Saturday, August 2, 2014

Bringing Jon Home…How AdvoCare Changed Our Path

Well, it’s no secret that we love, love, love AdvoCare and we love this business model. I am all about shopping local when possible and would definitely rather benefit someone’s family than some big company. There are some really great companies out there- Rodan + Fields, Mary Kay, 31, Origami Owl…We have friends who are part of all of these & really enjoy them, and we think that is AWESOME!

I know direct sales is not for everyone, but I have to share how simply sharing our love for these products has changed our lives. 1 Corinthians 1:31 tells us to “boast in the Lord,” and we have to share what God has done in our lives through this opportunity.

We absolutely LOVE the AdvoCare  products and being able to help people improve their health. We love helping a mom have the energy to play with her babies when she gets home from work. Or helping someone who has always struggled with their weight to finally win the battle. Or helping an athlete break through a plateau. Or even help my parents to sleep better (Sleep Works is the bomb!) & help their joints feel better (Joint Promotion & Bio Tools are the bomb too). (Sorry Dad….all those years of catching for me finally got ya. I guess owed it to ya to find something to help, huh?) It is extremely rewarding to help other people in that way, and it’s an added bonus that WE feel better too. I know that when we feel better and are healthy, we are more productive both in our home and in the community. Good, clean energy = one happy mama!

1979913_10152261048806405_2014204106_o

Plus, we don’t have any quotas or monthly minimums or autoships or anything, so there is never any reason to pressure anyone to do anything. We have never tried to “sell” anything to anyone.  We are obviously quite passionate about what the products have done for us personally and so many others in our life, so we do not hesitate to share for that reason, but we totally respect any and every decision. I love that we truly get to focus on the needs of others and how we can add value to their life. There are so many OPTIONS, which is part of what I appreciate about it. We have lots of people who order Spark on the reg because it helps them feel better, have more mental focus, & quit drinking soft drinks or expensive coffee. Lots of fitness enthusiasts get straight pumped about using the same products the pros do (and for a good reason!). Many others really want to manage their weight- lose weight, break through a plateau, maintain, or put on lean muscle. Others just like the quality vitamins and wellness products. We have lots of people get the membership just to enjoy the world’s finest nutritional products at a discount. Some are totally cool paying full price because they know they are worth every red cent. We love helping people no matter how they choose to get involved (if at all) and respect any decision.

Still, we truly believe one of the best products AdvoCare has to offer is the income opportunity. It’s not for everyone, of course, but our company was designed to help ordinary people (like us) to earn an extraordinary income. We have helped a LOT of people earn extra income for their family, and I think it’s pretty safe to say that any additional income these days is helpful. Our very first paycheck in AdvoCare was $276, and I know at that time, that made a big difference for us. It meant I didn’t have to teach pitching lessons that week if I didn’t want to. (One of our goals at that time was to pay off our house and save up a big nest egg for when I would become a stay-at-home-mom.) We have some people that bring home an extra $100 a month to help pay for their products, all the way to others on our team that bring home thousands per month so they can bring a spouse home, retire from the military, stop traveling so much for work, be able to cut hours of overtime, pay for an adoption, pay off student loans, etc. It is really humbling to play a small role in that.

b88fa143d74dfa2d0e161856952862de

We have been blessed to have an opportunity to help people, even people I’ve met through the blog, to be successful with the income opportunity AdvoCare offers. Here are just a few of them that happen to have their own blogs – some I knew personally before AdvoCare, and some I met through this blog. (These are just a few who I know won’t mind if I give you their link. And if you are reading this and I forgot yours, shoot me a message ASAP so I can get it added.)

