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Jazz Shapers

The Best of the ‘Best of Guest’

Top 16 quotes of 2016

2016 may be over – and some may be relieved – but it would be remiss of us not to highlight our pick of the year’s wisest words and most memorable quotes from our brilliant Business Shapers. These are the successful entrepreneurs and business people who have been interviewed by Mishcon de Reya’s Director of Business Development, Elliot Moss, on our ‘Jazz Shapers’ programme on Jazz FM, alongside music from the risk takers of jazz.

Last year Jazz Shapers saw the introduction of Future Shapers, short interviews with bright young entrepreneurs who have recently founded businesses destined for great things; Jazz Shapers Encore, programmes catching up with past guests, which have included Robin Rowland of YO! Sushi and John Vincent of LEON restaurants; and the inaugural Live Session with Kelly Hoppen.

Week in, week out, our Business Shapers have provided advice, inspiration and often amusement. Here are our top 16 quotes of 2016:

“I wanted to be rich, you know? I’d grown up on a council estate looking at the houses on top of the hill and wanting one.” Barry Hearn, Chairman, World Snooker

“…overnight, out of frustration, annoyance, I became an entrepreneur.”  Mark Allen, Founder, Mark Allen Group

“I actually conceived my daughter and the business in the same week.” Kate Lester, CEO, Diamond Logistics

“You have to make sure the people who aren’t on song find other places to work. You cannot have people diluting that culture.”  Robin Rowland, CEO, Yo!Sushi

“It’s terrible that we criticise people for U-turns – they should be allowed to understand they’ve made an error and fix it.”  Kresse Wesling, Co-Founder, Elvis & Kresse

“I promised my wife two things: one – I would not spend all my time at the club, and two – I would not invest my pension in it. I lied about the first one.” Erik Samuelson, CEO, AFC Wimbledon

“…at the time I never thought about whether it was easy or difficult. I just got on with it.”  Jeremy Hackett, Chairman & Co-Founder, Hackett

“Great brands have got values. Great brands believe in something.” Jamie Fuller, Executive Chairman, SKINS

“My husband had done no due diligence whatsoever because he thought he’d got a good Indian wife who could cook.” Pinky Lilani CBE DL, food guru, author, motivational speaker & champion for women

“Give up the fruits of money, give up the fruits of fame and recognise that happiness comes from mastering something.” John Vincent, CEO, Leon

“Understand the preciousness of life and how it can just drip away if you don’t do something with it.” Shamim Sarif, British writer and director, & Hanan Kattan, producer

“Generally the Italians believe that food is the second best thing in life…” Antonio Carluccio OBE OMRI, Founder, Carluccio

“It’s a bit like running a marathon, it doesn’t matter how fit you are, you are going to hit a wall.” Ben Wright, Co-Founder, Wright Brothers

“Life is about giving, not taking. There is so much more to life than accumulating, owning more, possessing more. Possessions possess you.” Robert Nadler, Founder, Nadler Hotels

“In the times I have had tragedy in my life I have thrown myself into my business. It is the one thing that has never let me down.” Kelly Hoppen MBE, Founder, Kelly Hoppen Interiors Ltd

“It’s never time to put your feet up and relax.”  Laurence Isaacson CBE FRSA, Co-owner & Chairman, L’escargot and Chairman, World Cancer Research Fund UK

You can revisit all the Jazz Shaper programmes from 2016 and the Best of Guest blogs here. More insights from our 2017 Business Shapers starting this Saturday, 7 January.


Shaper: Matthew Januszek

Matthew Januszek is Co-Founder of Escape Fitness, a business committed to working with fitness clubs to deliver the best possible exercise experiences. Founded in 1998, Escape Fitness has built a reputation for product innovation, quality and design while growing and competing through great partnerships in multiple markets worldwide. From a garage gym to a global [...]


Jazz Shapers - 5 days ago

Shaper: Raoul Shah

Raoul Shah is Founder and joint CEO of Exposure, a creative communications agency that joins the dots between brands, culture and consumers.   Founded in 1993, the agency prides itself on long term client relationships (some of which span over 15 years), has won numerous awards (including Cannes Lions & D&AD), and remains one of [...]


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