I recently came across a blog post from bgo (yes, the one with Paris Hilton in the ad) about some big winners. For me, what stood out was not so much the win amounts, but a couple of familiar names in the report.
According to the recent bgo blog post about some of the biggest roulette wins of all time, Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley was noted for his cool £1.3 million win with a single ‘complete’ bet on number 17. King of retail, Sir Philip Green, also featured in the blog as he once won £2 million playing roulette for just a few hours in Les Ambassadeurs casino in Mayfair. But it’s not only the heavy hitters in business who take home the winnings in roulette. With a potential return of 38-1, it’s one of the most rewarding casino games available to play and online providers will also offer bonus sign-up incentives. While there are no guarantees that a spin of the roulette wheel will bring you a win, I’m tempted to follow in the footsteps of Mike Ashley and Philip Green to see if I have the same good fortune 😉
Three risk-takers who’ve seen their gambles in life pay off
Sir Philip Green had what you might call a ‘good education’ at Carmel College in Oxfordshire but he still left school at the age of 16 without any O Levels. That didn’t stop him from becoming one of the biggest names in the UK retail industry – so, how did he get there? The head of the Arcadia group started working in his mother’s businesses during his school holidays and worked as an apprentice at a footwear wholesaler when he left school. He started his own clothing business at the age of 21 and was helped with a £20,000 loan from his family. Since then, he’s never looked back and is currently worth an estimated £3.5 billion, according to the Sunday Times Rich List. While we can’t all turn to family or friends for a small (as Donald Trump might put it) loan, Sir Philip’s singular vision and determination to see it through is something we can all admire. He also shows us that age ain’t nothin’ but a number. If you have a goal, and you know what you need to do to reach it – don’t let anyone tell you you’re ‘too young’. Prove them wrong!
Mike Ashley left school in 1982 and started the sports retail brand Sports Direct. In 2007, the company went public and it now operates more than 450 stores in the UK and owns a number of sports brands, including Karrimor, Dunlop, Everest and Kangol. Ashley pocketed $1.8 billion when Sports Direct went public. He’s still the executive deputy chairman of the company, but he has other interests. He now owns the football club Newcastle United, which is another example of where he’s been willing to take a chance. So far, this particular gamble is yet to pay off…Newcastle have been relegated to the Championship for next season 🙈
— Sky Sports News HQ (@SkySportsNewsHQ) May 13, 2016
Hilary Devey is the founder and CEO of freight distribution company Pall-EX and, in my opinion, the definition of a #girlboss. However, she didn’t hit the ground running in life. When she was a child, her father was declared bankrupt and the family lost everything. Hilary left school at 16 and got a job in sales and logistics. In order to earn more cash, she denied herself a social life and worked extra shifts instead.
After two unsuccessful marriages, Hilary finally locked onto an idea that would make her a millionaire in just three years after setting up a pallet-based logistics firm. Although she had a clear business plan for Pall-EX, no bank would provide her with financial backing and Hilary therefore took a huge risk by selling both her home and her car to get her business up and running.
Did it pay off? Hells yeah! She now runs a £100 million business and spent two series on BBC series Dragons’ Den in 2011 and 2012 telling budding entrepreneurs what was what. She then went on to present Channel 4 shows The Intern and Running the Shop.
Though you might not see Hilary shouting about her winnings in the casino, her life story so far shows someone who definitely does not shy away from a gamble, and who seems to be reaping her winnings in a career context!
As young working women, we are all too risk averse. We think we’re too junior, too young, too inexperienced to take risks. These three entrepreneurs show us that, whatever age you are, to win big you need to be prepared to take a gamble. So, the next time you’re too scared to jump – feel the fear and do it anyway.
Have you taken any big gambles in your career that have paid off? Share your story in the comments!