7 business tips from Made in Chelsea star Jamie Laing

“If you have seen Made in ChelseaI apologize, ”Jamie Laing began, talking about his work in the reality show, which lasted about nine years an

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“If you have seen Made in ChelseaI apologize, ”Jamie Laing began, talking about his work in the reality show, which lasted about nine years and nine months longer than planned.

He speaks at the SME XPO at London’s Olympia with an audience of small business owners. Now reality TV star manages Candy Kittens, the fastest growing confectionery company in Europe.

‘Jamie in Sweet World’ was created by Laing’s brother when they were children to help a scared Jamie fall asleep at night. He has since been fascinated by sweets

In his later years, Laing did theater and performance at Leeds University. After leaving university, he had the choice to work for a wealth management firm or a star of Made in Chelsea. At the time, he thought it would be a smart opportunity to promote his sweet company idea.

He shares seven tips he learned while running the business.

Embrace naivety

Laing attributes his success to a lack of knowledge and experience, gives him fresh ideas and allows him to bring a unique product to market. “When you fly a plane or drive a car, you follow logic. When you start a business, you go at the right rate, ”he says. “I think we underestimate naivety. It’s a superpower. ”

When he first got the idea, he had a conversation with a friend who had something like:
“I’m going to be an entrepreneur.”
“What is it?”
“I do not know!”

He wanted to create something like a candy bar he’s seen in the US, but he always knew it was going to be called Candy Kittens.

Laing was determined to follow his vision: “I never listened to anyone, which was probably an advantage. Follow your own gut. ” He does recommend that you follow mentors when it comes to things like money.

You need self-awareness

A degree of naivety helps but knowing yourself is a must. “You need self-awareness that you’re not the best at everything,” Laing says.

Trust is all about exposure

Laing believes that trust is about exposure. He links it to his obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) “I have OCD – you do not want to walk three turns or you think the world is going to end, right?”

Woody Allen’s famous mantra “80 percent of success shows” forms his view of success. His boundless enthusiasm also helps maintain his passion for the business. “What drives success, I believe, is consistency,” he says. “I have been persistent with Made in Chelsea. ”

He uses the example to go on stage, pointing out that someone who is nervous will find it awful at first, but it will get easier after doing it a few times. “You have to walk across those three drains to realize that nothing bad will happen.”

Together we also need more confidence in business, as Laing explains: “In the UK, we are lowering our measure of what we can do. In the US, a typical increase is $ 5- $ 6m, while in the UK it is more like $ 1.5m. “

Go to conventions and conferences

“I went to a talk and was recommended to read all the books. I do not read! ” Laing prefers a much more people-focused, practical approach. “Go to every single event you can find. Do not give up! Businesses fail because they lose passion, ”he says.

Be careful about who you rent

“An entrepreneur likes to control things. Let it go! ” Laing is enthusiastic. He rather recommends having people around you who can do the things you can not do. Having people who can bring a fresh outside survey can also be helpful. “If you make refrigerators, you will probably hire someone who has already made refrigerators – they go for the same shape they used to make refrigerators. Hire someone who has made coaches. ”

He and his business partner, Ed Williams, made very silly appointments in the beginning. “We appointed friends who we had to let go. “Do not take favors from friends – it will end in disaster,” he advises. As many other business owners have said, Laing tells the audience to hire someone who is the opposite of you – someone who has everything you do not have and is everything you are not.

Another word of warning: do not ask family. “It was a nightmare,” Laing says. He’s talking about his stepfather who is chairman of Candy Kittens. He told Laing and Williams he was going to let them fold the business if they did not sort out a certain problem.

The hardest part for Laing was hiring a PA. “Get someone to organize your life. [Otherwise]it’s like trying to play a PlayStation game with four controllers. ”

In creative roles, there is probably someone who can do the job better than you. “Become the chef and let the sauce chefs do the work,” he advises.

If he had to hire someone, Laing would probably not hire himself. “I really believe I’m unemployed,” he laughs. “I’m everywhere.”

Leave export until later

“To be honest, exporting is not a good idea,” Laing explains. “Remember that the British market is large. If you export too early, there are going to be ingredient problems, expensive delivery. It’s complicated. I tend to say focus on the UK. Once you have conquered this market, spread it. ”

Focus on areas that are archaic

If you are still deciding what kind of business you want to build, look at categories that are archaic and that need development, such as grain or sunscreen.

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