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It’s business as usual ahead of Apprentice winner Tom’s wedding
8:00pm Friday 25th May 2012 in News
LISTEN to people you respect and follow their lead – that’s the advice of one Apprentice winner to young people starting out in the world of work.
Tom Pellereau pipped 15 other hopefuls to win the BBC One series last July and landed himself a £250,000 cash investment from Lord Sugar for his start-up business.
He recently launched, in conjunction with the multi-millionaire peer, the Stylfile collection – a series of S-shaped nail files invented by Tom, who is at heart an engineer and inventor.
In between demonstrations and autographing his range at the Sainsbury’s store in Stanway, Tom, 33, gave tips to budding entrepreneurs looking to kick-start their own ideas.
“For me it has taken a long time and has been hard work every day from the very beginning, from school upwards,” he said.
“I would advise people to listen to those they respect and find out how they manage to do it. I learnt very quickly that companies are averse to risk, so I would do whatever I could to help reduce the risk.
“You need to make and take opportunities – offer to do work experience for a couple of weeks, or can you do two jobs at the same time? Once you build a relationship, that really helps down the line. It is a difficult time for companies at the moment, but putting in the work now can pay off in the future.”
Working hard includes promoting your products at all times, even in the run-up to your wedding. Tom is set to marry fiancee Sarah at the end of the week and admitted doing demonstrations and meeting customers was not the best preparation for the big day.
He is also influenced by ‘big name’ inventors and entrepreneurs, and Tom said he reads a lot of biographies, including those of Richard Branson, AJ Hackett and Duncan Bannatyne. Tom has of course read Lord Sugar’s biography, but confessed he had not looked at it until after he appeared on the show.
Although a slightly unorthodox route to success, winning the Apprentice did push Tom to achieve his dream.
“The Apprentice really helped me to understand I did have some good ideas, but did not always push them enough. The show also taught me perseverance and to keep going even if there are some knock-backs along the way.”