Rags To Riches: An Actor Goes From Homeless To A Benevolent CEO


A rising star, Drew Goodall, really lived up to the ‘good’ in his name.

He started off acting in blockbusters along with the likes of Hugh Grant and Brad Pitt. He has starred in incredible films like About a Boy and Snatch. However, Hollywood life did not treat him kind for too long.

He realized soon enough that the ladders of success at Hollywood are quite difficult to climb. This led to his life gradually spinning out of his control.

Back home, Goodall’s parents were overwhelmed with pride for their incredibly talented and soon-to-be famous boy. He was the shining star in their eyes. Goodall couldn’t possibly go back home and face the humiliation over there so he ended up on the streets in 2001, homeless and broke.

He did not see any light shining for him anymore. But good fortune eventually came his way when a passer-by who always gave him change asked him to look into the shoe shining business.

Taking the benevolent stranger’s brilliant advice on board, Goodall started collecting supplies to kick-start his own shoe shining business. He bought the required supplies from the money he saved from begging. Goodall gathered his recently bought polish and brushed and started polishing the shoes of wealthy men in London’s financial district.

For the first six months, Goodall operated without any license. But soon, one of his regular customers helped him set up everything legally and also provided him with an office.

After getting a favorable location to run his venture, he rapidly started expanding to other prime locations like expensive financial institutions and other wealthy sectors. His expansion plan included employing homeless people and giving them a sustainable livelihood.

The shoeshine company Goodall runs reaps a revenue of close to £250,000. It is mainly run through the joint efforts of eight people, all hailing from similarly disadvantaged backgrounds. Goodall really wants to help those in need, like the kind stranger did with him through his valuable advice.

He also donates a hefty share of his earnings to the charity. Goodall is keen on looking after such people, and making sure they get to a better place in the world.

Throughout these years since 2012, Goodall has not only given away over £20,000 to charity but also has helped some 40 odd people get out of their state of acute poverty.

Goodall does not believe that there is any moral compulsion in him that drives him to do such work. He understands there is no magic button to eradicate such a severe problem from the face of the earth so easily.

Patience is needed, and more attention is needed to be given to what these people are saying. Simply doing charity work won’t always work. So, his rag to riches philosophy is a little different.

Goodall firmly believes that the capacity to earn money from holding a proper job instills a sense of strength and confidence. It helps a person to get out their present condition and give them hope that things will get better soon.

Goodall gives his employees that purpose to wake up every morning and do something to  bring about a positive change in their lives.