00:00:03 My name is Tre A and my job title is quite varying. Marketing and brand consultant by trade but I’ve also been a broadcaster and I like to think of myself as a bit of an entrepreneur.
00:00:15 For me an entrepreneur is not somebody who’s already achieved success. I think that’s one of the biggest misconceptions that the media puts out. It’s like programmes like The Dragon’s Den and The Apprentice make it look as though you’re not successful unless you’ve made your millions. For me, an entrepreneur is a mind set, it’s somebody who’s a risk taker, it’s somebody who doesn’t accept the status quo. Like, for instance, most people will live their life by default. Like, for instance, somebody that works in a job because their friend told them to get the job or they find themselves in a career path they didn’t really want. Whereas an entrepreneur chooses the path that they want to lead and then goes out and leads it and is willing to accept the risks along the way. And success is just, for me, a by-product.
00:00:53 I wasn’t an academic. I’m very practical minded. Like when I was 10 years old, if you gave me a broken stereo I’d figure out how to fix it. That was the way my mind worked. But at school I didn’t understand why I couldn’t read, I couldn’t really, I just wasn’t interested. I mean I did A Level English and I never read a book. I just found other ways of doing things. Actually, what changed it for me in school was basketball. I met a teacher who was an ex-England coach and he took me under his wing and he kind of felt as though this kid’s a little bit lost and through sport I channelled all my aggression and sublimated all my anger and that allowed me to do the things that I enjoyed. And it was only after I’d left school that I found out I actually loved learning and I think that’s when my life really started to take direction. When I realised that actually I have to take the path that I’ve created for myself effectively and I have to do things my way. There’s nothing wrong with that.
00:01:47 I’ve had a lot of defining moments. Most people can say like there’s this one point in my life but, you see, school was a defining moment because it made me the kind of character I was. It made me a bit more resilient. After school I went to college, that was interesting. I was, my actual ambition was to be the first ever Pakistani in the NBA. I used to love basketball like a religion. Then I broke my back and I broke my legs in a car accident and I couldn’t play anymore. So, then that was the first time I told myself, “Alright, you need to reassess your dreams.” And that’s when I went wholeheartedly into the family business and I spent four years in that business.
00:02:20 We had a turnover of about two million a year, life was good. I was living in Miami. Then at 22 came back to the UK and we went bankrupt because bad things happened. The economy changed and we got cheated out of a substantial amount of money in the States. That put us back to zero. My family left me and basically me and my wife and I started again. So, I’ve had a few kind of ups and downs in my life, a few interesting periods but, like you say, you know, it’s not the circumstance that makes the man, it’s the circumstance that reveals man to himself. So, it’s always been through the tough points that I’ve actually been able to turn it round and go even higher than I started off. It’s all about accepting failure and moving on from it.
00:03:06 I’m not one of these philanthropist types but I do believe that you can’t die with what you’ve earned so, for me, a big ambition is to be able to earn a substantial amount in order to kind of filter that back because I do believe in the circle of money rather than holding it up because when you’ve had money and you’ve lost money, you realise that actually it wasn’t money that made you happy in the first place. You see, we went, I went from we went from being a 20 year old who had my own flat in Miami, I had a bike, I had two cars, I had no shortage of cash and by the time I was 23 I was in a Job Centre, broke. Completely broke with a wife. By 24 I had a wife and child, nowhere to live and to be really honest, between 24 and 29 which is what I am now, has been the most fun I’ve ever had in my life. And that’s been because I lost the pressure of money and I started doing the things I enjoyed and realised, actually, if I’ve got enough to live, enough to feed and enough to do the things I want, I don’t need my millions now, I can wait for it.