Very sexist question, this. Just saying. Although in those days, 40-plus years ago, it was generally the man who was the breadwinner.
My Dad was in sales. When I was a child he worked for a childrenwear manufacturer, selling clothes to retailers. Thanks to this job, I was always one of the best dressed children around according to my mother. There are indeed many photos of me looking particularly smart, especially when dressed up for birthday parties.
Dad moved to a different company, a Swedish manufacturer, when I was a bit older, and I remember having a lot of velour clothing at that time (and being a bit sick of velour, after a while!)
Eventually, after dabbling in many entrepreneurial ventures (orthopaedic beds and needle disposal machines being two that I recall specifically), my father became involved in selling Spanish property.
20-odd years ago, he and two partners started a company called Para.dor Properties. It was very much a case of being in the right place at the right time (as well as great business skills, obviously!), and the company was phenomenally successful during the Spanish property boom of the late 90s/early 2000s, and became one of the fastest growing companies in the UK at the time.
After a few years of amazing success, my father decided he wanted to retire, and the other two partners bought him out of the company, for a sum of money that even five years earlier would have been beyond his wildest dreams. Without wishing to be vulgar, we’re talking lottery-win type money. He couldn’t have timed it better, as the Spanish property bubble burst shortly afterwards.
It was a perfect end to a varied career, and to my Dad’s never-ending optimism and belief that the thing that was going to make him rich was always ‘just around the next corner’! It really was.