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Starting Business At 40 After Quitting Her Medical Career
Shownotes: Starting business at 40 can be quite daunting even if means quitting your career. For today's podcast, we have a special guest on by the name of Edith Samambwa and she is going to talk about how she quit her medical career to go into business full time. She goes through some surprising challenges about her life that you will not want to miss. She also talks about what success means to her and what it should mean to you too. She talks about what she wanted to be as a child and about her role model. Alvern: Hello ladies, Alvern here, today we have a special guest on today with ourselves, she is one of my friends, her name is Edith and this time we're going to get Edith to introduce herself, over to you Edith. Edith: Hi everyone! My name is Edith Samambwa, I am an independent consultant with Arbonne International and an executive area manager. Alvern: Thank you, Edith, welcome onboard to our podcast today. As you know this is a podcast that will be focused on empowering ladies and I brought Edith on today because ... Well, I don't want to spoil the reason why. As we go through the questions you're gonna find out very clearly why it is I brought her on. To mainly inspire you, just in case you're in that time in your life when you're trying to make a decision. You're at a crossroads and you want to decide whether to go left or right or even make a roundabout and we'll find out as we go through. I guess the first question I want to ask you, Edith, today is why do you do what you do? Edith: Well, I'll tell you why I did it in the first place what's because I needed a change in my life and I needed to basically reignite myself after many years of having worked in the same industry on the same job on the same desk. I felt that my life was literally withering away. I was tired. I was terribly burnt out. I was always just over broke and I really needed a new lease on life and that is why I did what I do now in the first place. I continued to do it because it really did do that for me, it gave me a new energy, a new life. Literally, I always tell people that it saved my life because I was dying inside and it literally saved my life. Alvern: Wow. And you said that was the first reason why you did it? Edith: Yeah, I did it for that reason because I had lost hope. I lost any sense of purpose, real purpose for what it is I wanted to do and I'd always believed it within myself that I was capable of so much more and after having been working for so many years in this one career, having studied, had two degrees, and masters, I wasn't going further than way I literally had been almost straight out of university. When I started my business, it really changed my life, it transformed me. I actually get very emotional about it. Sometimes people don't see what you're going through because you seem to have a good job. You have a pension at the end of it all. But they don't see the struggles that are in your mind and in your heart because of what only you know and what I knew, was that there was more out there and I wanted to get it and I had lost hope of how to do that. Alvern: In terms of ... you said it was the first reason, so how's that reason changed? Has ... have you found another reason why you do what you're doing or ... Edith: Well, two reasons really. One, obviously my business has given me more financial freedom and time freedom, which is enabled me to do so much more but in ... the main reason why I do this now is to share this with other people so they can get the same time and financial freedom that I had and just the new lease of life. Plus, I do it because I don't want to ever go back to the way things used to be. Sometimes when I'm feeling a little bit un-energetic, I just remember how things were before I start to do my business and my biggest motivator is the fear, really. You can use fear in a positive way. It's the fear of going back to where you used to be and every time I think of it, I'm like, yeah, let's get out of this house, let's go do what we need to do because I can't go back there. Alvern: Wow. That is very inspiring. Some people go, like yourselves, they've been working very long in the corporate world and to get into business and then they don't like it but obviously, you enjoy what you do. What do you enjoy most about what you do? Edith: Really, it's the flexibility that I have. The ability to not need to be going somewhere unless I decide on it and have made a decision that that's where I need to go. Just being able to be my own boss. That's what I enjoy the most. I used to always say, even prior to my doing this business, that the most important thing to me wasn't even money, the most important to me, the thing to me was time. Time was of 'great essence' and we've just been talking about that earlier, how we lost hours trying to set up for the ... cause my computer is, was kind of out of date and so on. We lost so many hours just doing what we're doing, what we were trying to do then and so for me, time is of 'great essence' because you can't ever get back time. You all have 24 hours and if you make the most of them or the least of them, that's it. You can't go backwards. I really enjoy the flexibility, the ability to make use of my time in the way that I want to. I love the fact that I don't need to ask anyone for permission to go on holiday. That is key to me. Alvern: Brilliant. Brilliant. In terms of ... you talked about the career of what