Business Editor John Duckers explores the life of times of an eccentric.
Tony Taylor, of accountants Anthony Taylor & Co in Harborne is celebrating 25 years in practice.
When he started he had three clients and "so had to be economic with the truth when asked by Freddie Fox at Barclays if my (pregnant) wife was continuing in full time work".
The objective was to obtain a loan to buy an off licence - Tipplers Paradise in West Heath - which he ran for three years to make ends meet.
Apparently his father, who had had his own business for many years, told friends he gave the lad three months working on his own, before he got fed up and went back to a larger firm. Fortunately this information was not passed on to Tony at the time.
During this period of very long hours, he was lucky to find several clients who were growing their businesses and wanted lots of work done.
Some are still around and have stuck with him through thick and thin, in most cases becoming "old" and trusted friends.
Tony also found an office on top of the former Birmingham and Bridgewater Building Society in Harborne.
The off licence was sold and he was able to see his wife Elizabeth and two young daughters more often!
It was at this stage that Digby Jones, now Lord Jones of Birmingham, saved him from a disastrous business relationship, that might have got him struck off - he says he will always remember the very boozy lunch that followed at the Rep Bar.
Subsequently he bought an office in Highgate with a client friend after being approached by another client who wanted to rent most of the space but couldn't get a mortgage.
Fifteen years ago he was taking his now growing daughters swimming when he spotted a shop for sale with accommodation above it in Lordswood Road.
This has been his base ever since.
Over the years he has helped hundreds of people fulfil their dream of self-employment, to various degrees of success, and seen different sectors come and go. He audited 80 companies at one time - now with the changes in audit limits this is reduced to two.
Sadly he has also watched his manufacturer clients disappear one by one, but is delighted that his father's old business Malken Gauge & Tool, now run by his cousin, Steve Taylor, will celebrate its golden jubilee next year.
His client base stretches from Penzance to Fleetwood, but at one stage encompassed Thailand!
Over the years he has acted for a faith healer - now sadly dead after presumably failing to show enough faith and insufficient healing powers - dentists, homeopaths, doctors, opticians, builders, bingo halls, social clubs, microwave engineers, snooker cue manufacturers, wholesalers, pubs, and a panoply of other businesses.
Virtually all of them have come by word of mouth referral or from his contact network. However, about 20 years ago he did put a £6 advert in the Post's sister publication, the Birmingham Mail "we want to work" column, had a phone call from a lovely old lady who subsequently gave him a lot of business over the years and is still with him running her operation at 92! Proving that advertising does work.
He once helped sell a client's business to a quoted company - before the ink was dry on the deal, they had themselves been bought by a blue chip listed entity! He then got more worked disentangling the deal when the new owners decided his client didn't fit in with their future plans.
He was grooming one of his clients for a trade sale or flotation, when their warehouse was destroyed in an arson attack. The insurance company refused to pay up so instead of the worries of the Stock Exchange yellow book he had to help the managers who had been looking at seven figures each limp into liquidation.
Over the years clients have come and gone, but Tony still acts for his original one and now good friend, Tony Harris of Spiragraphics.
In the last five years he has branched out into the "angel" world and now helps five businesses in sectors as diverse as housebuilding and a cartoon based on Henry Egg.
He is also heavily involved with the Beermat Entrepreneur organisation.
And he is also about to take over as chairman of the Birmingham Business Breakfast Club.
Yes, you can't keep a good man down.