Kelly Hoppen: From Formula 1 batchelor pads to owning the colour taupe

Yet it seems that Hoppen’s most emphasised advice, offered in her Btube speech, is to think outside the box – one of the reasons why her business got off the ground so quickly.

“I own the colour taupe. That was the colour I loved and I built a business around this kind of style and colour despite what anyone might say. I really ask myself can taupe be more than a colour? Yes it can, it built my brand.

“You need to find something that sets you apart from somebody else. But you also need to believe it 100 per cent because if you don’t no one else will.” 

But despite this fact, Hoppen “fears the future of the young people starting in business today”.

“Starting a business at 16 and a half I was trying to think what was different today. I was thinking the other day, what was different in the days when I started my company. My vision and reason for starting a business was simply because I loved what I did. I think today, fast forward those 40 years, all those young entrepreneurs that I meet think mostly about instant fame or recognition. They often try to start businesses because they think of being on TV or in magazines.”

People need to think carefully before they commit to a business. That doesn’t just mean whether you have the money to finance a company, but also if entrepreneurship is the right thing with you.

Hoppen also believes that there are just some people that don’t suit being an entrepreneur.

Read more about Kelly Hoppen’s Dragons’ Den investments:

“Some of the people I invested in during Dragons’ Den ended up being a big wake up call for me, as I assumed when you give people money and gave them your time that they would run with it,” Hoppen explained. “There are certain people who don’t fit the criteria. Some are just lazy or expect you to do all the work for them.

“You also have those that just don’t have those entrepreneurial skills in them, in which case you have to be honest to yourself – ‘maybe this isn’t the right thing for me’. There are a lot of people in the world that start off in one job and change to another – it’s the same thing – some aren’t cut out for it. 

“I think you are born with that entrepreneurial essence in you. You can be taught a huge amount but you know when you meet someone who has got that flair.”

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