After initially working her way up through the corporate executive ranks with Xerox, on to a senior government post in Toronto, Canada, then spending the past decade exploring the rollercoaster ride as an entrepreneur with Unicity International, she’s uniquely prepared to understand the demands Elizabeth, you are one of those people who are just on fire! To what do you attribute your enthusiasm? Isn’t it true that when you find your passion and your purpose it’s not work? I’ve just returned from a company convention in California and I’m pumped with the exciting news unveiled by Unicity International. Unicity is emerging as a giant in the network marketing industry and you have been with the company through many of its growing pains. What made you stay the course and not jump to another company? What a great question! You’re right, with all the mergers, acquisitions, buyouts and new owners these past 6 years, chaos has reigned. NULL My ability to adapt to an ever changing and unknown business climate has been really strengthened! Through all of this, not only have we survived but become more successful, and built such a strong foundation which will carry us into our brilliant future! We have been the industry’s best kept secret that won’t be secret for long. As an example of the kind of innovative strategies, I don’t think there has ever been a case, especially for a company our size, where the number one distributor came into ownership. Stewart Hughes, our new CEO, is from the field and his story is quite remarkable.
To have the number one distributor become CEO and co-owner definitely brings a feeling of true collaboration and partnership between those in the corporate offices and those in the field.
I’ve certainly experienced the opposite and it was more difficult to get things done. With Stewart on board, more time is spent on finding solutions together not spending time just complaining about what isn’t quite right yet! How long have you been involved in network marketing? I started with Unicity International, in Toronto about 12 years ago. Like so many women, I came into the business as a happy product user. What were you doing when you were introduced to the product? I was in a very high stress executive job. At that time I was working in the Mayor’s office for the Toronto Regional Government, in Economic Development. I really was way too busy to take on something new. I did try the product because it was guaranteed to make you lose weight. And I found that it worked! It worked so well that it started creating product sales, because even though I never did it intentionally as a business at that time, I started having to carry the packs in the trunk of my car and I was constantly replenishing them. I would be at a dinner meeting and all the women would be grabbing me wanting to know what I had done to lose weight. So the first lesson I learned was be a product of the product. Really, in our business it’s about enjoying health.
I always believe in the philosophy, if it’s about health and nutrition, be a product of the product and do whatever it takes, so that you can enjoy, to the best of your ability, extraordinary health.
It certainly works a lot more easily in terms of being a postcard. I came in, I started on the products, I was very successful on the products, and then became successful just sharing that with people. So what was the incentive that turned your focus onto this being a real business? Well, I’ve always loved high performance cars. I had a 300 ZX which was getting really expensive to maintain. One day I received a letter stating I had qualified for a $500 car bonus. This was about 3 months after people started to see results from the weight loss products and buy. And I thought, “What!?” That was such a big surprise to me, to see something like that result from such little effort on my part. Then I thought, “I wonder what would happen if I actually put some effort into this and treated it more like a business?” And, as you’ve now learned, that’s a brilliant question! I’m curious, Elizabeth, you mentioned that other people had approached you about their product or opportunity over the years without much success on their part. How were you approached this time that made you open to trying those products in the first place? There was a wonderful couple, John and Sherri Busswood, out of Vancouver. They were top leaders with the company and John just kept in touch with me. He was terrific at follow up. So they just dripped on you over time? Yes! And this needs a bit of explanation here so I can share why the time was right for me.
Because I think it’s critical and points to the importance of building relationships over time so you know when things have changed for people.
I knew I wasn’t happy. Great job, great money, great benefits, but working such long hours that I had absolutely no time for balance— I just knew I was burning out. At the same time I knew I needed to have more. There was something missing, I think it was around having a sense of real meaning about what I did each and every day in terms of contribution and service. About 18 months after John and Sherri had first called me, I had them fax me a copy of their monthly check. I saw that and thought, “Oh my gosh! This is what they’re earning after only 18 months?” The check was just under $40,000. for that month! So I figured I better take a look and told them I wanted to try the products first. Now, as I said, I did not consciously choose network marketing, but I had such a great result with the product and found I felt good sharing it with others and then saw such a great result there, too, with that unexpected car bonus,
so I started looking at things differently.
And when people can see results, I find it so simple to succeed. And what can you say to those who aren’t, yet, seeing results, Elizabeth? It comes back to the whole idea of demonstrating commitment.
People care much more about the fact that you’re taking the steps necessary to make changes than having already reached the final goal.
I have had some people say, “Well, I can’t really get started in the business until I’ve lost thirty pounds myself, first.” And I say, “That’s not really true.”
I think that if people see you making lifestyle changes and getting really committed to doing that, they are very open to what you are doing.
We have a five-step to health program and the first two steps are all about hydrating , then walking. Those are two vital steps that will have immediate positive results in your life. You’re going to start having more energy, feel better, then look better. People will notice the difference in you —that’s what people care about. So the new understanding on my part is that there is no ‘magic bullet’ and any kind of life-changing habit has to come through a series of small steps first to get the ultimate result. Is it simply a result of your listening for people’s needs, that helps you decide whether to invite people to become customers or invite them to become business partners? In other words, you came into the business as a result of success with the products so I’m wondering if your focus is on that or if you focus primarily on potential business builders. I choose to support both customers and business partners the same way. Helping create their end result vision, supporting them in steadily taking simple daily steps and adjusting actions when necessary to bring them closer to reaching their ultimate vision. Putting people first! I have changed my approach depending on where we were as a company becau
se different talents are often required at different times of growth in the organization but I’ve never lost sight of one fact.
I have led with the business but I’m much more comfortable, and I’m more comfortable in educating and teaching my people, to lead with health first.
It’s a more natural way. I don’t know exactly where I got this or where I’ve studied it with network marketing in the past, but we have to think, if we’re going to be recognized as a professional business industry, we need to have a focus on customers.
I don’t know of any other business that is successful in business, without having loyal customers.
It’s something I’m really quite passionate about. If you haven’t got customers, and happy loyal customers, then where is the successful business?
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