Success Stories: Alice Tinton

For teaching graduate Alice, a career as an independent Consultant for The 1:1 Diet was never part of her original career plan. But once she realised that her side hustle was earning her as much as her salary as a nanny, she decided to make it her sole focus. Now her weight loss business is going from strength to strength, and Alice was awarded ‘Young Direct Seller of the Year’ by the Direct Selling Association in recognition of her success (November 2019).

“I’d always imagined that I would have a fairly traditional career; and my first role after completing my teaching degree was running a large pre-school, which was what I had always envisaged.

However, it quickly became clear to me that it wasn’t anything like I had expected. It was exceptionally busy, and very stressful, and left me with little time for family and friends.

After giving it some thought, I decided on a chance of direction, and took up a role as a part-time nanny, which was better, but as for a lot of young couples, money was tight, and so I also worked in a pub in the evenings and weekends to earn some extra income.

It was around this time that I first came into contact with The 1:1 Diet. My cousin Jess had asked me to be a bridesmaid at her wedding, and I really wanted to lose some weight for the big day. I decided on The 1:1 Diet, and started attending weekly weigh-ins and catch ups with my local consultant Jacqui.

In around 7 weeks, I had lost 2.5 stones. It felt great to have lost the weight, and lots of friends complimented me on my appearance and asked me how I’d lost the weight. I sometimes felt like a walking advert for the diet!

When Jacqui asked me whether I’d thought about becoming a consultant myself, it struck me that I’d enjoy it, but I had no experience in selling and just didn’t think it was something I would be good at. She reassured me that it wasn’t so much about selling – generally once people have decided they want to do The 1:1 Diet, they are pretty committed, and are looking for support, advice, and the company’s nutritionally balanced meal replacement products.

It cost me just £200 to get started, and for that I got a starter kit containing around 200 of the most popular products to showcase the range and sell to clients. Within a couple of weeks I had around 6–8 clients, mostly through word of mouth (people that had noticed my weight loss and were inspired to also lose weight too) and also referrals from the company’s website (people living near me are directed to me as the local Consultant in their area).

Initially, I visited clients at their homes in the evenings or at weekends, to weigh them, discuss their progress, and deliver their product order. I don’t charge for appointments, instead all of my earnings come through commission on product sales.

Within two months I was earning as much through my side hustle with The 1:1 Diet as I was earning through my three days nannying (around £1,000 a month).

When my daughter Ella came along in the summer of 2016, I took maternity leave from my nannying job and I also dropped my client base right back to focus on being a mum and spending time with her.

Gradually, I started to think more and more about what I would do longer term work-wise and started to consider if I could afford to stop nannying and focus solely on my business with The 1:1 Diet. It was so much more flexible, and I could spend more time with Ella, and fit my work around both her, and the times when my husband and mum could help with childcare.

My husband was nervous at first, and understandably so: we had a mortgage and a new baby, and it felt as if there was more certainty with the nannying. But we discussed things, and decided that if could maintain around 10 clients, I would be earning enough money from my business to make things work financially.

That ‘minimum of ten clients’ mantra has always stayed with me, but things have really taken off for my business now. I have an office on the High Street in Cheltenham where I see clients on Mondays and Saturdays, and I also see clients on a Wednesday evening, often visiting them in their homes. I’d say in total I probably work around 15-20 hours a week in total. Most of the time I have between 20 and 30 clients at any one time, plus I help manage some of the newer consultants within the business. My earnings now are typically around £3,000 – £4,000 a month.

I really love what I do, even though it is very different from my original career. I have the best of both worlds: I love working independently without the pressure of targets, but the potential is also uncapped – if I want to earn more, I can take on more clients. Plus, I have now built up a team that I help to mentor and support, on whose sales I also earn commission each month. I’m also able to call on my team if I need help – for example, when I had my son Reggie, members of my team looked after my customers for a few months so that I didn’t lose clients.

It’s also amazing to be a part of someone’s journey to change their life and become healthier.

My earnings have made a huge difference to family life and it takes the pressure off my husband. We’ve managed to pay for major renovations and an extension to our house, and we went on four family holidays last year. My husband has completely changed his view, and really admires what I’ve achieved with my business. I couldn’t go back to working for someone else now!”