Q: What’s your background and how did you get to work with Utility Warehouse?
I’m originally from Switzerland, but have lived in the UK for over 18 years. I’m married to Stan and have 3 children aged 8, nearly 10 and nearly 14. My background is Tourism Management as I love travelling and discovering new cultures, I thought that would be the perfect career for me. Little did I know that the tourism industry is notoriously underpaid and when my first child came along, I knew it would not make financial sense to go back to work, and pay 3/4 of my salary to child care. I needed to be entrepreneurial and so I set up in business. First I tried a pet sitting business… that didn’t work as it was no fun walking a ferocious dog with a baby in a pushchair! Then I became glamorous partnering with Mary Kay Cosmetics selling skincare and make up and that’s when I discovered the power of networking. I did very well in the direct sales industry, but hated the fact I had monthly targets and needed to impose on other people in order to succeed. I wanted a business that would allow me to create passive income but didn’t know it existed until I met a Utility Warehouse distributor at a networking event.
Q: Tell us more about your business!
So Utility Warehouse is a FTSE250 British company with head offices in London. Over 20 years they have grown to offer multiple services to UK households and small to medium sized business from gas/electricity, phone and broadband to mobiles, and now also insurance services. The jewel in the crown is a cashback partnership with many highstreet and online shops and VISA card services that allows customers to use a top up prepaid card (not a credit card) and then receive cashback as a credit off their bills. Most customers will earn between £20-£50 cashback every month reducing their bills considerably.
The ethos is on consistent savings, great customer service and making life simpler with just one monthly bill and direct debit. The company has received numerous Which awards, and currently features as the number 1 rated supplier for all 3 categories: Mobiles, Broadband and Energy!
Q: What makes you happy?
Receiving a delivery of Hotel Chocolat chocolates, spending quality time with my kids, the feeling after exercising, challenging myself, a nice massage, helping people and being married to my husband (most of the time).
Q: Favourite food and drink?
I love juicing and plant based foods – there is a lot of choices out there now. I have a great app called ‘Forks over Knifes’ with a ton of recipes to cook at home. I do love good quality chocolates and a good gin or wine.
Q: Favourite place in the whole world?
I have many places I loved especially New Zealand is a fabulous country (I lived there for a year) but I guess my favourite place is going back to my childhood place and that would be Buesingen near the river Rhein. There is a special fresh river smell that makes me quite homesick and it’s a beautiful place for swimming and BBQ’s.
Q: If we had to evacuate earth and live in space, what 3 things would you bring with you and why?
- My mobile phone, which is my extended hand. I can’t live without accessing the internet, listening to music and podcasts, using maps, food apps, etc.
- My black Mary Kay eyeliner – I look dead old without a bit of make up.
- A bottle of colloidal silver – never know when that might come in handy as it functions as an antimicrobial killing viruses and bacteria and might keep me alive longer.
Q: Who inspires you and why?
People that have overcome adversity in some shape or form as it gives me courage to plough on when things don’t go to plan.
Q: Favourite quote or saying?
Yes I have a quote I adore by Marianne Williamson and I have to remind myself of it when I want to shrink away in my comfort zone… I’m powerful and I have so much more to give!
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Q: Have you got any exciting plans in the pipeline?
I’m excited about our trip in the summer to Switzerland, I’m excited about growing our business and reaching the next level of leadership and longterm I’d love to take the family for a 6 months trip around the world, although not sure my husband and eldest son are very much on board with this idea yet.
Q: Best business tip you have ever received?
‘Stop focusing on what doesn’t work or what’s not good in your life and focus on what you can do! Start telling yourself a different story!’ told by Anne Newbury, first woman millionaire in Mary Kay Cosmetics after pouring my heart out to her. I had split up from my first husband, it was messy, I had no support in this country and felt like I couldn’t handle the business, small child and fending for myself.
Q: What do you like best about the Leicester Business networking group?
I love how the group has grown and developed organically, how much fun we are having whilst helping each other in business. And I’m really excited about the future growths and a few more cocktail nights!
Q: Where can people find out more about your business?
For saving money – www.UtilityAdviser.co.uk
For making money – www.OpportunityForYou.uk
Or by calling Barbara on 07916 331 788