Youngest-ever Dragon, Steven Bartlett, shares the secrets of his success

Youngest-ever Dragon, Steven Bartlett, shares the secrets of his success

It’s not too late to start a podcast – but it’s hard work and you increasingly need to have an original idea, according to the man responsible for the UK’s most popular podcast. 

Entrepreneur Steven Bartlett, host of The Diary of a CEO, told an audience at WTM London that, through doing the podcast, he has realised “insecurity and shame” are major motivators that drive people to success.  

“In my case I was driven by shame,” he said, during a one-to-one with marketer Marcus Murphy, C-Founder of the Five Percent. 

“I was the only black kid I knew, we were also the poorest family. I had so much shame, which taught me an excellent lesson.” 

Bartlett dropped out of university at 18 and later founded social media marketing agency Social Chain, which made him a multimillionaire when it went public in 2019. 

He then became the youngest investor on the BBC investment show Dragons’ Den. 

He told the audience that while “sitting in front of a white board was not for me”, his “passion is educating myself”. 

When asked whether it was too late to start a podcast, Bartlett said: “If you want to start a podcast and you don’t have millions of followers, it’s going to be tough.” 

He advised people to “take a ton of time and really think about a format”, warning brands that don’t do this: “It’s not going to grow”.  

“Brands need to be careful because the cost of podcasting is expensive. 

“I would rather you tripled down on LinkedIn – Podcasting is a later stage strategy.” 

He urged the travel industry to be more innovative, saying: “It’s like the whole industry has read the same book – how to run a travel business and how to market it. It’s just the way it has always been.” 

Above all, companies need to create the right environment – “In the right environment, one plus one becomes three.”

And he said people need to understand the importance of balance and “tune into the voice inside of you”.  



Photography from WTM shows is available to download via the following link:

World Travel Market (WTM) Portfolio comprises leading travel events, online portals and virtual platforms across four continents. The events are:

WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend three-day exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry. The show facilitates business connections for the global (leisure) travel community. Senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international media visit ExCeL London every November, generating travel industry contracts.

Next live event: Monday 7 to 9 November 2022 at ExCel London and 6-8 November 2023 at ExCel London.

Arabian Travel Market (ATM), now on its 30th year, is the leading, international travel and tourism event in the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals. ATM 2022 attracted over 23,000 visitors and hosted over 30,000 participants including 1,500 exhibitors and attendees from 150 countries, across 10 halls at Dubai World Trade Centre. Arabian Travel Market is part of Arabian Travel Week. #ATMDubai

Next in-person event: Monday 1 to Thursday 4 May 2023, Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai

Arabian Travel Week is a festival of events taking place within and alongside Arabian Travel Market 2023. Providing a renewed focus for the Middle East’s travel and tourism sector, it includes ILTM Arabia, ARIVAL Dubai, Influencers’ events and activations, ITIC, GBTA Business Travel Forums, as well as ATM Travel Tech. It also features the ATM Buyer Forums, ATM Speed Networking Events as well as a series of country forums.

WTM Latin America takes place annually in the city of São Paulo and attracts around 20,000 tourism professionals during the three-day event. The event offers qualified content together with networking and business opportunities. In this its ninth edition – there have been eight face-to-face events along with a 100% virtual one, which was held in 2021 – WTM Latin America continued to focus on effective business generation, and achieved the advance booking of six thousand meetings that were held between buyers, travel agents and exhibitors in 2022.

Next event: Monday April 3rd to Wednesday 5th April 2023 – Expo Center Norte, SP, Brazil

WTM Africa launched in 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa.  In 2022, WTM Africa facilitated more than 7 thousand unique pre-scheduled appointments, an increase of more than 7% compared to 2019 and welcomed more than 6 thousand visitors (unaudited), the same number as in 2019.

Next event: Monday 3 to Wednesday 5 April 2023 – Cape Town International Convention Centre, Cape Town

About ATW Connect:  Africa Travel Week’s digital arm, is a virtual hub packed to the seams with interesting content, industry news and insights, and the opportunity to hear from experts on a variety of topics in our new monthly webinar series. All with the aim to keep all of us in the travel and tourism industry connected. ATW Connect focuses on inbound and outbound markets for general leisure tourism, luxury travel, LGBTQ+ travel and the MICE/business travel sector as well as travel technology.

WTM Global Hub, is the new WTM Portfolio online portal created to connect and support travel industry professionals around the world. The resource hub offers the latest guidance and knowledge to help exhibitors, buyers and others in the travel industry face the challenges of the global coronavirus pandemic. WTM Portfolio is tapping into its global network of experts to create content for the hub.

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