Today as I strolled through a public area I was watching each person that I passed. I deeply analyzed their facial expressions and body language. I watched as people walked hastily by me, obviously running late while others sat on benches looking like they were beyond bored. I saw a lot of normal.
Watching this, I thought to myself "I am so blessed to not have to be living in the normal". I love my life today! I am a successful woman and my journey is still in it's beginning stages. But seeing this, I started to think about my journey to where I am at now. I thought to myself, if I could inspire one person to keep fighting by sharing some of my story it would bless my heart.
I would like to start my story during my childhood. When I was a child I was a dreamer. Oh was I a dreamer. Ask anyone that knew me during my childhood and they would tell you this.
I remember taking long walks and just plopping down into the grass to run my fingers through the soft, plush, deep green blades and just allowing myself to dream. I would flop back into the soft and cool ground and let my arms drop to my side and just peer into the blue sky above. I would watch as the birds soared above me with their wings spread out to catch the wind beneath their wings to let them soar. I dreamed that someday I could fly, and little did I know that someday I would.
One day I ran to my dad and I remember telling him what I wanted to be when I grew up. He was outside working on his jeep. He turned around and asked me how my day was going. I told him "good". "How is yours dad?" He replied with good. I continued to stand their just watching him and he asked me what was going on. I guess he knew I wanted to tell him something. Then I went on to spill my heart's deepest desires to him of how I would be a singer and a speaker, a writer and a teacher, travel the world, and have an orphanage.
He looked at me and was silent for a bit as a small grin peeked at the corner of his mouth and then he knelt down eye level with me as he chuckled a small bit. I peered into his eyes as he told me that it is good to dream but I need to try to pick one or two dreams because it is not possible to be all of that. I remember asking him those two well known words of a child and parent, "why not". He just smiled and put his large hand gently on my shoulder and grinned. He said it just isn't possible to be everything we want to be. As you get older you will figure out the one thing that you really want to do. But right now you don't have to worry about that. Just worry about being a kid. You have many years to figure everything else out.
I remember walking away and going to sit behind the lilac bushes where no one could see me. I just sat there for the longest time trying to process what my dad told me. After thinking about it for a while I decided I was going to still be everything I dreamed of. That childhood vision was so naive. Would I really be able to hang on to my dreams? Were those dreams possible?
As I grew up I started to understand why he told me this as my dreams faded to the background. My dad was trying to protect me because most people could never do all of those things. Normally, a small town girl like I was would have never been able to accomplish all the things I dreamed. Fortunately, there is a way for everyday people to be able to live their wildest dreams and I will share this with you later. But first, let's jump back into the story and head to my last year of high school.
By the time I reached my senior of high school, a lot had happened. Unfortunately, I lost myself along the way and those dreams I once cherished were tucked away and became more like a faint memory than a dream. But that part of my story I will save for another time. Let's skip ahead to my senior year of high school. My senior year of high school was definitely a year that I will not forget. It was filled with a lot of hurt, but this also was the year God directed me to a future I could have never imagined.
During the summer break between my junior and senior year of high school my parents got a divorce and my family was split up. It sounds terrible, and part of it was, but that was the summer God became the rock in my life that I knew would never forsake me. That summer I found my home in my savior in a way I would not have had the opportunity to without all the hardship. He gave me hope in my very dark tunnel of life.
That summer I had a lot of time to think. I felt God tugging at me in a powerful way and I chose to let Him be the number 1 thing in my life. I discovered peace in the storm for the first time in a very long time. I was a different person than I had been up to that point and those dreams I once had were starting to come back again as I found the version of myself that I had lost overtime. I still remember my first day back at my high school my senior year. I was different and people knew it.
I was still aching from the pain in my life I was still going through. But at the same time I felt empowered. That was the year I stopped caring about how some of the people that surrounded me saw me. I started to hang on to how I felt God felt about me and the rest was irrelevant.
