Welcome to the latest catch up with Aly Mead from Silicon Bullet. One of my original interviewees from 2011, we caught up with her in August 2012 and again in September 2013. She had to skip a year for personal reasons in 2014 but came back in October 2015, and we were very glad to have her back. At that point, here’s what she wanted to be doing by now: “Keeping the work/life balance going is my aim for the next year. Working hard but taking breaks, too. I love building my network marketing team with Forever Living too: training and supporting team members doesn’t particularly feel like work, so I will be concentrating on growing this part of my business over the next 12 months”. Did she achieve this aim? Read on to find out!
Hello again, Aly! Are you where you thought you’d be when you looked forward a year ago?
I am in a good place at the moment, with a better work life balance and feeling quite content in life and work. We have a new policy in our life of trying to fill our time with more experiences and less ‘things’ which means more trips, making time to visit people, and trying to take more breaks from work. We got a puppy last year, which really takes both Paul and me away from our desks and let’s us out and about – and she is a gorgeous puppy, although I am biased!
My business is giving me the time and the finances to be able to follow this new lifestyle, and the bonus is I really enjoy what I do too.
What has changed and what has stayed the same?
I’m spending more time on my Forever Living business and less on my bookkeeping and accounts business. There is still a good mix of the two and I never turn an interesting job down for Bookkeeping Training, but I am not going out promoting that business so much anymore.
Paul’s work for Dublin has also continued this year, which has really stabilised our income.
I have welcomed some fantastic people to my Forever Living team from all over the UK, and increasingly from Eastern Europe all from my blog. I now have team members from Hungary, Poland and Romania as well as North Lanarkshire, Southampton, Dudley and North Humberside, amongst others, and a huge wide range of ages from early 20s to 70s. I love how the business suits people from so many backgrounds, men and women, and I thoroughly enjoy coaching and supporting my team members old and new.
What have you learned? What do you wish you’d known a year ago?
I’ve been at this business so long now that I feel very comfortable in what I do. What I need to remember is to always be willing to try new things, push boundaries, and be willing to go out of my comfort zone. Also with Forever it is so important not to make assumptions about people. Just be open and honest with any enquiries you get and let people make their own decisions on if they are interested. My best team members come from the least likely enquirers!
I have learned though that some people join Forever Living and don’t want to be coached. We have excellent resources available for new team members in the form of videos, training, and using Skype for mentoring sessions, but some people join and just want to do the business their own way, and approaches of support and help are rejected. I have had to learn that that’s OK – no one HAS to take up the support offered. I need to change my mindset to look on this as a positive, as it leaves me the time to help those that do want my support.
Any more hints and tips for people?
I now blog more with hints and tips which can help anyone in Network Marketing, not just Forever, so I suppose my tip is be open, honest and helpful and treat others how you would want to be treated, then you will find your business will grow and you will attract like-minded people.
BONUS NEW QUESTION: What question would YOU like to ask other small business owners?
Do you feel your business gets any benefit from using Twitter?
And … where do you see yourself and your business in a(nother) year’s time?
I’d be very happy in the next year to continue my trend from the last year. Primarily I’m looking for more people who are looking for something a bit different in life who might want a Forever Living business like my own, whether you just want to join and do it your own way, or if you need more hands-on coaching and support.
I have already booked some experiences for next year, like seeing Johnny Peacock in the Para Athletics in London next July. I plan to make sure I always have something great like that to look forward to!
What a great attitude to have, and it’s something I’m doing, too – we’ve been in business for a similar amount of time, and there’s a lot to be said for having the confidence and experience to be able to tailor your work so you get enough time to actually enjoy life – I managed to train for and complete my marathon this year by taking the same attitude. I love Aly’s tip about sharing your expertise – I’ve found my number of visitors on my website has grown again since I restarted blogging more frequently with free Word, business and transcription tips. It’s not giving your expertise away so much as sharing what you know to help other people, and getting known as a good person yourself. Long may this continue for both of us!
If you’ve enjoyed this interview, please see more small business chat, the index to all the interviewees, and information on how you can have your business featured (I have a full roster of interviewees now so am only taking on a very few new ones). If you’re considering setting up a new business or have recently done so, why not take a look at my books, all available now, in print and e-book formats, from a variety of sources.