THE ICW STORY
The ICW Story, Ian Welsh
ICW Group was started by myself Ian Welsh and my now wife Connie back in 2016, but this was not the start of our story. After leaving corporate life in 1997 to satisfy the entrepreneurial itch, I started my first business by making my passion for water sports my business, starting and growing a successful water sports retail business, selling everything from surf clothing to jetski’s and boats.
Life and business can takes some wild turns, 2004 was a pivotal moment for me, the water sports business had grown into a wild beast, taking its toll mentally and physically, suddenly a family trauma was the straw that broke the camels back.
I lost my father in late 2004, he had always been a driver for me to travel and enjoy life, unfortunately he had not been able to fully enjoy the later stages of his life, having suffered with Parkinson’s disease since I was a teenager. The stress of running a business that had grown faster and larger than my expectations, coupled with his loss, forced my to re-evaluate my business and personal life. I had no direction to focus on, this caused the business to ultimately fail over the next twelve months. During those months I learned more about business and focus than the previous eight years, although I didn’t appreciate it then.
Having taken some time out in 2005 I landed in the French Alpes, a great place to find yourself again, over the next six years I managed and helped to grow a small airport transfer business to the largest airport transfer business in the French Alpes (Alp-Line). I never lost my entrepreneurial spirit and developed from scratch several websites targeting specific resorts across the Alpes.
In 2011 I was given the opportunity to head up a new airport transfer venture on the French Riviera, appealing to a high end client who visited Monaco, Cannes and St Tropez for both business and pleasure. I eventually took over the business running my own operation based near Nice Airport.
I gained a deep insight into a more affluent client base, their values and drivers, how they perceived value, not very often in monetary terms more the value of time. I also learned how to appeal to those values.
Over the several years in the Alpes and on the Riviera, I worked a huge amount on my personal and business development, learning and understanding the lessons of why I failed in my first business, to help focus and grow a strong and sustainable business, that worked for me this time around. I did, The Airport Transfer Company grew to cover fifteen airports throughout Europe and gave myself the lifestyle I envisaged from the start, flexible working and the ability to work from anywhere with my laptop.
In early 2016 the wild ride of life and business took another turn, on January 20th 2016 around 12H45 while playing tennis in the park, I suffered a cardiac arrest and died.
Well obviously not as I’m writing this, but for one hour, nine minutes my heart stopped beating, luckily my girlfriend at the time (now my wife, Connie) was on hand to give CPR for over nine minutes until the emergency services arrived, they worker on me for a further hour. Thanks to Connie’s and their efforts I survived and suffered minimal long term affects.
But what to do now? it was a long recovery and we had to pivot once again. That is when in late 2016 we started ICW Property. My farther was a builder and my brothers are still in the building trade, so as such I returned to my roots. ICW Property has been very successful buying, renovating then renting out or selling on properties around the North West, again using focus on a destination and lifestyle that works for us.
In 2018 we started our own SSAS (Small Self Administered Pension Scheme) to help grow our property business, we now invest in residential and commercial property, stocks/shares, gold plus loan in and out to other SSAS pension holders, helping everyone grow future security and prosperity.
I also co host SSAS North West, a SSAS Pension group focused on helping people start and grow their own SSAS pensions.
Now I am passing on the knowledge, experience and business insight I have gained over the years from the aforementioned, plus several other small entities I have started and run over the past twenty five years in business.
If you’re looking to start a small business, a property business or a SSAS Pension, please book a session with myself, let me help you create focus and direction. I’m convinced I will save you thousands of pounds in time and pointless courses plus I’ll help you get to your destination and lifestyle faster than you thought possible.
Ian Welsh, Director ICW Group