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Focus: You've sold up and made millions, so what's next? Five founders tell all

Cover of  by Jamie Waller

Waller grew up in the East End, left school with no qualifications and started a bailiffs business, JBW, in 2004. It had 170 staff and £40 million revenues when he pocketed £33 million by selling to Japan’s Outsourcing Inc last year.

After staying up all night sealing the deal, then phoning his biggest clients, Waller went to bed and got up again at noon. “My wife wanted to go out and celebrate — spa treatments in Knightsbridge then a fancy restaurant. Instead I drove us to Bethnal Green where I grew up and we had pie and mash.”

“I felt really strange. What was I going to do all day, every day?” Waller, who’d just had a baby girl, had planned to take a six-month break. But six days after banking his £33 million cheque, he was onto his next big thing; Hito, a fintech start-up that he went on to sell for £9 million; “after that deal went through, I took 11 days off before starting my investment business, Firestarters — because I didn’t want to be ‘rich and irrelevant’.” He did buy a £4 million yacht, though, “which I now spend three weeks of every month on working from the Med”.

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