What am I doing?
Hi! Maybe you're new around here. Maybe you're a stalker. Either way, it occurred to me that I've never shared my story here. WHY do I do what I do? WHAT exactly is it that I do? So I'm gonna tell you!
I'll start with what I do and then give you the back story. I have this little blog, which I'm not GREAT at keeping updated, but I also own my own business. You know all those direct sales companies? Did you just cringe at that word? Did you immediately think, "Oh good lord, so she spams her friends to try and make a buck each month!"??? It's OK if you did! I used to think the same thing! Annnnnnd then I opened my mind a bit, learned how to do it the right way, and more than doubled our household income in 9 months. I am a Stylist with a really cool company called Color Street. It's my second direct sales company that I've worked with, I wasn't super successful with the first one, but this has been a total game changer! I LOVE IT! I share the unicorn magic of dry nail polish, and I get to help other women just like me achieve their wildest dreams.
"But WHY? Why direct sales, Lauren?! Why not any other job? Why not invent a product? Why not just be consistent with your blog and make money from that? Why not become an Uber driver?" See? It's like I'm a mind reader! (I totally am psychic, by the way...but that's a post for another day.)
HERE is why. Here is my story. I have worked my butt off since I was 16. I went to school, I played competitive softball, I went to work, I came home and did homework. When the competitive season was off, the school softball season was on. We didn't have breaks during summer, we had MORE practice and tournaments and travelled the country playing and sometimes winning them. I LOVED it and wouldn't trade a single moment, but I was a busy kid. I grew up learning that if you want something, you do what you have to do to get it! I wanted to be a softball superstar, so I worked my butt off. I wanted to be an amazing student and soak up all the knowledge I could, so I signed up for advanced classes and I worked my butt off. I wanted to make money to pay for the things I wanted, like a car, because my parents weren't into giving handouts, so I worked my butt off. Starting at 16! I was one of those people who couldn't wait to get a job. I learned SO MUCH from this. I had so many amazing characteristics instilled in me because of this. As you can imagine, I also didn't have much of a social life. We took family vacations each summer, and traveling for softball was always fun and I never felt like it was a job or work. But I never partied. I never snuck out. I never let loose. I never leisured. Is that a word? I didn't get a red squiggly under it when I typed it, so I guess it's a word.
By the time I was an adult, I was already SO DONE being an adult! I got married at 19 to my high school sweetheart, moved cross country alone, lived with him for a couple months before he deployed to Afghanistan for a year, waited until we had saved up enough money to put our belongings in storage, and drove back across the country to live with my parents and work at my old job and go to school while he got shot at, got blown up, and saw his friends get killed. It was a shitty year. It was our first year of marriage and I already had to have a "back up plan" in case my 20 year old husband got killed. If I didn't hear from him or anyone else military for weeks, it was a relief. THAT was how I knew he was alive. Sounds like fun, huh? We were still kids! It gets even better, too! A couple weeks after he got home, we traveled cross country for our friends' wedding. We happened to be a few hours drive from my grandmother who largely helped raise me. My idol. She was sick, a couple family members asked if we were going to drive down to see her, I asked if we NEEDED to or if I could come in a month, and was told "nah, she's ok! Don't stress! Come when you can!" We didn't have a rental, we didn't have extra time, so we didn't go see her. Ooooo, foreshadowing! Right? So. We got back from the 3-day wedding trip, picked our dog up on the way home from the airport, and found her on her deathbed. She wasn't even 2 years old. The boarding facility we left her with ended up being extremely abusive in spite of amazing reviews. We go straight to the vet, I'm already freaking out, annnnnnnd I get a call that my grandmother had passed away early that morning. So when I say that I was just done with adulthood by the time I was even barely an adult, that's why. All the responsibility, the commitments, the stress, the loss, without any of the freedom. I was ready to live life on MY terms. When your soul mate comes back physically unscathed from the most dangerous place on Earth, you don't want to spend 40+ hours a week working. When you lose someone who you would do ANYTHING to get 5 more minutes with, you don't want to spend more of your precious time working. When you've busted your ass for 5 years and just experienced the most stressful year of your life, and you're only 20, the last thing on your mind is, "Hey, ya know what sounds fun?! Losing my mind, heart, soul, and freedom slaving away for someone else for 40 hours a week!" I was done. Or so I thought.
