Unexpected Flowers in a Desert

Unusually for me, I’m already writing a new post for this blog. Last time I mentioned that I had been re-reading my old posts. The original reason was to make sure I wasn’t repeating myself, but it ended up empowering me with the knowledge of the ways I’ve grown as a person and how much scary stuff I’ve had the courage to try, not to mention reminding me of the downright awesome episodes of what I feel are pure miracles in my life when that courage paid off.

Before I had made the decision to jump off the hamster wheel of my day job, I used to use my  lunch hour to exercise along a trail that started right outside the parking lot of where I worked. It’s a pretty little path, made for walkers/runners and bikers and is well-maintained by the city. The setting is mostly natural scrub desert and, while it’s never more than a few yards from the road and businesses, there’s enough of a nature setting to make it a decent mini-escape.

There are some areas, mostly close to bathroom facilities or parking entrances along the trail, where the city has planted drought-tolerant flowers and made rock gardens, but for the most part, it’s just the natural desert kept trimmed-back and no cactus too dangerously close to the path. There’s few flowering plants here and even those that do have flowers usually have only a brief season to bloom. However, on a rare occasion as I walked or ran, I came across some flowers blooming beside the path that had no earthly reason to be there. They were not indigenous to our region and they were certainly nothing the city might’ve planted since they weren’t a species that could be maintained easily. It was always a delightful surprise to be moving along, taking in the greens, browns, greys and yellows of the desert and then, without preamble, to suddenly spy some brilliant purple or delicate pink like a little gem.

Whenever I used the trail, I put on my headphones and listened to my MP3, letting the music mentally shift me into a better frame of mind.  One of my favorites to listen to as I exercised was “Big Country” by Big Country. It’s got a fast beat that fueled my energy as I ran, but it’s come to mean a lot more as my life unfolds.

The song itself is about reaching for your dreams no matter what. It’s about moving forward and not giving up and that it is possible to turn your life around after a disappointment. There was one line I’m particularly relating to right now; “I’m not expecting to grow flowers in a desert, but I can live and breathe and see the sun in wintertime.”

Recently I was having a conversation with someone about how much that song meant to me at the time I was wrestling with the idea of retiring from my job and working without a net. I was thinking back to the times I ran along the trail  hot, tired and wanting to stop, when I would suddenly see a flash of unexpected color that somehow refreshed my mind and made me want to push on a bit further.

When I’m having those bottom-of-the-cycle moments it’s akin to my “maybe I’ll stop and walk now” thoughts as I exercised. I still have flowers in my life, but in my business it’s symbolic of the beautiful, unexpected things that have blossomed while I wasn’t looking.

It’s coming up on holiday time and it’s a busy season for everyone, but very much so for the retailer. Now is the gift-giving season and many people are out shopping and getting ready for loving gatherings with friends and family.It’s also the time many people fund-raise for their favorite charity or cause. People are in the gift-giving spirit and some save up a little all year to have money to give those in need.

One of the unexpected flowers in my life is my volunteer work at the hospice. The doctors, nurses, PCTs, social workers and grief counselors as well as the volunteers are among the most amazing people I’ve had the pleasure to work with. Their passion for their patients and the families is so beautiful, it’s hard to imagine unless you’ve been either a recipient or been fortunate enough to work alongside them. I’ve been able to experience both ways of knowing them and, let me say, it’s an incredible privilege.

They not only provide compassionate, tender care for their patients, but the support and loving understanding for the families is a genuine blessing to them as well. This past Fall the nursing staff asked everyone to contribute to their annual yard sale to raise money for families in need. They do this of their accord and on their own time. This year they raised $800 for their fund. I also have the honor to be on the Rock-n-Rodeo committee which is the hospice’s big fund-raiser. The money they raise goes to the We Honor Veterans program, which offers a special plaque of thanks for the veteran’s service and a ceremony where volunteers from the military base come in full dress uniform to present the plaque in a small ceremony to show them honor. I’ve been at three presentations so far and it’s incredibly meaningful both for the patients and their families. The other major part of the money raised goes for specialized therapies not provided by insurance, especially for children, that may be beneficial for their comfort and to help them stay with their families a little longer. The hospice will not spare anything that may make someone’s last times here on earth better and the funds cover any short-fall or non-approval from insurance.

