Do you need more income streams?
Sometimes we feel very uncomfortable talking about money in a Pilates setting. We want to help people, to follow our passion for the Method, to educate …but we still need to make our living. If the idea of adding an extra income stream to your Pilates business has ever crossed your mind then this interview is right for you.
Last week Lindsey Jackson has shared her amazing Pilates cueing techniques but this week I’ve asked her to talk a little about her second income stream. Don’t forget to ask your questions in the comments below.
1. Lindsey, why did you decide to start a new business to complement your Pilates practice? What were your initial plans for Forever Living?
In the back of my mind were three niggles….
- I always want to love what I do and never want to walk into class feeling like I ‘have’ to be there…. or that it’s just a means to an end. I think teaching is so much about giving, connecting with the other people and helping them reach their potential… that it can’t be done by routine. You have to be fully ‘present’. So an extra income stream would mean I could relax about how long I would teach Pilates for.
- What if I can’t teach one day? We rely so much on our energy, physical function and health…. what if?
- Ceiling of my earning potential. There are only so many classes I’d want to teach in a week. I’ve diversified before and it paid off big style! I’ve made 4 DVD’s and know that this can be a good source of passive income when I’m not in the room. But DVD’s have a shelf life. Looking ahead at life’s costs of college for my children, helping them on the very expensive housing ladder AND having time off to travel and contribute back to the world all matter to me. I don’t want to retire and do nothing. I want to gracefully reduce work and compliment life with a richness of other things. I’d like this to be the right side of 60 too…… A complementary income seemed like the obvious answer.
2. What made you choose Forever Living among many other business options?
My values. It’s important to me to make a difference in the world and health is a vital part of this. I was impressed with the range and quality of health products… and whilst the business concept was new to me I was delighted at the idea of helping others with the products. The synergy with Pilates / yoga / wellbeing was so obvious to me.
The other appealing aspect of Forever, is that there is virtually no risk. I didn’t need capital. I could build a great income by investing a bit of time up front, rather than invest in a studio and have all the capital costs and operational issues that a premises and staffing brings.
3. What was the most difficult thing when starting Forever Business?
Gosh, for me overcoming the fear of ‘selling’ and how I would be seen. I had to learn to place less importance on others’ view of me. Other people don’t pay your bills or create your dream life. I had to learn to build my belief in the products (the quality is amazing and they can really help people… but of course I didn’t know that to begin with!). And I had to realize that I was recommending the right things to help someone; that successful sales are based on integrity and sincerity. It was later on I learned that the retail part of the business is only about 10% of what we do. But to start with it felt a huge issue to get my head around!! Not everyone is like me of course!
4. What surprised you the most when you started working with Forever business?
What really struck me was that I had stumbled across a world that I never even knew existed. I had started my previous career in a corporate world, where blame and a lack of trust were rife. This was SO different. The Forever head office staff and others I met in Forever were surprisingly ‘normal’ everyday, kind and helpful people. There wasn’t a ‘blame’ culture and we were recognized for doing our best and taking small steps. It really was surreal to begin with!
5. How does your Pilates teaching practice benefit from the Forever business?
Wow, well there are two main benefits.
- Wellbeing benefit. Firstly the products mean my energy is high, my focus is good and my recovery is excellent. My digestion is better, which given we are all about core work is helpful (I don’t get bloated any more)! I’m never poorly so don’t have to worry about cover for classes or missing anything.
- Financial stability. The second benefit is that my Forever business alone brings in nearly 4 times my Pilates business. There is no ceiling to what I can earn… so as it continues to increase I feel secure. It means my Pilates practice and teaching is fresh, lacking pressure or urgency. It allows my Pilates to be a passion not a business, if that makes sense? I have time to explore, play, try new things, take risks, attend workshops. I have more flexibility of time and not just body!
6. Can you share with us your personal Forever story? (your accomplishments, how long it took you etc.) And how were you able to help other Pilates(fitness) teachers find more freedom through this business model?
