If you follow me on social media, you already know I am an Independent Consultant for Rodan+Fields. You can’t help but see my posts about the products and business; the before and after photos of skin transformed; the milestones reached and celebrated by my colleagues that changed their reality of living paycheck to paycheck to living the abundant life of their dreams. My posts my intrigue you, they may annoy you, they may not impact you one way or another. You may have even put me on ignore (not the first person to do that – I’m a mother and used to being ignored). That’s the beauty of our unique souls. We can all look at the same thing – and have a different reaction or opinion, regardless of the topic.
I have spent a lot of time telling you why Rodan+Fields is different than other skincare products. I have spent time telling you why it’s possible to completely change your financial circumstances with this amazing company. But I don’t think I’ve expressed enough about “my why” that led me to take that leap of faith. And trust me, it was a leap of faith – not so much in this brand and business – more of a leap of faith in myself.
When I was first approached by my dear friend Janelle about Rodan+Fields, I didn’t say yes right away. I read her email. Read it a few times. She told me about her friend who partnered with the doctors the year before; a single mom who was living the horror of the economic meltdown as a realtor. Her business was non-existent, her home was foreclosed, and she had to move herself and her 3 children into her mom’s house, or else would be sleeping on the streets. Two years after joining Rodan+Fields, she was paying thousands of dollars a month in private school tuition for her once almost homeless children. That’s how dramatically her business took off and her paycheck grew.
It sounded good. It sounded TOO good, if you know what I mean. I thanked her for the information, but it wasn’t for me. I’m not a sales person. What did I know about skincare? Heck, I barely washed my face, and when I did, it was with the cheapest product I could find at any grocery store, because I was a tightwad. As great as Traci’s success story sounded, I didn’t think I’d experience it – because that kind of success only happens to OTHER people. They don’t happen to people like me. I’m not that lucky, or blessed or worthy. Or so I told myself.
Deep down, I wanted to believe it was possible. So I watched Janelle as she started her R+F business. I knew her struggles as a newly single mom of two little boys, and I wanted to see my favorite friend succeed! I didn’t comment or like a whole lot on her Facebook postings, but I watched and secretly cheered her on. Circumstances in my job a few months later forced me to re-evaluate and find a new revenue stream, so before I truly was ready to jump into this business, I jumped. Out of blind faith. Closed my eyes, borrowed the money for the kit, and jumped.
My goals in the beginning were to make my kit cost back so I could repay my brother. And then, maybe make $200 a month – my best case scenario. $200…that could take some pressure of my day-to-day finances, and that’s as big as I dared to dream. Simple, easy goals. Honestly, I didn’t think it was possible for making a ton of money, and I’d consider it a success if I made that much.
I look back on those little goals and realize I didn’t know how to dream big! Someone was offering me a chance to make millions – literally millions of dollars are on the table – and there I was saying,”Oh no, I’ll be happy with $200 a month, thank you very much! I don’t have time to make millions! I’m too busy living this HARD life!”
I had plenty of excuses to not go for it – I didn’t know a lot of people, the people I did know were struggling to make ends meet – just like I was struggling – and wondered why anyone would buy skincare product from me. And I didn’t have time. What single, full-time working parent has extra time? Not me. And then there were the doubts. Who I am? What did I know? I mean really, who I was to sell them anything?
I really only knew one thing – I didn’t want them to purchase products from me because I was desperate. I didn’t want them to “do me a favor”. I wanted someone, anyone, to try the products out of curiosity and a desire to achieve the results I was blasting all over Facebook. I didn’t want to be that person that everyone dreaded seeing. I actually worried that this new venture would “change” me…and I was resistant to change…which is just dumb. Why wouldn’t I WANT change? Maybe because the hard life was all I knew. It was uncomfortable. It was stressful. But it was familiar. I thought that level of stress, hard work and struggles were normal and part of everyone’s life – except those fortunate rich ones who led blissfully full and stressfree lives. The hard life was my destiny. Who am I to try and change destiny?
For the first couple of years, I let that voice, those words, that disbelief, those fears and that unworthiness, dictate my success. I worked it very part time. Maybe 1 – 2 hours a month – if that. It’s not that I didn’t want to work it more, it’s just that I had a full plate; 40+ hours a week at the “real” job, in the throws of single motherhood of teenagers and all that comes with it, while juggling a high conflict and demanding relationship with The Toxic Boyfriend that sapped most of my time, energy and strength. I literally only had minutes a month to spare for Rodan+Fields. Even though I totally fell in the love with the products – I jumped in as a consultant before even trying a single product. Even though I saw the transformations of my skin happening right before my eyes – I barely talked about it. Because I was busy. I know, I know…I’m shaking my head at me too.
