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After being born in a caravan on the side of a road and into a Romany Gypsy family, Alfie Best started his journey into the world of business at just 14, buying and selling cars and vans.
With an unstoppable entrepreneurial spirit, Alfie has gone on to become a self-made billionaire with 17 ventures and 91 Wyldecrest Park locations in the UK.
But it has come with its own set of challenges, from facing racism, making family sacrifices and landing himself in negative equity, he was close to losing everything.
In this episode, we explore the true meaning of how hard work and the right attitude can get you anywhere.
Here is his unfiltered advice below:
- Growing up as a Romany Gypsy
- Find what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life—but you still have to work hard
- From bankrupt in his 20s to £5m by 30
- The UK needs to do more to support small businesses
- Mobile homes can free up more capital for customers to enjoy their lives
- Businesses are like relationships, you learn from both the good and the bad experiences
- Businesses should be succeeded by the best person for the job
- Dealing with racism in business as a Romany Gypsy
- Running a business will result in personal sacrifices
- Documentaries can be a useful marketing tool
- People buy from people
Growing up as a Romany Gypsy
Do you mind just telling us a bit about your early life and how those experiences have shaped you as an entrepreneur?
I’m a Romany Gypsy, and we were born in relatively very poor circumstances.
Although, to be honest with you, and I say this to a lot of people, I didn’t perceive ourselves as being poor. You know, my mother and father did a fantastic job, in bringing me up and giving me the best that they could.
I didn’t actually realise we were financially poor until I was 12 or 13. I didn’t particularly go without, but now I understand. Well, and I sort of got to understand why a car breaking down and living in a caravan wasn’t perceived as being wealthy. But I actually genuinely thought it was at the time.
So, you know, I think it’s how you look at the glass, half full or half empty. I’ve been blessed with a mindset most of my life to look at things half full and never considering things as being half empty. Always looking at things as an opportunity.
And were your parents quite entrepreneurial?
Do you think that’s where you got your get-up and go from?
I think to be fair with you, all gypsies and travellers are entrepreneurial spirits because we are the original immigrants that came into different parts of the world with no education, no background, or historical movements to feed upon your family.
It was just about surviving in the best way that you could. So I think, my mother and father had an entrepreneurial spirit.
But I think actually, most immigrants, if I can use that phrase, across the world have. You know, I think that’s why America has such an entrepreneurial spirit. Because it’s actually made up of a world and a country of immigrants.
Find what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life—but you still have to work hard
And that point about starting with nothing and no education, that’s really poignant because I’ve heard you say, you know, I’m not the smartest guy, I’m not the one with the best ideas, but I am the one that works the hardest.
So tell me about that work ethic and how you maintain that level of performance throughout your life, giving it these 15-hour days.
Well, I worked very, very hard, and then I won the lottery. I’m only joking, I’m only joking.
Work ethic is a habit, nothing more. It’s a good habit. And for instance, if you don’t brush your teeth every day, that leads to problems. Bad breath, rotten teeth. Even to the point where people actually don’t want you around them. Because your breath smells bad, just by not brushing your teeth.
So creating good habits in your life actually create good outcomes. Bad habits will create bad outcomes. It’s as simple as that.
So for me, when you use the phrase, and I think you just said, “Long, gruelling 15-hour days”, I’m having a ball. I’m having fun.
I’m a Premier League football player, a world champion boxer, going out there and actually winning a world title every day. I’m having a ball at what I’m doing.
You know, with the good grace of God, I can continue and work hard every day. But it’s not hard work when you love it. You know, a lot of people use the conception that if find what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.
Well, that is true, but to get to do what you love, sometimes you have to do what you don’t love to get to that point. So don’t constantly look.
When I first started, everything within my life was about financial gain. It took me until I was 28 years old until I felt that I was financially comfortable, and I then found a role within an industry that I felt that I could leave a legacy, that I could change people’s lives.
Before that, it was about changing my life.
When you’re in an aircraft and the announcement comes on, they don’t say, “Oh, we’ve got a problem. Put the mask on everybody else first.” They say, “Save yourself first. Before you save anybody else. Put the mask on you. Put the air mask on yourself first.” Why?
Because you can help no one unless you save yourself first. So my whole goal was purely financial gain from the age of 10 right the way up until say I was 30.
