I said the blog was back – and so I had to go and do something to write about…
In fact, there was more to it than that. If you’ve been keeping up, you will know that I have bought a boat and very soon I will be off on my big adventure – doing what I have wanted to do since the age of eleven. However, I have spent the past few days working out the money and, to put it mildly, it’s a bit tight.
I know that after more than a decade in Network Marketing, I should give the impression that I am stinking rich and can afford to go off and do whatever I like. The trouble is that if I did that, my family would probably complain – after all they are quite content with their lifestyle. I can make a case for saying that the two oldest children have, technically, left home, but the arithmetic still doesn’t look too encouraging.
Make no mistake: Network marketing income is still our biggest source of income. In fact the monthly payment from just the Utility company is more than my three pensions combined – and it took 50 years to build those up.
So for the last month or so, I have been casting around for what I might do to fill the gap. Twenty years ago, I wrote for the Daily Telegraph and so I’ve suggested I might do so again. But I’ve heard nothing and, in retrospect, there is nothing I want less than to be obliged to write something if I don’t feel like it. I’m supposed to be retired, for Heaven’s sake…
If I want to boost my passive income, I want to do it in a way which is as close to being passive as possible. In other words, I do not want to be chasing up with prospects. I certainly do not plan to be unloading my folding bike and riding miles to appointments.
I have already decided that I will try my hand at busking – and will have a sign advertising my blog (where people can learn about my health business and the utility business – and even how to invest profitably in crypto-currencies like Bitcoin). The blog, by the way is www.oldmansailing.com if you haven’t discovered it.
And, of course there are links to my books which sell steadily, if spectacularly, on Amazon.
…and I quite like talking to total strangers (all to do with ADHD).
So, today, I printed off some forms and had another go. I am rather pleased to report that I slipped back into it as if I’d never stopped. The only difference was that I wasn’t trying to make an appointment. If someone was interested, I offered them to send them some information by email.
If they weren’t I’m sending them an email thanking them for their time, assuring them that I have not added their details to any database and that they will not be hearing from me again (but it just so happens that my standard signature contains a plug for my novel … oh, all right then, here’s the link…
This is for Mark. Mark complains that I haven’t written this blog for a while. He says Network Marketers like to see that the Prize Draw in the street is still working. However, it’s a little difficult at the moment because I’m in Starbucks at Kuala Lumpur airport waiting for a connection to Auckland where my grown up son George is getting married to a lovely girl called Haley from Oregon – it’s going to be quite an international occasion and just at the moment I’m not thinking about Multi-Level Marketing.
The whole expedition been quite a rush because last week we were skiing in Alpe d’Huez which was booked a year ago and so with Hugo (the youngest at 14 and the only one not tied up with exams or a job), I dashed from Gatwick to Heathrow and we have just watched three films, eaten two meals and only got half way.
Do I really need someone saying “what about the blog?”
Well of course I do – because while in France I read Mail Men, the unauthorised history of the Daily Mail and it’s controversial editor Paul Dacre. I worked with Dacre pretty much consistently from 1979 through until I left newspapers in 1994.
Many of my old chums were interviewed for the book (and I’m pretty sure I recognise a few who insisted on hiding behind the author’s coy pseudonyms). Also, my Facebook page is alive with outraged comments about who was left out.
So the old hack’s urge to write something – anything – has surfaced again.
So this is about Sally (we’ll call her “Sally” – you’ll see why in a moment).
There we were; six of us at Gatwick in time for lunch and the vote was for Nando’s. Everyone voted for Nando’s except Tamsin – and wouldn’t you just know it but she got a leg instead of a breast which is tiny by comparison so that had to go back – which if you know anything about Nando’s means joining the queue at the counter all over again … or not, as I decided…
And that was how I met Sally. She was as rushed off her feet as the rest of the staff but she could see me holding this plate and the puny little chicken leg and she could see something was wrong. Now, she could have made me wait my turn. But no, she asked the person at the front of the queue to wait.
I knew there was going to be trouble: He was a belligerent-looking type who had been dividing his time between trying to stop his children fighting and pushing his way to the front.
But do you know what? Sally smiled and I can’t even remember what she said because it wasn’t even anything very special. It was just the smile – the body language… The whole, I don’t know, “people skill”…
But he just said: “Sure… OK…” as she took me to the end of the counter and swapped the leg for a breast.
“My God, you’re good with people,” I told her. “How’d you do that? I thought he was going to bite your head off!”
She flashed that smile again. “It’s a knack.” she said. “You have to learn it in this job.”
“Well, I’d like to see you in my business. I think you’d be brilliant. Have you ever thought of doing something part-time for some extra money – as long as it doesn’t interfere with your job of course…”
So, of course, she said what everyone says – which is: “What is it?”
And I did what every (seasoned) Network Marketer does – I made an excuse: “Look, my wife’s chicken is going to get cold. But I could give you a ring when we get back…”
And here was the really interesting thing: I didn’t have a pen and paper (I’d just got up from the table) and she didn’t have a pen and paper (because Nando’s is all digital) and that might have been the end of it.
But just as we were sitting over our empty plates and wondering about going to the departure gate, Sally came back with her name and contact details written on a scrap of paper. She was just finishing her shift but please would I get in touch when I got back?Well, now I’m back and so I will.
And the message for Mark and anyone else who follows this blog for the Prize Draw I the street: The message is that we don’t just do that. We do that as well as everything else – because in the end it’s all about talking to people – and there are a million ways of doing that