1986- The Youngest Blue Button with James Capel and Co

They Needed the Tazmanian Devil

At a young age I had always dreamed of working on the London Stock Exchange as a Blue Button (runner). I used to jump school and head up on the underground just to watch all the hype and buzz of the trading floor (which closed in 1986). I knew that with my energy and my crazy love for a fast paced work environment that this would be my home.

I obtained a members book and immediately began writing to all the member firms. I actually wrote about 220 hand written letters, posted them and waited eagerly for all the replies to drop from the letter box of my family home. I had no degrees and only had B,C and D grade CSE’s ad O Level’s and in fact was an average student that always played the fool at school but was always liked. I was the a sixer in my local cub pack, a school house captain and was liked for my fairness by many people.

  It seemed days before i received my first letter, which i ripped open with great excitement, my hands sweating and my heart thumping so loud that it sounded like the drums from Jungle Book. I was expecting Bagheera to jump out of the letter and grab me!

Well all i got was “Sorry we only accept Graduates, however, we will keep your CV on file for future reference” I was mortified, Graduates only! Wait till they get a load of me. After about 120 replies all saying the same thing i realised that i would not be able to get a job using this method.

I retrained my energy toward recruitment agencies and immediately started to send my CV out to the top City placement firms. I managed to secure some interviews and impressed the agencies and finally i had an interview with Chase Manhattan Securities…….. the interview well …….. it just did not happen. I got in there and froze like a Birds Eye Pea! I knew that i would not be offered the job, because i could not answer any question without being shy and withdrawn- of course they would not have recruited me! They needed the Tazmanian Devil instead got a quiet Monk..

After 5 interviews, my hope was beginning to fade. I even applied for a post room position and thought i could work my way up only to be told that my aspirations were way too high for someone who wanted to work in the post room.

WHAT WAS I SUPPOSED TO DO- I ONLY WANT A JOB – CAN SOMEONE PLEASE GIVE ME A BREAK

I was taking a maths exam at school and a teacher came in and said your mum said i had to leave. I had received two short notice interviews, one for 1pm and one for 2pm..

I left school ran home and put on my best suit and tie (Burton’s i guess at the time but i thought i looked good) and headed up on the Underground to Liverpool Street – First stop Nat West Bank…. By now i had nothing to loose. While in the waiting room i looked around at the nervous competition and thought “they don’t stand a chance this job is mine”. I interviewed for about an hour and if i don’t mind saying so, i blew this guys socks off and no sooner as i had finished the interview i knew that i had the job! The usual “We will contact you later” words came from the interviewers mouth and i thanked him then immediately ran to 3 Bevis Marks, next stop James Capel & Co owned by HSBC.

No competition this time and in i went first i saw HR and she said “I need to get someone else to see you” I then saw a trading Director and he said ” I need to get someone else in to see you”……… after what seemed a lifetime a monster opened the door called Barry Collins and oh my god i think i shit myself. I have never seen or felt such a presence…. I almost thought he was going to say “Obi One never told you who is your father….. I AM YOUR FATHER”….now i know what presence is all about! This guy put me through the pace’s but i did not take my eyes off of him even though i had just wet myself LOL……. during the interview he was asking various questions and all of a sudden he said “WHAT’S 9 TIMES 19” and i answered without hesitation 171……… Do you know to this day i do not know where i got the answer from, perhaps divine intervention, perhaps i was so scared he would strike me down with his light sabre that i just got it right….. the words came once more “We will contact you later”….

The train journey home was perhaps one of the longest of my life. I thought to myself what else do i have to do to get a job! I was desperately low and had gone through over 200 hand written letters, 10 interviews,  the post room and top line agencies……… Perhaps i was not destined for the Stock Market after all?

The Long Journey Home

I left the station and walked up the steep hill towards my home. I was embarrassed to have to tell my family that i had failed and that i would not become a Blue Button….