Niki

Nikki

Ashley

Carley

Jenn

Rachel

Angela

Brittany

Ashley

Amanda

Ashley

When we first got introduced to AdvoCare back in March of 2012, we were not parents yet. We were doing exactly what society taught us to do, and honestly, we didn’t know anything else was possible. We were pretty satisfied with what we were doing and didn’t really consider the business because 1.) We didn’t have extra time for anything else on our plate, and 2.) We are not sales people. I was teaching middle school and LOVED it! loved my awesome co-workers, my sweet kiddos, and teaching in general- it’s definitely a passion and calling. Jonathan was working with his dad in the construction industry, but a couple months into it, we were earning enough additional income through Advo that Jonathan felt led to open his own custom cabinet business with a friend. They were very successful because they are both hard workers and did BEAUTIFUL work, but it meant a lot of stress and a lot of time for Jon. Owning your own business sounds like a dream, but when it’s a brick and mortar type business, there is a ton of time, overhead, stress, etc., involved. Plus, you don’t get paid when you don’t work. (That’s part of the beauty of a residual income with direct sales.) When we went to Success School for the first time, we saw “stay at home families” working their AdvoCare businesses from home, on their own time, and still making enough income to take the pressure off. These were normal, down to earth, good people. Some were coaches, some teachers, some pastors, some police officers, some trainers, some attorneys, some physicians, some blue collar workers, some white collar workers. All walks of life. This was the first time we realized something different from what we had always been taught was even possible. These were just normal people like us, so even though it scared us a little, we thought “Why not us? If they can do it, we can too.”

1978749_10152237077936405_1736297296_n

Now just to clarify, this is not some get rich quick scheme. It is absolutely a work program. We may not be a lot of things, but we sure aren’t strangers to hard work. Both sets of our parents are extremely hard workers and definitely instilled that in us. You also have to be really coachable to be successful here (you can’t try to “do it your own way”) and you have to make up your mind early on to never quit.  Naturally, when we found a part-time opportunity like this that was going to allow us to earn as much as we were making from all of our other side jobs, we went for it. We were both still working our full-time jobs, but investing in our AdvoCare business for 5-10 hours a week, which allowed us to earn as much in our first 9 months of AdvoCare as I make with an entire year’s salary as a teacher (with both a Master’s and Specialist’s). Honestly, that was 5-10 hours was time we would spend doing something unproductive anyway that wouldn’t really add any value to our family, so it just made perfect sense. As we continued to grow in our business, grow personally, and help more people, our checks continues to grow. Our desire is to be servant leaders (why I became a teacher in the first place) & we love seeing others have success, so this has been a perfect fit for us! Plus, we are passionate about health/fitness, nutrition, debt freedom, FAMILIES, and our faith, so this lined up on all accounts.

Like I said, the income opportunity is not for everyone. But to be clear, everyone does get the exact same opportunity here.

Statistics show that over 80% of Americans hate what they do for a living. I did not fall into that category, so I can’t really relate. And if you do love you do, that is AWESOME! We are passionate people & can definitely appreciate someone who is passionate about what they do.

I am so thankful for military, doctors, nurses, church staff, teachers, law enforcement & firefighters, farmers, (and so many others) who do what they do to keep our society running . Their contributions to society are undeniable & we are so thankful for the impact all of you are making! We also know (according to the statistics) that there are lots of people who do not feel satisfied or fulfilled with their current profession. For us, I loved teaching (the actual TEACHING aspect of it- nothing else) and Jonathan loved woodworking, so it wasn’t trying to find something else that drew us in. However, we did not like the idea of where we would be 30 years from now in our same professions. We did not like the idea of missing out on things with our kiddos. In a perfect world, we would be able to do something fulfilling that allows us to teach others & be servants, continue to learn & grow ourselves, have time freedom with our family, and still make enough income that we don’t have to fight or stress over money. Is that real life? Well, it has been AdvoCare for us. (When I read this out loud to Jon, he said “That part kind of sounds cheesy, but it’s true so I guess you should keep it in there. Haha!)

Yes, this is outside of the box. And no, our “inside the box” wasn’t bad by any means. We had a great life prior to getting involved with this, but this has blessed our family in SO MANY WAYS and it has been a true joy to be able to pay that forward.

Honestly, I’m a better wife, mother, daughter, etc. now. And Jonathan is better too.

