Today marks 6 years since I made the decision to join Usborne and what a crazy adventure it has been.
On the 29th of September 2014, I woke up to a message from a friend saying she was having a coffee morning that day and would have some Usborne books on display. As it happened, I had been meaning to pick up a copy of the ‘What’s happening to me’ book as my son was getting to that age where his penis was about to become more interesting to him, and after all a coffee morning meant there would be cake so I thought I had nothing to lose by popping along.
What happened next wasn’t really part of the plan, instead of purchasing the one book I needed I made a whole list of books I wanted, I then realised that joining may actually be the better value option for me (I had worked for a similar company in the past so knew how these things worked). I decided at £38 for the kit (it’s £48 now) and then to be able to order the books I wanted myself discounted that this was my best option.
I’m not doing it as a business!
Haha, so here it the thing! I joined just for these books, we are book worms in our house so I was more than happy to stack the shelves with more of them but as I previously mentioned I had done a business like this before and that hadn’t ended too well so I wasn’t about to jump into another one.
One incentive, two incentives…. more!
Okay… so, maybe I got that a little wrong. I didn’t want a business but there is one condition with Usborne and that is that you must place an order with a retail value of £120 in your first 12 weeks and my own order didn’t come to that so I decided to have my own coffee morning, another excuse for cake is always a win.
I was a little blown away at what came from that coffee morning, I took over £380 in sales and not just managed that first order but had also hit a new starter incentive earning me £50 worth of books that got sent out to me, I had started to get the book bug now!
Despite my protest of not doing this as a business I get added to a Facebook support group – yuk, I thought at the time, a group of cult people all going to tell me to sell, sell, sell. (imagine a hidey monkey face embedded here, I’m not a tech geek but I’m sure it’s actually possible to add that if I wasn’t so blonde).
Okay, as much as I hate to admit it I was very very wrong, the people in the group were lovely and very normal people, and being part of that community allowed to be exposed to new information, such as the fact that we can give schools up to 60% in free books! Yes, you read that right. If a school or nursery places an order for example lets day £1000 they actually get £1600 and even better if we offer them a sponsored reading scheme they don’t have to use their own budget at all. Now, this grabbed my attention, I was on the PTA at school, and getting new books into the school library sounded like an amazing idea… The catch? Well, it’s not really a catch bu to be able to work with schools you had to have placed 6 £120 orders, well as I was still only in my second week of joining I hadn’t yet done this but I’m a bit of a carrot person (as the story goes on you’ll probably pick up on this) so the challenge was set, I was going to do 6 orders, turns out it was the run-up to Christmas and it wasn’t that much of a challenge, I used social media to show off the books, I went out to Christmas fairs and ran online Sunday shopping markets from my bed.
I had soon hit those 6 orders, which also meant I had hit another new starter incentive and now had my kit price refunded and this business had cost me nothing! However, there was one more incentive I wasn’t even aware of and that was that I had earned a chunk of money off a ticket to attend the company gala. This is where lady luck really was on my side, you wee I was now 10 weeks pregnant with my 4th child, I was tired and the idea of a night away in a bed on my pwn sounded lush and the best bit… It was only 15 mins from my house!! This was the moment everything changed….
How a gala changed my life!!! (not even joking)
Sounds dramatic I know but I attended that gala purely for the night away, the 3 course dinner, the socialising with no children around and a break! I stilldidn;t want a business, even if these peopl were not cult crazy, I was busy, right? I had three children and a 4th on the way. I was working as a freelancer doing markign for a local company and doing an open uni degree why on earth would I want to add something else into the mix?
I changed my mind…
I added something esle into the mix…
And here is the readon why.
I sat at that event enjoying my food, being jealous that I couldn’t get drunk like everyone else (watching my upline team leader full asleep into her lamb dinner was most amusing though) and watching person after person go up on stage being rewarded for their achievements. I listened to their stories and I realised that most of them were just like me, they were Mum’s juggling life the best they could but making a decision to make life work for them, the make a change, and to better themselves and the lives of their family by putting in the work and making this a success. I had a new plan! Although never was that plan to one day end up on that stage sharing my own story. (spoiler).
What if I just try?
*Disclaimer – I now hate the word ‘try’ I go a bit Yoda with the whole ‘do or do not, there is no try’. However back at this moment in time, this is what I told myself I would do, what I meant by try though was go all out and give it my best shot for a certain period of time and then reflect and see if this had legs for me or not.
The message I had taken away from the gala was that I needed to become a team leader as the first step of my plan, to be honest, I’m not sure I knew what the next bit was but this bit I knew was first so that’s what I went for. I found out I needed at least 4 team members and team sales of £1500 (that’s now £1800), by a weird twist of events I already had 2 team members as although I wasn’t doing this as a business, I had used social media to tell people what I could offer to get those 6 orders done and a couple of people had contacted me saying they want to sell the books and could they join me, I mean I wasn’t going to say no to that. It also suddenly became very handy to have two people already contributing to the £1500. I rolled up my sleeves (metaphorically, I never actually wear anything with sleeves (hate them)) and got to work! or the thrust was I took the kids into school, made a cuppa, and then hit social media to tell the world about this opportunity. By the end of the month, I had a team of 9 people and we had smashed the target with £1754.25!! I was winning at life!
Then I got a bit stuck!
It had all been going so well, right? Well yeah, it kinda had. I’d breezed through really and was having a great time starting to earn more and working with my little team. My promotion had got me into the business development program, sounds fancy, doesn’t it? This meant I was not all big and important and got to go along to a leadership academy in June and despite it being 6 days before my due date this was an amazing event, it also meant I had things such as free postage, leads, and a free website.
However, as great as all of these things, there was something I had failed to do, I had failed to put together the rest of the plan! I had got so focused on the fact that I needed to be a leader that I had lost sight of everything else and I found myself in a cycle of getting to the end of each month in a desperate panic to hit the £1500 target I needed.
Yup! This was now me! stuck in a cycle of limitation! I hadn’t got a vision, I didn’t know what I was working towards and had trapped myself in a way of working to hit a certain target each month as that was the goal…. I just did know why!