How to Get Your Partner Onboard
- [1:05] A brief overview of Brooke’s business
- [1:20] How Brooke got into direct selling
- [2:25] Why getting your partner on board is important for Brooke
- [2:53] How to deal with misinformation and misconceptions
- [4:07] Setting boundaries for business and family
- [6:12] How to use the experience of supportive partners to turn things around
- [8:13] How to get your partner as backend support for your business
- [10:40] Brooke’s tips to get your partner on board
- [11:52] The Incentives
- [13:32] Must have resources and inspirations
- [14:34] Brooke’s mentors
[0:31] Jen: Today we’re joined by Brooke Pearson, a senior team leader for an Australian party plan company in the linen, homewares, and decor category. We’ll be talking with Brooke about how to get your partner on board. Welcome to the show, Brooke.
[0:42] Brooke: Hi, thanks, Jen.
[0:44] Jen: It’s great to have you with us.
[0:45] Brooke: Thank you.
[0:45] Jen: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? What’s your background?
[0:47] Brooke: Yes. My background is actually in hospitality. I’ve worked in a few hotels in the city of Melbourne and I’m also a proud mommy of almost seven year old twins.
[0:56] Jen: Oh, wow. [Laughs] Boys, girls?
[0:59] Brooke: One of each.
[1:00] Jen: Oh, wow, that’s so lucky.
[1:03] Brooke: Yes. [Laughs] Done.
[1:05] Jen: Can you give us a little overview of your business?
[1:08] Brooke: Yes. I’m in the party plan industry. I do a lot of work from home during the day while the kids are at school, obviously and hubby’s at work. It just gives me the flexibility of being at home with the kids as well.
[1:20] Jen: Can you tell me how and why you got involved in direct selling?
[1:24] Brooke: Yes, absolutely. Not long after having Jack and Manny I think they were about – only about three months old and Drew had approached me and asked me what I would if I went back to work. And obviously, the hospitality industry was not something I wanted to go back to. I loved it back then, but I was a mom and I wanted to be at home with Jack and Madison as much as possible. So, he actually suggested a few other party planning companies and the current one I’m with was one that I’ve heard of before so I knew they had a great reputation so I jumped on their website and I guess the rest is history.
[1:57] Jen: Have you been along to parties before?
[2:01] Brooke: My mom’s all the time. I used to tag along with my mom and make her buy me things.
[2:07] Jen: And so you actually then found; you went to – nobody come to you, you went to the company. [crosstalk]
[2:10] Brooke: I actually went to the company, yes. And my upline came out and met me.
[2:17] Jen: And the rest is history. [Laughs] So how long ago was that?
[2:19] Brooke: I have been with the company for six and a half years.
[2:24] Jen: Wow.
[2:25] Brooke: Yes.
[2:25] Jen: Look, I know you’re excited to talk with us today about getting your partner on board. Can you tell me why this topic stood out for you?
[2:32] Brooke: Yes, absolutely. Roughly 12 months ago I stepped up to leadership and I knew with that would come a little bit of extra work, with meetings and bringing new girls into the team and all that sort of stuff. I knew that I needed him, probably on board more than ever because I knew it would get a little busier. And I mean, he loves the company as much as I do, so that was easy.
[2:53] Jen: Okay. So, one of the main reasons we find spouses are not comfortable with direct selling is really just the lack of understanding. The challenge lies in the fact that there’s an abundance of misinformation, misconceptions out there. How do you deal with these misconceptions and how do you educate your partner about direct selling?
[3:09] Brooke: That was easy for me. When my upline came out to have a chat to me, Drew was actually there. So he sat him on the whole conversation.
[3:16] Jen: So he’s been there from the beginning?
[3:18] Brooke: He’s been there from the beginning, which…
[3:20] Jen: [[3:20] inaudible] like the driver’s seat. [Laughs]
[3:22] Brooke: Yes. He recruited someone for me just a few months ago so he’s on board in a big way and I think having him there from the very beginning has certainly helped with that. And so now, where I can, if I can interview a husband and wife team, I will happily speak to the husband as well.