you were doing before, so I suppose, you know like many of us, we as children, we've been asked over and over, "Oh what do you want to be when you grow up?" What did you want to be when you grew up? Edith: Well, my first job or my first true interest was to be an astronaut. I literally wanted to be out of space and flying out of space, I really did. I remember my dad asking us that question one night when we were out with the family and it was like going around the table, "What do you want to do? What do you want to do?" And I said, "I want to be an astronaut." And everyone looked at me and like I grew up Zimbabwe so there is no space programme in Zimbabwe so everyone was like, "Yeah, right, how are you gonna do that?" I was adamant I was gonna do it. That was the first job. I never dreamt of ... what other people, what young people might have wanted to do or kids might have wanted to do. I just thought, "Wow, I'm gonna fly and go out of space and see other worlds." That's what I wanted to do. Alvern: Wow, that's amazing. Then there must have been someone in some part of your growing up that was inspirational for you to say something like that or have inspired you since then and you continue to look up at them or look back at how they've inspired you so far. Who was your role model as a child and why? Edith: You know, I had different role models. I can't say there's one particular person. Well, first of all, I sat with my grandmother, she was the first role model that I had because I ... my first eight years were spent with her. Originally just the two of us. Those were the circumstances of my upbringing at that time, I had ... I spent a lot of time sort of studying her. She was an entrepreneur. She had her own businesses. She was a single grandmother, might I say, cause my grandfather had died years before, way before I was born. She still managed to look after herself. She had a business making hats and furnishing soft furnishings. She also at that time, and I never knew anyone, I still don't know anyone who does this, she grew up to raise turkeys, you know turkeys for Thanksgiving, this was in Zimbabwe. She had sort of a plot where had all sorts of animals, including those. We were not allowed to touch them or kill them cause she used to make money with them. Then she also had sewing machines that she used to sew and make clothes. She basically looked after herself and I think she was a young widow. My grandfather died in 1965. She basically from then on, she minded herself and that was my first role model and I saw that even in the circumstances and way back in the 60's and 70's, you could live independently as a woman and raise your children. Send my dad and my uncles and my aunties to good schools as a single woman. That, I think was quite an inspirational thing for me. She was, I guess, my first role model and I still think of her. Alvern: That is inspiring. Edith:... To half of what she did, that'd be awesome. Alvern: Don't know what to say about that but, yeah. And really think about it too, years and years ago, that wasn't something that was done, you know. Right now, obviously everyone is seeking for women to break the glass ceiling and become more independent and all of that but the fact that she was, not even your mother but your grandmother did it, so many years ago. That is, wow. That is mind-blowing and very, very inspirational. I suppose ... obviously, you've had a prior career and now you're into doing your own business. People always give advice left, right and centre some of them not so good. Some of it very good. What would you say is the best advice you ever received from someone? Edith : Well, I'll tell you what, at sometimes when we feel like we have to do things like other people do them and when you start your business you look at other people and you're like, "Wow, that's amazing," and you try and copy them and try and sound like them and be like them but then you realise that you got your own unique self. You're own unique creativity and talents and gifts and who you are is what's gonna sell whatever it is you have the best and if you're not happy with that you can always work on it but I still believe that all of us are born uniquely advantaged to market ourselves in a particular niche. In a particular place and in a different way. What I do, with ... in my business, and maybe in other businesses that I might have done in the past is because I am who I am. Embracing that, and allowing myself to just live in that space, allows me to excel at what I do. If I try to be like somebody else, then I will not be me and then I will not be able to let my creativity flow in the way that it should. The best advice I ever got from someone is 'just be yourself'. Be yourself and learn to love that, who you are. That's what people are gonna love. Alvern: That's interesting. When you think about, it's so simple but yet so very profound. The media, everywhere you go, people are encouraging to be someone else but not to be yourself. But like you said, everyone of else has a different way of ... we all, we're all the same as people, the moment we are born, babies cry because they want attention. We are all born sellers and, like you said, we market ourselves in different ways. I suppose, based on the experiences so far, what is the one thing that impacted your life to date? Edith: The one thing that has impacted my life to date? Alvern: What is one thing? Edith: You know what? I think sometimes it's the negative things in life that ... that impacted my life to date. I