I made millions but lost it all when I bought a football club… I was left with £7.60 in my bank – I have no regrets | The Sun
A MILLIONAIRE who made his fortune building a business from scratch before losing it all has told how he has no regrets.
Dad-of-three Jeff Dewing, 59, crashed out of school aged 16 after "muddling through" his teenage years in Chingford, east London.
He got a job in refrigeration at Sainsbury's aged 17, was made supervisor aged 19 and kept on moving up.
By 23 he'd started his own air conditioning business – where he made his millions.
At 34 he bought a non-league, semi-professional, football club and stepped away from his business, leaving it to his partners to run.
But that would become his biggest mistake.
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He told Sun Online: "My family and I were living like kings. We had everything, a nice house and nice cars.
"We had two Range Rovers, a Mercedes SL500 and Mercedes 320 Coupe, one for me and one for my wife.
"We were enjoying the world, we lived in a huge five bed house in three quarters of an acre of land. But I was working all the time."
Soon everything would come falling down.
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He added: "Then three years into running the football club I had a call from a colleague asking to see me.
"They told me they'd run out of cash. I had no warning. It bankrupted me and I lost everything."
Jeff was forced to sign on for benefits and had to sell all of his possessions.
Suddenly, he and his family were left with no home and no cars.
At one point he had just £7.60 in his bank account, not even enough to withdraw the £10 he needed for a beans on toast dinner that night.
He added: "I felt extremely guilty that I let my family down. It was the worst time of my life."
Jeff was forced to take responsibility and "face my demons".
He became a recluse for 18 months and went completely into hiding.
He added: "I didn't know what to do. After 18 months I realised I had to do something about it. It was time to go back to work."
Jeff said he realised he'd "failed" but couldn't understand how.
He said: "I'd taken my eye off the ball. I'd thought I knew it all and it was a false sense of security. I quickly learnt not to blame anyone else."
Jeff went to work at larger businesses where he could mix with experts and start again.
He realised he should have sold his business when he lost interest in it.
"It's the ability to make those brave decisions," he added.
Jeff said his "saving grace" was that there wasn't a single creditor who wasn't paid.
And he went on to claw back his millions.
He started his new business, Cloudfm, from his garden shed, and now expects to make £250million by 2026.
Cloudfm, a leading facilities management tech firm, now boasts a turnover of £65million.
And Jeff has no regrets about how he's spent his life.
After losing everything he learnt the value of spending time with his family.
He now often works from his five-bed sea-view villa in the Algarve, Portugal, and goes on multiple holidays a year.
He treated himself to a £130,000 Tesla Model S in 2016 and drives his £104,935 Audi Etron G10 while abroad.
He added: "I'm playing golf three times a week. We cook and eat outside. Life is good."
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It comes after a woman who left school at 16 now earns over £50,000 and spends more quality time with her kids.
And a man who wanted to be a pilot but left school at 16 now owns a £4million business.
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