The property tycoon, 29, is one of Yorkshire’s most successful businessmen and came eighth on The Sunday Times Rich List for the under 30s. Here are his top tips...

Stay focused on one goal
“Stick to what you’re good at. I’ve always liked seeing things grow and get built, so for me property seemed a good idea. I’d raised cash selling old clothes, bought a place on a buy-to-let mortgage, renovated it, and made a good profit. I went on from there. But my decision to buy into Leeds United football club a few years ago distracted me away from my core business: renovating houses.”

Don’t worry about everyone else
“Want to eliminate your competition? Make your own business stronger. Don’t worry about someone trying to take over your little patch. Promote yourself instead.”

Never employ friends
“Choose people for their dedication and ability or it’s a recipe for disaster. I once gave a friend a senior job at Leeds United, but certain people saw him as an ‘in’ when I decided to sell my interests in the club. Things got messy. Also don’t employ entrepreneurs: they only want your job.”

Always have the info to hand
“In a growing business, you must have a full grasp on everything that happens. I’ve got 100 staff. I don’t need to know everything they’re doing, but I always have a contact I can speak to in order to get access to any updates I need.”

Don’t run before you can walk
“Have a tried-and-tested infrastructure inplace before you do anything major. Most successful people don’t make this mistake – it’s often young guys. Two local entrepreneurs recently put a ‘global property database’ idea to me. I pointed out that it’s been done. They didn’t even check the internet. Most ‘entrepreneurs’ are like that.”

Value and quality
“If you don’t have both in a product, you don’t have a business.”

Make your own luck
“Work hard, keep your eye on the ball, save your money and respect those you’re dealing with, and chances will pop up. I work about 70 hours a week, but it used to be 100. I started off in a rented office with another lad in a suburb of Leeds. We now have our own £10m building in the centre of Leeds. It’s a far cry from where I was a decade ago.”

Don’t get phased by bad news
“You have to learn from mistakes. At one point, I had government bodies looking at what I was doing because I was making so much money. Instead of dodging complaints, correct them. Considering your customers’ feelings is crucial for a long-term business to survive. Even if it sees you make slightly less money in the short-term.”

Cash is king
“Don’t spend more than you earn. Your funders will respect you more, allowing your business to grow rapidly. In the early days I spent less than 1% of my earnings. I had five million quid when I was 21, but I was still living with my mum and dad.”