Success Story: How a Visiting House Wife Achieved Business Success in a Foreign Land
Anyone Can Have a Success Story Anywhere
It was the late Arch Bishop Benson Idahosa who in the 90s cautioned that a Lizard will not become an Alligator if taken from Nigeria to America. In that decade, even as it is today, Nigerians, young and old were deserting their country in search of the proverbial green pasture in the United States of America and other developed countries.
In graphic detail, the blessed Arch Bishop in his glowing wisdom wanted to drive home the universal truth about success, that achieving success is not about your background or where you live, but about what is in you. What is your belief and attitude about success? Thatâ€™s what matters.
And that was what Mrs. Grace Chinemerem-Israel took with her to the US in 2003. No, she didnâ€™t leave Nigeria in search of any green pastures abroad; her husband was to go on a cross posting from his company to Houston and he decided to take his young family along.
Grace had just successfully completed her studies with Abia State University, bagging a B.A in English and Linguistics and also just had a baby when the journey was billed. And at this time she had started looking for an area to channel her passion in creating a career.
She loved looking good and beautiful. It excited her to see beautiful skin and faces as a child, and she knew right from an early age what makes a good make up from a bad one, even though she couldnâ€™t apply make up on herself being a Reverend Pastorâ€™s daughter (of one of the very conservative Churches around).
How Grace Walk to Success Began
Having known where her passion lies and what she wanted as a career, Grace didnâ€™t have to think too hard when Dorothy Ike, a MARY KAY millionaire distributor introduced her to MARY KAY products and business opportunities when she arrived Houston.
The idea of being a MARY KAY Independent Beauty Consultant was interesting to Grace for it perfectly tied with her love to look good, and help other people to also look good and beautiful. And very importantly, it will enable her to be with her family, while making money.
â€œMARY KAY business is a total package. It enriches womenâ€™s lives by giving them opportunity to make money; and time to grow in their career, for their God and family. Apart from making profits from retailing the products, you can also earn lots of commissions and gift items by referring people to the business â€“ itâ€™s really wonderful!â€ Grace emphasises the attraction to MARY KAY business concept.
But before she would start referring people to the products she decided to try them out on herself and see if they actually meet with what is promised.
And when she found the products to be exceptionally great on her skin, she immediately got enrolled into the business with $200.
Success Does Not Come in a Silver Platter
Now, she was going to answer the very question that would have easily ended the thought of starting a business in a strange land for many people. Grace was new to the US. She neither knew any body nor knew their culture. So how was she going to succeed in recruiting people into her network in a country where multitude of skin and beauty products marketed through multilevel marketing platform abound?
â€œI have never been involved in marketing before I started. I didnâ€™t really know how to start, I was scared. I actually was in a white community, with the colour thing and all that, where people may not understand what you are saying because of our accent. It was difficult for me to press in; my fear was, â€œhow am I going to talk to a white woman to use MARY KAY where there are lots of other beauty products,â€ Grace remembers the fears that threatened to stop her success story from been told.
Only Those Who Persevere Have a Success Story to Tell
But instead of giving in, considering that the fears were justifiable, and perhaps look for another thing that will not require her so much to find and recruit people, Grace was resolute in going ahead. To her, backing out was not an option, but finding the way ahead was the only choice. She thought deeply about how to overcome the barrier and the solution came:
â€œI started with my Church. I held a small party where I invited my Nigerian friends there and officially introduced myself as an Independent Beauty Consultant. When I did that they started doing the marketing for me. I made them up, and did some openings with the help of my Director and my friends. Sometimes I go out with my Director to speak to people. Gradually I learnt the tactics and the little things about talking to people.â€
Taking it as a career and not a hobby, and being a woman who holds strongly the injunction in the Bible that â€˜whatever oneâ€™s hand finds doing, one should do it with all his heartâ€™, Grace went ahead to develop expertise in make up, skin and beauty issues by reading books, journals, etc., attending relevant training programs, surfing the Internet for necessary information, etc.
As a reward for her doggedness, she had recruited five people into her network, just two short of getting to the level of Team Leader, which would qualify her to move toward the position of Director. But it was time to return home. Her husbandâ€™s project in the US had come to an end and had to return to base in Nigeria with his family.
Success Can Be Reproduced
With her confidence boosted from the American experience, starting off MARY KAY Nigeria was a piece of cake for Grace. â€œIn Nigeria I found that many people already knew something about MARY KAY products, and so it was not as difficult as it was there. All I did was to just make up, look good, go out, and I tell people, â€˜this is me, this is MARY KAYâ€™.
Every woman wants to look good and refreshed; every woman wants to glow. So they will naturally ask you what you are using. That was how it went on and on, anywhere I am, in Church, etc I tell people about it,â€ expresses the lady who never gives up.
Success Gives Fulfillment
Grace finds happiness and fulfillment in her business. This comes not from the money she is making, but from seeing people with terrible skin problem solved with her products, and having them being grateful and happy.
Another source of her fulfilment and joy being a MARY KAY Independent Beauty Consultant is the opportunity the business provides for other people, including students and housewives to make money for themselves selling MARY KAY products, sometimes without even putting any money down.
And talking about the money she is making from the business, Grace does not want to put a figure on it, but it obviously reflects in her confirmation by MARY KAY INC., as one of the ten highest selling MARY KAY products retailers in the world, which qualified her to attend their conference holding next June in the US.
For the coming conference, she has planned to secure the status of National Distributor for MARY KAY products in Nigeria, and start off the multilevel marketing aspect of the business in Nigeria.
Due to the requirement for social security number, Nigerians are not able to take part in the networking part of the business where one earns commission on the orders of the people they referred, except they go to the US, obtain a social security number and sign up, just as Grace did in the US.
For now Grace, though still receiving commission on any order from her referees in the US, in Nigeria she and the people she has brought into the business only earn through selling the products, from which they make about 50% off the selling price of each product, yet, the earning comes big for many of her inductees as the MARY KAY brand sell easily.