A dad who grew up on a tough council estate has become a multi-millionaire in an inspiring rags-to-riches tale.

Mark Harvey made it his life's mission to become rich as a result of the poverty his family endured when he was a child, BirminghamLive reports.

As a youngster he had to wear his sister's pink hand-me-down trainers, making him an object of ridicule.

However the 34-year-old has had the last laugh after making millions in software, construction and property firms.

He now lives in a lavish mansion in Bretby, Derbyshire, and his life could not be more different from his early days on 'the estate'.

The millionaire's drive comes from his tough childhood on a council estate (

Image:

Real Life Group)

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The dad of four said: "I grew up in a village in Leicestershire called Thornton on what was referred to as 'the estate' - which was completely separate from the rest of the village in so many ways. You were from 'up the village' or 'down the estate'.

"A lot of people didn't work and that was the environment I grew up in. There was violence too - people would beat each other up for no reason. I managed to get myself out of a lot of scrapes because I was a quick runner, but there were times when I'd get trapped and beaten up.

"I was always looking over my shoulder. Looking back, that's actually made me mentally sharp and aware."

Mark was beaten up on his violent estate when he was younger (

Image:

Real Life Group)

Mark lived with his parents and three sisters - twins 14 years older than him and another seven years his senior.

His dad, James - who tragically died following an illness in 2018 - worked as a builder and a taxi driver.

Mark, who now lives in a multi-million-pound property in Bretby, said: "My sisters always looked after me, but when you don't have much money, you have to rely on your siblings' hand-me-downs.

"I'd be wearing girls' jeans and trying to make them look like they were boys'.

Mark said his mum used to save as much money as possible but his dad spent it in the pub (

Image:

Real Life Group)

"I even had to take on my sister's pink trainers. I used bitumen from my dad's building site to make them black.

"One day, I remember I was playing football and it was wet, so the bitumen started coming off, revealing the pink colour beneath. The boys mocked me, shouting, 'You're wearing girls' shoes'.

"My mum used to scrimp and save every penny - going to the toilet in the dark to save electricity and washing disposable sandwich bags so they could be reused.

"Everything she saved, though, my dad would take to the pub and **** up the wall.

"Bad as it seemed at the time, these things were actually my inspirations - they made me realise I didn't want to be worrying about whether something's 50p or 55p before I bought it.

Mark's property firm, Harvey Property Solutions, has done £16 million of deals (

Image:

Real Life Group)

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"That meant I was always driven to make money. I was washing cars when I wasn't big enough to lift the bucket and working on a building site with my dad in my teens."

Mark now has more wealth than most people would ever dream of.

He lives in a huge home with wife Nikola, 25, and is father to daughters Freya, three; Sienna-Rose, six; and Courtney, 12 - as well as infant son Theo.

And he says a key reason he has got to where he is today is the fact he always kept faith things would work out.

He said: "I always had a feeling inside there had to be more to life. I'd even put vouchers and Monopoly money in my pockets when I went out to have that feeling of having cash in my pockets.

"When I was 19, I decided to go it alone and start a construction business, but in 2008, the global financial crash happened.

"There was no work and it was incredibly tough being a self-employed 19-year-old - then Courtney came along and I just thought 'I've got to do something'.

"I did everything I could to make money - even selling door to door - and ended up somehow getting a job with an IT company. I knew nothing about IT, but that's how I got into software, which is where it all began."

Mark's hard work began to pay off - he became the company's leading salesman and was promoted to become head of sales.

Then came an opportunity to become a partner in his ex-colleague's software company.

Mark said: "That really was a game-changer for me. We did £3.5 million of sales in 18 months, turning round what had been a struggling company losing money every month.

"That's where I started to get into training people and realised that business is people - when I helped others to become better versions of themselves, the company won."

With his new-found wealth, Mark was able to invest in property and, from 2017, within 18 months, he had established a portfolio worth £4.5 million.

Now, his property firm, Harvey Property Solutions, has done £16 million of deals.

The other side of Mark's business world is his Real Life group, which has companies across sectors, including in construction and training.

It also boasts a foundation training children how to deal with life issues, including building relationships and communication.

Mark says he wants to use the brand to "help create a more harmonious civilization".

He said: "I like helping people to transform their lives.

"I wanted to create a business where staff want to help the business grow because it helps them.

"I want people to want to go to work. I grew up always hearing. 'Oh no - it's Monday again'.

"But in our property training division, we've helped create 200 millionaires.

"Not everyone has to be a believer, but they should know they can create a life where they are comfortable enough and have the resources to deal with it when things get really tough.

"If I can do it with some of the things I've come up against, then many other people already have a head-start.

"I'm always drawn to people who need help and want to know whether they, deep down, want to help themselves."

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