20 questions with entrepreneur Martin Higginson
The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom”. What’s your guiding force?
It has to be: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again”.
“Don’t get even, get medieval” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours?
Failure is the grandfather of success.
Kerry Katona was considered unacceptable in 2007. Who or what is unacceptable in 2014?
Benefit Street: A television show on Channel Four. In a perverse way, though, it is also my guilty pleasure.
Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life?
My days in the publishing business. It was hard work and not very profitable, but it was great fun.
What might you swap all your wealth for?
Health and happiness.
Donald Trump was once a case of: “If you owe the bank a thousand, they close you down; but if you owe the bank a billion, you own the bank”. What’s your view on the banking crisis?
Today four banks control over 80% of the lending to small businesses in the UK. We need to drastically alter the system. Today, it doesn’t work. SME’s with great ideas are being starved of success because the big banks do not have the ability or appetite for risk. Without people starting small businesses there will never be any big businesses.
What phrase or word do you most loathe?
“It’s alright for you…”
In the UK, some people consider charity to “begin at home”. What’s your view and what causes do you personally support?
I support a local charity that supports young underprivileged kids in their quest for knowledge, helping their families with bus fares, school uniforms, etc. I also do all I can for the Air Ambulance and a couple of cancer charities also.
The judge in Law Abiding Citizen states: “I can pretty much do whatever I want” before being blown up whilst answering her mobile phone. What’s your view on the appropriate use of such devices?
We live in the most interesting time in terms of technological evolution; the calculator, the PC, the Internet, mobiles, tablets have all happened in my life. I think its great, although its important one doesn’t allow them to rule your life.
If you could fill a carriage on The Orient Express, who would be your fellow passengers?
I would have a rather diverse and interesting mix from Henry VIII, and Elizabeth I, to Stalin, Napoleon, Adolf Hitler, and Winston Churchill, Steve Jobs, and Richard Branson, plus Howard Hughes, JFK, and Marilyn Monroe and finally my great friend Kenneth Baker to keep them in order.
If you were unfortunate enough to end up on death row, what would be your last meal and where would you eat it?
A full English breakfast with fresh orange juice, great coffee, toast and marmalade. All enjoyed overlooking the Caribbean Sea.
What time is it acceptable to consume the first drink of the day?
It really depends on what I am doing. If I am working then 5.30 or 6pm. If you’re partying then anytime is fine.
A Negroni, a martini or a cup of tea?
Whose parties do you enjoy the most and why?
Mine: I can ensure everything is perfect and all the guests are my friends.
Who is the most positive person you know?
My son. He recently faced his biggest challenge head on and waltzed through it. I am very proud of him.
What’s your most guilty pleasure?
If a tattoo were to sum you up, what would it be of?
Numquam desiste, numquam concede: Roughly: “Never give up; never give in”.
If you were a car, what marque would you be?
A Land Rover.
Cilla Black presented Surprise, Surprise. Tell us the most surprising thing about you.
I used to forge concert tickets as a child.
What’s currently sitting on your mantelpiece?
A wooden elephant given to my late mother in law from my late father in law. He sent it from India where he was in the Army. He was away for over ten years.
Businessman Martin Higginson is a partner in M Capital Investment Partners LLP. He has significant investments in companies including Tag Games, Studio Liddell, Digital Box, Elms Hall and Gamesko. He has previously worked with IPC as a publisher and sold publishing and telecoms businesses to Scottish Power and founded Monstermob, a company that grew to become one of AIM’s top fifty listed businesses.
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Interesting what Higginson says about the grip of the Big Four on lending. It seems incredible that they are pumping money into ‘buy to let’, yet ignoring the sector he rightly says will lead to big business and big employers. Buy to let should be starved of funding