Reaching Fifty was a shock to me in that it was apparent I was in a rut and would remain there unless steps were taken to change it. Twenty years before, I had met Charles ‘Tremendous’ Jones personally at a recruiting function. His teachings had changed my life from a functioning alcoholic to a Born Again Christian. I became completely sober, taught many people life changing principles, ran youth groups and taught pc courses at the local community college.
Now at fifty, I did not want my obituary to credit me as a State employee whose life accomplishment consisted of “x” number of years as the highlight of my useful activity on earth. When I began looking for ways to change my life, an acquaintance recommended Tony Robbins as a starting point. His teachings made an immediate impact on me. I expanded my horizons and devoured other teachings such as those of Wayne Dyer, Stephen Covey, and Jim Rohm, to name a few.
I implemented many changes in my life because of the principles learned from these teachers. I focused on being productive at work with a result that over the next ten years, I used my imagination to create and lead projects for which I earned awards, two of them being “Employee of the Year” for two major projects.
One of the projects was for designing a system and process for using credit cards to replace checks. Within five years, that program was processing $10,000,000 a month, had 5,000 state cardholders, earned over $5,000,000 in rebates and yet, was run by only two full time people.
The other project was the first client server application for the State of Delaware. We interfaced the legacy accounting system by programming all the functionality of the legacy system needed at the local level including forms and other processes. For many Departments, this GUI app became the “De Facto” accounting system. It was operational within two years of proof of concept.
During this time, my granddaughter’s burned foot was healed overnight. See the full story on Rene Derme It so intrigued me that I researched the world of honey. I avoided surgery for hemorrhoids by using my imagination for a use in the application of honey to the strategic location. Many people were helped by that experience. In fact, many people came to me thanking me for saving their “A#%”.
In 2005, a friend of mine took me to meet an entrepreneur who was intrigued by my friend’s accounts of my success with honey. He sponsored five forums a year in California. His conclusion after listening to examples of people who had been helped was that, “Honey is a miraculous product but, it is too viscous and sticky for the average person to use. Why don’t you think of a way to incorporate honey into a formula that will be effective yet attractive to use by the masses”.
Of course he also suggested that I come to one of his business seminars, meet people with imagination, talk to people who will help me establish a viable product, consult with others who will teach me business basics, and most importantly will help me market my ideas. The end result should have been my having a business worth $150 million within 5 years.
He was so persuasive that I almost did not return to work because I thought my employer couldn’t really afford my talents. There was no way I needed to work for less for someone who didn’t really appreciate me. I now had a real mission in life.
As reality settled over me, the absurdity of the situation struck home.
- I was within a couple of years of retirement.
- I was in IT management for a government division in the State of Delaware, with no experience running a private business.
- I would have to revamp my long established way of life which meant hard WORK on my part.
- I was not enthused by the prospect of raising capital.
My first and biggest hurdle was getting to the seminar in California. I live on the East Coast. I was not about to drive to California at 67 years of age. I was so petrified of flying that I would not even visit my son who was stationed in Hawaii. As I pondered this, it occurred to me that it was cowardice to go to the grave afraid of something so much a part of this world. A search of the internet resulted in my discovering an answer in a site named FearOfFlying.com. It was a revelation. How groundless was my fear. I bought tickets to California, and flew there without the use of alcohol, drugs or any other crutches. I have been flying without fear since then. So I attended my first business forum in July, 2005.
The forum exceeded my wildest expectations. I volunteered to be a “staff member” for the next ten day forum which was scheduled for Sept 2005. My duties began on a Friday afternoon with setting up the rooms to be used. For the next 8 days, we began at 7am for breakfast and remained on duty until 10pm. I was wiped out by the following Sunday. I sat in my room that Sunday after the official part of the forum, and I was convinced this total venture was asinine. In the process of reviewing the initial reasons of doubt, I was moved to take a pad of paper from the table next to me. I normally do not make many notes. I began to write furiously as if I was being led. I then read what was written: “I have so appointed the time and circumstances for your life that if you do not answer My call, the very rocks of your soul will cry out and you will be left with nothing but a shell of a person”. The words rattled me. I do not write nor think that way. There was only one course of action: To make it my mission in life to establish a legacy.
I thought this was going to be easy. I had a message from above. I had been very successful in defining project scopes and assembling teams in my career with the state of Delaware. I had all kinds of help for the asking while employed there. Three weeks after the forum, I met a beekeeper who had experience with making skin creams with honey. He agreed to help formulate my specific product which would relieve hemorrhoid issues. My brothers committed individual amounts of money to help start the project.
