My Own Varied Career
School Wasn’t for Me
When I was in high school, like many other kids at school I hated being there. I did not feel that I was learning anything that would help me know how to handle life, nor was I learning anything that I could then go on and use to create income out there in the marketplace. I intuitively knew that a lot of what I was being taught was unnecessary for my survival, and I did not like the rote way of learning that schools use to shove information down our throats. Like I said, I am more of an apprentice style learner, and so I needed to be ‘doing’ rather than reading about doing.
I was first introduced to the idea of direct selling at the age of 15. My mother was invited to a Tupperware party and she took me along. Tupperware is a company that produces excellent kitchenware. They have containers for storage and plastic items that can be used in microwaves. I saw for the first time the concept of direct sales. Very impressed with the product, I asked the lady who had been doing the presentation all about what she was doing. I discovered that this form of selling was called Direct Sales, and I liked what I saw.
The product rep explained to me that she was earning great money doing parties part-time, and it allowed her to look after her children during the week while her husband was working. Apparently he was at home looking after the kids while she was here talking to me, and I began to see how doing something alternative like this would really work for a woman if she wanted to have her own money within a marriage. She could be there for her children during the week while at the same time earn almost a full-time income working part-time on weekends. This realisation about direct selling began to expand my mind regarding the possibilities of how money can be made.
Avon and Mary Kay
Then I was introduced to a cosmetic and perfume company called Avon, which operates here in Australia selling their products through catalogue distribution. The equivalent company in America is Mary Kay. The Avon company produces very professional looking catalogues that list all of their many and varied products. Their sales-reps go door-to-door (usually in the early hours of the evening when most mothers are at home) and leave a catalogue on the doorstep. There were Avon ads on the telly showing ladies going door-to-door singing “Avon Lady” as they rang the doorbell, so people weren’t at all surprised when a smartly dressed woman turned up on their doorstep doing that.
Leveraging Your Income
When I investigated how Avon worked, I discovered what could be achieved within their business. Once you reached a certain level of sales volume per month you could become a district manager. Then you would make a percentage of profit on the total sales created by the reps who worked ‘downline’ from you. Those who were within your team in your own district. I began to see how through effort one could leverage themselves into a position where they could earn a passive income via the efforts of other people doing the same thing you were doing.
I did not try to sell their products, because to me, it all looked like a helluva lot of work for a very small return, and I have to admit that I’ve always been keen to make the big dollars, not the small, so I decided that this would take too long to earn a decent living out of. However, I did add the business concept to my slowly developing understanding of how to create really big dollars through helping people get what they want and need from Direct Selling and Network Marketing.
My Sport was Ballroom Dancing
I left school without completing my final year, choosing instead to study and perform dance and become a teacher of that rather than staying in the “education” system. I was bored and really didn’t want to be there, so getting out was a welcome relief. At the time, it was expensive to pay for my lessons and my dresses, so I was constantly looking for ways to make extra cash to pay for the costs involved in competing (which, I might add, were many and varied).
So I took my knowledge of Party Plan selling and began to sell stock that I had purchased from the wholesalers myself. I sold lingerie, handbags, belts and costume jewellery in this way as a means to paying for my lessons and my dresses, and it wasn’t long before I had other women wanting to distribute my range as well. From this I learned about how by duplicating myself many times, I could increase my earnings quite substantially.
Amway, Nutrimetics and Neways
Eventually I looked at Amway, Nutrimetics, and Neways over the next few years. All of these companies looked really good, but I did not feel comfortable selling their products. I’m not very enthusiastic about soaps, cleaning products, makeup or health products. Use those products, yes sure, but promote them, nah that’s not for me. Yet I loved the way these systems linked people together and created a community that helped one another to do well. THAT was what I really liked about these companies.
Personally, I need to feel a strong alignment with (and a belief in) a company’s product before I can sell it to others. I tend not to like the way that each company requires you to purchase a certain amount of product per month in order to be eligible for your monthly commission payment. I dislike being committed to doing something that I am not enthusiastic about. Being forced to purchase items on a regular basis definitely does nothing to make me want to be part of these businesses. I didn’t love the products enough to actually WANT to do that, so joining any one of these companies would have been futile.
Becoming a Dancing Teacher
So I continued to dance and did what I could to make enough money to advance my training. I gained my qualifications to become a teacher at the age of 22 and from there I began my own dancing school. I also gained my qualifications as a massage therapist and was also able to earn money doing that too. Later, I would become qualified in other beauty-related skills, and earn money from doing waxing, manicures and pedicures, and makeup, but that would happen quite a bit further along in my career.
