Once upon a time, just under 4 years ago... my friend MC, excitedly told me that she'd just joined a brand new company as an "Ambassador". She was so excited about it as the company's ethos and values were directly aligned to her own. She told me that the company concocted fresh, pure, natural, cruelty-free skincare and cosmetic products, from a "beauty" kitchen" in the UK.
My friend was convinced the company was going places. She told me that the business was 50% owned by Lord Alan Sugar, who had invested in the Founder, Susie Ma, because he thought her product was "fantastic" and he was impressed with entrepreneurial spirit and her business plan.
MC gave me a facial and a makeover and I thought the products were stunning. As a woman over 40, I've tried many skincare and cosmetic products that promise the miracle of youth, but which have always failed to deliver (hmmmmm... now why do I keep falling for all that marketing hype?!)
The products my friend used were refreshingly different. The cleanser and moisturiser made my skin glow. The mineral make up did what it said on the pot - made my skin look great but not "made up" - AND it protected my skin from the sun, There was no synthetic, chemical crap in it. The mascara made my sparse invisible eyelashes long and luscious. And the ingredients of some of the products were literally good enough to eat. In fact, the bloke tested them by eating the face smooth and the body smooth. Not the entire pots, I hasten to add, just a taste!
The company's name was Tropic Skincare. And it sill is! 🙂
I joined Tropic so that I could use the products myself. But I only dabbled with the business, because at the time, I really didn't get it. And I certainly didn't get how it could work with my established coaching practice. You see, over 14 years as a Coach, I have been approached by many companies set up with a similar social selling/direct selling model. These approaches usually took the form of a Facebook message from a stranger who had noticed I was a well known coach. They would tell me how much I could earn with 'this business' and how it would be IDEAL for me as a Coach.
They would never mention the actual company name or the products they sold. Almost as if the product itself was incidental. Once, I even spent an hour on a Skype call with an acquaintance who had led me to believe I was scheduling a call to discuss a corporate coaching opportunity. I turned up on the call to discover that it was to "share the opportunity" of their company.
Now, if they'd told me upfront, we could have saved their time and mine, because I knew about that particular company already. I didn't resonate with the company's products or its culture. So I would NEVER have joined. I resented the approach and the way I was hoodwinked into the call and it only served to increase my prejudice against the network marketing business model.
It wasn't just my jaded view of the companies that had approached me over the years that put me off. To be brutally honest, I didn't see how I could grow another business without taking my eye off the ball with my core profession - coaching - and I was also worried about "what people will think".
Yes, it's true. I am fallible. 😉
Sometime in early June of this year, I called MC for a catch-up. I asked her:
"Is now a good time to chat?"
"Yes!" she replied, "I've just come out of Champneys. I've had a couple of days break there"
As you do.
She told me how her Tropic business was going. Or rather she fizzed - that's the best way of describing it. MC spoke in a similar tone of voice I have if you were to call me as I'm about to get on a really big rollercoaster, or if you've caught me after one of any number of outdoor, adrenaline-fuelled activities. i.e. Full of excitement, giggles and happiness.
The kind of voice that just says; "How does it get any better than this?!"
MC told me that she and her team had just celebrated £4 million in sales in 4 years. She's been on five star all expenses paid "reward" trips. Her average week seemed to consist of talking to women, coaching and mentoring her team and generally having a jolly good time.
It all sounded too good to be true, but I had to hand it to her, she was certainly not working as hard as I'd been working trying to build up the online coaching side of my business.
MC hadn't spent long days and nights grappling with technical problems during an online launch, or had heart-wrenching weeks wondering if, after all the work, she would attract enough people to her online programme.
For those of you who want me to spell it out.. These are the kind of experiences I had been having with the online side of my business. Quite frankly, it had felt like an endless slog in an over-crowded online marketplace that had brought me very little joy. And the revenue had NOT been commensurate with the blood, sweat and tears I had spilled.
In contrast, my friend has been building her business via simple conversations - something I've always found to be effective with my one to one coaching business and which I've taught many new coaches to do. But there hadn't been enough of that in my life over the past few years, as I'd been so focused on finding the crock of gold at the end of the rainbow - creating online courses and coaching programmes, leveraging my time and earning a shed load of dosh. It didn't happen.
