So let me set the scene so please bear with me for the first part of this article as it is important.

I left school at 16 to start working in a bank and as far as I was concerned at 16 years of age, my education was over. I was on to another chapter in my life. I went to work in a bank as I really didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life – other than earn money – and my mum said, “You are good with figures, why don’t you work in a Bank?”

So there I was for 4 years and it was advised that if I wanted to progress in the bank, I would have to do banking exams, so for 2 nights a week I had to travel to Isleworth College and get home about 9.30pm. It took me 4 years to realise that I hated doing more exams so I left and went to work over Heathrow Airport – no more education other than job related.

Then at 23 I got married to my wonderful wife Denise – she still puts up with me after 38 years – and we started our life in a new build in Sandhurst Berkshire. We then started to make new friends with other people of our age who had also just got married and met a couple who introduced to a Network Marketing business. It turned out that it was the best thing that ever happened to me.

Somebody once said to me that in 5 years time we will be exactly the same person as we are today apart from the people we associate with and the books we read. Though the network marketing business I started to educate myself on how to work with people, how to build relationships with people, how to be successful, how to have a dream etc. I did this through books and started to devour them and still do today. I also made sure I started hanging around with successful or success minded people, and it started to rub off – big time

What did books teach me? Well firstly you need to read the right books. I was reading a new book every month on how to build a successful business, how to build relationships. These were PMA books (Positive Motivational Attitude), Business books, motivational and inspirational books.

So when the opportunity arose to start my own conventional business in 1987 at the age of 30, I jumped at the chance. I had been reading business and success books for the last 7 years. I was ready. Long story short, I sold that business in 2016 and the three year earn out finished end March 2019 and, with 33 years experience of owning and running a business, I know I had the knowledge and experience to pass on to other small business owners who may not have had the opportunity to have experienced what I experienced 7 years before I started in business. Unbeknown to me, I had been planning for that day in 1987 when I started my Advertising Agency.

Most small business owners start their business with an idea, or they may have been made redundant and got some spare cash or got fed up making money for someone else so think they can go off and do it all on their own.

You need help to build a business. You don’t know what you don’t know, and you don’t know who you don’t know. There are a lot of good people out there who will help you. There are also a lot of people who will take your money and not give you anything in return.

So, yes without any shadow of a doubt, personal development is vital. If you are running a business and don’t read personal development books – here is a tip. Start now. You may not know it but take it from me, it will make you a better person and it will make you a better business person and you will be far more successful with it that you ever could be without it.


This article was first published on LinkedIn by Richard Knight on 13/01/2020