We have TIME together. We don’t have to rush through life like we did before, just making it through the week and waiting for the weekend so we could do it all over again the next week. We aren’t working crazy hours and side jobs trying to get ahead. We both have the opportunity to be home with Jase all day, every day, which is really unique. (And the times we do choose to travel, he gets lots of sweet attention from all of his awesome grandparents.) When my brother passed away, it wasn’t a stressor thinking about having to call in, take off work, etc. We could just BE with my family, all day, every day, for as long as they needed us. 

We now work about 20  hours a week or so, and the beauty of that is we CHOOSE our schedule. I rarely take phone calls (or even texts) when Jase is awake. I do the majority of my work while he is napping or after he has gone to bed at 8 pm. And I also have time to keep our house clean and have healthy, homemade meals on the table every day. Meals that we get to eat together as a family. Jonathan also helps out big time around the house and with Jase, so I never really feel frazzled or exhausted or overwhelmed. He runs the majority of our business so I can focus on being a mom (I am very passionate about being a ‘homemaker’- post to come on that), but he is still PRESENT. I LOVE having Jonathan here with me and being able to alongside him towards a common goal. He is truly my best friend, and I married him because I ENJOY spending time with him. We love to do things together- whether it’s running errands like going to the bank or grocery store, working out, or working on our business.

We also aren’t stressing about finances, and that has been a major blessing. Over half of all marriages today end in divorce, and the #1 cause of divorce is financial stress. The love of money is the root of all kids of evil, but we have found that now that we aren’t stressing over it anymore, we give way more freely and abundantly than before. We aren’t desperately doing everything we can to try to make more money and are completely satisfied with where we are. Truthfully, we would be completely content with less, but we have big goals of paying our house off, buying land to live on a somewhat self-sustaining farm, and helping our parents retire. Plus, there are still a LOT of other people who desperately need either these products or this opportunity. We strive to work hard as if working for the Lord, just as we did with our jobs before, but feel we have found a way to work smarter. (Again, this is a WORK program and we do work really hard with it.) We still have a budget, are frugal (Jase is not spoiled with anything other than lots of LOVE & TIME), and we are big savers (other than traveling). We don’t ever argue about money anymore. Our biggest question each month is what ministry we want to give to, and how much beyond our tithe we feel the Lord is leading us to give. Not only are we able to give financially, we are able to give our TIME. We can serve others, teach Bible studies, get involved with causes we are passionate about, etc. I don’t say any of this to be boastful, so please hear my heart. That’s why I don’t ever blog about things like that. It is truly all for the glory of God and not for a pat on the back, but I do feel the need to share this so you know what IS possible with time freedom. I often ask people “What would you do if time and money weren’t an issue for you?” and I always get some AMAZING responses. There are some really, really great in this world; people with big dreams and big hearts that want to CHANGE the world, but who haven’t yet found the vehicle to make their dreams a reality. For us, this has been our vehicle and we are still praying about what bigger things the Lord has in store for us down the road. We’ll keep you posted on that. More work to do!

Now, that doesn’t mean this has been easy. There was a time before Jon came home to do this full-time with me where I sometimes felt a little overwhelmed, frustrated, or out of balance. Something tough would come up and I would question if I was really doing the right thing. Sometimes I DID have to talk on the phone while Jase was awake, and sometimes I didn’t have dinner on the table when Jon came home from work. And you better believe there have been some naysayers! (I’ll go more into that in a minute.) Even our parents in the beginning were kinda iffy about me walking away from teaching to do this full-time. Looking back….was it worth it? AB-SO-LUTELY!!! We would do it a hundred times over if it meant that 2 1/2 years into this, we would be a full-time stay at home family. Jonathan is the best dad, and I am so thankful Jase has so much T-I-M-E with him so he can learn what it means to be a real man. If you ask most adult men, one of the #1 regrets of their lives is working too much and missing out on too many moments.

Now as much as I would love to say everyone has been happy for us, that simply isn’t the case. Our families are thrilled (yep, even though they were some of our skeptics early on) for the freedoms & options this has provided for us. And our TRUE friends are so supportive too. (In fact, the majority of our best friends, that were our best friends prior to Advo too, our now involved on SOME level.) Many of our other friends have had success, and we LOVE getting to celebrate that with them.