Still, I surprised myself at my little successes. I built up a pretty solid base, slowly, of customers. And I met those little goals – paying back my brother, bringing home an extra $200 a month. At the time, I thought that was enough. That was me “working” my business.
Fast forward to 2014, and my world seemed to go off the rails. It actually started in November 2013, when I finally broke up for good with The Toxic Boyfriend, and promptly jumped into a new relationship. I thought my dream man had finally shown up and I wasn’t about to let him get away. By January, my dream man was proving to be a bit unstable emotionally. One day he’s crazy about me…the next day he doesn’t want to see me…a few weeks later he’s nuts about me and oh so sorry…and then he’s confused and doesn’t want to hurt me and needs his space. Ugh. It was the beginning of a steep and topsy turvy rollercoaster ride I had no idea I had strapped myself on.
January was also the month I was also dragged by my friend Jeanie to my very first mammogram, 8 years after I should have shown up. I know, I know, I was busy living that hard life – remember? Know what’s worse than waiting 8 years to get your first recommended mammogram? Having a mom who is a bi-lateral breast cancer survivor, who had the unfortunate and rare experience of being diagnosed with two different types of breast cancer within 12 days of each other. Probably not my smartest decision.
What does that say about me? It says I had my head firmly and deeply implanted in the sand. I was told not to be surprised if I got a letter a week or two later asking me to return for a second mammogram, just so they could compare the two. I was ready to see that letter show up. I wasn’t ready for the phone call the next day telling me I needed to get a doctor immediately (because it had been YEARS since I had even seen one and didn’t officially even have a doctor – yup, head firmly planted). I had left the “preventing” stage to the “diagnosing” stage in the blink of an eye, and I had to have a doctor on board during the many diagnostic tests that were being ordered to guide me and care for me during the process.
I was fortunate. That scare turned out to be far better than originally thought. Everything was still in the “pre-cancer” stage, so after they grabbed a chunk or two of breast tissue and took a whole lot of invasive tests and did a whole lot of poking, smashing, prodding, x-raying and slicing, they finally left me alone after they inserted some titanium chips. I now get the cool claim of fame of having one titanium breast. 😉 I thought I was in the clear and successfully avoided the beast. Until the next month, when other symptoms presented that had me running back to my new doctor. More tests revealed that beast I thought I had avoided, was actually hiding in my left ovary causing all sorts of problems and was a bit harder to tame.
Now that should have gotten my attention – and it did. But it didn’t keep my attention. Instead, my fears turned into “How do I tell The Unstable Boyfriend, who had severe abandonment issues caused by women leaving him, that I had cancer and could be checking out sooner than originally planned?” That I needed him to finally decide that he really did care about me more than he cared about his fears and step up and hold my hand down this scary road. I didn’t want him to feel he was OBLIGATED to stay beside me or else look like a schmuck who dumps the girl with cancer. I mean really, who wants that? Not me. I wanted him to realize that he cared about me and didn’t want to lose me to cancer or to anything else. That’s what my heart wanted – that he’d realized he loved me so much, he would be beside me through the good and bad times. Unsure how to tell him, made worse by his wishy-washy level of commitment, I decided to tell him in such a positive, upbeat way that it wouldn’t occur to him that my diagnosis and treatment would impact our relationship whatsoever, and wasn’t any bigger of a deal than getting a root canal.
I won’t rehash the details of my surgery and hospitalization and post surgery complications that followed me throughout the year. I’m healthy today and that’s all that matters. But I won’t claim that it was easy. Physically, it was difficult. I transformed from a youthful, healthy looking 48 year old who walked miles a day, to realizing that people in nursing homes walked faster than I did those first few weeks post surgery. Emotionally was way worse. The Unstable Boyfriend realized during the 5 days I was in the hospital that he was still in love with his ex-girlfriend – and cut and run. (Perrrrfect timing.) Plus I learned from a neighbor the first week I was home from the hospital that the The Ex-Toxic Boyfriend had married someone else 2 months after our 10 year relationship ended. To add insult to injury (he was SUPPOSED to be miserable without me, right?), he moved her into the house that I had spent our last year together remodeling “for us” – which is conveniently located around the corner from me. (Note to self – Don’t ever date a neighbor.) Not only did I have to digest the fact that he moved on so quickly (and not bitterly focus on the fact after our relationship ended, I got cancer and had a sucky life and he got married and had a blissful life – when I was the NICE one), I also had to accept that another woman was using the shower I tiled, sleeping in a bedroom I painted, watering the flower beds I created and cooking in a kitchen I designed. I was reminded of this each time I saw them together driving in and out of our neighborhood and taking their nightly walks as a new family. I threw myself a well-deserved pity party for a month or two or three, then decided it was just a big fat waste of time. As anyone whose faced a crummy diagnosis knows, time shouldn’t be wasted for any reason.
