The theory is that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. Look at the five people that are closest to you: can you spot their traits in yourself?
The same is true for entrepreneurs. We absorb so much from the business people that are closest to us. We are influenced by their attitudes and learn lessons from their approaches and strategies.
This is why I count myself lucky that I have some seriously impressive entrepreneurs in my immediate circle. In fact, they are family.
Firstly, my wife, Amanda Port nee Green. She is a savvy businesswoman in her own right. She grew up working in her family business, a menswear manufacturer. We got married 24 years ago and she has been my right hand in my last two businesses. At BigChange, she deals with marketing and inbound leads. She’s brilliant with people so these roles are a natural fit.
I’m so lucky that I met Amanda all those years ago. And not just because her advice is invaluable. Her two siblings are also entrepreneurial successes – and they have become great friends of mine.
Her brother Daniel Green is a serial entrepreneur. He sold one business to Moss Bros, the menswear giant, and another was acquired by Sky; he became the managing director of retail for BSkyB after that deal was done. He sold his last business, a solar panel company, to Aviva for around £100m. Since then, he has become an angel investor: one of his investee companies was just sold to Centrica.
Karen Harris nee Green is also a serial entrepreneur. She set up Geronimo PR in 1999 and sold that for £11m. Her next company Karen was involved in sold to the Economist in 2012. Then Karen went on to build the world’s first virtual shopping centre which she sold to Intu PLC and Karen is now Managing Director of Intu’s Digital arm.
These three inherited not only their entrepreneurial flair from their parents but also they are all extremely charitable working hard for great causes and I have benefitted from their combined genius. They are all great listeners and always make time to hear problems and give advice. Success generates a halo effect.
I’m grateful to have such a powerful sounding board so close at hand. It’s important that all of us recognise how important our nearest and dearest have been to our success. My entrepreneurial journey would have been a lot harder, packed with many more mistakes, without these people. I want to take the time to thank them for all they’ve done.
Who’s been supporting your entrepreneurial dreams? Is it time to recognise their contribution too? Tell me who has been the wind beneath your wings in the comments below.