What do you currently do?
I am the founder and Big Chief of the Tugg Foundation. This is a collection of Planets (businesses) in constant and harmonious orbit around the Sun (me). Each business allows me to play to a particular strength or indulge a certain hobby.
My planet Earth is The Obafemi Trust, a fund for budding entrepreneurs who need a little love and a little shove in the right direction through training and mentoring. This is an immensely satisfying project that is really beginning to click into gear. My son, Zeus, runs that operation and he is proving to be a true chip off the block.
As for the rest of the GOALar System, Abodez (Mars) is my property investment portfolio, No No Gnomez (Venus) make hilarious, high-end ‘saucy’ garden gnomes, Stargazers (Pluto) is my film production company and Whiskerz (Neptune) is a cutting edge catering college for the elderly.
There were plans to unveil a new business later in the year, a joint venture called Lucky Kisses, which combines the online gambling and online dating markets, but relations have broken down with the other party.
What is your inspiration in business?
A new day. That’s all I need. Of course, that wasn’t always the case. Prior to my stroke of fortune, or ‘Tugg’ of fortune as some wags have since called it, I was in a tremendously bad place. I was barely able to drag myself out of bed to get to work and even when I got there I did little more than sleep at my desk or sit through hours of disciplinary meetings. I became addicted to a market-leading upholstery freshener and lost the respect of those that loved me. I knew that I could do better. I had plans and ideas that were simply buried beneath a concrete layer of self-loathing.
Some say that I was lucky receiving such a large sum of money by replying to an unsolicited email with my personal details. I know I wasn’t lucky. I knew that this was a helping hand from forces bigger than other human minds can rationalize. I knew that Mr Obafemi was genuine and that his estate belonged to me. I wish I could have met him before his death and thanked him in person. Although that would probably have unnerved him, talking about his death.
I have never looked back. I just make sure that there are no cleaning products in the house. I have my rituals. I have the lyrics to M People’s magnificent ‘Search for the Hero’ printed on my dressing table and I read them every morning; utterly inspirational.
I have a state of mind. It is called Profit Island. This is one of the few places that is both a state of mind and an actual place, like Graceland Mansion or Trump Towers. I can retreat there mentally and in reality by the Tuggboat. This is also both a real thing and a metaphor for business. It can get very confusing being a thought leader.
Who do you admire?
I admire every single one of my passengers on the Tuggboat. Those that follow me, listen to me, respond to me, learn from me and get rewarded because of me. I also greatly admire Rachel Elnaugh both as a woman, a human being and a businessperson.
I like people that excel in different arenas, like me. P Diddy, Paul Newman, Jim Carey, Gordon Ramsey, Prince William, Bill Clinton, people like that. I have also become a bit of an amateur historian after getting The Tudors box set for Christmas. I have a lot of respect for King Henry!
Looking back, are there things you would have done differently?
Only in the bad days. I did some pretty lurid things to raise money. Since then, I only regret the things I don’t do, so I pretty much say yes to everything.
What defines your way of doing business?
I don’t know if I can say this in such a respectable publication, but I do business with a smile on my face and my balls out. People are either with me or against me. They are on the boat or left at the docks. I am a little bit Maverick, a little bit Ice Man. Not so much Mother Goose.
I work with others the way that I would like other to work with me. I like to lead from the front but am equally happy to take the rear when somebody is confident with what they are doing. I am a results man. Ignore your charts and your spreadsheets and your projections and your powerpoints and your Adobe Flash. What’s the result? Did we win or lose. That’s how I do business.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Get stuck in. Get funded. Get noticed. Get on the phone to me and sign up for mentorWIN, my programme for achieving excellence through close guidance. It’s an extreme two-week experience that utilizes martial arts, extreme driving, bush tucking skills and near-GCSE level business studies. All designed to push you to your physical and mental limit. I am certain that it will one day yield very positive results.
You can watch the videos that Tugg has been working on with Kashflow here