I'm a network-marketer! I know, I know. They get the sweetest of people, those bastards. No really. I've been in network-marketing for 11 and a half years. My parents met in the same company that I work with (Shaklee!) and are my upline leaders. It's weird, I know. I think I've treated my work like a dirty little secret because the term "network-marketing" or "multi-level marketing" generates a lot of images for people, some positive, many not so much. I'm a people-pleaser and don't like to annoy people. And I hate making people uncomfortable. Hate it. Unless it involves helping them re-frame their ideas about God's giant all-consuming grace, granting rights for marginalized people groups or the value of self-care. But what makes this different? In my black and white brain, I'm either the "business owner" or the "artist." Somehow I can't have a professional vehicle that fuels my creative process. Nope, that would be too easy. I fear that focusing on one takes away from the other. And yet, how many writers do you know that can really fund a life on their writing income? I know a few who've been paid, but none that are making what you would call "career income."
I've always felt torn, like being a business owner was some form of selling out. It's embarrassing, really, because the more I've thought about it, the more I realize that my business income is what has allowed us to live into our values of giving back to our community with my husband's non-profit career. If you thought we were making peanuts in ministry, try moving into non-profits (wah wah). And yet we have almost no debt besides our modest mortgage. Why is that? Shaklee. I am so proud and grateful for what my little home-based business has meant to us. Let alone all the people I've helped make money or build their health (ideally both). I realized tonight when I was preparing for a business presentation tomorrow that next month, I will be able to say I've made $100,000 in Shaklee. That's a lot of money! And while money doesn't drive me, contributing to our income has allowed us to stay out of debt on a serviceable income and live comfortably in our townhouse that we love so much. That's not something I should be ashamed of, ever.
If you're a starving artist and want some financial stability, give me a shout! I'm proud to say, I'm pretty damn good at what I do. And certainly, anyone who takes any products relating to the health and wellness, weight loss, green cleaning and chemical-free personal care products industries, you've got a connection right here. I'm happy to say I love myself enough to be proud of the many hats I wear. Not just "mom" and "wife" but "business owner" and "writer" too. And who knows? Maybe I can support our values with both...stranger things have happened.