I grew up on a council estate with my parents and two brothers. When my parents split up, I drifted between my mum and dad’s place and started to mix with the wrong crowd. None of us thought we had any future. I used to talk about what I wanted out of life, but everyone would tell me I had no chance because of where we lived. I hardly ever went to school and just hung around with my so-called friends. Something had to change!
Of course, for things to change, you have to change – so I did and my life started to get better. I left school at 16 with only 2 CSEs, but found myself a clerical job and then as a typing clerk. From there I progressed to the accountancy department and there I remained. Mark and I got married a year-and-a-half after we met and soon started a family. One after another, our first three children arrived and soon eating out three times a week and regular weekends away stopped altogether.
I didn’t go back to work, because childcare fees were too expensive and, luckily, Mark’s income was good allowing me to stay at home with the children. His income came with a price though and with his work being so demanding I spent a lot of time bringing up the children alone. Weekends were dominated by child-related activities and slowly our dreams had started to slip away.
As time went by, the impact of having three children, and one less income in the family, soon took its toll on the finances; credit cards paid for the holidays and everyday expenses meant there was no money left for us to treat the children.
Then a Kleeneze catalogue came through the door and after ordering a couple of times I decided to fill in the catalogue slip with my details and joined. Initially, I think Mark was concerned about me trying to balance my home life with my business, but came to understand that it was doing me good.
Mark then took a new role as a Director for a company in North Wales, so we relocated and for five months my catalogues were in storage. I started attending regular meetings, mixing with other distributors and came to a Showcase, which really changed the way I felt about the business. All of these meetings made me see the bigger picture. Even when our fourth child was born in 2010 I carried on the business from my hospital bed and when I got home, orders were waiting for me to be sorted and delivered. The business carried on…
Last September Mark had a light bulb moment! He came along with me to the Gala Dinner and was blown away by the positivity and washumbled by the success and recognition of the business. He told me how proud he was of my achievement in Kleeneze, which at that point was 15%, with a few team members. After we got home, Mark decided to join me in Kleeneze. This was after nearly four years of drip feeding him with CDs which he wouldn’t admit to me that he’d listened to – but I know he did!
We agreed to work as a team, and to make a plan for the Miami conference. So we took advice from our Upline, Peter and Myrna Wellock, and others in the group and started putting things into action. It was like a military operation, with school, child care for our 2½ year old, massive retail, with 5am starts 3 times a week, collecting ’til the dead of night and working with new people. The Miami DVD and Will Smith’s Miami CD blasting from my car every day, all helped to keep us focused!
This Kleeneze journey has helped Mark and I to dream together again and, yes, WE ARE GOING TO MIAMI!
Our next goals are to qualify as Bronze Executive and to take the family to Florida. This business can give you so much; more money, freedom, friendships, confidence and recognition to give us all a fantastic lifestyle that no job can.
By Vanessa Hodgkinson
Extracted from Team Talk September 2012