Alex Mills, made famous on The Apprentice for his unforgettable eyebrows, has gone on to found a company now worth £16m.
He's just made the 2021 Sunday Times Rich List and splashed out on a Ferrari the second he could afford one.
His insurance start-up Dynamo Cover is set to top sales of £15m this year but he said he won't rest until he's built a skyscraper in Cardiff's city centre, Wales Online reports.
It seems Lord Sugar's parting advice to the ambitious Welshman, who made the final seven in The Apprentice 2013 series, has finally come good: "I think you’re a young, enthusiastic chap...try and stick to something...and you’re going to succeed."
The entrepreneur was rejected from Dragons Den before he was accepted on The Apprentice.
He said it wasn't his stint on The Apprentice that made him successful but rather a string of defeats that have given him focus ever since he was an unconfident schoolboy at Cowbridge Comprehensive School.
Alex said: "I would still have that same story but not as many people would know about it," he said about his appearance on the primetime BBC show, which paid him just £1,500.
"I wasn’t interested in being famous. It was a great once-in-a-lifetime experience but I don’t think it’s a career booster. I’m where I am in life because of my work ethic and drive – not because I was on telly."
Alex was booted off The Appentice, which he said was "horrible".
"I didn’t have anything to go back to – no job, no business," he said. He went to work security night shifts at a Cardiff hotel – mostly to hide from unwanted attention while he regrouped and licked his wounds.
"I was supposed to be a successful businessman," he said. "Instead I was working nights at a hotel. My fiancée tells me I beat myself up. If things aren’t going well I tell myself that was a direct consequence of my actions."
But he soon picked himself up, with his savings and investment he decided to set up his own insurance company – aiming for the bicycle market – on his kitchen table with a soundtrack of generic office background sounds playing on repeat.
But it wasn't until an angel investor, Welsh businessman Stephen Jenkins, offered to invest in him that Alex was able to break into the industry.
"It wasn’t a lot of money but I couldn’t have started up without Steve or the belief he put back in me," Alex said. He worked all day and night because "someone had given me £15,000 and I didn’t have it to give it back to him".
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Dynamo Cover launched in 2017 generating £30,000 of turnover in the first month. After 12 weeks Alex bought his first supercar.
"I’m unashamedly ambitious," Alex continued earnestly. "I love cars. If I want it, I’ll get it. Just sitting down saying I want something isn’t enough. It’s how do I strategise to get it?"
The business has now gone from zero to £16m in just three years and Alex said he wants to compete with the biggest insurance giants.