But when I was 28 I felt that I’d earned enough money I’d made, what I considered to be, all the money in the world, at the time, which was £5m.
And that gave me enough money to give me choice of freedom. And I then entered into the industry that we’re in now, which is retirement mobile home parks. And we’re genuinely changing people’s lives.
We can sell somebody a new park home for 50% less than a like for like bricks and mortar bungalow. With no stamp duty, no land registry fee, Band-Aid council tax, 28% cheaper electricity and the home itself cost at least 50% less or more.
So are we changing people’s lives?
You bet we are. Now, do we please everybody? No, I’m looking to please the majority. Because if I’m getting it right for the majority, then I’m getting it right all the way through.
So I love what I do, and I’m blessed enough to have found the industry. And why is that industry for me? Soul gratification, it’s because I’m a gypsy. I was born in a caravan.
Who better to buy a caravan from or a mobile home, than somebody that’s lived it, breathed it, and loves it. That’s how I look at it. Come to the expert, because when I buy something, I go to the expert.
So, you know, but to get to that point, came with challenges, came with problems, came with issues.
I was 20 years old, and I had a van centre, lived in a half million-pound house. I’d done really well and, you know, people were banding phrases around that I was a whizz kid.
So, this non-educated, gypsy that could hardly read and write was being banded with the name whizz kid. I love these titles people give you. And they seem to stem from normally the media or something like that because they like to label everything from business to politics to wealth to anything at all.
But, I had a rude awakening, and I had a murmur at 20. The 1990 recession really bit into me. Was it the recession’s fault that I virtually lost everything? No, it was mine.
I didn’t see what was coming. I wasn’t seasoned enough. And worst of all, I believed my own hype. I believe that I was gifted in what I did.
I wasn’t gifted. I was hard-working. Don’t confuse the two.
Gifted and talented people are fantastic, and it’s unbelievable to be born with a gift. My gift was different. My gift was, luckily, I’ve channelled my addiction into hard work. And that hard work has been channelled into habits. Creating good habits every day.
And if you can create one good habit a month, you’re going to be successful.
From bankrupt in his 20s to £5m by 30
That’s great advice. And that point about not necessarily loving what you’re doing now, but knowing that it’s a stepping stone to being happier in the future, I think that resonates a lot. Especially with people listening, because you didn’t always have a glamorous lifestyle.
You used to work in drainage, is that right? You were literally unblocking drains for a part of your life. And from there, you now have this Incredible lifestyle, incredible business end, but how did you get from there to here?
Can you take us, like, on a summary of those jumps?
To give you a skeleton summary of my life, at 12 I worked with my dad knocking on doors, selling Tarmac. I did that up until I was 15 or 16.
I then decided I wanted to go into buying and selling commercial vehicles and hiring them out. I did that, and I bought my first house and my van centre when I was 18. I was driving a brand new convertible Porsche. I bought a block of flats in Forest Gate.
And then by 20, I was in a position called negative equity, where I owed more to the bank than the properties were worth.
So I had to make some harsh decisions. I moved out of the house, slept in the back of an Escort van, sold the Porsche, sold the vehicles.
I cleared the site out, broke it down into little, small sectional mechanical bays that I could rent out to car sprayers, mechanics, cups and saucer sales markets at the front of the showroom.
And I was getting between £50 to £150 a month, just about making the mortgage. I rented the house out and moved out of the house. So I did what it took.
I didn’t just think, “Oh my God, what am I going to do?” Whereas a lot of people would have thought, “We can’t move out of our house, we’ll have nowhere to live.”
Well, the choices were, I would have had nowhere to live if I’d have stayed in the house because just a few months later, the bank would have repossessed it.
But by moving out, I managed to rent it. That made a big difference. I did the same with every other piece of property I had. But that meant I had nowhere.
I managed to work through that. That put me in good stead with the banks. Because they could see that I was somebody that then just didn’t give up.
I then went and got a job in a mobile phone shop, and I was getting paid £70 a week. This is somebody that’s gone from owning a business, living in a half a million-pound house, to now working for someone on £70, where before I was earning £150,000.
It’s like night and day. I worked there for approximately eight to 12 weeks until I learned the industry.
And then within 18 months, I’d opened 18 stores across the UK. Four years later, we sold that business out to a subsidiary company of Vodafone.