think for me, the one ... you know it's not always the positive things in life that impact you, it's sometimes the negative things in life that actually leave more of a lasting impression on you. I can think of so many things that have happened, that are global in nature that happened to everybody that make you think and stop and say, "Wow, why am I going this way? What am I gonna do?" I think for me, near death experiences always make me think really, "If I die today, what would I have achieved and what would I have accomplished and contributed to the world?" And I know I had an illness years ago and here, just 10 years later I actually have had sort of a similar experience. In 2007, I had deep vein thrombosis, blood clots in my left lower limb that were quite severe and basically was walking dead and when I walked into the hospital, they didn't believe that I had actually walked in myself. That whole experience knocked me off six months. Six months off my work life, I was home for six months and in that time, I got lots of time to think. Lots of time to read and to decide what it is that I really wanted to do with myself and with my life and how I wanted to impact the world. Also, I learned a lot about patience. I learned a lot about perseverance. I learned a lot about coming back and going back to being sort of your normal self cause I had to really work hard at getting my leg working again. I spent miles and hours walking to try and restore back my physical health and I remember just crying sometimes cause I couldn't walk as fast and I had pain as I was walking and it would take me to do a journey I could have done in 10 minutes, it would take me an hour or more. I just remembered thinking, "You can do this, you can do this." And pushing myself. I remember, all that I had to do during those six months and years after when I was struggling in pain, really strengthened me and gave me a lot of qualities and character. Qualities that I think I can use anywhere else. Just being able to persevere, to be patient with yourself and others. Being kind to yourself and listening to your body. Learning to just ... to work through the pain. For whatever it is you want to gain, that whole experience taught me that, cause there were times when I literally had nothing else to do except to just experience the pain and just do what I needed to do. That I believe, gave me so much that I could take into anything that I do it ... when I'm tired, I just remember that. When I'm thinking like, "Gosh, I'm gonna give up," I remember not giving up on myself and walking through the pain. When I think, "This is too much," I remember when it was actually too much and I still did it. That I think, has probably the most impactful that has happened in my life. Even when I ... a few weeks ago had this sort of similar experience after a flight, it wasn't a big deal. I didn't make a big deal of it, cause I've been through worse. I think there is great value in negative things if we survive them that is. We can learn a lot from them. Alvern: So true. Wow. That's one thing I wasn't expecting, cause you know, some people say, "Oh, it's because ..." when they've won some award or something else, but yeah it's so true. Edith: Well, you know- Alvern: The negative experiences are the ones that really have an impact on us making us really consider what life is about. Edith: True, I mean, the good things are good and I can count loads of things in my life that have happened where I've won this and that award. I've been on this and this magazine or whatever. I've been recognised for this and that but to be honest, those are fleeting moments. They are moments on your life trajectory that are high and exciting, but they don't last. What lasts are the things that get ingrained in you, cause you had had to it day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute experience. You've had that. That will last longer. I want to encourage people, if you're listening and thinking, "Gosh, I can't handle this," really, everything comes to us for us. Nothing happens to us. I've learned that and I learned it from a good friend of mine. He always presents this, every time I hear it I don't get tired of it. You always remember things happen for you, not to you. That's what I believe happened to, for me, at that time and I'm so grateful. I would never take anything back. Alvern: So true. Edith: Wouldn't take anything back for the lessons that I learned in that. Alvern: Right. Thank you for that insight, that is very interesting and sort of opens our listeners and myself, open our eyes and our minds to rethink what is important in life. I guess it's sort of inspired me to ask you the question, so what is ... what is success look like for you? Edith: Wow. I think success is not a destination. I think success is a journey of living your life in the best way possible in your terms I guess because my life and somebody else's life might be different. Or whatever you are, say you're a mother, and mothering is important to you to make sure your children go to the ... have the best upbringing possible. Or you're a teacher, whatever it is. Success for me is being at the best at the ... in my best, in terms of what I'm doing. Knowing as well that this is my best, and this is being truthful to ourselves. I know when I'm being my best, right? And my best is not necessarily like an ultimate for somebody else but I know what my best is in certain areas of my life. When I'm not being my best, I know I'm not being a success at who I am and