What I Do Involves a Dirty Word, But It’s Anything But…

How’s that for grabbing your attention?

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted, and I know, I’ve been heavy on the oils, light on the life.  Right now there are some heavy, hard things going on in my life that aren’t really mine to talk about.  So for now, I have to leave them be.

What I really wanted to talk about is that dirty word I mentioned.  I guess it’s actually TWO dirty words: network marketing.

Now I may have already lost some of you right there.  No one has good feelings about the term “network marketing” but really, isn’t any job network marketing?  We are bombarded constantly with advertisements for one product or another.  Marketing. To a network of people.  That’s pretty much the name of the game.  But for some reason, when you apply that title to someone like me, a person trying to make some extra money and provide a service without sitting in an office building working for a corporation, it becomes a yucky thing.

And I know this is because a few bad apples (ok, MORE than a few) have ruined it for the bunch.  We’ve all been to the “parties” that feel more like a shakedown.  We’ve all paid more than we should have for something that just didn’t work as well as we were promised.  And there are the dreaded moments when a friend we haven’t spoken to in a while contacts us and rather than having a genuine conversation, it turns into a sales pitch, or endless flattery to prove just how AMAZING you would be as a memeber of their team.  The only thing worse?  Is getting that same message or phone call from a COMPLETE STRANGER that hustled your number out of one of your friends.  Cold calls ARE NOT awesome.

So what am I getting at?

Well, I felt so much trepidation joining a “network marketing” company. I don’t like to be pushy. I don’t like harassing people into a sale. I will not approach someone with the mentality of “how can I make them buy…”.  I was terrified that I would be encouraged to do these things and all with a smile and a lecture about how our product is better than everyone else’s

Two years later, I can confidently say, this has been so much more rewarding than I could ever imagine. I am with a group of like-minded women. Some of them are long time friends. Some of them have BECOME friends. I am in a community where people are constantly cheering each other on (without pressure! Imagine!) and helping each other when things aren’t going smoothly.

I’ve never been one to “know what I want to do in life”.  I had the crazy, unrealistic dreams, but never a real purpose or direction. Then I had kids and they became my purpose. Which is great and how it should be, but I never felt FULFILLED. I wanted something for me. Something I could do and work at to better myself and my family.  I feel I’ve finally found it.

Now, I know you’re wondering “How much money are you making!? You must be killing it if you’re writing this post!”

Deep breath.  Stay with me here.  You’re going to roll your eyes, but know that I mean every word I’m about to type with all my heart.

I started this business thinking I would never sell.  I didn’t know many people and I’m not a salesperson.  I loved my oils and loved what they did for my family.  That was enough for me.  Whatever happened business wise happened and that was that.

Do I measure my success by the size of  my paycheck?  Nope.  If I did, I would have quit this months and months ago.  I never thought I would even GET a paycheck.  

I have focused my energy on making connections with the people on my team.  I’ve focused on getting essential oils into the hands of those who need them, whether that means friends, family, or acquaintances.  I measure my success off of my family’s wellness and my own happiness.  That is all.  If there is any money coming in, well that’s just a bonus.  

Now, are you always going to like and get along with everyone?   No.  There are people in this business that I don’t see eye to eye with.  And you know what?  That’s ok.  They still have things to teach me, even if that “thing” is teaching me how I DON’T want to run my business.  

So at the end of the day, I guess what it all boils down to, is that even I had preconceived notions about what this journey would be like.  And honestly, I was wrong.  Am I sitting at the top of the food chain in my mansion?  Not yet.  But I have made my family better, my confidence a little better, and I’ve also made genuine friends.  So if that isn’t winning, what is? 

 

 

 

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Because I Have To.

So.  As the title implies, I’m writing this post because I have to.  Why do I have to?  Because I haven’t.  Duh.

I haven’t written anything in some time, and not because my life is void of activity or events, but because I’m terrible at follow through.  There.  I said it.

Also, I have to say (since I like to be honest here) my confidence has been seriously lacking as of late.  There is something to be said about putting yourself out there and hoping people like who you are.

“But you shouldn’t care if people like who you are!  Just be you!  You are special!”  That’s what we’ve been told growing up, isn’t it?

But goodness, it’s so much harder than that.

I don’t know who I am most days, or how to be sure of myself.  I (as I’ve mentioned before) struggle so much with the concept of making adult friends.  And I know I’m not alone.  There are many people who feel this way.  And especially after having kids, all of a sudden you turn into this MOM-BOT that only says things like “Sit down!”  or “Nice hands!”  and you go by names like “Mrs.  So-and-so”  or “So-and-So’s Mom”  and you’re all “Wait!  I used to by my own person!”.

Add to that mix the fact that my humor is, um, a little off brand to the mom world, and things just get even MORE awkward.  I can’t express to you the amount of times I’ve made a joke, just to have people’s eyes glaze over and their jaws slack a little.

