Pimlico Plumbers founder Charlie Mullins on playing to your strengths [Video]
Leaving school at 15 was a mistake – Charlie should have left even earlier!
Speaking to Startups in this video, Pimlico Plumbers founder Charlie Mullins argues that you should play to your strengths as an entrepreneur, rather than try and improve upon what you aren’t good at.
The millionaire entrepreneur left school to learn his trade as a plumber at 15, which he says was a “big mistake” – but only because he “should have left earlier”. “There’s no point in staying there if you’re not going anywhere,” Mullins argues. “I wasted a year or two just running around in circles – I knew I was going to be a plumber, I knew I was going to run a company. I should have dealt with it earlier rather than lingering around.”
Mullins acknowledges that people in the plumbing industry “may not be that good academically”, but this is certainly not the “be all and end all”. “What I would say to anyone is you need to put that to one side and get on with what you’re good at,” he advises. “Everybody has some strong points, and you just have to know them and maximise on them.”
The straight-talking plumber asserts that you can “always buy brains but you can’t buy enthusiasm”, explaining that you can always hire someone who is academically smart but people with genuine passion are harder to find. “Some of the cleverest people in the world can’t do their shoelaces up – the practical side of it isn’t quite there for them” asserts Mullins.
The Pimlico Plumbers founder explains that his business was founded on “common sense” and “straightforward” principles, rather than lofty academic ideals. “If you’ve got the common sense, you can run a business on that,” Mullins argues. “Thinking about it, we offer a service to the customer – they’ve got a problem, we turn up, and we sort it. How difficult is that?”