You live and you learn: Simon Woodroffe of Yo! Sushi

The man who brought raw fish to the masses on his relationship with his father and why he didn't do Dragons' Den for the money.

by Hannah Prevett
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Anger is a very good thing when you're young. It gets things done. It makes things happen. But as you get older it's not very comfortable to be angry all the time.

My dad and I didn't get on. I loved him but I was angry with him a lot of the time too. He was in the army so he was institutionalised and was scared of money. That meant he disapproved of anything I did that was entrepreneurial. My mother was much more of a free spirit.

As a roadie you're always in the shadow of the popstar. I came from an upper class, public school background; we were supposed to be top of the heap. I then went to work as a roadie and I'm in the working class and the popstars from the estates were the upper class elite.

The first three years of Yo! Sushi were serious hassle. There were a lot of personality problems and trouble with the chefs. And even though money was rolling in immediately, with me at the helm it was rolling straight back out again. I didn't really know what I was doing.

I made more money on Dragons' Den than anybody in the first three series. And I made zero. I did make some investments on the show but none of them went through, as a lot of them didn't in those early days.

There's always someone richer than you. I remember making my first £10m then meeting people with £100m and feeling inadequate. It's a form of madness - one that lots of people suffer from.

I had a bit of an inferiority complex as a kid. We always seemed to have less than everybody else so I remember telling everybody I was going to be a millionaire by the time I was 20. I got to 40 and realised I'd forgotten to become one. That was my call to action.

I'm happier than I've ever been. I've got some big projects: Yotel is doing well and we've got a big one opening soon in New York. And I'm doing some writing and speaking. I've got a nice girlfriend too. Which helps.

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