Sir Dominic Cadbury

I look on a career as a whole succession of start-agains and I think you've got to look at life that way.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

I look on a career as a whole succession of start-agains and I think you've got to look at life that way: I started again when I retired three years ago from Cadbury Schweppes and came to the Wellcome Trust. I don't think' 'Would I have done things differently?', because I'm always thinking, 'if I do something else, what will it be?' There's no point in wishing to be something that you obviously couldn't be. From the moment I thought about what I wanted to do, I expected to go and work in the Cadbury business.

I didn't give very much thought to doing anything else, because I was always enthusiastic about business and it seemed to me that I work in a business that I knew something about.

I don't have any regrets on the really big issues because I was fortunate - I had a very good example set for me by my family and the people I worked with. Of course there are small, tactical mistakes that you make: things you pay too much for, marketing mistakes, promotions that backfire, ad campaigns that don't work. That's part of the excitement of business.

You've just got to try and get more right than you get wrong. I would advise a younger self that things take longer than you expect. It pays to be more patient. I think most people expect too much, too quickly.

But things take time. It's no different from sport. Business and sport have a lot in common. You've got to learn patience. They often say that about the great golfers: you've got to be patient to win a major - you've got to be patient when you're going round a golf course and not expect to start up with par, birdie, par. The same thing applies in business.

Sir Dominic Cadbury retired as chairman of Cadbury Schweppes in 2000 and chairman of the Economist Group in June 2003. He is now chairman of the Wellcome Trust.

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