My own son was the grateful recipient of these services and kind care from this very hospice. It was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done to go back there and volunteer my services. Knowing he was grateful and they made such a difference to him was my motivation to try to do the same for someone else. The memories of his loss were hard to face,  but once I pushed past, I found that being part of the blessing they bring is one of the most beautiful aspects of this life I’ve chosen. This all made possible by owning my own business, making my own schedule, but, more importantly, having the hope to try something new.

This year I want to raise money as well. I’m on the fund-raiser committee already, but I want to contribute more than my time. To this purpose, I’m offering the Satin Set for Christmas gift-giving. It’s made up of two of Mary Kay’s most popular best-selling items. The Satin Hands and the Satin Lips set. They’re popular because they are for absolutely anyone. The Satin Hands is a pampering hand treatment that comes in three scents: Peach ( a fresh scent), Vanilla Sugar ( a limited-edition fragrance for the season) and Fragrance Free for men and those with scent sensitivities. I’ve been able to donate some sets to the hospice and I use them as a treat for the patients and their families. This is a free pampering that is really appreciated by those who I get to use it on. The Satin Lips is, of course, for the lips. It’s a mask and fragrance free, color free lip balm that moisturizes for 6 hours. My biggest purchaser of this is men, because it heals and protects with no trace of product on their lips. The sets are sold separately, but together they are the Satin Set and they make a fabulous gift for anyone who’s hard to shop for. I’m selling them for $57.29 which includes the tax and shipping is free to anywhere in the continental U.S. (except Alaska). I’m offering free gift-wrap and delivery for local customers.

I’m hoping to raise enough money to purchase two tickets to the Rock-n-Rodeo which cost $200 apiece. It’s an awesome gala with a silent auction, raffles , music and a gourmet dinner at a beautiful local resort. I would like to have a drawing for the tickets for those who purchase the gift sets as a thank you for helping me reach my goal.

If you like what I’m doing and want to help – not to mention get some easy gift-shopping out of the way – you can contact me and/or order at my website:

marykay.com/lmcfarland92

I would love to be able to write a check for a nice amount that I know will be used for someone’s good. Either on therapies for patients or covering the needs of a family in crisis,maybe even helping with funeral costs because people with genetic diseases or pre-existing conditions cannot get life insurance and it’s just cruel to think of the family that’s unable to bury their loved one properly. I was lucky; my son had Muscular Dystrophy and I couldn’t get even enough insurance to cover his burial costs. My family stepped in and helped pay and the funeral home who worked with the hospice gave their services and a casket for free. They did that because of donations received especially for this purpose.

Most ‘flowers’ in my life are unexpected; this is one that I get to plant myself.  Thanks.

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Plan “B” Sucks

I know it’s been awhile since my last post, but I was waiting for something really exciting to write about. I got tired of waiting and, on reflection, I realized that even though I haven’t hit the goal I wanted to by now, there was quite a bit to write about.

I like going back through these blogs and re-reading the about the events I’ve chronicled so far. It’s not vanity-at least, I’d like to think it’s not-because I don’t feel like I’m an exciting or terribly interesting writer. But looking back reminds me that even though I haven’t hit the mark, I’ve come a really long way.

Our training in Mary Kay is excellent. I like to read blogs and articles from well-known and admired CEOs who are sharing the secrets to their success, what steps they took and what obstacles they’ve overcome to be where they are. I have to say that most, if not all, of what I read from them is what we’re being taught already in Mary Kay. I’ve picked up books on the secrets to business success, inspiration and how to keep your momentum up. Some come at it from this angle or that, but it basically all boils down to the same things and when ever I read the articles, I’m struck by the fact that it’s really nothing new.

One of the things we’re taught at our training center is that the business has cycles. There’s the top, which is where everything is exciting and your enthusiasm is through the roof. This point is usually where your sales are good, you’re getting new team members or you’ve achieved some goal. Your excitement attracts new customers and team members to you so naturally, you just know you’re unstoppable. Things are going according to plan. On the bottom end, you feel stagnant and maybe a little bored. Maybe your sales are in slump and you’ve lost some team members and you’re wondering why you aren’t like so-and-so who seems to have it all well in hand. What we’re taught and warned about is that this happens to everyone. If we read too much into it rather than realize it’s a natural part of the process, we will be tempted to believe we aren’t made for this business and it’s easy to throw in the towel. The point I’m leading up to is that owning your own business is work, and work, no matter how much you like what you do, is not always fun.

