My Monday: My Story

Hello Underdogs!

What is my story? That is something that I heard over and over again this past weekend while I was attending the Thirty One Conference. The theme this year was all about your story because everyone has one to tell. People joke that they can edit their story, but you can’t erase anything. Now, you might be able to improve your story if you want, but the past is what it is.  You don’t define an entire book by a chapter you read in the middle. I thought about my story all weekend. I don’t think I have a very good, or a very interesting story to tell. However, I was encouraged to give it a try and tell what my story is all about. Here is my story that started me on my own Thirty One Journey.

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Back in 2013, my life changed forever, and not in a good way. My Dad passed away in June, and was I immediately fired from my job for not having enough time off to attend his funeral. After that, things went downhill very fast and I could do nothing but survive. I had some very bad people in my life who took advantage of the low points and I was not in a place where I could defend myself. I took care of my Mom, who is not only older and has memory issues, but is mentally ill as well. My life, wants, and needs did not matter.  I tried each day to take care of her, and all the things surrounding the death of a loved one who died without making any wishes known.  I had little support and each day and it was an amazing challenge to even get up for the day.

A few months later, my cousin, best friend, and hetero life partner, Amy was diagnosed with uterine cancer. They caught it when it was in the early stages, but I had a horrible feeling about it. I made arrangements to get help for my Mom so I could go back home and help take care of Amy. I lived several states away and I had been away from my home, dogs, and responsibilities for too long. Life never stops, even when your world does, which is one of the hardest things to deal with. My bad feeling about Amy’s cancer turned out to be correct because it spread and went to stage 3 in a matter of weeks. We were now faced with chemo and everything that comes with that. I had to divide my time between Mom and Amy and it was difficult. In the meantime, I couldn’t hold down a “real job,” outside of being a caregiver. I tried every odd thing that you could think of including selling off anything that I had. I didn’t really have anything to begin with, so that was pretty hard. I’d like to say that eventually the money came from all the hard work that I’ve put in, but that just isn’t true. However, I still had hope.

Amy’s case became worse and worse, and my Mom’s condition became worse as well.  Amy’s cancer came back two more times in less than a 3 year time period. She went through 2 major surgeries, 2 minor surgeries, over 200 days of chemo, over 100 days of radiation, over 100 days of physical therapy, and many mass complications. My Mom was very depressed, had an accident that almost killed her, and had lots of people willing to take advantage of her. Life was not good. In fact, every day was a nightmare. My dog died during this time as well, and I was truly an empty person just trying to live so I could help my loved ones make it another day.I was working up to 20 hours each day, but I couldn’t get any sort of help for the job I was doing. I was broke, exhausted, and hopeless. I also distracted myself by trying to help other people. I volunteer for a youth organization, and an organization that gives to Shriner’s Hospitals. My life has been always about giving back to other people. It helps me deal with my own depression and pain in my life. As empty as I am, I can still find something in me that will be able to give to someone else.

The reason this is important is to tell you how little money that I have, how desperate things are for me, and why I ended up trying out Thirty One. During this time, I was selling another Direct Sales product. Every year, I would put together a massive online store for people in Direct Sales to have one huge Vendor Party. I am all about helping out people like me that are trying to make a go of their own business. I have always loved Thirty One products, but I didn’t have money to buy extras let alone essentials. Amy had gotten an Emotional Support Animal (ESA) named Rose who is a chihuahua. I really wanted to get her a bag that she could travel around in while we were out and about. For those who know Rose, this is before she got a bit crazy and we could take her everywhere. One of the Vendors that I was working with was from Thirty One, and she was selling some of her old stock at a big discount. I decided to invest in one of the bags and have something for Rose to ride around in. Rose loved it, and I loved the bags!

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I really wanted to start selling Thirty One, but I just didn’t have the money for the kit. Over a year went by and I still didn’t do anything with Thirty One. I stumbled upon an ad on Facebook during February, that was doing the Thirty One starter kit for $31.00! I was very excited about it, but I didn’t have the money. I fought with myself until the very last minute to place an order for this kit. I made a list and kept trying to find more reasons to not try this out, than to go for it. Of course, my biggest issue is money so I didn’t know if I could justify spending the money for this kit. I then talked with my Mom, and Amy who both encouraged me to try it  out. They said I was doing something for myself for once, and it could lead to more opportunities.  Plus, it was one of the times that they both said I seemed generally excited about something. I took the plunge and signed up at 11:45 PM on the last day of the promotion. The girl that was from the Vendor party was no longer doing Thirty One, so I got assigned to a person who lives in my area.

I started soon after and never looked back. Of course, I struggle with sales, and booking parties. But I have never been so committed to making something work like this before. I have a great network of support who will always answer my questions, no matter how strange they might seem. I sold enough to make it into the 1/2 K group which is a sales group. I sold enough to earn lots of free product, and I have earned a bit of money.Plus, we have a Gives program where you round up your purchase and that money goes towards helping several organizations! That is so me!  It’s not steady, and I still have problems getting people who want to host a party, but it hasn’t stopped me. Before, I would have given up and shrugged it off. Now, I am finding ways to do new things. I am learning things every single day and I want to keep learning. I want to be a success. I want to have a career with Thirty One, and it is possible. This is the best way for me to still be a caregiver, and work for income on the side. I can be in the hospital and do a party online. I can be with my Mom, who I was able to move closer to me, and still hand out cards and show new product. I can watch YouTube videos on how to sell, while waiting in a doctor’s office. It is the best thing for me to be able to work around work.

So, my story may have started off as sad one, and the challenges have never stopped. However, I am stronger than my challenges. They do not define me. My struggles do not define me. It’s a few sentences in my story that is still being written. I can choose how hard that I will work for my goals. While it makes me nervous, it’s not enough to keep me from fighting and working hard to get my goals. I don’t believe in letting people know my goals, because a lot of negative can come from that. However, I am willing to say that I am working towards my goals, and I want Thirty One to be part of my future as well as my blogging. I think with hard work and dedication, my goals are within reach. My story is not finished, I am in the middle of a chapter that I would like to see rewritten. However, I am excited to see what will happen next.

 

Take a look at the new Fall Collection from Thirty One: Visit my page! Lisa’s Thirty One Page