Former solider, Alex Harrison, who was shot in the head whilst serving in Afghanistan was left blind in one eye and suffered from PTSD and anxiety, making it difficult to adapt to civilian life.
Despite this setback, Alex had a great ambition to set up his own business. Since coming on the Start Your Own Business Course with RHG Consult Ltd, in collaboration with the Prince's Trust, Alex has successfully set up his gardening business ‘Guardsman Landscaping and Property Service ltd’, which has experienced incredible growth and in just a few months Alex is already so busy he has taken on his first member of staff!
We asked Alex to give us an insight into his entrepreneurial mind-set, success, and what he gained from attending the Start Your Own Business course and the support and mentoring of the Prince's Trust.
1. You have clearly been through a lot and admirably overcome many hurdles in your life; how have you managed to stay so positive and focused on achieving your ambitions?
A. Good Question! I have a great support network around me; they are always helping me and stopping me from making stupid decisions.
2. In your short, but highly successful time in business, what has been your biggest achievement so far?
A. Doing so well and growing the whole business has been my biggest achievement, to the point that I recently took on a member of staff.
3. What do you enjoy the most about running your own business?
A. The flexible working hours – when they are not too long!
4. What key advice would you give to others who aspire to start their own business?
A. It is hard in the beginning, but when you put the effort in you will reap the rewards shortly after – so keep going!
5. What did you gain from the Start Your Own Business course with the Prince's Trust and RHG Consult?
A. I learnt a lot of information about starting a business that I wasn't aware of. There is so much more to it that you think. I also gained loads of support and was given a business mentor to support me after the course.
6. What would you say to encourage other budding entrepreneurs to come on the Start Your Own Business course?
A. Take the dive – the course is a great eye opener!
7. Sarah mentioned that you are an innovative speaker for Start Your Own Business courses, why do you do this and what do you like about it?
A. I feel that that because I am a young lad myself I can connect with others and be a role model for them. We have all been there when older generation tell you what to do, but from my own experience its not the best way to go about it; people need someone the same age who has been through experience as them, whom they can really relate to. I feel I can do this with others and hopefully encourage and inspire them with my successful story.
8. To what do you attribute your success?
A. You mean apart from the Mrs! I think my good sense of humour has been key – one thing the army has taught me is to see the light at the end of tunnel even in the darkest times. This has helped me to stay positive and motivated to achieve my business goals, even when they felt quite far away.
9.What drives you on?
A. Not wanting to fail.
10. Where do you see yourself and your business in five years time?
A. In 5 years time I see the business expanding dramatically to extent that I have several teams working for the company doing various tasks, including teams for gardening, property maintenance and landscaping.
A huge thank you to Alex for taking some time out of his extremely busy schedule to speak to us. If you are looking for the very best of landscaping and property services at competitive prices, visit the Guardsman Landscaping and Property Services website - http://www.gmlp-ltd.co.uk
If Alex’s story has inspired you to join us on a Start Your Own Business Course, please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Prince's Trust www.princes-trust.org.uk