Why Smarta? The man behind the vision!
Smarta is a people focused company – we like people. Our ethos is to have a good work/life balance and understand those who are behind the businesses we connect with. So, we thought we would share a little bit with you about the man behind all things Smarta, Joedy Lawrence! We hope you will also share with us more about your journey so we can get to know you better. Please do get in touch or drop in for a cuppa.
Tell us how you became an entrepreneur
“It all started when I was 13 and on a family holiday in Santa Monica. I got chatting to a guy from a Pretzel stand. He asked me to look after his stall whilst he went to the toilet. I was only there for 10 minutes, but in the time he was gone, I sold more pretzels than the chap had sold in a day! I discovered I had the touch, and from there I knew I would like to go into business.”
“I left school with only one GSCE in business studies and went straight into the real world of work! I completed various jobs and travelled extensively. Sales became a focus which I thoroughly enjoyed, as I genuinely love being with people and building relationships. Over the course of my career, I began to realise that I wanted to shape my own destiny, rather than it being in the hands of others. This lead to a passion for business and a focus on launching my own venture.”
Who has inspired you along the way?
“My Mum has been my main inspiration. She is my biggest critic both good and bad! I also have admiration for people who are told something can’t be done and then break through barriers and achieve the unexpected!”
What do you enjoy about running a business?
“I enjoy talking to people. Human beings are meant to engage. For me, business is about making connections and discovering how to help one another.”
Why Plymouth for your business?
“Plymouth is a great place to run a business. I firmly believe we have a great quality of life here – the sea air, the environment, the people. Plymouth is the place to be!”
Why Smarta? Why business services?
“Why not? Business services can be a nightmare but they are an essential spend for SMEs. I enjoy the challenge of simplifying the process for people and saving businesses money.”
What would you like Smarta to look like in a few year’s time?
“An established, approachable business which will always be on hand to offer friendly and helpful advice. It will continue to be focused on the customer and have an engaged team who enjoy coming to work, and not just because they have too. We launched in December 2015 and feel we have already laid a solid foundation for this to be achieved.”
You talk about community, what’s your motivation for giving back?
“By helping others achieve great things, you naturally become a better person. It’s human nature to want to give something back to society. It gives me a sense of well being.”
What makes you get up in the mornings and come to work?
“The Mrs and the kids! I have a small tribe of 5 children, so knowing what I’m building on a daily basis will benefit my family in the long term is key for me. I want to build a legacy for them for the future.”
If we asked your family to tell us 3 of your strengths, what would they say?
“Ambitious, focused and always happy!”
What does life look like for you outside of work?
“Managing my tribe alongside my amazing wife, Jools. An average week involves taking the kids to martial arts, swimming, rugby and boxing lessons. I also enjoy going to the boxing gym, and watching Plymouth Albion. Jools and I are sociable people and like to eat out, travel, be hospitable and meet new people. I also have a very important appointment on Thursdays with my Nan who comes round for ham, eggs and chips!”
How do you balance business and family life?
“It’s beyond me – but running a business and managing a family aren’t too dissimilar! They both take blood, sweat, tears and the odd glass of red wine, but the results are rewarding.”
What would you say has been your biggest achievement?
“Winning an all expenses trip to Monty Carlo on the TV show ‘The Price is Right’ in 2006!! I would also have to add being involved in running a white collar boxing event and raising £18k for Jeremiah’s Journey in 2015.”
What is your life motto?
“Where there are obstacles, I will overcome, where there are disappointments, I will persevere, I will never ever give up.”
Image courtesy of the Plymouth Herald