The following words have been on my heart and mind for a long long time… But fear of judgement has kept me from sharing.
Today, I’m jumping in! I often say fear is never a good reason to not do something, so here I am, walking the talk and doing it scared!
Hello, I’m Keren, I’m a mom, homemaker, registered nurse and… network marketer.
EEEK! See what I mean?
Now you wonder how in the world a reasonably intelligent, somehow articulate adult woman would fall into direct sales?
Here’s a short version of my story, and how I became a network marketer:
We arrived in Tennessee in April 2013, two young children in tow, with no idea of what to expect. It quickly dawned on us we were earning a bit less than we were in good old Perth, and our expenses were much higher. Doesn’t take a genius to do the math: I needed a job!
Nursing was out, as I would have to go back to school for a while. I got creative and asked around and put flyers in every school for French Lessons and tutoring. Crickets.
I thought of starting a dinner delivery service, where I would cook delicious meals and deliver to people’s houses as they arrived home from work; food safety regulations turned out to be very complicated.
I eventually started work as a cashier at our local grocery store while the kids were in school. Nothing was too low for me, we needed income! I was also volunteering at my kids’ school, and 9 months after landing in Nashville, got offered a position there as teacher assistant. That was great news, almost too good to be true!
I took the position, and I enjoyed being around adults and children during the day… Although I was left with very little time to take care of the everyday chores that come with a family of four.
Well, I was ‘let go’ a year after I signed my contract, and this time I had a brand new 2-month-old baby, Simon, to care for as well.
Back to square one, with an extra child. Cue the fear of not having enough, and a dose of guilt –that one floats around a lot once you become a mother, eh?
Adding to my worry and stress, Simon had colic and reflux issues from day one; issues that could not be resolved by pharmaceuticals. I knew enough about drugs to not personally want my infant take them – I felt his kidneys and liver were far too immature to process and eliminate synthetic, man-made molecules.
So I turned to natural remedies, which weren’t very helpful until I stumbled upon essential oils.
I was desperate, tried some, and to my amazement they brought relief to my screaming babe. Once his digestive issues were resolved, he was left with sleep issues; I used oils for that as well, and again, it worked!
It seemed to make perfect sense to start diving into all that Young Living had to offer. Health for our entire family, and the possibility of financial support too.
I’m the kind of person who will try -almost- anything.
Try and try again until something works. I’m the kind that doesn’t give up, just because something failed the first time. Call it perseverance, call it stubbornness; once I have a vision or idea I will pursue it until I have results.
Why? Because I keep thinking of when my first child was close to walking.
First she stood, wobbly… Then fell.
She rose up again, holding on to a chair, moving a foot, lost balance, fell again.
Eventually, one step. After a few days, more steps, crawling, steps, crawling.
Until one day she got up from her crawling position for the last time and just… walked. The whole process was pure bliss for her. She was giddy and excited and marveled at the new sensations and her budding abilities.
Imagine if she stopped because someone laughed at her?
Imagine if her thoughts were clouded by the worry of what others might say, or think?
I refuse to wear the heavy cloak of fear.
I am aware there will be critics, for the critics never stop, whatever I may choose to do.
But I tune them out. What matters is my inner peace, this inner joy that gets me excited to work and serve others every day.
What matters is the support of my husband, and my children cheering me on with their limited understanding.
What matters is the messages of hope and thanks I receive daily from complete strangers and friends alike; from people who have found a solution, experiencing results they never thought could be possible, where modern medicine just didn’t do the trick.
My eyes well up every time I read of a child sleeping through the night…
…of comfort for a teething baby, of friends who haven’t been to the doctor during the whole winter, for the simple reason that they are well. Just today, my friend Anna’s grandmother’s best friend; a 91 year old lady who had tried everything under the sun to bring relief to a specific joint without success, wrote a letter to Anna. She thanked her for her gift, as it is the only remedy she has found to have any impact on her pain.
Which means she is finally able to sleep at night.
For these stories I am beyond thankful. I feel honored to play even the smallest part in someone’s life improvement.
Now you see, it matters not how a company chooses to grow: whether brick and mortar buildings with employees, or trusting customers to spread the word, rewarding them as a thank you.
What matters is that the product is of the highest quality, and that the company has strict standards and unmatched ethics.
And I realize now, that fear of disapproval stems from our deepest need.
Humans were created with an urge to belong.
The fear of being rejected, so intricately woven into the need to belong, is sometimes so strong it can paralyze our greatest desire for adventure, for risk, for exploration. We would then rather stay safe and lukewarm; we keep the ways taught to us by generations before, and pretend our dreams are foolish or don’t matter.
Your dreams matter.
What matters not, is the critic. I have come to know this quote by Theodore Roosevelt almost by heart, and I hope it strikes a chord with you:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles,
or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood;
who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming;
but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions;
who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement,
and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Oh please don’t let me be a cold and timid soul. Let me risk, and fly, and enjoy life in great big chunks.
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Keren is a world traveler, wife and mother of 4 children -who keep her on her toes! In a past life she has worked as a Registered Nurse in pediatrics, Montessori assistant teacher, blog writer and French teacher. Her days are now filled with caring for her kids, managing two health and wellness communities -one in French and one for English speakers- as well as educating others in natural remedies and how to make everyday products using essential oils. Her favorite day is Sunday, when she gets to enjoy church community with her husband while kids are having a good time!