About Guy

I’ve never been fond of the status quo. There’s simply no time to stand still in a world that’s full of so much opportunity and change.

My early career was mixed. School seemed like a chore and music and guitars were so much more appealing. The cultural revolution of the 60s promoted free thinking, along with a slightly rebellious class who decided that things should be different.

Like many teenagers, I had little or no idea about what I wanted to do. As much as I loved music, it was clear that my guitar playing talents weren’t going to sustain me. Neither was the mobile discotheque that I ran with a friend, although we did do some incredible parties. There weren’t many mobile discotheques around in those days.

To cut a long story short, I was interested in business and decided to learn more. Accountancy seemed like a good way to do this and I joined a small firm who gave me lots of responsibility early on. I was out there every day working with a variety of businesses and seeing how they developed and ran. I got to know many of their owners and saw businesses in almost every sector. My luckiest break was working at Chrysalis, the burgeoning music group, where I spent a lot of my early career.

Having qualified, I took some time out. I did a ski season in Sauze D’Oulx, Italy. I arrived on spec but quickly found a job with Augusto, a bar and night club owner who wanted me to fill his premises with some of the many British tourists in the resort. It was successful and he referred me to a restaurant and a ski shop to complete a trio of jobs. I worked in the early morning, skied most of the day and then worked in the evening, if you could call it that!

The summer was spent with my girlfriend (now my wife) in the South of France. We worked on a boat and ended up bringing it back to England for its owner. It was just the two us, all the way through the French canals at about 6 mph.

We decided to get married, so work had to start in earnest. I was 24 at the time and joined a company as its financial controller, before deciding to move back into the more varied life of the accountancy profession, going back to working with multiple businesses rather than just one.

And that’s where I have spent most of my life, building and selling one firm and then working in two others, while pursuing a variety of other activities along the way. These have included being a shareholder and director of a number of different businesses in the property, retail, IT, defence, manufacturing and investment management sectors, with varying degrees of success.

Since 2008, I’ve been working at Smith & Williamson, leading their entrepreneurs group. I spend my time advising entrepreneurs and their businesses. It’s a dynamic and challenging environment, particularly in a world plagued by economic turmoil.

At the end of the day, I’ve been lucky. I’ve witnessed success stories and horror stories. I’ve worked out that there’s no need to reinvent the wheel and that there are clear reasons why businesses succeed or fail.

My experiences have led me to write a book, “From Vision to Exit”. It’s a definitive guide for entrepreneurs wanting to build and sell a business and you can find out more here. If you’ve got this far and want to know more, sign up for 2 FREE chapters of my book.

For more information about Smith & Williamson support and services for entrepreneurs click here Smith & Williamson - Entrepreneurs