When I quit my day job and launched my efforts at doing this full-time I was so excited.  I just knew that I would make director in about 6 months and be a car achiever before the year was up. This was entirely possible, but that wasn’t my journey. I had some learning to do. But…

I’m more confident than ever that I will be everything I’ve set out to be. This year has had some seriously scary moments and times of wondering if everything was about to collapse on my head. Yet everything has been slowly, but steadily moving forward. I made Star Consultant last quarter and I’m going for four quarter star this year. I managed to be in the top ten in our unit in sharing and sales for last year.  I had no idea I was in the top ten of anything.

Before this year I felt like I was bound in golden handcuffs. Golden handcuffs are what seem like security but are really things that keep you tied up in chains. For example, my sister (Sorry, Mandie) took over my job at the preschool. This was convenient because it gave her a bit more money and allowed her son to have a reduced tuition to go to the school and it gave her free after-school care at the very place she worked. Seems like a dream job, right? Uummm……No.

When I talk to her and ask how it’s going, she tells me how crazy the class is. Being a pre-school teacher takes a very specific kind of person, but even if you have the patience and flair for it, taking care of 16 two-year-olds every day, full-time can wear you down. And it barely pays a living wage. If it wasn’t for the lower tuition and free after-school care for her son, she wouldn’t make it from month to month. So she went to school and studied hard on top of working full-time, sacrificing her whole Saturday and time with her son every weekend to get her EMT licence. She graduated and started looking around for an exciting new job. She soon discovered that the higher paycheck she’d receive as an EMT wouldn’t cover the amount she needed to keep her son in school and pay for his afterschool care which she’d lose if she quit her teaching job. She decided that she needed to go to school for nursing, but unlike the EMT course, she’d need two full days a week to go to school. When she went ask for a reduction in hours to be able to go to school, she was told she was needed full-time and she couldn’t be spared. Golden handcuffs, friends. It was just enough to keep her afloat, but only barely, and, at present, no way to change that.

That’s what I realized when I broke those chains off my own wrist. It’s the old saying “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” that’s been so true for me. I could still be in that job, telling myself that I needed to be patient and wait for this business to take off, but the reality is that I needed to break away totally to do what I needed to do.

And that’s what I face when I let myself believe I can’t do this. It means going back to never quite getting ahead. Paying the bills but not much else. Feeling frustrated, over-whelmed and tired. And for what? What will I have at the end of it all? Working for someone else is like renting a house verses owning one. You pay and pay your rent but you never get to own the place you live in and make your house your home. When you work for someone else it’s their world, their rules and they decide what your work is worth.

The American Dream means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. My understanding of it is that you make your fortune, own your own home and live the life you want to. The people in the early years of this country believed that if you worked hard, you could be anything you wanted. We built this country to guarantee that right to any who wanted to give it a go. Back then, most people were entrepreneurs. Plan “B” was working for someone else. They understood what still holds true today: “Plan “B” sucks.

 

This Is What It Means to be Held…

I’ve chosen my title from a very lovely song about dealing with tragedy in your life and how God holds us through all those things that threaten to break us in two and leave us on the floor in this life. In my previous blog, I talked about how I’ve been able to overcome a terrible hurt in regards to the end of my son’s life and try to use it for good in the lives of others.

Unrelated to that post, someone on FaceBook kindly asked me to tell them about my son. I set out to send them a message that would describe him to them accurately but briefly. That turned out to be impossible. There is no brief description of him. I decided to use him as the subject of this blog instead, because who he was is a big part of who I am today. He was a little man with a BIG impact. I am more than just a proud mama; I’m a woman changed by grace and the blessing of being this boy’s mama. Don’t get me wrong; I have just as much love for my other children, and they’ve changed me for the better as well, but the impetus for my choices are largely because of his life. So, without further ado, meet Khris.

