From rags to riches for Gateshead businessman – One Life, One Shot
HE went from rags to riches not once, but twice, and turned £150 into a multimillion-pound success. In 1985, Pete Rea, who was brought up as an only child in Felling, Gateshead, thought he had it all.
He was still only 21, but he’d built up a business from scratch and was leading a very privileged lifestyle.
He lived in a luxury home set in an acre of land in County Durham, he drove his dream car – a red Porsche 911 – and had splashed out on a speedboat.
But just 10 years later his world came crashing down around him when his business went into administration.
Pete went from living in a large, detached property in Hamsterley Mill to a council house in Rowlands Gill, Gateshead, claiming unemployment benefit.
His Porsche was replaced by a Ford Escort with bald tyres and he struggled to make ends meet.
In the years that followed, Pete, who is married to Claire and has five sons aged 21 to four, drifted from one low-paid job to the next.
“I had lost all my confidence and drive,” he said. “I was falling behind on my financial obligations. I was served a repossession order for not paying my rent.”
In an attempt to put food on the table and get his life back on track, Pete, in what he describes as “complete desperation” borrowed £150 from a close friend. He used the cash to set up a franchise of the national home shopping company, Kleeneze.
Pete was determined to make this business a success. His company has turned over £9m in the last three years. However, his return to the top has been marred with sadness.
Four years ago, Pete lost his dad, Peter Senior to a long battle with cancer. But it was a conversation Pete had with his dad just before he died that spurred him to pen his book, One Life One Shot, which has just been published.
The 48-year-old said: “My dad said to me: ‘Son you have magic inside of you and you must keep sharing it’. So I promised him I would.
“I told him I would write a book that would help people to change their lives like I have, and that I would dedicate it to him.”
The stress of his dad’s death caused his mum, Nancy, to have a heart attack and shortly afterwards his eldest son, Chris, had a severe asthma attack that put him into a coma.
Pete, who now lives with his family in Burnopfield, County Durham, said: “It was an absolute nightmare and my wife had just given birth to my youngest son Max. Talk about mixed emotions!
“I felt like I was sat on the edge of human endurance.”
Pete, whose mum Nancy passed away last year, has now turned his hand to motivational speaking to inspire others.
Pete left school at 16 with no qualifications and struggled to find a decent job.
At 17 he was working as a carpet cleaner when he had an encounter at a house in Darras Hall, Ponteland, which he claims changed his life.
“I was young and quite disheartened with my career prospects.
“One day I was sent to clean a carpet that had been damaged by a spillage and when I arrived and saw the house my jaw dropped.
“I’d never seen anything like it – it was palatial.
“I ended up saying to the guy who owned it ‘how does someone get a house like this?’ Ultimately, what he told me was, that to get what others don’t have you have to be prepared to do what others won’t.
“He said you need to be your absolute best, go the extra mile in everything, develop a winner’s attitude and opportunities will present themselves.
“From that day I decided that when I went to work I’d be the best that I could possibly be.”
The advice helped Pete to win a promotion and with support from contacts he made in that job he set up his own fire and flood restoration business.
Business boomed but in the late 1990s the market changed and the firm went into administration.
Thirteen years on, Pete is now back in control.
“To me, being successful with anything is all about choice, not chance.”
Original Article at chroniclelive.co.uk