Being a working parent is hard. There is the balancing of work and home life, the juggling of meetings and child care, the parent guilt for not seeing the children enough and the professional guilt of not staying at work. So what do people do? Well apart form getting ridiculously stressed out it lots of people go in search of that work life balance, the answer to being a working parent, the job that fits around the kids and pays enough to keep a roof over your head and food in your belly, maybe even enough for a few extras like holidays.
I am no exception. I had this dream. I was presented with the answer – become a forever living rep. I signed up, my life was about to change………….but not for the better.
Now, before I go on I feel it is important to make it clear that this is my truth about forever living. This is my story, my experience and my advice to others but it might not be every bodies experience.
Firstly, I was approached by an old school friend, a polite message out of the blue saying she had a great new job and was I interested. No I wasn’t. Some months later a family member joined and raved about it and even offered me products to try for free, which I loved. She asked if I wanted to join her team, said I would be great at it and could earn loads of money just like she does at the school gates by simply chatting to other parents. I was interested but she was new to this so I went back to old friend who had messaged again and asked for some more info. I was given links to videos watch and then she answered questions and I told her I was thinking of joining along a family member.
The first warning sign that I missed
This information was not received well, I was told family should not have tried to recruit me because I had watched the video via her and therefore if I was to join it would be highly unethical to go with family now. I explained she lives closer, a good 80 miles closer, so this might be easier for me. No, I was told that wasn’t the issue, I should join the team further away, they were more experienced and most importantly I watched the video through them. She offered extra incentives and it sounded to good to be true (second warning sign I missed), so I joined. When I told the family member I joined she too was upset with me and I couldn’t figure out why everyone was so mad, it was the same company and I was about to turn my life around just like them, surely they should be happy for me?
Why were they so mad?
Well, what both had neglected to tell me and I never thought to ask was that by signing me up they earnt a lump sum bonus AND commission off everything I earnt in the future. Plus the more people they got to join the more chance they had of getting a promotion. Made perfect sense now and I felt guilty about going with a friend over family but when I asked if I could swap teams I was told no, so here I was.
Well, once I signed up and parted with about £200 I was sent some products. Products that I can honestly say I do like and some I still use now. I was also sent copies of what was expected of me and how I could earn all this money they had been talking about and win all the holidays and designer bags I had been told of. So off I went with my bag of goodies, organising house parties to show them to friends, setting up a selling page lending out my products.
I got a few sales. Made a couple of quid. But I didn’t meet the target, the target I was told was easy to meet. I asked for support and was invited to meetings but I couldn’t make them because they were over 80 miles away.
I managed to get a few regular customers but it wasn’t enough to make any real money and I still never hit the 4cc target and was told to try harder. I was given support over facebook and was told to try and build my team. I was told to message everyone on my facebook list, to find a way in and message them. Did they have a wedding coming up and need cash? Use that. Did they have a back problem and should try a product? Had they just been made redundant? Go with that.
I felt like I had been told to stalk my friends, colleagues, acquaintances, anyone I knew. I was going to be looking for the trauma in their life and pouncing like a predator over an injured deer. I couldn’t do it. The messages sounded fake because they were, how could I fake interest in a friends redundancy who I haven’t spoken to in 5 years without it sounding odd at best, vile at worse? Then I realised, she had never wanted to get back n touch with me, the messages she sent me were all a ploy to get me hooked and to be fair it had worked a treat, I had never noticed I was being played. Its like a drug for the guilty parent, each sale making you crave the next.
When this didn’t work and my team didn’t grow because I simply wouldn’t message people any more I was told to try the general public. I am not kidding you, I was advised to stand in town centres and approach people and ask if they wanted a job, a job that would change their world for the better. How could I sell that when 6 months in I had still never hit the target, spent all my time worrying about sales and only had a few regular customers. It was lies, all of it.
I wouldn’t, couldn’t and didn’t do it.
I was also told to use the products myself as this would make it more natural to discuss. The shampoo was £20, the conditioner the same. In what mad world could a part time teacher looking to earn extra cash afford such over priced products. I was told to buy all the new stock so people could try it, for free. The out goings went up and up and so did my embarrassment, shame and realisation that this would never work.
I stopped talking to my friends about the products, I felt I was harassing them. I knew I had regulars who wanted a certain product and carried on with that but I couldn’t bring myself to mention anything else, it all sounded so fake. These were my friends and I was avoiding seeing them out of fear they thought I would try and sell them something.
I wanted more support but nothing was given. Why? Because I was too far away and I wasn’t making them any money. If they had time to support people it was those that were close to signing others up, it was those that were nearly hitting the incentives and making money. Not a newbie no hoper who wasn’t making them any money.
There were insane incentives to encourage you, trips to new York, handbags, cash, all up for grabs if you could sell so many of a certain product, get so many new recruits, but unless you knew how to sell and had zero shame you never stood a chance.
Oh and as for the work life balance, forget it. If you aren’t sending messages, stalking people o facebook or delivering your products to others to use for free then you will be at training events, meetings, completing online courses, hosting parties online and off or attending online sessions for guest speakers and encouragement.
I eventually managed to make back the money I spent but made the decision to stop. I decided to tell my manager the next time she messaged me, that was a year ago and I’m still waiting for anyone to notice!
Forever living offer some lovely products but they are over priced because from one order numerous people need to take a cut. As a business it is cut throat. If you are ruthless and happy to infiltrate the lives of everyone you have ever met and those you are yet to meet with fake promises and lies then go ahead and sign up and I wish you the best of luck, just don’t be surprised if your mates get fed up of you.