Having been in transport management for 25 years, I worked up and down the country as well as spending five years in London in varied roles and shift patterns including 10 years on night shift which is when I developed my love for Gardening and the benefits it can bring.
I always had dreams of having a farm in France and a fruitful lifestyle, my career in transport gave me a solid and grounded environment for my children to grow up and give them their own foundation in education and early employment, once this was achieved and they were independent I decided to set up my own Gardening business.
It is an amazing business to be involved in, over the years I have built up a portfolio of around 70 customers who I feel very proud to know and look after from a gardening perspective, I see these people every couple of weeks tending their Gardens and hearing their stories of life's ups and downs meaning I'm much more than the Gardener, and like many other small business owners like cleaners, carers, etc we need excellent customer service skill and a level of empathy with every client.
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What are your top 3 tips for running a successful business in the region?
Image, look the part. Reliability, turn up. Good business partnerships, solid relationships with other small business suppliers.
Who has inspired you the most and what is the best advice you have been given?
Dale Carnegie, his book '' How to Win Friends and Influence People '' has given me inspiration and guidance throughout my life. I've been given a multitude of advice during my lifetime but the one that always comes to mind is '' If its to be its up to me''.
What makes this area a good place to live, and to have a business in?
Having moved into the area nearly a year ago I'm still finding my feet and most of my customers are in the suburbs, so it's more about the mechanics of my business having a garage, driveway and an escape from my hectic business. I'm sure that in time I will build up new clients in this beautiful part of the world but for the time being I'm very happy making the short journey for work purposes.
What skill would you like to perfect?
Playing Piano, I love my piano. It's another passion that I would love to perfect, I practice every day and its a fantastic way of keeping the brain sharp and like gardening the rewards of being able to string a few notes together are truly inspiring.
Best day out for a family?
For me as a cyclist, Clumber Park is perfect because it's somewhere where you can be surrounded by people that you love or you can escape into the forest and lose yourself.
What 3 words best describe you?
Enigmatic, Meticulous, Driven.
What 3 words best describe your business?
Creative, Helpful, Empathetic.
If you weren’t a gardener and landscaper, what would you be doing instead?
If I wasn't a Gardener I honestly don't know, but whatever I did I would be driven, ambitious and a perfectionist.
What is your favourite place to eat in the area and why?
My favourite eatery in the area to date has to be The Venus Restaurant where the food and service has always been first class. I'm sure there are many others that I'm yet to discover and I'm looking forward to sampling.
What place, business or event in the region would you bring back if you could?
Being relatively new to the area I don't really feel qualified to answer this, but from what I have seen and experienced so far I wouldn't want to lose anything!
Name an unsung hero?
My unsung hero was one of my old customers Mr Frank Thorpe, this man drove the landing craft onto the Normandy beaches in World War 2 and some of the stories he told me and the memorabilia he shared with me was makes me feel very humble and lucky to have the life I have.
Name a hidden gem in the region?
Again being new to the area I am still discovering new places, but for me so far I cycle most early mornings, and along a road adjacent to Lindrick Golf Club is a property that has actual warplanes and military hardware displayed in the front garden, it’s Incredible.
Being in the service industry means give and take are essential in keeping customers, prior to the Pandemic when I was very lucky to be able to continue working at a safe distance and I would also be taking essential shopping to my lovely clients. I have to say that I have created a beautiful life for myself and my Gardening business is definitely growing, it enables me to pursue my other passions of Golf and travel which has taken me to some lovely parts of the world including South Africa, Europe, Scotland which is my spiritual home and America where my beautiful Lady lives. My slogan ''No Corners Cut'' is my approach to work and life , no half measures and if your going to do something then do it right, I chase the opportunity and not the money because its what makes me tick, and happiness comes from what we do on a day to day basis which I have found”.