I creaked down the side gate of our house and proceeded sheepishly to open the back door. To my surprise and shock my parents and my sisters were sitting around the kitchen table with a bottle of champagne and 5 glasses……..

My mum said that both the companies had called, i was expecting the worst “YOU GOT OFFERED BOTH JOBS SHE SAID” at this point i burst out in tears and collapsed on the floor… one job offered me a £7500 start and one job offered me a £5500 start…… I accept the job that offered me £5500 start but had much better prospects. I was the youngest person ever to serve as a Blue Button the Convertible Bonds Floor…..

Dreams to Reality

2008- So many people want to see you fail, why?

When you have an Entrepreneurial spirit you first visualise something in a dream or a flash and then having no regard for the damage your idea could or might cause you, you have to follow it through to fruition and reach realisation of your dream.

If you are lucky enough to have a close and loving family and you have perhaps 3 or 4 Friends then you are very lucky indeed. My family have supported me through thick and thin and i guess it has been as much a hair raising journey for them as it has been for me- and it’s not over yet!

I have had many successes and also many failures, but then i guess most Entrepreneurs have. My latest venture that i have been involved in has been met with criticism, sarcasm, slander and libel against both the business and my personal name. I worked for somebody previously who was less than honest in fact the only thing i can describe this person as is a lying, stealing crook who will stop at nothing to hurt and destroy other people. A weak man who has tried everything from website slander to reporting incidents that never happened or took place. I pity this man, for one day he will wake up with no friends, no money and only a 6ft by 6ft cell to look at pictures of what he thought he once was- anyway enough of weak people.

Why do so many people actually want to see you fail? Is it because they do not have the courage to do what you do? Is it because they would not and could risk everything on a dream or do they have more sense? Most successful Entrepreneurs know why so many people do not take the chance and that is simply because in todays climate there are more and more obstacles to overcome before you can realise your success.

I went to a seminar held by a guy called Adrian Webster who wrote a book called “Polar Bear Pirates and their quest to reach Fat City”…. the essence of the book is that in your search for Fat City you will come across all sorts of people, head treader’s, molasses man, the neg ferret and many other characters or viruses that will try to stop you reaching your goal.. visit http://www.polarbearpirates.com/

 Never Give in to Realising Your Dreams

My simple advice to you is this:- NEVER STOP TRYING TO ACHIEVE YOUR DREAMS, NEVER FOR ONE MINUTE GIVE IN.. INSTEAD DRAW BREATH AND FIND ANOTHER WAY, ALWAYS FIND ANOTHER WAY AND WHEN YOU ARE EXHAUSTED, DEAD IN THE WATER AND YOU START TO THINK ITS ALL OVER- ITS NOT! FIND YOUR FRIENDS FIND YOUR FAMILY AND FIND OTHER LIKE MINDED INDIVIDUALS AND BOUNCE YOUR THOUGHTS OFF THEM AND A ROUTE WILL PRESENT ITSELF.

We are Entrepreneurs and your biggest asset is in never giving in and if we did not exist then jobs would not be created, industry would not flourish and innovation would suffer as a result. We can leave a wake of destruction or pavements lined with gold for people to follow.

If your people believe in you then they will go above and beyond the call of duty to realise your dreams with you. Entrepreneurs do not ever be afraid to share you ideas thoughts and actions, no matter how outlandish they may seem to you. Another perspective is a another point of view which used wisely can be a very powerful tool indeed.

 

 

 

 

2007- The Miracle

THE MIRACLE – I was driving north for an interview to join a large telecoms company as Sales Director. It was a big task, however the roll came with a six figure plus salary and the usual executive benefits. I was used to being a sharp shooter for large sales based organisations that had struggling sales team and  figures and this business needed a shake up. I would go in and bang crash wallop and within 3 months my results we through the roof. It was reminiscent of Patrick Swayze in the film Road House…. You know the film where no one likes  and him at the start and he gets his tyres punctured and windscreen smashed…. People fear change and what i did was to CHANGE EVERYTHING…. and if someone became what i call a “Salmon” who wanted to swim upstream, i would show them the right way if they did not want to change, well you guessed it…. I ended up eating baked salmon….. Yummy.