It's not just gold that comes in a crock... There are a fair few crocks of brown stuff beginning with S and ending with T.
It occurred to me that whilst we both have very similar goals of achieving financial freedom and a love-filled, fun and fulfilling life, we were using different means to get there. And the long and short of it was, my friend's way was much more effective and far more joyful than mine!
I'd spent much of the past 3 years slogging my guts out, with no support and no acknowledgement, trying to build a leveraged income stream from online learning. I've always loved coaching - whether it's one to one or over a webinar in a group. But designing and marketing my online and group programmes? Lots of work. Many long hours. Lots of heart-sinking disappointment when sales were nowhere near expectations. And lots of trying to figure out the online magical formula that, to me, seems to be more elusive than the g-spot. 🙂
Meanwhile... over in MC's parallel universe, she'd spent the past 3 years largely having far too much fun! Barely a spot of online marketing or pesky tech in sight, she has been building her Tropic business with a big smile on her face and receiving constant acknowledgment and gratitude from the company, in very tangible ways: We're talking all expenses paid 5 star trips, bouquets of flowers, personalised bottles of champagne, meals out at wonderful restaurants and God knows how many bloody spa breaks!
Hmmmmm..... I was beginning to think I might need to re-assess my financial freedom vehicle. So the catch-up phone call led to another phone call, and another. Which led to a meeting and yet another phone call.
Yes, you guessed it... I decided to go for it and join Tropic. On 24th June 2017, I signed up and paid the princely sum of £125. A few days later, a beautiful, big tissue-paper filled colourful box arrived with gorgeous Tropic goodies, order forms, bags and stickers. This beautiful box signalled the start of my brand new "love" business on the side!
But don't imagine that I've stopped my "day job" - my main coaching business - over the past 5 weeks. On the contrary, I'm the busiest and happiest I've been for over a year. Client enquiries are flowing in. Corporate work is blossoming. I've even added another string to my bow and have been engaged by a consultancy to train its associates in facilitating virtual learning environments.
However, I HAVE given up on the aspects of my business that were draining me. I have decreased my online activities drastically - creating mental space and time to attract these new and exciting opportunities.
Strange, eh? Law of attraction, anyone? 🙂
Right now, Goethe's famous quote about the magic of commitment resonates powerfully for me:
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.
A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now"
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
So that's my Tropic story so far. But how does all this possibly relate to you? Well, maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. If you're curious, then read on!...
then you might just have found business nirvana! 🙂
I have a small team of brilliant women who - like me - have fallen for Tropic's ethical and effective products AND the company ethos. These are women who share my values, who are already building their own Tropic businesses and who - like me - are daring to dream big!
Fair Warning: It takes time, resilience and application to create a successful business and this is no magical get rich quick scheme. All businesses have ups and downs and all businesses needs attention and commitment.
But, as I've already mentioned, I'm growing this as my "love business on the side" of my established coaching and consultancy business, in pockets of spare time.
I'm having lots of fun doing it. I'm ambitious and excited: My intention is to grow my Tropic business as my "financial freedom" vehicle.
Are you tempted to join me? 🙂
If you want to learn more about my "love business on the side" that has earned itself an entire page on my website; if you're curious to know why, after 14 years of coaching and as many years of declining dozens of offers to join other social selling businesses, I have thrown myself wholeheartedly into Tropic, please call me for a chat on 07739 692989.
If you've read this far, then I trust you'll feel comfortable enough to call me for a chat, safe in the knowledge that I'm not going to turn into a hideous double glazing salesperson and suck you in! Rest assured, I walk my talk, I live my values and quite frankly, I am not interested in building a non functioning team of women who don't love the product or the company as much as I do. Quality beats quantity every time for me!
If, after we speak, you decide to join my Tropic team, I will be your mentor for life: In the same way that I insist on a chemistry call for my paying clients to establish if there's a good match, I am doing exactly the same with my Tropic team members.
p.s. With apologies if you live outside the UK. Tropic is currently a UK only company.
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