Tag Archives: network marketing

The Matrix

I’ve never been a huge fan of the movie the Matrix per say, but if it’s on TV on a lazy Saturday afternoon or random week night….I’ll catch myself watching the whole thing. All of them too…doesn’t matter if it’s the first or the third installment, I always watch. I’m not sure if it’s because Toronto’s hometown boy Keanu Reeves is the star, the special effects or the content but there am I am 2 hours later wondering if Neo will survive/save everyone!

I bring this up because as I network with fellow entrepreneurs the analogy of the Matrix comes up quite often. I never really gave the movie much thought before but when you speak to folks who work for themselves whether it’s as a business owner, artist, writer what ever they ‘get it’ when you refer to the movie’s theme. We’ve seen what’s on the other side and what’s on the other side can be scary, exhilarating, challenging, rewarding, frustrating, disheartening, and wonderful at various times or all the time…going back to where we were is perhaps even more terrifying then anything else. I used to watch that movie and think: ‘just get plugged back in to oblivion, it’s seems more peaceful and frankly more picturesque…there’s daylight at least on that side!’  So maybe I never really got into the deeper message of the movie. It can feel like that on this side. I do remember back when I was in the 9 to 5 race. Yes, at times it was brutal, Mon to Fri, 6:30am wake up, pack breakfast and lunch, change of shoes, grab book for subway, run for subway, meetings all day, run for subway again, go home, have dinner, bed, repeat. It could also be quite carefree…reading or sleeping on the subway, lunches & coffees with friends on company time, laughs in meetings, gossip in cubicles, impromptu drinks after work with colleagues, epic Xmas parties, leaving work at work, free time in the evening and weekends, paid vacation and sick days. Things were pretty good. (I used to see the move ‘Working Girl’ and smile) My company for most of my 12-year tenure treated me very well. I wouldn’t say I was miserable I would just say I was getting paid well, getting through life and not really thinking about where I’d be in another 12 years. In fact 12 years (15 total in corp) went by in a heartbeat. I’m sure another 20 to retirement would go just as quickly. Should we go through life passing time though? Is that why we’re here?

Around 2008 things started to change…some of which I’ve already mentioned (i.e.: getting packaged out in 2009), but also I went through a big break up and started to read some personal development books, started to questions things, and think about where my life was going. This is when I started to get a glimpse into the other side….into this Matrix if you will. J I started setting some goals for myself and as I’ve documented in earlier posts I met a person who made me sit down and really map out what I wanted out of life. Once I did that things start to change, there was no turning back.

By 2011 I was introduced to Arbonne, the Swiss/Vegan certified health and wellness company that I would not only build a business with (one I plan to build into a very lucrative business for me) but this venture would see me stepping firmly on the other side of the Matrix and not be able to come back. My introduction to network marketing is what gave me my gateway out of the corporate 9 to 5 life I was leading. I devised my game plan and in rather swift succession here I am in Jan 2014 in a very different place then I was less then 3 short years ago. I’ll be writing about network marketing more as we go on but what I’d say for now is that it’s a different business model from the traditional one I came from. That doesn’t mean it’s of any less value it’s just different (I’d argue it’s the smarter business model). One phrase I hear a lot in network marketing is ‘if you want to be different you need to do different’.

So….how is it here on this side? I could write about that forever and will at length on this blog! Some days (most days) I wouldn’t trade it for anything. Some days I think back to my ‘carefree’ 9 to 5 existence and think: “was that really so bad? I could go back, put in another decade and check out…right?”

“Or am I just romanticizing it now that I’m out of it and facing challenges”.

I’m sure this battle in my head will go on for a while as I build my business, stabilize my cash flow and grow. The only thing I can do is keep my vision of what I wanted in the first place front and centre…continue to build on that….and stay focused. When I look back at how far I’ve come I realize that going back is the wrong way—for me. They say (statistically speaking) only 3% of the population will travel down the road I’m on. I’m finding I am more then comfortable with that these days. I always felt like a square peg in a round hole for most of my life; why not embrace it?

There is only way I can go now…forward….on this side of the Matrix. It’s a brave new world, often scary but it’s where I’m meant to be.

 

 

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May 2011: A Decision

I’ve often heard that you have to decide before you do anything, decide how you want things to be then commit to action. Those comments never really resonated with me in the past if I’m being very honest. In my business there is a legendary woman named Debbie Neal (Google her: Millionaire Mom, Arbonne consultant extraordinaire) who always talks about this, she often starts her extremely inspiring public talks with the comment “Decide to be the bar for you and your team, decide to be successful. Excellence is not a skill, it’s a habit, it’s a decision you make every day to be better. ” I was about to learn how true these statements were. As I’ve already explained, I didn’t really thing about putting a plan in place for my life or even really give a lot of thought to how I wanted it to look. I wasn’t living by design….who would have thought a conversation with my boss and some templates on paper would change all that?