what I'm doing and in my journey. When success for me is whatever aspects of my life are happening and wherever I am in my life as I'm journeying along, that I feel and know that I have put in my best effort. I am living my life the best way possible, truthfully with integrity and honesty. I am being the best I can be in my social relationships with other people. I am working my life in such a way that, even if I stopped today living, I could still be happy. Even if I haven't achieved that big dream and achieved whatever accolade that I think I might get in my particular business. If I look back on yesterday or look back on today, I'll be able to say, "Yeah, actually I could go to rest and I'm good." Alvern: Wow. Edith: I think that's success. I think for myself, it's about being my authentic self and living every day in the best way possible because success is not a destination, it's part of our journey. I believe that as we journey along, we know for ourselves if we're doing our best. A child who is three, five years old, has in their world, the ability to be successful at what it means to be three years old. Or a five-year-old, because they have certain things that they do, in play for example. I think as adults, we ourselves, and this is the danger that other people might fall into is thinking that "I'll be successful when ... I'll be successful when I get here or when I get married ... " That for some people, that is what they would like. Or when I am now the vice president of this or I have now got a million dollars in my bank account. Really, success is doing your best and living your best life at that moment, being true to who you are, I think that's really, really important and loving who you are. Then loving others in the process as well. Love yourself and love others as you love yourself, so that at all times you're being considerate, you're being kind, you're being loving, you are being compassionate. Those qualities and the courage's that we have that we bring into the world are what for me defines success. As I do my work and as I do my business, there are things that I'm trying ... goals that I always try and achieve every month and every year and those are part of the journey. They're not the destination. They've not wasted dreams for me. My success comes around with every single thing that I'm doing and every day and how I'm doing it. It could be even with mundane things like how do I mind my environment? how do I look after my body? How do I mind my mind? who do ... how do I mind myself worth and my self-image and just ... I feel successful when I come out of a situation of a place where I still feel strong within myself, where I still feel like, yeah, I matter and I'm important and I seriously don't care what you might think but as long as I feel I'm okay and you're okay, I'm happy and I think that's success in a nutshell. Where you are even if you ended your life or your life ended tomorrow, we should be able to say, "Wow, she lived a successful life." Despite not having achieved whatever big things, we can say, "Wow, she was successful at being this kind of a person." You yourself wouldn't mind ending your life. I think that's where people have sort of regrets when they, they're sick or they're facing the end of their lives because they think of the big things. The, "Oh I should have done this, I should have done this. I should have done that." And even in life we just live not happy because we feel failures. Like failures because we haven't achieved certain milestones at certain times but how are we living today? What if today was the last day? Could you be happy and say, "Yesterday I lived the best life I could actually have lived on that day." That is success. Alvern: Wow. That is such a profound point. An eye-opener for those of you listening. What does success mean to you? That is very, very profound. Thanks for sharing that. I guess with that, I guess you actually, like you mentioned earlier on in the podcast, you got a degree and then you went to do your Masters and in that time success was ... that was what success meant to you then, but now looking back, you have a different way of describing success. How, in your opinion, how does your current scenario compare to your previous occupation? Edith: Oh, wow. You know, right now, my definition of doing well in my business is so different. I used to count success as getting that job. That's what I wanted. I could land a job. I did my Masters in Public Health with the intention of one day being the ... working for the World Health Organisation
and doing all sorts of things there and that was what I thought would define. It was largely defined by other people around me. The people, well you know, when you go to medical school, there are certain trajectories after medical that I expected. After medical school, it's like, "Okay, so what masters are you going to do? Are you going to specialise in this? Are you gonna specialise in that?" So and so has done this. I remember, actually, after college there was a medical student who was some streams ahead us and he used to tutor us in Physiology. Brilliant guy. When he completed medical school, guess what he did? He quit Medicine and went off and opened a store selling electronics. Alvern: Oh. Edith: I know. He was an absolutely brilliant doctor I think, doctor, to be and he graduated and finished and said, "This is not who I am. This is not success for me." That was not what made him happy and everyone was flabbergasted. "What? Who would do that?" Because in