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What does The Apprentice winner Ricky Martin do with his spare time and money?

You win The Apprentice, secure Alan Sugar as a business partner and start scaling your firm – but what do you do with the money outside of the office?
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What happens when the BBC’s cameras stop rolling and The Apprentice winner’s business and earnings develop? Ricky Martin, The Apprentice winner in 2012, was kind enough to share some insight on his luxe lifestyle as part of our Business Class section, explaining what he does with his spare time and money outside of Hyper Recruitment Solutions.

Modest Martin’s parents worked in construction and admin, which he believes taught him the importance of working hard from a young age. As a result, The Apprentice winner is aware that his business wouldn’t be what it is today without his determination and devoted staff.

Now, he’s able to jet all around the world and appreciate fine designer labels, while he admits his passion for wrestling is more of a strain on time than money.

(1) Were you born into wealth or has your success been self-made?

I’m a very modest man so I wouldn’t call myself a success. I’d say I’m somebody who is striving to be the best at what I do. This is an ongoing thing. But one day maybe when I get to enjoy the summer on a yacht, I may say differently.

I had a very humble upbringing. My dad was a bricklayer and when my mum worked (she had to look after three young boys and was a single parent for a while) she was an administrator.

So I never came from money and I do, as a result, see the value in a hard day’s work to put bread on the table. This is something I always want to maintain no matter no well I do in my career.

(2) How much did your first job pay?

Putting my paper round to one side, which was £2 a morning, my first proper job paid a whopping £2.97 an hour. I was so proud to have a job paying a regular income. These days £2.97 wouldn’t even get me to work!

(3) You have achieved business success within the recruitment industry. How lucrative has the marketplace been for you, and what excites you most about what you do?

Recruitment is a huge industry (it is worth just over £35bn to the UK economy) and is a market focused on people. So in terms of how lucrative recruitment is, I will let you figure out what only one per cent share of £35bn could be. It is pretty astounding.

Yes, the industry is big when it comes to numbers, however, what excites me about it is changing lives and making a different to people. I absolutely love what I do as I get to speak to some many different people every single day about their careers.

When either I, or my company, offer somebody the role of their dreams and help them to progress up the career ladder, it is just a rewarding feeling. So I’m excited about the personable side of working in a people industry.

(4) As The Apprentice winner, and with Alan Sugar as a business partner, what has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learnt from him?

Working with Lord Sugar has been one such an exciting journey. Putting the TV, football and his successes to one side. One thing Lord Sugar is brilliant at is getting to the point and figuring out what your risks are like a laser beam.

He has taught me to focus on what’s important, assess the variables and then just go for it. Too many people in a sales / services orientated industry can spend all day planning, debating blah, blah, blah. If you want something, you’ve got to just go for it. As The Apprentice winner, that’s what Lord Sugar has shown me so well.

(5) What has business ownership taught you about money management?

Money management is key to any business. I guess the most important thing I have learnt since running my own business is really how cash is king. People say this all the time, but until you run your own business, you really won’t understand it as well as you should.

You can talk about revenues, gross profits, margins etc until you are blue in the face. But when you run your own business, the money in your bank is what you care about most. Do you have enough to pay your staff each month, and then, if you are lucky, have enough left for your own salary?

You want to grow your company and you have lots of potential business. However, you need people to do that and people have a costs. These things become so real when your neck is on the block.

(6) Tell us about your smartest investments

My smartest investment business wise has been my staff. I work in the services industry so without my people, there is no business. So for me investing time in to a robust training plan, a detailed interview and assessment process and an honest on boarding process has been paramount.

If I’m not prepared to invest in to my people, how can I expect them to invest in to my business? As a result, we have been accredited via “investors in people” to a high standards and have some exceptional consultants changing people’s lives every single day.

Outside of my business I’d say The Apprentice  was a great investment. I had to take 12 weeks of my life, put my career on hold, and be in the hands of editors when it comes to TV.

For me the investment of time and reputation on was rewarded with £250,000, a business partner in Lord Sugar and title of The Apprentice winner.

A handful of The Apprentice winners join Sugar for lunch

A handful of The Apprentice winners join Sugar for lunch

(7) Do you get more satisfaction from spending or saving your money?

As much as I like to save my money, I definitely like to spend it more. As somebody who came from no money, I do now love to be able to buy the things I never could have, when I was younger. However, at the end of the day, material items are just toys. It’s not the money I care about. It’s the adventure of what I do.

(8) What are your most expensive hobbies?

Wrestling! This is less expensive on money but more to time. It is a dangerous sport, which consumes a lot of personal time both to train and to travel to wherever the fight may be.

(9) Most prized possession?

This might sound silly but it has to me my mobile phone! I run my home, business and entire life via my phone. So if I did lose it I would be in trouble!

(10) What are your favourite luxury brands?

Omega, Mulberry, Chanel and Dior.

(11) Where has your most luxurious holiday taken you?

Good question. I have been fortunate enough to go to many places. However, I have really enjoyed going to Santorini, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and Mexico. How luxurious is down to whether I feel like I want adventure or downtime.

(12) Excluding property, what has been your most expensive purchase?

My wedding! Now that did cost a small fortune!

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About Author

Zen Terrelonge

Zen Terrelonge is the deputy editor of Real Business, specialising in media, innovation, technology and the digital sector. A media professional with eight years worth of experience he has worked for both startup and established publications.

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