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Anna Fill Interviews

Rachel Elnaugh


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Rachel Elnaugh certainly knows about the highs and lows of running a business. Her success story came from her company Red Letter Days, which was born out of her own desire to supply adventure. So great was her adventure that her business grew to a turn over of £24 million. Her personal popularity was also raised when she became a business angel on the cult BBC television programme Dragon's Den.

Unfortunately for this English Rose, all was not well in the garden. Red Letter Days began to plunge into the red at an alarming rate. From profits of one million per annum, the debt grew to £4.7 million. The backlash and negative media attention received by Rachel was not what you could describe as 'favourable'.

This was a difficult time, this mother of 3 (at the time) was having to let go of the company she had nurtured for 16 years and she had completely lost control, but in the world of business versus business there was nothing that could have been done to resolve the high debt that had been occurred.

To take the expression 'as one door slams, another one opens' Rachel realised that she had to seize new opportunities using the experience and network she had created. The business Red Letter Days was sold and revived by her former television colleagues on Dragon's Den. She was offered a book deal and published the book titled 'Business Nightmares'. Speaking to Rachel afterwards, I told her that I thought what she did was cute. Instead of doing the expected and writing about her fall - in truth what was the point of that, what happened, happened - but she wrote about how not to fail, and she also featured in a positive light twenty entrepreneurs who had found success even through troubled times.

Now Rachel Elnaugh is a writer, mentor and motivational speaker and re-establishing herself on a brand new platform. This one time BBC Dragon Lady has still a great deal of fire and energy and has created a much stronger den.

Monday, 15 November 2010    Section: Anna Fill Interviews
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