But there are going to be times when some people, even so called ‘friends,’ aren’t going to be happy for you. This pretty much sums that up.

securedownload

I’ve had a few(and really, I am talking like 3) people tell me that “I’ve changed.” My only response is “Thank you.” I pray that this time next year, people will say the same thing. I do not WANT to be the same person I was 10 or 15 years ago….or heck, even 6 months ago. I didn’t realize quite how important personal growth was before AdvoCare, but both Jon and I have grown tremendously in our marriage, our financial education, our walks with the Lord, and our leadership since being a part of this company. So to me, not being the same person I once was is a compliment. Now I know I still have a LOT to work on, and I always will, but to the people who know me best, it has been a positive change. So as a result, some of our friends have had to change.  For the others, I have found that it’s hard watching someone else become a better version of themselves when you’re staying exactly the same. Some people don’t place value on the same things we do and apparently find it offensive that we are so passionate about what we believe is important. (Different opinions are fine, to each their own. That’s what makes the world go round, right?)

Bringing Jon Home:

We prayed through this a while back to decide if this was something we really wanted to do. Like I said, our hearts and minds saw bigger picture a couple years ago, but was this what we REALLY wanted? Jonathan LOVED what he did and was really good at it. And he was earning a great income. We discussed it, prayed over it, and received confirmation this is what the Lord wanted for our family. We truly believe being independent AdvoCare distributors is the BEST use of our time, talent, and resources. Again, it’s not for everyone, but this is what we feel called to do at this point in our lives. If you can’t tell from the blog, a few of the things we are extremely passionate about are faith, families, and fitness. We love helping moms to get home with their babies (dads too if they want to), helping people cut back on hours at their jobs so they have more time to be with their family, and helping people learn to live a healthy lifestyle. We love being part of a company that promotes debt freedom and big giving. Plus, we do our best to make sure that no matter what, God is at the forefront of our business. We hope to encourage others in their walks, even if it’s from example. We have had the opportunity to pray with a friend for her husband for MONTHS and watch him pray to receive Christ in July. We have had the opportunity to talk with others about their faith and encourage them in their walk. And of course we want to make sure that we always give God every bit of the glory.

So, “What if something happens?” Well, I guess the same thing that would happen if anyone lost any other job for any reason. By the way, NO job is safe. Pretty much every year at school, some positions were being cut. And Jonathan was in construction. Thankfully God was faithful throughout the housing market crash, but who is to say that couldn’t tank again at any time? So our answer? We would get another job. We both have some skills & degrees & certifications that could be put to use in the workforce if needed.  We definitely PREFER to be entrepreneurs, but could go to work if needed. And who knows, we could be called into the mission field tomorrow! For now, tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us and we are thankful to be able to take full advantage of our time together each day. Plus, we feel really, really confident that AdvoCare isn’t going anywhere but up. (Different post for a different day.)

May 6th was Jonathan’s last day waking up and driving away from what he loves most. We are beyond thankful for this opportunity and for some awesome friends we get to work with on a daily basis.

dream

3 comments:

Starboard said...

Way to go!!!! You are such an inspiration. My husband an I are going through some EXTREMELY hard financial times; it's truly frightening. I recently lost my job as a medical aesthetician due to the untimely death of the business owner. I truly loved my job. It offered me the ability to make very good money while working part-time, allowing me to spend more time with our boys. The best part was helping people feel better about themselves! Unfortunately I have been unable to find a job in my field that would offer the same flexibility I once had. Family comes first for my husband and I, however most employers do not feel the same way.

I'm starting to think this may be a sign from up above, as we know there is a reason for EVERYTHING! I would LOVE to work from home to spend more time with our beautiful boys. Perhaps AdvoCare is the answer! I am a fitness fanatic, so this is definitely my thing!!! I would love to learn more, Danielle. Thank you for sharing this.

xoxo
Kristen

Ashley said...

Very inspirational, Danielle! I just ordered my 24-day challenge from you, and am considering signing up as a distributor (once I see how I feel about the products personally :)). This gives me some more insight into the Advocare family- thanks!

Danielle said...

Great post! I would love to learn more about it also!