Khristopher was our second child. He was born with Muscular Dystrophy and, very unusually, it affected him right away. In most cases, the earliest onset of those beginning in childhood start at three years old. The doctors were never able to give us a difinitive diagnosis so they had no more idea than we did about how it would manifest itself. They could guess and try and test for which one it was, but no tests ever came back positive. Also, there is NO history in either branch of our family of this disease. He was mysteriously unique.

He wasn’t supposed to walk, but he did. He wasn’t supposed to live to his teenage years, but he did. When he lost the ability to walk, he would scoot along on his bottom and move quite fast. His little sister loved to scoot behind him.

When he was six, his lungs were sufficiently weakened enough that he required a ventilator. Several of his doctors had my husband and I in a meeting and told us we could ethically choose to “let nature take it’s course.” They said we had to think about his quality of life and how his being on a vent would be hard for us to deal with. We fired them, asked for new doctors and opted for the vent. Then they said he wouldn’t last two weeks out of the hospital in our hands. He lived to be 15.

He was a favorite of most of his doctors and nurses. He was the only patient not to need sedation while on a ventilator before he had his tracheostomy. He played jokes on the doctors, interns and medical students while in ICU. When they leaned over to examine him, he’d set off a noisy toy, just to see them scream and jump back. Then he’d laugh without any sound while they tried to calm their heart rate. They’d ask, “Did you do that on purpose?” and he’d smile and nod. Then they’d laugh with him. This, when he was six.

His favorite hero was Superman because he always chose to do what was right, he was kind, he fought for the good of others and he never abused his power. He cried while watching Humane Society or ASPCA commercials about animal abuse. He loved babies and never missed a chance to hold one. He told me his fondest wish was to hold a baby of his own one day. He loved the beauty of nature and especially sunsets.

He prayed for others and told them so. He loved to sing in church, even after he had his tracheostomy and couldn’t make a lot of sound. He once put his last dollar that he had been saving in the offering plate. ” I thought you were going to buy yourself a soda with that, Khris.” I whispered. He replied, “No, Mom. The poor are more important than my soda.” I cried tears of pride about that. He once told me he wanted to be a man after God’s own heart like King David. I told him he already surely was. He didn’t believe me. He had no idea how courageous he was.

His spirit was joyful and he didn’t spend his childhood watching others leave him behind. He either worked to catch up or he called them back to himself. He adapted and he did not see himself as lesser or incapable. He always had a friendly word for strangers and had a knack for making them smile. He loved to laugh and he had a quick, sharp wit.

He loved to read but he couldn’t hold the books so I would read to him for hours at a time. We had lots of adventures that way. He loved to watch action movies with his dad. He loved to play video games and spend time with his big brother. He delighted in his little sister and told me that he loved her happy face and she had the biggest, best smile he’d ever seen. He always wanted to be the first one to wish us “Happy Birthday” or “Merry Christmas”.

He loved cooking shows and cooking. He couldn’t use his hands, so he told me what to do and I would mix up his creations. A lot of them were pretty good. He ‘sold’ a few of his recipes to Little Anthony’s Diner for their kids menu. I think it was his proudset moment to see his name on the restaurant menu; “Chef Khris”.

Two months before he died he grew quite upset. He was concerned that he wasn’t sharing his faith in Jesus with anyone because he was, by this time, confined to his bed. He ended up dictating his testimony to me and my brother read it from the pulpit one Sunday since Khris could no longer attend services. He never lived to see it, but I heard of about five people who have come to faith in Christ because of hearing about Khris and then reading his testimony. He would be so pleased.

When he went in to the hospital for the last time, they gave him less than two months to live. He beat the doctors again and lived for 10 more months. It was joy and agony. I was so grateful for the extra time, but I was terrifed of being at work when he left us for good. In that ten months, he managed to see every one of his family members for the last time. He sold his recipes, got an autographed photo from Paula Deen, and wrote his testimony. We finished the last Harry Potter book two days before he died and he told me he had a vision of Heaven and Jesus coming for him.

When he died, we were all at home.For the first time in months, there were no guests and none of us were out. I had made Khris’s favorite dinner. His dad had brought it home on ‘impulse’. After dinner, he and his dad were watching a new movie with Khris’s favorite actor. My husband asked him how he liked the movie so far, and Khris smiled at him. He passed away so peacefully that my husband had no idea until he looked up about fifteen minutes later and saw that Khris had gone. It was at sunset, Khris’s favorite time of day.

