign up to this concept

  • Comment number 8.

    I found this an intriguing programme & worth watching; However I must concur with a few of the other comments; the tone & script of the Voiceover was disgraceful. This is meant to be a serious programme dealing with people's dreams, aspirations & potential livelihood - what part does wisecracks, demeaning comments & snide remarks have to do with this programme. Come on BBC I know you are better than this. Urgent rethink please. It doesn't cost anything to present an informative, thoughtful voiceover to assist the viewer but not what I heard last night.

  • Comment number 9.

    I watched myself on it last night with my wife ( Ben App Developers) and loved the show it has changed our lives. Grimmers (voiceover guy) was OK on us but harsh on others. Overall I am really happy with the show

  • Comment number 10.

    I have now watched all three episodes. In last night's show Richard made an interesting comment - Being your own boss is the ultimate equal oppurtunity employer. I would say as a middle aged "potential own boss", there is a subtly missed here. Enthusiasm for youth is matched by skeptism for age, why do all the ideas seem only to be coming from young people?

    Further in last weeks show the rescue device inventer had a brilliant idea killed by a professor - it became a nothing. Propellors are not always located to the rear of watercraft.

  • Comment number 11.

    good show. I will not complain about the moderator as well, in the end it did not kill it for me. Thank you Richard Reed for making me feel normal again and to know there is nothing wrong with me quiting my job and going for my dreams. All the questions you ask resonate for me. Intellectual stimulation is a must in my life, else I feel uninspired. I am still at an early fase though and wondering what is right and wrong. No, I have not figured out much and at times I think I have nothing. But the couch lol. I did however get the strong feeling of I could do that. Some guidance would be great but I am not so lucky. Not expecting any answer from you, I also wrote on Richard Branson's blog once. I live in Holland and I am currently broke, greatest time of my life. Who is really broke when you have dreams? I am rich! :-)

  • Comment number 12.

    'I LOVE THIS SHOW' Richard Reed is a true inspiration! I have a product that I am in the middle of producing, still at the stage where I am improving flavours/textures, packaging etc (so I am still in the early days) but I am definitely aiming high! Watching this programme has really boosted my confidence, given me 'food for thought' as they say - no pun intended. It's also given me really helpful advice and it's a programme that I genuinely look forward to watching. Plus the fact that Mr Reed is very cute and attractive does help to make it an easy watch! ;)

    The voice over guy, although can seem a little harsh towards some people, I am sure he does not mean anything bad by it, I think he is trying to make the programme light hearted and not as serious as some of the other business related programmes that are on the TV at the moment.

    Overall, great show! And I agree with you Ioana 'I am rich, already in life' but there is no harm in aspiring for more in life, and wanting money in the bank! I wish you the very best in your venture. :)

    Roll on next Wednesday - 9pm, in the meantime I best get back to working on my product :)

  • Comment number 13.

    Loved the show... Well liking it as I'm watching it now... But thought of an awsome idea for Alex with his Papercraft greetings cards to potentually do something along the paper craft ideas using the Innocent Smoothies box so there for recicling there boxes...
    Also like the idea of the Seat for kids in cars.

  • Comment number 14.

    Here's a groundbreaking idea. Use a sound recordist and your programme might become watchable.

  • Comment number 15.

    This programme has huge viewer potential but it is too boring to watch all the way through-in one sitting. We don't see much of the team supporting Richard who all have views - presumably. The narrowness in Richard's interests where he can 'add value' shows there is a gap in the fundamental premise of the programme. The production leaves it flat - I think it's brave to try and tell a whole story in each episode but it doesn't seem to bridge the talent show vs business show.

  • Comment number 16.

    Nice idea for a show, sort of a cross between the Theo Pathitous one and Dragon's Den. The problem is that Richard doesn't really give much support and he doesn't make consistent or explained decisions regarding seed money or the final investment so we're left second guessing.

    My main issue with the show, and it's not the first time this has been said, is that the voiceover was snide, sarcastic, unfunny and totally unproductive. A person with Richard's positive outlook should've vetoed that right at the start. It got annoying and detracted from the point of the show.

    Finally (for the negatives), why were the applicants given £100 to make money off if that was only ever going to be mentioned by one applicant? Every show I keep wanting to know who made or lost money, and how they did it. What was the point of telling us about it if its not part of the show?

    On the positive side, it was good to see so many people having a go at making their ideas profitable and I wish I'd known about the show at the initial selection stages.

  • Comment number 17.

    A good show on which we were one of the pitchers, I agree with others that the belittling of some pitchers should never have happened. Also not everyone got a fair crack at pitching to Richard which was disappointing. A little biased also in my opinion but I will go no further than this. A bit more input from Richard and a little less from the BBC might make the programme better. Hope it continues though for another series and encompasses some of the issues raised by bloggers here.

  • Comment number 18.

    Does anyone know the name of the piece of music at the end of Episode 6 (54 mins in when Richard is offering to provide funding for the group with the wine idea) - harp/violin? Love the programme, love that piece of music! Thanks. JillyH

  • Comment number 19.

    Hi everyone

    Thanks for the comments.
    JillyH #18, you can find details about the music featured in episode six of Be Your Own Boss on the programme page.

    Hope that helps!

    BBC TV blog


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