Tim Campbell MBE Launches A Brand New ‘Life-After-Death’ Platform
Tim Campbell MBE: From the London Underground, to Winning the first ever BBC Apprentice, to being made an MBE by the Queen, to a revolutionary new life-after-death platform, called Iternal.
Shot to fame as the first ever winner on the infamous BBC Apprentice show (not to mention his association with Lord Sugar, and in more recent years, – the Queen), Tim Campbell MBE shared details with us on what shaped him: from graduating with a Psychology degree, to creating a revolutionary new life-after-death platform.
Tim’s motivation for success comes from a source we all know too well: family, but more precisely, his loving mother, who came over to England as a Jamaican immigrant, ‘in the Windrush generation.’ ‘Growing up in East London, I was one of three kids who grew up in a single parent household. We grew up in an unconventional way,’ he said.
The one common thread in Tim’s life was his mother, who was always there for him, and she had – like every loving mother, a goal to ensure that Tim had the best education possible.
After going to a comprehensive school in East London, and after getting his GCSE’s and A Levels, Tim entered Middlesex University in the late 80’s/early 90’s, to his mother’s fulfilment. ‘It made my mum very happy, because she put certificates on the wall, and she sent them out to everybody in the world,’ chuckled Tim.
Tim confessed that his University choices were not necessarily fully thought through, as he ended up picking a psychology degree without really wanting to follow through with this avenue, but he did fulfil his mother’s dream.
‘My mum wanted her first and oldest child to go to University, because not having the opportunity to go to school herself, meant that a University education was a big thing for her.’ And with his BSc rightfully earned, Tim worked in various establishments and fast food outlets like McDonald’s, followed by a stint at the London Underground.
‘When I worked there, I got free travel, because as part of the network, you could travel back and forth. So that was a huge, lucrative thing for me, in terms of savings,’ explained Tim. Due to his family’s socio-economic status at the time, he couldn’t afford to live the Uni lifestyle, work, AND focus 100% on his studies.
Working at the London Underground gave Tim a new skill that would remain valuable for his time in The Apprentice, and throughout his career: customer relations. And we all know what followed. Along came the launch of a brand new BBC TV show called The Apprentice.
Although he was earning a decent wage from the London Underground, Tim was quite interested in the six figure salary associated with winning the show. And from there, he decided to put in an application. But the salary that engendered winning the show was not what marked Tim the most. Meeting Lord Sugar was.
‘Where I got the most amount of learning was actually when I worked one to one with Lord Sugar in his office, because the man is a genius: the way that he was able to analyze things. I’ve never, ever seen anybody be able to do it like he does. His success is down to his ability just to see through the white noise and to focus on the problem.’
Although Tim admits the show ‘was fun,’ he wouldn’t recommend anyone to take part in a reality TV show. Instead, his advice is to work for somebody who has a tremendous amount of experience, who can teach and become a mentor, just like Lord Sugar influenced him, in terms of how to deal with business, and how to deal with people.
On working with Lord Sugar, Tim ended up being appointed the ‘Head of Health And Beauty’ at Lord Sugar’s iconic company, Amstrad, which he eventually sold to Rupert Murdoch, shortly after Tim left the role in 2007.
Tim left to start his own venture, and he created his own men’s grooming range. Having been successfully placed in Lord Sugar’s company, his ambition led him to the ‘what’s next’ thought process. But unfortunately, it flopped.
‘I didn’t know what to do,” confessed Tim. “I put in quite a bit of money, and it failed catastrophically. Not only was it really humbling, because I’d been riding this wave of success, as it were, where everything had been going in the right direction, so this was the first major obstacle in my life, in terms of things that went bad.’
At that time, Tim was crushed, worried about his appearance and the exterior perception that followed, and of course, his pride was hurt.
But, this failure was just the epiphany he needed to realise that making mistakes was okay, and that failure was allowed. And looking back at it now, Tim believes that failure was probably the best thing that had happened to him, as it stopped him from going down a road that would not have been profitable to him.
And Tim continued to work his way up, driven by ambition and driven by his ambition to support young entrepreneurs.
‘I still had to work and make stuff happen. I didn’t want to get complacent. I wanted to dispel the myth that I was exceptional,’ said Tim.
‘I believe that talent is evenly distributed everywhere, yet no one was investing into kids from disadvantaged backgrounds, or kids who came out of prison. No one was investing into mothers who were in abusive relationships trying to build up their lives again.’
Tim sought to change that narrow vision.
And so, he teamed up with the British Library to provide support to new and young entrepreneurs, and by teaming up with with the Library’s business and intellectual properties center, Tim spent a number of years, where he would ‘ambassador around,’ as he put it, getting more people to come in and utilise the library to start their business, and to get it off the ground.
He also launched the Bright Ideas Trust, with a similar mission at hand. ‘We went to the hardest places, the hardest regions, we were in prisons, and we were in social housing groups. We were in community networks. We were actually in those communities.’
The 2010’s became significant in Tim’s life. Not only did he co-author ‘What’s Your Bright Idea?’ in 2010, which became a top 10 business book on Amazon, but he was also awarded with an MBE by the Queen in 2012, and he became a Member Of The British Empire for services to enterprise culture. But for Tim, this honor wasn’t about him:
‘It was an acknowledgement of the team’s hard work. I was collecting the honour on behalf of our team in terms of what we’d done, and my own personal endeavours – working really diligently around promoting apprenticeships and getting kids into employment.’
This also was a very important moment for his mother, who was in tears of joy to see her son being recognised in this way.
Now, Tim has added a new step into his business career, by Founding a brand new digital platform called ITERNAL, which he launched with Paul Wiseall in November last year (2020). The platform is for individuals who want to store their stories and memories, forever.
They’ve already raised a ‘significant’ round of investment, made up of a combination of a friend-and-family round, and some early, initial angel investors, which has contributed towards marketing and development of the platform.
Tim explained that the pandemic has had a crushing effect – that has forced people into realising the reality of their own mortality, and ITERNAL was created with the idea of ensuring a safe, secure and friendly way to store memories of either yourself, or people in your family forever.
‘The good thing was that if anybody’s ever watched things like Black Mirror, there is this whole thing about what happens when you’re not here, what happens when you’re gone. And what we think is that, unfortunately, we’ve lost people who have been close to us and we think well, what if I ever wanted to hear their voice again? ‘
‘What if I wanted to ask them a question about what they did at University? Or where they were when they met their partner in life? Or how did that come about? All of those things. Unfortunately, when somebody passes away, they’re lost, forever. So for us, it’s a big opportunity for us to curate a sensible conversation in the way that you would want to.’
To find more about ITERNAL, head over to: https://iternal.life