I am sitting together with Marina Longhi, her husband Antonello Riva, their son Ivan, and his girlfriend Adele Samarelli, better known as Dada. Not only are these charismatic Italians among our leading teampartners worldwide, especially Marina and Dada, but they are also one of the most successful families in business with PM. Let’s find out how they started and what the PM-business means to them. This is their story:
When Being Happy as Wife and Mother isn’t Enough
It all started with Marina and a Facebook post four years ago. When she saw a picture of the FitLine skin Ultimate Young, she just wanted to buy the product and try it out. Then she started talking to the people and came to learn that there was a whole business behind the products, she could very well step into, if she wanted to. Of course, I wanted to know what she did before she joined PM. With a wink of an eye, Marina says: “Faccevo la casalinga…desperata. I was a housewife…desperate” and laughs (anyone notice the subtle reference to the American TV series?). Her answer surprises me. Not so much the first, but rather the second part because it’s so pleasantly straightforward. Marina explains how she was a housewife and mother, and that she spent most of her time by her husband’s side. Now, Italians among you may know that Antonello is a retired professional basketball player and all-time leading scorer of the Italian League. When he was traveling around for games, Marina usually accompanied him, and thereby passed on the chance of working. She says: “He was the one working. I was always the wife and mother.”
But it’s not that she was “only” wife and mother. On the contrary she wanted to be wife and mother WHILE earning money and contributing to the family. The problem was finding a job that could be negotiated with traveling around: “I always wanted to work. But I never knew what I could do. We were seldom in the same place for long. We traveled a lot. So, I was actually really lucky and privileged not having to work. But through the years, I felt the personal need to do so.”
When Marina started working with PM, everything changed. The hardest for her at first, was struggling against her self-doubt:
“I had to confront myself and learn to understand that I can do something in my life. It was a real challenge, not knowing if I could achieve something on my own.” – Marina Longhi
Today, four years later, Marina has made the transition from wife and mother, to wife, mother (also soon-to-be-grandmother), AND successful business woman. At PM anyone can do it. What you need is determination, a goal, and passion for what you do.
It’s a FitLine Family Thing
Allora ragazzi… gals and guys, this woman not only revolutionized her own, but her whole family’s life. When she started with PM, Antonello had already been retired from professional basketball for many years and was working as manager for Barcelona Basketball. For a while already he had had serious doubts about what he did for the sport. He was unsure about his and his family’s future. Marina showed him that there are other great things to be done, and new meaning to be given to their life. When his contract ran out, he embarked on what he thought would be a one-year test run. He thought: “Yes, it could be interesting working with PM. I’ll just try it for a year and do my best.” He had nothing to lose. So, why not try out something totally new from what he used to do? What started out as a fling, quickly evolved into a committed relationship. “The year we started, the rest of the family also got involved. At that point, the business in Italy virtually exploded with all the enthusiasm. And the momentum and hype that followed wasn’t short lived. We believed more and more in PM and our ability to be successful,” Antonello says.
Supporting Personal Growth
There’s more? Yes, indeed. The younger couple: Dada and Ivan. What a sight to see these two standing next to each other. His towering 2,05m and her (what I guess to be) 1,65m. Even sitting down for the interview has Ivan looking like he has outgrown the sofa. But back to the real topic:
For Ivan and Dada, Marina’s personal fulfillment, indirectly led to their own personal growth and also benefited their relationship. Like his father, Ivan used to be a professional basketball player. He and Dada had a long-distance relationship. But once they joined PM, they were able to plan their life together. Working together taught them a lot about each other. To my question about the greatest challenge of the job, Ivan responds jokingly: “Working together with my girlfriend.” Dada laughs and agrees, at least partially. Of course, it’s a challenge spending most of their time together. But the perks definitely outweigh the little skirmishes the two might have once in a while. For both, working with PM benefited them on a personal level. Ivan, as well as Dada, thought of themselves to be rather introverted and shy. Ivan explains in detail:
“The work has changed my personality in the respect that I have grown to be more outgoing and open to the world and others.” – Ivan Riva
And also Dada can celebrate a very personal victory. She is a photographer and had the dream of becoming an artist. When she met PM, she wanted to combine two things: her love for photography and her love for the products. “I think I have found the perfect match with PM,” Dada concludes.
Following her dream and making the decision of writing her own story, has in the end turned out to be so much more for Marina and her family. Their family life is filled with fun, while working together to reach a shared goal: “More well-being for ourselves and others.”
Mille grazie famiglia Longhi/Riva…thank you, for taking the time to chat with us and sharing these personal insights.