So far I have profiled women running businesses full-time. Today’s profile is a little different as Rachel is currently juggling a full time career in the RAF, with 2 children and running a business for Forever Living. How did that come about?
Forever Living isn’t actually a franchise per se, there are no joining fees, no annual fees and you don’t pay a percentage of everything you earn to the company; you don’t pay anything to them in fact. All you do is pay for a box of products to start your business with and the aim is to start using them yourself, enabling you to recommend them to people with credibility. As for how it came about, it was rather unexpected to be honest and if you had told me I would be involved in network marketing I would have told you that was a crazy idea, and that I didn’t even know what it was. I’d been thinking a lot in the last couple of years about what I would do on leaving the RAF and I had concluded two things that I wanted to take forward from my RAF career; helping people and managing projects. Over the same period of time I had been watching a friend, via Facebook, set up her Forever Living business and after she had her little girl and subsequent maternity leave, she was able to justify not going back to her full-time marketing manager job because of her Forever business. I was quite frankly jealous that she had a flexible option that allowed her to do that, and whilst it was my choice to remain in the RAF after having children, it made me realise that I also craved ultimate flexibility in my post-RAF career. I chatted to her about it, went to a business presentation and two days later I became a Business Owner!
Once your mindset is in the right place the self-belief follows and the difference is really noticeable to other people and noticeable to your profits.
Did you choose to do something and then find Forever Living, or was it the products that attracted you?
The products were secondary to be honest, at least in the very beginning. The time flexibility and uncapped income potential were what drew me in. It didn’t take long to fall in love with the products as well because they are high quality, very effective and the ethics behind the company are very strong, including absolutely no testing on animals.
What does a typical day for you look like?
A typical day is pretty busy to be fair. I’m first in the bathroom and if I’ve been organised (which doesn’t always happen) then clothes for both girls are already ready, as are packed lunches and dinners for both of them. Hubby (also RAF) is very hands-on and helps get them ready when he’s here. We aim to be out the door by 7.30am, with mixed success, and I drop the girls with our childminder who is a massive support to our family and helps make it all possible. The working day is 8-5 (although sometimes til a lot later) and I almost always work through lunch, although more and more of that lunchtime working is spent on progressing my business! I leave work between 5.15 and 5.30 and collect the girls who have fortunately already been fed their dinner. Then it’s home to do homework (for the eldest), have pudding, playtime, bath time and then stories and bedtime. When hubby is home he does most of the cooking so dinner is often ready when I’ve finished the bedtime routine. After that there will inevitably be the dishwasher and the never-ending washing pile and I will also focus on my business in between, including watching webinar training sessions, retailing the products, looking for new team members to join me, doing product launches at people’s houses and regularly attending our local business presentation. Every 8 weeks or so I also have a 4,500 word assignment to submit for my masters degree in Logistics Management, I also sleep somewhere in there as well! Things could get even more interesting when I have to write my 20,000 word dissertation!
you really do get out what you put in with this business so it’s important to touch your business in some way every day, to be consistent.
What have been the biggest challenges so far?
Effective time management and self-belief! It’s amazing the difference a positive mindset can make, and it did take me a little while to get there. I always knew I would have a finite amount of time I could devote to Forever while I’m still working full-time but it’s easy to make excuses that you’re too busy and then your business suffers; you really do get out what you put in with this business so it’s important to touch your business in some way every day, to be consistent. Once your mindset is in the right place the self-belief follows and the difference is really noticeable to other people and noticeable to your profits.
Is there anything that you thought would be difficult, but has actually worked out better than you thought?
One thing immediately strikes me as being better than I thought and it’s not something I particularly thought would be difficult but something I’ve been conditioned to believe I’m not worthy of; and that’s recognition! I have a very strong work ethic, I always work incredibly hard and give it my all; going the extra mile is the norm for me. That has consistently not been enough for the RAF to give me any kind of formal recognition and after 15 years you shrink your dreams and sense of self-worth to fit. Forever Living have consistently been awarded Investors In People Gold for at least 10 years now and I can see why. You are given so much support and training, and you are given public recognition for every small step of achievement in your Forever journey; it’s amazing the difference that makes.
It’s quite frankly a revelation to know that I can earn whatever I set my mind to, and no-one can tell me I’m not good enough or that I’m not eligible; if I put the work in the results will come!
From your Facebook posts, I can see that you have great plans for 2016 – anything you can tell us about at this stage?
Essentially I have plans to achieve a number of promotions on the marketing plan and to match, or at least get close to, my current income so that my income doesn’t drop when I leave the RAF. Promotions on the marketing plan are achieved with focus and effort and everyone has exactly the same opportunity; it’s just what you do with it that makes the difference. It’s quite frankly a revelation to know that I can earn whatever I set my mind to, and no-one can tell me I’m not good enough or that I’m not eligible; if I put the work in the results will come!
You seem to have a good team that you are part of. How important is that?
The team spirit is incredible, which for me does have strong echoes of how it is in the RAF but is even better within Forever. Everyone is self-employed and it is a supportive network as you’re not really competing with anyone except yourself; you can out earn anyone in your upline or downline which is what makes it so fair. There is also a great sense of helping each other and a lot of voluntary mentoring goes on from more experienced team members which is invaluable. This business is all about helping people, whether it’s helping customers with their health and well being, or helping and coaching your team members to build their own successful businesses; just by getting them to replicate the tried and tested model that you’re using yourself.
What advice would you give anyone else looking to start a from an established business?
I would tell anyone to consider Forever; even if they decide it’s not for them. It’s a proven market and business model that has been in operation for 38 years and is still growing. It’s also a great way to start your own business and be your own boss, without any of the start up costs you would ordinarily associate with setting up your own business. It’s perfectly possible to build a full-time income working it part-time around existing commitments, and I look forward to the day when Forever and family are all I need to focus on, in a way that is balanced to suit what I want, enabling me to do the school run every day and never having to miss another school play, event or special moment.
Thanks Rachel. I have to say here that I have to rave about 2 Forever Living products. I love the Vanilla protein shake powder. My favourite quick breakfast is some of that mixed up with almond milk, spinach and blueberry (although a close second is new contender almond milk, spinach, avocado, apple and blueberry!). It also makes a great post-exercise refuel, which is particularly important to me in my triathlon training. The second product is the Aloe Heat Lotion. I’ve never got on with deep heat or anything like that because my skin is really sensitive, but this heat lotion is amazing. I use it when my (previously injured) shoulder is playing up and it makes a massive different. I have also used it all week skiing (yes, me, skiing! I’m still amazed I didn’t break anything!) and it’s been great. If folks out there want to try some, how do they get in touch?
Come and have a look at my Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/naturalsparklesinternational/.
So there you have it. I’m in awe of someone doing full-time work and running a business on the side (and looking after kids!). Hope it’s given some of you food for thought. Until next time, happy venturing x.