Monday, April 11, 2016

A Year in the Making: How Arbonne Taught Me to Live Inspired

Hello faithful friends!  I apologize for being inconsistent with this space in the last year or so.  So many exciting things have happened in that time that took my time and attention, but I have missed chatting with you all.  I am committed to making the room for this in my life again.

In the meantime, let's catch up!  As I alluded to above, it has been a surprising and fun couple of years.  First of all, my family is healthy and well, and growing up quickly.  Those babies are now almost 11, almost nine, seven, five, and three.  Not exactly babies anymore.  I am everyday both delighted and exhausted by all their energy and passion for life.  There are a lot of feelings and talking and NOISE in this tiny house.  We are still happily homeschooling, so I feel blessed that we get to spend all our days together.  In addition to farming, Seth has started another business of his own doing sales and service for precision planting.  His business is absolutely exploding at this time of year, right before planting season.

Olivia, 10.  Amelia, 8.  Charlotte, 7.  Henry, 5.  Griffin, 3.

The biggest surprise of these years has been my Arbonne business.  When I started a little less than two years ago, I was just terrified.  I thought there was no way that a business like this could work.  I thought that I had absolutely no time to fit anything else into my life, let alone my own business.  I thought that I couldn't be successful at a network marketing business, because I didn't know anyone here.

Well.   I have never been happier to be wrong in my whole life.  Ten months after beginning my business with all that fear, I promoted to Vice President and earned a free Mercedes.  In the past two years, my business partners and I have been able to build an incredible team of people across about twenty states and three countries, people who motivate and inspire me everyday, and who have achieved considerable success themselves.  In our first full year of business, my team did almost a million dollars in sales, and we promoted 22 people to the position where they make $1000+ per month.  We promoted five people to the level where they make $2500+ per month, and this year, we are ready to help three more women earn their own free Mercedes before 2016 ends.  My personal business now brings home six figures a year.

More than that, we have been able to give back in big ways.  We have been delighted to support many causes that you told me are important to you (March of Dimes, St. Baldrick's, Girls on the Run, Boys and Girls Club, Volunteers of America, and several smaller local needs).  But the biggest success of this year is the tiny part we played in supporting the Hope for Haiti project.  Last month, the Arbonne VPs leading that project had an idea for a FB auction of gently used clothes and accessories.  We hoped the auction could raise $40,000.  We raised $300,000 in four days and CLOSED DOWN the project.  As a result of that vision and the work of so many, all 90 families who were still homeless from the 2010 earthquake now will have homes.  A few weeks later, the ground has already been broken for their houses.

I cannot explain the surprise and blessing of this, except that so many people have been incredibly generous, have consistently worked hard, and have dreamed much bigger than seems realistic.  THANK YOU, for the part that each of you has played in supporting my business.  So many of you have hosted small groups for me, referred me to other successful business people, and introduced me to your contacts.  Thank you for those of you who have loyally purchased products, written me glowing reviews, and joined my team.  I cannot tell you what it means to me to have your continued support as my little business grows.

Just a little Arbonne fun from the past two years
When I started my Arbonne business, I thought that I wanted to help Seth pay off my law school loans.  As it turns out, I am not motivated by that goal at all.  But it did lead me to my passion-helping people find a third career path.  Many of us were taught that if you work hard and do well in school, go to college and go to grad school, then you will get a great job and be successful.  Well, for the most part, that turned out to be true.  Except that we were working more and more and more hours.  And we had a bunch of grad school debt.  And then we had babies, and we found that we didn't want to work more than full-time and not see their sweet faces all week long.  But what were the options?

I know many women in that position who eventually decided to become stay at home mamas, as I did.  While I have loved being home full-time for almost 10 years now, I always felt a tug to be using a different part of my brain.  But I truly believed there was no other option (that would allow me to keep time with my family first) between working out of the home, and being a stay at home mom.

Arbonne IS that third path.  I am now able to run a thriving business, while still being at home every day, educating and raising my kiddos.  You can only imagine my surprise-before I began with Arbonne, I seriously believed that people who had direct sales businesses were sad and lonely people, who spent far more money with their silly companies than they earned.  (Sorry sorry sorry!  I really did think that!).  Helping people on this third path to career success is now my passion.  It is what gets me moving early everyday, and keeps me up late at night!  I have never felt as fulfilled and inspired as I do now, and I am able to have my business work around my first love, my family.

Mercedes Presentation Party, May 2015

Now that you have been very lengthily updated, where do we go from here?  :)

Well, as promised, I am going to be more consistent with this space.  Sharing ideas and conversation is a deep-rooted joy of mine, and I am going to make time to do that with you more.

There will also be a small shift in the conversation here-in the past, I have written mostly about babies and home and farming, and I will continue to do that.  Those are as essential to my life as they have ever been.  But Arbonne has also opened up a whole new group of passions for me, namely: healthy living, skincare and makeup, goal-setting and entrepreneurship, and even fashion.  So you will begin to see a small sprinkling of these topics as well.  I am hoping to bring you tasty (and group-tested!) clean eating recipes, makeup and skincare reviews, and a peek inside my business life.

I hope you will continue to stick with me and enjoy a broader range of topics here.  If you like what you read, can I ask you to share this page, as you have done so many times in the past?  You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram (@sodellwenzel), or Pinterest to hear more antics from our house everyday!

And of course, I always love hearing from you in the comments!  Tell me, what is the biggest, most exciting thing that has happened to YOU in the past year?  I am anxious to hear...

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