Downtime

This Sunday I relaxed with a gin and tonic and read a profile on Amancio Ortega in the business section of The Sunday Times.

Starting out in life as a tailors assistant, he is the ultimate ‘rags to riches’ story.

With a net worth of over sixty billion, he is the founder of Inditex, the fashion empire including brands like Zara and Massimo Dutti.

The story is a business that is obsessive about listening to its customers. An innovator, whose technology and systems allow it to respond to the market with lightening speed, leaving its competitors floundering behind.

But what about the man himself? What is it about him that has enabled him to reach such dizzy heights?

Here the article is lacking, primarily because he is such a private individual.

I imagine most billionaires are driven beyond words. Like old school Russian athletes, their focus to win, all consuming.

No time for family. No time for friends. A life dedicated to achieving excellence in one very specific area.

If that’s what it takes, then I fear the name Michelsberg will be absent from the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

That said, I do consider myself a grafter and always remember my fathers words, ‘success is ten percent inspiration, ninety percent perspiration.’

Yet despite my six day weeks, there’s a vicious rumour that I’m the Judith Chalmers of the tailoring trade. Totally unfounded!

However, this month has been something of a purple patch in terms of ‘blue sky thinking.’

Last week I headed to Ibiza with old college friends Flynny and Chandon, and here we are indulging in a large portion of banging house music at the club night ‘Glitterbox.’

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The only disappointment was a dress code that allowed shorts.

You’ll be pleased to hear that I kept the British flag flying in a bespoke linen shirt and Gucci loafers.

This little trip was food for the soul – three friends, having it large, mobiles off, work forgotten, living life to the full.

Today was a much more relaxed occasion – a cheeky Monday off – fly fishing at Bolton Abbey with my friend Mr C.

Here we are at the Devonshire Hotel, after a gruelling eight hours in the river Wharf.

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Shortly after this photo, we retired to the lounge and once ensconced in comfortable armchairs, put the world to rights, over a couple of pints of Saltaire Blonde.

We decided that whilst we both run our own businesses, and are pretty ambitious, our first billion is looking as illusive as the trout in that river.

Nevertheless, our expedition proved one thing in spades – we both have patience and tomorrow is another day!