Meet the family
I would like to tell you a little bit about myself. I live in Surrey in the United Kingdom. I am married to Liz and have two children (not really children anymore!), Alex and Beatrice.
The final member of the family was Luca who, although he didn’t think it, was a dog. Sadly, he passed away just before Christmas 2017. The worst thing about being a dog owner is when they go. Still, we gave him the most fantastic life and he rewarded us many times over. He will be forever missed and impossible to replace. Not that we wont give it a go! Standby for news of who might be trying to step into his paws!!
Why am I involved in developing an Internet Business in the Digital Economy?
Well, it is the only way I know to deliver the Lifestyle I want for my family. For me, that is what it is all about. In the past I have worked for various Companies and I have even had my own manufacturing business. On some levels working for others and even working for myself delivered a number of benefits but on other levels it fell woefully short. Like many people I was paying a high price for earning a living, simply trading time for money.
Not any more! I now have complete control of my life with total time freedom. This means I can plan my days around the family and friends and fit the running of my online business around them. A typical day involves walking the dog in the beautiful Surrey countryside and doing a few household chores.
Then I spend a few hours running my Business which I fit in around the rest of my life. Don’t get me wrong, it is my business and as such I take it seriously, you need to be professional and dedicated for it to work. However, if you are willing to learn and put in the effort it is very rewarding. One of things that worried me at the beginning was going it alone and missing the interaction with colleagues – I needn’t of. I am part of a group of like-minded positive individuals who genuinely want to share and help. This is not entirely selfless on their part as the reality is your success is their success and vice versa. Regularly getting together with these people is always productive and fun.
As I said, for me, it is all about lifestyle. My ambitions and financial targets are pretty modest. Liz has now also left the rat race and joined the business. So, we both get to enjoy greater time freedom and a better lifestyle now and into the future. Running our own business gives us that freedom.
If you have a few minutes perhaps you would like to read my short story about my journey towards becoming a Digital Marketing Professional and some of the lessons I learnt along the way.
I left school at 18 and went to work in Management for the then, British Airports Authority, subsequently BAA, at Heathrow Airport. The airport was a lively environment, the surge in demand for air travel meant it was constantly expanding and continually changing. In the 14 years I was there I had a number of roles and generally enjoyed my work. Indeed I met my wife, Liz, there. The work, whilst often interesting, could be frustrating. The frustrations stemmed mainly from the limitations of being ‘just an employee’ as well as having to commute daily, just as they do for many people. In 1992 I had the opportunity to take voluntary redundancy with a large cash lump sum and I thought this is the chance to take control and set up my own business.
My own business
I established my own greetings card publishing company, The ‘A Stream Limited’ based in Chesham, Buckinghamshire. I had a robust business plan and the start up capital to get going. Inevitably, things took longer to achieve than planned and there were endless set backs in production so, our first range was months behind schedule. However, it was launched and was a reasonable success. The slower start up meant the capital was gone and we needed extra cash until the money from the sales started to come in. I personally secured various loans to tide us over. At this point I was working harder than ever and not earning any money. Working for myself didn’t seem so great after all! Our next range went out, again behind schedule. It sold very well. However, cash flow was extremely tight and no further funding was available. Inevitably I started struggling to pay the bills. Painful as it was I was learning a lot along the way and got better at and more efficient at running the business. It meant the third range was out on time and with much lower production and finishing costs. This range would result in the Company breaking even and moving into profit further down the line. One of the big savings I made was outsourcing the finishing, packing and distribution of that third range. The printed cards were sent directly to a company in Aylesbury who, wrapped, packed and sent out the finished products.
DISASTER!! The company we were using went into liquidation shortly after the range was delivered to them. The appointed Administrators secured the site and everything on it. We could not deliver the new range and therefore not invoice for it and the cash flow stopped. Our own creditors, most of whom I had negotiated payments plans with, began to loose patience. At this point working for myself definitely seemed a bad idea!! The stress and anxiety was unbearable. Trying to keep the business afloat, negotiating with creditors, chasing debtors and begging the administrators to release our stock. This could have gone on for ages but ‘mercifully’ in a way it was brought to a head by our greedy landlord. He was one of our creditors but the least receptive to waiting for his money. He insisted on trying to get his money via the courts and forced my business into administration.
The most expensive training ever!
I had lost over £100,000 in that venture and been left with nothing and aged considerably! Bad as it seems I was relieved it was over. To this day I consider the whole experience as the most expensive training course I have ever had. The things I learnt about business, money and people were invaluable. You would think that would put me off running my own business, not at all, this was just one way not to do it.
Back on the Treadmill
I really needed to earn some money so went back to working for others. So, I got back on the treadmill. To begin with I managed a branch of Eurodollar, the car hire firm, in Cheam, Surrey. I then returned to Heathrow, working shifts, as a Duty Manager responsible an operation involving the security checking and cleaning of aircraft and the running several business lounges. I then went to work for Securitas managing Cash in Transit depot in Central London. After that I joined Securicor, first project managing a joint venture with Seeboard and then as a Regional Manager controlling Cash Centres across the UK.
My Own business – Second attempt!
That lot took me to 2004 by which time I was as fed up of the daily grind as ever. I started searching for opportunities to work for myself again.
I became a Herbalife distributor. I threw myself into it with real determination or at least that’s what I thought. I paid £2000 to get in above the start up level. It gave me the opportunity to earn much higher profits on the products sold. Setting up the business involved branding myself, advertising, producing marketing material and organising my own distribution- I established my own trading brand ‘Wellbeing Solutions’. The rationale was that the business revolved around peoples Wellbeing, physical, mental and financial. I was branding myself as being able help people find solutions to problems they may have in those areas.
I used the products myself and reached a level of health and fitness I had not had for years. I was selling products to people who wanted to become healthier. I had a large network of friends and relations who came on board. The idea was to build a team of distributors and commissions would flow from all sales in the down line. The reality was that you needed to reach a critical mass before that began to produce the desired financial results in the meantime you had to keep selling the products. You also had to keep using the products so there were on going costs.
Herbalife was a great opportunity and many people have been hugely successful with it. They have worked very hard and for a long time to earn their success. It simply was not for me, the repetitive ongoing nature of the system meant I got bored and demotivated.
Another Shiney object!
My next venture was in buy to let. I had accumulated some capital by now and decided to invest in off plan property. The idea was to buy at a discount and sell at a premium. Then reinvest the money back into property constantly building the value of the portfolio until two things happen. You can further expand borrowing against the growing capital value of the portfolio and at the same time the rents provide you with a reasonable income. As with many things timing is everything. I got in just as the recession was starting and prices started to slide. The one property I have left is still in negative equity and the rent doesn’t cover the mortgage!
Too difficult try another!
I then moved into online trading. Well, 2009! Need I say more, the banking crisis killed off any hope of learning the skills and turning it into a success.
Get real, get Focused
So, I started looking around for something else and I found it! The Digital Economy with my own Online Business. Working with people, helping them create their ideal lifestyle through digital learning. This business ticks all the boxes for me and it takes into account all the lessons I have learnt along the way.
The really good news for people like you is that there is no need to do what I did and spend years finding out the hard way that there is a much better way! Whatever your circumstances now you can learn all about the opportunities within the Digital Economy and begin your journey today.