What Is Your Business?
It publishes a quarterly magazine intending to encourage inmates to focus their energies on positive self-improvement and, through interviews and stories, shows them how people in a similar position have used a healthy lifestyle to create positive changes within themselves and society.
It provides useful information on how to live a healthy lifestyle both physically and mentally, with features on how to cope with life whilst in prison, keeping connected/reconnecting with loved ones whilst away from home and realistic nutritional advice based on the limited options available in custody.
It has recently worked with a supplements specialist to launch a range of premium whey, creatine monohydrate and testosterone boost products.
The idea came to Nick whilst in HMP Manchester. He had always been keen on keeping fit, and utilising the gym in custody was an important step in maintaining his well-being. He noticed that publications such as Men’s Health and Men’s Fitness were circulating the prison but were costly and well-used. Even though popular, the content was not always relevant, and Nick struck up the idea of creating something unique.
By his admission, his “misspent youth” meant he spent several years in and out of Youth Custody, and every time he returned home, he would go back to the gym. He noticed that his peers at the gym were also spending a lot of time in and out of prison, and he saw the sense of community between them.
Nick reflects on his offence as an adult resulting in a custodial sentence as a “wake-up call” to change his outlook once and for all. Almost two years had passed between his offence being committed and his conviction, in which time he had sought to use his talents differently. He had taken up a post as a community worker and was developing a career when he was sentenced.
With a positive mindset and a different perspective, he planned for his release as soon as he was in HMP Manchester. He completed a business start-up course and used that knowledge to understand better the steps needed to set up his organisation. He used his time to talk to other prisoners and conduct relevant market research to determine potential customer needs, share his vision with others, and gain valuable customer insights.
Upon release, he was able to develop his networking skills to support him and gain a valued mentor. Pitching and persuading the magazine value proposition to the governor of every prison he wanted the publication was challenging. It required resilience and a positive mindset to achieve his breakthrough and accept it in the first prison.
As the magazine and business brand developed, Nick increased his network, and he continued to use his problem-solving skills to overcome the challenge of individual prison permissions. The persistence has now enabled his magazine to be signed off by Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service on a national agreement. Nick is proud that it is five years since his journey began. Inside Workout has developed from just an idea for a magazine into a range of health and well-being products and services serving the prison and his local community. He turned his passion and enthusiasm into a sustainable business and used his lived experience as positive rather than negative.