So, it all began 8 years ago. A client in one of my classes asked me if I was interested in hearing about this business. It was at a time when I’d been thinking of setting up a studio. I’d nearly committed to a huge investment in a property (to rent) and then the banks crashed (back in 2008). The studio idea felt wrong and very uncertain… so I had pulled away from those plans and was just back to teaching at home and in halls.
I suppose I wasn’t really looking for Forever, but Forever found me. I am the sort of person who believes things come along for a reason so I didn’t ignore it. My client had been shown it….. but it wasn’t the right time for her. I saw it was low risk (compared to my studio idea) and a real ‘no brainer’ for just a bit of extra money each month.
My journey started cautiously! I used the products, built my belief in them and then started to recommend them to clients. Those with RA did brilliantly. Then some with IBS.. and joint issues. I collected some amazing product stories. I could see the results of the customers – and they could feel them. My own energy increased and I felt good. Gradually I learned how to share the business (my sponsor taught me) and within 8 months I had climbed the ‘marketing plan ladder’ to ‘Manager’. Basically that promotion was the turning point. It brought in over £1000 per month part time at this stage… which gave me choices and freedom I hadn’t had a few months earlier.
Now I had learned what it took… so I was able to share that with my team and support others to the manager position. We have gone on to support thousands in our wider team, internationally. We have set up webinars, recorded trainings and support pages on Facebook that anyone can tap into and go faster than ever we did. That means we support teams in Mexico, the USA, Australia, Ireland, Spain, Dubai – all over! Our promotions continued and opened up larger bonuses and all the incentives the company has to offer.
With a family or 4, travel is a costly luxury. But qualifying for Forever trips (that we have all been able to go on), like to Hawaii, Phoenix, Budapest, Singapore, London and South Africa, has enabled traveling the world at no cost to us. I have to pinch myself. We’ve qualified for the annual Chairman’s Bonus 5 times now and the check just keeps getting bigger. We’ve been able to move house, privately educate our kids, buy a 2nd property in the beautiful Lake District in the UK, take time off.
From a Pilates point of view… I have reduced my teaching to 6 classes a week (from over 12) and can say no to work I don’t fancy.. and yes to personal development and courses. I work any hours I want. I’m there for my children when they go to school and come home. I take 5 weeks off in the summer. In fact just typing this is making me realize how far I’ve come. Excitingly the business is WILLABLE, so I know my kids are already secure when I pass away….. it is just so truly liberating. In the meantime I’ll be giving to charity and seeing how else I can make a difference. My lifestyle is very different to my old health service management days! Boy was that stressful.
My goal is to share what lots of people don’t know….that with some effort and focus for 3-5 years (even part time 10-15 hours per week) you can change your life and the life of those around you, FOREVER! I get a real kick from supporting others improve their lives… and more importantly helping them to create a financial safety net. For some it might be that they want to give up teaching at some point… or they might have to. For others, it’s about a complementary world of health and vitality that fits so beautifully with yoga, Pilates and fitness teachers and therapists.
7. What are some of the successful techniques of incorporating Forever Living business into a Pilates teaching practice? (marketing ideas, how to approach clients.)
My advice for the retail side of the business is easy. Keep it low key and build on your relationships. I don’t know any Pilates teachers who don’t want to help their clients. For me, I believe ‘big’ announcements and pressure don’t work. Clients need to feel we are genuinely adding value to our Pilates / yoga classes. But this needs to be tailored to each individual. It’s not a one size fits all kind of thing. I also encourage my team to educate and inspire their clients. So I like to send out intermittent newsletters, up to date nutritional ideas, links to other local businesses / therapists that might help them. We have produced some newsletters and systems that can be duplicated for our team to copy / adapt. It really is pretty much all ready. Having said that, those with bright ideas of their own can teach me a thing or two also. I’m also up for new things and sharing good ideas.
