I went to a talk this evening by one of Nottingham’s favourite sons, Sir Paul Smith, at Nottingham Business School.
He came across as a really inspirational guy, tonnes of charm and energy, everything you would expect from such a successful person.
He also came across as down to earth and hugely passionate about his business. The key theme that he kept repeating throughout his presentation was that creativity was nothing without plain old hard work, he kept returning to the theme of building strong foundations through focused effort.
In this ‘something for nothing’ era, where tv show after tv show encourages us to expect instant and high level success and when it can be easy to get sucked into glamorous pictures presented to us in magazines and adverts (including those of Mr Smith’s company!), it’s good to have a reminder that in the real world, perseverance and a good old dose of perspiration are essential.
Being the good little geek that I am, I took notes, so here are my four favourite quotes from the evening (ok, they were rough notes, so you’ll have to forgive me if they’re a couple of words out):
‘You can find inspiration in everything. If you can’t you’re not looking properly.’ (I know this is a variation on the theme of one of Paul Smith’s books – but I still love it and it is soooo true);
‘Nobody cares how good you used to be’
‘Effort is free of charge’
‘If you want to get somewhere in business, you need to know that VAT doesn’t stand for Vodka and Tonic’