Darren Clark grew up in a two-bedroomed council flat in Withy wood, Bristol with his Mum, Dad and two brothers.
Although happy at home, Darren struggled academically. No matter how hard he tried he just didn’t seem to be learning at the same pace as his peers. Being asked to stand up in class would fill him with anxiety and he would come home to his family everyday feeling stupid and with crippling headaches.
School didn’t improve for Darren, he wasn’t given the opportunity to take his GCSEs and instead would be made to sit in a separate room with colouring books to pass the time.
Darren left school with no qualifications and eventually got a job as a trolley collector at Sainsbury's. Ambitious as ever, Darren worked his way up the management ladder in various supermarkets and retailers ending up as the Area Manager for Tesco Express stores in the South West. Quite an impressive journey for a trolley boy!
Throughout his career in retail Darren still struggled with reading and writing. A close friend suggested he might have dyslexia so Darren went to see a specialist. Sure enough, Darren was diagnosed with severe dyslexia. At last, his struggles at school made sense.
Darren always had an ambition to one day run his own business. So, together with his close friend and trusted colleague Kelly Brown, he launched ‘Spotless Spaces’ in 2011 as a small cleaning round. It was great fun and he and Kelly did all the cleaning themselves. Fast forward 5 years and they’re now running a commercial cleaning business with a team of over 60 employed cleaners.
The success of Spotless Spaces enabled Darren and Kelly to branch out into other areas. They now run ‘Spotless Domestic Cleaning’ – an agency taking care of around 300 homes per week.
Their latest ventures ‘Spotless Leafleting’ and ‘Spotless Social Media’ are also growing at a fast pace with new clients being signed up on a weekly basis.
After such an amazing journey Darren wanted to give something back so he now regularly attends his old school as well as many others in the local area to provide one-to-one mentoring for students, he also coaches interview techniques and entrepreneur skills.
Darren also speaks at industry events, using his experience of doing things differently and not giving up to inspire his colleagues and peers. He was recently the keynote speaker at the Best of Bristol Expo and speaks regularly at business networking events across Bristol and Bath.
Darren encourages everyone he meets to dream big. His firm belief is that in this day and age anything is possible. With a positive mental attitude, resilience and creativity anyone can achieve their dreams.
If you would like to meet people like Darren come to one of our events.