The 5-minute Interview: James Caan, Entrepreneur

'I love sailing ... I fancy myself as a bit of a Robinson Crusoe'


Caan, 48, joined the BBC entrepreneurial show 'Dragon's Den' as a judge in the fifth series. As CEO of the private equity firm Hamilton Bradshaw, he has been building and selling businesses since 1985. He is finishing his autobiography, 'The Real Deal', which is out in September.

If I weren't talking to you right now I'd be ...

On my BlackBerry, keeping up with the news from work or adding the finishing touches to my autobiography.

A phrase I use far too often is ...

"The definition of insanity is to do more of the same and expect a different result." I am constantly reminding people of that fact.

I wish people would take more notice of ...

The impact of technology and the efficiency it brings to our personal and business life. For me, I have found that being in touch is being successful.

A common misperception of me is ...

A lot of people believe it is all work and no play when in fact I get to play far more than I work.

I'm very bad at ...

Over-running at meetings – I love to chat. My personal assisiant gets very frustrated with me.

I'm good at ...

Listening to people and making them feel good about their ideas.

The most surprising thing to happen to me was ...

When I was writing my book, recalling early memories such as when my daughter was born, I remember being overwhelmed with emotion. It was the only time I have ever cried as an adult.

The ideal night out is ...

Although I get the opportunity to eat in some of the finest restaurants in London, I generally prefer to have a night in with my wife and daughters which, for me, is the most enjoyable evening.

In moments of weakness I ...

Take off to the South of France, spend time cruising in my yacht and try to concentrate on writing my book. I like peace and tranquillity.

You know me as an entrepreneur but in another life I'd have been ...

A sailor. I love it and am very good at it. I fancy myself as a bit of a Robinson Crusoe.

The best age to be is ...

My age. I love the current stage of life I am in. In my view, life begins at 50 and I haven't started it yet.

In a nutshell, my philosophy is ...

To observe the masses and do the opposite. Don't follow the crowd. It seems the world has adopted this mentality. They all go one way not realising that peace and tranquillity lies in the opposite direction.

Christopher Corbishley

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