First, I’m sure that you’ve gathered that I’m a dad. My name is Akin Smith, and I run The Aloe Shop as a sole trader business. I am married with 3 wonderful boys. We have lived in Oxfordshire for the past 11 years. My wife and I met in medical school, and went from mere acquaintances to friends, and then…Sometimes I think I went to med school to meet her because I changed careers not long after graduating.
I started The Aloe Shop in September 2009 after almost 2 years as a full-time carer for my mother who was diagnosed with Dementia in 2007. My mother’s illness has had a pretty devastating effect on me, and I knew that I had to leave my job as a manager at Fujitsu in November 2007 in order to give her the care she deserves, being an only child and she being 82 then.
The Aloe Shop was not my first business idea since leaving full-time employment. I tried to launch an IT business but failed completely. Late in July 2009, at my wit’s end, and yearning to do something to get myself out the rut, as well as ease the great financial pressure we were under, I began to consider other options; and prayed much! About a week later, a friend of mine told me about Forever Living Products, and seeing the scepticism etched on my face, he encouraged me to watch a DVD which had some more information about the business. I promised to watch it out of respect for my friend, and the rest as they say is history.
I was impressed by the personal stories on the DVD, but remained highly sceptical. I researched the company using Google, as well as by visiting the websites and I must say I was impressed; but still had my doubts. As the company makes aloe vera based health products, I researched aloe vera as well, and became absolutely intrigued! I knew a bit about aloe before this time, but I was amazed at the number of health benefits people reported and attributed to their use of aloe vera. This sparked off a huge interest in me as I’ve always been interested in peoples wellbeing. By now all doubt and scepticism about the viability and profitability of the business, as well as the integrity of FLP was gone.
After some more prayer to be sure that I really want to do this, I signed up early in September. I have found the business highly rewarding but also challenging. The main reward I am getting right now (it’s just been 3 months) is the personal development particularly with respect to social interaction. Working in my business has brought me head on with what had been a limiting factor in several areas of life, for many years. It is turning me inside out, so that I am becoming more sociable than I have been in the past. It is a people business, and I love helping people – I believe that life is about helping others, and my business is a great vehicle for achieving this while making a living. I am at an early stage, but I can see the foundation for a great financially empowering, people helping (seems contradictory, doesn’t it?) income generator being laid, and that is extremely satisfying. The amazing thing about network marketing is this: if you find an absolutely great product that actually benefits peoples, and a great marketing plan, then you’re on to a definite winner. The products and the marketing business help people, usually the same people; and that is simply fantastic.
It has been challenging because it is taking me out of my comfort zone, which is never easy. For years I have enjoyed being among and interacting with people – but curiously did not realise this until recently. And unfortunately I had developed the habit of isolating myself, with a tendency to becoming a hermit! Also in my professional life, I have always gotten by only interacting with people on a need to basis. Over the years, I also have suffered from recurrent depression, which probably may be the root of my tendency to isolate. Now my business draws me out of myself, and I am enjoying the transformation I am going through, the personal development, and the new skills I am gaining. My business development has not been as rapid as it could have been because of this learning phase I’m in. I’ve watched other more instinctively outgoing people do more in the same time. But I am motivated by a desire for financial independence, which I know I can achieve though my business; and the desire to provide something of real benefit to people via the amazing products and or the business opportunity.
Starting in the business costs very little, under £200 for the start-up pack which consists of a selection of products and essential literature, manuals and some paper-work. It is a simple business to operate, being based on a tried and tested marketing plan; but there is tremendous support available from colleagues in the business. There is a fantastic culture of generosity within the community, and it is a community of Independent Distributors. There are people from all works of life – company directors, senior managers, doctors, accountants, city traders, therapists, beauticians, home makers, retired people wanting more out of life etc.
The business is totally flexible – you get out what you put in; each Independent Distributor decides what their goals are, what the time scales are, and in their business planning, what needs to be done to achieve them. All is done with the support of more experienced colleagues, although one could be entirely solo if one wished to be. So while many people work this business part-time to pay off their mortgage earlier, make ends meet, get out of debt, boost the pension pot, etc; equally many also work full-time. Some actually went full-time when they were making more from their part-time business than from their full-time job.
For me, another huge benefit is how my business fits around my family and church life rather than taking the central place. I can still be there for my mother, do the school runs, be a husband and father; as well as do all the things I’ve always wanted to for God, while making a living. It is ultimate flexible self-employment.
Network marketing can offer a great opportunity to build a very profitable business, but the company one markets for is absolutely crucial. Forever Living make it their business to be the world leader in aloe vera products ensuring that my customers get premium quality goods at a reasonable price. The manufacturing process is impeccable, and open for any distributor to inspect. I am keen to attract people who want a flexible home-based profitable full-time or part-time recession-proof business of their own to the FLP business opportunity. It is one of the best business opportunities available. And anyone can do it, with the right level of motivation. Encouragement, ideas and other kinds of support without pressure will never be in short supply. Anyone coming in will be in a team of people like them, who want to help them achieve their goals at the pace they want to go.
Anyone interested in finding out more can contact me via email or phone: E firstname.lastname@example.org | T 01993 850880 | M 07970 435645