Business giant David Gold promotes self-belief and education to budding entrepreneurs at MK College

Fri 28 Mar 2014

David Gold, joint chairman of West Ham United and owner of Gold Group International, told students at the Milton Keynes College Future Conference, how he rose from abject poverty to become one of the country’s most successful business people.  Gold Group is the parent company of famous brands including Ann Summers and Knickerbox.

Mr Gold stressed the importance of powerful motivation for success: “Each and every one of you will have a driving force. That’s why you’re here today, because you want to be better than those staying at home. Mine was to escape from abject poverty. What is your driving force?”

The recurring themes of the talk were courage, determination and perseverance, as well as the importance of confidence and education. “Let me tell you about how important confidence is in our lives,” Mr Gold said.  “I didn’t become confident until I was about forty. What a waste! It is vital for progress in life and in business, especially if you want success. But how do you gain confidence? Recognising if you are not confident is important, because then you can do something about it. It is a very simple thing, but I urge you to put confidence at the top of your list of skills to develop.”

When asked about what he had learned during his business career, Mr Gold responded: “Perseverance, determination to succeed, and courage. All of you have the ability to be successful, but it depends on how much you want it.”

Mr Gold also stressed the need for self-improvement, and the importance of education. “People often say to me ‘do you need an education to be successful?’ Let me tell you, education is the most powerful thing. I wish I was educated. Don’t let me be an example. I am lucky to achieve this success without education, and education is as powerful as confidence.”

College Principal, Dr Julie Mills, said, “It was great David could join us at the Futures Conference today. He was so open, shared so many details about his background and the challenges he faced, and I thought he was really encouraging and affirming for our students, speaking about the importance of their education but also of being confident and determined. Everyone here will have taken a lot away from his talk, and from all the speakers across today.” 

Students were treated to a range of talks from a number of influential and successful business people including Milton Keynes College alumna and founder of Rapid Sales Solutions, Vicky Beale, and Festus Akin, Managing Director of Ikan Facilities Management.  There were also dozens of stands from prospective employers ranging from top national companies like John Lewis through military and emergency services.

Level two accounting students Robert Baker and Ben Blazey said they were intrigued by the varying routes to achieving their goals which the speakers presented. Robert said, “It’s really interesting hearing the different stories, and how there are so many different paths to success. It just shows it can be done.”

Ben added, “The speakers have given us a much better understanding of their backgrounds and how they’ve got to where they are. They have shown how anything is possible as long as we work hard and persevere.”

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