Job title: Managing director.

Employer: Strolling4Shoes in Cockermouth and Penrith.

Age: 58.

Where are you from? I was born in a small village in Worcestershire and stayed there until I was six, then moved to the lovely Wye Valley and spent my school years in Monmouth. I continued to live in the area, spending most of my time in Ross-on-Wye where my parents had a shoe shop.

I married Sue in 1987 and in 1997 we decided to sell up and start a new life in the north of England. After much searching, we found a perfect house in Crosby, Maryport, which became the family home for the next 20 years.

Where do you live now? When all the boys had grown up and fled the nest, we sold the family home and moved to Cockermouth. We are currently in rented accommodation as we are in the throes of building our own house, also in Cockermouth. It’s something we have always dreamed of doing.

Where do you work? In 2005 Sue and I decided to open our own shoe shop in Keswick – this was the start of Strolling4Shoes, the home of casual, colourful and comfortable shoes. The business took off and now we have shops in Cockermouth and Penrith, plus an ever-growing internet site.

How long have you done this job? Shoes have been in the Marshall family for well over 100 years so I was always going to join the industry. I worked in my parents’ shop every Saturday and all school holidays, loving every minute.

When I was about 10 years old, a customer came into the shop and my father asked if he could help. The customer replied: “No thank you, I would rather wait for the young man as he understands the type of shoe I am looking for.”

This was the day it was confirmed I was a shoe man.

Take us through a typical day: A typical day for me starts at 7am listening to the Today programme. I normally start around 8.30am in the office sorting emails and any internet orders that require some attention. From this point on I could be doing anything: visiting the shops and maybe dressing a window; meeting with managers to see how the day-to-day running is going; serve a couple of customers if it’s busy; unpack a delivery; resolve a faulty return issue.

Then it’s off to the other shop to do the same thing.

On the way I will have reps phoning me to set up appointments or the office calling as they have an issue with the internet orders. It could be anything.

I try and get back to the office around 3pm to have a meeting with Sue, who looks after all the accounts. Finally it’s back to emails that have come in during the day.

I also run a shoe agency business with my son and have a property development business to look after in Ross-on-Wye.

I try to finish in the office around 6pm. The next hour is spent winding down and planning the next day with a well-earned pint.

Along with all of the above, I am chairman of Cockermouth & District Chamber of Trade so there are often meetings to attend.

What do you like most about the job? No two days are the same and I have to think on my feet all the time. I never see it as a chore to go to work. The day I do is the day to give up as you are no good at your job if you don’t enjoy it.

What do you like least? Doing the VAT returns, definitely the VAT returns!

The only other thing is when people are rude to our lovely staff. It can be amazing how aggressive people are, particularly on the internet. Maybe it’s a remoteness thing.

We are always fair and honest if a customer has a problem. All we ask is that they do the same in return.

Why did you want to do this job? I have always had a love for shoes and selling, so to own my own shop is perfect.

What jobs have you done previously? I was a sales agent for many years and, although I really enjoyed the travelling around and staying in different towns, when I hit the big 40 I started to want more home comforts and also to be able to be at home watching my boys play all the various sports they loved.

What qualifications do you need? One of the best days of my life was leaving school – I didn’t enjoy it, hence only getting two CSEs!

To do my job you don’t need any qualifications, just lots of common sense and plenty of determination.

What is a typical salary? People’s perception of shop owners is that they are making loads of money – wrong.

Yes, we make a living, otherwise we would go bankrupt, but if I took my salary and divided it by the number of hours worked I earn well under the National Minimum Wage.

Any advice? My advice to anybody thinking of starting their own shop is do your homework and make sure that what you are going to sell is what the public want, not what you want.