I then went back into commercial property. I’ve always had a love for property. And that business is still flowing and functioning today, and that business is potentially worth somewhere in the region of £150m today.
After that, I then went into the retirement mobile home park, which was where I found my love. I would say I found my calling as a businessman, because I’m from that industry, even though I didn’t know it.
Now we have 119 parks and 16, 000 residents throughout the UK. The company is worth well in excess of £1.2bn.
We own and operate several other businesses. We have the third largest motorhome hire company in the UK, which is called Vaaroom Motorhome Hire. We have another company, which is called Wyldecrest Events. And basically we look to our residents to service their needs of when they want to go to events.
We have a small finance company that’s called Best Park Home Finance, where we loan finance out. As banks don’t support financing for park hubs.
And there are a number of other small companies that we have. And we’re very privileged, and I’m very privileged to have great teams around me. That I learn from every day. I’m just the one that people take a synergy from the story that’s happened in my life.
And I say to everybody, “Look, my story isn’t that special. There are better people out there with much better stories than me.”
The only difference is with me. I’ve bucked the trump because in the UK, we don’t celebrate wealth. We don’t celebrate entrepreneurship. We don’t support our entrepreneurs or businesspeople. We really don’t.
Whereas if you take America, they celebrate it. We have a glass ceiling here to hold people down and put them in their box and pay their tax and just work away.
People like yourself that are doing these podcasts, that are putting it out there that you don’t have to conform. Those are the boundaries they give us. It’s up to us to push those boundaries. It’s up to us to stretch that box.
Because the one thing that I can say to you, without business, there is no economy. Fact. Whether it’s the UK, whether it’s America, whether it’s Barbados, whether it’s Germany, it doesn’t matter where it is.
And the countries that push for more entrepreneurship and more businesses to survive and thrive, will be superior in the world.
You’ve only got to look at Dubai and how it’s pushed to drive business and support businesses. And within 35 years, they’ve turned a sand spot into a Mecca of businesses. It’s not tourism anymore.
They’ve got the Freeport there. They’ve got businesses that are running there that are working remotely. And Singapore is now another country which is welcome there. A lot of the Western countries need to wake up to this.
The UK needs to do more to support small businesses
So why run a business from here? Do you kind of love it despite the challenges or do you find it almost like a call to arms to be successful despite people holding you down?
Or why not set up a headquarters yourself somewhere a bit more favourable to business?
Because when you start business, if you’re born in that country, you know that country. So that’s where you’ll tend to start your business.
I didn’t have the wealth or the expertise or the knowledge to look this out. All of our great entrepreneurs that are here have run for the hills.
So let’s name a few of them. Richard Branson. Our greatest entrepreneur that has ever existed. Jim Radcliffe. Phenomenal. Gone. Took their businesses elsewhere.
Now the UK government need to wake up to this. Whereas let’s go to America. You can’t name me one single entrepreneur that’s left.
Whether it’s Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk or anybody you like because America knows to support the businesses and those individuals in their country.
We no longer have people come to the UK to start businesses. When was the last time you heard of an international businessman that’s come here to start a business?
What they do is they get investors to come here and park their money up in central London. But beyond that, our investment is going elsewhere. What a shame for such a great country.
Does it sound that I’m being negative towards business in the UK? No, because the one thing that we do have in the UK is great people. The stiff upper lip does work. That good educational background that we support, but we need to fan the flames.
We need to fan the flames to know that we need to do more to support business, instead of looking to flounder it.
Mobile homes can free up more capital for customers to enjoy their lives
It sounds like you might have a future in politics there, Alfie. You could reform it all from the inside. This might be your calling.
Look, I’m not a politician. I’m just a businessman, speaking from a businessman’s point of view, who has a passion because he’s British.
I love my country. It’s done wonderful things for me, but it wouldn’t have done those wonderful things without the hard work that I’ve put into it.
For me, the reason that I love the industry that I’m in now, and why we’ve never sold out.
Here are a couple of fun facts.
Wild Press Parks is the largest residential park home operator in the history of the UK. Not because it’s privately owned, which is also an historic fact, because we’ve never sold out to a fund, a pension fund, or taken investment from anywhere.
Our total debt level on all of our assets is less than 10% of the value of the assets themselves. So we’ve built something that we feel can go on for generations.
