Peter Jones is a prolific UK business entrepreneur, most famous for his role in the BBC TV series, Dragons’ Den.
Through his savvy business sense and ambitious nature, Peter is now worth an estimated £485 million, but it hasn’t always been plain sailing for this Berkshire-born man. A series of bad decisions during his late 20s ended up costing Peter his home and business, forcing him to sleep on a warehouse floor.
Here’s how Peter Jones overcame the bad times and made his fortune.
Born in Maidenhead in 1966, Peter displayed an ambitious streak from an early age. When he visited his father’s office, he would sit in his chair and daydream of one day becoming a multi-millionaire.
As a teenager, Peter showed an interest in tennis, and by combining his passion for the sport with his love of economics, he established a successful tennis coaching school.
Climbing the career ladder
Peter also had an interest in computers, particularly building them. During his late teens and early 20s, he began selling computers for a tidy profit. In a bid to diversify, Peter also opened a cocktail bar.
Peter’s successful early career was cut short, however, when some bad decisions he made, combined with unforeseen circumstances, saw him lose millions of pounds and everything he owned. Literally, he was forced to start his life and career again from scratch.
Back on track
At the age of 28, Peter picked himself up off the floor by distributing his CV far and wide. He bagged himself a job at a big corporate business, where just a year later he found himself running things.
This was just the start for Peter’s new-found success. He went on to establish Phones International Group in 1998, which generated an impressive £14 million worth of sales during its first year of business.
In 2005, Peter took over the gift experience brand, Red Letter Days, and during this period also set up a wines-for-business company and a recruitment enterprise. He also established a TV production organisation and has made a number of property investments. Taking over Jessops in 2013 and relaunching the photography retailer, Peter has also been keen to revitalise the UK’s high streets.
With a portfolio of over 40 business investments spanning a wide range of industries, Peter claims to have generated revenues of over £250 million, while employing over 1,000 staff.
Peter is the only remaining original Dragons’ Den personality since this popular series began back in 2005.
During his stint on Dragons’ Den, Peter has invested in businesses such as Wonderland Magazine, Square Mile International, The Generating Company and Reggae Reggae Sauce.
Aside from Dragons’ Den, Peter has made plenty of appearances on TV, including shows such as Celebrity Juice, Never Mind the Buzzcocks and Top Gear.
Peter has taken a keen interest in developing tomorrow’s business entrepreneurs, through training and development at his own Peter Jones Enterprise Academy, which operates at several locations throughout the UK. His charity, the Peter Jones Foundation, also aims to promote enterprise in schools.
As one of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs, Peter has quite rightly gained recognition for his endeavours. In 2002, he was named Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year by The Times/Ernst & Young, while in 2009, he gained a CBE for his services to business, enterprise and young people.
Despite financially crippling setbacks, Peter Jones has shown true grit to win in business. If you’re inspired by his story, working with others in a collaborative setting, such as those available at the Headspace Group, can help put you on the right path to success.
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