The team at Meades Group quickly tidied up what was a very messy looking accounting system, corrected several thousand pounds worth of invoices that were showing unpaid, and optimised Jonathan and his wife’s drawings from the business. And that was just the start of the improvements they made.

Jonathan SmithSometimes a business story breaks the boundaries of commerce, entrepreneurship, or even creating the lifestyle that you have always dreamed of having. Occasionally you come across a story which is born out of incredible hardship and takes you on a journey that might just have the potential to change the health of the world.

To be clear, Jonathan Smith of Youngevity doesn’t actually have ambitions to transform the entire human race into long-living, diseasefree, superhumans. Neither is his venture purely altruistic – he has a family to provide for and lifestyle targets to achieve, just like the rest of us. But he believes that, if every single person in the UK was prepared to just try his products for three months – it might add years to their lives and change everything…

Let’s start at the beginning …

Jonathan Smith had worked hard to achieve his ambitions and, by the age of 24, he proudly added the tag ‘PGA Golf Pro’ to his name. Then, in 2005, he landed his dream job, as the head coach at one of Germany’s premier golf clubs, in the perfectly picturesque Palatinate region. But, after four fairy tale years, his whole life came to an abrupt halt when a mystery illness blighted his new-found paradise. It started with bouts of dizziness and sickness, then he quickly descended into a state where he could barely stand or walk. To add to the distress of the situation, his wife was expecting their first child and the increasing severity of his condition confined him to the sofa. And, from that lonely perch, he worried about their future as he watched his baby daughter learning to laugh, play and crawl.

With the benefit of private health cover, he tried everything: doctors’ examinations, specialists’ opinions, body scans, blood tests, alternative treatments, online research, offline reading and exploring every avenue. Nothing worked and no one seemed able to diagnose, let alone treat, Jonathan’s debilitated state.

So, in 2010, with a young daughter, and his wife starting to suffer from arthritic problems herself, they decided to return to England and throw themselves on the mercy and love of their family.

From paradise to mum’s floor!

How could everything have come to this? High-level sports professionals, like Jonathan, are used to identifying targets and training hard, day after day after day, until they reach their potential. Giving up, slowing down or taking a back seat in life is simply not in their nature. So, when they are faced with a situation where no one can tell them the goal or the solution, or even identify the cause of the problem, the frustration is just amplified to the maximum.

Going from living his dream to sitting, lying and crawling around his mum’s floor (even as his daughter had now advanced to walking) wasn’t part of Jonathan’s plan. With no income, no idea of what to do next and still no diagnosis, hope seemed like a fading dream. The UK doctors eventually arrived at a verdict of ‘chronic fatigue syndrome’ and prescribed antidepressants for what Jonathan was still convinced was a physical problem.

There is no money in the cure

Determination, a change of diet, physical effort and various other measures eventually saw a slight improvement in Jonathan’s condition, but his wife’s situation now meant she could no longer work. During their research, they had come across Dr Joel Wallach’s work on nutritional mineral and vitamin supplements. With nothing to lose, they decided to try the Youngevity products that Dr Wallach had developed.

After just ten weeks, Jonathan’s wife was enjoying a 95% improvement in her arthritis. Jonathan, too, felt a huge difference in his general health as a result of the supplements. Around the same time he bumped into one of his old golf students, who complained that she’d been unable to play golf for months due to intense tendinitis in her elbow. He shared their story and she also gave Dr Wallach’s products a try. Two months later she got in touch with Jonathan, excited to tell him she was back on par – totally recovered.

Youngevity was starting to get Jonathan’s attention …

One of the big lessons of note at this point is that five years of investing time, money and heartache into finding a solution had done nothing! It seemed, to Jonathan, that the medical industry was more interested in trying out expensive medicines to treat symptoms than actually getting to the root cause and effecting a cure.

But maybe, now, he had stumbled across the solution.

Sitting in the fairway and heading toward the green …

Jonathan quickly regained full health and was looking forward to starting work again, and he realised that he could combine helping others with growing a business. He learned that there was only one other main UK supplier of the Youngevity range; he set up a website in 2016 and by the following year he had bought out his competitor. The testimonies of his customers – having tried the supplements and enjoyed the results – were flooding in, and the rapid growth of the business was all the science needed to prove that it was working, both from a business and a customer satisfaction perspective.

Having taken back control of his family’s health and now enjoying the enormous satisfaction of benefiting his customers’ well-being, too, Jonathan finally felt that his life was back on track. He was sitting squarely in the middle of the fairway, on a beautiful sunlit day, far away from the bunkers, with a perfect view of the lake and a straightforward drive onto the green.

The perfect putting partner …

When you have come through genuine difficulties, it tends to make things that others might find tough more of a simple hurdle. So, when Jonathan began to lose confidence in his accountant, the answer was obvious – find one who gets to the root cause rather than reacts to the symptoms.

He was introduced to Meades Group via the parents of one of the girls in his daughter’s gymnastics class. ‘The difference was palpable, as soon as we met with Paul and Debbie,’ Jonathan said, ‘and I was amazed at how the previous firm were Xero users, but hadn’t told us about any of its features.’

The team at Meades Group quickly tidied up what was a very messy looking accounting system, corrected several thousand pounds worth of invoices that were showing unpaid, and optimised Jonathan and his wife’s drawings from the business. And that was just the start of the improvements they made.

Looking back over the journey to date, it seems that there have been many lessons to learn and Jonathan is looking forward to the business getting even stronger, straighter and truer in the future. It is like anything in life: often we are told one thing is the answer or that there is no answer – but it is not until someone shows us that there are other options, and provable, practical alternatives to choose from, that we can really hole that final putt.

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