Top 17 quotes of 2017

It’s been quite a year, but 2017 is (finally) over. Here we 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.

Week in, week out, our Business Shapers have provided advice, inspiration and often amusement. Here are our top 17 quotes of 2017:

Emma Sinclair MBE, businesswoman, serial entrepreneur and journalist: “I took my student loans out, obviously I don’t recommend this to anyone, but I traded them on the Stock Exchange because working in McDonald’s wasn’t enough money.”

Oliver Tress, Founder and Managing Director, Oliver Bonas: “I had no idea about business and just thought it was something quite easy to do. I had no idea of all the intricacies, so it was actually very painful. The first few years were tough.”

Gina Miller, Entrepreneur,: The things you really own are your conscience and your voice and your actions.”

Vernon W. Hill II, Chairman and founder of Metro Bank: “I’ve played golf with Trump a lot. What you see is what you get.” 

Camilla Stephens, Founder, Higgidy: I never really got on at school. I think that’s probably a theme quite often found with entrepreneurs.”

Dame Stephanie Shirley, IT entrepreneur and philanthropist: I date from the days when women were really not expected to do very much outside the house…”

Simon Franks, Founder of Redbus Group: “I got a job in banking which was fascinating and terrible and I saw lots of great people get trapped in the system of just being addicted to the money.”

Craig Sams, Founder of Green & Blacks: “If you are passionate and you believe in what you are doing then you are more likely to get it right because you will constantly examine yourself and question your own values.”

Will Butler-Adams, Managing Director of Brompton Bicycle: “I did weird expeditions into weird parts of the world and was always quite keen to do things a little bit different on the basis that, you know, when you’re twenty eight really what have you got to lose?” 

Cleo Rocos, Comedy actress, producer, presenter and businesswoman: “Don’t over analyse it. Don’t try to fit in. I couldn’t fit in if I tried. I would just say go with your passion, go with an absolute passion and a drive and that will take you places.”

Emma Bridgewater, Founder, Emma Bridgewater ceramics: “I look at some of the successful businesses in Stoke and I love that we are known as the biggest manufacturers there. I have to admit, it’s not true. We are just the mouthiest.”

David Duke, founder and CEO, Street Soccer Scotland: People are people regardless of your mental health or if you’re homeless, you know. People are people, and we need to remember that.”

Dean Richmond, Owner, Pets Corner: My dad was almost the Basil Fawlty of the pet world. He didn’t like customers very much.”

Richard Farleigh, Entrepreneur and Action For Children ambassador: “I have never actually felt that I am good at business.”

Simon Woodroffe, OBE , Founder of YO!, “One thing I had leaving school early was that I didn’t have the imagination educated out of me, which is what I think we can do to our kids if we’re not careful.”

Jon Wright, Co-founder, innocent drinks and JamJar Investments: “…we’re kind of sitting in these leather chairs, spinning around pretending to be executives but really having no idea what we’re doing.”

Pip Jamieson, Founder of The Dots: “We are entering the age of automation and the robots are coming. But there are three things technology does really badly. It doesn’t have common sense, it can’t feel empathy and it can’t mimic the human capability to be creative.”