The Mastery of Money
While running my dance school, one of my students gave me a set of tapes called The Mastery of Money by the author Stuart Wilde. In these tapes, Stuart spoke of the Esoterics of making money (which absolutely fascinated me). So I listened to them many, many times throughout the entire time that I was in my twenties. I became soaked in the concepts he taught. He teaches that you need firstly to expand your mind into believing that money can come from anywhere – not just hard work. Then know that you can create within yourself such a wide expectation of receiving abundance that eventually, instead of you going out to find it, ‘it’ comes and finds you.
I liked what Stuart taught. So much so that I went on to purchase other of his recordings and writings. The first book was The Trick to Money is Having Some. I read and re-read that book, and (combined with what I had learned from his Mastery of Money tapes) I regularly affirmed to myself that “I am what I am, and what I am has beauty and strength. All my needs are met; money finds me; money comes to me from everywhere; abundance is my nature; and there is no limit to the amount of abundance that I can have.” I had begun deprogramming my mind from the limited beliefs I had learned from my dad.
Domestic Services Agency
I continued to look at various other Direct Selling and MLM/Network Marketing businesses, all the while wanting to create total financial independence in my life. As my mind expanded to the possibility of allowing huge amounts of money to come into my life, so too did my career lean towards change. The expansion of my thinking created a new opportunity for me. I started a domestic cleaning and services agency, within which I applied some of what I had learned about different business models that I had liked prior to this.
Pro-Ma and Grace Cosmetics
During the time of running this business, I wondered how I might incorporate a good Network Marketing product into my business. I was introduced to Pro-Ma products by someone that I met when attending a business breakfast meeting each Wednesday morning. The company had a fantastic range of products for car detailing and cleaning, and they also had an alternate range of products that came under the banner of Grace Cosmetics. I used the cosmetics myself, and later learned to do Bridal Makeups using them.
The company was run by a lovely, ethical Australian couple called Val and Sandra Fittler, who had begun their operations in May of 1983. The company seemed to be stable and reliable, so I joined in order to have access to the distributors rates on their products. For a while I made very good money by incorporating the Pro-Ma Car Detailing products into my business and by offering car detailing services as one of the many cleaning services that we provided. By doing this it showed me how customers could be made aware of products sold by a MLM/ Network Marketing business through providing our services. Yet although it proved to me that Network Marketing worked, I still wasn’t making the kind of money I wanted from this type of business system.
Selling my Domestic Services Agency
The decision to sell my cleaning business came about because it had grown very large. Too large, and had many weaknesses in the system. I wasn’t able to control whether cleaners spoke to clients and went private with them, and I couldn’t prevent clients from offering cleaners private deals. It became important to me to find a business that couldn’t be usurped the way mine was. I unwisely allowed the broker who brought the purchaser of my business to me, to talk me into Vendor financing the sale. What a nightmare that turned out to be.
Conflict of Interest
The same broker had recommended a lawyer who had acted for both myself and the buyer. He didn’t make a single repayment and I spent the next two years chasing both him and the lawyer through court. Fortunately I connected with a brilliant young lawyer who won my case AND sued the other lawyer on my behalf. I received a payout on the snakey lawyer’s professional indemnity insurance, and took my business back to rebuild it again. It’s extremely rare to find a lawyer who will sue another lawyer, but my lawyer did. Message me if you want to know his name.
Designer Label Pre-Loved Clothing Shop
During the period after initially selling my cleaning business and while going through the legal case that ensued, I started a designer label pre-loved clothing shop. I ran it as a consignment shop initially, then changed to selling items that I bought from wholesalers myself. It was here that I learned what I needed to know for later running op-shops within the non-profit organisation that I am creating now.
My Stint in Insurance
It was also during this time that I was led to begin an apprenticeship in the Insurance Industry, during which I learned the differences between the various Insurance products that are available. I didn’t realise at the time how valuable this training would be. But later I would discover just how much I needed this knowledge in my quest to find an investment opportunity that would create the kind of financial freedom that I had always wanted.
During my training I was taught the difference between Life Insurance products and Retirement products called Endowment Policies. These are retirement products sold in the UK and in Offshore Tax Havens, which are similar to Superannuation. Superannuation is a retirement product mostly used in Australia. I also learned about protection products, such as the type used to replace the value of stolen goods or the type that pays out when a man or woman becomes ill.
Retreating Back to my Previous Business
Working in the Insurance industry didn’t impress me at all, so I reluctantly decided to rebuild my old business again. I am unable to sell doom and gloom (because I don’t believe in selling fear to others), so Insurance wasn’t right for me.
For the next three years I continued in the role of managing my cleaning business. During that time I was shown numerous opportunities but found that none of them interested me very much. That was, until a company called Investors International came along.
Expanding my Thinking
Upon joining and purchasing their first education module, I wasn’t so much interested in promoting the company’s Network Marketing opportunity to others, but rather I was more interested in listening to what was being said in the recordings. Their product was an education package that introduced the listener to the truth about where the real investment returns could be found – Offshore. The company also sold Offshore Trusts as part of their service, but I wasn’t making the kind of money that warranted going offshore at that stage so I didn’t really need their other services. I really only wanted the education that could be gained from being introduced to concepts of 40% and higher returns per annum on investments, and how to legally protect those returns.
I was still reading the writings of Stuart Wilde. He speaks of how the various governments and banks of the world align with the media in order to keep the general population almost completely unaware of most things. Including where the really big dollars can be made and how to put in place legal structures that allow you to keep most of what you earn. He had already been introduced to the concept of offshore banking and investing when the most important opportunity of my life came along.
However, It wasn’t until I had listened again and again to the first set of Investors International tapes that I became ultimately deprogrammed from my limited perspective on just how much money was out there and how much of it I could actually have. After soaking in that information, I went from thinking in the million dollar amounts to thinking in the hundred millions. It was a real turning point for me.
The Right Approach
Through Stuart’s books I learned that if one is to succeed in life, you have to have the right approach. You cannot do business with the intention of grabbing what you can for yourself and then doing the runner. You have to be prepared to serve others if you want to succeed. So this concept began to find it’s way very deeply into my psyche. I could see why most MLM/Network Marketers failed in their attempts to do well in that industry.
Some friends who were involved in learning about the kind of high yields that were available offshore led me to a website being run by an Australian gent who was local to where I was living, whose name is Lance Spicer. His website is found here: http://www.tridentpress.com.au/
High Yield Investments
Lance’s books High Yield Investments 1 and 2 then reiterated what I had learned from Investors International. In Lance’s books, he gives accounts of returns of up to 130% a year on some investments, which absolutely blew me away. I didn’t realise it at the time, but my mind was being stretched to believe in these kinds of returns and this level of financial dealings in the global market. A space was being carved for what was to come later.
When I finally decided that I’d had enough of the cleaning industry I quit. I was tired of running businesses with staff, so I let my business go and took a few months off. Actually, I was put in a position where I had to do that, but that’s another story. It’s one which relates to my reasons for creating the Foundation that I now run.
Becoming a Writer
I have always had the gift of writing. So I decided to write several training manuals about how to start various businesses. I began with three different manuals on how to own and operate a business in the cleaning industry. When I had completed those manuals, I applied for work as a teacher in the adult education colleges. I was immediately given the opportunity to run one day workshops as soon as possible.
Becoming a Tutor
Luckily I was offered several colleges to teach at, and I ran those workshops for the next two years. I taught throughout Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong. I continued to write manuals for all the various businesses I had run. These included the party plan businesses and the pre-loved clothing shop I’d also owned. So I taught workshops on those things too.
Reverse Pension Plans
While I was teaching I was introduced to an MLM/Network Marketing opportunity that I liked. It utilised Insurance products called Endowment Policies, in a reverse kind of way. This particular opportunity appealed to me a lot. Two reasons: there was a very high return on effort expended and a very low entry fee to take part. The fee to take part was merely an administration fee, not an investment. When I looked at the business from all perspectives, everyone stood to gain from taking part. There were no losers in this MLM/Network Marketing opportunity. None at all, as long as a participant followed through to the end.
The Professional Waiter
Anyway, to cut a long story short, over the next few years I marketed the business to many others. That, combined with a few other factors, helped me to earn myself a good payout. The end amount that I received was supplemented by those who failed to last the distance. 85% of people didn’t stick around for long enough to receive their payout. Hence that money was divided between those of us that remained until the time that we got our payouts. Sure, it will take 18 years in total from inception to completion, but it will be well worth the wait. Being a professional waiter (someone who has endless patience) is what ensures that you get what you want.
Now, I’d like to talk about the misconceptions of the Direct Selling Industry and how those misconceptions have come about. The actual business concept of Direct Selling and MLM/Network Marketing is pretty astounding. Look at how it expedites your earning capacity through joining the efforts of the people in your team. Plus how it propels everyone’s earnings into potentially higher returns. Unfortunately, many new recruits fail. Most likely due to the lack of good teachers (ie. sponsors). Also, the daunting nature of talking to new people scares many new recruits off. They’ve been excited by the idea of Network Marketing. So they have tried to make money from it for a short while until their enthusiasm ran out. Then they’ve given up due to not having the support needed nor the will to survive within the industry.
The Lazy and Cowardly will Fail
Joining a network marketing opportunity is definitely not a career path for the lazy or the frightened. However, it does give those people who aren’t lazy and who have no fear a way out. It gives them the opportunity to become financially free. Those who otherwise would not have had a chance to change their financial position. It is an industry where anyone can start as an apprentice and learn as they go along whilst earning income. Which for those people whose minds learn best by copying, doing and experiencing, is a far superior way. They can become an expert by being an apprentice rather than learning through memorising mainstream education.
Is Your Sponsor Ethical and Supportive?
Like many other industries that have a bad name, much depends on the ethics of the people running the company. So too does the character and level of knowledge of the man or woman whom you are being trained by. In industries like real estate, car sales, and finance, you will always have a trainer.
If your sponsor who’s training you doesn’t truly want to help you get what you want, you won’t succeed. If her or she is only in it for themselves, then you’ll not get the support that you need. There are things that you have to learn so that you can make it. If your sponsor doesn’t really know much about the product, then how can they explain it to you? Or for that matter, to a customer? They can’t.
There are many skills needed to succeed in any type of business. If you don’t develop them, then you won’t succeed. It’s very much like becoming a dancer; you spend alot of hours practicing your routines in order to become a champion. Plus, it costs ALOT of money to get there.
No Full Disclosure
One of the biggest mistakes that the Direct Selling/Network Marketing industry makes is that it does not prepare people. They do not know that they need to work very hard for a long time. Nor do they know that they need to spend alot of money on their own training. That’s before they even begin to see the benefits of what they have learned. People are sold on the idea that within six months they can be living off their earnings. This isn’t realistic. If people were told the truth, the industry would have a much better reputation. The truth is that it will take at least two years to earn enough to give away your other income. Like in everything, success never happens overnight.
My Future Plans
Anyway, I’d like to travel to places like India and Africa and create work for the women there. Those who need help to get out of abusive relationships. I have ideas of creating products that will then be sold in Australia and other places. Sheets and pillowcase sets, doona covers, bedding, clothing, silk scarves, lingerie, fashion jewellery etc. Perhaps a web of linked businesses will arise from what I have learned and what has been achieved so far.
So, as a conclusion to my study of Small Businesses, I made my decisions based on:
1. How much effort is required to make a business work
2. How much profit is in it for me at the end of the day, and
3. Whether or not I like and/or believe in the product.
It is a Direct Selling / Network Marketing opportunity that will finally set me free financially. Of course, others will come to financial freedom in other ways. Everyone has to decide what the meaning of financial freedom is to them. Having enough money to go sit on the beach two or three days a week might suffice for you. Or not having to worry about how to pay the bills. It might be different for someone else who wants a very lush life.
As you know, the system of Direct Selling /Network Marketing itself is a whole new way of approaching business. It takes quite some time to learn – it’s not easy. If you have to learn about the product at the same time, then it’s doubly difficult. It’s no wonder why so many people drop out of network marketing. It’s difficult enough to learn how to market and explain the activity. Let alone having to worry about understanding a product as well. Not to mention the personal development that is required if one is to succeed in a sales based industry. But that’s a whole topic in itself and not one for this article here.
Thanks for reading. 🙂
Free From the Gilded Cage is the education arm of the Loving Heart Foundation Australia . We teach the basics of self-employment, how to save money wherever you can, and basic budgeting skills. This is so that women can learn the skills needed to manage their own lives. So that they don’t feel trapped in a relationship with a man who is beating them up. With these skills they can easily leave him.
Update: The first novel in a series of seven has now been published. Written for teenagers who don’t fit in, the story gives hope to those who aren’t enjoying school and who don’t want to go into a profession that school prepares most for. It is also the courageous account of a young teen growing up in a dysfunctional home filled with domestic violence. Read about how she manoeuvres her way through such a difficult situation.
Click here if you’d like to know more about this novel.
Click here if you’d like to be taken to the site where you can purchase this novel.