[3:39] Jen: It’s a question we hear asked a lot. How do I get my partner to treat my business like a real business? And I guess it does all start with you. Are you treating your business like a real business? Do you have a focus, a schedule, and boundaries? All of these things are really important and running your business without these is more like a hobby where you’ll get hobby results. And as a result, your partner is probably going treat it like a hobby too. Can you talk to us about how you have setup an effective schedule and boundaries that worked with your partner?
[4:07] Brooke: Yes, absolutely. I’m lucky that a lot of the things that involve my business I can do during the day. Jack and Maddy are at school, Drew’s at work, and I’m very mindful that the minute I get the kids from school and Drew comes home from work that that’s family time. So I do setup those boundaries. While we are having dinner, I won’t take any phone calls or anything like that. I think it’s important to set boundaries and how to schedule because Drew loved this company and Jack and Madison as well, so I don’t want to jeopardise that by constantly being in my office and constantly being in my business.
[4:39] Jen: What about the other way around? During the day you said that you set aside those hours and everybody’s off doing their own thing, do you ever find that our partner turns around and says, “Well, you can look after this because you’re just at home, like, being at home or…
[4:54] Brooke: Some time. My daughter recently broke her arm so I have to make a couple of phone calls [[4:59] unclear] because I am at home and I guess it’s just easier. He is the truck driver so he obviously can’t really talk and drive in his truck at the same time. There are a few little things like that that come out during the day, but they take about two seconds.
[5:12] Jen: Sometimes it just can come down, I mean, not in your case so much but for others, just asking their partners for support. I guess I just wanted to know how you would go about this and how you would help someone in your team with this one. Do you ever step in and help? Perhaps just the upline, you’ve asked someone partner directly for their support.
[5:31] Brooke: Absolutely. I’ve been saying for a very long time that the success of my business is a lot of it is due to Drew. Without his support and his encouragement along the way, none of it is possible. And having said that, I do have a few single moms in the team so there’s two sides of it and one story comes to mind with one of those beautiful girls in my team. Her partner has always been there and he understands it and all the rest of it but he actually started coming along to some of their team meetings and it just skyrocketed her business to a whole new level because he’s finally realised the she could really make a good go with this and it could be a really great career for her. So just getting her along and getting them involved.
[6:12] Jen: Yes. You know most direct sellers know someone who has or has had an unsupportive partner. Maybe not unsupportive in the beginning, but they’ve come around and sometimes hearing how someone else came around can help the unsupportive partner understand our little world of direct selling and from the perspective of someone that they can actually relate to. Have you ever asked someone with these experiences to speak to other partners to see if they can help them come around?
[6:38] Brooke: Yes, absolutely. Drew, my partner, we had a conference at the start of the year and one of my gorgeous girl’s hubby came for the first time and he was pissed? He openly admitted that he was skeptical about the whole thing and he basically spent the weekend with Drew and I think all they talked about was our business.
[6:56] Jen: Right. Why was he skeptical? Can you share that?
[6:58] Brooke: Yes, I think for men they probably see that we’re just out partying, but it’s not.
[7:05] Jen: It’s kind of true. [Laughs]
[7:05] Brooke: That we’re just having fun.
[7:08] Jen: Yes. We’re not treating it like a real business.
[7:10] Brooke: Yes, absolutely, and I think when he heard how well our team was doing and those sorts of things that really opened his eyes a lot.
[7:17] Jen: It’s funny. Most men, money talks, doesn’t it?
[7:20] Brooke: Absolutely.
[7:21] Jen: Show me the bottom-line.
[7:22] Brooke: Absolutely. You know, for Drew, he’s been the sole breadwinner in the family for a long time. So for me to be able to go out there and start earning some great money to help unburden him is amazing. And I think it was a real eye opener for this guy and he doesn’t stop talking about it, so… [laughs]
[7:37] Jen: So, you’ve talked about getting your partner involved in your business and how you think that that can help turn people around, do you have members in your team that run a business with their partner? I mean, when I say run the business, I’m not talking about the backend. I’m talking about husband and wife team. Do you have that going on?
[7:55] Brooke: No, we don’t. We will be, soon. With the gorgeous girl I was referring to earlier, her partner is thinking about jumping on board and actually doing it as a duo. And I think he’d be an amazing seller, so, hopefully, that will happen.
[8:09] Jen: Yes, look, some people just need to be brought in to become part of that team.
[8:13] Brooke: Yes, absolutely.