The cream for the hemorrhoids was sadly not ready in time for the December forum. The formulator agreed to mix batches for my specifications for a skin cream using his skin product as a base. He even agreed to fill sample bottles we had bought. We tested the new product on friends who gave us an enthusiastic appraisal of the results for its effectiveness in moisturizing and rejuvenation their skin. I took 300 samples to the forum and once again was gratified by the feedback. Another member, who was a marketing expert, introduced himself at the forum. He had successfully completed marketing campaigns for two of his clients, Revlon and L’Oreal. He produced folios of his work and said we had a million dollar product that he could have introduced to the marketplace within six months. By the end of December, he sent newly designed labels, a brand name, and a rough draft of a marketing campaign. We agreed on terms and now had a marketing expert. To complete the necessary tools for a successful business, a webmaster volunteered his expertise to construct a website for us. The dream, based on the message I received in July, was off to an outstanding start.
What I overlooked in my euphoria was the experience that had led to my successful projects for the State of Delaware. All that knowledge I had garnered while working for the state was done over a period of years while working in a familiar environment. Without that background, the projects would not have been a resounding success. My boss once told me that as a single individual, I had impacted more people in their every day duties for the State than anyone she could think of.
In retrospect, I now know that all the resources I needed were provided to me upon request and approval. I had the backing of my superiors, I personally handpicked teams comprised of people whose capabilities I knew well, and I never saw a bill. I certainly did not consider the advantage of having these factors in place when assessing the effort needed to secure these same type of benefits in my new project. To put it bluntly, I was naïve about my new world. But I was ready to go full force that January of 2006.
By September, I had received nothing more concrete from my marketer in spite of bi-monthly meetings and a three day planning session with him and my board. Many sources commented that the branding, marketing materials, and labeling were archaic for this generation. The bulk of the proposed advertising were advertisements in Major magazines. It was folly to think we could compete in that arena. We dismissed him. We needed to reach our niche markets. We decided to concentrate on Internet Marketing. I have pursued this avenue since then. I have attended many seminars, classes, and online resources in order to maximize my knowledge of this medium. It took several websites, and webmasters but now, we have been blessed to have a competent webmaster.
The results can be seen our two sites: ReneDerme.com for products, information on looking younger and protecting one’s health through skin care, and other subjects of interest pertaining to overall wellness. The other site, TheHoneyFactor.com, highlights information about myself, my journey, the company and others in the organization.
Developing the perfect formula has been an interesting process
In July of 2007, we began experiencing product consistency problems which our formulator which was attributed to a global phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Bees were disappearing, colonies at a time. The result was scarce and sub par quality for all of the bee ingredients. Those problems still face us today. In September of 2007, my supplier told me he could no longer supply us. I went into emergency mode to find a new supplier and a suitable substitute for the honey in our products.
I decided I would no longer attend the the business forums and dedicated my time to finding solutions for this unanticipated problem. I began experimenting and mixing the formulations myself. I found I had a talent for that and have been making the products myself ever since. I also determined through research of other products, and trying other product and ingredients, that I could effectively add herbs and oils to achieve the same result as the original formula. We still use all-natural and organic honey but, new oils and herbs are now included in every bottle we sell. We continue to experiment on new ingredients in our formulations. We now have several new products that we can offer in various niches including solutions for pets.
In 2008, the United States economic infrastructure began to collapse. The repercussions are still being felt to this day. One of the main changes which have impacted small business owners is sources of funding of businesses through credit from both the financial and investment markets. Our new web sites allow us to more effectively search for alternate sets of funding by identifying new niches and demographics. We plan to generate the needed capital through revenues from sales of products. Expenses are at a minimum so there is no danger of going bankrupt or stopping operations. We have a strategic outbound internet marketing plan and we are executing it, thats probably how you found this article!
We have positioned our products to be an effective solution for alternative maintenance, and health solutions in this new era of health care. According to many reports, there is a possibility of less medical care available to the average person because of many private physician practices closing because of added government obligations becoming too costly for them to meet. Also, the picture is one where many people will have less benefits and will not be able to have services available to them. Added to this mix is that the responsibility for ones health will become more incumbent on the individual rather than medical resources, including prescriptions. The all-natural and organic market is an obvious alternative. We have the answer to preserve health by optimizing the skin’s ability to be the first line of defense against a hostile environment but, also restoring the appearance and functionality of the skin after suffering trauma by surgery, wounds form accidents, or burns. We have many testimonies attesting to that capability of our products.
We have an active obligation to our Country. We feel confident enough to offer the creams to non-profit organizations that help those in the service of our country including veterans, firemen, law enforcement, and those assisting victims of natural disasters.
If you know someone who meets this criteria, please have them contact us at www.renederme.com. We will send free skin creams to help them with any skin traumas due to surgery, burns, or wounds. Our purpose is to do our best to ensure that all persons who have a close association with us profit emotionally, physically and financially.