A WELL-KNOWN entrepreneur has paused for reflection and put his success down to the ‘life and death’ skills he learnt as a fishing boat skipper.

Eddie Black, managing director of Eco, has been celebrating a remarkable year of growth despite the Coronavirus lockdown, which has seen many businesses go to the wall.

However, during this time he’s built a new state-of-the-art headquarters in Annan, which will open later this year.

He also launched a new industrial solutions business, bought an IT firm, launched a range of new products, and recruited several new staff to add to the 70 strong workforce.

In one of his most recent ventures Eddie set up a company called Eco Axess with fellow brusinessman, Lancashire based Darren Cardwell, and bought the brand YouKube - and they have set about designing and making “eco-friendly, long-lasting, bespoke garden rooms”.

Eddie says his success comes from his experience as a fishing boat captain who skippered boats out of Cornwall, Aberdeen and Peterhead.

He said: “You faced difficult life and death decisions when you were out at sea.

“The longer you waited to make a decision the more dangerous the situation got.

“It taught me to make those decisions quickly and not to put them off.

“In business once you have taken everything into consideration and made your decision, if you don’t go for it and give it everything you’ve got, then someone else will - and you’ll have missed the opportunity.”

He added: “It’s also a lack of fear, for me no business decision now is ever as hard as it was when I was out at sea.

“If you have a problem out there, like an engine failure in the middle of a storm, that’s when you were really worried.

“Your decisions at that moment are a matter of life and death, not just for you, but also for all of your crew.

“The sea is the big unknown, take that out of the equation and you see things clearer.

“Don’t get me wrong, I have had tough decisions to take in business, things haven’t always gone well, I have made mistakes.

“But I’ve always had that ability to learn from them, to get back up and to carry on.

“I’ve always had that belief to go for it.

“And I put that lack of fear down to my time at sea.”

Eddie also said that another key to his success is his family, namely wife Nicola, daughters Ebony, Estelle, Elkie and son Ethan.

Eddie said: “Close family drive me on. They trust me, and they have stood by me in tough times.”