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I create lifestyles with my business

By | April 15th 2012

Susan Rodrigues, 56, is a director at Oriflame. After being in the corporate world for more than 29 years, she left to join the world of marketing and has become a successful network marketer. She spoke to NJOKI CHEGE.

The most rewarding part of this business was and still is, watching consultants grow their businesses from scratch to substantial returns. People’s lives have been changed completely in a period of three years. Some of my team members were struggling to put food on the table before Oriflame, but now they see a bright future through building the business.

Susan Rodrigues (Phot:Joseph Kiptarus/Standard)

When I first heard of the concept of network marketing, I was thrilled. It is a unique way of moving products in the market with very little in the way of distribution costs. It is a low-cost and now high-tech industry that allows you to build your business and earn a substantially high income while working from home.

This is especially so in the cosmetics industry, because women must look good and smell nice. You earn immediate income in terms of profits and serious long-term residual income by selling products and services directly to consumers and convincing others to do the same.

It is an approach to entrepreneurship that is so powerful that traditional companies are borrowing its features to apply in their operations. I had worked in the corporate world for more than 29 years. and my last job was at Safaricom where I was the financial controller.

Promotional items

I then started a small business selling promotional items to companies, but the tough economic times saw the business fall.

It was while contemplating on what to do next that I read an article in November 2008 that a Swedish cosmetic giant — Oriflame — was making an entry into the East African market.

So I took the first step and signed up in December. The products were well received in the East African market and I took off to a flying start.

As I shared the products with others, I started earning a profit on every sale and my customers started to enhance their looks. Everyone was happy. I have never looked back.

Bonuses. In the first six months, my network grew from zero to 180 people. This showed that the Kenyan market was ripe for change, particularly when it came to network marketing. In eight months, I grew from an independent marketing consultant to an Oriflame director with added bonuses.

The bonuses (the compensation paid to consultants based on the business generated by people they have introduced to the business) started growing. Within the first six months, some of the consultants were earning between Sh20,000 and Sh100,000 per month.

They say nothing succeeds like success. Businesswomen, both young and old, are starting and growing businesses everyday — with great success. Some find niche markets while others, a new invention. Most women, however, seem to focus on an area they are passionate about.

My passion was being able to share an opportunity with others and teach them to become successful in their business. The products worked so well that sharing them and seeing great results just made it more fulfilling.

I read stories about women in other parts of the Oriflame world and was inspired by their stories. I knew I could do the same and help many other East Africans do the same.

have a goal.

I have trained my team to understand that to get where one wants in life, one cannot simply expect to go with the flow or hope for things to just happen. They must have a goal and stay focused on it. All consultants are trained to set their goals in terms of daily, weekly and monthly action plans that will take them to their ultimate goal of financial freedom. They also learn that they are responsible for setting their goals, and must determine the effort required to actualise them as no one else will.

During my journey to creating lifestyles with Oriflame, I have set my goals and I am working diligently to achieve them. My single most important goal is to share this amazing business with at least 5,000 Kenyans, 5,000 Ugandans and 5,000 Tanzanians. I want to show them how to build successful businesses and change their lives for the better.

Being part of this company is satisfying and a true privilege: the slogan Togetherness, Spirit and Passion, really means something, as many East Africans can attest.

I treat Oriflame like a real business. I work it professionally and give it the respect it deserves. There is no shortcut to success in any business. One has to be prepared to work hard, persevere and above all, be committed to their success.

One of the biggest challenges I face is that many people get interested in the business the first three months then pull out slowly when money doesn’t come in as fast as they hoped. What many people don’t realise is that one can never earn money in a snap; they must work for it. I see many people putting a lot of effort in the organisations they work for, but little in their own businesses. I challenge them to put as much effort in their business.

You do not need an MBA or a business degree to succeed in business. All you need is passion, dedication and a teachable spirit to learn as much as you can in that business.

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