Kings Langley man turned around his criminal past - and now runs a $25million business
and live on Freeview channel 276
A Kings Langley man who was in and out of prison has revealed how he turned life around - and now runs a $25million business
Lewis Raymond Taylor, 32, was arrested for the first time at just 13 – and spent years in and out of prison before being jailed for GBH after a fight that left his victim in a coma.
But six years after his last stint behind bars, he is now married, and travels the world while running a $25million business.
Lewis said: "As a kid, I picked the easiest way to get attention - crime. I kept being told I was a bad kid so in the end I thought I couldn't do anything about it - people thought I was bad anyway.
"Things spiralled out of control at 18. I was drinking and taking cocaine - I got addicted to the power and reputation I was getting as 'the crazy one'. I just went on to self-sabotage - the convictions were racking up but the damage I had done to my life didn't even enter my mind.
"My lowest point was a fight in a taxi queue aged 24 when the guy hit his head on the ground and had a brain haemorrhage. That time in prison I wanted to change - I was the problem, but I was also the solution, so I did a rehab course after leaving prison.
"I realised I had a lot to offer helping others by sharing my journey and what I learnt. I thought maybe I could do it professionally - and it grew from there."
At 13 he was arrested for stealing some makeup from a nearby drugstore to impress girls - and this became the first of a long string of offenses.
By the age of 15, he had an ASBO for antisocial behaviour and had been expelled from school before achieving any qualifications.
And he says things spiralled after a failed relationship – when he was sectioned under the mental health act after taking a knife to his own throat.
He said: "I smashed up the kitchen and grabbed a knife - before I knew what I had done I saw blood spurting from my neck."
He began taking cocaine and drinking heavily, and says he entered "self-sabotage mode" - getting in fights and regularly overdosing on drugs, waking up in the morning with ECG stickers on his chest and no memory of being in hospital the night before.
And at age 21 he says he found his father dead from pancreatic cancer in his home.
But Lewis said his lowest moment was his final prison sentence - after getting in a fight at taxi rank.
He said: "I was in a taxi queue and I pushed to the front - a guy shouted at me and it triggered me. I punched him and he hit his head on the ground, had a brain haemorrhage and ended up in a coma. That was the last time I ever threw a punch."
After being sentenced to 18 months in prison for GBH he realised he needed to change.
Lewis said: "I realised I was the problem, but I was also the solution."
In a bid to change his path, he did maths and English classes and learnt functional skills with a tutor in prison. With no formal qualifications, he had to start education back at primary school age - but quickly caught up and began to gain self-confidence.
After he was released he spent six months in an intensive rehab in Portsmouth.
He said: "They broke me down and built me back up. That was the major thing that changed my life."
After leaving prison he remained in Portsmouth and got housing benefits which allowed him to get a "dingy little flat" - but it allowed him to start a new life.
He attended Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous sessions to prevent him going back to his old ways.
And people began to ask him for advice because they saw how much he had changed.
Lewis said: "I realised I had a lot to offer so I would meet up for coffee and help people every week. Not just former convicts - I helped someone split from a toxic partner, start a business, and even helped a woman get help to overcome anorexia.
"I had no idea what I was doing at first but just shared the lessons I had learnt over the past few years."
After looking into turning his casual advice into work he became a mindset coach - then started a business. Within a year it had generated £100,000.
The business continued to boom as Lewis found partners for the company and created online courses which have now been bought over a thousand times.
He said: "We created a course based on real life. We threw textbooks out the window and based in on our own experiences on how to transform your mindset."
Lewis even planned to take a break from the business about seven months in to go travelling around South East Asia.
But after realising he could deliver the same coaching from anywhere in the world, he became a digital nomad - and hasn't settled since.
Six years on, the business now has 80 remote working employees and has customers in 78 countries around the world paying up to $5,000 for their various training courses.
Now the business, The Coaching Masters, trades $2.5million a year and CEO Lewis has continued working whilst travelling and giving TEDx talks.
He even fell in love and married Dayana Taylor, 26, and is worlds away from his former convict life.
Lewis said: "Ten years back I was self-sabotaging and didn't even care what damage I was doing to my life. Now I'm clean and happy and CEO of a $25m business."