Feeling as though life had given too many punches and knocked me down to my knees, I stepped away from Rodan + Fields. I didn’t quit, I just didn’t actively share the products or talk about it. I still used them, I still had customers. I just put my energies into healing my body, my heart, and spirit.
It worked. I healed, I grew, and I fell in love again. This time with a real man, who doesn’t play games (other than sports) and who loves me completely. We had fun, we travelled together to far away places, made memories, lived through heartbreaking losses, loved hard, fought hard, took some time apart, and reconciled. For the first time since I was a young girl, I began to imagine what life could look like with a partner. I began to dream of a better life, where I had the funds to permanently end financial stress, and the time to spend with those I love without fitting them in around a busy schedule. That I had the time and money to donate to the causes I’m passionate about, helping those strangers and loved ones who still struggle.
I knew, if I wanted THAT life – that BETTER life I envisioned – I had to create it. It’s not going to be handed to me on a silver platter. I’m not going to win the lottery. I’m not going to marry a rich man who puts me up in a castle. I didn’t need ANY of those things to happen, because for the first time, I realized the POWER to create the life I envisioned, was INSIDE me ALREADY. I couldn’t create it doing what I was already doing – making ends meet, stressed and fearful of losing everything. My only expected increase in wage being a tiny cost of living raise that someone else determined. I had to do something different. Think outside of the box. Change how I made money, how I spent my time, even those little minutes of free time that pop in and out each hour. I was FINALLY dreaming big. It was time I started WORKING towards those big dreams.
I considered various second jobs. I considered one new job. Time and time again I kept coming back to Rodan+Fields. Even though I hadn’t been actively working it for the past two years, I continued to get paid. For literally doing nothing. Because I did the work YEARS before. That was my first “ah ha” moment about residual income. Get paid over and over for doing something once. Brilliant!
The second “ah ha” moment was watching my R+F colleagues who kept working their business when I stepped back, and even some who joined AFTER I stepped back, achieve incredible success. Many of them were able to retire themselves from full time work outside the home, even if they were only in their 30s! And some of them were SO successful, they also retired their spouses, after they began making more in one MONTH than they used to make in one YEAR.
At first I was skeptical. They must have been already famous. Or already rich. Or surrounded by a huge circle of friends with money. But month after month, as the announcements continued to come of the next crop of success stories, free Lexus earners and millionaires, in month 18, or 27, or 35 in the business, they achieved financial freedom AND time freedom, my skepticism began to turn into “what if”.
And then I had my third “ah ha” moment. If they could do it, so could I. I began to repeat that to myself – If they can do it – SO CAN I! They aren’t smarter, nicer, more talented, more connected or better than me. If THEY can do it – SO CAN I!
They too started at zero. Zero customers. Zero consultants under them. A team of one. What made them different from me? They WORKED their business every week. They didn’t give up. They didn’t step back. Their focus didn’t waver from the life they envisioned. Even when they heard no thank you, even when others didn’t see the vision, even when they were put on ignore, and even when people they thought loved and supported them…didn’t. They endured through it all.
My “why” is complex. It’s to get me to a life that I see only with my inner eye and daydreams. It’s to start LIVING life FULLY and JOYFULLY.
If I hadn’t been so fortunate with an early diagnosis that was curable, and suffered more or died, I would have been SO MAD at myself for not fighting for a better life than what had been handed to me. For accepting mediocracy and difficulties as the norm. Life ISN’T supposed to be hard – just to die! I wanted to play! I wanted to travel! I wanted TIME to enjoy my children and grandchildren after raising them was over. Isn’t that the reward every parent is deserving? I wanted to live life fearlessly! I wanted to FINALLY finish something I started. It’s to show MYSELF that I AM successful, powerful, influential, loving, kind, and generous, and WORTHY of an abundant life! It’s to drown out those unwelcomed and insecure voices inside that doubted my worthiness and abilities and ignited my fears. It’s to see others lives change because I took a chance and believed in myself – earning their trust that they took a chance and invested themselves, their appearance, their self-confidence and self-worth. I want to MATTER, to make a DIFFERENCE in other’s lives of those I’ve touched. It’s to be an EXAMPLE to my kids and grandkids, that BIG DREAMS can come true and not settle for anything less.
So that’s “My Why”. Complicated. More far-reaching than even I realized when I started this blog post. And far more important that I realized before thoughtfully and passionately putting it into words.
I can’t help wondering….what is your why? Where is it taking you? How are you achieving it. When will you start living it? I’d be honored to hear your answers. I’d be blessed to learn from you.
I leave you with one final thought.
If I can do it – SO CAN YOU!