Secret Leader Podcast How to build a business at 16, recover from a $1b dollar deal collapsing, and walk on hot coals

Posted in on Sep 10 2021

Show Notes

What would you do if you sold your business and effectively retired at the ripe, old age of 28? Phenomenally successful serial entrepreneur Norman Crowley took just three weeks before jumping back into business.

“A business isn't just a vehicle to make money. A vehicle is an expression of your creativity, it's working with friends. And then the thing nobody warns you about is that when it's sold, you just end up with a bank balance, and the friends are gone, the mission has gone.”

Norman has founded multiple businesses in welding, gaming and eco-friendly energy. Each time he’s turned them into multi-million pound ventures, before selling them and moving on to the next big thing.

Norman has had his fair share of bruises - including having a dream billion dollar deal slip right through his fingers at the last minute.

“An Icelandic hedge fund, who already owned 25% of the business, offered to buy the whole thing for $1 billion. And when somebody offers to buy your business for $1 billion, it's impolite to say no, so we agreed to sell.”

His focus now is on climate change, and despite being asked to sell his current business every six months, he’s resolute that this one isn’t for sale.

Don’t miss Norman share his fascinating story in this episode. From how his childhood impacted his career, to the commonality of anxiety and entrepreneurship, starting and selling five businesses, learning to control the business narrative, building a gambling machine business from £70 to £300m in revenue, missing out on selling a business for £1bn, founding the cloud, tackling climate change with The CoolPlanet Group, and learning how to walk on hot coals.

“Keep fucking walking. This business shit is not easy. Anyone who tells you it's easy is not trying hard enough, so keep walking. Don't give up.”

We chat about:

  • Mental health and entrepreneurship
  • Starting and selling 5 businesses
  • Why his current business is not for sale
  • Learning how to walk on hot coals

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