One thing I want to tell you right now is if you are allowing people around you to hold you back or pull you down, STOP! It is your life and you need to live it to the fullest! Stop worrying about what everyone thinks about you and just blossom! Dare to dream! Dare to soar! Dare to be different! Dare to be YOU! Personally, I am only concerned with how God sees me. He sees me for who I am and He is the only one I am accountable to. No one in this world is going to really be able to 100% see you for who you are except your creator. Let Him be your judge, your guide and your cheerleader. Now let's get back to the story.
I no longer wanted that simple, quiet life in the country where my whole world was my community. I wanted to go out into the world and make a difference in the world. I wanted to be more. I decided I would not put any limits on myself and I would not allow anyone to do so either. Where would this new mindset take me? Let's find out.
At that time when I first decided I would stop letting my own fears or doubts hold me back I did not know how I would accomplish my dreams, I just knew I would. I made up my mind that no matter what I was going after them and no matter what I wasn't giving up until I reached them. I took the first step in reaching my full potential, I made a choice. Have you done this yet? Once I made my choice I told myself there was no plan B, only plan A. I did not want to give myself any excuse to back up and give up. So I dug in deep. That is step 2. I made a commitment. Have you?
Step 3, I started searching for a way I could reach my dreams. I kept my eyes peeled and my mind open. If you don't actively search for a way to reach your dreams and you decide to wait for them to come to you then you risk never finding it! So if you haven't found what I now call a vehicle to your dreams, then start looking for it. It is out there!
Later that year I met Mike Akins and the Professional Networkers staff and saw the photos of them traveling the world, ministering to people all over. I had no idea what they were doing or how they were able to do everything they were but I remember knowing this is my answer God had shared with me earlier that year. My senior year I decided to take a work study and I worked at Professional Networkers every school day and evening. Step 4, I found my vehicle to reach my dreams and I leaped on in faith.
I started out in the inventory room and running errands like going to Post Office and grabbing drinks for the staff. I would plow through my work and always finish early so I would study transfer factor, MLM and 4Life. Step 5, I was aggressive and proactive. Those that just react to their daily life will just keep their head above the water but those that reach out proactively will be able to pull themselves out of the regular flow of the river in life and those are the ones that will be able to move forward to the next step in ultimate personal success.
I learned a lot shadowing Mike and studying everything I could get my hands on and was able to work my way up the ranks of his staff and eventually became a senior success consultant. Step 6, go above and beyond! In everything you do do it to the best of your ability. Don't just do what you have to, do your best. Those that just do the task at hand and don't give it their best are the ones that stay stuck where they are. Those that go above and beyond and excel at every task they are given are those that move up. Ask yourself, what type of person am I? What do I do? Do I always do my best or what is required of me?
That year I also became a teacher in a private Christian school Mike funds and various Church activities including a Christian band. Wait two of my dreams just came true! And that is not the end of my story!
I became close to this wonderful group of people and they became more than just co-workers, they became my family. The rest of the year flew by and it was time for me to graduate. I remember walking across the stage at my high school graduation and them announcing "Lauren Nichole Roberts will remain apart of her Christian band and go wherever the Lord takes her". Everyone else listed various colleges they would be attending or what career path they were going to be stepping into. But I was this leaf in the wind and I knew some people thought I was crazy at the time. But I am so thankful I chose to walk the path God chose for my life. It has taken to me to so many amazing moments and to so many cherished friends I would not want to trade for anything in the world.
I am not saying this journey has been easy. It hasn't been. I have had to stand up in what I chose and tell people I admired and cared so much for that tried to convince me to do something else "no". I have had loved ones tell me I was making a mistake and the path I chose is too difficult and I should just go get a normal job. Boy I am I glad I stuck to my faith during these times ad trusted in my God.
At one point one of my family members told me I should go get a job cleaning hotel rooms because it was a more stable career choice than network marketing. They were just trying to make a point to me to cut me down in what I was chose. But I simply replied "I appreciate you caring for me and sharing what you have, but why would I give up such an amazing career for anything else". At first, it was hard for others to fathom my choices and some still don't and put me down, but I don't care because I am living a life I only dreamed of already and this is only my beginning.
