'˜Selling cosmetics helped me deal with crisis in our family'
Feeling constantly exhausted and crumbling from the pressure of trying to keep her head above water, Lyndsey McDaid felt she couldn't see a way out of her financial predicament.
Lyndsey, 33, who lives in Garstang, near Preston, recalls: “I was constantly robbing Peter to pay Paul and things were spiralling financially.
“I was paying the mortgage on a credit card and forever borrowing money, but getting nowhere.”
Lyndsey has been married to Paul, 37 for five years and the couple have three children between them – Caitlin, nine, Gracie, two and Evan, 14.
Lyndsey was working as a wedding planner and Paul, a trained chef, was working as a binman when the couple bought their first house together in Garstang in 2014.
However, the following month their lives suddenly changed when Paul was struck by a major spinal problem.
Lyndsey remembers: “We were sitting in the garden for Paul’s birthday when he started getting tingling feelings in his feet, which then spread to the back of his legs.
“By the Monday, he could not walk, so we went to the hospital where they scanned him and sent him home in a wheelchair with an orthopaedic appointment.
“However, by the Thursday of that week, things had deteriorated so much that Paul could not even stand and was completely numb.
“We live across the road from a doctor’s surgery so I ran to them and asked if someone could help me with Paul.
“They came over to help and then referred Paul straight to hospital.”
Paul was taken to Preston hospital and by this point, paralysis had set in.
An emergency MRI scan was carried out and doctors discovered Paul was suffering from spinal cord compression.
Lyndsey explains: “Paul’s spine was being suffocated by this compression and he had emergency surgery only hours later.
“It was a nine hour operation and there was a high chance that he might not ever walk again.
“Paul was only 32 at the time and I remember sitting in the hospital looking at bungalows thinking Paul might be left in a wheelchair.”
As Paul recovered from his ordeal, he was unable to work for a while and he slowly learnt to walk again.
To try to make ends meet, Lyndsey took on extra jobs, such as cleaning and barwork, on top of her full-time job, but was finding things a struggle financially.
She remembers: “We had only just bought our first house and I was having to pay the mortgage on a credit card.
“At the time, Paul was working as a binman for Lancaster Council as he was having a break from being a chef, as the long hours did not fit in with family life.
“Paul slowly got back on his feet, but he could not have gone back to being a binman because of the workload and his condition.
“Paul was in a lot of pain and struggling and I was trying to keep everything going, but was too scared to discuss finances with him as I did not want to put him under any extra pressure.
“Paul is very traditional in the sense of wanting to look after his family.
“I was exhausted from trying to keep our heads above water and protect him from how bad things were.
”I was in a lot of debt with loans and credit cards.”
Lyndsey, a former Garstang High School pupil, did try a direct selling company, but it was not how it was sold to her.
So when a friend of a friend who was a Body Shop at Home consultant told her about the opportunities with the company, Lyndsey was initially sceptical. She had to pay £45 for a start-up kit which included more than £200 of products, catalogues and tools to get her business up and running and after consideration, she decided she may as well give it a go.
Lyndsey recalls: “I remember having a conversation with Paul about it and we decided that the worst that could happen was that I would lose £45 and we did not have anything anyway.
“Things were so bad at the time, I actually had to borrow the £45 from my mum to buy the kit.”
Lyndsey attended free local training session and had ongoing support to build her business, and she began selling Body Shop products to friends and family and having Body Shop at Home parties.
Lyndsey initially thought she might be able to earn a couple of hundred pounds a month through the venture, but as her confidence grew, so did her income.
Lyndsey says: “I joined The Body Shop at Home because I’ve always used the products and thought ‘well why not recommend them to family and friends and make money’.
“I would go out to a party and earn £50 plus for a couple of hours, I had to work eight hours in my day job to get that.
“But it wasn’t just the money that was good for me, it also did so much for me as a person.
“For me, it was a bit of a release and I was going out and enjoying myself and meeting new people. It did not really feel like work.
“I started doing well and then people started approaching me as they could see how much fun I was having and they also needed to earn some extra money.
“Before I knew it, I was recruiting people left, right and centre.
“I was meeting people who had been suffering from depression and anxiety who had not been able to put themselves in a social situation.
“They started doing Body Shop at Home and were enjoying it as much as me.
“This gave me more pleasure than the money at the end of the month.”
Lyndsey has suffered from depression and anxiety herself for many years and was on anti-depressants for about eight years, but she is now no longer on them.
Lyndsey says: “The biggest thing for me is the way it has helped with my depression.
“Working for Body Shop at Home helped me develop personally and gave me the confidence to believe in myself.
“I now solely have the Body Shop at Home as my career and don’t have to do any other jobs.”
Lyndsey was so successful, she was actually fast tracked to regional manager with The Body Shop at Home which attracts a £20,000 bonus on top of her monthly commission. She is the first person to get this fast track bonus with them.
Lyndsey says: “I built my own range of consultants in 18 months, so I got an accelerated bonus for achieving these goals.
“I now earn four times more a month than I was earning working as a wedding planner full-time.”
Lyndsey now has more than 300 consultants across the UK in her business and helps to mentor them to achieve their goals. She is delighted that 19 of them earn a full-time income from Body Shop at Home.
The family has now managed to clear their debts and Paul can walk again.
Lyndsey says: “The best thing was that Paul was able to leave being a chef and not have to stand on his feet for 12 hours a day.
“After recovering, he did go back to being a chef at the end of 2014, but now he has been able to leave that and works as a fitter.
“I also wanted Paul to be able to drive his dream car of a BMW which I have just bought – paid for by my Body Shop at Home work.
“Paul is now doing amazingly well. He still struggles with pain, but from thinking he may never work again, he is working full-time and we are enjoying life as a family.
“I am now virtually debt free and my quality of life has improved so much.
“We have just booked our family holiday and instead of putting it on a credit card, we were able to pay cash.
“We are not money orientated people, but it has been life-changing for us.
“It is crazy and I have to keep pinching myself.
“I love the flexibility and the social aspect of Body Shop at Home. It is not just the material things I get from the job, but also how valued I feel from the company and those I work closely with.
“Paul is extremely proud of me and sees how different I am as a person.
“I now believe in myself, my anxiety is less and less and my days are filled with positive thoughts.
“I know now that anything is possible.
“I love my life and my new-found confidence and that’s down to this business. It’s the best £45 I’ve ever spent.”
Amanda Alcock, senior regional manager for The Body Shop at Home, who mentors Lyndsey, says: “I am absolutely thrilled for Lyndsey and her family, I know this has been life changing for them.
“Lyndsey has worked so hard to a make this happen and has an incredible team who are fully behind the mission.
“It goes to show that anything can be achieved when you put your mind to it.”
The Body Shop at Home is currently recruiting. To find out more, call Lyndsey on: 07581 464216.