Michael’s Story

Michael set about creating a new life for himself and his four terriers, Jack, Sam, Mia and Holly when he moved from Kent to Cornwall, with visions of living by the sea and embracing the Cornish way of life.

Michael has an impressive work history, with diverse experience and skills. His journey from employee to running his own business has many stories to tell.

Leaving school, Michael started working in removals, and his employed life has seen him through working in warehouses, deliveries, bus driving, collecting money with a security agency and working in the prison service. Whilst working with the security agency in London Michael had to deal with very daunting and compromising situations, including being held up three times with attempted robberies, on one of those occasions he was even shot at twice! “It wasn’t an easy job, you are always on edge, particularly when it comes to potential hold-ups”, says Michael.

Michael’s last career move whilst living in Kent was working in the prison service. Michael enjoyed his job until a severe assault whilst on duty caused him to take time off work to recover and take care of his disabled mother. Michael had cared for his mother, alongside working full-time for 10-15 years, and it wasn’t until his mother tragically passed away on her 72nd birthday that Michael decided it was time to make the move away from Kent and set-up home with his dogs in Cornwall.

“I began experiencing severe panic attacks, this was a turning point for me. I realised that I just hadn’t taken the time out to grieve for the loss of my mother – it was all related. I needed to give myself a break and I started to think about a new journey, one that would allow me to have my own time too”, says Michael.

“I’ve always enjoyed gardening and I decided I would set up my own gardening service, coupled with gutter cleaning, but I even tell people now that I have no previous experience. I love the outdoors and moving to Cornwall, I’m now even more keen to be involved in the community a lot more and this is the perfect way to do that”.

“So, there I was with this idea, I had some savings that I could initially invest into equipment that I needed, but I was unemployed and had no regular income at the time. My Universal Credit Work Coach, at the Jobcentre, informed me of Positive People’s PopUp Business School that was being held in Saltash and it was free for me to attend – so that’s what I did!” explains Michael.

“The PopUp Business School was great! This is where I met Mike Cherry and was told about the follow-on Enterprise Clubs. For me, the eye-opener was that you didn’t actually need any money to set up your own business, of course there are set-up costs, but the Positive People project can help secure funding for set-up costs such as necessary equipment, which is a great opportunity for me and anyone else looking to go self-employed!”

Michael has been able to access financial support through the Positive People project to kickstart his business. He has set up his own website (free of charge) alongside securing a free accountant to manage his books through ingenuity! “Funnily enough, I came across an ad from a lady offering her accountancy service for free on Facebook as she was training. I took her up straight away as this is something I know very little about, it’s helping her and I out equally, which is great”, says Michael.

Michael is now up and running and expanding his services into window and fascia cleaning. “My neighbours have been really supportive of my new venture and I’ve had plenty of business from them. I’ve been recommended by one neighbour to my local council for the maintenance and cleaning of the many large buildings in my local area, and receive regular tips!”

“I enjoy doing a job well done, customer satisfaction and appreciation is really important to me. My advice to anyone thinking about setting up their own business would be to do something that you love, because you’ll be doing it day in day out. Talk to people and network, you never know what could come of it!”

Positive People can support anyone with an ambition of being their own boss to turn dreams into plans!

Get in touch with Michael and find out more about the friendly and reliable service with guaranteed customer satisfaction: www.gardensngutters.weebly.com