And we intend to make it a worldwide company because I love it. It’s changing people’s lives. It’s allowing them to set up their home, which the government doesn’t want people to do.
They want you, your mother and father to save up and work hard all of their life, pay off their mortgage and then retire and pass away, leaving their home to their kids.
But what your mother and father didn’t realise is they had an extra kid that takes the lion’s share, called death duties at 40%. So the way the UK is geared up, I’m modelling Park Homes, which frees that capital up for people to be able to go and live their life.
So we’ve built a model that really does work for people that are looking not to downsize because they’re buying a home that’s potentially bigger than the one they live in, but to free up capital and really live their life.
And do you think there’s going to be a massive boom because we’re seeing a lot of people struggling, mortgage rates ridiculously high, repossessions around the corner?
Are you going to see a mass, sort of, stampede towards Wyldecrest and, and that particular solution?
Well look, our model is growing every week, every day, every year. We’re a continuous company.
And look, tall trees catch a lot of wind. So I put my head above the parapet to be counted. Why? Because I want to be asked the questions of, why is the government not supporting this type of housing?
Not just with me, with many other people in this industry that have a solution that can free up people’s capital, that can really enjoy their life moving forward.
So, do I see our business growing? I don’t like to use the word stampede because we couldn’t cope with a stampede.
Our model is based on systematic procedures and systems to follow through. What I mean is you choose your plot, you build your home, it gets delivered, and you can be moved in within eight weeks.
Businesses are like relationships, you learn from both the good and the bad experiences
Bex Burn Callander:
It’s amazing. It’s such a fast turnaround as well. I didn’t realise it was that quick. And what I love about listening to you, Alfie, is it’s quite clear that every time you’ve come across a difficult point in your life or a challenging business, you’ve really learned from it.
So when you talked about being in negative equity in your twenties and now only having 10% debt against your assets you can see that you’ve learned that lesson, and it’s now this golden thread throughout your career.
But I’ve also heard you say that you still work every day as though you are bankrupt. Do you think that sometimes the lessons we learn leave too big a mark?
Because I just can’t imagine if I was as successful as you that I’d be getting up at like 5am in the morning to start work.
Think of it this way. Business is like a relationship.
If you were in a bad relationship before, you learn from it. If you were in a great relationship before, you would learn from it.
And business is exactly the same, it’s your relationship with your company. And it’s the deepest cuts and the deepest scars that carve out the chunks of us as we’re going through life.
And it’s those scars that can turn us into a masterpiece or a misshapen, bitter, twisted piece of wood. The choice is yours.
Mine, I believe, I’m still in the carving. Am I scarred by some of the things that have happened to me? Of course.
Do they stop me from doing certain things? Of course, I’m not a risk-taker. I take challenges, not risks. There’s a difference.
I don’t go into the casino and throw it all on black or all on red. All of my decisions are calculated.
Are they risky? I have too many residents to put the business at risk. I have a duty of care to those residents.
Now I love every single one of our residents that have chosen to live on a Wyldecrest Park. Do they all love me? No.
But then again, I don’t love everybody either. I love most people all the time. What I can tell you is all of our residents we do love. Good, bad, and indifferent. It’s my job, and it is now my legacy in life, to build housing that’s affordable.
There’s a difference when you buy a park home. When you buy a park home, it’s not like buying a house from an estate agent.
Once the estate agent has sold you a home, he waves goodbye into the sunset. Once you buy a park home from Wyldecrest, we’re your partner. We own the park, you own the home, it’s a joint enterprise working together.
Businesses should be succeeded by the best person for the job
And you made this point about legacy, and I’m fascinated to know how you feel this legacy will continue into the future and whether you have succession plans in place?
Whether your kids are involved in the business, like what happens in 20, 30 years’ time?
My son is his own man and runs his own business. He has two mobile home parks, and he also runs an international watch brokerage. So I’m very proud of him.
My daughter, I’m equally proud of. She works within the business, and she’s worked in many different roles within the business from the bottom, and she’s still not at the top seat. She’s now an area sales manager.
And of course, I would love my family to be involved. But the structure that we have in place is not family orientated. It is succession orientated.
So the best person for the job will succeed. Will my family be the shareholders within it? A trust will be the shareholder of the business, and they will be the beneficiaries of that trust.
