All I ever wanted to do was to run my own business. Be my own boss. Time free, free spirit.
I didn’t realise this at first. As a child I just wanted to be famous. I didn’t know what I could be famous for as I can’t sing and after a couple of parts in school plays realised I didn’t like acting. I should have realised much sooner than age 60 that I really could have made my name as an author.
At school I had no idea that there was such a career as “salesperson” , and if I had, back then, I would not have had the confidence to do sales. I barely had the confidence to stand in front of a class of children unless they were under 10 years old, which is why I went to college to train as a primary school teacher.
At college I re-invented myself. With a new group of people I could leave behind the prejudices of girls who had known me since I was 8 years old. I also found that although I liked teaching I didn’t want to be a school teacher, the classroom was too restrictive and I had always been a bit of a rebel. At 21 years old and newly joined the staff in an infants’ school I always carried a yo-yo and played with it in front of the pupils.
A job as an area organiser for a national charity gave me the freedom and scope to do things my way and put me working alongside people like the Director of Education for Liverpool as an equal which boosted my self esteem and my confidence. Circumstances forced me into a conventional office job for a Government department where I spent eight years a s a square peg in a round hole (they didn’t like you being free spirited or different there!) until I discovered ….
Those ubiquitous plastic boxes showed me my future, because when I attended parties to buy them for my kitchen I was watching the demonstrator thinking “I could do that.”
So I did. For 12 years. And I learned from some of the best sales and self development training around at the time.
The demise of the Tupperware company in the late 90s led me to join other Direct Sales / Party Plan and Network Marketing businesses with varying success. The Party Plan system was failing and MLM was in its infancy – no Eric Worre then. Amway had a very restrictive philosophy and expensive products. Forever Living had expensive products and people were not yet so aware of the need to take charge of their own health with holistics, and Utility Warehouse was in its infancy as Telecom Plus and I didn’t really ‘get’ it.
So I went on the road selling the de-regulated gas door to door.
Because I was good at what I did, because I was concerned that the customer was happy, because I am an ethical salesperson I didn’t get as many sign ups as the blokes doing it alongside me…but I didn’t get any cancellations either. The industry was getting a bad rap because of the unethical tactics of most of the door to door salespeople so I moved to a market research company and went door to door doing that. Boy, were laptop computers heavy in those days!
Eventually I went back to an office with a chair and a desk … and heating! I used my sales skills to great advantage in customer service for a financial company.
In four years there I never had a rude customer. Lucky? Or my attitude and the way I answered the calls?
Being desk-bound got boring and although I got the company to send me to Mumbai for four weeks to help in their call centre there, self employment beckoned again.
- Holistic Therapist
- Reiki Master
- Equine Assisted Therapy Facilitator
- Author! I finally wrote that novel.
- And another self employed free lance job with a customer service / sales aspect, an agent for a company that gives small cash loans that I collected weekly payments for…door to door. I do love being outside.
In 43 years working I have seen and done and learned a lot!
I never had a career and I never got a pension so at 64 I am still working. But working smarter not harder.
Follow me to see how I am doing that, and how I can help you do the same.