your society and where we were, success was defined according to certain jobs and certain careers. Now, when people look at me, sometimes they think I do nothing because I'm home on a Monday and I'm home sometimes on a Tuesday or a Friday and then they see me travelling and I look like I'm having fun all the time I'm on holidays all the time and it's like, "What does she even do? How does she live her life?" For me, success right now is about how I impact other people's lives in a positive way. How many more people I can help. How many people I can help. In fact, my paycheck is related to how many people I've helped in a month to have freedom from their lives to make more money for their families. When somebody tells me when they join my business and they to me, "All I want is to be able to make 500 pounds extra a month." I cry and I'm like, "You know what? That is so possible. I can show you how to do that." When I showed them how to do that, I feel that's success. It might be a lot to somebody else to make an extra 500 pounds but when that person has made that 500 pounds, I feel like I've done a great job. I even had somebody who made an extra 200 pounds this month, it was her first check. It's in the business, a couple of, six weeks. She was so excited. I felt like, "Great! I've done my job. I have helped somebody make an extra 200 pounds. Fantastic." I'm looking forward to the day where she's making 2,000 pounds cause I know it's possible and that is what is success to me right now. It's how many people I can help create the lifestyles that they want, have the businesses that they want to support the families, their families in the way that they want to support them. Whatever it looks like, if it's £100 or if it's £10,000. That is what success ... how I define my success today. It's one person at a time and one day at a time. Alvern: Wow. That's a real team player attitude. Really admire that. I guess that brings me really nicely into the next question, which is, tell us, of myself and the listeners, tell us about a day in the life of an Arbonne consultant. Edith: Wow. Okay, so today I'll tell you about today. Today's Monday and I woke up, usually early enough. I do ... I get up and I do my readings, my devotion I look after my spirit first thing in the morning and then sometimes I might go for a walk. I have breakfast and then I go and do my calls and texts. Great ... these days do texting a lot. I catch up with my team. I find out how people are at the beginning of each week we sort of set up goals for the week and then you want to see how we accomplish those goals at the end of the week. Sales goals, that is. I catch up with my team and I find how they got on over the weekend cause the weekends are quite busy for our business actually cause people are home so we can meet up with people on a Saturday or a Sunday. I catch up with them and then I do my calls to make appointments for me to meet people for a coffee date. To drop them some products to try. To invite them to a meeting that I might be having. I have a lot of online meetings. I do a lot of stuff. I have different video conferencing websites and so on. It's not always ... I'm not always out there. Then usually after that, I might read, write some empowering thing. I listen to something on SoundCloud today, I listened to two training calls, I make notes and I decide what it is I'm gonna use those calls to improve my business and my life. Then I might have ... like today, an evening meeting. I had a meeting with somebody at 6 o'clock this evening, it was over the telephone as they are in a different country, once we spoke for an hour about how they can grow their business and build their business. This is somebody who's interested, actually, they haven't started their business but they're interested in the business. Then on a Monday night, normally at 9 o'clock, I did do today, I have a meeting to discover Arbonne, where we invite people who don't know anything about Arbonne and might be interested in the business. That's a day when I'm kind of indoors. When I'm out and about, that usually means I'm meeting someone for a coffee date. I'm talking to someone ... I'm taking someone for lunch or they're taking me for lunch or in the evening, I might be doing a product presentation or a business presentation for an hour and a half for someone who's learning about the products, trying out the products or they're learning about the business. That's basically it. I attend my own personal training as well. The company might put a conference on and ... like we have a conference in September in Glasgow, I'm gonna attend that and we had one in Los Vegas so I attend that annually and that's why people think we seem to be just travelling and having fun all the time because we do go to places for conferences and it's work. When I'm in Los Vegas, trust me, it's all work. Hardly any play, but it's fun. That's basically, in a nutshell, some of the activities that an Arbonne consultant might do and what I might do as well. Alvern: Wow, wow. Thanks for that. Then, in terms of final advice, what kind of final advice would you like to give to the listeners? Edith: You know the most important thing is to be true to who you are. A lot of people stay in certain jobs because of... at certain careers because of what's expected of them and what's expected of their families, by their friends and even by their employer and by society and you never gain anything without taking a risk. Society is very adverse to people doing that and they always