I have taken time, to examine what I’ve learned from things over the past 22 years. Yes, I’m sure you’ve heard the late, great Jim Rohns’ saying, ‘You learn more from losing than you do from winning’, & of course you do, but I think there is a time when you also need to learn from things that you win at. One word says it all, ‘Repeat’. Learn to capitalise when you find something that works, develop it, repeat it. Duplication means the same thing & we do just that, duplicate what successful people are doing. So, the moral of that is, don’t re-invent the wheel. Successful people will always be willing to listen to a good idea, they would not be successful if they didn’t!! So share an idea if you have one, & listen to the response, whatever it is

Prejudgement. Now there’s a BIG topic. I have 2 prejudgements that I’d like to talk about. One is the prejudgement of people & the second is prejudgement of a business – ours

Prejudgement of people. To explain, I will have to tell you a story of us & how we came into this industry. It’s something we will always explain to team members when & if they decide to develop their business by sponsoring other people. There is probably at least one person in your circle of family & friends, who you will say, will definitely not, under any circumstances want to join your business. BUT, believe me when people say ‘No’, they don’t necessarily mean ‘No’ forever

Because there ARE circumstances that will suddenly change the way they think. We are talking about ME. Before I came into this industry, I was, one of those people you love to hate. Yes, I was one of those ladies, who would not give you an appointment with who you wanted, & definitely not at the time you wanted, yes I was a doctors receptionist. I had been for nine years. I had a good job, I hadn’t ever thought of changing it & if someone had ever mentioned that I might get involved in a company that was remotely connected to catalogues, I was such a snob, I would have said ‘Moi?’

Well, who would have thought it? That thing, that I mentioned earlier, that thing that could change the way someone thought, it happened to me. It was quite a big thing, but it was as though it was a meant to be. I always say ’someone up there decided I should have a change of career’ (Please take this as fun speak, I’m not meaning anything dark, it just makes me smile to think of it this way) ‘They’d’ tried it in the March of 1998. Tried to make me have an accident!! I was coming out of a newsagent on the way home from work & as always in a rush, rush, rush, rush, & my stilletos (both of them, at the same time!) got caught in the kerb stone & I fell forwards, cracking my head open ! I was taken back to my place of work (the Health Centre) & my friend the practice nurse patched me up, & insisted on a check-up, & a week off, but no, the next day I was back to work. After all, I was of course, indispensable!

It wasn’t until June the same year, when we were driving down to see my Mum & Dad in West Wales, that I had my ‘moment’. We stopped at the last services on the M4 & took our picnic up (I’ll repeat that, UP) to the picnic tables. I remember commenting at the time that it was unusual to climb up such a steep bank in a picnic area. The grass wasn’t wet, so it was OK. After we finished eating, husband John took our two Jack Russells for a quick walk, whilst I gathered up the picnic things & descended the grassy slope to the rubbish bin. Yes, of course, you now realise that this is going to be the start of my moment in time!!

I slipped, of course, but I never do things by halves, there was a loud CRACK (nasty), & I lay at the bottom of the slope. Now, without going into the gruesome details too much, I will say, if you hadn’t actually seen me fall, you would have known by looking at me that I had broken my ankle. It was not a pretty sight. A week that was supposed to have been a holiday with Mum & Dad, was a week in a hospital in Carmarthen. I ended up having an op & having a plate put in my leg, which I still have.

So, have I got to that moment? Almost. On speaking to the consultant before leaving hospital, he said, ‘You’ll need to be off work for four months’ Well, it’s strange, but at that moment, I knew that I didn’t want to go back to work

Of course, once home, & as the time went on, we realised that if I was actually going to hand in my notice at The Health Centre, I would need to find something else. Now this is the sentence you must remember, I was SO desperate not to go back to my job, I would have done ANYTHING not to. What a change. And the moral of this is, that some peoples’ ‘No’ is not necessarily, a No forever. In our business, this is so important & re-contacting people who have looked at your business before, may just find you someone like me, who had suddenly become disillusioned with what they have.

It doesn’t finish there, because John kept bringing home ads that he’d found, for me to apply for, after all we had a mortgage to pay. I phoned one particular advert, that John had found on a postcode in a shop in Cambridge. I phoned it. The guy explained the business. I explained my situation, but I don’t think this person had ever been told ‘you have two ears & one mouth – listen’ I actually had said to him, that my husband would be willing to help me get started until my leg was out of plaster. All he said was, that would I please let him know when I had recovered!!! The moral of this part is LISTEN. Everybody’s favourite subject, is themselves. It pays to listen. A week later I had phoned a newspaper ad, a lady came out, we joined (the same business that I had spoken to the guy on the phone about !!)

So, the moral of my story, to myself, is don’t prejudge a business, don’t prejudge anything. Find out about it first. I prejudged, badly. At the time I couldn’t get past the word ‘catalogues’. Nowadays you don’t have to. We retail online, successfully. A lot of us do both catalogues & online, some just work online, some just retail via catalogues. Guess what? They all work. We are all one big family whatever we do. Whatever we CHOOSE to do. We choose not to rush around working for a boss. We work for US

Prejudgement, can ruin your life. I’m so glad that in July 1998, I had the chance, & the sense to get our life on track.

When we joined Viva MK at the beginning of its’ adventure in 2019 we knew that we were joining a business that will prove that it truly is The Peoples’ Business, & with the product range growing, including more & more Eco products, we know we’re on a winner.