Sophie HardyNo Title or Tagline Entered
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My name is Sophie Hardy and I am married to a guy called Phil and we have two kids, Joe and Kate. We immigrated to New Zealand from the UK in February 2008 and that is how I got in Network Marketing. To explain how I better go back a few years....
I was bought up in the South of England. I had a lovely childhood, lived in a nice house, had my own ponies and hated school! I went to a fair few as well for various reasons but I hated being told what to do and how to do it. So in spite of my parents' best endeavours (not to mention a good bit of their income) I still left school at 18 with only 2 moderate 'A' levels in Economics and English literature. I went backpacking for a while but actually, although I enjoyed the freedom, I found it rather boring so I arrived home, aged nearly 19 for Christmas. I fancied living in London having been bought up in the country and at a party my parents had I starting talking to a guy who worked in the City. I told him my plans and a week later he rang me up and offered me a job as clerk at the Stock Exchange Moneybroking firm where he was Chairman. I took it and moved up to London. By the time I was 22 I was manager of the UK stock lending section and by 25 I was manager if the International Stock Lending Section.
But I was bored and frustrated again! Although I had people working for me I still had to take orders from above. Not good in my books so I looked about at something that I could run myself, still make good money but also I wanted to do something more useful than simply make money. Chiropractic was the answer I came up with (having seen one for many years after a riding accident). The worst thing for me was back to school but at least there was a point to it. I applied to the Anglo European College of Chiropractic in Bournemouth and was accepted as long as I had an 'A' level in Chemistry. So I had a challenge I took 'A's in Chemistry and Human Biology in 1 year (normally a 2 year course and with no 'O' level basics in place. I passed both with good grades which induced a lot of eye rolling from my parents and why couldn't you do that 10 years ago!
Off to College and graduated 4 years later in 1995 with a BSc in chiropractic and engaged to Phil who I had met 2 years before in a bar in Majorca (but that's another story!). I moved to the Midlands as that is where Phil lived and went to work for a guy in Derby as you had to work for someone else your first year out. I got married and then made the best mistake of my life and fell pregnant with my son Joe, born November 1996. I stayed at the same Clinic for 6 years as I had Kate in 2000 and it was easier working for someone while I had a very young family. Also he quickly learnt to leave me alone and let me run things how I wanted as I was earning him good money! I saw a few footballers from the local big Club and was relatively settled for a time.
Christmas 2000 found me rather fed up again. I was at the supermarket and bumped into a patient of mine (she had defected from my boss while he was on holiday!). She was with her husband and she commented that I had seemed a bit fed up lately (I have never worked out whether I had dropped my usually very professional face or whether she was just psychic!). I admitted to this anyway, standing by the bananas in Tesco and her husband said "I don't know why you don't set up on your own". I said that finding affordable premises was biggest problem to which he answered "I'll convert my workshop for you." "That would be great!" I answered, thinking as it was New Years Eve he had started his celebrations a bit early.
Two days the patient comes to see me. "Were you serious?" she asked. "I do hope so as we have an architect and a builder coming around Saturday!” I opened the doors of my new Clinic (just me and a lady called Jo as my Clinic Manager) and was fully booked from day 1. Nearly all my patients found me, even though I couldn't even tell them I was leaving my old Clinic. Along with that I took the football club after the physio knocked on my door one night and said "Where the b***** hell have you gone!"
Without the constraints of having a boss I fostered this relationship and quickly made myself indispensable to the players. I knew they would keep demanding my presence, no matter how many times the managers and physios changed. I was right and kept a contract for the next 6 years except for a short 6 month period when all that happened is that the waiting room at my Clinic became a place for autograph hunters! I learnt that these guys were the best publicity I could get and they would obligingly mention the Clinic in newspapers, on the radio, even on Sky Sports and the phones rang off the hook. This was my first social networking campaign and it was all free. The only place I advertised was Yellow Pages (my landing page effectively) and in the local church magazine (I am a Christian).
It all worked a treat and less than 5 years after striking out on my own I bought my own premises, had an Clinic manager, 3 receptionists, 2 associate chiropractors, 4 physios, a masseur, a psychologist working from my clinic and no time for my kids! I would take the kids to school, collect them from school saying give me 5 minutes only to appear a couple of hours later to put them to bed. In August 2006 we went on holiday and my phone went several times a day. One day Phil simply picked it up and through it in the pool and said "There, that should stop them ringing you!” It did and it also made us have a long talk.
The long and the short of it all was that my kids deserved a better mother. When I looked at the way my mother mothered me (she was a teacher) and the way I mothered my kids I was a very poor second. The upshot of it all was, if we were going to change our lives lets really start again. So we decided to emigrate from the UK to New Zealand. I sold the Clinic to one of my associates, we sold the house and arrived here on 1st February 2008.
I think it was the best decision Phil and I have ever made. The kids think life here is great as kids are encouraged still to be kids and there are so many activities for them to choose from. We have bought our dream house and once my affairs in the UK are completely wrapped up we will be mortgage free with a few bucks in the bank. For 4 months I thought it was great but then, guess what, I got bored.
However I was determined be the mum I promised Joe and Kate I would be when we moved here. So I needed a job that I ran around the school run, could up and down activity if I wanted to (e.g. over school hols), but something I had to work at to succeed. Guess what I came upon!
So that is how moving to New Zealand made me a Network Marketer. For the first time since my kids were born I have the work/family balance right and everyone is benefiting from it and I admit it feels good.
P.S. The two mottos I have tried to live by are:
"Wake up in the morning and look in the mirror. You are your own job security" Ross Perot (U.S. Presidential candidate 1996)
"You should try everything once in life except incest and Morris dancing" Oscar Wilde.