Since I’ve been so busy behind the scenes and a bit MIA here on the blog, I promised in the last post I would share what continues to keep me busy in 2016. If you missed the details of my life from 2015, you can click HERE to catch up :). My theme for this year seems to be to create Create CREATE!
As you read last post, I had already started moving towards my own creative business the past 2 years with graphic design jobs here and there, teaching workshops from home, etc. but my “work” life and main income prior to that has been with Melaleuca (the wellness company) since 2008. Before that I sold Avon for 8 years. I did these things initially because I was unable to work outside of the home and I needed a way to create creative income from home. Melaleuca was the real turning point for me and what grew my confidence, leadership skills, and internet know how. It is what led me to what I do today because I was inspired by one of the women enrolled on my Melaleuca team, Kendra Stamy, who blogs over at “A Proverbs 31 Wife”. She started a blog back when I knew nothing about blogging and inspired me to start “We Live Inspired!”.
We Live Inspired started out as a way to share tidbits of my life and how I realized in the midst of life challenges I had taught myself to live inspired despite it all. It also started out as a way to document the endearing story of the feral cat colony I was helping.
I worked my patootie off at Melaleuca and did succeed and the income did support me all those years. I led a team of 126 women/families at its largest. Right here from home, 100% online. After the creation of this blog though, one miracle after another started to occur in a different direction- a creative direction. Life has these snowball effects with each baby step we take in to the unknown. Over 3 years into this blog, I am finding myself in a new place in life. I found myself spending less and less time building my Melaleuca business as new creative opportunities arose here. It is so interesting how one thing leads to another!
Now that my wedding is over and I am getting settled in to my new home and role in life, it is time for me to get back to growing my income again (we are home owners for the first time now after all!). With so many things going on in my life, I had to re-evaluate all I do and make some decisions. And so, I have decided to fully commit myself to my dream and reclaim my life as an artist. Someday I will share some stories about what I learned in my years of working my tail off building a network marketing business, but I will just summarize now by saying that at this juncture in my life I won’t be actively building that anymore. I was so resistant to this because of all the achievements and friends and reliable income that Melaleuca brought me. My photo was in that leadership magazine 3 times as I moved up the ranks. I won award gifts. I received bonus checks. But there are also a LOT of stressors that came with it and a lot of disappointment and a lot of cancellations over the years.
I always thought if my team ever dwindled down I would surely go in to some deep depression from all the years of hard work I put in to it. There is a little bit of sadness in letting it go, but with it also comes a sigh of relief. I guess the relief part is that those cancellation notifications in my inbox won’t make my heart sink a little (or panic) each time as I work doubly hard to earn back what I’m losing so my income doesn’t dip. In needing to make some decisions about my income (so I can help the hubby out more again) I got kinda freaked out about my big dream and almost, ALMOST decided to go back to that business. Why? Because it is the only thing I really “know” when it comes to getting a stable check every month as far as home businesses are concerned. It is safe because I have done it since 2008 and know if I work my tail off at it, those checks will rise again. However, my heart isn’t 100% in it anymore and that is an indication that I must allow change.
It was/is my safety net and at the same time the phrase “work my tail” off is what cemented my decision this year. My life is not the same now as it was in 2008, or 9 or 10 or 12! I am not single living at home while my boyfriend works a night shift and I only get to see him once a week. It was easy then to devote 8-10 hours a day (and believe me some days I was on the phones that long) to that sort of a home business when I had no other responsibilities and for the most part rarely saw my boyfriend. With a home and garden and husband and pets of my own to take care of now, it isn’t as feasible.
As I sat here ( excited and also feeling a bit scared/overwhelmed) thinking about my big, bold, beautiful creative dreams (which I’ve had since I was in elementary school I might add), I had this “aha” moment that if I put even a fraction of the time and effort I spent with Melaleuca into myself and my creativity that I could at least make what I did with Melaleuca, if not more. Every time I get a scared “what if” thought in regards to the stability of reclaiming my life as an artist, I tell myself I am worth it. If it was worth it to invest all those years in another company , isn’t it worth it to take the deepest desires of my heart just as seriously? Also, I don’t want to leave this world one day with that dream still inside of me, never really trying to make a living out of the talents and desires God gave me.
Other objections I have had to my creative dream- What if some of the other people in my life don’t really believe it will pan out? What if I fail? That would surely disappoint my husband.
Did I not hear from practically every single person in my life that I would never make any money with Melaleuca because it was a “scam”? Have I not overcome “failure” and rejection hundreds of times? Oh goodness. People used to change the subject whenever I’d talk about my network marketing business because I’m pretty sure they didn’t take me seriously or thought it was the dumbest thing ever. And so I quit telling people about it, tuned all the negativity out and just quietly did my thing every.single.day. Guess what happened? It worked and I wound up going way farther with it than I ever imagined. All those years have been worth it and I believe have prepped me for where I am headed now. Only this time the dream is all mine. I will be investing in myself 100% with my own creative company. I am choosing to believe in myself and the vision that little girl version of me used to have of living the life of an author and artist.
I do want to add on a side note that I am NOT leaving Melaleuca altogether. I still get some residual income from them and love their products so much that I would not be without them. It is a great company with great products. I still have a small team that I will be here for and I still will happily enroll people who want to buy their products like I do (feel free to contact me if you want anything). It will just not be my main vocation anymore and so there is no stress attached to it now.
Just like I did when I started Melaleuca, I have been quietly working on my dream behind the scenes every.single.day. (since my birthday). I have been holding my dreams in a tender safe place and have not shared much about it with anyone yet because that is sometimes what works best for me commitment wise and success wise. After all, the commitments we make about the deepest desires of our hearts are very personal and really a commitment to ourselves. Since this blog is about living inspired (and if you are reading this, you are on this journey with me), I want to write more about this part of my journey of reclaiming myself as an artist. Next time I will be sharing what I am actually up to in 2016 and how I am going about embracing my quirky, creative, artist self , living a quirky, quaint life, in a small Midwestern town, with the internet being my window of opportunity. How do you like all those commas in my run on sentence?! hehe .
What is your dream? What are the biggest desires of YOUR heart? I’d love to hear about them and cheer you on too. Warmly, Rebekah Ann