Where should I begin? What should I include? What should I miss out?!
25 December 1980 - Born
March 1989 - Sneaked my dad's credit card whilst on holiday in america and pretended to go to the toilet but went to my bedroom and used it to order a karate suit and arranged a courier to deliver it to the hotel for me
June 1997 - Bought the domain name NatalieImbruglia.com with high hopes of making my first million! my plan was to sell it to her record label and leverage a meeting so i could start dating her. the record company accused me of blackmail and refused to buy it so i had to settle for selling it to a fellow deranged fan for £500. at least i made a profit!
July 1999 - i left school and convinced my parents not to force me to go to university so i could start work in a business my dad had recently invested in. i started working as a salesman in a company selling corporate clothing. The business was a disaster and my dad was about to lose all his money so he decided to let me take over - he said i couldn't make things any worse! now was my chance to shine! or make a tit of myself! time to put to good use all those books i had been reading for the last 10 years!
March 2003 - 3 and a bit years in the making i had taken the corporate clothing company from a 300k per annum loss to a 100k profit. what a journey, what a learning curve. but now i was bored and ready to make my mark in the leisure world. so i handed the reigns back to my dad and i was off to open a pub. i was 22 and had turned a uniform business round - so i must know how to run a pub right?!
January 2004 - The pub business was harder than i thought! and selling beer alone wasn't enough to make the profits that were needed for a viable leisure business. i needed another income stream. it was time to open a lapdancing bar!
March 2004 - i opened Wildcats, my attempt at bringing a funky brand and serious business principles to a previously underground industry - looking to bring it in to the mainstream. Whether by luck, skill or fortuitous timing..i hit the ground running. The club traded great from day 1. 6 month later i bought a club from failing competitor, rebranded it and turned it in to profit with 4 weeks. I had found my calling!
2005 - 2008 - these were what i used to call my 'glory years'! it was a time of easy availability of capital and lenders were throwing it at me left, right and centre. i expand the 2 clubs to 11 and became the biggest lap dancing operator in the Uk. i opened pubs, bars, retail stores, developed property and started a finance company. i was making more money than i'd ever seen and felt on top of the world!
Sept 2006 - Harlie is born! (think it is worth sliping her in as features so heavily in all i do really)
June 2008 - the credit crunch started to kick in. i was completely ill prepared, as were my lenders. after 2 months of negotiations to try and save my empire the plugged is pulled and i am plunged in to bankruptcy over night.
Sept 2008 - The businesses are gone, my credibility is shot, i am declared personally bankrupt and i am looking at a 1 year old daughter with no plan B!
Oct 2008 - No time to waste, back to work! I started hammering my contact book and calling on all the relationships I had built over the years to get back in to the game. Lending, consulting, advising - whatever it took to rebuild what had been los
2013 - After 8 years of being a lender and a finance broker almost as a side hustle, i decided to focus on it as my full time gig. I no longer wanted to spend my focus on building and operating businesses myself, but use my experience and capital to be the fuel to the fire of hungry entrepreneurs.
2013 - 2020 - In the last 7 years I have funded over £100m to in excess of 300 businesses looking for growth capital or funds to fix a short term need. Providing not just funding but support & advice to UK business owners filling a hole that banks will never be able to and even other alternative lenders can't get close.
2018 - Launched The Matt Haycox Show Podcast as an opportunity to both share my stories and advice with the world whilst having the opportunity to sit down and pick the brains of Business leaders, Celebrities & inspirational change makers. With over 1m downloads & views to date.