26 years ago, my husband told me to stop trying to make money.
“Leave the money-making to me,” he had said. Now here I am running a home business that is doing far better than any of my wildest dreams would have predicted. What happened???
When my husband and I first married, we were dead broke (though maybe not as bad off as the Clintons when they left the White House).
Though unaware at the time, we later learned that we were actually below the poverty line and could have received food stamps and other government assistance.
Yet, we didn’t mind! We had no idea we were poor! We were young and in love!
However…in this lay the problem: I wasn’t seeing my husband enough.
At first, we both worked jobs outside the home, but when I became pregnant, I was often too sick and had to quit. Once we had our first baby, I knew I needed to stay home and be a mom, so I did not pursue a job outside the home, though I did earn some extra money through providing day care.
However, what I really wanted to do, ever since middle school, was have a home business. This was truer now more than ever. I didn’t want my husband to have to go away to work; I didn't like him being gone all day. I wanted him to be home.
Because of this desire, I was always trying to think of what businesses would allow me to bring my husband home.
It can work!
I found one opportunity that looked very promising: selling coupon books.
The way it worked was there were "coupon clippers" who would cut all the coupons out of magazines and newspaper inserts and send them to a broker. The broker printed coupon booklets filled with order forms. Then, distributors would sell the coupon books to their customers. Each week, the customer could fill out an order form for the exact items he planned on purchasing in the near future.
It was a brilliant idea! The broker made money, the distributors made money, and the customers saved money! (Although looking back on it now, it probably was illegal…)
I participated in this business back in the old days before the internet or online marketing. I had to put ads in magazines, and work through the mail. That is to say, snail mail. No email. I thought it was a ton of fun! I enjoyed it, and it was like Christmas morning when I would go out to the mail box and a find a check with my name on it.
Then I lost everything…
Another opportunity came along, also related to coupons. For this enterprise, people could buy a coupon book to redeem and get cereal at about $1 a box when it was normally $3 or $4 a box.
What made this discount possible was that it was subsidized by advertising. Advertisers paid to have their flyers included in each package, which is what allowed the consumer to get the cereal dirt cheap. It also was a win-win for everyone, so I decided to take part, and I promoted it the same way I did the previous business. I gained a lot of customers and it was, again, super fun getting checks in the mail!
But then the unthinkable happened...the company stopped fulfilling the cereal orders.
They weren't sending out the cereal! I made repeated attempts to contact them, but couldn't get a response. I even tried contacting the Better Business Bureau and Attorney General, but neither were able to help.
I was shattered.
Here all these customers had trusted me, and now I couldn't give them what they had ordered. My husband told me that the only right thing to do was to give all their money back, so that's what I did. I lost a lot of money.
At the time, I thought it must have been a scam (and still do, although I suppose there is the slight possibility that the business just folded), and I felt extremely bad for having promoted it. I felt my integrity had taken a hit, even though I wasn't the one responsible for fulfilling the order. I was completely devastated, and it led to a lot of tears and stress.
My husband saw how terrible that experience was for me, so he told me to stop trying to make money, and to leave providing for the family up to him. Even though I still wanted to pursue my dream of having a home business, I agreed he was right. I thought I would never try to run a home business again, and for 20 years, that’s what happened.
A new season of life
For the next 20 years, all my focus was on my children and family, and I never tried to start another home business, that is until 6 years ago when I found a product I fell totally head-over-heels in love with: the flexi clip by Lilla Rose. It was the very first hairclip I had ever seen that worked in my super-thick hair without breaking...and it not only worked in thick hair, but in baby-fine hair as well. It was a totally break-though product that no one has come even close to since. I was hooked, line-and-sinker, for life.
I started out as a customer, but after I lost my beloved flexi clip on a camping trip, I desperately searched the internet for where I could get a replacement.
That’s when I found out I could sign up as a consultant.
Not only would I be able to get a discount on flexi clips for myself, but I could also get paid just for referring others to Lilla Rose. I knew that others would love the flexi just as much as I, and in fact, ladies had already been asking me where I got my hair clip!
Two other things happened around the same time as I found out about this opportunity
One, my favorite blogger just announced that she was opening up her blog to advertising, and two, friends of ours announced that they were planning on pursuing adoption.
I knew that the blog's audience was comprised of ladies like me, and would love the flexi! And here could possibly be a way to support adoption, a cause very near and dear to my heart.
With my husband's agreement, after 20 years, I gave it a try, but not investing more than I could stand to lose. So I started small with a $50 ad, which actually seemed like quite a bit to me. I asked myself, “Am I willing to lose $50? Is it okay if I don’t make a single sale?” I decided, absolutely! I liked the blog so much that I was okay with losing it all; it would have been just like a donation to a great ministry.
I went ahead with the adoption fundraiser, and it worked! I turned a profit, and made money for our friends so they could eventually adopt. This experience showed me that this business could work.
Since then, my business has exploded and grown beyond my wildest dreams! (Click here for a free 10-day course on how to build your own business online).
Moral of the story: listen to your husband
Listen to your husband.
Since then, there have been times when he has told me I needed to cut back and…I didn’t.
I felt I had too many responsibilities, too many people counting on me and relying on me in the business, I couldn’t just cut back…yet that backfired. I didn't listen to my husband, and it caused problems with my family and children.
When running a home business, you have to remember that your family is counting on you too, and they come first.
Ironically, my husband ended up joining me, and now we're partners in the business along with our children! I'm still hoping that he can eventually quit his other job, though he does now work from home, and has done so for many years.
The success of our home business selling Lilla Rose products has given us so many more opportunities.
For example, one of my sons is able to pursue music production and lead a ministry for young Christian writers, while a daughter is able to have an art studio.
Additionally, family home business is not just about helping your own family, but you can help support missionaries, adoption, or any number of other causes you believe in.
You can also train others to help support their own families, and the ads you buy help bloggers support their families as well.
Even more valuable is the friendship and support that comes from the other consultants you meet and interact with along the way. Consultants are there for one another in good times and bad.
The opportunities to bless others are endless!
The right time and the right opportunity
It pays to listen to your husband and wait for the right time and the right opportunity.
Back when we were first married, there weren't as many opportunities, and there certainly wasn't the virtual online world to market through.
Continuing to pursue a home business at that time could have led to even more disastrous outcomes.
I could have become jaded, and maybe I would have never gotten into selling Lilla Rose at all!
There are different seasons of life, and you can't do everything at once.
Maybe now isn’t the time for you to try and run a home business. Maybe now you should spend all of your time focused on your children. I know I couldn't have run my business the size it is now with several young children.
Wait for the right time and the right opportunity. Once you find it, the rewards are incredible!
If you'd like to work with me and Lilla Rose and would like to know more, just click the button below!