Build a respectable business
Gemma and Gary
Gemma explains how a business built on strong core values was an essential element in her decision to pursue Forever.
How did you discover Forever?
In October 2013 I was recovering from a minor operation and I was looking for a product to help speed up my recovery; I wanted to get back to work swiftly. I discovered Forever’s Aloe Vera Gel drink and this became a product I used daily to help improve my wellbeing. I had confidence in the product and this made me curious about the business behind it. Although I was very happy in my career – I worked as a Branch Manager for the John Lewis Partnership – I’d always had a burning ambition to run my own business. I researched Forever and found a part-time business opportunity I really wanted to be a part of. I could also see how I could comfortably build my own business around my existing career. At the time I worked with Beth, another John Lewis Senior Leader who had joined Forever, and we both shared this goal of running our own businesses.We knew very little about aloe vera, but we saw a mature business that excited us, and when I researched the company I found brand values and success that aligned perfectly with what I had come to respect in business.
What enabled you to progress to Sapphire Managers?
Year one of my business was very much about building a stable foundation and learning, and at the end of February 2015 I made the most considered but courageous decision of my life: I traded in my fifteen-year retailing career to run my Forever business on a full-time basis. This is where the road to Sapphire Manager began. Whilst attending our first Global Rally in Singapore, Gary and I enjoyed seeing two of our team reach the Manager position, which in turn led us to Soaring Managers. On the return from Singapore we introduced face-to-face trainings, around the UK, to support team members on their journey to Manager. This led to incredible success, not just with our frontline team members but also within the deeper generations. Since we were only directly sponsoring one or two new people per month, we had allowed ourselves the time to work closely with our team and develop relationships built on trust.
How has Forever developed you as a couple?
Working the business with Gary gave us more time together as before Forever we both had very independent careers, and Gary had always worked for himself. And although I started the business initially on my own, Gary could see the potential of the Marketing Plan. He was always supportive of me pursuing my passion, and his involvement led our business to evolve. However, working closely together has presented challenges; it’s not always easy as we both have strong views on leadership, strategy and team development, which sometimes means we have healthy debates! Although we have very different personalities, our core values of helping people and taking responsibility for our own personal development are totally aligned. We know we are stronger together and it’s good fun, especially the road trips!
How has Forever impacted your life?
Where do I start..? We’ve no alarm clock, no rush-hour commuter traffic to endure and no need for suits anymore! The Singapore Global Rally was a significant moment where we realised the breadth of this incredible business, and we feel privileged to be part of it. Neither Gary nor I have ever experienced anything like this in our lives, and we’ll always look back with fond memories. Our business now creates an income that creates peace of mind, and we have time to travel and experience much more of what life has to offer. As we have flexibility, we also get to see family on a more regular basis. Also, the friendships you make within Forever are precious, and we’re proud to share our Sapphire celebrations with Lisa and Michael Williams, who also achieved Sapphire Manager in July. It is one thing to experience the impact your business has had on your own life, but when you see success created within your team, it’s even more special.