Well, I never knew so many people were so seriously fed up with gyms. This confirmed my maxim: “Nothing fails like success” (© Drayton Bird) – which I find applies to most industries and people.
Before enlarging on that, I have a confession: forty odd years ago I was partly responsible for the success of a gizmo called the Bullworker. I worked with a very large man called Dave Prowse who later played Darth Vader. It is not true that I was Mr. Before to his Mr. After.
Ads I wrote ran all over the world – to such effect that two years ago a US internet whizz called Joe Vitale did a one hour interview with me, partly because he bought one. I get lots of e-mails from Joe who seems to specialise in miracles as far as I can tell, but sure knows how to sell them.
Anyhow, reverting to my maxim, somebody wise – maybe Warren Buffett – said a good trigger for getting out of an investment is when you see the firm has built a big fancy office – giving the example of Sears, Roebuck.
(No chance there with us; our office is a former basement brothel in the West End. Same principle; less pleasure for the clients.)
I think a good indicator of impending catastrophe is when the person in charge starts rushing around giving speeches about how wonderful he is – a good example being Mr. Bannatyne. Another was the late Saint Anita Roddick whose principles had far too little to do with her practice.
Before you lot in the back row say it, yes, I do make speeches – but if you ever catch me telling you I’m wonderful, shoot me.