Thirty-year-old Aucklander Hugh Lynn will be a millionaire by the time he is 35

Saturday, November 10, 1973 – The New Zealand Herald Weekend Magazine – Section 2

By Susan Woodhouse

In the next five years his second $500,000
Thirty-year-old Aucklander Hugh Lynn will be a millionaire by the time he is 35.

The reason for the $500,000 already amassed in Eden Security, Mojo’s and Levi’s saloon nightclubs, two shops, a dancing studio, health studio and a dog farm is, Hugh Lynn explains, because he forgets business only when he is asleep.

Mostly it is a seven-day week for the young part-Maori, businessman. The working day begins about 8 a.m. and ends about 10 p.m. or much later. Sometimes on a Sunday he races his motorbike.
Hugh Lynn is indecisive when asked why he devotes so much time to building up business but his answers are staccato.

“I am flat out. I want to be. I’d get bored otherwise. I used to think money and material possessions were the answer. Now” I don’t. Money buys me good things like, like what?” (He draws a weekly salary, of $90 which, he says, together with his wife’s salary of $40 for part-time work, is quite enough for them to get along on.) “I am a working class man and will never be different. I will keep on wearing my jeans.

“Business is damn hard work. You have got to be disciplined. But-business interests me. It is exciting. I like to see results. I give 150 per cent of my energy to it because I have a natural urge for working. I feel confident in my work.”

His manner is polite. He is well spoken. He says he reads continuously, partly to compensate for his inability to spell and write good letters – a consequence of having left school in Form 3.

His first job was delivering telegrams. The jobs changed frequently. There was a spell in the Army, lots of ballroom dancing (he became the New Zealand champion), some intensive body-building and karate practice and three years as a part-time wharfie.

When he was 20 he got a job as a trainee cloakroom attendant at a Wellington health studio. At 23 he started his own health studio in the basement of his mother’s house in Dominion Rd.

“I set to with a shovel and pick and started, to dig. A friend helped out occasionally. I didn’t know much about building but I learned pretty quickly.”

The health studio was a success and gave Hugh Lynn his first taste of business. At the same time he was working part-time on the wharves and as a disc jockey at a city night club. Two years later he started Eden. Security and wrote the name of the company in gold letters on the back of his mother’s
Hillman Imp.

Good team
Hugh Lynn insists that the people who work with him are an important reason for the success of his business. He says he has a good accountant, bank manager and lawyer. His security organization, he says, is as good as the men who work in it.

The telephone in his office rings every three minutes. He quietly gives instructions concerning an offer to buy a house. Real estate is another part of his business. He owns six houses, which are rented out and together are worth about $150,000. On one of the sections he intends to build a block of flats.

“At times, I feel things are going too fast, I wonder if I have control of work or if it has control of me. I need to slow down and have a year of consolidation. I recently took a holiday, the first in eight years. It wasn’t until I got away from the work that I realized the strain involved.”

His marriage is more valuable, he says, than a business commitment which would give him ulcers. This year he resisted opening a health food bar and buying another night club in an effort to pull in the reins.

“There have been times when I have thought of tossing it all in and being a famous motorbike rider instead. I could win. That would be good”

Hugh Lynn’s confidence in many areas is undermined in others.

“When I look at a menu I can ever decide what to eat. It’s a huge problem. l recently had a meal from a menu which listed all the dishes in numbers. That was easy. I chose number 27.”

He smiles and recalls another character flaw. “A man came to my home the other day to buy my motorbike and asked if he could take it on a trial run. I sat on the verandah and waited for him and he never came back.

“I manage a large business and then go and let that happen.”

Outside his office the sound of feet tap the floor to the music of the cha-cha. His mother is holding dancing classes. Her son waves an arm around his handsome office.

“They tell me I should have reasonable office that it is good for business. I like the old house the way it is. I don’t go in for extravagance.”

He lives with his wife in little cottage up the road and doesn’t socialize much. There isn’t time. He admits to owning two extravagances – a sleek Daimler, the color of wine, and a Jaguar V12 (new last week). He is critical of extravagant businessmen who live off other people’s credit and says it is hard to meet a businessman who is not a crook.

His own money, he say, is mostly on paper. “I may be a millionaire by the time I am 35. But I shall probably owe two million.”

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~ by admin on 26 September, 2008.

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