Barb Davies on Helping People Define and Create Their Marketing Brand
Barb Davies is a #1 best-selling author, business consultant, and network marketing profession. In 1997 she was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Her story.
Thank you so much for doing this interview, Barb! You have a powerful story that I’m really interested in learning more about. So, let’s get started!
Where were you born and raised, what was your childhood like, and what did you want to become when you grew up?
I was born in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada (where I live now), although my family lived in B.C. on the west coast for most of my childhood.
My father was killed by a drunk driver when I was a baby. My mom remarried when I was young and I have two younger brothers.
My stepfather worked and my mom stayed home until we were older. I remember her taking us regularly to the beach, the swimming pool, the library and the bowling alley. She always tended a huge garden, so we had an abundance of fresh fruit and veggies to eat.
I wanted to be a dietician when I grew up, but when I started university I really struggled in chemistry. I switched my degree to psychology and later obtained a second degree in social work.
Were there any Entrepreneurs in the family, and when did you discover Entrepreneurship?
Yes, my stepfather was in real estate for many years. He then worked in commission sales and was self-employed in a few different businesses, including network marketing. As a teenager, I worked with him occasionally in his businesses, and I found the freedom very appealing.
While going to university full time in my early twenties and working part time as a bank teller, I started looking for another source of income that I could pursue when the bank was closed. I joined a direct sales company.
To make a long story short, I treated it like a hobby and it paid me like a hobby. When I graduated university, I got promoted at the bank and started working full time.
I began studying toward my financial planner certification at night. That program took me years to complete, and along the way I quit my home business, as I wasn’t making enough money to make it worthwhile.
In 1997, you were diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Can you tell us about that, and how did that impact your life?
Living with fibromyalgia has turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as I made some fortuitous decisions for health reasons. I first started experiencing intermittent pain and chronic fatigue in my teens.
My parents took me to a specialist, and he could find nothing wrong. Sleep has always been my biggest challenge. I suffer occasionally from insomnia, and I was eventually diagnosed with alpha intrusion sleep disorder, which is a common characteristic of fibromyalgia.
Basically, I do not enjoy restful sleep, and I awake more tired than when I went to bed. It takes me a long time to wake up and generally I’m not terribly productive until mid-morning.
Mornings and getting to work on time have always been challenging for me. Some employers have been wonderful and very accommodating, and others, not so much.
Being bullied relentlessly by one manager due to my health condition was a major reason why I left banking and looked for a more flexible working environment.
I left my financial planning career and went back to university to study social work. I was hired by a vocational rehabilitation consulting company, which was one of three opportunities that presented at the same time.
I chose the consulting work solely because it allowed me to set my own hours and work at home or in the office. That was a dream come true for me! I no longer had to struggle and panic in the mornings, trying to get to work on time.
I was also paid based on billable hours and my own production, which proved to be very rewarding. I made more than double what I had made at the bank.
Now, 14 years later, I am considered a specialist in this field and I love what I do. Everything happens for a reason, and I feel very blessed.
You basically conquered the disease by eating organic. Can you tell us about your healthy regime to kick Fibromyalgia?
I would love to. After being off work with fibromyalgia for almost two years, and trying multiple medications to restore my sleep, none of which worked, I was referred for a sleep study.
The specialist who diagnosed me with the sleep disorder told me I had the most severe case of alpha intrusion he had seen in his entire career, and there was no known cure. He said there was no way I could work and he offered to recommend approval for permanent disability benefits.
I remember driving home in a daze. I think I was in shock! I’ve always been stubborn and I decided I would not accept his prognosis. I WOULD get better.
Intuitively, I knew I had to make some lifestyle changes to heal. Due to my debilitating fatigue, I had started to use processed convenience foods for the first time in my life, instead of cooking from scratch. I had gained weight from lack of activity and a medication I was taking, and I knew the crap food I was eating wasn’t helping.
Gradually, I made changes. I eliminated processed food and stopped drinking soda. I reduced the caffeine, carbs and sugar I was relying on for energy and stopped using artificial sweeteners.
Over the years, I have transitioned to a mostly plant-based whole foods diet and I drink plenty of good quality water. I was diagnosed with gluten intolerance a couple years ago, so my diet is now gluten free too. I discontinued all of the medications I was prescribed for fibromyalgia almost fifteen years ago.
A few years ago, we switched to chemical free personal care products and cleaners, and started buying organic food whenever possible.
I was surprised at what a huge difference these changes made to my health. I no longer suffer from frequent headaches, my chronic allergies have all but disappeared, and my pain, fatigue and sleep improved too. I still eat junk once in awhile in social situations, but I know I’m going to feel like crap for a day or two afterward.
I’ve also reduced my alcohol intake. I love wine and really enjoy a small glass with dinner most nights, but I rarely have more than one or two drinks, and I regret it when I do. I have too many goals to accomplish to waste time being tired or hungover due to drinking!
When did you discover network marketing, what were the first two years like, and what was the biggest lesson you learned?
I joined my first network marketing company about five years ago. I tried a product I liked and enrolled with a friend. I enjoyed the extra income and had lots of fun in that company. After sixteen months, I left to join an organic network marketing company that was a better fit for my lifestyle.
The biggest lesson I learned was how important it is to find your passion and really love what you do. Making money is not enough for me.
Every entrepreneur has bad days when you want to quit, but truly having a passion and a vision for where you’re going will get you through them. My passion for educating others about the benefits of organic living and helping others to succeed keeps me going.
What are your three best tips for new network marketers?
