Alumni Interviews – Richard White (Nelson Leaver 2006)
1. What did you learn the most from whilst being at RHS?
To be quietly confident in your ability and that your ability has no limit. Opportunities are always out there and it’s up to you to ask/take them. For me, that was running the Friday night discos in Nelson or making a DVD yearbook (It was cool at the time 🙂 )
2. What sports and activities did you take part in at RHS?
I was in the CCF , I also did DW and Cross-country
3. You mentioned at Speech Day that you struggled with Chemistry and Maths at school, what were your least favourite and favourite subjects?
My best subjects were:
Media – I loved the creative side and the theories of the relationship between media and society. This felt this was closer to my reality than any other subjects.
DT – Again I liked the creative process and seeing something come alive from an idea, drawings to real life.
Business – I would say this was on my both my lists but mostly on the like side. I loved that I could see the real importance of the subject and what I wanted to do when I left school. I didn’t like it so much when it was hard sometimes to build context around the theory – IE how it all worked in the real world.
General studies – This just felt like gaming the system to get more UCAS points. Couldn’t see the point of time investment vs the payoff.
Chemistry – I feel a little guilty putting this in here. I do think it can be cool 🙂 but wading through the equations (which I really did not get) just got me frustrated me and turned off my brain.
4. What did you feel your proudest achievement at RHS was?
Getting the grades was I considered good grades, making chief and finishing the DW in a good time.
5. Whilst in the Sixth form, what career did you see yourself doing?
Army. Thought I would be an officer.
6. Did you have any regrets about your time at school?
I didn’t try and learn more! Funny how when you’re younger you take education for granted or even dislike it. I now spend most of my days trying to load my brain up with useful stuff.
7. What gave you the motivation to set up your own business?
Frustration! Working for people I didn’t respect and on things that didn’t matter. For me, it wasn’t an overnight thing. It built up over time.
8. After your seventh rejection for investment into your business, how hopeful were you that your business would actually take off?
There were lots of doubts but I had the feeling I would succeed in the end. It might have been a different idea and take longer.
9. You talked about resilience in your address to the school at Speech day, why do you think it is such a valuable quality?
Life is hard and sometimes doesn’t seem fun. It takes resilience to keep positive and see all the things you should and need to be thankful for, that way life is much more fun. Also, if you want to achieve anything that most people don’t you will need resilience. In my opinion, the difference between these people and others is the outliers don’t give up.
10. Do you have a life mantra and if so what is it and why is it that?
I don’t have a catchy mantra yet but if you had a gun to my head I would say. Worry less and do more. We spend a lot of our time worrying and that stops us from acting. Actually…. thinking about it a better one would be. Action express priorities – That’s from Gandhi, not me.
11. As someone with a lucrative career, what is your attitude towards personal finance? What is the significance of wealth to you?
I see it as the fuel to do what I want and passionate about. I don’t really think I’m that I have an emotional attachment to money. I do think it brings you some kind of freedom but also can trap you. I think it’s really important to understand how money works from a young age and getting into good habits (I didn’t). It’s important to have a healthy relationship with money too many people have a real emotional relationship with it, some of these people are money poor and some money rich but are controlled by it and can be unhappy.