Flash forward to a year later. There's me. Working over 40 hours a week. Going to school again. Making just ok money. I had tried blogging (not this one), and it was taking waaaaayyyyyy too long to make any decent money with it, so I gave up. We now lived in Hawaii, so at least there were pretty beaches. No kids plus disposable income, so we had finally gotten a little taste of freedom when our schedules magically lined up to see each other. That wasn't super often, though. We were also handling the things couples usually go through when a soldier comes home. Again, a story for another day...maybe...anyway, life was ok for 3 years. And then we moved again! Back HOME! To Arizona! YAY! We were thrilled, we couldn't get home soon enough, we wanted to start a family! I decided I was going to try my hand at starting a business. I LOVE making things, so I started an Etsy shop making wooden signs. They were REALLY freaking cute, you guys. And I could NOT get my little sign business off the ground because I had no damn idea what I was doing. So I went back to work. AGAIN.
Over a year later, after struggling with detoxing and hormones and finally getting back to normal again (yet another story for another day!), I got pregnant with our son! By this point, I had long abandoned all hoped of owning a business or working for myself, but there was still that desire to be free and live on MY terms. Ironic that having a child is actually what made me finally figure out how to live on my own terms. A lack of freedom created freedom. Hah! I had ALL intentions of going back to work after having the baby. I loved working and being productive and feeling important and recognized....annnnnnd then I had this tiny, squishy, soft, non-sleeping baby in my arms. I couldn't imagine getting up and ready and taking him to day care and going to work and pumping all freaking day just to then pick him up from day care RIGHT in time for bed time. HUGE kudos to all you mamas that live that life. I didn't have the drive or motivation to do half of that! I didn't wanna go back. So I didn't. Right around this time, I was introduced to a company called Norwex. The products let you clean with just water! The mission was to drastically reduce chemicals and waste! I was in LOVE! I became a consultant. I sold the crap out of it. I could not for the life of me build a team. If you are familiar at all with direct sales, you know you can make good money selling a product, but you can make UNBELIEVABLE money when you choose to lead a team! A couple years later, I was approached by one of my best friends (who I'd met because of doing direct sales) to look at this company that was brand new and would be launching soon. Color Street! She had to convince me to look at it. I didn't know what I was almost missing! I decided to go for it, and it's been a dream ever since.
I tried blogging. I tried having a "career". I tried starting a business from scratch. I either failed or hated it every. single. time. And you know what? I'm really thankful that I kept failing! Had my blog made me $1000 a month, or had I started to get tons of orders coming through my Etsy shop, I NEVER would have stopped to think I could do better. I would have been blissfully ignorant to the fact that I was missing out big time. Because nothing else worked, because I failed over and over, because I was discontent with the way things were, I now get to help other amazing women, who have that same little voice deep down telling them they are made for something more than slavery to the system, leave their full time jobs and stay home with babies, travel, pay off debt, leave abusive relationships, live life on their own terms, and give like nobody else can! I work less than I ever have, I make more than I ever have, AND I'm empowering my team to do the same. I'm helping other women accomplish what is important to THEM. Painting a sign was never going to do that. Driving for Uber will never do that. Blogging will never do that. I think I just realized why I'm really bad at updating my blog.
Hopefully this gave you a little glimpse into the world of Lauren without sending you running for the hills. If you're still reading, you either enjoyed reading this or couldn't look away from the trainwreck. Either way, thanks for taking the time to learn about me! NOW, I always love learning more about whoever out there is paying attention to my little corner of the internets, so leave a comment! Tell me about YOU! Tell me if you loved this. Tell me if you hated it. Or just say hi!