Step 7, be unshakable in the storms. When life comes against you and the path you have chose you need to be able to stand up against it and don't back down. Be firm and make sure your roots are strong so they can withstand any storm. I did this by praying every day and asking God to give me the strength I would need and the wisdom I would need to face the many challenges I knew would come my way. Everyone has obstacles they will face in life. It is those that are able to navigate through them and stay firmly rooted that will be able to make it to their full potential. I know, you are asking... What comes next in your story right. :) LOL. Well let's find out.
After being a staff member with Professional Networkers full-time for a number of years I was blessed to become a network marketer on Mike's front level in 4Life Research. Networkers always share the perks of various forms of freedom like "I am my own boss! I control what I do, when I do it and how I do it!". I say this to, but I really believe my God is at the helm of my ship in my life and I would not want it any other way.
I have already been able to live so many of my dreams, not just once but multiple times! I am a blessed woman. My God has given me hope and a future! He has given me peace that surpasses all understanding! He has given me joy overflowing! He has helped me to grow as a person during this journey. The longer I am a networker, the more parallels I see success in MLM has to success in life. I have become someone I never imagined I would become and I credit this journey in MLM to this person I have been becoming. Guess what, there is no end to this story! Well, at least not yet. :) I still have a life ahead of me to live. I am so excited for every part of it!! EVERY SINGLE MOMENT!
For those of you that are like me and hate cliff hangers. I am sorry but you will just have to keep watching to find out what the end of this story is. :)
I want to share something with you as I close. No one jumps from the bottom of the mountain to the top immediately. It takes time. The only way you are going to be able to stand at your best at the highest peak of that mountain is to let yourself become stronger, smarter, and better during the climb.
Hardship is a blessing! Resistance is a blessing! People that put you down are a blessing! Moments that challenge you are a blessing because these moments are going to be what shape you into the winner you will be in your future!
Every part of my journey has been vital. Every person that told me to give up or to quit, forced me to make myself believe in myself more. Every time I hit a dry spell while building, it helped me learn to think like a champion. Every time I lost a leader, I learned how to keep hundreds in my future. Every time I was done wrong I learned to be wiser. Every time I was hurt I became stronger. Every time I got knocked down I became more resilient and was able to stand back up that much faster for the next battle.
Success in network marketing is NOT for the normal! It is for the abnormal! It is for the elite! It is for the strong! It can be for YOU! Next time you start to wander, can I do this. Stop yourself and tell yourself you will do this! Next time someone tells you to give up, tell yourself you will never give up! Next time someone says no, tell yourself I will find my yes! Next time someone says you spend too much time doing this, tell yourself you will keep going because there is a light at the end of this tunnel.
I am going to be really out front with you right now. Normal in this life is not good! Did you know it is normal to work a job and give it your all and get cut from that job just because they needed to make budget cuts! Did you know it is normal now to have more self check outs at a grocery store than actual cashiers? Did you know it is normal to retire after working your job and then have to turn around and get another job that gives you a slice of the pay you are qualified for with no benefits? Did you know that Americans are dying in debt by an average of $62k?
How about this fact women. Did you know the average American woman earns 78c for every 1USD in the conventional industry? It is normal for someone that cannot afford to go to college to either take on a substantial amount of debt they pay on for years or to settle for a lower income job. Do you want to be normal or would you rather go beyond normal?
I chose to go beyond normal. I chose MLM! I wanted to write this post to share my story with you. My hardships do not compare to others hardships around the world. I am very lucky compared to most. But what I do know is the mental challenges we face boil down to the same things most of the time.
Is there a secret to becoming successful? My opinion is if you can master the battle in your own mind, you will find your success. I am glad I chose to keep fighting my battle to my dreams and I pray you choose this as well. Don't settle. Don't stop when it gets tough. Don't fear challenges or hardship, embrace them.
Go BE YOU! Go BECOME YOUR FULL POTENTIAL. No plan b. Just plan a. :) Have a blessed day!