The better the business does, the more they’ll be able to benefit from it.
Why do I want to set it like that? It’s because I also want my residents to be safe.
Knowing that they’re not only with a park operator that does care but admits when they get it wrong. And that they know that they’ve got the best person in place.
Not just a family member because they’re blood related.
Dealing with racism in business as a Romany Gypsy
Yeah, that makes sense. And Alfie, you’re known as the Gypsy Billionaire, which is sort of such a memorable label.
I know you said that the media is very keen on putting labels on people, but it is one of those names you hear, and it just conjures this amazing vision of an individual that’s like, out of the ordinary.
But you have been quoted saying that you didn’t tell anyone that you were Romany for many, many years.
Have you faced much prejudice, and how do you deal with that now as this super successful businessman? Do you still have people like making judgments about you or looking down their noses, and how do you deal with it?
By accepting somebody’s being racist to you, you’re accepting that you’re different. How I look at it, it’s just being abusive.
And look, you’re never going to stop it as much as people are going to try and stop it. We can subdue it. We can push it down, but behind people’s backs, people are always going to say abusive natured things.
No different than West Ham playing Millwall or Millwall playing West Ham. They’re always going to hate each other because their team’s not winning.
But if there’s one thing that I notice in life, success bridges all gaps. People want to talk to successful people. People want to know what the magic is.
Well, I can tell you what that magic is. Hard work, that’s all it is. It is consistency, persistency, hard work. You get momentum, and it will flow just like water in a river.
But if you keep diverting the water every time it comes to a bend, you’re never ever going to get any momentum, you’re never going to push the boat down the river.
So have I suffered any racism or prejudice or whatever you want to call it? Of course, I have. But so have you.
We all have in one way or another. I just don’t allow it to scar me. I’ve had people to my face tell me about the lying, thieving gypsies.
But you know, being a gypsy comes with a stereotype. It’s not a very good stereotype. You know, liars, cheats, and thieves.
Cher has a beautiful song, which I actually quite love, “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves.”
Now, that’s perfectly fine to be played. And by the way, I’m a fan of that. But ‘Baa Baa Black Sheep’, gets banned. Pfft. So, tell me what the difference is there.
I guess it’s all about the level of offence that’s being experienced, I suppose. Because if it doesn’t bother you, if it’s water off a duck’s back, then it can’t be seen as being as offensive, perhaps, I don’t know.
What I would say to you is it can’t be one rule for one and one rule for another.
At the moment, it is the last acceptable form of racism. And I don’t like using the word racism because I go back to what I said. It’s just a form of abuse. Nothing more.
But it’s the last acceptable bit. Did I tell anybody I was a gypsy? No, of course I didn’t. Not until 15 years ago. I would never tell somebody I was a gypsy.
That’s going hurt me. That’s going hold me back in business. So the bar is set much higher for me. Much higher.
So, I accept that challenge. I accept that the bar is higher for me. So because it’s higher for me, that means I have to work harder. It means I have to raise the bar to be more honourable, to be more trustworthy.
And look, you know, there’s a lot of media stuff out there on me. Some of it good, some of it bad, some of it made up. That’s the world we live in.
Running a business will result in personal sacrifices
And your point about hard work being the key to being successful, and you said that’s the one thing you should do, which is hard work.
Do you feel like you’ve made lots of sacrifices, maybe personal sacrifices to achieve that level of persistence, determination, and put in those hours?
You feel like looking back on your life, you’ve had to give anything up to do that?
I have sacrificed everything. I have sacrificed my family, my children. They came second.
Have I been a good father? No. Have I been a good partner, a good husband? No.
What I’ve been is a good provider. And unfortunately, yes, it comes with sacrifices. Missing events that you would never miss. But yes, it comes with sacrifices. And that’s the cross that I have to bear.
And do I regret it? No. Why? They were my choices. They were my choices to make. I made the choices that I felt were right.
But if there’s one thing that I am trying to do now, is I come from a poor family, I’m hoping to leave a legacy where my children don’t come from a poor family.
And at least they can then go on with loaded guns to win the next battle.
That’s interesting. Do you think that, speaking for your kids, do you think they would rather have more money in the bank or more time with you?
I think they’d rather have more money in the bank.
That’s fair, that’s fair.
