Steve Morgan, CBE

If you don’t have that work ethic – if you’re not willing to invest in yourself like that – then give up now. Find something else to do. Get a normal job, and don’t frustrate yourself. You can forget all the rest if you don’t have that, it’s the basic building block. Look at what most people work in a week, and double those hours – are you willing to do that? Because that’s what it takes.

Sir Terry Leahy

One of the problems in society is that we are all terrible judges of ourselves. None of us really knows what qualities we have, especially in terms of these kinds of business-related skills. There isn’t an objective yardstick to judge it by. I’d say people should be careful not to judge themselves too harshly – if you do that, you’ll put a limit on yourself, and possibly never know what it is you’re actually capable of.

Sir Michael Bibby

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking you know everything. Nobody is that good! You have to be able torely on other people. There will always be people out there whose skills and expertise complement your own, and finding them is an essential part of success. Even if you’re born with the best set of business genes in the world, it’s also a case of how you use them – and I’d suggest that a sensible way to use those instincts you might naturally have is by finding great people to help you along the way.

The Earl of Derby

It goes without saying that if you want to run a business, you need to understand finance. You need to appreciate how the business world works, you need to know how to budget, and you need to be able to realistically plan. You may think you’ve come up with the best idea or product ever – and perhaps you have – but do you have the plans in place to survive until the rest of the world starts to appreciate it?