Anyway back to the story……. I was driving North wards and the  Miracle happened. I could not think about the interview all i could think about was what Catherine said to me “Help yourself to help others”…………….. Then it came to me! An idea that was over 30 years in the making. The name of the business was now obvious and i had to start following my dream.

I attended the interview and then return to my car and drove like a bat out of hell for 3 hours to get home and all that way i was dreaming of things to come, dreaming of what could be, i was happy, i was excited but above i was scared! I was so scared that i would not have the resources to deliver my idea the world.

I was on the brink of financial disaster, i was lost at sea and i had no one in my life that i could love and that could love me back and this person would need to be my rock during this testing time….. with love in my pocket would i be able to do this on my own? NO i would need other like minded and mentally strong individuals but would they believe as i do?

I remember watching a video on Peter Jones which you can find at www.peterjones.tv and in this video he said that his biggest success was in not giving in….. He said there were so many times when he just wanted to give in.

PETER JONES- Thank you i know exactly what you mean !

2007- A friend made me realise that in order to help others you must first help yourself

I always took great pleasure in putting everyone first and i still take great pleasure in helping other people. I put everybody first for so may years that i totally forgot that actually , i was the most important person in my life..

My friend Catherine said to me “Unknown Entrepreneur, if you were on a plane and it was going to crash and you with your children and your family and the oxygen masks came down from the overhead compartment who would you put the masks on first?” I replied: “well my wife and my children and then of course myself”. Catherine replied: Well if you passed out who would then save your family?”  In that moment i realised that in had been doing it all wrong.

The most important thing that i had realised was that now finally after all these years, that i could now start following my own dream and start to build something that i believed in……… My journey had just begun.

In beginning my journey i knew that it would take everything i had and more. I had just been through the most traumatic time in my life, my heart was broken, my soul in tatters, my belief system jarred and above my faith in God was somewhat in doubt. To top everything else off i was broke……………

Starting a business from this position would not only take courage and strength it would take a MIRACLE

1984- Entrepreneurial spirit starts at a young age

I always worked even as a young boy, cleaning cars, working on market stalls, selling music tapes and filling up the Cabbie’s at the local petrol station. In fact i would almost anything that could earn me a buck or two. I can remember going out on my bike riding down the hill with my bucket strapped to the back of my bike, which seemed to fall off at every opportunity. A cold winters day, hands can hardly move and only two cars cleaned so far. One of my customers went out to the shops and left the back door open… I went inside and removed £5 from her purse. To this Day i do not know if she actually knew that i had taken a fiver.. I regret it now but looking back it saved my from having to wash another car in the freezing cold. My conscience never let me forget that what i did was wrong.  Sorry Mrs J at number 56 please forgive me!

1997- Mr George Michael and The Spice Girls- how do you do?

1997 and It was the Help a London Child Awards, we were in a top London Hotel on a table of 10 very unique individuals. I was now a supplier to Capital Radio plc and had been invited with one of my work colleagues to attend and enjoy the awards. It was the year that George Michael went up on stage made a tearful heartfelt speech after loosing his beloved mother. He gave away £1 million that year the Help a London Child- Amazing. The Spice Girls had only the just hit the pop world and were new to such events and were giggling about together as you would expect after finding fame so quickly and in such a short space of time, how innocent Victoria Beckham was back then. George was an lovely man, i enjoyed talking to him straight away and yes i went to Brand merchandise for both George Michael on DJ record bags and supplied baby puffa and bomber jackets the team who handled the spice girls merchandise… I even supplied the jacket that Meat Loaf wore in the film “The Spice Girls The Movie”. Everything was just fine……..???? !!!

