Forever Living has been providing a flexible business opportunity to people around the world for 40 years and women in particular have recognised the benefits it can offer as an alternative to the traditional work environment with its gender pay gap, glass ceilings on promotion and lack of flexibility around family emergencies such as a sick child.
Mum of three, Natalie Valenti from Glasgow was working as a yoga teacher when she decided to start retailing Forever’s aloe vera products around her teaching and family life. Initially she was looking to make an additional income of £200 a month. Five years on Natalie now has the largest business in Scotland. What is perhaps most remarkable is how she has grown her business organically without the need to compromise her family time. As Natalie says, "I have always felt the need to pursue work that I am passionate about. I loved teaching yoga but it was not great for paying the bills. My husband is of the same ilk following his passion as a musician. When the opportunity arose to make an additional £200 a month I jumped straight in as that amount of money made a difference to us.
"I fell in love with the products and so it felt very natural to me to start a business. I am just a normal person, I do not possess any magical qualities, I simply decided to share my passion for the products with integrity and in taking this approach I built a very solid retail business. I think when you are doing something you enjoy people are intrigued by that. So many are working in jobs they hate that the prospect of doing something that is fun, without targets, is very appealing. I found that people wanted to work alongside me and also found that I was naturally good at building a team. There have been challenges along the way of course; training others has taken me out of my comfort zone and I was definitely sweating when I hosted my first training! Certainly my experience is that more and more people are looking for a way of working that doesn't compromise other areas of their lives, especially family time. Forever provides exactly this."
Do you have what it takes to be successful in Forever?
Bob Parker, Forever Living’s UK country manager says, ‘I genuinely believe that anyone can succeed in Forever. We offer an opportunity to be in business for yourself but not by yourself under the umbrella of a global brand. There’s a huge amount of support at every stage covering both product and business skills trainings. People start a businesses with Forever for a host of reasons – yes of course to make money, but equally important to many is the recognition that comes as you progress – we have a culture within Forever which places a lot of emphasis on celebrating success and recognising achievement; sadly something that is lacking for many in today’s workplace.
In my experience I’ve found that those who thrive share many common traits these include:
Desire – it may sound obvious but if you’re working a business around your existing commitments you have to genuinely want to do it. Why do you want to start your own business? What is your motivation? What will it give you that you don’t currently have? Time? Money? Freedom? Financial Security? It could be some or all of these. To succeed you need to be clear on your ‘why’ as this emotional connection fuels your desire.
Belief – it’s important that you think that you can succeed. A positive ‘can-do’ mindset is essential.
Being open to learning and doing things differently. Not everyone is open to moving outside their comfort zone and learning new skills. In building a business with Forever there is a huge amount of personal development that takes place, in particular, an increase in confidence. . Those who are most successful are open to learning and sharing and always see themselves as ‘a work in progress’.
Commitment – those who are successful have what I call ‘stickability’ even if they have a set-back they will handle it, learn from it and move on.
Good communicators. You have to genuinely enjoy talking to people in this business – again this is a skill that can be learned; this has extended beyond verbal conversations, increasingly I’m seeing people developing their businesses by engaging through social media, particularly Facebook.
Work ethic – as in any business it takes work, Forever is no different. There isn’t a magic bullet the difference with a Forever business is that the potential rewards are significantly greater and that the freedom and flexibility that many achieve can be accessed in a relatively short time frame compared with conventional employment.