encourage you to take the path of least resistance to stay in your comfort zone. Do what everybody's always done, right? Work 40 hours a week for 40 years and get your pension. If that's not who you are, I'm not saying this ... everybody needs to break away from that, for some people that is who they are. But if that's not who you are, be true to who you are and take the leap. Make that decision. It took me ages, from probably about 2007, I had been trying to break free until 2013, I finally said, "Right, this is it." I was working part-time and starting my ... I was working full time I'm doing my business part-time, and finally, in 2015 I started working part-time and worked in my business part-time and last year, I took the plunge and I took the leap and I started working for myself full time. I became self-employed. It's been the best decision that I've ever made. I was true to who I was, I wasn't happy in the situation I was in, people might not have thought it possible that you could still get pay quite reasonable amount of money and not be happy. It wasn't that I wasn't grateful, but it was because I wanted more, and I knew I could have more. Be true to yourself and don't be afraid to take a leap. Courage is in the face of adversity and courage is in the face of fear. We can't ever have courage unless something does feel threatening. Go out there and do what you need to do, you will thank yourself for it and your future self is gonna thank you for taking that risk and going out there and making your dreams come true. When you do it, you'll be like, "Why didn't I do this a long time ago?" You'll just be kicking yourself for delaying whatever it is you are looking for. Whether it's time or money or a different environment or even a different career, whatever it is, you'll kick yourself for not having done it sooner. There's never the best day, somebody said, I'm sorry, let me remember this. Somebody said, "There is no day called someday." A lot of us spend our days going, "Oh, someday I'm gonna do it. One day, I'm gonna do it." There is no day on the calendar, in the week called one day. Today's the day that you have to do it whether it's a Monday or a Tuesday. Not Someday I will, right? People are procrastinating and postponing our change and our liberty and what we want to do and that moving on, we will one day look around and say, "Gosh, do I even have the energy for it? Do I even have the stamina for it? Do I even have the passion for it?" Sometimes you can't really make up for lost time. Alvern: No. Edith: You cannot make up for lost time. Alvern: It's true. You can never recall time. Once the time is gone it's gone. Edith: No. But, on that note, you can ... it's never too late, as somebody said. So you might think I'm 40 something, I took the leap starting a business at 40 and last year, I was 40 what? 41? I said, "Alright, this is it." At this age, which might consider middle aged for some people, you might be thinking, gosh it's too late, I'm not in my 20's anymore. It's never too late and the gentlemen who started KFC, the guy, Colonel Sanders, he was what? Alvern: 66 I think. Edith: He was 60 something? Alvern: I think it's 66. Edith: Yeah, he was in his 60's, right? And KFC is all over the world right now so even Walt Disney wasn't a spring chicken when he started Walt Disney. Never too late. You could be in your 70's right now and you're listening and you're thinking, "Well, what will I do?" I actually have a friend whose father is 79 and he's building a clinic and starting ... he was a doctor and then retired and he's starting a new phase of his life at 79. Alvern: Wow. Edith: It's never too late. Don't give up and don't lose hope. Alvern: That is inspiring. Edith: Get on with it. Alvern: Where can our listeners reach you or find you? Edith: Okay, so I'm on Facebook, you can find me on Facebook with my name if you just type Edith. That, you'll see my picture in there and the one with the picture. The other one without a picture is not me. Actually, it's me but I lost the password it's so one of those days. I couldn't deactivate it but you will find me on Facebook. Also, on Instagram and on Instagram, I use Sam, which is short for my second name, fit and fine. So you can find me on Instagram as well. If you would like to drop me an email, that's okay as well. My email is [email protected]
and I'm quite happy to answer any questions, if you have any interests in Arbonne or any other business questions that you might have, I'll be more than happy to assist you with those. Alvern: Perfect, well thanks ever so much Edith for joining us today and ... Edith: You're welcome Alvern, it's been an honour for me and a privilege and I'm glad that I got this opportunity to share my life and what makes me happy nowadays. Alvern: I hope by some ... in some way we have inspired someone listening to this, would it be a year from now, two years from now, or three years from now. Or even two weeks from now. Doesn't really matter. Hopefully, someone has been inspired to take that leap of fate and change your life or take a next step or you know, like that guy who's 79 years old, start a new phase of their life. Edith: Absolutely. Alvern: Thanks ever so much, once we ... Edith: You're welcome. Alvern: ... reach at least one person, that's all that matters. Thanks ladies for spending your time listening to this and do enjoy the rest of your day and then the rest of your week. Thanks ever so much. Bye for now. Edith: Bye, bye.
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