Chris Tarants name was mentioned with a company called “The London Millennium Party”, that name will haunt me forever. The next minute I’m at The London Hippodrome running a promotion for the supply of £50,000 of merchandise for the biggest Millennium Party London should have seen.

As soon as i delivered the £50k in merchandise it was gone! I was the victim of a long firm (for those of you who do not know what a long firm is… Simply, it’s a business setup with the specific intention of going bust taking everyone for a ride on the process). Although i was insured by Griffin Factors (HSBC) they never paid e out and i went on a wild hunt to find my £50k I goods…… What followed was a dark and mysterious trail that apparently ended up in Tenerife under the guise of the notorious Plamer’s… my life was worth more than £50k…. How i found my goods and uncovered web of intrigue when the police did absolutely nothing just goes to show “If you want something bad enough you can get it”……. Just don’t ask for an elephant in your back garden because you might actually get one……..

1995- Landing $2 Million of Unsecured Stock Funding Credit from a Broken Chair

My palms were sweating, my heart pounding, my nerves holding as i look across and gaze into the eyes of my Korean contact Mr Kim. He was a Global Director for a Korean Conglomerate that manufactured and exported just about everything from cars, wheat, grain, Military Weaponry, Tanks, chemicals, pharmaceuticals and more importantly textiles. They wanted to break into the UK textiles and Mr Kim had big Dreams of impressing the Koreans back home and he need a pony to carry him to the land of glory.

My friends and family were calling and placing synthetic inflated orders on my then six incoming BT lines to our second floor leafy suburb office in order to make us look like we were a company that could handle the sale and distribution of nearly 200,000 promotional jackets that has to be sold within 6 months of the Indonesian containers landing at Felixstowe. We had just sold 15,000 jackets in the previous year.

There was no way that we could handle such a huge logistical task let alone find the resources to take the product to the UK market. I was kidding myself if i thought i could handle fifty 40 sq ft Hi cube containers.. Have you ever seen the size of the container ships. I was about to move into 24 hour working days, eating off pennies, being warehouse man, sales man, marketeer and gladiator! Oh dear what did i do? I signed on the dotted line and finalised a deal for $2 Million Dollars, the best of all it was totally unsecured. The guy was sitting on a stool that had three legs that also had dried pale blue and white paint dried over it………

I finally did it and i was on well on my way to becoming an Entrepreneur! I was not thinking about economic climate or myself, instead set about making history in the promotional clothing market…..

2008 It’s not how we fall It’s how we rise after falling

2008 It’s not how we fall It’s how we rise after falling by Bradley Chapman

 

You don’t have to wear a badge on your sleeve to have pride in who you are and what you dream and aspire to become. I guess the Million Impossible web site talks about “Dreams to Reality” and “Strength in Numbers”. One thing it does not talk about is “Never Letting Go”. I am going to share with you through my web blog my most personal thoughts, feelings, emotions and try do what most people cannot do:- Lay myself naked and Bare in front of you all and let the chips fall where they may.

I am the Unknown Entrepreneur. My spirit flies high in the sky and I believe any individual can change his or her stars, however, there comes a time when through all your trial and tribulations that you may reach a point when you can take no more, your strength has wained, your spirit reduced, your strength weakens and for a moment, a brief moment in time you loose your belief, you loose your way, you loose your anchor and purpose and do not know how to get back. It is a very dark place that many people never recover from.

I wonder after all that i have been through, good and bad, all that i have experienced, will i ever become the great person that i always dreamed i wanted to be?

This is my story, my life, my heart and above all my spirit. The question i am asking myself right now is “Will I overcome my fears pain and anguish to become that person? Well judge for yourself as i take you into my past and share my future with you.

For Dreamers Everywhere

Regards and Best Wishes

The Unknown Entrepreneur

Please visit the about me page on my website for further information about Bradley Chapman