HelloMonaco : You are celebrating 20 years of Boutsen Aviation . What inspired you to start this business ? Thierry Boutsen : I had a passion for airplanes from when I studied engineering . I went to university after school to study engineering , got a degree and was very much involved in the mechanical side of life : cars , car racing , and also airplanes . I flew my first airplane when I was 21 and all my travels with Formula One were organised and done by myself as a pilot . And I did a few transactions myself in my Formula One days , buying and selling planes . That ’ s really how it all started .
HM : What kind of criteria do you have for success ? TB : My motto is do things right , or don ’ t do them . Life is so short , I want to enjoy every moment . And to enjoy every moment , you have to put all your cards on the table and play them the best way you can . And therefore , I try to organise myself to do it right . Whether I ’ m selling a plane , having a business meeting , or with family , or a performance with sports , I ’ m happy . So each achievement of every day and every second , for me is satisfaction .
HM : What does money mean to you ? TB : Money , for me , is a consequence ; it ’ s not a goal . If you do things right in business , you will collect money . And the better you work , the more efficient you work , the more efficient your team works , the more money you will make . But this is not the # 1 goal . Of course you need money to survive , you need money to have a certain lifestyle , but I don ’ t do this business just to make money , I do it because I enjoy it .
HM : What is your purpose in life ? TB : My whole life has been driven by passion . Whether it ’ s business , racing , family or children , I have a passion for it . That has been driving my life all the way . And I communicate this to my family and my employees because it is so enjoyable . With passion , if there is a big wall in front of you , you will destroy the wall and go further . And that is what I would like to communicate to people . Never give up . If you have a passion for something , just go for it and you will enjoy the results very much .
HM : How do you find harmony with yourself and the universe ? TB : I must say that I am in harmony with myself . I like what I do ; I like my life , I like how my life has not been organised . I ’ m extremely proud to have been successful in sports and racing in Formula one ; and to have a successful company selling airplanes now . But the most important thing is the family , of course . I have a wife , who I really love like you cannot imagine , and wonderful kids . And that makes me very happy and satisfied . And I ’ m extremely lucky . But it does not come automatically ; it comes with a lot of work , a lot of attention , a lot of challenges put in front of you that you need to achieve .
HM : How do you deal with feelings of loneliness ? TB : This is a feeling that I learned to fight alone in motorsports . When you are taking your position at the start of a Formula One Grand Prix , you are totally alone . You have your problems , you have to manage to be calm , manage the race and make many decisions in a fraction of a second and it is really a character building exercise . And I learned to be able to solve problems without being affected by the problems . The most important thing is to find the real reasons why there is a problem . Never lie to yourself . And try to find a way to solve the problem . Sometimes you can , sometimes you can ’ t . But be clear facing the problem . When I have a problem , I try to go deep into the problem and solve it and I can either do it alone , or the other way to solve my problems is to talk to my wife . She is a very good consultant and helper . She has been with me for many years and she understands how I think and feel . She understands , even without speaking , what I want to achieve . She is helping me in doing that and she is a wonderful support .
HM : What is love for you ? TB : I could not live without love . Love is part of your life , whether it ’ s love for somebody , or passion
You have your problems , you have to manage to be calm , manage the race and make many decisions in a fraction of a second and it is really a character building exercise . And I learned to be able to solve problems without being affected by the problems . for something . It ’ s also love for either a sport or business , or I love old cars as an example . That is a hobby that I have . Love is the most important thing in life , for me . To love your wife , to love your kids , to have a family . It ’ s something so important , I couldn ’ t live without it . And I ’ m extremely lucky and happy that I found the perfect wife for me and together we have the best kids in the world .
HM : Do you think that loving yourself and accepting yourself is important ? TB : Yes , 100 %. It takes a long time to understand that . But I learned from life that in order to enjoy it , you have to be a happy person . And to be a happy person , you must analyse what you are ; what you have done ; why you have done it ; what your mistakes were and how you can improve it . And all this brings you to a place of happiness with yourself . Many people ask me this question : “ what would you have done differently if you had to start again ?” And most people say , oh I would have done this , and this , and this . I say , nothing . Zero . Every time you do something wrong , you learn something . And that brings you higher . It moves you forward . I don ’ t regret any moment .
HM : Have you ever had a life-changing experience ? TB : Two times . The first is when I met Daniela . Because at that time I was really not happy with my life , the things happening around me and not so sure about myself . And she really helped me come out of this situation with my feet on the earth . She gave me the possibility to be confident in myself again , something that I had lost a little bit around 1993 when we met . I don ’ t know what I would have become if I had not met Daniela . This was a turning point in my life .
TB : The second was in 1999 , when I was racing in Le Mans with Toyota . I went to do Le Mans as my last race and then do something else . But it [ ended ] in a very bad way . I was leading the race and I had a big accident . A really big accident . The car was destroyed and I was almost completely destroyed too . Three vertebrae were totally broken , my spine was compressed , and I was paralysed in the legs . In fact , I survived only because I was extremely fit . I had physical strength that allowed me to