Today I was chatting with a dear friend and she challenged me to look back five years ago. Where were you? What were you doing? Are you where you thought you would be today? I challenge you to do the same. Let's just say you might be really surprised at your journey. I know I am. This is not the path that I thought my family would end up on but am I so very grateful that we took a chance.
First off, did you know five years ago at this time, Turner and I had a French intern living with us for the summer?! It makes me giggle when I think about it. A young man from France lived in our basement for a few months while he interned at Turner's company. He was so sweet and I am so grateful that we were blessed with time with Nico. Someday I think we need to vacation in Corsica with you, Nico, don't you think??
I was also pregnant with Harvey, our first child. I was working full time in a job in a company I was extremely grateful for but didn't particularly love what I did. I liked what I did, but I didn't LOVE it. A company I had been with since college. I had advanced. I had great experiences. I am so very grateful for the time I spent there. But at the end of the day, I didn't love it. I felt like there was more out there for me. I just didn't know what. And I really didn't know what to expect with a baby coming into our lives.
I did something else 5 years ago that at the time seemed super minor. That I was just spending some money and using some products. I had NO idea that buying a business kit from this company would change my entire family's trajectory. I thought worst case scenario, I would use these products and that would be it. Nothing happened to you if you didn't do anything. So why not? I needed a good cleaning product that didn't smell horrible when I cleaned.
And deep down, I needed a plan B income opportunity.
Five years ago, I didn't start off with a big bang, but I did work my business enough to get my start up costs paid for within the first month and maintain a little extra money coming in for the first two years. Yes, it took me TWO years to realize and decide that I had partnered with something that was so much more than a couple hundred bucks a month. If you are doing the math, 2012-2014 was two years of being mediocre with my business. Of not following directions. Of being a pain in the butt. Of not wanting to do the process. Of wanting to pave my own way. Of lot of avoiding being part of a team. Seriously, the people who still love me after those first two years, they need an award. Many of them pictured below ;) Looking at all of the life experiences I have had since then.... who knew that this was in store for me. I write it out in pure gratitude because it still surprises me when I see it all laid out.
2014: My first global conference in Long Beach, California. I went with no team. I didn't think we had the money or child coverage for me to go. But we wanted this business to make us more money than a couple hundred bucks a month so my husband and I made a decision and I attended. Everything changed. I ran a 5k with the CEO of the company! Well, I was much farther along the finish line than him but still. He was there. I started meeting some amazing people. I ran on the beach with two ladies from Chicago who I had never met but now are some of the most amazing people to have in my life today! This was the beginning of something new and exciting.
2015: I had earned my first all expense paid trip for two to Shaklee's headquarters in Pleasanton, California. I was SO grateful for that experience because we were able to extend our trip a day and head into San Francisco for a day of fun. With one child at home, a baby on the way, me not working full time -- fun moments needed to be soaked up whenever they could! By that fall, I started earning a car bonus from Shaklee. Yep, they add extra money to my check each month to pay for our car. Right now, I have a total of NINE years of car payments banked up.
2016: I earned the first Chairman's Leadership Retreat and headed back to California but to Palm Springs. This event took the changes that were already in place and set them into motion. This trip aligned my business with my faith. I started turning over my plans and allowing them to be God's plans. He had and has amazing things in store for us!! But we have to trust His path and sometimes it takes a good conversation from amazing leaders who have already gone through some trials to do that. In August of 2016, five amazing teammates came with me to Orlando to experience their own a-ha moments at Shaklee Live. I am so grateful for them making the time and effort to join me there because it's been a joy to watch them blossom since then.
2017: Marks the year of TRAVEL!!! I often joke that I love living in North Dakota but if someone is going to pay for me to leave, I'm outta here! Absence makes the heart grow fonder. I love our town and neighborhood but I love traveling too. In April, my honey and I went on our very first Dream Trip to Playa del Carmen, Mexico. It was AMAZING! I just returned from the second Chairman's Leadership Retreat in Napa, California and next week we leave for Peru, South America!! Peru!! Machu Picchu!!! ONCE IN A LIFETIME places and experiences. It still seems so surreal.
All because I took a chance five years ago.
But I write all of those experiences and must share the other side of it. The pain, the heartache, the jealousy, the fear, the struggles, the challenges. This didn't come easy. Those years between 2012-2014?? They were low years for a reason. I didn't embrace emotion. I didn't embrace process. I didn't embrace coaching. And most importantly, I didn't embrace faith. I wanted to control every aspect of my life. I wanted to play it safe. I stayed frozen because I allowed fear to keep me frozen. Thankfully, I've had some amazing friends along the way who have nudged me in the right directions, starting with my faith. I'm also really excited that this is just the start of the journey.
God has amazing plans for all of us. He wants us to live abundantly rich lives. He did not promise us a life without trials, without heartache, without sorrow. But he did promise us LIGHT to shine through those dark times. It's not one gift He gave me. It's a gift He gave ALL of us. We are the hands and feet on earth who have to put those gifts into motion. No one is going to do it for us. When we sit here frozen in fear, we are not using the gifts God has given us. We are not living our lives to their greatest potential. And when we do that, we miss out on the abundance.
I challenge you to stop and think about where you were five years ago but also to dream and imagine where you want to be in the next five years. Because no matter how big your dreams are NOTHING even comes close to the plans God has for you. His plans are bigger than your plans and His thoughts are higher than your thoughts - if you stop and allow it to be in your life.