Young Upstarts

All about entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, ideas, innovation, and small business.

3 Of The Best: Business Insights From Leading UK Entrepreneurs

reuben singh

Branson, Sugar, and Singh. These names thrown together sound like the title of a high-end law firm, but of course they are the names of the three most well-known modern entrepreneurs in the UK. What we’ll try to discover in this article is what makes these men special. More importantly, many people are entrepreneurial, so what has allowed these three to rise so far above the average entrepreneur and amass such incredible fortunes? Perhaps if we can figure this out, it will give the rest of us a fighting chance of accomplishing similar greatness.

Sounds interesting? Then read on!

Success Factor 1: Thinking in terms of possibility, not impossibility.

It never pays to be completely reckless when launching a business, but an important lesson from these highly successful entrepreneurs is that if you always take the “safe” path, the success you achieve will be correspondingly modest. If you want to make outrageous profits, you must be prepared to be a little outrageous yourself!

Richard Branson: “My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable challenges and trying to rise above them.”

Alan Sugar: “Success comes more quickly to the entrepreneur that follows his instincts rather than following the progress of his competitors.”

Reuben Singh (pictured right): “Just do it. Don’t care about failing. Don’t care about falling. The thrill is the journey.”

If you want to achieve a high level of success, you have to be willing to take some risks. If you fail, so what? That’s what second chances are for.

Success Factor 2: Every cloud has a silver lining.

Don’t let mistakes and minor problems get you down. And certainly if you get something wrong, don’t try to deny it to yourself. The best entrepreneurs recognize their failings, seeing them as learning opportunities that will help them grow stronger.

It’s not that billionaires like Richard Branson never screw up – in fact there’s even an entire website dedicated to his failures – it’s simply that they don’t give up. Reuben Singh’s business nightmare came true when he took on one of the big banks in a legal fight and lost (not because he was wrong, but because he wasn’t a bank!). Alan Sugar has earned a little adverse fame for occasionally putting his foot in it, with his outspoken manner that sometimes gets people offside.

They’ve all had their share of regrets, but their confidence in their vision allows them to learn, adapt, and keep going. Perhaps the greatest proof of this is that Singh, despite how hard those earlier problems hit, is still encouraging others to follow in his footsteps by following their entrepreneurial dreams. This is why he is now funding a scholarship to provide opportunities for a new generation of entrepreneurs.

Success Factor 3: Integrity.

One of the things you’re bound to notice is that even though these three top entrepreneurs have things in common, they are also all very different from each other. They work hard to get what they want in their own way, and don’t try to imitate each other.

Richard Branson: “Keeping your integrity at the core of everything you do is vital to being able to grow your business”.

Alan Sugar: “There was a desire [from the producers] to see me being nasty and horrible, and of course that’s not me”.

Reuben Singh: “When you copy others you are not listening to your heart, you are not natural and above all you are not being true to yourself.”

Integrity really is the most important asset you can possess, and you only have it when you are entirely honest with yourself.


Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.

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