There was never going to be anyway to make that day easier or less heart-breaking, but in time, I’ve come to see what a privilege it was to be Khris’s mom. The Lord entrusted him to us. He could’ve given Khristopher to anyone, but He picked me. Can I waste the opportunity to share my story with others? Keep my special son to myself? Can I throw away the chance given to me by not learning the lessons he taught me about not giving up and using your life and your words for someone else’s good? Yes, his death hurts to remember, but the memories of who he was fill me with pride. How did God hold me? He gave me these memories and enough space to come to the realization of what a gift our time with our children are.  Khris being who he was has given me something to give back to the world. These memories have given me a way to find my voice and the courage to speak out about what hope I have that life can be better. It would be so selfish of me to leave his life locked up in my heart.

He wasn’t perfect. He had his times of depression, fear and frustration. Like any other kid, he could frustrate the heck out of us, too. But this wasn’t about his imperfections; it was about what’s been given to me. It’s about what he’d do with the opportunity to make someone else’s life better. He’d take it. And so will I.

How Linda Got Her Groove Back

     Well, it’s been quite awhile and quite a journey since I last took a stab at this. I’ve made a huge, notable change to my life and that is the fact that I left my job at the pre-school and jumped into this full-time. It wasn’t an easy decision and I wrestled with it for months before….oh, heck!..It’s been in the works since I started Mary Kay, it just took me 2 1/2 years to work up the courage to step off the ledge.  So. It’s been six months of me chugging away at this, trying to figure it out and find a way to make it mine.

     I’ve always known my “Why” and have said from the beginning that it was for the freedom to work from home and, as time passed I began to want it for others whom I saw needed the extra income this business can provide. Here’s why this is important to me:

    My husband and I had four kids, three of those together. Our youngest son had muscular dystrophy and was handicapped his whole life. The life of anyone with this disease is generally not long and by the time he was 13 I could see we were really on the down hill slope. In October of his 14th year, he went into the hospital and the doctors told us he needed hospice care. They didn’t believe he’d make it to Christmas. They released him to go home and provided care so he could finish his life with his family.

    As you can imagine, this was devastating, but what made it worse was that, even though I wanted to be with him for as long as I could, I still had to go to work. My husbands’ income paid the bills, but my income bought groceries, gas, clothing and other essentials that were needed by the family. Every day I went to work and spent the entire time waiting for that phone call. All day, every day, for 10 months. We were blessed to have him several months longer than the doctors predicted, but the waiting-at -work aspect was torture.

    Well, God was good and my son passed away on an evening when we were all home so I never had to take that call, but I was angry about all the moments I missed because I had to be at work when I Wanted. Every. Last. Second. with him.  I had made the right call because my other kids needed what I provided, and I love them as much as I loved him but that didn’t make those moments any less gone.

    A couple of years later, I joined Mary Kay because, when I heard what the business was about, the idea of working from home resonated in my heart. Even though I didn’t have the same need as before, I knew I didn’t want to remain in the teaching job and this offered a way out. But still, it was the promise of freedom that spoke to me and the idea of helping someone else avoid the lack of options that broke my heart.

    As a teacher I saw so many families struggling to make ends meet. Some were single parents, some were married and both adults working, but still, they lived paycheck to paycheck and a day off meant one less day of pay. When you’re barely making it like that, a lost day is a real hardship. I hated to have to call them when their kids were ill because I knew it was hard for them, but, of course, I had to do it. That’s when my real purpose in doing this job began to come into focus.

    With this business, I have a chance to empower other people to have the choices I didn’t have when my son needed me most. Maybe I’ll never meet another mother who has the kind of dramatic circumstances I did, but so what?  Is their struggle any less significant to them? Isn’t their time with their children just as precious? Isn’t it just as lost when they have to go to work? The answer, of course, is yes.

    Even if they don’t work it full-time, even if it’s just a way to make some quick money to cover an unexpected bill or a day off or a better Christmas, at least they have an avenue of income that they can draw on from home. They can do as little or as much as they choose. Mary Kay, herself, set it up that way because she knew that women needed a way to balance work and family.

