There was an active business club in the area, which did not want any members that were not relevant to the jewellery trade, so, to help build up more clients, I started (with a few others) 'The Jewellery Quarter Business Club' and we soon had 450 members (I designed the logo).

My insurance manager soon realised I did not like 'cold calling' so he let me off the hour's others spent, just phoning people hoping they would eventually get an appointment or having to walk the streets trying to find someone that would be interested.

He agreed to my suggested approach for finding clients, by using this business club and agreed that the Jewellery Quarter (as I was based there) would be my area.

On one occasion I was the fourth highest salesman in the UK also I was the very first salesman to sell a new product - the Capital Protector Bond. Having studied all about it, I decided to take a chance and talk to our neighbour, who had never been very friendly, but I contacted him and explained quite honestly, that I had been trained about inheritance tax and would like to present an idea to someone I did not know well, before speaking to people that I did.

I pointed out that I would appreciate it, if he would tell me what he thought of my presentation, all of course without any obligation. Not only did he congratulate me for making the whole problem simple to understand, but he indeed became my first customer, such a big one that I was the top selling insurance agent in the country for that month.

This neighbour, David Wood was to prove to be very important to me later too! Soon after this I was selected as one of only seventeen people throughout the UK to go on a special corporate course, to deal with companies rather than individuals.

None of this was easy, as there was no salary only commission, but the commission fees were very good. It certainly helped to save my business (the only reason I had to leave, was because of a new manager who simply would not tolerate anyone working part time!) so just after a year with them, I then had one hat less!

During this time so many businesses had gone bankrupt, times had been so hard, but thanks to Sun Alliance I had overcome my fear of computers and gained a basic knowledge of how to use them, I had also learned through other courses I went on during this period how to use 'Photoshop' and how to create websites. My son Jason also was a big help to me, overcoming numerous computer problems.

In addition I gained some new clients for my studio, and I became a trusted friend of David Wood, even though he was many years older than me (I subsequently learned that he held a very senior position within the Masonic movement).

Quite extraordinary, how much I gained by joining Sun Alliance, because I was very reluctant to do this at first!


I decided to publish a book about my 'Special Effect' photography, as I had been approached by a Hong Kong book publisher, who could publish the numerous colour photographs needed, at a very reasonable price, for far less than was possible in the UK and as he was very enthusiastic, we agreed a favourable 'Royalty' basis.

This failed to come about, after I had done such a lot of work planning, photographing, and writing all text for what I titled 'The Magic Lantern', I learned that this publisher went bankrupt, just before I had completed it all!

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