Andy has been involved in martial arts for 30 years and won many awards including two silver medals as a competitor and gold as team coach.
He opened a martial arts centre in Kettering. Later, his career took a sideways shift and he began to take an interest in the psychological methods that help people overcome their fears.
Since then he has combined his two great passions and completed a UK tour of speaking events. Andy teaches corporate seminars on communication, influence, stress management and assertiveness, and he’s also a NLP Practitioner.
“My business was in dire straits” explains Andy. “I had a bailiff after me for unpaid council tax; I hadn’t paid my premises rent for four months and a string of other debt collection agencies were chasing me too. I came within 24 hours of losing my business. Then, ironically, I was at the Northants Business Growth Show where Nige was speaking. I had seen Nigel previously, but had not seen any reason to pay someone £69 per month to teach me stuff but I became intrigued that day and I took a trial membership to try out the EC.
“I teach martial arts and I’m a therapist – I cure phobias and help people with depression, stress, stopping smoking and losing weight. I was told once that you only know if your martial arts work when you’re in a fight; philosophy is the same. I was in deep trouble, but I was fighting. Every day was a battle, but I was winning. The martial arts school was growing, up 7% each month.
“My customer base continued to grow. I rented out more space in the centre to other classes. I did some social media training with EC and discovered how to get more traffic to my blog – this resulted in me being asked to do copywriting work for websites. I was paid £270 for three pages, a relatively easy task with a good income. My customer base continued to grow.
“Then, following advice from EC I put all my students on monthly standing order. My residual income shot up massively. I invented ‘Kung Fu Parties’ – kids parties with a kung fu theme. I set up a ‘100 phobias by Xmas’ campaign. This got me on Radio Northampton – I went on three times and each time I earned about £500 from new clients.
I got booked by a local company to deliver assertiveness training – as a result of helping a client earlier in the year, being paid three times the fee I had received when I worked for another company a year before. Now it seemed everything I touched was turning to gold whereas six months before everything I touched turned to crap. I improved my turnover figures by 57% in three months.
“I instigated student of the month and student numbers rose 20%.
I introduced a £200 for eight sessions offer and set a target of three packages in a month – I sold four in three days! My new newsletter made me realise that my database was out of date and not fit for purpose. I cleaned it up and hired a part time administrator.
“My database is growing; the newsletter mailing list is growing. I’m getting more clients hiring me as a copywriter and five months ago this wasn’t even part of my business. I’ve been speaking at different events all over the country, for eight years now, mostly for free. But now I’ve started to be paid for speaking, at 22.5 times higher than my normal hourly rate!
I can see my business developing in front of my eyes.
“The simple fact is that the EC has transformed my business. In many ways it has transformed my life.
I know I’ve done all the work. I know my friends have helped. I know my luck changed, but for all that the EC has given me ideas and education that I have never had before.
I set my business up a long time ago but never, at any time, have I seen a 72% improvement in turnover in seven months. I can now pay my bills. I have a book keeper, an accountant and a part time administrator and this week I hired a cleaner as well.
The beauty of it all is that I feel like the fish that climbed out of the pond. I have grown legs, but not yet evolved into man. I am nowhere near where I want to be, but so far away from where I was.”