By Anett Uttley
This is the first in our series of captivating personal journeys from our extraordinary community. These stories are not just tales; they are windows into lives filled with inspiration, learning, and transformation. Join us as we share experiences that promise to illuminate your developmental path, offering insights and motivation for your own journey of growth and achievement.
Thank you Neti for sharing your story in your own words.
How a Side Hustle Can boost Confidence in Your Career and Life
In the world of Tropic Skincare I am known as Neti, but my name is Anett Uttley I am a Tropic Skincare ambassador and have been for over 6 years. Being an ambassador is my passion project. I also have a demanding full-time job. I work in the Prison Service and have been for over 13 years.
I am Hungarian and have lived in England for over 21 years. I moved here because at the time I finished higher education, a new law was enforced in Hungary. We had to take and an intermediate level language exam to receive our degrees (Environmental Engineering was my qualification). However, I was 10 when I started learning English, so I had a good few years' of practice, but there was only one company who was recognised by the authorities to give the exam. They had a reputation to fail everyone on the first few attempts just so they could charge more for retaking exams. Even if it was just a hearsay I personally didn’t want the stress of even trying. So I moved to England!
After passing my exam in England, I ended up staying and started working in Waste management. People felt sorry for me thinking I couldn’t get anything better, but that’s what I wanted to do since I was in primary school. I hated littering and fly tipping (however I didn’t know that’s what it was called) and I thought I could do something about it. I learnt to drive a tractor with a massive trailer, I could even reverse it better than the men- their words not mine, and I also have a forklift license. And no, it isn’t seen as a very attractive (some might say 'girly' job) and I was constantly dirty. I guess that’s one reason why I was drawn to being a Tropic skincare ambassador. I wanted to be around more women and have some fun in a different way.
When I joined, I only had one goal: to get my products for free.
I remember my first pamper, I asked my friends to come and listen and give me feedback. I was so nervous I didn’t even see my notes and nearly fainted. I have spent days listening to all the training making notes and trying to pronounce the ingredients right. Pronunciation was a big issue for me, I felt inadequate if I got something wrong (that’s mainly down to an abusive relationship I ended up in, when I landed in England - but that’s a different story).
Somehow, I got through it, and it gave me a bit of a buzz ,and sense of achievement. So, I carried on. I fell in love with the company, the ethics and everything it stands for. I already loved the products-that's why I joined the first place-, so everything else was a bonus. I would have never imagined I would end up doing public speaking to small groups of women as a foreigner.
For years I blank refused to build a team. I didn’t feel that I could be a leader - (imposter syndrome alert). However, my confidence was growing, my customers became my friends, and they came to me for advice. And to my surprise I could help them 🏼👏🏼
Whilst I was growing my confidence, they were growing theirs.
That was because I learnt so many skills with Tropic. And no I didn’t have to do anything extra I just listened to all the training that was available for us. I guess when you are interested in something you learn it more easily.
I remember I was asked by my line manager, if I fancied doing something different at work. My answer was NO! I didn’t want to learn anything new. I know now, that outside of work that’s exactly what I was doing but didn’t realise it because I was enjoying it so much. So much so, I realized I was spending less and less time with my husband. I started to put a reminder on my calendar to go and spend time with him.... I still have that reminder....
Without realising it I learnt to manage my time really well. I only had a few hours outside of work, to build my business. And I was getting good at managing my little passion project. And that skill reflected at work too. I have been given little projects by my line manager when he noticed I got things done. And the little things became bigger and bigger projects. I was also confident enough to speak up when I disagreed with him, I believe he valued that in me.
We have a lovely and very supportive team with my Tropic family and we learn from each other, share good practice and support each other. Most of us work full time so we can share tips on how to fit things around our busy lives. I don’t know if all teams are like ours, but we get loads of support from our up line. We get regular trainings that helps us. And we have ambassadors with different background, like beauticians, teachers, accountants, social marketing experts and the list is endless, they are happy to share their skills with us too.
When the pandemic hit and we weren’t able to have face to face contact, that’s when things started to change. We moved the business online. May I add it is not an ideal situation when your business is based on putting products on people’s skin so they are able to experience it before they invest in themselves. But we learnt and evolved. And to be honest it has opened up a lot of new doors. We started to have meetings and pampers online, which enabled more of us to connect, not just people local to us. Through Tropic I met a success coach, my intentions were to grow my business with her help. But I gained much more than that. I gained skills that help my professional development at work. I learnt to look after myself better and with those skills I was able to stop taking antidepressants after 10 years.
It was around that time when I had my first team member joining me. And to be honest the only reason I accepted the idea, because I was worried that if I didn't, she would join someone else’s team and I would lose her as a costumer... I didn’t realise until then, how much you get out of helping someone to succeed. That was the best feeling in the world.
From that point I wanted to become a leader. Clearly my confidence grew, and my project and time managing skills were getting better, and once again it was recognized at work. At the start of the pandemic, I was put in a team to provide PPE, to the local prisons in the area. Due to being such an enclosed space, it was high risk to potential outbreaks. After a few weeks I was promoted to run the PPE project. I must add you don’t get promoted in prison service; you have to apply for every promotion. However, this was an exceptional circumstance and temporary for 2 years.
I have learnt so much and a lot more about myself, I learnt to go out of my comfort zone. For me, first it was doing a Facebook live. That was a challenge my coach set for us. I was struggling with it so much my husband had to leave the house I couldn’t cope otherwise. I still shut the door when I go live, but I no longer write a long script or want it to be perfect, Most of the time I go live in my pjs with no make up on, that is how confident I am. I understand now, as long as I help my costumers they don’t care how I look. Bedsides this way they can see how good my skin looks, and they will want that for themselves.
We have a mantra in our team: Done is better than perfect. I tell this to myself when I am procrastinating...it does help.
When the pandemic stated to calm down and I had more free time, my line manager delegated some of his tasks to me. And they were tasks he didn’t want to do, and I knew nothing about. I took it upon myself to do the legwork and build it up from the ground. I was confident enough to know that there is no stupid question. And I came to realise that I am very good at connecting with the right people, people who can help me with my tasks.
After my temporary promotion has ended and I returned to job that I was contracted to do, the extra delegated tasks didn’t go away. My line manager was confident that I could do both.
After less than a year, a job opportunity came up, same job as my line manager in a different establishment. I went for it. I find it very difficult to talk about, how good I am at what I do, but I had to suck it up and do it for my application. I got a job interview.
The first question they asked: What do you do in your free time?
Well, I am a Tropic skincare ambassador and I have a team of 10 people. I love helping them succeed in building their business.
To my shock I had many more questions about my side hustle, and how I could implement the skills I had learnt into this potential new role. I got the job!
I have only been in this role for 5 months but since I have started, I learnt that the work I have done previously hasn’t been unnoticed. People in higher management from different establishment knew of me. Which still gives me goose bumps, I don’t think I have realised how much of an impact I made by just “doing my job”.
And all this because I have signed up over 6 years ago to be a Tropic ambassador to get my products for free. Thank you for reading my story.
If you would like to connect
You can join me in the next Courageous Confidence Community Connect Session on Thursday 7th December at 7.30pm where I will be demonstrating how to give a self - facial massage. I can't wait. (Click here to secure your place)
We would like to thank Neti on behalf of the community for sharing her story.
If you would like to share your story, then get in touch at email@example.com.
For more information on our Events please check here
And come and join us for our last community networking with a difference session on Thursday 7th at 7.30pm - bring your facial oil ready for a massage 😄 and to discuss setting boundaries at Christmas time - it's your time too!