GROWING up in a two-bed house on a council estate, it was almost impossible for Jordan Smith to imagine that a richer life as a very successful entrepreneur might lie ahead.
But aged just 28, he now runs two seven-figure businesses with a combined turnover of more than £12million.
Jordan founded data firm Gen3Data in 2018, and marketing agency Mamba Marketing in 2019.
He is in the process of buying a £1 million-plus house in south Wales to live in with his wife, Sarah, and their two children, both under 10.
He is also the owner of a Range Rover, a Tesla, a handful of classic cars – including a Jaguar e-type – and lots of motorbikes.
He now goes on several holidays a year, and recently took his family for an all-expenses paid trip to a £15million mansion in Beverly Hills, California, with a private chef and chauffeurs – including top-end flights with Virgin.
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While he acknowledges that he now lives a very fortunate lifestyle, it hasn’t always been that way.
Jordan spent his early years living on a council estate in the Valleys in south Wales. He is one of seven brothers.
Three lived with him and his mum, while three lived with his dad and new partner.
The young businessman told The Sun: “In one way, I had kind of ‘nothing’ growing up.
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"We were getting by on a very small amount of money a week, and didn’t have cash for many luxuries.
"But in another way, I had everything, as my mum was just amazing.
"She worked a day job as a sous chef, and had a second job at night working in a butcher’s in order to provide for us."
Jordan says he learned a lot about the value of money from his mum.
“She instilled a ‘work-hard’ ethic in me,” he said.
“She told me and my brothers that if we wanted something, we had to work hard to get it.
"She once earned enough money to take us on a trip to Lanzarote by delivering piles of leaflets for £20 a box.
"We had no car at the time, so she posted them all on foot.
"I learned a lot from her attitude, and that’s probably why I now often work more than 100 hours a week.”
Jordan always knew he wanted to strive for a better life, and used his experiences to fuel his entrepreneurial drive.
He said: “My background helped me to get where I am today.
“Growing up, I was keen to earn money so I could have a few nice things.
"At 11 years old, I worked in a gym part-time after school doing a shift from 5pm to 9pm.
"This included cleaning the equipment and putting the weights away – all the jobs no one else wanted to do.”
From the age of 14, Jordan and a friend started buying hauls of clothes for around £5 a bag from a local vintage shop, and then selling them on at a profit.
He said: “I remember making some decent money on a Nike jacket, as well as on some Superdry stuff.
“Each time we spent most of our earnings, but kept back enough to buy another bag.
"Suddenly I found myself being able to afford nicer clothes.”
Jordan didn’t enjoy school very much, but did manage to come away with eight GCSEs, despite doing almost no revision.
“I wasn’t born with the gift of intelligence, but from an early age, I had real drive,” he said.
“Mum pushed me to carry on into sixth form, but I only lasted about three days before deciding I didn’t have to be there – so I wasn’t going to stay.”
Initially, Jordan struggled to get a job, despite applying for lots of roles.
“I had a terrible CV,” he said. “But I was eventually fortunate to talk my way into a door-to-door sales job selling boilers and loft insulation.
"The pay at the time was £150 per week, plus an extra £20 if I converted a sale on the spot.”
Jordan found himself working almost 12 hours a day.
He revealed: “I was young and energetic, and at times, sometimes signing up 20 people a day.
“I earned around £50,000 in just over a year in that role.”
From here, aged 18, Jordan moved into a job at a loan broker, and this took him from Cardiff to Greece.
Thanks to a lot of hard work, Jordan was able to earn a huge £70,000 in one year alone.
He said: “Sarah came out to join me in Cyprus, and for a while, we travelled around a lot with my job.”
When the couple returned to Wales with a bit of money in the bank, Jordan decided he wanted to do a degree, and had ideas about becoming either a mortgage broker or accountant.
“As I had no A-levels, I had to do an access course to be eligible,” he said.
“Once I’d got this, I embarked on a degree in Financial planning, investment and risk at the University of South Wales.”
One of Jordan’s first "pivotal moments" came after he’d graduated, when he got an offer from an IT company, Solutions in Technology.
“I was around 21 at the time, and had decided I needed to earn more to fund the lifestyle I wanted to lead,” he said.
“The recruiter told me the firm wanted to hire good sales people, and that my name had come up.
“I went in there extremely confident saying I’d never missed a sales target.”
After explaining that he knew about sales – and not technology – the firm agreed to pay him £18,000 basic, with the ability to earn £80,000 on top in commission.
Jordan went from strength to strength, first gaining the title of "Sales rep of the year" in his telesales role, before getting promoted to a "field salesperson" with a car.
This meant he had the potential to earn more commission, at 30% as opposed to 10% previously.
“At the time, I’d just found out Sarah was pregnant,” said Jordan.
“This spurred me on to want to earn even more, as I didn’t want our child to have the same upbringing that I’d had.
"One of the salespeople taught me about how to really sell IT solutions.
"This included learning how to be more corporate, and how to wear a suit and tie.
"By my 22nd birthday, I was taking home payslips of around £30,000 a month.”
This enabled Jordan to sell his house in Newport, and buy a bigger home just outside Cardiff.
“The company grew massively, and I was a significant part of that,” he said.
“I was doing sales and marketing, including Facebook Ads and Google Business.
"I was involved in the many different ways to sign up customers – and gaining so much knowledge on an almost daily basis.”
By capitalising on the databases and "lead lists" which he’d built up, Jordan was able to start his own business, Gen3 Data in 2018.
“Much of the following year was a rollercoaster where I was earning ‘footballer money,’” he added. “That said, I was also working every minute.”
By the end of 2019, Jordan had founded Mamba Marketing with the help of his wife, Sarah.
Between them, the two of them worked on getting the company off the ground.
“In the first year alone, Sarah and I signed 170 clients, many with big retainers,” said Jordan.
“We went from four staff to eight staff – and kept on growing. In no time at all, I was earning a few million a year.”
You can do it too – Jordan’s secrets to success
Fast forward a few years, and Jordan now owns offices in Wales, Dubai and New York, and has provided data and marketing for a host of big household names, including Rightmove and Nestlé.
“I may live a very fortunate lifestyle now, but I want to remind young and aspiring entrepreneurs that it’s not all supercars and big houses,” said the marketing and data expert.
“Very few just get ‘lucky.’ For most, it’s down to a strong work ethic, grit and determination," he added.
"The only way to get there is by being consistent and relentless. You need to work harder than everyone else.”
Jordan adds that people often wrongly think that only those from rich backgrounds go on to do well.
He added: “Some believe the fact they didn’t have opportunities works against them, but it can work in your favour, too.
“I’ve had no financial help. The only thing I got was knowledge from some of the amazing individuals I met along the way.
"This includes Sarah’s father who was a huge motivation.
“He was a really hard-working businessman, and I learned a lot from that – including how to build a business back up from nothing.
"I also got a lot of inspiration from my mum. She always used to say: ‘If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.’”
Being in business is not always easy
At the same time, Jordan admits he has had his fair share of struggles.
“There have been times when I’ve been really low as a person, and times when I’ve wanted to quit,” he said.
“Business is really hard. I have a really nice life now, but my brain doesn’t stop, and I’m always dialled up to 100.
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"There’s a kind of danger that once you’ve started making big money, enough is never enough – and that can be utterly exhausting.
"But my focus right now is on ensuring I’ve got everything set up for my kids for the future. That’s what really matters.”
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