Why you need to listen to the Get Rich Slow episode on Business Ethics with Susie Ma

Do you have to sacrifice ethics in order to make money? And can you really build an ethical business in an unethical industry?

Any regular readers of our website will know we’re not fans of the MLM industry. In fact, with a 99.6% loss rate for the average recruit (after business expenses are taken into account) we’ve been active campaigners against the network marketing business model.

And for many years, after interviewing several former MLM reps and investigating MLM income disclosure statements, I believed it was not possible to run an ethical MLM business. 

That was until I spoke to Susie Ma. Susie was a contestant in the seventh series of The Apprentice in 2010. And while she didn’t win, she did manage to convince Lord Sugar to invest in her business, Tropic Skincare. (Tropic is the only business run by an Apprentice runner-up to secure investment from Lord Sugar.)

Since then, Tropic has flourished. In 2018, the company reported a turnover of over £29.5 million. In 2019, they moved to a new 48,000 square feet premises to accommodate their rapidly expanding manufacturing requirements and workforce (they employ over 150 people). And since 2018, their turnover has increased by 198%.

Tropic is undoubtedly a success story, but perhaps its biggest achievement is in bucking the trend of most MLMs and actually caring about the women who join the company as Ambassadors and sell their products. 

Susie has made several important changes to the Tropic compensation plan that help to avoid the huge financial losses and pressures experienced by many people who join other MLM business. And she’s proved that caring about your staff, customers and sales representatives isn’t just morally right, but makes good business sense. 

Listen to our podcast episode with Susie Ma to learn how she balances running a business with her own ethics. And how at times she’s needed to make tough decisions that involved choosing ethics over money… and how in the long term those decisions have grown a stronger and more profitable business. 

Here’s a sample of what you’ll learn in this Get Rich Slow podcast episode:

  • What inspired Susie to start Tropic as a 15 year-old school girl
  • How Susie started her career chasing fast money – and why purpose matters more to her now
  • Why defining what ‘success’ meant to Susie freed her from a career she didn’t love
  • What inspired her to apply for The Apprentice
  • How she convinced Lord Sugar to invest in her after he had fired her
  • What it’s like having Lord Sugar as a business partner, and why they don’t always agree
  • How Richard Branson’s failure led to Tropic becoming a  network marketing business
  • How Tropic was able to launch with 400 Ambassadors
  • How she’s shaped Tropic to avoid some of the most unethical aspects of MLM
  • The key differences between Tropic and other MLMs
  • Why it’s important to Susie that Tropic empowers women and enables them to earn money
  • Why Susie always chooses ethics over money when making decisions
  • And how some of those decisions have cost her money in the short term (but grown a stronger business in the long term)
  • What Susie did when influencers started joining Tropic – and outsold her loyal Ambassadors
  • Why caring about her Ambassadors has helped Susie build a strong and profitable business
  • How Susie deals with Ambassadors who don’t live up to Tropic’s ethics?
  • The hardest part of growing a multi-million pound business
  • Why Susie feels such a responsibility to ensure Tropic remains successful
  • How she’s managed to remain passionate about her business through the years
  • And what advice she has for other aspiring business owners

Listen to Business Ethics with Susie Ma now

You can listen to the first episode of the Get Rich Slow podcast with Susie Ma here now!