     What I get to offer is hope. Hope of something better; a chance to get off the treadmill of endless money worries and missed sports games or school functions. Or maybe the choice to be able to stay with their child in the hospital and not have to face the dread of a phone call at work when they already feel guilty for working.

    This past weekend, I had the privilege to host our Unit meeting in my home, which included our National Sales Director, Cindy Williams. You can’t get any higher on the ladder than NSD so this was an honor. During the evening we all stated our intention to become sales directors by June. Cindy was pleased and laid out all the requirements we needed to fill to make that goal and the time frame it required. I was suddenly aware of how woefully behind I was. And that’s when a shift happened in my brain.

    How can I fulfill my purpose if I don’t reach my own goals and dreams? What will I have to show that this IS a venture worth the effort? My word? I’ve been chugging through for almost three years now. Why should they believe me?

    Now is the time to get out there and do this. I have to show what this business can do for them by showing what it’s done for me and what it means to me. I hope you all can hear my heart: This isn’t about having people feel sorry for me so they buy from me. It’s about coming out the other side of the fire refined, purified and ready to help others. “My past makes me better, not bitter.”

    I have until January 31 to make the basic requirements to even submit for the director position. I’m finally ready to go all in. The pain of regret is now greater than the fear of talking to people about what I need to do and if they can help me get there. Currently, I need 7 more active team members and $1,800 in production. I’m calling all my contacts, messaging all my FaceBook friends and reaching out to strangers to get this done. I’m offering a special on the Satin hands sets, since they’re a universal product, good for both men or women. It’s a BOGO; buy one, get the next one 30% off, with the option to hold off buying the second set through March 12th. Or, there’s also the option to order any product $34 and over for 30%off as the second half of the BOGO. If I sell 100 specials by January 31, I’ll meet the production requirements, and what seemed impossible about 5 days ago has just become possible.

    Well, you’ve come this far with me; If you like what I stand for and you want to join my team or help me get my sales done, visit my web site at: www.marykay.com/lmcfarland92.  Thanks for listening.

    

Desperately Seeking Susan…or Paula..or Anne..or..

   Really? Desperately?

   Well, maybe,… but not the way it sounds. I’m on a mission here, folks; I have a mountain to move. Anyone want to help me push?

   As mentioned in a previous post, I sort of put myself out there to try and submit for DIQ by the end of November.  O.k., scratch sort of, put in did commit to it for the end of November.

   I can hear you asking what in the world is DIQ?  D.I.Q. stands for Director In Qualification.  Ahhh, Director. My dream position. If I make director then I’m either ready, or just about ready, to do Mary Kay full-time. This is my goal.  I want to be my own boss. I want to have flexibility to do what I want, when  I want. I want a new car that I don’t have to pay for.  I want to be instrumental in helping women make positive changes in their lives. I want to help someone else reach their personal best. I like to cheer people on. I like to see them be successful! I don’t want to dread going to work; I want to love it!

   And I do love being a Mary Kay consultant.  Now, I know many of you out there are thinking,” Well, that’s o.k. for you, but I’m not the salesperson type.”  So what? I am definitely not the salesperson type. I never want to sell to anyone.  I am not comfortable with the thought of convincing someone to buy something. I mean, I like to earn money, but I don’t want to feel like I pressured anyone into it.

   The beautiful thing about this is, I am NOT looking for salespeople. I am looking for women (or men) who want to share good skin care with others; who want to enrich someone else’s life.  It’s so easy, I don’t have to sell at all. I just present the products as they are and let them sell themselves. 

   As I’ve also said, I was afraid I wouldn’t like the products, or find that their worth was being over-blown, in which case, I wouldn’t be able to sell them. But really, what I was afraid of was selling itself. I did not want to sell! I couldn’t stand the thought of getting in front of a group of people I didn’t know and try to persuade them to buy from me. …. Still, something inside wanted to try for those things I did so desperately want for my life. So, I took a chance. And I’m falling madly on love with this.

   What I need for DIQ is 10 qualified team members What does qualified mean? It means a team member with a $200 wholesale order.

    “Well!”, you say,” $100 for the starter kit AND a $200 order just to be qualified? If I had that much extra money lying around, I’d put it in my gas tank; pay a doctor’s bill; buy groceries or new shoes for my child, etc., etc.”

