I keep getting messages asking me what’s going on and so, maybe it’s time for an update.
I am writing this from The Azores (the Portugese archipelago about a third of the way between Lisbon and New York) having sailed here from Barra in the Outer Hebrides. My wife and three of the children have flown out to join me for a week.
When they fly back on Thursday, I plan to sail from the island of Sao Miguel to Faial where I may just catch the end of their regatta week. Even if I miss it, the port of Horta is one of the great ocean crossroads and yet I’ve never been there (although my previous boat made it when being delivered back across the Atlantic by friends in 1988).
… all of which means that followers of this blog have been wondering what the devil is going on: One minute I’m doing my Prize Draw in the street every day and the next minute, I’m out here.
Well, the answer is that I’ve just had to accept that my usual Network Marketing activities just don’t suit this lifestyle – and if you can’t have the lifestyle you want, then what was the point of all those years of hard work in the first place?
The book “MLM, Network Marketing and the Secret of the Free Prize Draw” is still available on Amazon (see the tab above) but I have taken down the videos because I didn’t want them distracting people from the new one at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tf-uzDM-300
As you will see, that represents a Network Marketing business which I can operate remotely – that is, without physically meeting people, sitting on their sofas etc.
Best of all, the first company has agreed that I can promote the second as long as I make sure that their distributors only use the products of the second and don’t promote them.
It sounds complicated but it seems to be working. All I have to do is promote the blog – and find some way of getting the video onto it, which is proving a challenge at the moment.
They say that Network Marketing is all about making dreams come true and certainly the idea of living on a boat would still be a dream if it were not for this industry.
If you’re wondering why this blog has been silent for a while, it’s because I had some health challenges and decided that if I didn’t go ahead and make things happen, then quite probably, they never would.
So, I stopped work and bought a boat. At the foot of this column you will see a link all about that (it’s quite a story) but one way and another, here I am anchored in an Essex creek and if it was just me that I had to think about, I would be quite content to sit and watch the sunset. However, Number Two son finds that Liverpool University accommodation fees are over budget and Number One daughter is about to take her driving test for a second time and I can see even bigger insurance bills looming. One way and another, maybe I haven’t finished with work.
The Sailing blog, when you get to it, is designed to produce its own income but, I thought to myself: How can I carry on my Network Marketing business from the boat? After all, it is supposed to be the most flexible business…
So, as an experiment, once I had the anchor in the right place (second attempt), I sat down at the chart table, opened the laptop, connected to the hotspot on my phone and looked up tradesmen advertising on the internet and sent them text messages saying, I had just arrived in Walton on Naze and was looking for people who might be interested in earning some extra money. They would need to give up five hours a week and learn a new skill but there was good money in it…
I received seven replies. Three wanted to know more. I had a good chat with two of them and sent them all to check out the website and research the company thoroughly on Google.
Now, this is not ideal. Ideal is meeting for a cup of coffee and taking your prospect through your presentation step by step. But I don’t want to do that, do I? I would have to go ashore for one thing – and you can bet they would want to think about it and meet again next Thursday. I might not want to be here next Thursday…
I have no idea how successful this will be. But I do remember how I joined: Someone gave me a leaflet. I went away and researched it myself. A week later there was hardly anything I didn’t know about the company or its directors. Its market and its prospects. I made my decision without any help from my sponsor.
And considering I went on to rise to the top 0.2% of the company, it must be at least possible that there will be someone else like me out there. All they need is to be steered to the information.
I’ll let you know how I get on.
In the meantime, if you’re interested in the other side of the story, go to www.oldmansailing.com.
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…
You may have seen the post a few days ago: “The blog is back!”
And then nothing.
If, as I claim, I am still Network Marketing, then why wasn’t I out there in the street with my prize draw forms? Where are the statistics of how many people I spoke to? How many are looking at my opportunity or my products?
Well the truth is, I haven’t printed out the forms yet. If I’m setting off on my boat in April, (see www.oldmansailing.com) there is a lot to do. For instance, there is the roof of the house to fix.
We have a top floor bathroom where, during periods of heavy rain, there is a steady drip which – if allowed to continue indefinitely, will one day bring the house down. Over the years a succession of roofers and builders have come and shaken their heads at it over the years. All have offered wildly differing opinions (one said it wasn’t a leak at all, but condensation). Some wanted to spend thousands putting up scaffolding for Health and Safety.
And then there was Jim.
Jim is the name I shall give to the life-long roofer who came recommended by several members of our online neighbourhood group. He couldn’t promise anything but he could lift the ridge tiles and at least then we would see what was underneath – more to the point, he could do it in a day without benefit of scaffolding. We set the date. He drove off in his 4×4 – and disappeared.
The date came and went. He didn’t respond to calls or text messages – and yesterday, in desperateion, I went round and knocked on his door. It turned out he had been in hospital and has now been ordered to rest.
And guess how the conversation progressed from there…
Yes, there’s no doubt that getting into a conversation about health is about as easy as getting into a conversation about the weather. In fact, if you are prepared to listen, I find that people will gladly tell you about their Urinary Tract Infections and Irritable Bowel Syndrome with an abandon you could never expect when it comes to their finances.