1) Work harder on yourself than you do on your business. Personal development has been the key to everything I’ve achieved so far, and I’ll always be a work in progress. I spend at least 30 minutes each day on personal development. I also pray daily, visualize and practice living in gratitude, which has transformed my life.
2) Learn how to market professionally as soon as possible. I went from being a master spammer who annoyed everyone to becoming a professional marketer, thanks to my mentors and commitment to personal development. Sometimes it costs a bit of money, but it’s so worth it!
3) Networking and building relationships with people should be a top priority. Every network marketer will run out of warm market prospects, often within your first year.
Whether you network in person and/or online, sharing value and being helpful to others will get you noticed. The larger your network, the more people will be exposed to your business opportunity.
Have conversations with people you meet on social media. Engage with and support others’ posts, and don’t try to pitch everyone you talk to. When you develop relationships with no agenda, you will naturally attract people who want to work with you.
You have 15 years experience in coaching and counseling. What kind of problems do you help people with, and what type of person is your favorite client?
I first began my counseling career as a financial planner. For the last 14 years, my role has involved assisting clients with injuries and/or disabilities return to work with their employer or to retrain for a new career.
As a certified vocational professional, I help people to define their key strengths, abilities, aptitudes, personality traits and interests; and to find meaningful work they enjoy.
I am an expert at identifying people’s transferable skills, which are skills they have learned in one environment that they can apply to another.
As a business consultant, I help entrepreneurs create their unique brand based on their strengths, passions and transferable skills. I love all of the work I do, but I especially enjoy helping entrepreneurs with their branding, as I’ve become a bit of a marketing nerd.
You also have 13 years in developing strategic career plans for your clients. Can you help Baby Boomers retire faster? And, what kind of residual income do you
suggest someone start?
Yes! I help people research the labour market and strategically develop a plan to position themselves where they are in highest demand and can maximize their earning potential.
I know a lot of thought leaders tell everyone to pursue their passion and the money will follow, but unfortunately sometimes it doesn’t. If the skills, products or services you offer are not in demand, you don’t have a career or business. You have a hobby.
To retire early, you typically can’t rely on a job and a pension anymore. My training as a financial planner taught me that multiple streams of income reduce risk and build wealth. I can’t recommend one kind of residual income for everyone, as we all have different goals, risk tolerances and levels of motivation.
I love your blog! How old is it, how many posts are on it, and what is your daily traffic like to it?
Thank you so much! I launched it less than a year ago, and I don’t have a lot of content on it yet. Last year, two loved ones had serious health issues and I made caregiving my priority.
I went a full six months without posting anything on my blog or working my business. So I’ve really only been blogging for a few months.
My daily traffic varies, depending on if I’m running ads at the time. I am getting daily leads from my blog and some automated commissions, so I think it’s off to a good start.
Who should blog and why?
I think any entrepreneur who is serious about becoming a leader in their niche should blog. Having a blog and offering free value will set you apart from the masses, as well as attract your target market to you. It helps you to brand yourself, which is smart marketing these days when companies come and go.
Most marketers rely on developing a strong social media presence to grow their businesses, but you don’t own your social media accounts. They could be shut down any day for a variety of reasons, not all of which are in your control.
For that reason, it would be prudent to put some effort into creating a blog you own and offering leveraged, search engine optimized content that will attract prospects for years.
What is the best way to generate leads for your business today, Barb?
There are so many ways to generate leads these days, and what works well for one person doesn’t always work for the next.
Some people are very charismatic on video and in webinars, while others may struggle to engage their audience.
Some people are great writers, and others are not. I think it would be wise to mix up your lead generation strategies to appeal to different preferences and learning styles.
Personally, I don’t enjoy watching most videos. I may be in the minority but I know several people who agree. There’s always a certain amount of fluff, and I’d much rather read something and get the information I’m looking for in a fraction of the time.
When I have a choice of watching a video or reading a social media or blog post, I’ll scroll by the video and read the written post nearly every time.
I know most marketing leaders are saying you need to do video, but if I were your target market, you’d fail miserably with that strategy.
I do think it’s super important to build and engage with an email list by offering free content that solves pressing problems for your target market. Promote your free content using different formats on different platforms and see what works best for you.
What is your favorite book right now and why?
I have read hundreds of books and it’s hard to choose a favorite.
I think my favorite personal development book is The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I’ve read it three or four times, and I’ll read it again. I gain new insight every time.
For network marketing, I always recommend Go Pro by Eric Worre. It’s fantastic.
I also love all of Bob Burg’s books, especially The Go-Giver. His work is incredible.
What are your goals for 2017?
I have a lot of goals. I will blog more. I will write my final exam for my Nutrition Coach certification, which I put on hold last year.
I’m also building a new network marketing team. The company I thought I’d be with forever closed just over a year ago, and it took me a long time to find something else that aligned with my organic lifestyle and felt like a good fit.
After taking a few months off, I’m excited to be working a business and mentoring others again. I’m developing multiple streams of income, including affiliate marketing, which I just ventured into during the past few months.
I’d like to make some progress on the book I’m writing and my signature program that I’m developing. I have lots of work to do!
What is your favorite quote and why?
There are so many great quotes I love.
Here are two favorites:
“The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.” – Pablo Picasso
I love this quote because in my line of work, I’ve realized that everyone has special gifts and talents, and I love helping people to find a way to share theirs with the world and to make a difference.
“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn
There is profound wisdom in this quote. Over the past few years, I have really distanced myself from negative people and made an effort to surround myself with positive people with similar goals. It’s been like a breath of fresh air and I couldn’t be happier!
Thank you so much for this interview, Barb!
Thank you, Erik! It’s been my pleasure and honor.
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