Have you met a billionaire?

(Sarah Dougal – Trainee Resourcer at Bright Purple Resourcing)

Sir Tom Hunter, 51, married, 3 children and Scotland’s first home grown billionaire.  Someone you could only read about? Not for my fellow apprentices and I.

Throughout my apprenticeship with Bright Purple I am constantly overwhelmed by the amazing opportunities we are given. Each time they seem to top themselves and most certainly increase the ‘wow’ factor. But this time they have most certainly gone up and beyond in providing us with the most amazing opportunity to date. On the 21st August Craig, Lewis, Marielle, Amanda and myself went on a two hour journey to Irvine to meet with Sir Tom Hunter. Let me ask you, what 18 year olds do you know that are given the opportunity to meet a home grown billionaire and one of the most inspirational men in Scotland?

Since starting Bright Purple it has unlocked a side of me which I didn’t know existed. It has made me realise that I can and will succeed and has made me want things I wouldn’t have even dreamed of. One of the main reasons for this has been inclusion of meeting a huge amount of amazing entrepreneurs throughout the Bright Futures programme including Nick Price himself which has planted the seed in my head of becoming an entrepreneur. Therefore, for me meeting Sir Tom, one of Scotland’s most successful entrepreneurs was beyond amazing and a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Before meeting Sir Tom Hunter I was anxious and wasn’t sure what to expect. ‘Would he be happy about taking time out of his busy schedule to talk to apprentices?’ ‘Would he look down on us?’ these were just a few of the thoughts racing through my head. However, all of my pre-thought judgements vanished as soon as we were greeted by Sir Tom with an unexpected warm welcome of refreshments and biscuits! I was utterly taken aback by how down to earth and ‘normal’ he was which he said is greatly down to his wife. He also spoke to us about his background of selling trainers out of the back of a van and his goals which he successfully achieved, quickly turning him into Scotland’s first home grown billionaire.

As time went on he revealed more and more about his personality, showing just how humble he really was. He didn’t brag or even mention his private jet or the yacht he hires every summer. He simply explained how important it is to have a point in life and to work towards something which he admitted for him when he was younger to be able to get material things but now it’s about his family and being able to give something back to charity. He also touched on his children and explained how he didn’t want to spoil them or have them not work towards something. It was at that point that hit me just how genuine he was. He didn’t want to talk about everything his money has got him but instead he spoke of the other inspirational people he has met and the Hunter Foundation which is his main focus for going forward. I couldn’t believe just how down to earth Sir Tom Hunter was and how he used his success to help others.

Towards the end of our time with Sir Tom, when I didn’t think I could be any more blown anyway he took us downstairs where a foundation project called Entrepreneurial Spark he set up and supports was based. It’s where people like myself who strive to be entrepreneurs all come together, to share thoughts and to help each other with their work ideas. They are provided with all the tools they need but most importantly they are provided with support from others and also from other entrepreneurs who act as mentors. I was completely taken aback as I hadn’t heard of anything like it before and as we were given a tour my mind went into overdrive with all of the entrepreneurial ideas which I have. I may not have a set idea yet but I do know one thing, I will most definitely be getting in touch with the project.I came away from meeting Sir Tom Hunter inspired bursting with ideas for the future. I cannot say thank you enough to Nick, for setting this up for us and to Sir Tom for taking time out to speak with us. I know for certain it will not be something I will be forgetting in hurry.

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Once in a Life Time Opportunity

(Craig Lamb – Trainee Resourcer at Bright Purple Resourcing)

In my short life, I have had the privilege of doing a lot of things others will never get the chance to do, and meeting Sir Tom Hunter is one of those things. The thought of being in the same room as a billionaire was absolutely mind blowing. Myself and few other Bright Purple colleagues travelled through to Ayrshire to meet the man himself, it was a two hour drive so I had time to rap my head round the idea that in a couple of hours’ time, I would be speaking to one of Scotland’s richest men.

After our long drive, we were then greeted by Sir Tom Hunter, he sat us down and offered us tea and coffee, at first I think it is fair to say me and my Bright Purple colleagues felt a bit intimidated and were lost for words, but after a few minutes the conversation started to flow. We firstly explained a little bit about the Bright Purple Futures Programme, and then we got the chance to ask our questions. Sir Tom told us about his dreams and ambitions as a youngster, and they were no different from mine. Just like me, he wanted the fast car and dream house. He told us about how he made his first fortune and what attributes you would need if you were to be as successful as him.

After we met Sir Tom Hunter, and we made our way back to Edinburgh, it all felt a bit surreal, not many people can say in their life, that they have met a billionaire. The thing that shocked me most about Tom was, that he was just like any other ordinary person, even though he was a billionaire, it didn’t change him as a person.

Sir Tom Hunter – a true inspiration

(Lewis O’Connor – Trainee Resourcer at Bright Purple Resourcing)

Throughout my time at Bright Purple as an apprentice I have been given the chance to meet and also work alongside exceptional people. I have taken a lot from meeting with the likes of Craig Paterson, Jennifer Cheyne and so many other inspirational entrepreneurs. I have since recently completed the programme and have been hard at work within the Corporate Contract Team. I never imagined being given the chance to meet with one of Scotland’s richest men.

Sir Tom Hunter is one of the most successful Scottish entrepreneurs ever. Yesterday myself along with Fellow apprentices Sarah and Craig set of with Marielle (Head of the Apprentice Programme) and Amanda (PR & Marketing) to make the two hour drive to meet with a billionaire. We arrived in style pulling up alongside Sir Tom Hunter’s Range Rover in our Bright Red Ford KA.

I had expectations of what the session with Sir Tom would be like and how I thought a multi-millionaire would interact with Apprentices. My thoughts and opinions were completely scrubbed as within 30 seconds Sir Tom had offered us all a warm welcome a brief background about himself and even a KitKat.

The Meeting with Sir Tom was by far the most interesting and inspirational conversations I have ever had. He spoke of his humble background and how he was able to transform his lifestyle and go on to achieve so much in such a short time. The thing that struck me the most was the fact he did not boast about how much money he had or how many fancy cars he had. Instead he spoke of the Hunter Foundation and the plans he had going forward in wanting to put his money back into helping people around the world.

Sir Tom Hunter spoke to each and every one of us as though we were just as valuable and exciting to meet as the likes of President Bill Clinton, Sir Richard Branson, Sir David Murray and so many other iconic people. I was blown away by his honesty and will to help others.

I came away from the meeting with even greater ambition and belief in both myself and what I can achieve. I am hugely thankful for the opportunity and cannot thank Sir Tom Hunter enough for his time and advice.

Bright Purple has continued to support me throughout my time and have helped me open so many doors. I have experience which rivals any of my friends and family and for that to I am hugely grateful and proud to be a part of the Bright Futures Apprentice Programme.