Quickfire Questions is a Forbes Advisor UK series in which business leaders share exclusive insight on their background, the secrets of their success, their hopes for the future, and what they would do if they were handed a magic wand…
Joseph Valente exploded onto the business scene in 2015 when he won series 11 of the BBC’s The Apprentice and went on to work for the show’s host, Lord Sugar. In 2018 he was named one of Forbes Europe’s 30 Under 30 leading young entrepreneurs after setting up his own boiler installation company, ImpraGas, which he later sold following a downturn in business levels.
The author of Expelled from the Classroom to Billionaire Boardroom, he launched a coaching and support business for the construction sector, Trade Mastermind, during lockdown, and has ambitious plans for growth in the UK, United States and beyond.
What set you on the road to success?
The burning desire to create a new life that allowed freedom and choice, not struggle and poverty. It all begins with wanting to get my mum into retirement at an early age to say thank you for everything she did for us while growing up.
Did you have a hero when you were younger?
My uncle Tim was my hero when I was younger. He inspired me to be who I wanted to grow to be.
Do you have one now?
Myself in 10 years. I watched Matthew McConaughey say that in a speech at the Oscars and I really like the idea of it. I am the man I want to become and will become.
Do you get bored easily?
Yes – because I’m always striving to achieve more, and having ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), you always want to be on the go.
Who do you admire in business and in life generally?
In business I have respect for the corporate giant but I have even more respect for startups and small businesses and for the person who wants and is trying to create a new life for themselves. And if they succeed, they will potentially become the corporate giant too.
Also, in business I respect my team that work so hard to make sure our business succeeds, and I’m always grateful and thankful to the customers that buy and use our service.
In life generally I admire anyone that is positive and is always looking to improve, no matter what their circumstances are.
How would you describe your leadership style?
but fair. Inspiring, motivational, and I always lead from the front.
What are your ambitions?
To go global as a brand with a reach that stretches throughout business, politics and philanthropy, and to leave a legacy that lasts.
Do you believe in luck?
I believe that the harder you work, the luckier you get.
What qualities do you look for in colleagues?
Loyalty is one of the most important qualities, skill set is key in every role, but potential is what excites me.
Micro-manage or big picture?
Do you think business is valued by society?
I think it is taken for granted, people expect there to be products and services that they need in the marketplace, but it’s people that provide those services.
How do you think business will change from 2020 onwards?
Now more than ever businesses need to focus on their user experience and the value that they add to the marketplace. They need to go above and beyond to create a deeper connection with emotional attachment to the buying experience, rather than just being a cold faceless company.
How would you like business to change from 2020 onwards?
In an ideal world I would like to see the rebirth of the high street. I’d like to see independence make a return with specialist services being provided by butchers, bakers, greengrocers and the like.
Here’s a magic wand – what are you going to do?
Grant myself the ability to live a thousand lifetimes, and gain a thousand experiences.
What’s your favourite time of day?
5am, because that is where the opportunity is. That’s when there is the potential for what can happen, and that’s what inspires me.