Dragons’ Den investor Steven Bartlett tried to pitch on show just 10 years ago

Steven Bartlett says his time in the Den was 'emotional'

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At 28-years-old, Mr Bartlett is bringing fresh blood to the show as the youngest investor to ever appear on the Dragons’ Den panel. The entrepreneur, podcast host, investor and music enthusiast shared how he went from being a university dropout to a £900,000 podcast and £50million estimated net worth.

Mr Bartlett will have his first television debut tonight as he joins the ranks of Deborah Meaden, Sara Davies and Touker Suleyman.

The millennial entrepreneur is replacing the CEO of Vitabiotics, Tej Lalvani who has invested almost £2million over his four year long appearance on the show. 

Mr Bartlett shared in a revelatory Tweet that he had actually applied to Dragons’ Den 10 years ago as an entrepreneur but never even made it to the den. 

He tweeted: “10 years ago at 18 years old I applied to pitch to the Dragons. 10 years later at 28 years old I have the honour of sitting amongst them.”

Mr Bartlett has also shared that being on the show will make his childhood dream a reality. He told BBC News that while watching the show as a 12 year old he would pretend to be one of the investors, pausing after each pitch to consider whether he would put his money forward. 

The entrepreneur extraordinaire was brought up in Plymouth after being born in Zimbabwe and started his university studies at the Manchester Metropolitan University. 

He soon dropped out of his business degree and was hired by the social network Bebo as a freelance consultant and co-founded the unicorn company Social Chain later that same year. 

Alongside Dominic McGregor, Mr Bartlett started Social Chain in 2014 and grew the business to its current worth of £300million. 

Both founders left in 2020, with Mr Bartlett heading to Huel as a director and for the first time properly started dedicating himself to his podcast Diary of a CEO. 

The podcast calls upon successful people from all walks of life and aims to provide the ordinary person a behind-the-scenes look at how they operate as well as the keys to success. 

The podcast had been running for three years with only occasional episodes and little success, however, as the pandemic took over the globe Mr Bartlett was determined to help it a triumph. 

The podcast has seen exponential growth ever since and became Europe’s number one business podcast with a staggering £900,000 value. 

Mr Bartlett shared on one of his solo episodes that the key was evidently his reliability in creating new content. 

He commented: “Whenever I was consistent and managed to publish predictably, every Monday for several weeks in a row, the podcast audience would grow and grow and grow.

“If I then took a month off, it was almost like I was back to square one again.

“From the minute I started being consistent with publishing the podcast every single Monday, the growth exploded by 10 times higher.”

Although this may seem like golden advice for podcasters alone, Mr Bartlett emphasises that this is a lesson to be learnt across all aspects of life. 

He explained: “Whether it’s building a business, getting millions of followers on Instagram, or even getting into the best shape of your life.

“Figuring out a way to reach that point of sustainable consistency was the key to explosive growth and progress.

“That is a fundamental lesson of my entire life. One that has taken me 27 years to appreciate the value of being consistent at almost anything, consistency unlocks everything.”

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