Bristol Pest Control — The story so far.
As a child I was always told that playing with and chasing bugs and other wildlife was a wasted cause, and would not serve me well in the real world, but they were all Wrong.
Starting with nothing
Born to a Welsh mother and a Hungarian immigrant father who worked as hairdressers, income was low, life was hard, but the work ethic of my father was relentless. It was this start in life that I owe my unreasonable determination and i’m very grateful.
My first home was a terraced property on a council estate in Edinburgh but as my father was promoted we moved south eventually settling in Colchester in Essex.
From early in life I always had a fascination with wildlife and was told in school that it was ridiculous behaviour to spend time chasing bugs and spiders, and I should do something more constructive if I ever wanted to “get a good job”.
Failed by the education system
Well I didn't know it then, but I had a condition called dyspraxia — so trying to hold my attention was at best a challenge and when I took my eleven plus, I failed dismally.
This put me in the secondary schools bottom two sets and although I knew I was brighter than that, I never applied myself to be anything more than the kids around me.
I was a bright kid failed by a system where dyspaxia hadn't been invented yet! I was the second year group to take the new GCSE qualifications and was told if I worked hard, if I topped my group I could be looking at a “C”. That didn't inspire me, I left school early. If I was going to work hard then it would be for a distinction, not a C!
The “Good Job” curse
Life passed by quickly with the advice and views of the teachers and well meaning public ringing in my ears — “get a good Job”. So in 1994 I joined the ambulance service, then jumped into nursing and finally teaching before one day waking up and deciding I was sick and tired of doing stuff I didn't like with people who didn't share my ambition and for pay that kept me poor no matter how many hours I worked.
In 2005 I was diagnosed with dyspraxia and it was like a new wave of possibilities poured over me. Because once I knew why I couldn't retain information as easily as other people I knew how to tackle it.
That year I completed almost twenty qualifications and in 2006 started my teaching course to gain a CertEd.
Becoming self employed
In 2007 I received a student grant and used it to pay for pest control courses. I didn't know it then but this was a turning point in my life — but the challenges ahead would be harder than I had bargained for.
Over the next five years I battled to keep the business going — almost went bankrupt twice but somehow managed to keep going.
Burning the candle at both ends.
The challenges of running a business while working part time at my job was beginning to make me sick. I was working permanent nights, getting a couple of hours sleep and then running the business during the day in an attempt to invest in the business to help it grow.
I remember one night I was called out to a secure mental health unit to help with a difficult admission. I was half way there and needed to stop. The thought of doing another shift in a job that I had come to hate was breaking me. I pulled into a garage and just stared into the darkness of the road ahead. It was a paralysis I had never experienced before or since.
After about half an hour I regained my composure and arrived at the unit. They told me I looked I’ll and immediately sent me home.
My wife met me at the door and said “I knew when you walked out of the door you'd be back”.
Rescued by digital Marketing
In 2012 I was introduced to digital marketing and that’s what changed “everything”.
Suddenly I could reach out and help people and they could reach me — trade started to go from hard, to good, to fantastic. I was able to help more people than ever before, but something was still missing.
The pest control industry is built on treatments, but treatments are rarely solutions that last — I wanted to solve pest problems for good. I began working closely with a groundworks specialist and rat problems that had plagued properties for decades were suddenly being solved in a few hours.
We discovered that one in five of our rodent control customers had inherited a rat problem when they moved home! The advice they received from other pest controllers and the council was “if the bait doesn't work, then move house”. NO kidding.
Now we are equipped with hi tech camera systems and ground penetrating scanners — we now solve where others can't. It's a remarkable turnaround created through better communication and a deep desire to make a bigger difference to customers.
All this by sticking to what I love, enjoy and as it happens, I’m very good at. as a wise man once said — passion is the genesis to genius. When you are doing what you love learning is effortless.
So this is where we are today and who knows where we will be next year. In the words of the great Jim Rohn:”If you can help enough people get what they want — you can have everything you want”
So don't listen to the voices of the past, take your passion in whatever it is you love to do and make a bigger difference. It will change your life in ways it might be hard to imagine right now and introduce you to side of yourself you don’t know yet.
Thanks for reading.