Self-confessed workaholic Nick Hewer admits ‘no’ is the hardest word to say

Self-confessed workaholic Nick Hewer admits ‘no’ is the hardest word to say

I was lucky enough to have a chat with the sidekick of Lord Sugar on the Apprentice and presenter of Countdown.  Nick is a hard working business man who has found himself something of a media star due to his numerous television roles.

He has been involved in documentary programmes with Margaret Mountford researching important social issues from benefits to immigration, but always using his pleasant courteous manner when dealing with these contentious subjects.

The first question I asked him was his opinion on older people in the workplace and the rise of older entrepreneurs who have started up new businesses recently.  As an ambassador for Prime (The Prince’s Initiative for Mature Entrepreneurs), he is helping to promote support for those who for whatever reason wants to start up a new venture in their 50s and older.

He himself has provided office accommodation and mentoring for a friend, who found himself made redundant before he was ready to retire and went on to successfully create other jobs through his company.

I suggested that it would be interesting to have older contestants on The Apprentice, but understood the reasoning behind the choice to use less experienced candidates as it made for better television.  And that it is more likely that senior business people would not subject themselves to some of the indignities of the programme!

A recent study in which he was involved is published this week which shows despite all the pressures of responsibility for two or three generations it is not until you reach late 50s that we really get the work/ life balance right.  The research reveals we get happier not grumpier as we age and that spending time with family is top of the list for happiness.   It seems that 58 is the age of content.

The biggest concern in the life and work of Nick Hewer is how and when he can retire.  Admitting to being a workaholic his is still desperate to start taking life more easily and at 70 he feels that the time is right to stop taking on all these roles that eat into his family time.  I wish there was a way to learn how to say “No” he told me.  “That is the hardest job for me”.

When I suggested that we develop an app for his phone that says “No” when booking a task, he thought that an excellent idea!  But somehow I think he would politely ignore it, make one of his most expressive faces and carry on working.

by Tina Foster, deputy editor

Nick Hewer shared his tips on work/life balance for the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. To join the conversation, use the hashtag #notes4life on 19th November