Many of your customers will become team members, the products really see to that… and everyone ends up sharing them and referring their friends. It’s like a good class, book or film… word gets out!
But within your Pilates / yoga / fitness business .. the business opportunity will also appeal to many. Some of my class members ‘appear’ to have high flying jobs or great holidays and cars. But I’ve learned not to judge. In the past I made the mistake of assuming they wouldn’t be interested in the business opportunity – and then when I show them it turns out they are either bored, debt ridden or simply tired of the rat race. I’ve now got 4 of my best team members from my class clients.
Top tips for class: always have an MSM gel, heat lotion and propolis cream in your work bag. Always carry a couple of product brochures and samples. These can help most people and it’s nice to ‘give’ them something.
Stay open minded. Come from a place of sincerity and relax about what you have to offer. No it won’t be for everyone, but everyone will be willing to help you if you approach it right.
8. What products do you personally like and use the most? What products do your Pilates students find most beneficial?
I drink the aloe gel every day. I now have the immune system of an ox, my digestion is easy and energy great. My skin and hair and nails seem pretty good to me…. so I’m sticking with it! I like the one with joint supplements in because I run our dog and want my joints to be happy.
I also love the toothgel (I’ve saved a fortune on not having to get my teeth polished) and the hair products (I used to have a dry scalp). Mind you, I love the protein shakes and drink those every day and take them to class to sip too. It’s hard to pick just a few. I use over 150 per week in day to day family life. They last ages too.
Clients are the same to be honest. What do I recommend most? The drinking gel, the topical creams for skin, the MSM aloe gel (for natural pain relief) and the heat lotion (for sore muscles). More recently I’ve held a Fizz and Flawless night and we’ve all had a good play with the high quality mineral make up. That has led to a good number of make up / skin care clients. And why not? We all want to look our best.
Check out more product ideas in the online store – click here.
9. What does it take to join Forever Living? (how much does it cost, how much time do you need to devote to it, what does it take to maintain the business?)
The cost of joining our team is tiny in my view. The opportunity far outweighs the start up products. Of course the company want you to invest in yourself… (they don’t need our money so you just buy a box of products to try for yourself). We buy a few products for ourselves to begin with, by way of trialing them and building our own belief and experience. It’s slightly different in different countries. In the UK it’s just under £200. The USA is about $400… and the entry points vary around the world. We coach people to do the 9 day cleanse or hold an event or two / get sharing things and they make their initial investment back in just a short time. Where else can you start a limitless business for that small amount?
10. What is the biggest change that you have experienced in your life after starting the Forever Living Business?
Control. I’ve taken responsibility for my results. And I have control of my time. Every day I’m looking at the boss of my life. And this boss is kind, always learning and keen. The biggest change is that I believe so deeply that I can achieve a lifestyle beyond my wildest dreams and contribute in a bigger way than I ever imagined. And I know I am prepared to make it a reality. The fact that I do this by helping others is just the most special feeling.
11. How can someone find out more from you?
That bit’s simple. Email me or call me. The next step is to share the information that will help you decide to take your life in a special direction. firstname.lastname@example.org or +447884315096. I hope I’ve inspired some of you to add value to what you already do… but also to give yourself the security you deserve. Just imagine what a difference we could make in the world together?
Lindsey has been teaching fitness for 28 years, Pilates for 18 and is qualified in yoga and sports massage. She is the producer of 4 Pilates DVD’s. ‘Pilates in Pregnancy’ was the world’s first Pilates DVD for pregnant women and is physio approved. Subsequently she produced ‘Pilates for Mums’, ‘Pilates Essentials’ and ‘Pilates for Men’. She is a Master Practitioner in NLP and a business coach in her growing health and wellness company, where she supports other like minded individuals to create a residual income alongside their current jobs. She is married, has 2 boys and a cute labradoodle. Connect with Lindsey through her Facebook Page or her Business Page