   All is not as it seems. You see, we make 50% of what we sell, one of the highest paid direct selling commissions. One of only three, I believe. No one pays higher.  Anyway, the first party I had, I made almost $400 dollars which was a payday of almost $200 profit. I ordered what I needed and then ordered other things I wanted to keep on hand, a nearly $400 wholesale order. From my very first party. I made back the initial $100 investment, and chose to put it back into my business. Voila; qualified!

  And one of the BEST parts of this business is you get to pick your team. You never have to work with people you don’t like ever again. That is a total boon. Yes, I’m sure there may be people in Mary Kay I wouldn’t like, but I haven’t met one yet. The sisterhood is amazing. The support you will receive, both professionally and personally is truly wonderful.

   As for the time issue, as in: ” I don’t have time right now.”, I’d like to politely remind you that I have a full-time job as well as this plus a house to run, a disabled hubby, a frustrating teen-ager….you know how it goes. Mary Kay allows you to work on your schedule, not someone elses. We are trained on how to work it in the time we have. You can work as little or as much as you want.

  * Humph*, I just looked back over what I wrote and noticed that I just started saying ” you” instead of “I”. I apparently have more faith in my powers of persuasion than I thought.  Bilbo is getting braver. Yay!

    So, maybe you think this isn’t for you? Well, referrals are the best gift I could get right now. Do you know someone who might like this or just needs a change? Extra money? Something they can do from home?  But why don’t you give it a shot? You really have nothing to lose. Visit my web-site to contact me, the address is :  marykay.com/lmcfarland92. We could have coffee or a conference call with my director if you don’t live close by. Or call me. Chances are, if you’re on my Face Book friends list or have my cell, I want you on my team.

Liqiud Courage

        Sorry. I’m not talking about alcohol. Not that I’m against a drink now and then, I just don’t recommend it before entering a selling situation. After, well…that’s up to you.

       No, ladies and gentlemen, my liquid courage comes in a small, plastic tube. Beige 1 tinted moisturizer, SPF 20, to be exact. Now, you may be wondering what that has to do with courage? Well, as some of you know, I’d always hated my complexion. It was acne-prone, shiny and all-around make-up repellent. I could never seem to get my foundation shade right and even if I had, my make-up never lasted more than half a day anyway; put it on in the morning and it had slid off my face by noon. Seriously, ask my friends. We all know kids are cruel. We were probably cruel to some ourselves.  I heard all the usual comments that accompany this kind of skin and few really creative zingers that left bigger scars on my psyche than my acne ever did on my face. I learned to layer on the products and became a big fan of full-coverage everything.

         When I signed up for this business, I did it for the opportunity to be my own boss. I had never really tried the products and I was worried that maybe they weren’t as great as everyone said. If that was the case, I’d be in trouble because there would be no way I could sell something I didn’t believe in. But guess what? It works. It works spectacularly well. For the first time in my life, I feel comfortable in my own skin. I may not be model pretty, but I think I look pretty good most of the time. I’ve had several people tell me they thought I was much younger than I am and one young lady said, “I hope I look that good at that age.”  Woo Hoo!

        I seem to be a walking cliché these days. I understand I’m not making earth-shattering revelations of character, but it’s the first time in my life I can see these things at work on how I live. I thought I had to have everything  just- so for this to work. I thought I had to be just-so for this to work. In holding on to that, I took a lot longer to really try at this. I never knew how much energy got sapped from my life by letting perfectionism rule the way I did things.

        Mary Kay’s products have helped me get to the point that I can wear our sheerest foundation formula with pride, but learning this business has led me to reach for my personal best potential. With that comes the bonus of looking for it in others. Letting go of that need to be perfect has allowed me to focus on other people; to see what they bring to the table.

       So far this month I have two challenge-takers. I need 8 more to fulfill my own monthly goal. I may not make my goal but it won’t make or break me. In the past, if something wasn’t immediately successful, I gave it up. In the past three months, since I really started going with this, it’s become easier and easier to get back on track,  dust off  my scraped knees and keep going forward. Disappointment has had a harder time bringing me down or keeping there for very long. I intend for these blogs to be less about trying to climb my hurdles and more about which ones I’ve conquered.  Well…..I’m off to conquer.