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Learning from a Dragon (Peter Jones)

Today I want to introduce you to a dragon! Peter Jones is a successful entrepreneur and business man on the popular British Show “Dragons Den”. In this reality show, budding entrepreneurs get three minutes to pitch their business ideas to five multimillionaires who are willing to invest their own cash to kick-start the businesses in the original “Shark Tank.” After each pitch, the Dragons have the opportunity to ask questions about the venture. The entrepreneurs don’t always have to answer, but of course what they choose not to address could very well affect the outcome. Peter Jones advises entrepreneurs on business, strategy and development on the show.

Peter Jones, CBE is a British entrepreneur and businessman with interests in technology, media, leisure and property. A profile in the Sunday Times Rich List 2013 estimated his wealth at GB£475 million.

The key to his success is based on the rules below:-

  1. VISION 

Your vision is your destination. You’ll need a map to help you reach that destination, this will be made up of goals and results. Vision is important, you need to know which direction you are taking in order to achieve your goals.


All businesses need business partners to grow. Businesspersons recognise the importance of filling the gaps and weaknesses in their own skill set or business idea, by finding the parts of the puzzle to create the best chance of success.


If you don’t believe in yourself or your idea, why should anyone else? Gain confidence through gaining experience, skills and knowledge. Change your perception of failure to realise that it provides feedback. Feedback provides essential learning to help know what not to do the next time.


Committing to follow through once a decision is made is an invaluable ally on your road to success. Be prepared to work hard and make sacrifices. Commit to a common goal and make it happen, but commit to yourself and your health too.


Tycoons make things happen. They are driven by results. Planning for your success is as important as achieving success. You need to know exactly how you got there so your success can be duplicated, scaled up and multiplied, and it is that which turns an entrepreneur into a Tycoon.


Anticipating the changing needs of the market and partners is crucial. Timing when to enter a market or not will help optimise success, as will knowing the right time and circumstances to start your business.


Tycoons go the extra mile. Perseverance, sheer determination and tenacity are core characteristics of the mindset of a Tycoon. Successful entrepreneurs battle against all the odds to build their business and always appreciate when it is time to get out. Try to have flexibility to work outside your own comfort zones in order to bring your dreams to fruition.


Relationships with people are key. Business and personal relationships should be cherished. Treat people how you yourself would want to be treated. Always remember that people are the lifeblood and engine room of any business.


Action is the bridge between your vision and results. Action involves figuring out how to get from where you are now to where you want to be. Without action, there would be no results.


Listen to your instincts. They can protect you from making poor business decisions and guide you down the right path.

Here’s to a whole new breed of successful South African entrepreneurs.

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