But the honest truth is, listen, and I’m being very, very honest with you, I’m very lucky because my children have made it on their own.
That I’m blessed with.
Yeah, it must be amazing to have quite entrepreneurial kids because that’s something you’ve passed on, that work ethic and that desire to create something from nothing.
So it must be sort of amazing to see that play out again in another generation.
I think the amazing bit is children don’t do as they’re told.
They do what they see. There’s a factual, which I didn’t know at the time, a factual act within bringing children up. And this has been shown out in tests.
If you tell a child in a test, “Well done, you’re so smart, it’s amazing.” In the second test, they’ll do worse.
If you tell the child, “Wow, well done, you worked really hard to get those scores. God, your work ethic is a brilliant, really well done.” Those children will score better in the second test.
And I was shocked at this, but please Google it and check it. And apparently, rewarding a child because they’re smart makes them think they’re smart and makes them think they can skip the queue.
And by the way, I’ve made that mistake. When I thought, you know, we all want to think that our children are clever and ultra intelligent. But hard work beats everything.
Documentaries can be a useful marketing tool
Yeah, and I can see that you are living proof.
And you have a documentary out, is that right? Can you tell us a bit about that, and what made you decide to kind of put your life, um, under the microscope?
I didn’t particularly want to do it. I’ve done TV before, I did Undercover Big Boss, How The Other Half Live and about four or five other small documentaries.
To be honest with you, the reason I did those documentaries, complete marketing tactic. You know, that’s all it was for.
It wasn’t to let people into my life because I believe a private life is a happy life. But the reason I did them, it was free advertising. It was great.
And look, a lot of businesspeople that are out there in front of the meter, stop because they want to be a celebrity or be famous or any type of notoriety. It’s about directing the traffic. It’s about people seeing you.
Please remember one thing. In life, it is not who you know. It’s who knows you. And the people that know you, that respond to you, and if you can add a little bit of respect to that, a notoriety within your field of being an expert, more people will come to you.
Because they know you. They know you.
Going back to the film documentary, which was launched at Cannes, it was very, very well received. It was a film made by Joel Van der Molen from Vandercom Films.
I didn’t particularly want to do it because I didn’t really see where the benefit was to me or to the business or anything else. But after watching it, I think people are going to like it because I think it will give them a little bit of insight into anything’s achievable.
I’m not a smart man. I’m really not. I’m just common sense, or I believe I’m common sense. And one of the hardest things to do, is as you climb the ladder of success, is to keep your feet firmly on the steps of that ladder.
Because if you step left or step right, you’re going fall off, and you’ll come down the ladder the same way that you went up it, only with a lot more splinters.
So, it’s basically making sure that you stick to the runs of the ladder and continue up, one step at a time.
But the film was very well received. Everybody that’s spoken to me, that’s watched it, have given me good reports. The launch in Cannes was documented by the Daily Mail. They voted it as one of the best documentary films of Cannes.
And it’s now being launched in several other festivals, and then hopefully it’ll hit the screen sometime next year.
People buy from people
So for our listeners, would you recommend being very open and speaking about their past, their personalities, their foibles?
Because people buy from people, does that make their business grow? Will that make them more, I don’t know, approachable? Is that a good route to grow a business? To be a very visible frontman or frontwoman?
People buy from people and if they feel that they know you and understand you. Now let me put it to you another way. Who would you rather you spend your money with?
An ethical company with somebody that stands up and puts their head above the parapet. Or somebody that’s hidden you never get to see? You never really know what’s going on there.
And I actually genuinely believe the only two people that have done what I’ve done is me and Richard Branson, who put his head above the parapet.
And when he first started, he wasn’t the most eloquently spoken, he had a small stutter, but he didn’t let that hold him back, and look at him now, you know, a British celebration. How good is that?
There are three sides to all of us. There’s one side that we show to the general people that we see every day. There’s another side that we show to our family and friends. And there’s a third side. And that is the side you show to nobody, and it’s only ever seen by yourself, when you’re in a closed room, and you’re thinking away.
There are three sides to us. I don’t agree in showing all sides to all people. Sometimes we need to keep a little bit back for ourselves.
But I do believe in being with people. I do believe in taking onboard their views. It doesn’t mean to say you’ve got to make them right, but we were blessed with two ears and a mouth. We should try to use them in that order if we can.
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