‘I’m not sure Guy has a work-life balance’

ENTREPRENEURS need to make sacrifices in their lives if they are to get to the top in business, according to billionaire investor Guy Hands.

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Guy and Julia Hands speak to Phil Eyre, of Leaders Consultancy, at the Leaders Conference. (Picture by Chris George Photography)

On a rare speaking engagement in his adopted home island, Mr Hands appeared at the Leaders Conference, organised by Phil Eyre, alongside his wife Julia, where they were quizzed on a number of leadership issues including work-life balance.

Mrs Hands, who runs Hand Picked Hotels group, said: ‘I’m not sure that Guy has a work-life balance.’

Mr Hands himself, who made and lost fortunes with his own private equity group Terra Firma Capital Partners, was adamant that the business needed 100% focus.

‘You have to accept that once you start a business you’re going to have to give up something,’ he said. ‘You’ve just got to decide what it is.

‘I’ve interviewed many people who say if success means I have to work that hard, I don’t want success. I try to explain this to people who work for me – the more senior you get, the tougher it gets, the more lonely it gets, the more physically tiring it gets, and less pleasant it gets. You’ve really got to want to do it and give up things to do it. I had an obsessive interest in politics and had to give it up. I couldn’t do both, it was physically impossible.

‘This sounds terrible, but I gave up a vast amount of my friends, I didn’t have the time to see people – I try to make a little more time for that now. But there just was not time for them.

‘I gave up a lot of seeing the kids [the couple have four children] for about 10 years.

‘I told my youngest that I was moving to Guernsey [he arrived in 2009] and so I wouldn’t see so much of them. She said “it doesn’t matter – you always fall asleep at the dining table anyway”.’

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