I guess the point of this post (besides me once again complaining about how I don’t know how to life) is that I’m in the process of barreling through this weird, awkward second puberty I’ve found myself in.  Thirty is the new twelve.

So if you find yourself feeling similarly, at least know you aren’t alone.

That’s all.

If You Have Friends, Read This. Seriously, Read It.

young mom

So, today was Slugger’s first day of fourth grade.  And I found a baby snapping turtle in my yard that was just unbearably cute.  In other words, it’s a good day.

On that note, I need to say this post is going to be a little bit of a downer.  But it’s important.  And if you hang in there, you’ll be rewarded by finding out who the giveaway winners were.  Spoiler alert: I picked three people instead of two, because it’s a good day.  BAM.  Now don’t just scroll to the bottom!  I’m trusting you!

So.  Now that we are all gathered, I want to tell you a little about me.  Growing up, I had friends.  A lot of friends.  And I don’t say that in a braggy way, just in a “I was friends with a little bit of everyone” kind of way.  It’s important to the story.  My “Best Friends” included a pretty wide circle in high school.  And they were amazing friends, seriously.  I was a bit of a basket case back then and they all loved and supported me regardless.

Fast forward to the dreaded “post high school” years.  I knew going in that people branch out and drift apart, but I was hell bent on maintaining relationships.  And mostly, that was ok.  I was managing.

Now, I need to stop here and just say that I’m not finger pointing or accusing.  Things happen.  People change.  Again, I get that.  But let this post serve as a PSA for those in a similar situation.  Begin taking notes now.

When I got pregnant with Slugger, I was a young(er) mom.  I was the first of my friends to have a family.  Which wasn’t planned, but I was happy and content none the less.  I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I was prepared to take on the responsibility of raising a child with someone I loved.  What I wasn’t prepared for, was how lonely being a young mom really is.

IMG_1095

There’s me and baby Slugger.  All young and what not and it seems like a hundred years ago…

Any way, back to the story.  I was nineteen when I found out I was expecting.  Being the first to get pregnant made me sort of a hot commodity amongst my friends.  There was so much buzz and excitement and it was great because I could still go out and do things and we would talk about how weird it was that I was growing a human and someone was going to call me “Mom”.  Friends would binge eat weird things with me, because you know, when in Rome and all that.  Life was good.

Fast forwarding again, by the time I had Slugger, I was twenty.  Want to inspire awe and wonder in a group of early twenty-somethings?  Show them a new baby.  We had so many friends come to visit us in the hospital.  We felt super loved.  From there, there was a string of people to our apartment to see the baby, and people would invite us over to hang out with the baby.  And we were all about the baby.  Again, life was awesome.  I made a person.

Then things started to shift, ever so slightly.  Friends would invite me out to things that I just couldn’t navigate with a newborn.  I was forced to turn them down, and that sucked, but it was nice to be invited.  I would hear things like “Just get a baby sitter.” or “leave him with the hubs and come out with us tonight.”  I would explain how these options just weren’t on the table at the moment and hoped my friends would understand.  And I thought they did.

But then the invites became less and less.  I would see friends hanging out, doing things that I could have made, but was never asked to join.  I would ask and get replies like “Oh, it was no big deal.  You didn’t miss anything.”  But I was missing things.  I was missing my friends.

As the years, went by, I have kept some of the same friends.  Some have turned into people I follow on Facebook, but no longer really know.  It’s been almost ten years since I had Slugger and people are now having families of their own and “catching” up to me on this crazy path in life.  I would be lying if I said it didn’t hurt to see them hanging out with the new friends they’ve made.  I hope for them that their transition into parenthood is smoother.  That they’re surrounded by people in similar situations, walking the same path with them, not away from them.  I hope they don’t know the pain of being ostracized.  For feeling like you had to make a choice between friendships and your family.

I guess what I’m saying is this:  Be understanding when a new parent says they “Just can’t”.  They aren’t ready to leave their baby with someone else.  Or maybe they seriously just can’t.  One day they will be able to go out again.  When their kids have grown and developed into semi-functioning people, your friend can once again devote a little more time to your relationship.  It’s fast and it’s fleeting, folks.  Don’t make it lonely.

That’s not to say it’s all bad.  Really.  I love my family and have zero regrets.  I have a tiny group of friends now, but we are incredible close knit.  I have a bestie with kids similar in age to mine and nothing brings me more joy than knowing we can get together and watch the kids act like kids while commiserating and celebrating all that parenthood is and will be.  Life’s still pretty great.

So, now that I’ve said my peace.  Giveaway WINNERS!  These will be posted to my Facebook page as well, and I will be reaching out to the winners over the next couple of days.

The winner of the Free Bottle off the $20 and under list is:

Monica Eulo!

And the (now) two winners for $10 off your order:

Donna Iansito

and

Nikki Calfee!

Congrats ladies!  And thank you to all who entered.  Keep a look out, you never know when I’ll give more stuff away…