Michael tried various work after redundancy, but found them all unrewarding. Alison had been made redundant the same year of 1995 having been an army officer for 22 years, but wanted to take a year off. That became several years. Alison claimed that getting married was been the hardest job she had ever undertaken. We had met only that year after Michael placed an advert in the Daily Telegraph Kindred Spirits column. Michael had 57 replies and was working through them when we met up. Alison was no 7. We had met in May 1995 and it was love at first sight and we were married the following January.
After several false starts, such as working at a local company for a year, both of us trying to become Driving Instructors, Michael working as a temp for Vodaphone at Newbury, and Michael standing for election to the local council in May 1998 (fortunately Michael lost by 44 votes), we happened to go on holiday to Ulverston in Cumbria just after. We were to join Alison's mother and Jeremy, her brother and his wife Gina, and Mary, another niece. They were staying in a cottage with stunning views of Morecambe Bay, while we stayed in our caravan. On the first night at the cottage before dinner, we asked Jeremy what he was doing currently. He said he had just started doing Kleeneze, which we both remembered from childhood as the man who went round with a suitcase full of brushes and dusters and took orders. Apparently, it had adopted a catalogue format in 1982. Michael had never previously seen one as Michael had been working overseas between 1970 and and 1995. Apparently, it had converted from Direct Sales to Network Marketing in 1970.
So when we got back to the caravan that night we discussed what we had heard and thought we could do that too. When we got home, we called Jeremy and he sent us a video and catalogue in the post. The video talked about people earning incomes which most people can only dream about, about foreign conferences, and lifestyle without a boss. We decided this was what we wanted to, do to fill the gap of about £100 a week. Michael had another reason. He had always had a fear about what he would occupy himself with in retirement. We had just found the perfect antidote.
With some effort and persistence over 6 months, we quickly found quite a few customers, about 800 and quite a few team members. In our first year, this earned us £9,000, in the second £12,000, and in the third £24,000. We got our initial investment back of £105 in just 10 days. From my days in Corporate Banking, Michael knew that not many businesses can do that so quickly. It has gone from strength to strength ever since and has been enormous fun. But this suits us because it enabled us to meet an enormous number of people who became customers and many have become friends. Team members have become friends too. It gives us a social life and an activity that we never have to retire from.