Richard Branson says, if someone hands you a fantastic opportunity, you should say yes and figure out how, later.
In May 2015, that’s exactly what I did.
I’m Lewis, and I’m an Arbonne Independent Consultant.
Before I go any further I must stress that, prior to being introduced to Arbonne, I was not looking for a Network Marketing opportunity. I had zero interest in selling skincare products to my friends and family; I’d had little to no success in clearing my spotty, teenage face (at age 24) but I was looking for some extra money. See, at age 23, I’d decided the career in IT which I had been working towards since the age of 14 wasn’t for me.
After an experience on holiday with my parents, I’d realised my passion for flying and had decided I was going to be a commercial pilot. Fast forward 4 months, I was facing the reality of just how much money I was going to need to train; a mere £100,000.
Give or take.
With neither parents in a position to loan (and I do mean loan) me the money, nor the collateral I needed to borrow the cash I needed from a bank, I was left with no other option than to begin to saving to buy a flat. Then watch, in agony, as someone else moved in – using their rent money to pay the mortgage – whilst saving alongside, generating what I needed to move forwards.
All this, and my 18 months training, also had to happen by the age of 30.
That was, of course, before the bottom fell out of the oil industry in Aberdeen, throwing a spanner in the works when I was made redundant in 2015. Good old stable Aberdeen, and it’s non-volatile job market.
A little over a year and a half into this “plan”, a close friend and colleague approached me with a business opportunity. I still had my job at this point. I had a great network and manner with people; I’d be perfect for what she did, she said.
I. Was. Mortified. How bad did she think my life was? Me, with a degree, and a “real job” before I would want to sell skincare and lippy to women in their living rooms.
No. Absolutely not. I definitely had not just found a way of building a financial asset which would pay the mammoth £5,800 monthly instalments for my pilot training.
Wasn’t giving in.
But Jo and I had worked together a long time and I respected the fact she had approached me with the business, so I agreed to attend a presentation and hear about the company and what it offered in full.
So, there I sat, in the function room of a hotel in Aberdeen; arms folded, tongue in cheek, leaning up against the wall desperate for it to finish and while I was wholly reluctant to admit it, I was blown away with what I heard.
I heard of a company, founded on and driven by a strong set of core ethics; a product ethos based on pure ingredients, safe science and real results. A company which had never tested it’s products on animals in it’s (then) 35 year history and a company so committed to this statement, it determined which Asian markets it would enter during it’s globalisation, just getting underway.
Without realising, I had just found my taxi to the airport, in the shape of a white Mercedes.
In a world where we are bombarded with information, a word of mouth recommendation is becoming the most powerful way for any company to market it’s product or service. This applies in particular to Gen-Y’s, such as myself, who are known for being immune to more traditional forms of marketing. Gone are the days where we will buy a product because someone on TV is flicking their hair and saying they’re “worth it” – we prefer to buy something based on what’s trending on social media or what’s been recently tried and tested by our favourite YouTube personality.
But more importantly, it’s human nature to recommend something we know and like to each other. We’re always sharing with each other; whether that’s a film we’ve seen, a restaurant we’ve eaten in or a painter/decorator who made a decent job of our skirting boards.. Network Marketing is founded on this principle; the difference is, we get paid whenever we make the recommendation!
I love what I do for Arbonne and I’m proud to represent a company which I truly believe is rivalled by no other. Our opportunity excites me, not for what it can do for me, but what it can give the many others I am yet to share it with; the people who don’t even know it exists yet!
It genuinely keeps me up at night.
And trust me when I say, my face has never looked better.