Love, Pain and Money : The Making of a Billionaire
John Caudwell is one of Britain's wealthiest, most successful - and most colourful - businessmen. He was just six years old when he made a promise to himself that he would make enough money to give huge sums of it away to help his family and others who were struggling with poverty. Born in a terraced house in Stoke-on-Trent, Caudwell went from bullied child to insecure trainee engineer at a local Michelin plant to self-made billionaire, befriending Sir Elton John, Eva Longoria, Hugh Grant and Robbie Williams, who have all taken part in his charity balls to raise money for Caudwell Children. It was at a car auction in 1987, the height of Mrs Thatcher's booming Britain,that he spotted the future. A mobile phone that came in an unwieldy suitcase. Within two decades Caudwell sold his Phones 4u business for GBP1.46 billion. Love, Pain & Money retraces the inspirational journey, from the very shaky beginnings of his phone empire to owning yachts, private planes, a fleet of top flight cars, a Jacobean mansion in the Midlands and London's most expensive home (featured in a Channel 4 documentary). It's a fascinating insight into the drive, ambition, focus and vision required to become a billionaire. It is also a very British story. Caudwell is a man who - despite his vast wealth - still knows the price of a pint of milk, buys his clothes from Marks & Spencer and despite having swapped the Michelin plant for Michelin-starred restaurants and hotels, can often be found in a roadside B&B, eating home-made sandwiches after one of his many cycling expeditions. And it is more than merely a rags to riches story. It is a tale of battling endless career misfortunes and overcoming a series of personal tragedies to rise to the top. Failure, disaster and horrendous private heartbreaks are all part of this tale of a troubled child who never won the approval of his father who died when John was a teenager. Love, Pain & Money - The Making of a Billionaire is a tale of our times, full of humour, grit, lessons in business and an understanding of what it takes to succeed against all odds. John Caudwell will be donating all his profits from the book to the Caudwell Children charity.