Gethin was placed in the care system early and found himself in a 20-year relationship with the criminal justice system. He had a drug dependency, leading to a destructive and turbulent lifestyle. This culminated in spending eight years behind a prison door. Gethin’s last spell in prison was in 2005, when he was 34.
So how did someone with no qualifications, no work history, no social skills, and no self-belief transform themselves into a successful businessperson and better individual?
After being released, it took him seven years to educate himself to the equivalent of a degree and seven years to go from two hours a week volunteering to oversee a staff of 40 within the local authority.
The idea for his business came as he was asked to give a speech whilst working in a previous job for the local authority. The audience received it very well, which led to his presenting at other events.
At one such event, he shared his story and was commended on his talent by his former prison officer, who didn’t recognise him from his days in custody. The officer could not believe the personal transformation and that anyone could change from their former lifestyle into a professional.
By having self-belief, resilience and a positive mindset, he started his business whilst working part-time to give him an income to cover his essential living costs. However, after six months, he decided to start his business full-time.
Utilising customer testimonials in the early days and using customers to advocate his business enabled his business to become sustainable. He recognised the value of marketing and promotion to drive new business.
Gethin recalls his eagerness to start his own business and use his talent to help others. However, what he quickly realised was his lack of knowledge of how to run a business. He recognised that he had an entrepreneurial mindset and could be forward-thinking and adaptable but had no clue about aspects such as business finance, taxes or legal requirements.
He quickly realised he needed to use his networking skills to find the right mentors and organisations to support him. “You must ensure all the business areas are covered, including marketing, administration, and customer service, to stay on top”. Therefore, being organised and effective in time management enabled him to nurture his business.
He advocates that you should be forward-thinking and not let past experiences stop your future personal growth. Being a problem solver and innovator will pay rewards. If you can identify a problem and create a solution that someone is willing to pay for, you are on your way.
Building a successful business makes Gethin enormously proud, but he also states that this experience has enabled some personal transformation for him. His ability to have meaningful relationships with his family and allow his emotions to be shown has enabled him to reconnect after many years of being unable to.
Reflecting on his progress, Gethin says he would give himself the following advice: