Have you ever looked back and realised that you missed an opportunity, did not understand what was being offered to you? Sometimes you are just not ready to make the leap into unknown waters, but luckily the opportunity can come round again. That is what happened to me – twice.
I was living in Germany in RAF accommodation, having recently left BFBS Television with a young son and about to come back to the UK. A friend offered me an oven cleaning product, telling me it was American, with the words that she could not see American housewives spending much elbow grease on cleaning their ovens so give it a try. It was brilliant and helped me with the “march out” inspection our houses had when we left. What she did not tell me, a young mum, who would have loved to have part time work on arriving in the UK at a new town, was that she could have invited me to join her business and also sell those products. It took until my two children were going to independent schools (because we had moved so often) and it was some 12 years later, that another friend asked me if I would like to earn some extra part time income to help with the school fees and later university costs. It was AMWAY. Brilliant products but hard to sell privately alongside my retail business. I felt as though I was trying to run two businesses with a young family. I thought the arrival of the internet would make it so easy, but the UK needed time to get used to online ordering. Eventually Amway moved its UK Distribution Head Office into Europe where there were many hungry young entrepreneurs keen to improve their lives. What I learnt from Amway was how to be self-employed. I had tapes in the car to listen to on my journeys and I understood how to have the right frame of mind, to be optimistic, to be precise about what I wanted to achieve.
My next missed opportunity was when I joined WIBN (Women in Business Network) started by Jan Ibbott and the Harpenden group was relatively new. It took several invites from her for me to decide to go along to the friendly lunchtime meetings and there I met two significant people who have changed my life for the better. The first was Khim Guan who demonstrated Qigong and invited us to a tester class in St Albans. I went along and since then Qigong has been part of my life keeping me flexible and healthy. The second person, Catherine Joyce, invited us to join a multi level marketing business called Utility Warehouse Discount Club, part of TelecomPlus. It offered utilities such as energy and telephone. I was living and working in business premises with a BT contract and one of the first companies offering energy bills by email. With contracts, I did not take up her offer being unable to switch at that time. I made the big mistake of receiving a letter that started:- “You do not have to do anything.….” shortly before that energy contract ended and so got rolled into a more expensive one with higher daily standing charge and unit rates. When I found out and could do nothing to stop the contract I made sure that I was ready and gave notice in good time and when the contract ended left that company. I remembered Utility Warehouse. I was then in a BNI group in St Albans and so when asked I immediately said yes I was ready to switch. I also by then understood that there was a business opportunity as well. I wanted something extra in my life that would give me financial security. I delved deep into the company, its directors, its structure, its ethics and I liked what I found, so I joined. But what if…….I had joined when I had first been invited? I would have been six years further on in growing a reliable monthly royalty income.
My earlier learning from Amway gave me a head start to set a goal. My first goal was to have an extra £200 a month. I soon doubled that and so I realised that although it is good to set realistic goals, it is also important to know that they will need to be re-visited and revised as you progress.
Of course life does not run smoothly. There are lots of obstacles and one of them is probably the worst and toughest obstacle just before you hit success. So many people fall short. The answer is never, never give up even if you have to step aside for a while and then resume a bit later, just keep going towards your reason, your why – mine was financial security. What’s yours?