If you live around Belper there’s not much chance you haven’t seen Andy Pearson cruising around in his unmistakable rock ‘n’ roll-styled car. The instructor, who owns Drive Like a Rockstar, has had a busy year and is hoping to welcome a fresh face to the team in 2017.
He launched the business back in November 2012, and despite being a big leap of faith to begin with, the firm has gone from strength to strength.
So much so, that he is now hoping to take on new instructors to help with the demand of the coming year.
He said: “When I launched the business to say I was scared is an understatement. I had never been self employed before and was told time and time again that the idea of having a car with skulls and flames on to learn to drive in would put people off.
“But fast forward four years and my feet haven’t touched the ground. I am always amazed by how busy I am and how it keeps getting busier.
“I have never paid for any advertising and only really use recommendations and word of mouth, so to have people willing to wait on my three-month waiting list really does make me feel grateful.
“Over the last year or so I have been told by so many that I need to expand, but I am in an odd situation where the business is mine and I am very proud of it, it feels like ‘my baby’ and I am slightly scared to relinquish any of it.
“But I also know that I need to do this if I want the business to grow further. Since moving to Belper I cannot keep up with the demand so I must do something.
“I thought a lot about it over Christmas and decided that I need to take that leap – or at least peep over the edge to see what’s out there.
“I am looking for qualified driving instructors who do not feel that the industry is run properly, that feel that they have more to offer than quoting the Highway Code for a special offer price while parked up at the side of the road.
“I need someone who is as passionate as I am about the people that they teach – oh and of course they must have good taste in music – if they can’t quote every line up change of Guns and Roses, then I’m not interested.
Andy, who runs Drive Like a Rockstar driving school in Ray Street, Heanor, said it is great to take on new learners and help them develop – all in his unique way including playing rock music and a ‘tattooed’ learner car.
“I will get you test-ready and beyond, I will never judge you as a person, regardless of race, sexuality, hair style, dress sense tattoos, piercings, beliefs or background.”
And Andy’s approach has seen him ditch the more buttoned-down approach of other instructors and set himself apart with a rocky edge.
The 39-year-old said: “Being different is an important part of me and my business. I’ve said before that I’ve always felt different, I feel that I think and see different from my peers and this has always felt like a cross that I carry.
With this business though, I feel that its differences, its quirks, and my determination to be who I am regardless, are now powers to my business and certainly help me to keep driving forward.”
But Andy wasn’t always so sure about what he wanted, it has been a long, bumpy road to becoming and entrepreneur.
He said: “I was born on the back seat of a VW Fastback in the car park of Ilkeston Maternity Hospital in 1977. I think this is where my love of cars came from too.
“I never really knew what I wanted to do when I grew up. So I made the decision not to grow up as that fitted into my day-dreaming. I always felt different.”
To find out more, email Andy at email@example.com.