I once knew a serial divorcee. He certainly wasn’t the easiest person to live with as he was singularly focussed and determined which in part explained his lack of matrimonial success as well as his entrepreneurial ability to build businesses from nothing again and again.
He was divorced four times and on his fifth marriage when I met him. On each earlier separation he had given away all his money to his ex. I think he felt a guilt for the failure of the relationships which he quenched by giving away his wealth, or perhaps he just enjoyed the challenge of starting again.
If there is a quality above all others I saw in him that enabled his success it was his dogged determination and thick skin. No matter what the set back he would come back in the morning with a work around or new strategy and a smile, as if the disappointment from the day before had never happened.
Yes he was charming intelligent and a great host incidentally, but his ambition was hidden under a calm self assurance. Not arrogance at all. Easy to get on with but perhaps difficult to live with. He worked constantly but always enjoyed himself, consumed and passionate and excited about the challenges of the day. Perhaps less focused on his family responsibilities.
His first business was a salvage operation founded when 18 years old from replacing a church lead roof. He sold the business to Royal Dutch Shell when they sought to prevent him blasting the armoured plates from the submerged fleet at Scarpa Flow. It was interfering with their seismic surveys looking for oil deposits, and the only way to stop him was to buy the company. Perhaps he was just born lucky or should we apply the entrepreneur expression ‘the harder I work the luckier I get’?
His last business was an InsurTech business 15 years before the phrase was coined. He never lived to see it succeed but was still working despite a triple heart bypass. Committed to the end. He only knew success as he never knew an insurmountable obstacle only a need to adapt.
So ideal serial entrepreneur: Determined, dogged, resilient, adaptable, persuasive, committed and passionate.
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