[8:13] Jen: Maybe when they don’t want to be actively involved, they can work on things in the backend. Does your husband or any in your team ever kind of work on building from the backend, whether it’s looking after your account or anything like that?
[8:26] Brooke: Yes, I’ve had Drew stamp a few catalogues and things like that. [Laughs] He wants to get involved from that end. The kids obviously want to as well, but, I think they sneed to be a little older.
[8:38] Jen: You know it’s great though in this industry, I’ve heard a lot of stories of women that are now looking at having their children are growing and they tell me that their children saw their business every day. It’s not like other careers that parents have where the kids don’t get the opportunity to see what mom does every day. They don’t get to become involved and I think that this industry really has the ability to shape kids throughout that growing stage because when they seem to grow up in this, I don’t know – I’m going to call them “direct selling babies”, when they grow up through that direct selling world, they seem to just understand about goal setting and mindset and attitude, work ethic. It’s just, from what I see and I think your kids are probably experience the same, so look, I would say get them to stamp those catalogues. Don’t be afraid. [Laughs]
[9:30] Brooke: [inaudible] A couple of years ago we went on a family holiday to Queensland because of my business. So, to be able to take them to all the theme parks and let them buy whatever they wanted to buy was something that Drew and I will certainly never forget.
[9:44] Jen: Yes, I bet.
[9:45] Brooke: Yes. It’s pretty cool.
[9:47] Jen: Can you share an example of someone in your team who has struggled with an unsupportive partner?
[9:51] Brooke: Yes. I do. I have a gorgeous girl in my team who is a phenomenal person. She’s incredible. She’s a single mom with four kids and she does it pretty tough. She didn’t have a lot of support around but she’s proving them all wrong every week, so I’m really excited for her. But it’s been tough. It’s been tough for her as well.
[10:14] Jen: Did she have a partner, to begin with? [crosstalk]
[10:17] Brooke: Yes.
[10:18] Jen: And he was unsupportive.
[10:19] Brooke: Yes, he’s not overly supportive, no.
[10:22] Jen: Now, are we talking about unsupportive with her children or unsupportive in the business?
[10:27] Brooke: Yes, definitely unsupportive with the business. She can only work certain days but she’s making it work for her. And you know, she’s openly said that it’s just – it completely changed her as a person and she’s flourishing.
[10:40] Jen: Wow. [laughs] So share with me, what are your top five tips for getting your partner on board? You seem to have it all working, you guys. Sounds like you’re the dream team, so, what are the secrets to your success?
[10:51] Jen: I think just having him there at the start it certainly wasn’t something I was thinking of but Cherie just said to him, “Do you want to sit down and have a chat as well?” So he was on board from the very second. We talked about it a lot anytime there’s things happening or changing within the company, he’s probably the first person I tell. Being a leader I have to keep secrets but I certainly let them out to him. He just gets it. He’s seen, I guess the financial side of things as well. The holidays we’ve been able to go along with the kids and things like that. It’s incredible.
[11:25] Jen: So I guess so far you’ve really highlighted having them involved. That’s definitely a key to getting your partner on board. Keeping the lines of communication open and making sure that they are seeing those reward coming in.
[11:38] Brooke: Yes, and I think that’s important. We were able to go to Bali, I think last June to see one of my best friends get marries, and Drew had never been out of Australia, so, he was very excited. And all because of the income that comes in from my business.
[11:52] Jen: So what about incentive holidays and rewards. Do you ever have partners getting involved in that sort of thing?
[11:59] Brooke: Absolutely. Every year there’s an overseas trip and some use it differetly, some partners can quality, you can quality for your partner to come with you as well. And for me personally, I didn’t meet that so I missed out on the overseas trip this year which was a little bit sad but I did get rewarded with a brand new car. So that was pretty amazing and he delivered it to our meeting with the kids in the back seat.
[12:22] Jen: Oh, well. [Laughs] So I guess, with things like that going on, it’s really easy to keep your partner on board.
[12:29] Brooke: Yes. He drove up. The kids are in the back seat and I was completely blown away.
[12:35] Jen: What an incredible moment for you and your family that would have been.
[12:37] Brooke: I was bubbling mess. I cry very easily and I wasn’t expecting it.
[12:42] Jen: We all do. It’s fine.
