“Success from Home” magazine founder Darren Hardy’s interview with Senior Vice President, Colleen Leeds 14/12/2016
I entered the room to find Colleen looking relaxed as she sat comfortably in the stunning lounge room of her magnificent, 5 bedroom penthouse overlooking the Brisbane River.
I had never been to Brisbane before so when the opportunity to interview Colleen came up, I jumped at the chance to see another part of Australia and, especially to explore Brisbane…a city I knew nothing about.
Brisbane is one of the world’s best kept secrets! Nestled beside the Brisbane river with suburbs reaching to Moreton Bay. It is big enough to be an exciting, interesting city but small enough to have retained it’s friendly, laid-back feel.
Colleen obviously fits into the Brisbane lifestyle with ease. She was dressed comfortably with the flair she is renowned for in the community.She looked fit, well and happy.
As we sat chatting, Colleen’s husband, enters the room. It is obvious that they are best friends and have a relationship based on love, admiration and respect. He, too, is a Senior Vice President in the same network marketing company as Colleen and their support for each other has contributed to their success.
We started the interview.
D: Wow Colleen….I just love Brisbane! But I’ve come all this way to interview you for “Success from Home Magazine” because your are taking the Network Marketing Industry by storm.
You are a Senior Vice President in your company. One of the largest income earners in the world and the largest female income earner in Australian.
You have helped thousands of people achieve success both within your business and outside, and you are a generous philanthropist.
You are heavily involved with a charity that supports the homeless and people with mental illness and you support and have opened many schools in India.
You are renowned for your presentations on the International stage and considered an inspirational speaker.
Can you tell me a little about your rise to success?
C: Thank you for those kind words, Darren!
Whew! Where to begin? I have to pinch myself every morning…I am so grateful for the life I am leading and the difference I am able to make in the world.
D: Was there a time when you thought you wouldn’t make it?
C: I knew I would never give up until I was successful but many times along the way I would wonder what was holding me back. At one stage it seemed to be two steps forward and one back! Sometimes it was 2 forward and 3 back!
D: Oh….tell me about that.
C: Well, I reached a respected position in the business and for some reason, my own business stagnated. It took a lot fruitless attempts to resurrect and a huge amount of soul searching for me to realised that the problem was actually me! I had to change something in my life in order to believe that I was deserving of success.
I scratched around for many months looking for the answer. I knew I had come a long way…I have been working on myself through personal development since I was in my early 30s…I just couldn’t work out what was missing.
I was so grateful when I came across the MKMMA program. I knew that it would work as it just made sense. Being on the program for 6months meant that it was not a quick fix…I actually had to do the work to get there!!
D: You have done a lot of personal development before MKMMA, haven’t you?
C: Absolutely! And I am grateful to all of the other programs I have joined. Each seminar, recording, book or whatever source I was using, helped me to become one step closer to achieving my goals. What I found though, was that I was pumped directly after the seminar and that would last about a week and then I would fall back into my old bad habits. I needed to work on my habits of thinking and doing!
D: Well you certainly are testimony to the MKMMA program.
As you became more successful in your Network Marketing Company, you were able to finance a number of projects. Tell me about the hostel you bought and are running as a Not for Profit Organisation.
C: I was a part time support worker in a hostel while I was growing my business. This hostel was supported accommodation for people with mental illnesses, intellectual impairment or who are generally unable to look after themselves for some reason.
I was very nervous when I first started working with my clients. Like many people, I was ignorant about mental illness. I’m from a teaching background and had never encountered anyone who had a mental illness …well none that I was aware of anyway. But after a short time, I grew to love and respect my clients and I have to say, I am so grateful to have had that experience. I learnt a huge amount about life, mental illness and myself through working there.
People with mental illness are the most vulnerable and under-supported section of our society. They are literally powerless in many situations and, I feel, imprisoned, not with bars and locks anymore, but with drugs. I know many people are well meaning and medication is a vital part of the treatment for mental illness but, I feel, that in many cases the medication is not monitored closely enough….there were also other issues thatI don’t want to go into now.
The charity I was working for is wonderful and I have a huge amount of respect for the people who work in charities. I have purchased one of the hostels and partnered with that charity now to work within the hostel….they have far more experience than I and with them managing the hostel, I know it will provide for its clients, a place where they can grow and reach a level of independent living. This hostel is a safe, clean and comfortable environment that can support them for as long as needed. I run it as a not for profit organisation.
One of my greatest pleasures is visiting my friends in the hostel and seeing that they are happy and safe.
D: That’s fantastic….but that’s not the only project you’ve embarked on. Tell me about the schools in India.
C: I just love India! I find it one of the most fascinating countries in the world!I love to travel and during a trip to India, before I was successful in my business, I was privileged to tour a few of the local schools. I was shocked at the conditions in these public schools. The lack of resources…..just basics like desks, chairs, electricity, toilets! As a teacher myself, I was stunned that the female teacher in one of the schools had to go to the toilet in the woods next to the school. It was the same for the children!
I, along with two friends, financed toilets for that school and it was amazing just how little money it actually took. I have continued to finance projects in Indian schools and have even built a couple. It is a source of great joy for me.
D: Tell me a little about your life in Australia.
C: Not just Australia. I have houses or apartments in a number of cities around the world.
I am blessed to be able to travel with my business. I am constantly training at international events around the world. I just love it!
I spend three months in Australia every year and the rest is spent in different countries.
I always spend three months in London. My daughter lives there with her partner and my grandchildren. I have a grandson and granddaughter there and a son with his wife and my granddaughter in Sydney. I have bought my daughter’s family a house and I have an apartment close by that is big enough for the children to stay but allows me some privacy and “quite time” (giggle) while I’m there. It’s also a place for my friends to stay when they are in London. I have been blessed to be able to pay off my son’s house in Sydney, too.
I have invested in a number of properties in different cities in Australia, US, Morocco, Turkey and Spain. I buy properties in places I love so it always feel as though we are going home.
I adore to travel and explore culture and you can really only explore a country’s culture by staying in that country for periods of time and getting to know the people (language is good too but I have only learnt Egyptian Arabic at this point).
D: You are rumoured to have the most amazing collection of clothes.
C: (Laughs!) I do! I love clothes! Beautiful clothes make me feel great…that’s all there is to it. I love to design clothes for my body shape. It has always been a challenge to buy clothes off the rack. I am really blessed that I am able to design my own clothes and have someone sew them for me. I have sewn them myself on occasion…it depends on my mood.
D: What do you contribute your success to?
C: If I had to choose one word….it would be persistence. Persistent personal development, persistent action, persistent faith and belief in myself and persistent faith and belief in other people. Never give up!! I knew I would find the right people to work with, it was just a matter of time.
It’s a joy to work with the leaders in my teams. It really doesn’t seem like work at all. I always knew the opportunity was a gift that I had to give to as many people as would accept it and in the end it was always their choice if they accepted or not.
When I started, I was attracting to my business, people who were just like me. People who were frightened, ….that’s why I had to change the person I was and become the Senior Vice President I wanted to be. Once I did that, I found the most amazing business partners. I am blessed to have made so many interesting, loving and loyal friends within my network marketing company.
D: MKMMA contributed to you becoming the person you wanted to be.
C: Absolutely! Doing the course was the turning point in not only my business life but in my personal life as well.
D: Well on that note….we will finish the interview. Colleen, thank you for your time.
C: It was a pleasure, Darren….thank you!