I took those career/life coach templates I talked about away with me as instructed by my coach. I went over to Scotland for a family wedding. A large chunk of the trip was spent out in the beautiful highlands of Scotland (put that on your bucket list if you’ve never been) staying with an Aunt & Uncle. I have an aunt who herself defies the laws of aging/society etc. She’s turning 74 this year, looks about 20 years younger and can do things people 40 years younger struggle with (ie: running half marathons with impressive finish times, hill walking, yoga, traveling etc), and her views of life have always been out of the box. This would explain why we’ve always gotten along. I lived with her and my uncle for a short time with I was 18 and in the years since we always have the best conversations–we keep in touch via email often now as she lives an ocean away. I think one of the reasons we get along is because she’s always ‘seen me’. What do I mean by that? She has always encouraged me to just be me, do what I want to do, not what I’m expected to do (that will be a theme in this blog….you’ve been warned). In fact one of the most hysterical quotes I have by her is this: “You know dear, I’ll always support any decision you make but you’ll never fulfill your full potential as a human being if you decide to get married”. I laughed my head off when she said that and when I tell people the response varies from hysterical laughter to crickets…..depends on the person really. Any-who, I do think that being around her, climbing my first Munro (any hill in Scotland over 3000 ft up) and just being away from the grind of my stressful career gave me the clear head to fill out the templates with complete honesty. I was also able to define what I wanted out of life and actually put it to paper…..something I think we’ve firmly established I didn’t do much of before.

So what were the results?

  • The clear message from all the tests, templates and conversations was that I should be in the health and wellness field (no surprise to anyone who knows me well)
  • A role out of the confines of the 9 to 5 corp structure, something with more flexibility would be a better fit for me.
  • Something where I get to physically move as opposed to sitting at a desk all day.
  • Working with people was key
  • Doing something on my own (entrepreneur) was a better fit for me..Not being tied to one geographical area was a clear desire (see point 2)

I didn’t really know what to do with these results (the only advice the career coach had given was “research the health and wellness industry”…gee, thanks.), but I did know this, it was time to make a decision and put a plan into place. I decided (pretty much when I got to the top of my first Munro ever with my Aunt) that I wanted a different life. I wanted out of the corporate grind, I wanted to get into my own venture, I wanted something under the health and wellness umbrella and I wanted to work with people/help people to do the same. I decided then when I got home I would start looking into how to make this all happen.

A funny thing happens when you decide, things have a funny way of falling into place. While I was away cousin of mine (who made a similar leap in her own life-expect more on her in future posts) had been told me this while we were at our cousin’s wedding. I told her what I was thinking and her response was “It’s done, I can see it in your face, don’t worry about how it’s going to happen–it will”. Was she ever right, after I got home the opportunities I would end up pursuing presented themselves to me…….

1) An old friend who I took and annual surfing trip with contacted me about her new home based business. It was with a company I’d never heard of but they were a health and wellness company, Swiss, vegan certified, with some very impressive people at the helm. This company is Arbonne (Pure, safe, beneficial–google them). They have a product line of over 450 items spanning from skin care, baby care, cosmetics and a whole wellness line of protein shakes, vitamins etc. The company is headed up by a woman named Kay Napier who had an impressive career with P & G and McDonald’s and the head of research & development is Dr. Peter Matravers, the man behind the Aveda brand. The company is a networking marketing/direct sell business, and it was an industry I knew little about other than other brands from that area (Pampered Chef, Avon etc). I had preconceived ideas (is that a pyramid?) but I learned quickly it was a low risk/high return, perfectly timed (network marketing is predicted to produce the next round of billionaires for a variety of reason I won’t go into right now), incredibly ethical and it fit right on it to my desire to get into the health and wellness industry.  I started by business (on the side of my corp career at the time) in the fall of 2011.

2) Another old friend (ironically this one hired me into the corporation I was working for!) contacted me while I was away about a side project of his. A mobile marketing company that was still very small but had a couple high-profile clients–including a competitor of the retailer I worked for. They had a need for someone who had business experience to client manage/project mange. They had no real office, work from home was the reality and it would be as flexible as I needed it to be. The only catch was that they couldn’t pay me much so I’d need other streams of income….see point 1! We met as soon as I came home to start talking about timing and how we’d make it work….I didn’t actually start with them until July 2012 as I still had my corp full-time gig but the decision was made that I work with them in May 2011.

3) My yoga teacher/mentor was doing his first ‘intensive’ (teacher training) at his studio (my local studio that I practiced at regularly). It would be a month-long on top of my regular long hours at my corp gig but it was the first step towards entering the realm of teaching….I signed up as soon as I got back from Scotland.

This all happened within weeks of me landing back on Canadian soil (really). I had no idea whatsoever at the top of that mountain how I’d change the course of my life, I just knew I wanted to change it. I made a decision. Someone listened, the opportunities presented themselves to me right away…what was the difference? This time, I was ready for it, looking for it, and able to recognize the opportunity when it came in front of me. All because I finally made a decision…step one.

Okay, decision made, opportunities in place, now what? Action. A plan needed to be put in place and executed upon…sound familiar? (go back to my first post) This is ironically exactly what I was getting paid to do for a corporate initiative in my day job! They say God/the universe has a sense of humour…yes, it certainly does! I had just spent a year planning and monitoring the execution of a major project, now it was time to apply those skills to a new project..a new life for me.