[12:44] Brooke: And Jack said to mommy that he was very proud of mommy so, as far as I’m concerned, I’m pretty good. [laughs]
[12:50] Jen: That makes it worth it.
[12:51] Brooke: Yes, absolutely.
[12:52] Jen: So looking back, six and a half years ago, to now, how do you feel about the journey that you’ve gone on? And how does your partner feel about it?
[13:02] Brooke: It’s been amazing. Leadership was something that Cherie and I always talk about, but…
[13:06] Jen: Now, Cherie is your upline?
[13:07] Brooke: She’s my upline, yes. We talk about it from the beginning but for me personally, I wanted to be able to – if I was going to be a leader, I really wanted to sink my teeth into it and give it a really good go. And so for me, I wanted to wait until Jack and Maddy were at school, just so I did have the time to sort of sink my teeth into it properly and things like that. And I mean, the things that it had done for me as a person, and us as a family were pretty incredible as well.
[13:32] Jen: There are lots of books and programs, resources out there so people in this industry looking to grow themselves, develop themselves, those beneath them in their business, what resources would you consider a must have for direct sellers or who is a speaker or someone like that that really resonates for you?
[13:50] Brooke: Well, I’m lucky enough, every year to have our conference here in Victoria. We have guest speakers different every year. This year, we were lucky enough to have Keith Abraham who is incredible. He’s certainly left me with a lot to think about and also the girls in my team who attended the conference where blown away by him. Craig Harper also comes to mind. I think he might have been a year before. He’s quite blunt and a little crude but he hits the nail on the head. I love sharing his quotes on Facebook and things like that. We also get emails from Keith Abraham as well, just reminding us to be focused and to chunk down your goals. So those two in particular stand out for me.
[14:34] Jen: Do you have a mentor or someone that you look up to that helps you in your business?
[14:37] Brooke: I guess, I read Keith’s emails, they come through weekly so I’m always reading those and I actually picked up one of his books from our conference as well. Quite often, the kids are in bed early and Drew’s in bed early and I’ll get his book out and have a bit of a read and he was talking to hundreds of the women but I felt lucky he was talking to me. He has my attention from the minute he started until the minute he finished. So he’s certainly someone that I constantly read his emails and books.
[15:05] Jen: What about someone within your team, maybe your upline, maybe someone from within the company provides that mentoring well for you.
[15:12] Brooke: Absolutely, Cherie, my upline, is an amazing woman. She’s an amazing business person and she’s also one of my best friends. We have a really great friendship and we also have really great business relationship as well. We are very lucky in that sense, we get along great. And without her support as well, I probably wouldn’t be where I am either.
[15:32] Jen: Well, shout-out to Cherie, then. [laughs] So what is the one thing that has made you the most excited about your business or the industry, right now. What makes you smile, or laugh, when you think about it?
[15:44] Brooke: Oh, the car. [laughs] The beautiful car I get to drive every day. And hearing my kids being proud of mommy for achieving that and it’s an amazing company. I obviously think we’re the best of the best. We’re certainly leading way in terms of technology and things like that. It’s just an exciting company to be a part of and they’re all just great people to work for and it’s just a great time.
[16:07] Jen: they sound like they’re very supportive of you.
[16:09] Brooke: Very, very supportive. Everyone down at the support centre. Everyone involved. I know everyone in the company are extremely supportive. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a job where I had this much support along the way.
[16:20] Jen: So what does the future hold for you, Brooke?
[16:23] Brooke: Just keep growing the team. The team is getting bigger. We’re sitting at about 30 people at the moment. So my next goal is to find a gorgeous new leader within that group. So that’s the next goal.
[16:37] Jen: And what about for your partner?
[16:38] Brooke: Yes, we were talking this morning. We need to go on a family holiday again. I think we’re due for a holiday.
[16:45] Jen: Well, I’ll watch it unfold. I’m sure you’ll get it from there.
[16:48] Brooke: Absolutely.
[16:50] Jen: Okay, we’ll thank you so much Brooke for sharing your story with us and your insights on getting your partner on board. I think you sound like you’ve got it completely under control, so, I think that everyone has a lot to learn from you.
[17:01] Brooke: Well, thank you so much, Jen. It was a pleasure.
[17:04] Jen: Great. Have a great day.
[17:05] Brooke: You too.