Brainfood: Peter Boizot - If I had to start again ...

I would like very much to start up my own business again. It could be in the restaurant trade or even music. I like being a salesman.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

When I was growing up, I always felt I would like to be one, but I was pretty open to the elements in the way that I felt I could tackle whatever came my way, and I did. After university, I got hooked up selling books door-to-door to US bases in France, Germany and England, and it was great experience. I like the creative side of sales, the persuading that comes with it.

I think I also would like to get married because I've never been married and I miss not being married. I'm a little bit saddened by it. I would like to have had a wife and one or two children. Marriage just passed me by, but I did have a lot of girlfriends.

The advice I would give to people starting out now is to keep trying.

I think you've got to keep on persevering, just don't give up; and you have to make the most of opportunities. I have had some financially tough times and it has been difficult. I've had a lot of money and good cash when I've sold huge chunks of Pizza Express, but I've had a lot of difficult times as well, especially when it came to raising cash. I found it hard to get a decent cashflow. I find sometimes the banks are just unhelpful when it comes to that. They don't seem to trust you at all if you're in a risky business like the restaurant trade. So I've often had to go on without help from the bank.

Looking back, I've had a go at something and I've enjoyed a good lifestyle, and I'm pleased to have done that. I'm happy with what I have achieved.

But I haven't given up - I'm 75 and I'm still fighting. I haven't come to the end of my career yet.

Peter Boizot founded Pizza Express in 1965. He became its president in 1996, after stepping down as chairman. He also chaired Peterborough United FC 1997-2003, and owns the Great Northern Hotel in that city.

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