Sep 25, 2008

So, you want to get to know me...

Awesome! :)

Well the first thing you should know is that I am a PROUD, successful, work at home MOM to the most AMAZING and cute little guy you will ever meet! (Partial, I know :). With that said - My name is Shara, I am a young 22 year old married mother. I have experienced a lot more than a lot of women my age, which I think is an advantage to me - being that I am also an mompreneur (mom/business owner/entrepreneur). I married at the young age of 18, one month after graduation, two months after I had turned 18. So, yes, I took 3 "major" steps of my life in 3 months. 18 in Nov, Graduated in Dec, Married in Jan. whew!

Looking back, I wouldn't change a thing about it. All of the hills I've climbed (ok..maybe they were mountains..) and the walls I've pushed through is worth the life that I have now ~ 5 years later. So, now I will take you back - 5 years.

So, being newly married at the young, naive age of 18, I was working full time in the corporate world. Doing the 7 to 6, 40+ hour a week rat race most of us are a custom too. I knew deep down that I wanted to have a child eventually BUT I didn't want to put him/her in daycare. I was working at a daycare at the time and was TOTALLY against putting my child in one. (Working on the inside changes your perspective). So, I began my work at home search (little did I know that was the start of a 3 year journey!). I saw a ton on Independent Consultant & Rep jobs for Product Based Companies - the chore was picking what product to sell. 

Decisions, Decisions. Finally, I had requested enough info, from enough different sources to receive a flier in the mail. Looking back, I would have seen the red flags had I of known anything at all about the work at home world. So, anyway. This flier has an 800# that you called to get your FREE CD. So, I called listened to the message, requested the CD..the CD arrive in the mail within about a week.

Now let me stop here. I was SOO EXCITED! I felt like I had found "IT". Of course, how could I possibly know -seeing that it was the FIRST thing I actually looked into, in depth. Okay..on with the story..

I watched the CD, it was exciting in a "hyped up" kind of way. They never would say the company name, just a team..You would find out the company after you joined or talked to someone in person. (Sound Familiar?) This guy was just a telling me about how much money he made in just 6 short months and how it was SOO EASY. "There is no selling involved - our products sell themselves!"

PLEASE!!!!!!!! If it is a product, you will have to "sell" it. Period. (But I didn't know this then)..
So, being the young and naive person that I was, I started talking to this guy, Bill E. Bill convinced me that I just had to this. I knew it was wellness products and that was about it. He told me about how much money I would make, how I would having a booming business in 6 months, etc etc etc.

I loved the idea of wellness and helping people lose weight. So, I paid $800 to get started. (Gasp! I know! That should have sent a red flag..but it didn't) I got a bunch of shake mixes and protein bars in the mail.

I was excited. 6 months to a big income, what could be better right?

I jumped in! I did the parties (boy they was expensive), the cold calling, attempted to do the selling - but I am NO GOOD at that. The $3800 credit card I got for specifically for my business, was maxed to the limit within two months. I was buying things to "help build my business". I was told that these things were necessary to have a successful business. Keep in mind, I had only made about $300 and this was from selling to friends and family. Not fun. 

So, I started working on a $1000 credit card I had, maxed that one out too.

Then I turned to the household checkbook. We won't go there.

About 4 months into my business, my sponsor calls me to tell me he is quitting. Oh great! What about the great money, booming business, lifetime with company...The light started coming on...So, then he starts trying to recruit me to his NEW venture. Another wellness company specializing in "green, natural, safe products".

(Notice, no company names are mentioned. This is not to bash. Don't ask me, because I am not saying. I am simply sharing my story. Okay? Ok.)
Finally after 5 months, $6500 later, bankruptcy literally looking me in the face, I decided that enough was enough.

The sad thing about the business, was that your promotions were revenue based. To move to the "next level" you had to sell $4000 worth of products in one month. If you missed it, you had to start ALL OVER next month. It wasn't accumulative, so to speak. Needless to say, I never came close!

So, I decided to follow Bill E into his NEW VENTURE. Okay. WHAT WAS I THINKING?!?!? This guy had already "led me astray" and now I am following him to something else! Boy was I clueless!

So, I paid $39 to get my "information kit" and order my required $50 in products for that month. I jumped on the training calls..listened to how people were earning cars, vacations, etc. Listening to the same old "We don't sell, we just share our company and help people "change where they shop". Uggg..

So, I tried talking to people about "changing where they shop". They laughed at me. The products were more expensive, they weren't sold on how they cleaned, etc. I knew then I wasn't a sales person (or I thought I knew...).

It was time to go back to work. We were hurting financially and something had to give. So, I canceled all my "businesses" and went to work at a furniture store..working commission. (Sales - I know..I never learn).

Worked the 9 - 7, 7 day a week job for about 4 months. I didn't hardly make a dime! Just mainly the "minimum" they had to pay if we didn't' sell anything (That was $5.15/hr at the time). During that 4th month, I found out I was pregnant with my first child!

It was exciting, but I had complications in the beginning, forcing me to quit my furniture store job. That was in May. At the end of June, they released me to be able to work again. Just in time for me to get a job with a start up electric billing company. This would be my job for the next 2 years. I promoted, got about $1.50 in raises in two years. One 50¢ raise and one $1.00 raise when I was promoted. My son was put in daycare once he was born, and remained there for 22 months.

During the 2 years at my last job, I found another business I wanted to try. Selling cookware. This one only cost me $90 to start. I made about $200 the entire 4 months I worked the business. This one did not go as extreme as the first. I just found out (again) that I am NOT a sales person material!
I finally said, "I know what I'll do, I'll make money by reading emails and taking surveys!" Yeah right. 300 emails and 50 surveys later, I had earned $16.27 - not counting the money I spent on some of the offers. They don't pay you till you hit $40. I never finished. 

I kept passively looking for income opportunities and jobs online. Finally in September 2007, I found AmeriPlan®! It was the FIRST service based business I came across in my 3 years of searching. I did my research on this one. What I found was amazing. I was hooked. I invested $95 to start my business at about 2 am on a Friday night. Hubby was a sleep and didn't know. I wanted to keep it that way until I could see if it worked. I figured if it didn't work, he would never have to know. If it did work, then I would tell him. 

So, I rolled my sleeves up and jumped in! I enrolled my first member the very first week. My first business owner the next week. Kept working and moving forward. Hit my first promotion after only a month and a half in the business! That was November 15, 2007. Eight months later, my second promotion. And now I am on track to hit a 3rd promotion by my one year anniversary. 

UPDATE - I made my 5th promotion of National Sales Director just 6 months after my one year anniversary!

I am proof of what dedication, desire, and consistency will do. AmeriPlan® has been a blessing from above for my family. I am now a full time work at home mom, with the most amazing team you could ask for!

I don't regret my experiences because at the young age of just 22 (almost 23 - in Nov 08), I have a lot more knowledge about the Network Marketing and home based business world than most my age. My experiences helped me to grow and learn what I was and was NOT capable of doing. All of it, trails & victories, is worth the life I have now as a, Work at Home Mom!

"If you always do, what you've always done, you'll always have, what you've always had"