And they’re quite ready to accept that going to the doctor and getting more and more medicines to try and alleviate painful symptoms invariably leads to more painful symptoms as the cocktail of drugs fight amongst themselves. Only the other week the papers were reporting the findings of a study that almost half the over-65’s in the UK were on at least five different medications a day.
But nobody seems to know what to do about it. If talk to your doctor, you just get more pills.
So who do you talk to?
As I said to Jim: “The same thing happened to me. I ended up in hospital because I banged my elbow. I decided that going to the doctor wasn’t helping. In fact I haven’t consulted a doctor for more than three years. I shall be 69 in three weeks and I’ve never felt better.”
Yes, it has been a while. Indeed, I see that the last time I logged any statistics was in January 2017. So, if I’m going to come back, I had better tell you why I’ve been away.
It all goes back to the day I banged my elbow in 2015. I was sailing my Laser dinghy on the river and coming last as usual because I just didn’t seem to be able to move around the boat fast enough. To my way of thinking the Laser is best sailed by 20-year-olds. Admittedly, we did have a number of competitors in their 70’s and even 80’s (who all managed to beat me). But then they learned in their teens and had been amassing wily tricks ever since.
As for me: Well, I took to it in my 60’s and had been going downhill ever since. Anyway, I banged my elbow and the next day a spectacular bruise appeared.
The day after that, the bruise turned from yellowish black to yellowish purple – and began to spread up my arm. Also, it started swelling… and hurting…
So, I did what everyone does in this situation. I made an appointment to go and see the doctor.
“Again?” said my wife. “You only went the other week.”
Now the one thing I am not is a hypochondriac. I hate going to the doctor. But as I explained, the last visit had for an insect bite which had become infected – and that was at least a month ago.
But she wouldn’t be put off: “Well what about that cut that got infected.”
“Oh, that was ages ago and it was from a rusty tin. What do you expect?”
“Well I think there’s something wrong with you.”
Maybe she had a point – especially when the doctor prescribed yet another course of anti-biotics. He didn’t like to, he said. But he had to do something to stop the infection spreading.
Except that it didn’t stop spreading: A few days later I was beginning to worry whether they could save the arm (all right, so I was beginning to become a hypochondriac). One way and another, I ended up in hospital having extra-strong anti-biotics intravenously. In other words, I was in a bad way – and all because I banged my elbow…
“Well, you are 66,” was all the sympathy I got.
I don’t know whether you, reading this, are 66. But I can tell you that when you get there, you do not consider yourself old. My 17-year-old daughter thinks 25 is “really old”. I don’t believe old age begins this side of 90 (and I daresay I shall revise that upwards when the time comes).
But it did set me thinking: Here I was still working; standing in the street with my prize draw forms – driving around doing appointments – going to training sessions and conventions…
For one thing, if I carried on doing it and continued to fall asleep at the wheel on the way home from places like Milton Keynes, I would not be getting to 90 at all – and for another, I ought to be retired: I ought to be doing what I wanted to do.
What I wanted to do – what I had always wanted to do – was live on a boat and sail oceans. But I couldn’t very well do that in my present condition. What if I banged my elbow in the middle of the Atlantic?
So, the first thing to do was to sort out my health – and I might have gone to the doctor. I now realise what a close-run thing that could have been. Imagine if I had? What would he have done? He would have given me pills (because that’s what doctors do). Research by Cambridge University found that half the over-65’s in the UK are taking at least five prescription medications a day – and some, over 20!
I now realise that taking pharmaceutical products does not make you better. It masks the symptoms.
Instead, I was introduced to a natural supplement that did make me better – and I have not consulted a doctor since – and that is nearly three years.
Also, I have bought a boat and I shall be off in a month or so – and, of course, I shall be writing a blog about it. This is partly because it’s “what I do” but also, while the wind is free, the cost of keeping a 32ft yacht seaworthy and the galley stocked cannot be ignored. I don’t want to deprive my family of their standard of living, so I shall need another income stream – in fact another two or three would do me nicely.
It will be interesting to see how this works out but whatever you’re promoting, there’s no doubt that an online presence helps – and this blog, which I have ignored for months and months, still gets about 150 visits a day. When I wrote it regularly, I could get that up to 2,500 – which is nearly a million a year!
So, I shall be back in the street with my prize draw forms to report my statistics (people loved to see those, although really, I can’t explain why). Obviously, I won’t be able to promote my original network marketing business because that was in the Utility sector and involved sitting down with people at home and showing them how much money they could save – although, of course, I could promote the opportunity to other people who might be able to do that. After all, they could earn a full-time income from Day One…
The Health business is not necessarily so lucrative but it will suit me because all I have to do is invite someone to look at a website and then they can decide for themselves.
I should explain at this point that the Utility company would be most upset if I recruited any of their people into the Health company – and the Health company would be equally upset if it happened the other way round. So there can be no links and no names. If anyone is interested, they will have to contact me so that I can vet them for allegiances!
But, essentially the more people who read this blog, the more will read the new one (and maybe even find their way to Amazon and buy my books). It’s all rather exciting. In fact, you can start now if you like: Have a look at www.oldmansailing.com.