Yet that is what has happened since Francis headed up the successful management buyout of recycling equipment supplier Engineering Services.
Francis is now managing director of the south Wales firm, looking after 38 members of staff and hoping to recruit even more.
The companys future was in doubt earlier this year due to the imminent retirement of managing director Tony Wilson.
But Francis put up his own money along with a £180,000 grant from the Welsh Assembly to buy the firm for an undisclosed figure.
Francis said: The recycling industry is one of the largest growth areas in the UK and we are at the forefront of this so it was important that we were able to achieve what we have done by keeping the business going.
The company currently employs 40 people and we are looking to increase that number by at least 20 over the next couple of years.