By Lema A-N
In June of 2006 when my husband Albert & I made the decision to start our home based business, we had two young children. Our daughter was four and our son was one year old. We love our kids, and like all parents, have always wanted the best in life for them. We work to provide a better future for them, to give them things we never had.
In the beginning, finding that balance between family and business was tough. How much time could we put into our business without taking away from our kids? That decision was made for us as a family by the goals we set when we got started. In the first month, we made a few thousand dollars. That was an indication that our home business had the potential to bring in some serious income.
Our next goal was to move to an area with a better school district before our daughter Abby started kindergarten. You see, a couple of years earlier, we had bought our first home in an area we thought was safe and up-and-coming but then crime began to go up, the school system began to go down and parents were getting concerned. With the area constantly in the local news for shootings and other crimes, it was certain that we had to find a way to move out.
In 5LINX, we saw an opportunity to pull this off. This became the reason we were in this, our ‘why’, and it drove us. You know when your‘why’ is much bigger than you, you give it the best you got and work harder than ever.
Our kids were never the excuse as to why we couldn’t do what needed to be done. How could they be the driving force and be the excuse at the same time?
We were leading the expansion in the Atlanta area at the time and every Monday we had weekly business opportunity meetings. We took our kids with us because we could not afford babysitting and we could not afford to miss the meeting either. If one of us was presenting that day, the other would sit and watch them outside, if both of us had to be inside the meeting room, we would ask someone to watch them while they sat out (kids were not allowed in the meeting room). Everyone who was a part of the Atlanta expansion team back then knew our kids and had to put up with them to some degree; some of them got irritated a few times too, I could tell. Sometimes in life, you've got to do what you got to do.
“I want this so bad, I want my kids to have a better future, but I can’t come to the meeting because my daughter has a game.” Is an excuse we could have made. But as Benjamin Franklin puts it "He that is good for making excuses, is seldom good for anything else."
A time for Family Sacrifices
At home, my husband was still working full time. While he was at work, I found a way to work around the kids, making more calls while they were taking their naps. But even while they were awake and playing, I would work with them right next to me. If they got loud while I was on the phone with a customer or business
partner, or doing a PowerPoint presentation, I would apologize, something like
“Sorry about that, the kids are home with me, you know this is a home based business,” and we would laugh it off.
When it came to going out and having one-on-one presentations, we always took them with us as well. It wasn’t uncommon to see us pulling up in our driveway at one a.m in the morning after a day out working. But that was OK.
‘You cannot eat your cake and have it.’ In network marketing, the price for success has to be paid upfront. Some of the sacrifices we had to make were very difficult.
- Monday evenings were reserved for weekly meetings ONLY. We were committed to our business and to the Atlanta team.
- We were committed to attending all super Saturday trainings. On those Saturdays we gave up grocery shopping, church meetings, games, etc.
- In all those years when we were ‘running’ with the business, our kids were not involved in many activities. We were working the business full-time and although I was at home with them, our focus was on goals we had to achieve.
- Going out and socializing became a thing of the past. We lost touch with a lot of family and friends, some of whom are still upset today.
A Season for Reaping
Month # nine, we were able to buy that second home out in the country-side in McDonough Georgia, four thousand eight hundred square feet,three levels. With enough space for our kids to play all they like, safe environment, great neighbors – we have neighbors who rear cows and horses!
Today Abby, 7 attends a great public school, which we are comfortable with and which to us and some ratings we have seen is amongst the top schools in the country.
Nineteen months later, we were able to make it to the position of Senior Vice President, with no prior experience (comes with being awarded stock options in the company)
Three years later, Albert is retired from corporate America and a dream that seemed so impossible is now a reality – having him at home all day.
The best thing, to me as a mother is, I am now spending quality time with my kids and being more active in church. Abby is taking ballet classes and is involved in other club activities. In the last year, we have had another son Joel, now one. My mother is here from Cameroon visiting –she can have anything she wants, not that she asks for much anyway. We spend evenings together as a family playing games. We have family prayers every night. Our kids take part in every activity in the book – the price has been paid.
Personally, I strive to be a well-rounded individual. I drive my business, my business doesn’t drive me. God has blessed us tremendously and continues to do so; we give Him all the glory.
How about you? It is possible for you too. Whatever your dreams and aspirations are, go forward and claim them, they are yours for the taking. Find something that works, don't be afraid to give it all you got and you will reap the benefits.
I will conclude with these words of Mary Kay Ash, “You can achieve anything you want, if you want it bad enough and if you are willing to pay the price.”