Practice owner, of Cleveland Orthodontics, Middlesbrough.
What did you want to be when you were young?
I wanted to drive a Formula 1 car - still do as it happens!
How much was your first pay packet and what did you spend it on?
£212, when I was 18 and worked as a gofer at a boarding school. It seemed a lot of money and I put almost all of it down as a deposit for a Honda 125 motorbike.
What’s your dream job, other than your current one?
I do really love what I do and my dream is to have several practices around the region so that more people can have access to our services. Alternatively, I’d love to be Lewis Hamilton’s team mate.
What’s the best piece of business advice you have received?
Be prepared to listen to advice but be cautious about how you act upon it.
And the worst?
‘Don’t set up a practice in Middlesbrough because no-one up there will wear braces’ is advice I was given in London in 1996. Fortunately I remembered the best piece of advice and so listened but did not act on it.
What is your philosophy when it comes to business?
Be honest and ethical and then your reputation will speak for itself. In practice, this means that, when we are prescribing a treatment, we recommend to an adult what we would have ourselves and, for a child, what we would want for our children and not what is best for our business.
What are your hobbies?
Music - I played bass guitar in a rock band years ago and still enjoy a strumming session with friends; watching MFC with my sons - we are season ticket holders; and kick boxing - I am a 4th degree black belt and teach at Yarm Martial Arts Academy.
What’s your top business or financial tip?
If you have a goal or dream, visualise it in your mind so that you know where you are going, thoroughly research your market and put together accurate costings. In short, get it straight before you invest your time and money in taking it further. It seems common sense but so many businesses fail because people don’t do this.
Does anything scare you and if so what?
On a personal note, as a parent, the thought of anything awful happening to my children. From a business perspective, not being able to keep up with the continuing demand for straight teeth with invisible braces.
What would you choose as your epitaph?
He em ‘brace’ d life to the full!
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