Cooper, Tom & Connie
|Tom & Connie Cooper|
|LOS Upline:||Miller, Paul & Leslie|
"The things you give up for this business come back to you multiplied," says Tom Cooper. Giving an example, he adds, "Connie enjoyed playing tennis in college, but then put it on the back burner to help build our business. Now she has time to play as much as she wants with our children, Brittany and Brad, on our private court."
For Tom and Connie, life wasn't always as sun-filled and carefree as it is today. Tom found out early in his career that office politics often have more influence on your future than does your personal performance. Within two years of being hired by an international pharmaceutical company, Tom received a major promotion and quickly became a top producer.
About that time, and only three months after Tom and Connie were married, Tom's boss discovered Tom also had a marketing business. He gave Tom an ultimatum: "Give up your business, or you're fired." Tom chose to stick with his business, even though he was only at 300 PV.
"I was so disturbed that someone could have that kind of influence over my livelihood," Tom comments. "Having someone else in control of my career, instead of me being in control – that was the straw that broke the camel's back."
Until then, Tom's job had provided a good living for the couple.
Now, with her husband out of a job, a new mortgage to pay off, and the loss of Tom's company car, Connie became the breadwinner. Connie had majored in medical social work in college, but finding a good job in her field was out of the question without an advanced degree.
Instead, she took a job selling coffee to businesses. "I was so shy, that I didn't even like selling Girl Scout cookies as a child," Connie recalls. "Every day when I left to sell coffee, I would get in the car, go somewhere and cry, and then start knocking on doors."
Within a couple of months, Tom found another job selling hospital supplies. At that point, Connie quit the coffee service and went to work in a bank. "It was something I enjoyed that gave me the mental freedom and the time to concentrate on building our business," she says.
When Connie was expecting their first child, she left her job at the bank. Tom left his job soon after. That was in 1984, and the Coopers have been free ever since. What's most important is that neither Brad nor Brittany has known a mom or dad who had to leave them and go to work.
A woodland stream flows through the six rolling acres of oak, dogwood, and holly trees surrounding their country home, "Holly Hill." They especially enjoy their in-ground pool and tennis court, together as a family.
Summing up their feelings about Tom's pivotal firing many years ago, Connie says, "We would send Tom's ex-boss a thank you note if we knew how to reach him!"