In July 1993 I was really at a crossroads in my life. I had been a Director of a Franchise Company which had gone into receivership with a substantial amount of our money with it. I then began working freelance as a trainer for various companies. It was well paid or was when I got work, but the travelling was a killer. I had hurt my neck in skiing accident some time previously and the long journeys were taking their toll. Just to be able to function I was taking pain killers like Smarties.
I couldn’t afford to set up another company since I had no money, but I knew I wanted to do something for myself.
A friend told me about Network Marketing and how you could start up a business at low cost and so I went to take a look. I realised that particular company wasn’t for me but liked the idea of Network Marketing. I researched 20 companies which were around at the time and Forever Living was the only one which ticked all the boxes.
I started using the products, stopped taking the pain-killers and began to build a team
I didn’t exactly get wholehearted support from Norman at the beginning but I realised that I had to prove it could work. After all I didn’t have the best track record having just lost our life savings. Thanks to Forever Living and our magnificent team I have recovered that money many times over.
Before joining Forever Living Products I owned and operated a franchise business in the printing and photocopying sector. I had been doing this successfully for 15 years. Although very profitable I had little spare time to do the things I enjoy. The usual problem of the business running me – not so much me running the business. More time was spent with government red tape and employment legislation than developing the business.
I was initially sceptical about Network Marketing because I had this idea that it was pyramid selling and a bit of a scam.
Val however was convinced that Network Marketing and FLP was our future and despite me telling her to get a proper job, did what she normally does and took no notice.
Afterwards I realised that my fears were more to do with my lack of understanding about how it worked. Once I realised that Network Marketing was similar to franchising without the headaches of premises, staff and stock – but with the potential to earn a substantial income and more quality time to do the things we enjoy I became involved myself. I sold the business, as a going concern, in 1996 and has worked with FLP ever since.
OUR NOMINATED CAUSES
One of the things that attracted us to Forever Living Products was the culture of the company which encourages its leaders to contribute to organisations or individuals with fewer privileges than we may have personally.
As part of a bigger vision we belong to a group of entrepreneurs committed to the reduction of poverty on a world wide scale.
Our personal focus is on empowerment programmes in developing countries
- Empowering through Education. We work with a charity called A-CET (www.a-cet.org) or African Children's Education Trust. A-CET has been supporting vulnerable African children through education since 1997. We are currently working in Ethiopia and our second school is nearly completed. The plan is to construct 3 schools in 2008.
- Empowerment through economic independence. As part of our continued expansion of creating successful entrepreneurs in our own organisation we invest some of the profits in small businesses world wide with Kiva. Kiva (www.kiva.org) is a non profit making organisation which lends to specific enterprises in the developing world empowering the individuals to lift themselves out of poverty. These businesses would not normally be able to borrow money from traditional sources. The range of ventures covers everything from beauty salons to taxi drivers to agriculture.
As part of our Leadership Development we encourage and support those leaders who wish to implement a contribution programme in their own organisation.