Alan Sugar: In his own words

Alan Sugar

Aside from Richard Branson, Alan Sugar is almost certainly the UK's most famous business person. With an estimated fortune of £770 million and nationwide recognisability as the host of The Apprentice, he is both a powerful business magnate and a beloved media personality. Yet Sugar was no overnight success. The son of an East End tailor, he grew up in a council flat in Hackney, leaving school at 16 to sell electrical goods out of the back of a van.

That he has journeyed so far and achieved so much is testament to Lord Sugar's extraordinary wisdom and business acumen. If you want to learn from his success, then this list of quotes, directly from the man himself, are essential reading.

I don't make enemies, it's just I'm not afraid to speak my mind, which can sometimes mean people don't like what I am saying.

The entrepreneurial instinct is in you. You can't learn it, you can't buy it, you can't put it in a bottle. It's just there and it comes out.

I have principles and I am not going to be forced to compromise them.

In America, everybody thinks they're an entrepreneur. That's the problem. It's not a title that anybody should call oneself.

It will take a brave person to cull the benefits system and analyse who deserves and who doesn't.

Not everybody needs to go to university; they can get out and start working straight away.

Once you decide to work for yourself, you never go back to work for somebody else.

There's too much of a culture that exists out there, what I call an expectancy culture, of things being provided.

You've got to admire Sir Richard Branson. He is a completely different style of businessman to me, but you have got to admire what he has achieved.

I believe employment regulations for women, whereby the prospective employer is not able to inquire about the interviewee's status regarding children, childcare, or indeed their intention of becoming a parent, are counterproductive.

I have always been an honest trader. I come from a school of traders where there was honour in the deal. No contracts, just a handshake and that's it, done. That's the way I prefer to do business but it's not always possible these days, sadly.

Youngsters have got to stop thinking about becoming the next Zuckerberg. It's a trillion-to-one chance. What they need is mater and pater to say, 'Get a job, son.'