Making Money From Home By Talking to a Dragon…
The Butterfly Effect – Making Money From Home By Talking to a Dragon
I was thinking recently how everything is connected. You hear phrases like ‘the devil’s in the detail’ and ‘it’s the little things that matter’. Which is all true. Well my path to being a Utility Warehouse Partner is a great example of how the smallest decisions can affect you massively many years later. My interest in an obscure piece of computer software led to me making money from home and changing my life massively.
When I was 17, I was already an expert at making money from home by selling computer accessories. I was a fiercely ambitious person and had just finished my GCSEs. Part of the programme was then to go on and do some form of work experience. I chose to go the extra mile and do 2 lots of work experience. The first week was duly arranged at Racal Avionics in Raynes Park, South London. This stood me in good stead for subsequent interviews for engineering jobs in defence. The second job was a week at Envoy systems in Richmond. I can still remember it clearly now – almost 17 years on.
At the time, speech to text computer programmes were in their infancy, but were just approaching the stage where they were reasonably accurate. One of my more enjoyable tasks at Envoy was to sit in on a sales presentation with the MD and watch 2 reps from Kurzweil promote their ‘dictate to your computer’ programme. I was blown away. I honestly thought this technology was so impressive that it would have huge ramifications for the IT industry. I was later proven wrong on this point, but my enthusiasm led me to discover the only alternative to Kurzweil (who were later bought out by Microsoft and they now code the voice recognition in MS Office). The competitor was Dragon Naturally Speaking. Dragon was an American company and I got hold of a demo as soon as I could, and played around with it on the school’s computer. I looked a complete idiot to my colleagues at school. Understandably so – talking to a computer isn’t exactly rational behaviour, especially when there’s a perfectly good keyboard sitting there!
Move forward 4 years or so and I am at Sussex University, pursuing my passion for electronic engineering. As with all students, I needed to supplement my income and so I was a regular face at the student job centre. One job that caught my eye a few times advertised for just ‘Expert in Dragon – Call Tim Parker’. The ad was so short that I wondered if it meant the Dragon software that I was familiar with, or some other kind of ‘Dragon’ 😉
I ultimately applied and found the ad owner to be a lovely elderly gentleman: Tim Parker living in Hove, Brighton who regularly wrote articles for the local paper and magazines. Being an enterprising fellow, he had bought himself a computer to use Dragon Naturally Speaking, thinking that this was the perfect solution for a hack who couldn’t type! Unfortunately it proved that me typing for him was a rather more efficient solution, and so the friendship was formed. I continued to type for Tim for many years and have many fond memories.
Tim was introduced to Utility Warehouse completely by chance when he was standing in for a friend at a business exhibition. His stand was next to that of a lady by the name of Sarah Riley. Sarah showed Tim the business and the following day he signed up as a Partner as a way of making money from home. About a week later, I was his first customer. About six months later, when the timing was right, I signed up as a Partner.
It proved to be a life-changing decision. At the time, I was living in Dover, Kent during the week and travelling back to Eastbourne, East Sussex every weekend to see my wife and 2 children. I had plenty of time to spend making money from home during the week – which I filled by building my Utility Warehouse business. Weekends were precious though and I kept these exclusively for family activities. This commuting business was a temporary arrangement until we sold our house. Quite a prospect in a deep recession, especially considering the house was on a main road, opposite a pub and a few doors away from another pub.
Despite my weekend time being so precious, I decided to go along to a ‘Penny Dropped’ seminar in Northampton along with Sarah Riley on a Saturday. It was there that I saw person after person stand up and say two things that had helped them become successful at making money from home with Utility Warehouse. BNI and Win a Mini. Win a Mini events are not really my cup of tea, but BNI sounded powerful. I went along to my first BNI meeting at Dover in October, 2010 and I joined on the day. At the time, I had just signed up my 11th customer and had no Partners in my team. Now, 2 years on, I have almost 100 customers and 10 Partners to work with. BNI transformed my business, but more importantly, BNI transformed me. I am now a confident public speaker. I look after 3 other chapters as a Director Consultant for BNI and I am chapter director at White Cliffs, Dover BNI.
Utility Warehouse is my pension, and I certainly don’t intend to retire as late as 60. BNI is my personal development tool and the two combined have completely changed my life. How grateful am I now, that I made an idiot of myself and tried to talk to a Dragon! The butterfly wing of that one week work experience has created a tornado 16 years on.